How do I know if I am providing the right amount of light for my seedlings?


How do I know if I am providing the right amount of light for my seedlings?


Careful observation of your seedlings will help you determine if the light levels are appropriate.  Seedlings that are not receiving enough light will stretch and lean towards the light source.  Use a brighter fixture that provides more lumens, replace fluorescent tubes with new brighter bulbs, or simply move the fixture closer to the seedlings to increase the light levels.

If seedling leaves turn yellow or brown and burn starting with the upper leaves, they may be receiving too much light.  You can swap the fixture for one that provides fewer lumens or simply adjust the fixture so it is further away from the seedlings.  The lumens per square foot shining on the plants drops significantly by pulling the fixture just a few inches further away from the plants. 

Learn more about providing supplemental light for seedlings indoors in this article: Growing Indoor Plants Under Supplemental Lights.

Links to this article are strongly encouraged, and this article may be republished without further permission if published as written and if credit is given to the author, Horticulture and Home Pest News, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. If this article is to be used in any other manner, permission from the author is required. This article was originally published on . The information contained within may not be the most current and accurate depending on when it is accessed.