Indoor Growing Lights for Hot Chile Peppers

Propagator set up

Not only do your hot pepper plants require light to grow, but using an indoor growing method enables you to protect your peppers against insects and colder weather conditions that can kill your chili seedlings. Many lights are developed specifically for household use and a variety of indoor growing lights are ideal for your hot chile pepper plants. These lamps range in cost, size and light output. Below is a summary of three of the most common plant light categories for growing hot chile peppers indoors.

Regular Fluorescent Lights

Hardware stores and thrift shops are just some of the places where you can obtain regular, white fluorescent lights. Though the lights are not particularly created for indoor plant growing, you can make these work by hanging more than one light over your pepper plants. Make sure that each light adequately covers each seedling and position the light so that it is no more than 4 inches away from the top of the chile plants. Fluorescent growing lights are the most cost effective method of household growing, but they require that you place your pepper seedlings within 2 to 4 inches underneath the light to give them the benefit of the heat. A typical fluorescent normally requires the use of two 40-watt tubes and it is an ideal method for starting your seedlings indoors with the intention of moving them outside when the weather gets warmer.

Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL)

CFL lights are the next step up in fluorescent growing lights because they are still a cost effective light method, but they have the ability to produce a 92 percent natural sunlight spectrum that gets used by your chile peppers. As its name implies, the compact fluorescent light is smaller than a traditional fluorescent, and these lights come in a range of sizes to fit your indoor growing area. For example, the T5 is commonly used by hot pepper growers because it contains multiple thinner bulbs that are positioned in a vertical direction, which effectively cover chile seedlings in most types of growing containers. Other types of popular CFLs include Vita-Lites and Sylvania Gro-Lux. Use these plant lights to grow your seedlings before you put them outside, or continue to use them as you grow your peppers indoors.

High Intensity Discharge (HID)

HID lamps are the most expensive option when it comes to indoor growing because the light discharge has an extremely high intensity and double the efficiency of a fluorescent grow light. As an example, it takes a fluorescent light 800 watts to generate as much output as one 400 watt HID lamp. Two types of HIDs are the High Pressure Sodium (HPS) and Metal Halide (MH). The MH emits a midday sun heat that helps your peppers develop leaves, while the HPS produces an early morning or late afternoon heat, which gives a more yellow to orange to red spectrum and helps with the flowering and fruiting of your hot chile peppers. The HID is an ideal indoor growing lights solution because it supplements a greenhouse or sun room, and provides you with a solution if you do not receive enough natural light in your location to grow hot chili pepper plants.

  • We love to grow peppers, the fresh flavor and heat is unmatched!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • zak mir

    I recently purchased $50 worth (because of shipping and handling) or seeds. Its been three weeks or so and I don’t see only one seedlings popping out? Should I be frustrated? I am since I it probably doesnot take this long for the first shoot to come out. Do they need fertilzer. I started with individual pots and had them in my garage for natural light. Any suggestions is helpful. Is there any money back guarantee?

    • Hi, thanks for your questions and sorry to hear about the trouble with the seeds. How long it takes the seeds to pop (germinate) is totally dependent on what kind of pepper you are growing. For example, a jalapeno will germinate much faster than an habanero or bhut jolokia. And no, you don’t need fertilizer right now. You also don’t need any light until the chillies actually emerge past the soil. As for a money back guarantee, that’s dependent on the seller’s policies. Contact your seed provider and see what he/she says.

      What is needed for chile pepper germination is the following:

      • Soil temperature around 80 degrees F. Use a heat mat under your pots, or place the containers on top of a warm area such as a computer monitor or refrigerator.
      • Plastic covering over the tops of your pots. Use plastic cling wrap to cover the containers and poke some holes in the top. This helps create a mini greenhouse environment and keeps the soil retain moisture. Be sure to remove this covering once the seedlings do emerge.
      • Make sure your pepper seeds are no more than 1/4 inch away from the top of the soil. Pepper seeds don’t have the energy to push past a thicker barrier. Correct this problem if needed.

      Those are bare essentials. Also, make sure you are using some kind of seed-starting mixture; do not use potting soil because this won’t work. And for future reference, you can always try soaking your seeds in water for 24 hours before you want to plant them. The soak helps weaken the seed wall and helps break its dormancy. Hope this helps!

  • Danny

    Hi I grow chilis evry year I love them. This year iv got some bhut jolokia and naga viper. Iv not yet managed to over winter a plant yet. I’m in the process of preparing what I need to do this. Iv purchased the fertiliser and I have some grow lamps 1 is a blue spectrum light and a red spectrum light. How many hours will I need to have the lamps on for and which of the bulbs will be the best for my chilis?

    • Hi Danny, sounds like you’re on the right track so far. I usually leave my grow light on for about 12 hours during the winter, but some people will leave the lights on for longer. Just watch your plants closely to see how they respond.

  • Test 101 6

    3000 Lumens is minimum to get growth.
    more than 10,000 Lumens and theres no difference anymore so 3000 to 10000 Lumens is good.

  • Scott

    I’m curious about LED options, as I’m conscientious of power consumption.

  • Scott Lerminiaux

    I have two 400 watt HIDs with 6500k bulbs. I’m just beginning my aeroponic grow. I’m growing 18 hot peppers. I’m wondering if anyone knows how many watts 400 or 800 is sufficient for all of them to flourish?

  • KathrynR

    Hi I have about 5 poblano and jalapeno plants that have just started growing (we had a late start here in Oregon this year) and now we are under a freeze watch. I want to let them finish maturing and getting bigger until I harvest them. What is the ideal light for finishing off a chile pepper plant at this time of year? Many thanks!

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