Best Sunlight Levels for Indoor Houseplants

INSIDE : Learn how to know the best Sunlight Levels for Indoor Houseplants?  And gain the keys to having thriving plants, basic Sunlight 101 for Indoor Houseplants. 

Indoor HousePlant Lighting Needs

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There are typically a few key items to keeping your indoor houseplants alive and thriving in your home.  However, I would say the main two are water and light.

Today, I am going to dive deep into the three different types of sunlight levels for indoor houseplants.  If you can master the best and most ideal sunlight type for your plants, you already are winning half the plant battle!

Love plants like I do?  You might like some of my Plant Craft projects, too.

How do I know what type of sunlight my indoor plant needs?

Thankfully for most of us, often times when you buy plants they come labeled with information about their sunlight preferences.  However, there is an occasion where the plant tag may not specifically call out what sun needs it has.  If that happens, you can simply Google your plant and find out online.

Plant Lighting Needs - tags

This is one of the first things you should find out when looking to buy a plant and when bringing it home.  If you give your plant too much or not enough sunshine, your plant can quickly become stressed and stressed plants typically don’t live a long healthy life.

What are the three different types of sunlight for indoor houseplants?

The three main lighting types for indoor house plants are Bright Light, Indirect Light and Low Light.


Bright light means a sunny southern or western facing window with bright, direct light all day long. It should get a minimum of 5 to 6 hours of direct sunlight each day and sometimes more.  These are typically very strong hardy plants.

Examples of indoor plants that like Bright Light are – Jade Plant, Croton, Hoya, Umbrella Plant, Norfolk Pine, Cactus.

Plant Lighting Needs - bright light


Indirect light can be an east facing bright window, or in the interior of a room that receives full light from a southern or western facing window.  Plants with indirect light needs should not get direct sunlight rays, but they will still need light for at least 5 to 6 hours per day.

I would say most houseplants fall somewhere in this category.

Examples of indoor plants that like Indirect Light are – String of Pearls, Fiddle Leaf Fig, Rubber Plant, Monstera, Calathea.

Plant Lighting Needs - indirect light


Most rooms are probably considered low light if the plant is placed away from windows.  Rooms with north facing windows are still considered as low light situations.

A helpful tip for knowing if a room is low light or not, if you can not easily read a book, then it is probably low light.

Examples of indoor plants that like Low Light are – Ivy, ZZ Plant, Snake Plant, Staghorn Fern, Maidenhair Fern, Philodendren, Marimo Moss Balls.

Plant Lighting Needs - low light

How long should my indoor plant be in sunlight?

How long your plant should be in it’s particular type of sunlight is typically included on your plant tag.  However, if you think about plants out in nature, most of them will need a full day’s worth of sunshine.

Getting enough sunlight for your plants in the winter can be tricky depending on what part of the country you live.  Many indoor houseplants will go dormant during the winter months, so although they still need sunlight and water, they will often need less during this time of the year.

Did you know I wrote an ebook all about How to not kill your Plants?  It has a helpful checklist with 6 steps to keep your plants alive + thriving.  In addition is has a deep dive on 7 trending “it” plants (like your finicky Fiddle Leaf Fig!) and 5 plant printables to hang in your home.  Buy it HERE.

Now that you have this useful Indoor Houseplant Lighting knowledge don’t become overwhelmed if you don’t find the perfect lighting for your plant right away.  It can often take a bit of trial and error to find just the right spot for your plant.

It took some moving around before I found the perfect amount of low light for my Maidenhair Fern and now she is doing wonderfully!

Plant Lighting Needs - low light
Keep an eye on your plant those first few weeks and slightly move it around if you notice he might be getting too much sun or not quite enough.


  1. Where can I find that pot with drain dish?

    1. delineateyourdwelling says:

      Here is the link for you. It’s an affiliate just so you know. 😉

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