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HannahGrace
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Grow Lights vs. natural light

So I started a bunch of seedlings (this was several weeks ago: they're all coming up now) and have them sitting in a couple windows where they get a good amount of sunlight. But a friend (also a gardener) was trying to convince me to use grow lights. My question is, which is better? Wouldn't the plants be healthier with the natural light, even through a window?

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soil
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it depends on how big that window is, how much sun it gets, how close the seeds are to the window.

it also depends on how big the lights are, how much light output and so on too.

natural light will always be better than artificial light. a fluorescent bulb can only produce so much in the light spectrum, while the sun has many spectrum's including ones we cant see.
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

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rainbowgardener
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Yes, I'm with Mg. OUTDOOR light is always better. But if the plants are too tender or the weather isn't cooperating and they have to be indoors, window light is filtered and all from one direction. I think seedlings indoors do better under (artificial) lights, that are from above, directly over, provide uniform light 16 hrs a day. Lots of seedlings will not do well on windowsills.
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Pamb
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HannahGrace, this is my second year of growing from seeds. Last year I placed my seedlings in front of the window - they grew ok but were very tall and spindley. This year I am using grow lights and my seeds sprouted faster and are thicker and healthier looking. And with the grow lights the plants grow straight up instead of reaching for the sunlight outside the window and growing all slanted.

Northernfox
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I started my seedlings last year in the window and I am not sure what I did wrong but they all stretched out and died. This year I am trying them under lights. So far so good. The herbs are coming up nicely. the lady who sold me the bulbs (whom had a very nice banana plant) said the lights are emitting wavelengths of light that photosynthesis uses.

I supplement the dwarf orange trees light with a grow light I stuck in a lamp I had. I am not sure if it is helping but the orange tree seems to be doing very well!

Good luck!
Stephen

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