What happens when you have more indoor plants than windows? If you are not already using grow lights and mirrors to reflect light for plants, you should start now. There are plenty of ways to bring more light in, and you can use all the light you have as well. With the right angles, you can avoid wasted light.
I have lived in places with very little natural light, so I learned how to maximize my windows early. I wasn’t the first one to think of it, but it sure helped. The ancient Egyptians used mirrors to light inside the pyramids, and you can use the same trick to get your plants what they need. I will show you how to use all the light you have and more.
Can Plants Photosynthesize Reflected Light
Using mirrors to reflect light for plants sounds great, but can the plants photosynthesize reflected light? It’s not much use to give your indoor garden a light source that is only for display. Without the ability to photosynthesize, plants can’t make the food they need to survive.
Fortunately, it is not a problem. Bouncing light off a reflective surface like a mirror only redirects the light. In every way that counts, the light is unchanged. Think of it as one of those healthy meal delivery services, but for plants. The food is just as good as when you get it yourself, but you don’t need to go out.
Sunlight delivers photons to plants. Your plants, in turn, use the green pigment or chloroplasts to absorb and store that energy. Once stored, the energy from the sun, along with carbon dioxide from the air and water from the soil, undergoes a special process to create glucose.
You may recognize glucose as sugar. This sugar and nutrients from plant food and decomposing matter feed your plants. Every green-growing thing in your garden uses photosynthesis to turn sunlight into sugar and sugar into stems, leaves, roots, fruit, and flowers. It’s almost like magic.
Does Reflected Sunlight Help Plants
Reflected light doesn’t have any special properties. However, it can still help your plants to grow. Since the light is fundamentally unchanged, it is almost as good as sunlight.
No mirror or reflective surface is perfect, so it doesn’t quite redirect a hundred percent of the light. Fortunately, the difference is small enough that it doesn’t matter. As long as you position your mirrors correctly and clean them regularly, plants get plenty of photons.
Do Reflected Grow Lights Help Plants
The same rule applies to reflected full-spectrum grow lights as natural sunshine. While they aren’t ‘better’ or ‘special’ in any particular way, grow lights still give plants what they need for photosynthesis. A little light can go a long way.
Losing a few photons for every mirror is worth it, and it doesn’t matter where you got the light. Ensure that you don’t block any of the light your plants are using. Set up reflectors to move the light from where it is to where you need it most.
This is a handy trick if your grow lights won’t reach all your plants. Whether it is the cord that is limited, or you have run out of space for more plants in one area, it doesn’t matter. You can still use every last bit of the light you have.
Did you know you can even put mirrors behind your plants? Using this trick will reflect light they aren’t using back into your home.
I recommend Barrina Grow Lights for Indoor Plants from Amazon. These space-saving strips are easy to use. At just forty watts, you can use these energy-efficient grow lights to replace an outdated two-hundred-fifty watt grow light. Your plans get all the light they need, and you save on your electric bills. With double-sided tape, clips, and zip-ties, you’ll have no trouble installing Barrina Lights. Best of all, you get four lights and a two-year warranty. Get yours delivered fast by clicking here.
Should You Put Plants In Front Of A Mirror
There are two good reasons to put plants in front of a mirror. Using a mirror to reflect light for plants is always a good idea, but you have to use it correctly. Proximity matters.
The first reason to use mirrors behind plants is practical, and the second is aesthetic. Getting sun to all the parts of a plant will help it grow. Mirrors are a superb mechanism for this process.
Additionally, a mirror that reflects nothing is an eyesore, but a plant will give your room depth and beauty. Furthermore, you can see the other side of the plant. If your plant is lush or has flowers, this is a great way to appreciate all of it.
When placing mirrors behind plants, it is best to give them a little space. Having the plant against the mirror obscures the reflection and blocks the light. While this won’t necessarily hurt the plant, it also won’t beautify your home or help the plant.
Instead, make sure to leave enough space that the plant gets the full benefit of any reflected light. Angling the mirror to catch as much light as possible will give your indoor garden more to work with. Plus, it will show off your efforts beautifully.
If the mirror doesn’t do the trick, try a set of Serwing LED Grow Lights for Indoor Plants. These energy-saving lights come with all the hardware you need to hang them up above your plants. More importantly, your plants can absorb more than ninety percent of the available light. Plus, you’ll love Serwing’s outstanding customer service and their five-year worry-free guarantee. Learn all about Serwing on Amazon when you click here.
Best Sun Reflector For Plants
Using mirrors to reflect light for plants is the best option. However, there are several other practical choices to consider. It isn’t always practical to set up mirrors everywhere, and it may be cost-prohibitive if your indoor growing efforts are extensive.
Fortunately, you can reflect light without a mirror. In fact, any shiny or pale-colored surface will bounce light back into a room. Some options are more effective, but none will throw as much light as a good mirror. The list below offers other materials you can use.
Best Non-Mirror Sun Reflectors For Plants
Homes with high ceilings and large windows are great for growing plants. However, covering a massive wall with mirrors is difficult, and mirrors are heavy. Here are some other options for reflecting light onto your plants.
- Mylar- Commonly sold as ‘space blankets’ or ’emergency blankets,’ thin, lightweight mylar is exceptionally reflective. Be aware that reflecting light back into your room will raise the heat levels as well.
- White Paint- Are your walls off-white, grey, brown, or some other color? Consider repainting with high-gloss, pure white paint. Although white paint isn’t as effective as a shiny surface for reflecting light, it is a good alternative that will throw natural light back into your space.
- Microfiber Film- You will find synthetic microfiber film in garden centers. This shiny, silvery material is designed to be efficient at reflecting light. More importantly, microfiber film is durable and won’t tear as easily as plastic, foil, or mylar.
- White Plastic- Plastic sheeting is inexpensive, and the white variety will reflect as much light as paint without the need to actually paint a wall.
- Aluminum Foil- Standard aluminum foil is cheap, reflective, and easy to find. Use the matte side against the wall with the shiny side facing the room to make the most out of the light in your space without breaking the bank.
How To Use Mirrors With Grow Lights
When you choose mirrors to reflect light, it is different than using them with grow lights. In fact, there are times when it is not a good idea to use mirrors at all. Since they reflect infrared light, too many mirrors can overheat your space and burn plants quickly.
A better way to use mirrors with your grow lights is in conjunction with a less reflective surface. You can take a single mirror and bounce the light across a sheet of white plastic, for example. This will help disburse light without creating as much heat as using two or more mirrors would naturally reflect.
Instead of aiming the mirror directly at the plants, you can avoid burning up a grow space. When you only have one or two plants, you won’t need as many mirrors, so it’s less of a concern. The grow light alone would be just fine.
Ezorkas Dimmable Grow Lights from Amazon are another great way to reflect less UV with your mirrors. With nine settings, you can customize the perfect amount of light. The four flexible heads allow you to reflect less light or cover multiple plants. To read the excellent reviews, click right here.
Using mirrors to reflect light for plants may be a new idea for you, but the technique is as old as time. Luckily, light doesn’t change much when it bounces off a reflective surface. That means your potted plants get the same wavelengths as they would in a sunny garden, and you get lush indoor growth.
If you cannot get a reflector to bounce the light where you need it, try setting up two or three to move the light around. Still can’t get enough light? Grab a good grow light, but don’t let your creativity stop there.
You can use a mirror to reflect unused light from grow lamps onto your plants. Between your windows, full-spectrum LEDs, and a few cleverly placed reflective sheets, you can enlighten anything.