Light fixtures should be adjustable for direction and are typically located in front of the living wall and attached to or suspended from the ceiling. Occasionally, they are located at the bottom or sides of the LiveWall structure, to create proximity to the plants, and thereby provide sufficient light intensity across the entire wall surface. Often times, track lighting is used as it is contemporary, comes with many fixture options, and is relatively inexpensive.
In respect to the light source (bulb), the key considerations are proper light spectrum and light intensity. Plants tend to respond to blue and red wavelengths and in a proportion not available from incandescent or typical office-type LED lights. There are, of course, LED grow lights composed of red and blue diodes—but they tend to cast a purple light which looks odd, unnatural, and unattractive.
For this reason, LiveWall LLC developed the Norb® (Nutri-Orb) Botanic, a specialized White-Light LED that provides the right spectrum for growing plants. With Norb® bulbs, the plants can be healthy and “look right under white.”
Where on the ceiling should lighting be affixed?
While each light source may have a different beam angle and intensity, it is important to keep in mind:
- The distance that the planters sit from the wall.
- The distance that the plants may extend from the planters. This distance will be greater with large-leaved, billowy plants.
As a rule of thumb, when using Norb® Botanic to light your indoor LiveWall, we recommend setting the track lighting fixture back 7′ from the building wall. This should allow ample room for the vegetation and support even light distribution.
Track lighting offers flexibility
This living wall installation is lit by 12 Norb® bulbs (6 with 30 degree beam angle and 6 with 15 degree beam angle) directed at the 8’ x 8’ and 11’ x 11’ walls.
These bulbs are angled from track lighting attached to the 12 foot ceiling. This configuration provides plenty of light.
The following lights are NOT recommended for growing plants:
Halogen lights do not have the proper spectral components for growing plants.
High Pressure Sodium
High Pressure Sodium lights are yellow in appearance. Their spectrum supports flowering but lacks the spectrum needed to support indoor foliage plants.
They may support living wall plants only when combined with a Metal Halide light.
LED lights that are commonly used in office or exterior lighting—typically with color temperatures of 3000K-4500K— are not suitable for plant growth.
Specify Norb Botanic when LED lighting is preferred.