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What’s The Best Color Light For Plants?

Indoor gardening has become much easier with all the new technological advances. But it's still overwhelming if you don't know what light colors are best for your plants. So after some research on the topic, we found an answer to help you out. 

Plants grow best when they have access to all colors of light. However, they mostly want red and blue light (about five times more red than blue). Therefore, you should supplement red and blue with a good amount of every other light color. 

But this answer only provided part of the picture. If you want a successful indoor gardening experience, knowing how each light color affects plants is essential. Our following discussions will dive into this topic and much more to ensure you're ready to give your plants what they need to thrive.

A fern planted in a white vase decorated in the window sill, What's The Best Color Light For Plants?

Plant Growth Under Different Light Colors

Plant growth will differ significantly based on what light colors are present. As a result, knowing the right combination for ideal growth is a crucial part of keeping plants alive. So, let's see exactly how each light color affects the development of plants.

Small ferns and other plants planted in white vases decorated in the window

Ultraviolet Light

UV light (or ultraviolet light) is harmful to plants just like it is to humans. But it does offer positive side effects capable of helping out plants. For instance, some plants will create resin to protect themselves from harmful rays when exposed to UV light. 

The produced resin ends up making their flowering buds more potent. Plus, resin helps protect plants from insects and other pathogens. 

Violet Light

Violet light doesn't have a significant impact on plant growth. But it remains handy when used as a secondary light source alongside blue and red light. In these situations, violet light can help improve plants' smell, color, and taste.

Blue Light

Blue light happens to be the most crucial for plant growth. It earns this distinction because it is readily absorbed by chlorophyll and turned into energy via photosynthesis. However, blue light isn't going to be as effective by itself. 

It would be best to combine it with red for much more successful plant growth. But remember, you'll want more red than blue.

Red Light

Strawberries planted in an indoor hydroponic garden with red light

Red light earns its place as the second most essential light color for plants. This light color isn't too effective by itself, but it soon becomes incredibly crucial when combined with blue.

You'll want a lot more red than blue, especially during a plant's flowering stages. It'll result in a more robust growing process with more leaves through vegetation. Moreover, it'll offer much better bloom and fruit production as it flowers.

Anyone looking for fruits to grow indoors should take a look at this post: What Fruit Can You Grow Indoors? This guide offers some excellent ideas to give your indoor garden a little more style. 

Green Light

Green light often gets overlooked because plants appear green. After all, chlorophyll doesn't absorb as much green light as other light colors. It'll then reflect this green light at us, giving plants their unique green coloring. 

Many people assume this process means plants don't use green light for photosynthesis. But this is a myth, as plants have other photoreceptors for photosynthesis. These other photoreceptors absorb green light and help your plants reach their full potential. 

Similarly, green light penetrates plants deeper than other light colors. This process allows it to reach photoreceptors that red or blue light can't. So this makes it essential to provide plants with some green light. 

Yellow Light

Yellow is the light color least used by plants during their growth and development. But they still need it, so make sure to provide some for high-quality results.

Orange Light

Gardeners can expect plants to use orange light, similar to red light. Of course, it's not as effective as red light, but it does get absorbed the same as red. So you'll want to provide some orange light at a smaller level than red. 

Far Red Light (Infrared)

This light color is another one that isn't absorbed much by plants. However, it does play an essential part in plant development and growth. The ratio between deep red and red light will signal to your plants when they should start germination and regulate the flowering process.

What does purple light do for plants?

Purple or violet light helps plants excel when used as a secondary light source. Its shorter wavelength will help assist the vegetative growth process in this role. You can also expect purple light to be very energetic, which is always helpful for plants.

What color light is worst for plant growth?

As mentioned earlier, yellow light offers the lowest impact on plant growth. But it still serves a vital role in your plant's development and needs representation in your indoor garden.

What kind of LED Lights grow plants?

LED lights are separated into two types when concerning use for growing plants. You can either use regular household LED lights or LED grow lights. Both options work well when appropriately used to grow plants.

A green plastic vase lighted with a yellow study lamp

Regular LED Lights

Regular LED lights aren't anything like other traditional household bulbs. These options are more effective and much brighter when used for indoor plants. They also do a solid job functioning as a way to illuminate a living area.

So can you rely on regular LED lights to serve both purposes simultaneously? Well, if you're looking to keep a plant the same size and shape, these lights are a perfect fit. Regular LED lights will only allow partial photosynthesis and the production of just enough carbs to keep the plant living.

As a result, it'll slow the plant's growth to stop it from taking over your living area. If you're confused about whether these lights are suitable, here's an overview of their advantages and disadvantages:

Advantages:

  • They're highly energy-efficient (80% of their power turns into light energy and the other 20% as heat)
  • Durable with lifespans reaching 100,000 hours
  • Recyclable 
  • Don't feature any poisonous chemicals
  • Inexpensive when compared to grow lights

Disadvantages:

  • Generated heat levels can make some plants uncomfortable
  • Wavelength isn't ideal for plant growth 

LED Grow Lights

Manufacturers construct LED grow lights to replace sunlight in a plant's growth process. As a result, it offers better results when compared to regular LED lights. These lights also make gardeners more comfortable because they know exactly what the lights offer their plants. 

Anyone who considers themselves a passionate gardener should invest in LED grow lights. It's the easiest way to ensure your plants get the best treatment possible. After all, these grow lights aid plants in every phase of their lives.

Lettuce grown in an indoor hydroponic garden

Advantages:

  • Provide organized wavelengths based on a plant's growth needs
  • Excellent durability with lifespans of 50,000 to 100,000 hours
  • It doesn't increase the heat temperature while providing adequate light
  • Usable for growing plants in all phases with a combined spectrum of different light colors
  • Various available shape configurations to help attach them near needy houseplants

Disadvantages: 

  • LED grow lights will hurt your ears with long-term exposure
  • Expensive 

How far should grow lights be from plants?

Grow light placement will depend on light wavelengths and wattage. But in general, you should place them at least two feet away from indoor plants to avoid overheating. Fluorescent and LED lights will have lower heat output, so they can be a little closer.

If you’re thinking about installing grow lights in a vertical garden, check out this post: Grow Lights For Your Vertical Garden: A Complete Guide

Should you leave a grow light on for 24 hours?

You shouldn't leave your grow lights on for 24 hours. Plants require a light-dark cycle to grow and develop properly. Many experts believe plants need resting periods of darkness; these periods allow them to move nutrients into their extremities.

How long do LED grow lights last?

Most LED lights will offer an expected lifespan between 50,000 and 100,000 hours. In comparison, other grow lights barely hit 20,000 hours before needing replacement. 

In Closing

A fern planted in a white vase decorated in the window sill

Plants require all light colors to grow and function properly. But red light and blue light colors are the most essential to ensure a positive plant growing experience. In the end, we hope our guide made it clear about how to meet your plants' needs.

If you still have a question or two, don't hesitate to post them in our comment section. We'll make sure to provide a detailed response as soon as possible. Thanks for reading!