Photosynthesis is a chemical process that converts carbon dioxide into organic compounds, particularly sugars so the plant has food, using the energy from the sun. This process that takes place in green plants and some other organisms releases oxygen as a by-product, meaning that light is not just important to the earth but is absolutely vital.
It is possible to see how much plants value, and need, light if you have a look at one that has been placed on a window sill. It will learn towards the source of light and you will have to keep rotating the plant to make sure that it grows evenly. This process of leaning is called phototropism, and it occurs because the hormones that control the growth of the plant begin to build up in the stem forcing it towards the light.
Different plants have different requirements when it comes to light, with some preferring to be in direct sunlight and others preferring a shadier place to grow. If you want to grow particular plants, you need to take these things into consideration, and for some plants, such as orchids, it is even necessary to provide the plants with strong artificial lighting that also gives off a great deal of heat to make sure that your plants thrive.
One plant that is sometimes grown in the dark (but only in the final stages otherwise the plant would die) is rhubarb. This forces the stems to grow straight and be pale in colour. They are placed in long low forcing sheds, which are so quiet you can actually hear the rhubarb grow. When it is time for the stems to be harvested, it is actually done by candlelight.