Here’s a list of products I’ve used and recommend. I’ve used all of the grow lights listed and have measured them with both my PAR meter and my light meter (and, even more importantly, my ficuses – they’re discriminatory little b*tches when it comes to light quality!). I’ll be publishing that information as soon as I have a chance to put it all together, both in video and text form.
Disclosure (and an ask) 🙂
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Houseplant care book for beginners 🙂
Okay, first up: I had been seeing Raffaele’s IG reels for a while and was impressed with his information. It was clearly all based on actual trial and error (instead of regurgitated buzzwords from poorly researched articles online). So when he came out with a book, I got my hands on a copy, read the entire thing, and sent him a giant thank you for writing the book that I didn’t want to write. The only info in here that I’d change is on peat-based soils (he hadn’t looked further into soils prior to writing, but is now learning more). This book is what I recommend to houseplant parents who want a ‘basics’ manual that does more than most. It doesn’t go super in-depth on the science, but you know where to find the crazy plant nerds for that sort of thing 🙂
The majority of these lights are yellow, though the white (which have tinges of blue, purple, etc in them) are available through the same links. I prefer yellow because I keep my plants in my living spaces and we want to be able to co-exist with them. These lights are our everyday lighting – bar lighting for spaces near the ceiling, and bulbs in lamps around the room. I prefer the 2-foot bars, but the 1-foot and 4-foot are linked as well.
(stronger/more full spectrum light than T5, has a purplish tinge – I leave these on when I won’t be in the room)
Sansi single bulb – strong, but on the white-towards-blue spectrum. It doesn’t look blue but it’s not a gentle light, so plan on using this one to light plants, not near your reading nook.
These bulbs were initially marketed as grow bulbs on Amazon so I tried them. My plants like them and are growing well, but I’ll have more info on them soon (PAR reading, etc).
First, here’s an inexpensive light meter that I recommend. I don’t expect this to be quite as good as one that costs $600, but it’s certainly a better source of information than our eyes. The intensity of the readings lines up with my more pricey PAR meter as I move it around (it measures Photosynthetically Active Radiation – basically the light that plants can use). And the results from my plants are what I’d expect with the readings I’m getting. I definitely recommend using a light meter to get a better idea of what “high” and “low” light actually looks like.
I use these clamp lamps in areas I want to use a single bulb but won’t see the fixture. You can take the shade/reflector off if you want the light to shine in every direction, or leave it on to direct more of the light in one area.
I have many high spaces with plants and won’t turn the lights on if I can’t easily access the switch, so I use these remote switches. I have several spaces set up with both T5 and T8 lights (above), and I have each type on a separate switch so I can push one button for nice, mellow light (when I’m in the room) and then hit the other button when I leave for the day and want to give my plants some extra love.
And just for fun, I love these leaf trellises! They’re TALL, so check the measurements on these – this would be great for a massive hoya or pothos that you want to shape into a floor plant.