Will Grow Lights Damage Hardwood Floors? (And More!)

Grow lights are an amazing invention. The primary purpose of grow lights is to provide plants with the necessary light spectrum to facilitate photosynthesis. They are an indispensable tool for gardeners, particularly those in urban areas or regions with insufficient sunlight during certain seasons, or want a year round garden.

However, while they provide numerous benefits to plants, there are concerns about the impact of grow lights on our indoor environment. Specifically, I was asked recently whether grow lights might be causing damage to hardwood floors or leading to furniture fading. After researching, and examining my own growing areas as well as hardwood floors, I found that because grow lights emit the same radiation wavelengths as the sun, and prolonged exposure at high intensity can cause damage to both hardwood floors and furniture, but there are some steps you can take to minimize the chances of this damage happening.

In this article, we will explore the science behind grow lights, their potential effects on hardwood floors and furniture, and provide you with expert advice on how to safely use them in your home.

I keep a sheet up to minimize the intensity of light in my room

The Science Behind Grow Lights and Their Potential Effects

Understanding the science behind grow lights is key to understanding their potential effects on our homes. Grow lights produce light in the visible spectrum, but they also emit UV and IR radiation. The UV radiation is what causes concern. While it is beneficial for plant growth, it can be harmful to our indoor environment.

UV radiation, particularly UV-B and UV-C, is notorious for causing colors to fade and materials to degrade. This is due to the high energy levels of UV radiation, which can break chemical bonds in materials, leading to discoloration and degradation. This is why we often see color fading in objects that are continuously exposed to sunlight.

However, it’s not just UV radiation we need to worry about. Infrared radiation (IR), which is also emitted by grow lights, can cause thermal damage. This means that materials exposed to IR radiation can experience heat damage, as IR radiation is primarily responsible for the heat we feel from the sun.

Understanding Hardwood Floor Damage

Hardwood floors are a popular choice for many homeowners due to their durability and aesthetic appeal. However, they are not immune to damage. The most common types of hardwood floor damage include scratches, dents, water damage, and discoloration. Discoloration, in particular, can be caused by several factors including exposure to sunlight, chemical spills, and even certain types of footwear.

Sunlight exposure causes discoloration due to the UV radiation that it contains. Over time, this radiation can break down the chemical bonds in the wood, leading to color changes. This process is known as photodegradation. This is the same process that could potentially be caused by exposure to grow lights.

But does this mean that grow lights will definitely cause hardwood floor damage? Let’s delve deeper into this question.

Impacts of Grow Lights on Hardwood Floors

The truth is, whether grow lights will damage hardwood floors largely depends on the type of grow light used and the duration of exposure. Not all grow lights emit the same amount of UV radiation. For example, LED grow lights generally emit less UV radiation compared to other types of grow lights, such as HID or fluorescent lights.

However, even with LED grow lights, if the exposure is prolonged and intense, it could potentially lead to hardwood floor damage. The hardwood could start to show signs of discoloration, especially if the grow lights are placed directly above the floor without any protective barriers.

Exploring the Question: “Will Grow Lights Damage Hardwood Floors?”

So, will grow lights damage hardwood floors? The answer is not a straightforward yes or no. It’s more of a ‘it depends’. It depends on the type of grow light, the duration of exposure, the distance between the light and the floor, and whether there are any protective measures in place.

However, if you’re using grow lights in a room with hardwood floors, it would be prudent to take some precautions to protect your floors from potential damage. After all, prevention is always better than cure.

My floors are cracked, faded and beat up without grow lights nearby

The Truth About Furniture Fading

Just like hardwood floors, our furniture can also be susceptible to fading due to UV radiation. This is particularly true for furniture made of materials like leather or fabric, which are more prone to UV damage compared to materials like metal or plastic.

Furniture fading can be a real concern for indoor gardeners, especially those who have their grow lights set up in a room with valuable or sentimental furniture pieces. But does this mean you should avoid using grow lights in such rooms? Let’s investigate this further.

Investigating the Question: “Will LED Grow Lights Fade Furniture?”

Again, the answer to whether LED grow lights will fade furniture is not a clear-cut yes or no. As mentioned earlier, LED grow lights generally emit less UV radiation compared to other types of grow lights. However, this doesn’t mean they are completely harmless. Prolonged and intense exposure to LED grow lights could still potentially cause furniture fading.

But don’t let this discourage you from pursuing your indoor gardening hobby. There are ways to prevent or at least mitigate the risk of furniture fading due to grow lights.

Tips to Prevent Hardwood Floor Damage and Furniture Fading From Grow Lights

One of the most effective ways to prevent hardwood floor damage and furniture fading from grow lights is to use UV protective barriers. These can be in the form of UV protective films or curtains for your windows, UV protective coatings for your floors, or even UV protective covers for your furniture.

Another tip is to limit the exposure time. Using a timer for your grow lights can help ensure your floors and furniture are not exposed to the lights for prolonged periods.

Additionally, placing your grow lights at a safe distance from your floors and furniture can also help prevent potential damage. The further the lights are from these surfaces, the less likely they are to cause damage.

My daughter’s favorite shirt sun bleached, it can happen from the grow light too

Expert Advice on Safe Use of Grow Lights

As an indoor gardening enthusiast, I understand the importance of grow lights for our plants. However, it’s equally important to protect our homes from potential damage.

Therefore, I would advise investing in high-quality LED grow lights that emit minimal UV radiation. Also, always use UV protective measures and place your grow lights at a safe distance from your floors and furniture. And remember, moderation is key. Overdoing it with the grow lights can do more harm than good, not just for your home but also for your plants.


In conclusion, while grow lights can potentially cause hardwood floor damage and furniture fading, this doesn’t mean you should avoid using them. With the right precautions and responsible usage, you can enjoy the benefits of indoor gardening without worrying about damaging your home.

Remember, every hobby or passion comes with its own set of challenges. The key is to find ways to overcome these challenges and continue doing what we love. So, keep growing, keep glowing, and keep protecting your home. Happy gardening!


Located in Portland, Oregon, Tim started gardening in his 20's and after a couple of decades felt like he had some things to share.

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