Effective light options for growing indoor plants include standard fluorescent lights, high output T5 fluorescent lights and compact fluorescent lights. Standard fluorescent lights are most effective when used on smaller plants, such as succulents, African violets and cacti. Place standard fluorescent lights no further than 4 inches above the plant.
High-intensity discharge plant lights are efficient at growing large plants. Light-emitting diode grow lights use less power but have a higher start-up cost. Incandescent lights are better suited to highlight indoor plants than to grow them. Because they become very hot, incandescent lights should never be put closer than 24 inches above a plant.