Can I use a desktop sunlight lamp to grow a small indoor garden?

Question by AngelEmbrace: Can I use a desktop sunlight lamp to grow a small indoor garden?
I have a desktop sun light lamp, a lamp that simuates natural light. It says 27 W on the bulb. Can I use this as a growlight to grow herbs?

If this is not suitable, can anyone suggest a low-heat alternative? I don’t want my seeds to suffer because of ineadequate lighting, but I’ve heard that these lamps are good enough for growing.


Best answer:

Answer by Ed
It would help plants, but not very many. I looked at grow lamps on the Internet, and they started at 250 watts.

What do you think? Answer below!


  1. It sounds like you have a small compact fluorescent bulb in there, something like an Ott light. It will grow several kinds of plants- i.e. African violets and other small leafy houseplants (but probably not herbs or cacti very well).

    There are herbs that grow in warm climates and tolerate some shade, like “Cuban oregano”, which you could grow. Most things like Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, etc. need more sunlight than that, by far. Even the small HID lights like the 250 watt mentioned are very very hot. You might keep a small one growing for a little while, but it wouldn’t be happy long-term.

    Getting enough LED lights together to grow most herbs would also produce a lot of heat, and be very expensive- that technology just isn’t practical yet.

    I’m sorry to disappoint about the herbs, but I do grow several dozens of other kinds of plants under fluorescent and compact fluorescent light. There are many options.

    Edit- starting seeds would be fine for most things. Keep the light within a few inches of the seedlings though, so they don’t get too straggly and weak.