Light Requirements

What our eyes perceive as “bright” may not translate the same to plants. Plants need different levels of light to grow. Not all windows are the same when it comes to light and it is important to know which direction your window faces for plant-growing success. There are several light meters that you can get along with several light-measuring phone apps that you can download. The more-common units of measurement would be LUX and Foot Candle.

0-500 LUX (~45 FC): Extremely low light, not suitable for plants

500-1,000 LUX (~45-93 FC): extremely low light, (Sansevieria, Zamioculcas, Aspidistra)

1,000-2,000 LUX (~93-185 FC): Low light

2,000-4,000 LUX (~185-372 FC): Medium light

4,000-5,000 LUX (~372-465 FC): High light

5,000+ LUX (465+ FC): Very high light, not full sun, but suitable for growing most succulents.

Full sun is ~100,000 LUX, ~9,290 FC

Low Light - North, East windows

  • No direct sun
  • Prefers diffused light
  • Reflected light from white walls
  • Middle of the room

Medium - East window

  • 1-3 hours of morning sun
  • Frosted window
  • Dappled light shining through trees all day
  • Weaker grow light

High Light - East, West*, South window

  • 3-5 hours of direct sun
  • Strong grow light

Full Sun, West*, South, Southeast window

  • 6+ hours of direct sun
  • Grow outdoors

*Important note for west-facing windows: West-facing windows can be slightly tricky for plants since west-facing windows receive sudden hot afternoon sun without much gradient. Many plants will burn if placed by west-facing windows unless acclimated properly. (South-facing windows will receive more hours of sunlight but there is usually a slow gradient throughout the day, making it easier for plants to adapt to the intense light. Do not put new plants directly west and south-facing windows, they will burn. Please practice proper window acclimation.