Lighting, lighting, lighting! What is bright-indirect light? N.E.S.W. sun exposure guide, & more!

The term ‘bright-indirect light’ is thrown around so much in the plant community. There is a great majority of plants that thrive in this type of light. Philodendron and Monstera for example! But what in the world does it even mean?

Here is best way we can describe Bright-Indirect light; Light that is filtered through something before it reaches your plant. This could mean, you have your plant set a few feet away from the window out of direct sunlight. Or maybe you have sheer curtains on your windows, this would also help filter light!

The amount of light your plant needs is going to vary greatly depending on plant type. But all plants need some source of sunlight. Whether its from a grow light if you don’t have a lot of natural light options, or right in a sunny window. It’s sometimes tricky trying to figure out what type of light your plants need. Here are a few lighting scenarios.

Low Light is going to be found far away from any windows where there is almost no sunlight reaching the area. Low Light does not mean no light, all plants need some light to grow. There are not many plants that enjoy low light, but there are some that will still grow (just slower than they would in higher light) in low light. Plants that grow well in a low light environment are Sansevieria, ZZ, & Pothos. A few feet away from a north facing window would be considered a low-light area.

Medium Light Is found a few feet away from an East or North facing window where there is still some sun reflecting in the area, but nothing direct. Plants that thrive in a medium light area are Philodendron, Monstera, & Syngonium Plants. Directly in a North window or near an East Facing window would be a medium-light area.

Bright-Indirect Light is an ideal area for the majority of your plants to grow. Here they will receive and balance of bright indirect light and some more shaded light depending on the time of day and the season. There are a few areas this light can be found. In an East facing window, or a few feet away from a West or South facing window.

Bright Light is a perfect area for Cacti, Succulents, or Bird of Paradise. They will get the brightest sunlight most of the day! Plants close to a South or West facing window is where you can find the brightest light. Having plants outside in the summer without much shade is another example of bright light.

The amount of sunlight also changes with the seasons. The days are much longer in the summer than in the winter. So your plants will get about 11-13 hours of sunlight in the summer vs. about 9-10 in the winter. This will fluctuate depending on where it is that you call home, but generally speaking this is a good guideline. Additionally, in the winter, the sun's rays are not as strong in the winter than in the summer. The range will again depend on where you call home. In Minnesota the change in the sun's intensity is much greater than in Florida. Sometimes your plants won’t push out as much growth in the winter, and this is why. They are receiving much less total hours of light during that season. Which is to be expected, their growth rate may have slowed down, but they will pick right back up in the spring! A lot of plant parents re-arrange their plants in the winter and move them closer to the windows. This way, your plants will get brighter light closer to the window for as longs the cold winter days allow. We have to remember that for many of us, these plants are not native to where we live.

Grow lights can be incredibly helpful with large plant collections and limited window space. Say you have a specific place in your home that you want to fill with plants, but there is no window nearby, you can add a grow light! There are many aesthetically pleasing lighting options out there. There are even grow light bulbs you can put directly into lamps, and other existing lighting fixtures. Grow lights have come a long way in the last few years. They were harder to find and came with a high price tag. Now, full-spectrum grow lights are everywhere and there is a wide range of price options as well! So if you’re on the hunt for a grow light setup for a dark area in your home, look for a full-spectrum light grow light!

Until next time, Get Lost.

Next Tuesday we're de-bunking some houseplant care myths, you won't wanna miss this one!