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Correct Positioning for Indoor Grow Lights

Correct Positioning for Indoor Grow Lights

Last Update: Sep 27, 2022

Although many indoor gardeners don’t realize it, the position of indoor grow lights is crucial to the overall success of your crop. Read along to understand how the correct positioning for indoor grow lights can be the defining line between a successful grow and a massive headache.



Growing plants indoors is truly a remarkable hobby that many novices and professional horticulturalists embrace. There’s nothing quite like harvesting the fruits of your labor - whether they be aromatic flowers or flavorful produce indoors. However, growing plants indoors comes with its’ own hurdles that all growers must face.


Positioning is Everything

Just like the saying, “location is everything,” the same can be said for positioning –  especially in relation to indoor grow lighting for plants.

Correctly positioned grow lights maximize yield and use resources most efficiently

However, you may be wondering why the position of your indoor grow lights even matters. The primary reason why positioning counts is because it influences the number of plants your light effectively covers, the intensity of light that’s received, and thermal dynamics in the grow room. Let’s take a look at these three elements in detail.

Plant and Light Interactions

If you read publications that are oriented towards indoor growers, you’ll notice that everyone is talking about wattage endlessly. Although wattage does account for the overall power that’s being drawn from the wall in terms of electricity, it reveals nothing in regards to a measurement of how light interacts with plants.

What does tell you about the plant/light interaction is the PPFD (photosynthetic photon flux density) and DLI (number of moles of light per square meter per day). We don’t expect you to become a master in these measurements, but they are essential to understand in order to optimize your grow room.

Optimizing light is crucial for healthy and vast plant growth
Knowing the PPFD and DLI in regards to indoor grow lighting will open an entirely new horizon because it allows you to fine-tune your entire grow operation. Giving your plants exactly what they require will not only ensure the biggest yield but save you a significant amount of money otherwise spent on electricity, air-conditioning, or grow lights themselves.

Thermal Considerations

If your indoor grow lights, such as powerful 1000W HPS HIDs, are too close to the canopy of your garden you’ll risk burning the uppermost leaves. This is a significant problem that many novice and professional growers encounter on a regular basis.

All lights emit heat, whether they are LED or HIDs. Considering this fact,  you must place your indoor grow lights at the optimal height to avoid this common mistake. Although there are general guidelines to find the perfect height, nothing beats a light meter and your own hand to gauge how hot the lights are.

Light Footprint

When you understand the correct positioning for indoor grow lights, you’ll have the ideal number of plants. This is easier said than done for most, but you’ll be prepared by the end of this article.

A light’s footprint refers to the area that it illuminates. When you turn on your indoor grow lights, you’ll notice the space that it covers. However, not all light within the light’s footprint is equal. This is because the edges will have less intense light, and the center will have more direct light.

The usable light footprint is heavily dependent on the type of lamp and its positioning

If you try to cram a large number of plants under a single light, you’ll notice that the outlier plants will yield significantly less than those directly underneath the grow light. This directly impacts the number of plants that you can grow efficiently.

Position Your Indoor Grow Lights Like A Pro

If you’re ready to grow plants indoors like a pro, then it’s time to look at a light meter. Our app Photone (previously named Korona) is a mobile application on your smartphone that seamlessly measures PAR as PPFD, lux, DLI, and fc. In other words, Photone is your personal light meter that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

Optimizing the light footprint enables to bring reliable and optimized results into your grow

By using Photone to measure your truly usable light output, you have all the information to increase your efficiency, decrease your electricity bill, and optimize your plants' yield – all at the palm of your hand. It’s never been easier than now to measure your lighting and get the perfect positioning for indoor grow lights – every time.

If you haven’t used our app yet, we definitely recommend giving it a try! Photone is free to download on iOS and Android and may even save you hundreds of dollars otherwise unnecessarily spent on physical meters.


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