Let's Talk Lighting

January 31, 2021

Successful seeding starts with the right soil, the right plants and of course, the right light. Though seeds sown indoors just 4 weeks before planting out will grow fine in the windowsill, the majority of seeds we start early indoors will require supplemental lighting to ensure healthy, compact growth.

Why Do We Need Lights?

Alberta is filled with plenty of sunny days, even in the middle of winter, so why would we need more? Even the light a south facing window captures in winter is a fraction of the light plants would receive outdoors. Though some plants like leafy greens will be more than happy with a bright window, vigorous growers such as tomatoes will thrive with supplemental light. With many plants, a lack of light will just result in leggy, weak growth that cannot be reversed. By investing in lights, you’ll ensure consistent, compact growth on everything you grow.

What Type of Light?

There are two types of lighting most commonly used:


FLOURESCENT – The lower priced option, fluorescent lights are the common light fixtures you see in workshops, garages, and office spaces. The bulbs used indoors are classified as T5, and are a slimmer options for growing indoors. You can purchase fixtures alone, or fixture and light combos, most of which will last up to 10,000 hrs. This is a great option for new growers, as the lower cost fixtures can eventually accommodate an LED bulb in the future. Here are some great fluorescent light setups we love:



This all in one kits includes grow tray, and a tall 7” humidity dome with T5 light fixture. Great for growing potted greens and herbs or for starting seeds.

Mini Greenhouse Kit with stand

Mini Greenhouse Kit w/stand

Similar to the Nanodome, this kit includes the tray and humidity dome, but comes with a light strip affixed to a convenient light stand. This sturdy stand can adjust to a height of 18”, so is great for growing on larger seedlings and transplants.

Growlight Garden

Growlight Garden

An excellent choice for microgreens, indoor salad gardens or herbs! Perfect for countertop growing, this all in one system includes T5 light strips built into the canopy for the perfect amount of light. The automatic watering system includes wicking mats; simply keep the reservoir filled, and plant trays will pull water from the mats as they need it.

Jumpstart Light Stand

Jumpstart Light Stands

We love these stands! Jumpstart stands come in 2 or 4 foot styles, and are so easy to set up (and store away). Lightweight, these stands can be set up anywhere and on any surface; a basement, a spare room, heated garage. Includes T5 light strip and simple toggle switch for height adjustment.

LED – Though more costly, LED bulbs will output much more light, while using the same amount of energy as a fluorescent bulb. Though typically they cost about twice as much as fluorescent, LED bulbs will last 5X longer! If your budget allows it, LED is a great choice for indoor growing.  

Though all of the kits above come with fluorescent lights, these bulbs can be swapped out for LED bulbs when they fade.

How Much Light, How Often?

It is recommended to keep the light source 4-6” above foliage at all times, for about 12-18 hours a day (ideally 16hrs).