Light intensity is a measure of light energy hitting the plant surface and is also very important to plant health. For traditional interior lighting applications, light intensity is discussed in terms of foot-candles of light energy. While foot-candles is not the preferred measure of light intensity by horticultural scientists (who prefer a measurement in terms of “photo active radiation”), we have found that foot-candles will suffice with a proven light source, such as LiveWall’s Norb® Botanic. And, for most tropical foliage plantings 200-400 foot-candles of light energy hitting the foliage, is sufficient.
LiveWall, LLC has developed a plant selection and pairing guide for indoor plants based upon their lighting and water needs, and growth habit. This LiveWall design guide should be consulted for the correct light intensity for the type of plants that one intends to use. We have categorized the plants into lighting needs as follows:
Indoor location with direct light from a south or west exposure where the plants receive 2 or more hours of direct sun, but preferably not during the hottest part of the day.
Artificial Bright Light is approximately equal to a four tube florescent fixture in close proximity to the planting, in the range of 400 to 600+ foot candles, for 12 to 15 hours per day.
Indoor location with direct light for a couple of hours in the morning or afternoon (from east or west facing windows), or from a south facing window provided the location is several feet interior of south facing windows.
Artificial Medium Light is approximately equal to a two tube florescent fixture, 2 or 3 feet from the foliage, in the range of 100 to 400 foot candles for 12 to 15 hours per day.
Low Light pertains to an indoor location that is not close to windows or supplemental lighting—typically a north or east exposure.
Artificial Low Light is enough to read a newspaper, in the range of 25 to 100 foot candles for 12 to 15 hours per day.