Grow Light Vs Regular Light

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Last Updated on October 29, 2022

More people are indulging in indoor gardening and creating the ideal growing environment will enhance the growth of your indoor plants. Understanding the difference between grow light vs regular light is important so you can provide your indoor plants’ lights for their growing needs.

Both lights will supply your plants with lights but the light intensity or efficiency they will supply your plants are dissimilar. So grow lights and regular lights are designed in a different manner.

If you’ve ever wondered about what difference is there between grow light vs. regular light, we will enlighten you in this post. So, let’s begin.

What Is A Grow Light?

Before we look into grow light vs. regular light, let’s firstly discuss what a grow light is. A grow light is referred to as an electrical light specially designed to grow various plants. The primary function of grow light is to imitate the work done by sunlight which will ensure your indoor plants grow adequately.

These grow lights emit specific colors that stimulate plants’ growth. However, not all lights are designed to produce the same light spectrum and they all have a different wavelength of light.

So, some people may wonder if grow lights can be replaced with the regular lights we use at the home, office, etc. Well, the answer is yes, while in some cases it’s no.

What Is A Grow Light

What Are Regular Lights?

We have a wide range of regular lights which are basically designed as an artificial light source for illuminating dark spaces. People make use of regular lights almost on a daily basis and they help us clearly in the dark.

They are used to lighten up a room, office, etc as the sun begins to set and as the day goes dark. Regular lights are also used in the garage, the entrance of your door. Some are even used within your vehicles and so on.

Grow Light vs. Regular Light

It is possible to make use of both grow light and regular lights bulbs to grow your indoor plants. But what is the difference between grow light vs. regular light? Here are some comparisons between the two lights:

1.    The Intensity Of Power Between Grow Lights Vs Regular Lights

When it comes to power or light intensity, grow lights offer more power than a regular light bulb. You can find various grow lights with different light intensities in the market.

Now, light intensity is needed to enhance the rate of photosynthesis. This guarantees that your plants have adequate light energy to grow. So it is paramount you provide your plants with the right dose of power intensity.

The Intensity Of Power Between Grow Lights Vs Regular Lights

2.    Spectrum Of Light

Light comprises of different wavelength that makes up the spectrum of light. So, all types of light bulbs produce a certain wavelength. However, not all types of light bulbs will produce the appropriate wavelength that will mimic the sunlight which is required for plants’ growth.

Most grow lights are specially designed to emit the right wavelength that will enhance almost all the growth stages of your plant. However, when it comes to a regular light bulb, they may only be efficient for certain growth stages of your plant.

3.    Heat Dissipation

Heat is an important factor to consider when deciding the type of grow light to use on your indoor plant. If the heat emitted is too much and placed close to your plant, it can cause harm to them. However, you can position your lights at a safe distance from your plants.

The fact is most regular lights produce more heat compared to grow lights. So, if you’re using regular lights for growing, ensure you position them at a safe distance.

4.    Durability

The durability of grow light is usually shorter compared to regular light. This is because grow light tends to burn out quickly.

5.    Energy Efficiency

Most regular light bulbs are energy efficient. On the other hand, most grow light will consume a lot of energy. However, there are certain low energy consuming grow lights you can go for.

MARS HYDRO TS 1000W Led Grow Light 3x3ft Daisy Chain Dimmable Full Spectrum LED Growing Lights

Different Grow Lights

We have 3 main types of grow lights and they include:

  1. Fluorescent Grow Light

Fluorescent grow light is one great light used to supply light energy spectrum to indoor plants. They are low emitting light, thus making them safe to be placed close to plants. The low emitting heat fluorescent light is also suitable for fragile seedlings and clones.

However, most fluorescent lights are not as intense as HPS or LED lights but they will do a fine job with your growing plants.

  1. Light-emitting Diodes (LED)

Light-emitting diodes are one of the most efficient grow lights you can use for your indoor plants. They are more focused and will give your plants optimal light intensity. LED grow light will supply your plant with a wide range of light spectrum for them to grow adequately.

The light can even be positioned a little far from plants and still give your plant good lightning.

  1. High-Pressure Sodium (HPS)

High-pressure sodium is also known as high-intensity discharge (HID) is another type of grow light you can use for your indoor plants. Although they will require much distance from plants because of their high emitting heat, they will still supply your plant with good lights for their growing needs.

Other Types Of Grow Light

    • Incandescent Bulb: this type of light has been in existence for a long time. Incandescent bulbs are not so great because the light spectrum they produce is inefficient for plants’ growth. Thus, they aren’t appropriate for plants, especially during photosynthesis. However, they have been replaced with more efficient, durable, and safer options.

    • Halogen: halogen lights are not so great but they will still supply your plant what they need to grow.


Can I Use a regular light as a grow light?

Regular bulbs are fine for growing plants, but they're not very efficient. The efficiency of the plant growth is directly related to the amount of light you put out and the length of time you expose the plants to that light. You can get a lot more bang per watt with an LED array or fluorescent tube. LEDs are a bit more expensive, but if you're trying to save money (which is understandable) then LEDs will be your best bet. You'll probably want to look for a fixture that mounts the light on a heat sink, so you can get a little extra cooling for your plants.

Can any LED light be used as a grow light?

In general, no. LEDs have a maximum current rating (for most), which means they cannot be operated at high power levels (which is the only way to get high light output). That said, you can certainly use LEDs in an environment that doesn't require very high power, but they're not really intended for that purpose.

Is a grow light better than natural light?

When you’re growing plants indoors, you don’t want to be dependent on the sun. There are a few options for indoor gardeners who need sunlight to help with their plant growth. A grow light is one of them. Grow lights are used to mimic the conditions found in nature, which makes it an ideal option for growing plants indoors. Grow lights allow you to use artificial lighting, which makes it a much more practical option than natural sunlight. This also means that you can have full control over when you turn your lights on and off. You can choose to turn your lights on during the day or at night, which gives you the best time to work with your plants. Grow lights also mimic the natural light cycle. Plants respond to changes in the natural light cycle by growing at different times of the day. By using grow lights, you can make sure that your plants get the right amount of light.

Whats the difference between a grow light and a regular light?

The big difference is that in a grow light, the spectrum of the light is tuned to the needs of a plant to stimulate photosynthesis. This means that the reds are higher, the blues lower, and the greens in between. It's not the same as a regular light which has a continuous spectrum.
 The light spectrum for plants is more like that of the sun than a regular light. And the way that it works is that the blue part of the spectrum (which is the part of the light that plants need to grow) is stronger than the red part.

Grow Light Vs. Regular Light: Conclusion

Grow light and regular light are definitely two different lights that perform different functions.

Grow lights are designed for plants needs while regular lights are meant for daily use in most homes. But regular lights can still provide a certain light spectrum for plants’ growth but they aren’t as efficient as grow light.

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