Can the light from a bulb substitute for sunlight?

I recently brought my plants in for the summer since it is starting to get into the 90’s. Would the light in my room lit by a light be enough for them or will I have to move them to a close window for sunlight?


it depends on the plants. most plants will probably appreciate as much sunlight as they can get. in the absence of sunlight, a good grow light might help most plants. but it just depends on what you’re growing and how much sun they can get through the window.


Artificial light can sustain plants, but that doesn’t mean plants can survive in a windowless office without any modifications. Human eyes are really good at adjusting to light levels in a way that tricks us into thinking our indoor environments are much brighter than they actually are. To replace direct sunlight requires fairly intense lights, fairly close to your plants, and the specific needs vary by types of plants. Using natural light from windows is easier and cheaper, provided that you have suitable windows.


Some species do well in dim light. (By plant standards, ordinary light bulbs and indirect light from windows count as dim.) Many plants do not. They may get tall and skinny looking for the light. It can be good to provide grow lights (full spectrum lights). Most of our lighting is too red, weak in the blue light plants use most for photosynthesis.

If you’re going to move them back outside eventually, remember to move them into shade and only later into full sun, so they don’t get sunburned.


Most plants won’t do very well in ambient room light, but a few (like jewel orchids, some snake plants, and some cast-iron plants) can do OK in it. If you have outdoor plants, you most likely have ones that are going to want, at the very least, to be close to a window. Some plants need bright enough light that they either have to be right on a windowsill, under a bright grow light, or outside in the sun.

Venus flytraps are one example. Flytraps thrive only in direct sun or very close to grow lights, can sometimes do OK on a very bright windowsill, and will suffer in any other conditions. That, and their requirement for no minerals or fertilizer in their potting media or water (you put them in sphagnum and give them distilled, RO, or rainwater), is why people think they’re hard to keep. On the contrary, if their specific-but-not-complicated needs are met, they grow like weeds.

In short: put the plants near the window, or get a light for them. Watch for stress from lack of light. Agreed with the above about reacclimating them to outside. And here is some information that you didn’t ask for, about flytraps.

Oh, and some plant species do just fine in temps up to triple digits, as long as they have water. You may not actually need to bring them inside, unless they’re just drying out too fast.


it really depends on the specific plant species and its ecology. Some plants will do just fine in lower light and hate direct, full strength sunlight, and those plants are generally the ones that grow in very shaded areas, like the lower areas of forests beneath the canopy. Meanwhile things like bog plants, grasses, some aquatic plants will only really thrive under direct sunlight or high PAR artificial lighting, because well, in nature they thrive in areas where they get pretty direct sunlight all the time and dont get shaded out


Which plants?
Some will get roasted at a sunny window.

I dont know the name of them but they are full sun plants and they were doing good in the desert sun for most of the year until it started getting into the 90’s and the water would dry up too much

Put them on iNat. Mark as Cultivated.

Can you not leave them outside but under dappled shade for summer?
From full sun to indoors, they will get leggy and pale … until you move them outside again. As @sedgequeen says remember to harden them off, and adjust gradually to more, and more sun. Or they will shrizzle up in shock and horror.

Ok Ill take pictures of them when I get home and upload them. I think I could but with my other plants that almost died the next day after I had brought it inside it was green and strong, so I thought it could work the same with my other ones. Im not sure if they will have flowers since they’ve been inside and I havent see any flower buds emerge.


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