Updated at: 09-05-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

To utilize grow lights in a tiny greenhouse, you simply need to know two things: which light color to use and what kind of light to use. If you’re new to grow lights, it can be difficult to figure out what you need to know. As a result, mastering these two concepts before learning how to utilize a grow light in a tiny greenhouse should be a snap.

To keep a tiny greenhouse running smoothly, it is essential to conduct regular inspections of the inside environment. If you don’t supply your plants with the ideal circumstances indoors, their development, health, and productivity will be negatively affected. Plants’ energy reserves will be depleted if the light in the little greenhouse is insufficient.

Do not neglect the use of grow lights in a tiny greenhouse, just as you would in a larger one. Despite the fact that they are smaller, the plants’ needs for growing within are the same as they were before.

What is photosynthesis?

How many of you have fond memories of studying photosynthesis in science class in the eighth grade? Let’s go back to the beginning for a moment. Plants carry out a process known as photosynthesis. Plants can use the chemical energy they get from sunlight to power their growth. The process of photosynthesis differs among plants.

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This means that for plants to thrive, they may need to be exposed to light with a variety of wavelengths. It’s possible to use grow lights that mimic the sun’s light spectrum, or those that emit specific wavelengths needed for a plant to thrive in the house. While blue light is beneficial for foliage, red light has an impact on root development and flowering, to name just two examples.

How To Use Grow Light In A Small Greenhouse

The correct color

It can be difficult to determine which hue to utilize in the greenhouse while utilizing a grow light. No matter what type of greenhouse you’re using, the correct color to utilize is the same. In the end, red and blue light wavelengths are what you need.

Red and blue

Despite their apparent whiteness to the human eye, the grow lights in the greenhouse emit light in a specific wavelength range. Plants synthesis nutrients differently under red and blue light, which is why these colors are ideal for grow lights. Because of this, they are responsible for supplying the body with the necessary energy and nutrients for growth.

Look for lights labelled as “balanced,” “full spectrum,” or “natural” by their producers.

High spectrum vs low spectrum

Additional numbers may indicate 400K or 2700K for some grow lights. Take note that as the number rises, so does the light’s temperature. As a result, 6500K is the most popular color temperature for grow lights used to promote foliage in gardens.

For fruit production, though, you’ll also need a 3000K grow lamp for your plants. Starting with high-spectrum lights for seedlings is a good idea. Use low-spectrum bulbs afterward to encourage flowering and fruit production.

The type of light


When it comes to lighting your tiny greenhouse, incandescent bulbs are the most cost-effective option. As a result, you must maintain a minimum of 24 inches of space between you and the plants because they can become extremely hot. Incandescent bulbs are not only inexpensive, but they are also simple to set up.

They do, however, have a shorter lifespan than most, necessitating more frequent replacement.


Fluorescent lights, according to the University of Missouri Extension, are one of the finest options for interior use. There are numerous advantages to switching from incandescent bulbs to this type. Small greenhouses can also benefit from having a variety of options in terms of size and shape.

While fluorescent bulbs emit blue light, there are also full-spectrum lights that can be used as grow lights.


Aside from metal halide and high-pressure sodium, high-intensity discharge lights are the greatest supplementary lights. When it comes to flowering and blossoming, high-pressure sodium lights are ideal. A blue-tinted light called metal halide, on the other hand, helps to promote plant development.

They are likewise long-lasting and efficient, but are better suited for large greenhouses rather than smaller ones. It’s difficult to find lights of this sort in small wattage because of their huge fixtures. They also give off heat, making it difficult to place them in a small greenhouse.

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In a tiny greenhouse, LED grow lights are the most convenient and perhaps the best option. Unlike HID lights, which are bulky and difficult to set up, LED lights are compact, light, and simple to install in a tiny greenhouse. There is no risk of overheating, as well as a variety of colors to pick from.

How to use a grow light

Using a grow light in a greenhouse is a simple task if you grasp the two most important components. Make sure you know what your plants need before you start using a grow light. After that, organize your lighting setup such that the plants are kept at a safe distance from the grow lights.

It is recommended that lights be placed 5 feet away from plants, but this can vary depending on the species. Installing a switch for the grow lights is also an option if you want to save time and effort. Some allow you to set a timer, while others connect to your phone via Bluetooth.

Keep in mind that relocating the lights will be necessary as the plants develop and as time goes on. You may even have to alter the color spectrum or the amount of time the lights are on.

What’s the difference between grow lights and traditional lights?

As far as I can see, there isn’t much difference between the two. Wave lengths and heat. If your plants don’t get the correct amount of light, they won’t be able to perform photosynthesis. The heat generated by typical lights can quickly burn and scorch your plants.

While grow lights help photosynthesis by providing a wide range of wavelengths and specialized lighting to meet your plant’s demands, fluorescent lights only provide a single wavelength. As a result, grow lights use less energy and do not produce heat, making them safer for plants.

What are the different types of grow lights?

It might be difficult to choose the correct grow lights for your plants because there are so many options. Incandescent, fluorescent, LED, and HID are the most common types of grow lights.

1. Incandescent grow lights

For the most part, these bulbs may be purchased at any hardware or food shop. They are the standard incandescent lamp bulb. As a grow light, they aren’t ideal because they produce a lot of heat that might harm your plants and they aren’t very energy efficient or long-lasting.

2. Fluorescent grow lights

You might know the spiral shape of a compact fluorescent reflector (CFL), which is a type of long tube fluorescent light bulb. These bulbs are safe for your plants because they don’t produce a lot of heat. The light they produce is very pleasant to look at.

Fluorescent bulbs may emit the entire spectrum, from warm to cool, depending on the type of plant being grown. Fluorescents are more expensive than other lighting options. In any case, they have a lengthy life expectancy and are extremely energy-saving.

3. LED grow lights

The term “LED” refers to lights that use light-emitting diodes as their source of illumination. For the most advanced grow lights to date, these produce a wide spectrum of wavelengths while emitting nearly no heat.

Furthermore, they are energy-efficient and may be tuned to provide the specific hue light your plant requires. I’ve been quite pleased with the LED grow lights I’ve purchased.

4. HID grow lights

For a variety of reasons, high intensity discharge lights have gained popularity as a form of grow light. They produce a lot of light and are widely employed by commercial growers because they better mimic the sun’s rays than any other bulb. As a hobbyist, you probably won’t need these.

When electricity travels from one electrode to the other, the gas reacts with it, resulting in a dazzling light. Metal Halide and High-Pressure Sodium are the two most common forms. Yellow light comes from the second one, whereas blue light comes from the first.

What color grow lights do houseplants grow best in?

Having discussed the many sorts of bulbs, it’s time to consider the various hues of light they produce. Some grow lights are purple, while others resemble typical household bulbs.

Cool 400nm–500nm

On the chilly end of the color spectrum, violet, blue, and green are all in agreement. When coupled with red and blue light, violet light is most beneficial. It can enhance a plant’s appearance, flavor, and aroma.

Blue light, which is absorbed by chlorophyll, is critical to plant growth since it is a major component of photosynthesis. Plants don’t benefit from green light because they reflect most of it back at them (which is why plants are green). However, your plant should still be receiving some green light in order to grow to its full potential.

Warm 580nm-700nm

Red, orange, and yellow make up the warm end of the color spectrum. The combination of red and blue light is critical for plant growth. Plants benefit from red light because it promotes flowering, better growth, and more foliage.

In addition to promoting germination and regulating flowering, far-red light can also be used as a signal. Despite the fact that orange and yellow aren’t quite as useful, they are nonetheless crucial to overall development.

The best of both worlds: Full spectrum

In order to get the finest results from your plants, you should use full-spectrum grow lights. Even the invisible ultraviolet and infrared wavelengths of light are emitted by sunlight.

Why should I be concerned about other wavelengths if blue and red light are the most crucial for plant growth? You’re weakening and possibly limiting your plant’s growth by just providing it with red and blue light.

Given that plants require a broad spectrum of light to develop, grow lights should aim to emulate natural sunlight in terms of both intensity and wavelengths. For this reason, a full-spectrum grow light is your best bet for getting the most accurate results.

Grow bulbs vs grow light fixtures

In terms of convenience and cost, grow light bulbs are the best bet. It’s as simple as replacing the bulb in an old light or fixture with a specific grow bulb. Incandescent, fluorescent, and LED light bulbs can all be used with this device.

When used in a common location such as the living room, this LED bulb makes an excellent grow light for your houseplants. Your plant will be able to absorb the correct wavelengths of light while still being pleasant to look at. However, if you only have one bulb, it won’t be enough for several plants.

It’s best to utilize lighting fixtures if you have a lot of plants, although they are more expensive than regular bulbs. Light fixtures for growing plants are specifically designed to provide the right amount of light for each plant. Unlike individual bulbs, they don’t produce heat and provide a wider range of light than they would otherwise provide.

Lighting fixtures are pricey and take up a lot of room, which is why I don’t use them. LED strips are a less expensive alternative to traditional lighting fixtures. For a low price, these LED Grow Light Strips from Mosthink may be used for several plants, are easy to set up, and mimic natural sunshine.

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How to set up grow lights on shelving or in a cabinet

Onto the subject of mounting grow lights on a shelf or cabinet, shall we? A solid shelf or cabinet is a must. Because of its availability, affordability, and ease of use, wire shelving units are an excellent choice for a home office or library because they can be found at any hardware store.

It was a no-brainer for me to go with the Fabrikor glass cabinet from Ikea. My entire Ikea glass cabinet assembly post may be seen at this link. With its glass windows and glass shelves, it’s a lovely decorative cabinet that lets in plenty of natural light. Greenhouse cabinets may be found for a reasonable price at Ikea.

It is time to think about how your grow lights should be placed. A longer grow light is likely to be required for a larger shelf, such as a wire shelving unit. Compared to regular bulbs, fluorescent tubes consume 75% less energy and last 10 times longer. S-hooks are used to attach these to the shelving unit.

The shelf or the grow lights will have to be raised as your plants get taller. I used double-sided tape to affix these LED strips to the top of my greenhouse cabinet because they don’t require fasteners. They also don’t emit any heat, which means that my plants can grow right next to them.

Your grow lights should be set to run on a timer. In my greenhouse cabinet, I utilize LED strips with timers of 2, 4, and 8 hours. On an 8-hour timer, it is set to 100% brightness. In the end, after much trial and error, this was the best solution for my plants.

How close should grow lights be to houseplants?

The easiest technique to simulate the sun’s light is to utilize hanging grow lights, which provide light from above. The light may not be distributed evenly if grow lights are placed at an angle. The plant’s growth will be tilted if the light doesn’t reach the complete surface area.

Because of the heat they produce, incandescent grow lights should be kept at least two feet away from your plants. As your plant grows, make careful to adjust the height of the grow light to keep it at least one foot away from your plants.

Because LED lights produce so little heat, houseplants can grow up to six inches away from them without fear of burning. In such places as shelving and greenhouse cabinets, LED lights can be used to their full potential. All of my lighting is powered by LEDs, so there’s no guesswork for me.

How long should I leave grow lights on for?

Additionally, the length of time the lights are left on and their wattage are both important considerations. A plant’s photosynthetic process is in full swing when it is exposed to sunlight. Consequently, if you overexpose your houseplants to the sun, you risk damaging their foliage, preventing them from blossoming, and drying them out.

Plants, on average, require at least eight hours of darkness each day. During the hours of darkness, a plant makes use of the energy it has saved to expand and bloom.

8 to 10 hours of sunlight a day is enough for most houseplants; however, flowering plants may require more time in the sun. Consistency is a must for plants. Your plants will thrive if you use a timer on your grow lights to provide them a regular light cycle.

What I do with my grow lights…

Depending on the plants you have and the grow lights you employ, this becomes more of an art than a science. I’ll tell you how I went about figuring it out.

  • To begin, all of my lighting is powered by LEDs, so there’s no guesswork involved and no risk of overheating or causing burns.
  • Secondly, I keep the lights on for eight hours a day at full power (if they have intensity settings).
  • My plants are first set back at least two feet and then brought closer as I see how they respond to the light. Put the lights on a low level and put the plants straight under them; then gradually increase the intensity and check how your plants are doing.

Maintain your system once you’ve found one that works for your area and plants. Extra light will make your plants thrive, allowing you to lengthen the growing season and improve the health of your houseplants.


Because light is such an important aspect in plant growth and health, greenhouse growers must ensure that their facilities have the proper illumination in place throughout the year. Consider the color and type of light while using grow light in a tiny greenhouse, or any greenhouse for that matter.

Understanding the relevance of spectrums and light type differences is necessary before you can begin setting up grow lights. To keep them safe, keep them at a distance that is appropriate for the plant.