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Is More light Better for Plants? For Some Yes & Others No

It is undeniable that light is one of the essential ingredients that aid in the healthy growth of plants. But does it mean that the more light the plant receives, the more it will increase the development of the plants?

More light is better for plants because the rate of photosynthesis will increase with more light as plants use the sun’s energy to make food. Plants need sunlight and water to grow. More light allows plants to produce more chlorophyll, which absorbs more sunlight and helps them grow faster.

So knowing light increases plant growth, does having more hours of light on a plant or increasing the light intensity cause them to grow more than they should? 

This article will explain how light affects plants both positively and negatively, as well as compare UV light to sunlight with respect to plant growth.

Why is Light Necessary for Plants?

Grow light Vs Sunlight

Light is essential for plants. All things in this universe require energy to sustain. For example, humans get energy from food; food is crucial to survival. 

Similarly, plants get energy from light through the process of photosynthesis. Without light, the plant won’t be able to survive.

Light is one of the most vital factors affecting the plants’ growth rate. If plants do not get adequate light, they won’t grow at a maximum rate, or it can be said that they won’t be able to reach their full potential.

Plants prepare their food through the process of photosynthesis. Now, it is pertinent to understand what photosynthesis is. 

The word ‘photosynthesis’ is derived from the two greek words, photo and synthesis, which mean light and putting together, respectively. It is the process through which light energy is converted to chemical energy.

The Process of Photosynthesis

In other words, plants use sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide to create oxygen and energy in the form of sugar, which helps in the growth of plants. In this process, oxygen is also released as a waste product. 

Hence, from the aforementioned, it can be concluded that photosynthesis is vital. For the process of photosynthesis to be completed, light is the primary factor for photosynthesis to take place. 

From this, it can be impliedly understood the importance of light in the growth of plants. Light also helps in the proper growth and development of a plant body.

The answer to whether light is necessary for plants is that light is essential for plants to thrive and survive in the long run. 

Plants should get sufficient light to grow healthy. Plants also require energy to grow, bloom, and produce seeds. Without light, the energy reserves of the plant are depleted, and hence, as a result, they will die.

So, till now, the importance of plants is evident. Along with this, it is also essential to understand what happens when the plant gets less light than required. Let’s understand it by bifurcating it into two parts.

How Much Light do Plants Actually Need?

Circadian Rhythm

Plants that need to be grown in a windowless environment, for example, flowering plants and vegetables, will require 12-16 hours of light per day. 8 hours without light is the maximum amount of darkness needed for these types.

As stated before, most plant species can’t survive without being able to receive at least some type of natural daylight or artificial lighting.

However, there are certain exceptions, such as flowers that rely on an 18-hour dark cycle followed by 6 hours or more during their blooming period.

During this period, they should only have access to bright lights indoors from 3 PM until dusk, when it’s time for them to go into another six-hour phase again under complete blackness so as not to affect the photoperiod too much.

Photoperiodism is the physiological reaction of organisms to the length of night or a dark period. It occurs in plants and animals. Photoperiodism can also be defined as the developmental responses of plants to the relative lengths of light and dark periods. [Source]

Some plants are photosensitive and need a certain amount of darkness in order to bloom. These plants are adapted to seasonal changes and are known for blooming within the winter months.

Some examples are

  • poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima)
  • orchids (Orchidaceae spp.)
  • cacti (Cactaceae spp.)

There are plants that can tolerate almost a full 24 hours of light and those are plants that are most comfortable growing indoors where they are also exposed to artificial lights during the night.

Plants that can tolerate a full 24 hours of light are –

  • Swiss cheese plant (Monstera deliciosa)
  • Dieffenbachia (Dieffenbachia spp.)
  • Coleus (Coleus hybridus)

What Happens When Plants Receive Less Light

Lack of light plants will not enable the plants to produce chlorophyll (the green pigment in plants), and as a result, plants can turn pale green to yellow to white. 

Also, it makes the plant stems leggy, meaning that the stems become long and thin and appear to be reaching toward the light source.

If the plant doesn’t receive sufficient light, then long spaces grow on the stems between the leaf nodes (the leaf node is where a leaf grows out of the stem). 

Lack of sufficient light may also cause the plants to drop their leaves, especially older leaves. It may also cause the failure of the flowering plants to produce flower buds.

How Long can a Plant Survive without light

However, only lack of sufficient light doesn’t need to cause trouble for the plants’ growth.

There are instances when exposure to too much light for a plant can be a significant problem. It can result in scorched and bleached leaves, which is not a good indicator of a plant’s health.

Therefore, by the discussion above, light is an essential ingredient for the healthy growth of plants. So, now you have grown the plant, take care to provide it with adequate light so it can flourish well.

See our detailed article on how long can plant survive without light.

Does More Light Mean More Plant Growth?

In the previous section of the article, we saw that light is of utmost necessity for the growth of plants. But an important question arises whether more light implies more plant growth. 

In other words, does any direct relationship exist between light and plant growth? Let’s find out in this section of the article.

So, the answer to this question is yes, more light implies more plant growth. Plants can make sufficient food for their survival and growth if they receive more light. 

This is because sugars are responsible for plant growth. They give energy to the plants. So, the more a plant receives more light, the more energy it will create, and the more energy is created, the faster it will grow.

Now you might be wondering how light can speed up plant growth. This is because the more light a plant receives, the more the process of photosynthesis is speeded up. It also increases the plant temperature.

More light means more plant growth, and this hypothesis is supported by plants growing taller with increased light exposure.

However, plants grow taller with increased levels of CO2 in their environment, not just increased levels of light. In addition, some species of plants will grow better when they have less light exposure and less CO2 in their environment.

So, light is one of the most critical factors that promote more plant growth. But there are several other factors like levels of carbon dioxide in the environment, etc. 

It also depends upon the plant type, light, and the amount of light. Light intensity is essential for the plant’s healthy and prolonged growth.

How Much Sunlight Does Your Plant Need?

Lighting for plants

Plants require three essential things- Light, water, and carbon dioxide. Now, among these factors, light can be primarily divided into two types one is natural light, and the other is artificial light.

Natural light essentially means and comprises sunlight. In artificial light, we have to grow lights, LED lights, etc. In this article, we will primarily discuss how much sunlight does a plant need? It will also be discussed whether plants can survive to grow light and which is better for plants: grow light or sunlight.

So, first of all, let us figure out how much sunlight a plant needs. The Sun is a renewable energy source and plays a pivotal role in every aspect of life, from Earth’s warming to the water cycle. 

Besides this, the sun also plays a crucial role in the growth of plants. Without it, it is not possible for a plant to create food to grow, reproduce, and survive.

Sunlight

So, it is apparent that plants need sunlight to grow. They need the energy from the sun to make food for themselves. But they also need sunlight to produce food for us.

A plant needs sunlight for photosynthesis. This process is where the plant absorbs energy from the sun and converts it into food. 

The more light the plant gets, the more energy it can produce, leading to healthier plants and better growth.

Plants also need other things like water and nutrients to grow well. However, without sufficient sunlight, plants will not be able to grow as healthy or as fast as they would with enough light.

As you can see, plants need a lot of light to grow and produce food. You must know how much light your plants will need and what type of environment they will thrive in.

The amount of sunlight your plant needs depends on the type of plant. Some plants need more light than others, and some plants need less. 

Knowing how much sunlight your plant needs is essential because it will die if it doesn’t get enough.

Can Plants Survive Only With Grow Lights

artificial lighting for plants

In the past, plants were grown using natural sunlight. But with the increase in urbanization and the decrease in natural light, it has become difficult to grow plants without artificial lights.

Grow lights supplement sunlight and provide enough light for plants to grow. They can be used indoors or outdoors depending on the light intensity required by the plant.

So, the answer to the question is yes; plants can survive by grow lights. But the question is, why would you want to do that?

The answer is that there are many benefits of using grow lights only. For example, if you need to move your plants around a lot due to the lack of space or other reasons, then using grow lights will be better for them.

The reason for this is that they don’t need a lot of space, and they don’t need soil. They also require less maintenance than most other types of plants.

To make a purchase decision, you must consider what type of plant you are growing, the energy efficiency and power per square foot rating, color temperature (Kelvin), spectrum quality, and how many hours per day you need light.

Therefore, plants can survive by grow lights. However, they strive and thrive best in the sunlight.

Grow Light vs. Sunlight: Which is Better for Plants

Grow light Vs Sunlight

Plants need light to grow, and many types of light can be used to provide the necessary level of illumination. Plant lovers often ask what the best kind of light is for plants.

It depends on personal preference, as any light will work if strong enough. The two most popular types are grown lights and sunlight.

Grow lights are artificial light sources that provide light for plants. They are often used in greenhouses and indoor gardens.

Sunlight is the natural light source that is emitted from the sun. It is a form of radiation that provides plants with energy through photosynthesis.

The answer to this question depends on what you want to achieve with your plants. If you want them to increase, grow lights will be better for you because they provide more intense light than sunlight. 

However, if you want them to grow healthy and produce more fruit, sunlight will be better for you because it allows for a broader spectrum of light than grow lights.

Grow lights include fluorescent bulbs, LEDs, and incandescent bulbs. They produce the blue spectrum that plants need to thrive. 

Providing balanced lighting is crucial, and we have found an effective and durable artificial grow light on amazon that provides the right spectrum of light to get the job done. You can find it by clicking here.

grow light

This type of lighting is usually cheaper than natural sunlight. It saves on electricity in the long run by using less power compared to traditional lighting forms such as incandescent lamp or fluorescent.

There are many other benefits, including keeping your house cool during summer with reduced air conditioning consumption because grow lights produce a lot less heat than sunlight.

However, it is considered that the best light for plants is sunlight. Grow lights come in many different forms but are not as good as natural sunlight.

Sunlight is the best source for plants because it contains all the wavelengths of light plants need to grow. 

Grow lights, on the other hand, only provide a limited number of wavelengths which may not be enough to support plant growth and development.

The Takeaway

Indeed and undoubtedly, light helps plants to survive and thrive in the long run. It increases the rate of photosynthesis with the receipt of more light. This is because plants use the sun’s energy to make food. 

Plants require sunlight and water to grow. As the plant receives more light, plants produce more chlorophyll, which absorbs more sunlight and helps them grow faster.

Therefore, it is safe to conclude that more light is better for plants. However, it is always better to remember some plants need a lot of light to grow, while others prefer shade. 

The best way to determine whether more light is better for your plant is by looking at its needs and preferences.

If you want to know whether more light is better for your plant, it’s essential to know what plant you’re growing and what kind of environment it prefers. Happy and healthy growth of the plants!