Customer Q's: What Does Direct/Indirect Light Look Like?

These posts are based on actual customer questions! I hope they help you out!


Question: What do the different kinds of light “look” like?

Answer: Ok, I did my best on these photos but I wouldn't say they're great😂 but hopefully combined with the written descriptions they start to help you get a better idea of what we're talking about when we say your plant needs bright, indirect light, or medium light, etc! And please go to our Plant Parenthood Guide and review our post on window orientation as well! It's helpful to understand how the orientation of your windows and any obstructions impact the level of light your plants are getting too!


Let’s start with what direct light is. The way I usually describe it is the patch of light that you see a cat curl up in. Most houseplants can’t handle direct light.

 picture of a ric rac cactus plant in a cream and tan pot in a window with bright light shining on it

Now let’s talk about bright, indirect light. Think of this as the brightest light entering a sunny room that is not direct sunlight. It’s usually fairly close to the window.

 picture of a ric rac cactus plant in a cream and tan pot on a chair next to a window

There are lots of levels between bright indirect and very low light, but let’s focus on medium indirect light. It’s usually found about 4-8’+ from the window, or in the shadow directly the left or right of the window.

 photo of a ric rac cactus plant in a cream and tan pot on a shelf next to a window

Finally, let’s talk about low light. I don’t have a picture of this one, but it’s generally going to be anywhere more than about 6‘-8’ from the window, and even closer for a window that doesn’t get much light.


Because the human eye is pretty terrible at judging brightness of light, it will take some experimentation to discern the best spots in your house for different plant varieties. One way to start is by trying out plants with different light requirements in a space and see which thrive.


Want more planty info? Join our email list by clicking here to get a free digital download of our Plant Parenthood Booklet! It covers everything from light and watering to grooming and repotting!



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