Will standard fluorescent bulbs provide sufficient light for houseplants?

FAQ
Question: 

Will standard fluorescent bulbs provide sufficient light for houseplants?

Answer: 

For the indoor gardener, a fluorescent light fixture containing two 40 watt tubes (one cool white and one warm white) provides adequate light for houseplants.  Plant lights, developed specifically for growing plants indoors, are another option.  While plant lights are an excellent light source for houseplants, they are expensive and generally not worth the additional cost. 

Since light intensity decreases as the distance from the light source increases, place the fluorescent light fixture within 4 to 6 inches of the tops of the plants.  Leave the lights on for 12 to 14 hours each day. 

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