Fluorescent lights are recommended for starting seeds and cuttings or for growing herbs.
Bulbs need to be within 6" to 8" of plants to provide enough light for seed germination.
Cuttings of shade loving plants should be 15-inches from the light bulb. Cuttings of sun-loving plants will enjoy being 12-inches from a full-spectrum bulb.
Seedlings and cuttings need between 10 and 16 hours of light to get a good start. They do need to rest every day so a timer would be great for turning on and off.
Plants called Short-day plants need 10 - 13 hours, Long-day and day-neutral plants can take up to 18 hours of fluorescent lighting.