I just potted a butternut squash seedling. The way my patio is situated, it doesn't always get a lot of sunlight - and I think butternut squash requires ~6 hours of it. I was going to go ahead and get a grow light - I've been meaning to get one eventually since there are other plants I want that need a decent amount of sunlight. What kind of wattage should the grow light I purchase have?

2 Answers 2


Adding to stormy's answer and some comments I recommend using a daylight and warm light bulb mixture to ensure the plant is getting the full spectrum of light. Using just daylight or just warm light doesn't offer the whole spectrum of light that the plant needs when growing. You can use grow lights that use red/blue LEDs since those are the two colors plants need the most. But full spectrum is better yet. The picture below gives an idea of how a warm light and a day light compare (please note these graphs are for LED, but similar results are found in florescent (T5, etc))

Cool white vs warm white

For grow lights like what I got from amazon you get something like this...

Grow light

You can find this grow light (what I got anyway) here. They work pretty good

Another thing that you should keep in mind is brightness and distance. With florescence I know some people have burnt the leaves because of the heat they can give off, so don't keep them uo next to the plant. The grow lights shouldn't do that since there LED and all that good stuff. But not to far away or else the plant will put all its energy into growing towards that light, this is called legging. The perfect distance seems to be a few inches from the plant, or at least having the light cover the whole plant while staying as close as you can.

I think that is all to add on that part, and stormy has some great information so be sure to note that as well!

Picture from this website, nothing from the website aids with answering this question otherwise

  • I see. At first, I thought this was a warning XD. I'm assuming grow lights are safe as long as you don't stare into them for hours on end, correct?
    – user21298
    Commented Apr 17, 2018 at 3:17
  • @nmaloof94 No warning, I was just stating that you need the full spectrum and that only using warm or day lights won't do it. And grow lights are very safe to look at. It would be no different than having a party light in a room and having it set to a color and leaving it for a long period of time.
    – Ljk2000
    Commented Apr 17, 2018 at 13:00

Bare minimum grow lights are T-5s; fluorescents, each bulb (4 bulbs) gives 54 watts each and uses a good old boring 110 electrical source, a wall plug in (U.S.) Least expensive in my experience.

Maybe I've missed something but I have never ever known anyone to use a grow light out of doors on a patio.

Your squash needs light. 16 or 18 hours per day. When reproducing that is reduced during the end of a season to 12 hours or less by the sun and the tilt of the planet. That stimulates reproductive growth. Lots of moving air (powdery mildew is rampant on squash talk about later). I do not understand why moving that squash out from under the patio roof is a problem. If you are on the north side of your home in the shade, your squash might produce quite well.

I am having a problem understanding the benefit adding artificial light to plants out of doors. Interesting novel question!

  • It's not going to be outdoors. I live in an apartment, so I can't move it out from the patio. And with the way my patio is situated, it doesn't get enough sunlight. That's why I'm exploring grow lights.
    – user21298
    Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 3:41
  • 1
    Definitions of words make a difference. Your patio is indoors not outside of the home's environment. Like a sun room? Now we are on the same page. T-5's work well and are very inexpensive and take up little of your electric bill. Is your 'sun room' North facing?
    – stormy
    Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 4:26
  • @nmaloof94 by writing “patio” you had us all thinking outside.
    – Stephie
    Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 4:48
  • I see. Apologies on the miscommunication. My balcony faces northwest. But, my apartment complex is pretty shaded since it's located in a small valley with some trees.
    – user21298
    Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 4:51

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