What Is the Correct Light Distance For Indoor Plants?

You just invested in new grow lights, and you have the right nutrients and everything else you need to start your grow. You just set up the indoor grow tent, placed your plants in place and are ready to hang your LED grow lights. What is the correct light distance for your lights?

When using grow lights, hanging your lights too low will stunt the plant growth and hanging them excessively high can leave your plants weak and stretched too tall. Some grow lights that will need to be placed far away from the plants to ensure they do not have a form of bleaching effect, whereas some lights are less intense and should be closer to the plants.

As an indoor grower, the trick here is to hang your LED lights at a safe distance, or a sweet spot of safety and effectiveness. Keep in mind that the “safe” distance of your grow lights to plants is about getting all the plants the right amount of power they need to turn energy into food for proper growth.

Before looking into the numbers, let’s consider why you need to hang grow lights at a certain distance above the plants.

Why Should Different Grow Lights Have Different Hanging Heights?

Your indoor grow space should mimic the natural (outdoor) environment for your plants. This means the grow light is the sun, from which everything grows. You have the power to control the type of light and the amount your plant receives. Many growers believe that the more the light there is, the better the yields, but does this mean you have to invest in more grow lights and hang them closer to plants? Definitely not!

It simply means that you ensure they receive enough energy to grow efficiently without adverse effects. Having too much light will do more harm than good, so maximizing the amount of light is not the solution. You have to ensure that you check the exact type of light that you give your plants. For example, choose between LEDs, T5 fluorescent, or HID lighting. Some of these have more heat energy, other have a better light spectrum, and each one will have its own ideal distance from the plants.

For example, if you use Dorm Grow LED grow lights, you generally can hang them closer to the plants compared to Metal Halide and HPS grow lights since there is no risk of heat burning the plants.

LED Grow Lights and Safe Distance

Although LED grow lights do not emit excess heat like other grow lights (HID’s), their light spectrum could be overwhelming to plants if growers place them too close. In case this happens, plants will end up suffering from stunted growth and bleaching, which is something that would have an impact on how plants take in the sun and convert it into the energy they need for proper growth.

LED’s have a more focused light spectrum, which means they are very intense. G8 LED grow lights placed at the correct distance will have a noticeable positive effect on your plants.  The higher the wattage, the further away they should be from plants.

  • G8-240: 12-24 inches from the top of the plants
  • G8-450: 14-30 inches from the top of the plants
  • G8-600: 16-36 inches from the top of the plants
  • G8-900: 16-36 inches from the top of the plants

Your plants will always grow and try to reach the light. Raising the light and maintaining the distance is an excellent way to keep the plants lengthening as long as you want. Once your plants are ready to flower, there is no need to continue to raise the lights.

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