Having indoor plants in the house can be a great way to add natural elements. It’s calming and relaxing to have houseplants, but sometimes, you can’t get them to grow properly. Your home isn’t equipped with enough natural light.
Therefore, it’s important to choose the best grow lights for your indoor plants. That way, you know your flowers and vegetables are getting the right amount of light to grow healthy and strong. We’ve compiled a list of the top 12 lights for you to consider; at the end, we pick a few winners.
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When to Use Grow Lights for Your Indoor Plants?
Since most homes don’t have enough natural lighting, it’s important to give the plants plenty of artificial light that mimics the sun. That’s what grow lights do.
If you’re starting with seedlings, you should use a grow light from the day you plant them. As the seeds sprout, the plant searches for sunlight to know which way to push out of the ground. Therefore, it needs to have natural light hitting it from the very beginning.
Some people do try to grow seedlings without a grow light and are successful. However, the tiny plants are very weak and thin when compared to those at a local garden center.
Seedlings that grow like this never recover. The plants never grow well when transplanted into the garden. You could waste a lot of money and time trying to save them when you could just buy grow lights and use them at the time of planting.
The type of light you choose matters for various stages of growth. We discuss this a bit later, but the general idea is to have daylight bulbs at higher Kelvin ratings for the initial growing phase. Then, switch to warm white light with a lesser Kelvin rating for those plants that are flowering.
What Kind of Grow Lights for Indoor Plants?
While a windowsill can be a great place to grow a plant, most people want to germinate multiple seeds in the winter. That way, they have established plants that can go outside during the spring. Therefore, grow lights can be used to mimic the sunshine required for plants to grow and is an easy way to produce beautiful plants.
Sunlight is essential for growing plants. The sun helps with photosynthesis, and the best grow lights can simulate the action from the sun. Though any light can support the growing process, some artificial lights aren’t suitable for growth.
- LED Lights
Light Emitting Diode lights are the newest options and are highly popular. They don’t produce heat and require less power to operate. Plus, you can program them to simulate the right Kelvin rating for temperature and can simultaneously produce blue and red spectrums for flowering and vegetative growth.
They’re expensive when compared to others. However, they are designed to last for a long time.
- Fluorescent Lights
Fluorescent lights are a highly popular choice for many home growers. The newer types provide a wide light spectrum and can be all-purpose. However, traditional bulbs lack the right range for flowering, so they work best for vegetative growth and germination.
They also produce less heat. This means fluorescent lights are more versatile, safer, and more effective than incandescent options. Plus, they’re still budget-friendly.
- Incandescent Bulbs
Incandescent bulbs are quite inexpensive, but they may not be the most suitable choice. They can work fine for a couple of plants and in rooms with plenty of natural light, too. However, the heat from them requires that they stay 2 feet away from the plants to prevent heat damage, so use them with caution.
- High-Intensity Discharge Lights
HID (High-Intensity Discharge) lights can include HPS (High-Pressure Sodium) and MH (Metal Halide) lights. They’re excellent choices, but they are expensive to operate and buy.
Still, high-intensity discharge lights are extremely efficient and can throw plenty of light. The blue from the Metal Halide lights promote more vegetative growth, but there are fewer flowers.
With high-pressure sodium lights, that reddish-orange hue is a powerhouse to producing flowers and buds. However, the plants might be less sturdy. Typically, most people use MH lights for leafy growth and switch to HPS lights to help them flower.
The 12 Best Grow Lights to Use For Your Indoor Plants
Below, we reviewed the top 12 picks with some helpful information. That way, you can get quick facts about each one and find out which grow lights you want to learn more about.
1. EZORKAS 9 Dimmable Levels Grow Light for Indoor Plants
Those who want something that does it all might like the LED grow light from EZORKAS. It features nine dimmable level options. This means that you can change the brightness for the plants.
There is also a remote control with a timer function indicator. You get three timing settings for red, blue, and both together. That way, the plants get the right color light to match the sun and darkness settings to grow well.
Each light comes with a base and four bendable light fixtures. The base is 2.4 inches tall, and the bendable coils are 14.5 inches high. Then, you’ve got the lights coming from that, which are each 8.4 inches in length.
With this light system, you can clip the base to a shelf or anything else nearby. This helps you position the light in the right spot to give the plants what they need.
2. Posyley LED Growing Light Full Spectrum for Indoor Plants, Seedlings
You’re sure to like the LED grow light from Posyley. It can be timed to different hours to meet your plant’s needs. That way, it gets enough light at optimal brightness.
There’s also an automatic on/off function, so you can set it to come on every three, six, or 12 hours. The next day, the light gets automatically restarted at the same brightness level. This means you don’t have to remember to manually turn it on each day.
Each light has three different LED bulbs attached to bendable cords. You can choose to turn one, two, or three of them on at a time. Every light has 10 different brightness levels, which you can change.
It comes with a heavy-duty clip system, so you can put it on a shelf, desk, or wherever you need the plant light to go. Plus, the bulbs can be replaced as necessary. This means you don’t have to buy a new light every time.
3. GE Grow LED Light Bulb
The GE brand also has an LED grow light. They’re full-spectrum to provide the best quality. Your indoor garden can bloom and flourish throughout the year.
With these bulbs, you get a pleasing, natural-looking light without the harsh, hot temperatures. It’s designed with a balanced light spectrum, which means it’s suitable for seedlings, buds, and fruit/flower production. Each light is 9W, and it’s non-dimmable.
You can leave it on as long as you need to without raising your electricity bill sky high. Plus, if you glance at the light while it’s on, it appears white. This is to protect your eyes, but the red and blue light spectrum is ideal for herbs, leafy greens, tomatoes, and many other plants.
The placement of the light depends on what you’re growing. For leafy greens or herbs, you want it about 9 inches over the plant and should use it 18 hours a day. Some plants need high light, so it should be 6 inches over the plan and should be on for 18 hours a day.
4. SPIDER FARMER SF-2000 LED Grow Light Full Spectrum
No one said a grow light has to be boring. With the SPIDER FARMER brand, you get something modern that can do everything you want. It features the best LED technology to deliver a powerful output.
You’re going to like the canopy-style it offers. This light is quite large at 3 x 4 feet, but it consumes just 200W of power. Therefore, it runs at 50 percent less energy than your average HPS and other LED options.
This light allows you to dim them and customize the dimming process. With the purchase, you get a light switch and dimming knob. The good news is it’s possible to adjust a single light, so this works well for large indoor growing needs.
The full-spectrum light is suitable for any growth stage. It’s also very well-made and features solid construction. There’s no buzz or fan sound with it, and these lights are also waterproof.
5. MARS HYDRO TS LED Grow Light
If you want an LED grow light with the best SMD technology, the MARS HYDROS is right for you. It can replace a 250W HPS, but it’s also designed to provide a higher yield when compared with other LED lights.
You don’t have to run up your electric bill with this light because it only uses 150W when it’s on. Plus, it has over 300 LEDs with it. This board-style light has a maximum coverage of 3×3 feet.
Your plants absorb more than 90 percent of the light energy produced from the light. You can also use the HYDRO grow tent or any reflective tenting to provide more even coverage and higher light intensity.
With this light, you get full-spectrum features for indoor growth at all stages. It’s designed to get a rapid response from the plant so that it sprouts and flowers faster. Plus, it’s noise-free, so you don’t have to worry about where you place it.
6. Hytekgro LED Grow Light for Indoor Plants Seedling Vegetable and Flower
Those who want a board-style grow light that’s still compact should choose the Hytekgro light. With it, you get two lights, which features red, blue, and a few white lights. That way, your plants get all the light they need at the right growth stage.
The lights themselves are lightweight, so they’re easy to set up. There are hanging brackets that go into the ceiling. It’s best to have a dedicated space for growing plants so that these lights don’t have to be moved around.
You’re going to appreciate the 59-inch power cord. It’s long enough for most setups and ensures that you can plug it in and start helping your plants.
The coverage is 3×3 feet, and it produces a low heat output. That means it runs cool and isn’t going to hurt the plants. This light is also quiet, so you’re not going to hear a hum, buzz, or fan sound.
7. Mosthink LED Grow Light for Indoor Plants
You’re going to like the Mosthink LED grow bar because you can set it up to shut off at two, four, or eight hours. Once you set the timing, you don’t have to manually do anything. The light turns on and off at the same time each day.
We like that there are four brightness levels, so you can dim the light from 100 to 75 to 50 to 25 percent. This meets any plant’s lighting needs, depending on their stage of growth.
With the light, you get 15 blue and 32 red LEDs. There’s also an internal chip inside to put out the right luminosity for the task at hand. Plus, these lights generate less heat and can last longer than other grow light types.
The grow light pack comes with two lights, a controlled setting, a plug, and everything you need. Plus, the compact design works for small spaces and surfaces. We like that the power cord is about 78 inches long.
8. Juhefa LED Grow Light for Indoor Plant
Sometimes, indoor plant growers aren’t sure where they’re putting the plants. You may have them set up in a basement and choose to move them. In this case, the Juhefa light might be ideal because it attaches with a sturdy and heavy-duty clip.
The lights are bendable, which means you can adjust them to meet the length and tallness of your particular plants. We like the on/off timer because it uses circular memory. That means it automatically turns on/off each day based on the settings you choose.
There are 10 brightness levels and three light modes. You can choose between sun-like lights, purple, and mixed lights. With the brightness level, you can change it from 10 percent all the way to 100 percent using the provided remote.
We like the flexible goosenecks, which can rotate 360 degrees. That way, you can easily adjust the angle. There’s also a USB and AC power source, so you can use it at the house or in the office without an issue.
9. AeroGarden Harvest-Black Indoor Hydroponic Garden LED Grow Light
With AeroGarden, the brand has thought of everything. The hydroponic garden has everything you need and includes a seed kit for various herbs. You also get enough plant nutrients for a full growing season.
When you choose this setting, you can grow six plants at once, and they can be about 12 inches tall. The plants can grow in just water, so you don’t need any messy soil.
The control panel ensures that you add water at the right time. Plus, it reminds you to add the plant food and automatically turns on/off the lights for the system. Just make sure that water doesn’t touch the LED lights.
These high-performance and full-spectrum grow lights use 20 watts of power. They’re high-efficiency lights made specifically for this herb garden system. It’s a set, though, so the light is attached to the container, meaning whatever you grow has to fit inside.
10. RoyalsellPro Plant Germination Kits LED Planting Light
If your goal is to grow small plants and herbs, the Royalsell Pro kit might be ideal for you. There’s a medium and large style, and it features LED plant lighting. The full-spectrum 21-watt LEDs have 110 small lights, making it an efficient system of planting and lighting.
You’re going to enjoy the automatic timer. The LED plantation automatically closes once it has been open for 16 hours. Then, after eight hours of being closed, it returns to open.
This setup ensures that the plants get enough light with plenty of rest time, as well. That way, you don’t have to worry about doing it all manually.
There’s a 1.2-liter water tank with an automatic watering system. You can easily see the indicator light for the water level. This tells you when to add more water.
Use it in the kitchen to have fresh herbs with every meal. You can also put it in the living room with ornamental plants.
11. Monios-L T5 LED Grow Light
If you choose the Monios-L grow light, it’s designed to look like a fluorescent bar, but it’s made of LEDs. It’s 4 feet long and comes with a full spectrum of lights between 380 and 800 nm. This professional sunlight replacement is ideal for indoor plants.
It only uses 60 watts, and they’re ultra-bright LEDs that help with photosynthesis. This is perfect for seedlings, vegetative, and even the flowering cycle.
The grow light is ideal for various indoor applications, and the light color doesn’t hurt your eyes. It can be used in growth tents, on shelves, and in greenhouses, among others.
Amazingly, it doesn’t require any wiring, so you can hang it and plug it in to use. However, you can install it right into the ceiling if the space is small. Plus, it is made of aluminum to help with heat dissipation and light reflection.
12. AeroGarden LED Grow Light Panel
We’re back to the AeroGarden brand again with its LED light panel. It has two legs for the stand and one 45-watt grow light. You also get a hanging system with hooks, hanging wire, and a carabiner.
This means you can hang it from the ceiling or just slide a container underneath. That way, you can use it for small plants or those that are taller. You can also adjust the panel to get the best angle for your plants.
You’re going to like this versatile grow light. Whether you’re starting plants inside or want to keep them growing throughout the year, you can use this light.
In fact, the stand itself raises up because it’s adjustable. That way, it grows with the plants or can be hung if you prefer. The LED lights last about 30,000 hours, and it doesn’t cost as much to operate because of the LED design.
How to Choose the Best Grow Lights for Indoor Plants?
Indoor farming has grown in popularity, but traditional artificial lights aren’t good enough. You need grow lights, and it’s important to select the right ones.
What Types of Plants Will You Be Growing?
It’s important to plan which plants you want to grow before you decide on the lights. Determine how many of each plant you want to figure out how much lighting and what type you need. However, you don’t have to in a lot of detail.
The crop type influences the coverage, spectrum, intensity, and type of light you require. For example, if you want microgreens, the lighting required is very different from people who grow flowers.
Types of Grow Lights to Use
Typically, HIDs, LEDs, and fluorescent lights are used the most. Incandescent bulbs can burn the foliage because they produce too much heat.
Fluorescents tend to be the most affordable, but they don’t last as long as LEDs. With the LED technology, they are becoming less expensive, as well. Plus, they don’t use as much electricity and last much longer.
Understanding Color Spectrum in Grow Lights
NASA has done extensive work on the light used by plants and they have determined the following.
- Red Light (630–660 nm) is essential for the growth of stems, as well as the expansion of leaves. This wavelength also regulates flowering, dormancy periods, and seed germination.
- Blue Light (400–520 nm) needs to be carefully mixed with light in other spectra since overexposure to light in this wavelength may stunt the growth of certain plant species. Light in the blue range also affects the chlorophyll content present in the plant as well as leaf thickness.
- Green Light (500–600 nm) was once thought not to be necessary for plants, but recent studies have discovered this wavelength penetrates through thick top canopies to support the leaves in the lower canopy.
- Far Red Light (720–740 nm) also passes through dense upper canopies to support the growth of leaves located lower on the plants. In addition, exposure to IR light reduces the time a plant needs to flower. Another benefit of far red light is that plants exposed to this wavelength tend to produce larger leaves than those not exposed to light in this spectrum.
Typically, you want full-spectrum bulbs because they contain all these colors and can produce the best results. Plus, they’re easier for you to see because they emit white light, even when producing blue and red colors.
How Many Watts Do You Need for Indoor Plants?
Typically, the experts recommend that you use 20 to 40 watts per square foot. Check the wattage listed on the grow light and divide it by 20. This gives you the highest square foot area that the bulb can cover.
How to Use Grow Lights for Indoor Plants?
Once you’ve bought the light, you need to set it up. Most of the ones we talk about here are plug-and-play. You can hang some of them or install them directly into the ceiling while others are used on a table.
Turn them on and set the brightness and dim level. Read the manual to find out how to do that for the specific model you buy.
With 12 different grow lights available, you may be wondering which ones are the best. We’ve decided that the best LED grow lights for indoor plants are the ones from SPIDER FARMER, and RoyalsellPro.
If you need a board panel, the SPIDER FARMER might be ideal because it hangs from the ceiling, and it’s a plug-and-play style. Those who only want a small, self-contained system may like the RoyalsellPro because it doesn’t require soil and is ideal for kitchens and other tiny spaces.
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