|MadSci Network: Botany|
Yes, plants can grow better under artificial lights (more accurately called electric lights) if the plants are supplied with more total light than sunlight provides. However, such electric lighting systems are expensive to build and operate and not often used except for research and by growers of illegal drugs, such as marijuana. Phytofarms in DeKalb, Illinois used to produce lettuce and other crops for supermarkets using just electric lights but they have since gone out of business. Plants grown under electric lights are usually indoors where they get more water, light and fertilizer than they would outdoors. Indoor plants are also more likely to be protected from damaging winds and pests and have more optimal temperatures. Thus, even with the same amount of electric light or sunlight, the indoor plant would have better growing conditions than the outdoor plant. Electric lighting also allows the plant to receive light for 18 to 24 hours per day so the plant can photosynthesize longer each day than with sunlight. It is often better to grow flower and vegetable seedlings under fluorescent lights in your home because they typically get more light under electric lights than on a home windowsill in winter. References Re: Is artificial light or natural light better for growing plants from seed? Re: which is better for regular plants 2 grow in sunlight or artificial light? Phytofarms
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