Contributed by: Smokey D Dope
They can not.
Blacklights do not produce the correct spectrum of light to grow plants.
The only lights that currently produce the required color spectrum of light to grow plants are the following;
Suitable for Growing:
Flourescent (Tube shaped)
(a flourescent tube with ballast included that screws into regular light fixture)
Metal Halide (MH) Best for Vegetative growth, but it doesn't
contain all of the spectrum needed later during flowering for truly
outstanding buds. the light shines a blueish/white color
High Pressure Sodium (HPS) Best for Flowering. Ok for Vegetative.
shines a yellow/orange color. All can be purchased at your local
Not suitable for growing:
Blacklight type flourescent lights.
ANY incandescent lamp
(if it screws into a regular lamp, it won't produce worthwhile buds). Exception, compact flouro mentioned above)