What Is Bright, Indirect Sunlight?

Whether you’re a new plant parent or a veteran gardener, you may often hear bright indirect light.  But what is it exactly?

We want to give our plants the best care possible, including the right amount of light. Each species would have different light levels, and knowing the adequate light can be confusing.

In this story, we will define the different light levels for plants and the perfect spot to find them at home.

Low Light Low light means the plant is far from the light source. Think dark corners of the room a few feet away from the window sill and bathrooms with small windows. A few plants can tolerate little light, such as Snake Plants, Calathea, and ZZ Plants, but they will not thrive in low light conditions. Low light measures at 500 FC or below.

Medium Light Medium light falls right between bright, indirect light, and low light. Medium indirect light means there is still adequate light for plants to grow. This is usually halfway between a window and a back wall. Medium light will be between 500 and 1k FC when measured in footcandles.

Direct Sunlight Direct sunlight occurs when the sun’s rays hit your plant directly, without any obstacles or objects between the plant and the sun. Plants in south facing windows will receive the most direct sunlight. Outdoor sunlight has an intensity that can reach up to 10,000 footcandles during hot summer days, while indoor direct sunlight will be between 2,000 and 5,000.

Bright, Indirect Sunlight Bright indirect light is filtered sunlight, meaning something either is between the sun and the plant or the light bounces off something before hitting your plant. A west or east facing window will supply bright, indirect light exposure. Here, your houseplants will see some early morning or late afternoon sun and get indirect light for the rest of the day.

The majority of tropical plants are going to love this kind of light! It is not harsh enough to burn the leaves but bright enough to help this type of plant photosynthesize efficiently. Bright, indirect light will measure at about 1k footcandles.

Potted Exotics Pro Tip:  Use the Shadow Test to know the type of light you have at home! A sharp, defined shadow means direct light, a visible but less sharp shadow means indirect light, and little to no shadow means low light.

Click the link to learn about the best plants that thrive in bright, indirect light. ⬇