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House Plants/Plant preferred light bulbs?


Mr Creed-

First I must thank you for your insightful, knowledgable, and detailed responses to previous questions.  I appreciate the wealth of information you provide... I am wondering whether you would recommend any lightbulb for someone trying to nurture indoor plants.  I have very little natural light in my apt, and an affinity for plants! Thank you again-

Jamie Corssen

Hi Jamie,

Thank you for your complimentary words. Much appreciated!

There is a limited variety of low light plants that will survive under artificial lights alone. I have written an article on low light plants that provides detailed information on those specific plant species. See below to learn how to get a copy of that article.

Fluorescent lights are the best choice for plant growth. They produce light in the correct portion of the light spectrum for plants. They generate no significant heat so they can be placed very close to your plants. Finally, they are very cheap to operate and that is an important consideration because plants dependent on artificial lights must have those lights on for at least 8 hours per day.

Incandescent lights produce light in the wrong portion of the spectrum, generate a lot of heat and will run up your electric bill.

It is not necessary to use special plant grow lights. They are more expensive but no better than standard cool and warm white fluorescent lights.

I have written articles on light for plants and on low light plants that I will email for free to you (or anyone else) who emails a request to me at

Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.

If this information has been helpful, please click the Rate Volunteer bar below and enter a rating and nomination for me. I am a volunteer on this site so Ratings are the only compensation I receive for answering plant questions.

Need more information? Visit my website at:
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Will Creed, Interior Landscaper
Horticultural Help, NYC

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Will Creed


I am the only expert in this category with professional hands-on experience and knowledge of all indoor plants. I can answer questions regarding light, water, fertilizer, repotting, pruning and humidity and temperature requirements. I can identify plant pests and provide information on safe, effective treatments. My answers are based on 35 years of professional experience and scientific research and are clear and easy to understand. I do NOT use search engines to find answers to your questions. If you read my previous posts here, you will get a good idea as to how thorough and professional my answers are.


I have over 35 years of professional indoor landscaping experience caring for plants in homes, offices, building lobbies, stores, restaurants, and other adverse environments. I have written extensively on the care of indoor plants, including a 260 page book. My specialties include Ficus trees, low light plants, repotting, pest control, and re-blooming holiday plants. Be sure to check my ratings and nominations to learn why I am the top-rated indoor plant expert. I am the only House Plant expert consistently ranked in the AllExperts Top 20.

BA, Amherst College

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