What kind of lighting is this?

September 27, 2022

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Get a new plant and the care card that is stuck in the plant tells you "Bright Indirect Light" with no description of what that really means. Or no suggestion of  what window the plant would do best in.

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Lighting

Bright Indirect Light

Plant's that want bright, indirect light are plants that typically are plants that are found on the bottom of the forest floors and receiving sunlight thought the trees. Think of it as the light coming through a sheer curtain. Place your plant(s) a few feet back from a south facing window that is unshaded, this is an ideal spot for plant's wanting bright indirect light. Same can be done in a west-facing window as the evening sun provides great lighting! Bright, indirect light also is bright enough to cast a shadow - the shadow will not be dark in color but distinct with a fuzzy edge. Bright, indirect light also correlates with medium-light.

Bright Direct Light

Outdoors is perfect for plant's that prefer bright, direct light. Of course if weather conditions allow! Direct sunlight can be filtered by the glass in the windows. When you place a plant(s) in bright direct light you want to see the sunlight on the leaves, if there is no sun shining on the leaves then the plant(s) is receiving bright, indirect light. Morning sunlight is great for houseplants that need bright direct light, this would be a east-facing window. West-facing windows receive bright, indirect light in the evening but the sunlight is harsh. Place plant under or in-front of a south-facing window if you live in the northern hemisphere. If you live in the southern hemisphere place your plant(s) under of in-front of a north-facing window. Shadow test: place your hand in front of the window, if a dark shadow with a well-defined outline cast you found bright, direct light.

Low Light: Away from windows entirely, very little natural light. These are good plants for bathrooms or office spaces.

Windows

North Facing

A north facing-window rarely receives bright, direct sunlight. North facing- windows are ideal for plant(s) needing bright, indirect light. Sunlight typically coming though out the whole day. This lighting typically will not burn your plants. Good for low or medium light plant(s)

South Facing

Sun loving plants do best in south facing-windows! Direct sunlight can come through this window consistently throughout the day. You just want to think about how close you are placing your plant(s) to the window so that it receives optimal lighting. 

East Facing

East facing-windows receive direct sun in the morning, when the sun intensity is low and less damaging to plants. Eastern light stays bright and indirect throughout the day. Great lighting for houseplants! Plant(s) that like medium to bright indirect bright light will thrive in this location.

West Facing

Another good spot for a sun loving plant! A west facing-window receives direct sunlight in the afternoon, also the hottest part of the day. Prefect for plant(s) that love warmer conditions as well. Not an ideal window for plants that does not want direct sun. 

Sunlight

Morning Sun

Outdoors, these plants like less than six hours of light per day. They prefer the gentle morning light, before it gets too warm. East side of a building is best! Beneficial for plants flowering. The first light of the day help begin photosynthesis, and also set the light-dark cycle. 

Afternoon Sun

Afternoon sun is intense lighting for plants. It can sometimes be harsh on plants that can not handle it. Leaves will start to wither and/or die if receiving to much sun on their leaves. There are a hand full of  plants that can take the full light and heat of the day. 

Evening Sun

These plants can handle heat, but like less than six hours of sun per day. 

Foot-Candles

Light Level

Description of light intensity


25 - 100 FC

25 - 100 FC

Light intensity this low usually receive very little natural light. Many times the light is by overhead lights only. These low light areas are often far from windows or found near a heavily shaded area.

100 - 500 FC

Medium Light

This is an area with more moderate light intensity are usually near windows but not receiving direct sunlight. Found in unshaded, north facing windows or in shaded east or west facing windows.

500 - 1000 FC

High Light

An area with higher light intensity. If near a window the plant may receive some direct light. Found near unshaded east or west facing windows. It may also be found near shaded south facing windows.

Over 1000 FC

Direct Light

Directly in front of windows with nothing between the plant(s) and the sun but clear glass. Four or more hours of exposure to the sun's rays is best for plants requiring "direct light." This is usually found in unshaded south or southwest facing windows.

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