Understanding Lighting in Indoor and Outdoor Garden Spaces


light &  energy

solar powered plants

light & Growth

let it grow,    Let it grow

measuring light

exposed for everyone to see

light & worth

the three-act play

Lighting Basics

Why Lighting Matters


Plants capture, photosynthesize, and then react (CPR) to the type of light provided in their environment. This means that in a plant’s natural environment, plants capture the full spectrum of light that the sun provides them, leaving no color out. Like life itself, diversity promotes success.


Due to the growing demand for creating deeply rooted homes, the advancement of transportation and distribution has allowed our green thumbs to run wild — from growing herbs to creating indoor jungles.


It’s important to note that nature does not grow houseplants. Only under favorable conditions, similar to a plant’s native habitat, does a plant thrive. This starts with light.

Light & Energy

The Light Spectrum

Understanding Lighting Basics

Visible “white” light is actually a blend of colors, as seen in a rainbow, sandwiched between invisible infrared and ultraviolet rays.

The rays that make up the white light affect plants differently.

Light & Growth

Light and Plant Growth Interactions

Understanding how light regulates plant growth processes

Photo = Lights | Synthesis = To Put Together


Light is life – and for plants, it’s how they feed.
photosynthesis indoor gardening pollinator planet

Photo = Lights | Trope = To Turn


The reaction of a plant moving in the light direction.
Phototropism how light affects plant pollinator planet indoor gardening

Photo = Lights | Period = Length of Time


The reaction of plant to the length of time.
Photoperiodism indoor lighting indoor garden pollinator planet

Light Intensity Measurements

Common Terminology

Used For Natural and Artificial Garden Lighting



The measure of light output from a source. This measure does not vary. For instance, if a flashlight gives off 100 lumens worth of light, it does not vary because this is the output of the product.



The measurement of light hitting a surface. This measurement allows you to decide how much light you need in a given space. Unlike lumens, footcandle can change based on the:

1. distance from the light source

2. reflection against other surfaces

3. size of the area



The measure of temperature. Scientists identified this measurement to assess white light. For indoor gardening, Kelvin is used to measure the color temperature of a grow light (though it’s not a very accurate reading).

When assessing if a Kelvin rating is right for your indoor garden, it’s good to note that “warm” and “cool” colors can be confusing. 

2000K – 3000K | Kelvin Rating: Low | “Warm”  |

Most of the light emitted is in the red spectral range.

More than 5000K | Kelvin Rating: High | “Cool” |

Most of the light emitted is in the blue spectral range.


Commonly Used Tools and Methods for Measuring Light Intensity

Tools for Measuring Light Intensity:


The measurement of light intensity in terms of visible light.

There are two types of photometers:

1. Luminance Meter

Determines the visible energy output of a light source

2. Illuminance Meter

Measures the visible energy on a surface

Tools for Measuring Light Intensity:

Integrating Sphere

The measurement of collected electromagnetic radiation.

Tools for Measuring Light Intensity:


The measurement of light when compartmentalized and measured based on wavelength.

Tools for Measuring Light Intensity:

Light Meter

The measurement of light levels on a particular plane.

The basics of artificial lighting

Types of Artificial Light

*types, colors, length, and more

Today, lighting choices have expanded. Where people used to purchase lights based on watts they produced, now those same people shop based on lumens. 

Incandescent bulbs heat up a tungsten filament, fluorescent bulbs heat a gas, and LED bulbs use light-emitting diodes.  All of this to say, technology has allowed us to make advances in how we bring light indoors. 

Types of Artificial Lights

Incandescent Lights

Commonly used every day in the average home. 

  • Rich in red and far-red light
  • Give off heat
Types of Artificial Lights

Fluorescent Lights

Commonly used for commercial purposes —  e.g, office buildings, factories, etc. 

  • Energy efficient & emit 2-3 times more light than incandescent lights using the same wattage
  • The light strength is strongest in the center, meaning the strength is not evenly distributed
  • Available in various colors: White, Cool White, Warm White, Daylight, Sign White, Living White, Soft White, etc. These colors refer to the quality of light
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