Helping your houseplants survive winter can feel like an exercise in futility. The days are short, sunshine is sparse and before long, you may notice your plants looking a little pale, leggy and leafless. But don’t give up on having a green thumb just yet! Grow lights, which mimic the full spectrum of light available outdoors, are the answer.
Most grow lights available now are LEDs, which are super-efficient, generate less heat and last far longer than old-school incandescent or fluorescent lights. Some lights have timers, which is handy if you don’t want to remember to turn them on and off every day. That’s important because plants do need darkness as part of their normal growing cycle. Many lights are stand-alone, while others must be mounted on the ceiling or a shelving unit. Also, be aware that grow lights are super-bright, so you won’t be able to use them in a bedroom (unless you’re an eye mask devotee and are totally unbothered by brightness akin to an alien spaceship landing as you try to fall asleep).