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.
Did you enjoy this article? If so, check out the "Grow Your Own Jalapenos and Super Hot Peppers in Containers" e-book for detailed, step-by-step instructions that explain how to grow all of your favorite chillies from beginning to end.