Why do Some Mushrooms Need Light to Grow?

Mushroom is a fungus that can be grown indoors as food, just like any other plant. It is very resilient and will try to grow in any way within a given range of conditions. This means that your mushrooms will grow anywhere, but may not grow as fast as they would if they were always in optimal conditions.

Read on to find out together what you need to grow mushrooms and whether you need greenhouse LED grow lights to help their growth.

Do I Need to Use Plant Lights for Mushroom Growing?

One of the biggest challenges regarding mushroom growing is its light requirements. Mushrooms are known to grow in dark, moist places and they grow faster in the dark than in the light. Mushrooms are 92% water and therefore thrive in moist environments.

This also does not mean that mushrooms will grow better in the absence of light. Instead, these mushrooms grow in the dark and produce spores on the surface of the cap. They are called saprophytic mushrooms and feed mainly on dead or decaying material.

Unlike other plants, mushrooms do not have chlorophyll and cannot photosynthesize. But they all need some light, and light is important for mushrooms in the fruiting process. This is because the light is one way for the mushroom to detect that it has reached the right fruiting area. You can use greenhouse LED grow lights to promote its fast maturation.

Can Mushrooms Grow Without Sunlight?

The golden mushroom consists of mycelium and substrates, which can grow in complete darkness. However, when the substrate is in complete darkness, the growth of the cap will be slow and small, and it will easily grow into a deformed mushroom. Too much light will also inhibit the growth of the stalk, so diffused light or low light is the best environment for the golden mushroom to grow.

Shiitake mushrooms also need low light to grow. If there is no light at all, it will not be able to form substrates, and the growth of shiitake mushrooms in a dark environment will show the tendency of small-cap, long stalks, light color, poor quality, and even futile growth.

The availability of light becomes crucial when mushrooms are in the fruiting stage. A few hours of sunlight per day can help mushrooms to fruit successfully. Even dim lights or fluorescent bulbs are sufficient for mushrooms to produce fruit.

According to research, LED greenhouse lighting is more beneficial to mushrooms than regular light because they effectively increase overall fruit production. To determine the most effective light color that would increase mushroom fruit production, botanists exposed gray and white flat mushroom bags to different colors of light, including fluorescent lights, blue LEDs, red LEDs and green LEDs.

All mushroom bags showed the best growth performance, with the bags exposed to red LEDs achieving the greatest yields.

What is the Best Light for Mushroom Growing?

Mushrooms usually need light as they develop fruit from mycelium (also called mycelium).

Not every growing space can take advantage of sunlight, especially in a basement. If you try to grow mushrooms artificially, there are a few things to consider.

First, greenhouse lighting LED with low heat output is preferable because high heat lighting can interfere with the growing conditions in your space.

Secondly, you want uniform light throughout the growing area, otherwise, you may risk some mushrooms fruiting while others do not, resulting in inefficient use of space.

How much light do mushrooms need? Generally, a few hours of dim light is sufficient for mushrooms to grow lush fruit. Even a 100-watt fluorescent bulb or indirect sunlight can be sufficient for growing mushrooms indoors. Some people prefer to use LED supplemental greenhouse lighting on a 12-hour schedule, while others rely on indirect sunlight. 

A few people tend to follow the same routine as their mushrooms to keep the light in. We usually do this by working 16 hours during the day and sleeping 8 hours. This may be to facilitate coping with their daily work schedules.

Environmental Conditions Required for Growing Mushrooms

There are many kinds of mushrooms, such as flat mushrooms, enoki mushrooms, apricot mushrooms, and golden needle mushroom can be called mushrooms.

Different mushrooms have different living habits and environmental conditions required for growth, which vary from one to another. However, the elements of the environment that affect the growth of mushrooms are about the same, and the exact amount of factors such as light and temperature may vary from species to species.

Golden Mushrooms

  • Temperature. The golden needle mushroom is a low-temperature type, the most suitable temperature for its mycelium growth is 22~25℃, and the most suitable temperature for the growth of substrate is 8~12℃.
  • Humidity. In the cultivation of golden needle mushrooms, the humidity of the culture material should be kept at about 60%. The relative humidity of the air is required to be 75~85% in the stage of protoplast formation, and the relative humidity should be kept at about 90% in the stage of protoplast growth.
  • Light. Mycelium can grow normally in the dark, during the growth period of the substratum, it needs weak diffuse light (the brightness of a 15-degree incandescent lamp), it can also grow in dark conditions, but the mushroom body is deformed, and strong light exposure has an inhibitory effect on the growth of the substratum.
  • Air. Golden needle mushroom is a good air type. However, it is affected by the concentration of carbon dioxide, and a small amount of ventilation can meet the growth needs. The growth stage of the offspring entity also needs a certain concentration of carbon dioxide. If there is too much oxygen, the cap of the golden needle mushroom will overgrow.

Chanterelle Mushrooms

  • Temperature. Chanterelle mushroom is a medium to high-temperature type, it can grow under 6~30℃. But the most suitable temperature for mycelium growth is 22~27℃, and the most suitable temperature for the substrate is 10~18℃, higher than 20℃ is easy to open the umbrella.
  • Humidity. The humidity of the culture material requires between 60 ~ 70%, air relative humidity between 85 ~ 95%
  • Light. Chanterelle mushroom likes light, and grows best under diffused light conditions, too much light, the cap is easy to be scaly.
  • Air. The mushroom needs sufficient oxygen to grow, and it is easy to form deformed mushrooms under the lack of oxygen. When planting, attention should be paid to the ventilation of the place.
  • Soil. One of the most important features of Chanterelle mushroom planting is that it must be covered with soil, even if it is planted in a bag, the soil must be built into the bag, without the stimulation of microorganisms and minerals in the soil, the cysts are difficult to form or form little.


Mushrooms do not depend on sunlight to develop, and dim lights or bulbs can also promote their growth. Even if we place or plant them in a dark or shady place, there is no harm.

Mushrooms just crave light during fruiting. If you are growing mushrooms in your basement, you can use greenhouse LED grow lights to promote fruiting.

To make the enoki mushroom or mushroom plants grow well and ensure the quality and quality, the light of the growing environment should also get guaranteed. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *