What Is Bright Indirect Light For Plants?

I get it, you always read that your lovely plant need to be placed in bright indirect light, but what is bright indirect light for plants means exactly?

Let’s find out.

Light is an essential part of plants growth and its development. If the sunlight is insufficient, either too much or too little can cause serious damage. The imbalance of light increases its susceptibility to disease, pests, and early demise. 

Fortunately, the majority of plants have labels on them that indicate whether they like full sun or moderate shade.

Even though you need to know the difference between bright indirect light and direct light.

The majority of plants need bright indirect light and therefore, it is natural to wonder what is bright indirect light exactly. So, let’s learn more about the light types in this article below.

What Is The Different Types Of Light?

First of all, to understand well what bright and indirect light is, it is also important to know other types of lights too. Generally, there are several different kinds of light including bright indirect, bright direct lights, and low light. 

Bright Light

Typically, the bright light locations are near the west or south-facing windows. Typically, it provides at least 6 hours of direct light every day. 

Avoid the temptation to relocate your greenery closer to the window during the winter months when caring for plants may often be more difficult. The majority of plants that require plenty of light won’t be able to withstand the chilly drafts that get worse the closer you get to a window.

It is typically thought that this brightness is comparable to 1,000-foot candles or more, up to 10,000 at midday on a clear summer day.

This number on sunny winter days is around 4,000. Your hand will produce a distinct shadow if you hold it over a surface that is lighted by this light.

Indirect Light

Indirect light typically is found by the windows that face east. Other than that, it can also be accessible in the interior rooms that have west and south-facing Windows. However, if you have a sheer curtain covering the window, then it can also make indirect light. 

At noon, indirect light levels range from 25 to 1,000-foot-candles, while most plants won’t flourish in the low light levels at the lower end of that spectrum. You most likely have strong, indirect light if you put your hand up in the air and it still forms a pretty defined shadow but is a little blurry around the edges.

Low Light

Low-light areas abound, particularly throughout the winter. Low-light conditions include spaces that have windows that face north or that are partially shaded. Even in dimly lit spaces, plants may still thrive with the use of artificial lighting. Or, some plants even prefer the low-light conditions too. 

Low light typically ranges from 25 to 300 foot-candles. Your hand won’t make much of a shadow in such a situation. Without additional illumination, if there is a place in your home where you can’t read a newspaper, the light is generally too low to support any plants.

What Exactly Is Bright Indirect Light? 

As mentioned above, indirect light occurs when a plant is in a bright setting but is not directly exposed to the sun’s beams. Because the sun bounces off or reflects on nearby objects before directly striking the plant. The area is still lit, though.

Indirect light includes the light that has come through the window. Additionally, the shade is also considered to be indirect light. So, when the light is still strong, but the sun rays do not hit the area straight away, this is bright indirect light. 

Techniques Of Measuring Bright Light

In addition to understanding what it means, it might be helpful to know how to detect bright indirect light. Here, we’ll go over two techniques for figuring out if your plant is getting indirect light and how much of it is getting.

Shadow Technique

The shadow technique enables you to determine the kind of sunlight based on the look of the shadow that the plant casts. It is a useful approach to know for sure if your plant is receiving direct or indirect sunlight.

Direct light is indicated by a shadow that is well defined and has no fuzzy borders. This is due to the fact that the light directly illuminates the plant and casts a perfect shadow.

When the light is not overheating the plant directly, it does not cast a precisely defined shadow. This is why a shadow that is feeble and has hazy or blurry edges suggests indirect light.

Low light is indicated by a shadow that is hardly discernible. Although it is quite dim, a small amount of light is still enough to cast a shadow to some extent.

These are wise generalizations to bear in mind when taking care of your plants. Another solution to check exactly the light strength is a light meter.

Light Meter

A light meter is a device that makes it possible to measure the strength of light in the foot-candle units. This is one of the most accurate ways of measuring the brightness of the light.

Of course, the problem with this is that there are a lot of variables that affect the measurement. For example, the time of the day can have an effect on light strength. Additionally,  weather can also influence units and the direction tool is facing. 

Depending on the location of the plant, bright indirect light ranges on average from 800 and 2000-foot candles. However, if you take the light meter measurement and combine it with your knowledge of indirect light units, a more accurate unit will be pictured. 

Where Can Bright Indirect Light Be Accessed? And Does Indirect Light Help Plants?

Your windows’ orientation and how clear they are of obstructions both affect how much light your plants receive. windows are the finest ways to produce brilliant, indirect light for your plants. Did you know that the white colored walls can reflex more light and therefore, you will have brighter light in the such room? 

Of course, on cloudy days and in the morning and late hours, the quantity of natural light reaching your plants will be less.

Additionally, due to the shorter winter days, plants will receive less sunlight. The coldest months may be an exception for plants that cannot stand the sun’s full rays the rest of the year.

The sun stays low and typically is towards the southern sky in such months. Therefore, some windows like south-facing ones covered by wide eaves might actually receive more direct sunlight.

Plants that love strong, indirect light may typically be placed on a north-facing window’s windowsill. This is the location where the most light is available there because north-facing windows rarely receive direct sunlight. 

Every home will be different. They probably don’t get enough light if they seem abnormally drab, yellow, or lanky.

On the other hand, if they appear scorched and if they are trying to contract rather than expand, they are getting too much light. If you want to avoid all that happening, you can use LED light. This will also help you make sure that your plant gets enough light and is not at risk of being damaged. 


The quantity of sunlight in your yard is sometimes simpler to gauge than indoors. Outside, it’s easy to tell in which place the sun is shining straight and where it’s shaded. Indoor lighting is more subdued.

All plants are individual and have their preferences. You’ll need to keep a careful eye on your greenery because it may take some time to fully learn what the plant’s ideal light is. 

To conclude, bright indirect light is when sun rays do not hit the plant straightaway and it is reflected or bounced off by other objects. 

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Peride Beradze
Peride is an avid planter, Tour Manager and freelance writer. She is a plant collector who mainly focuses on succulents. She loves studying cultures, traveling and learning new languages.

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