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Some houseplant owners are lucky enough to have a home with endless amounts of sunshine, but for some of us, grow lights are critical for houseplant survival! I used to be really intimidated by the concept of grow lights. It just seemed complicated, artificial light, you know? Guess what—it’s not as hard as you think!
Plants get the energy they need to grow from sunlight through photosynthesis. If you don’t have enough sunlight for your plants, your plant will not grow properly and might even die. This is why grow lights can be SO important for houseplants that don’t receive enough natural sunlight.
In this post, I’ll review a list of my top grow light picks for houseplants and go over some common questions about using grow lights for houseplants.
The Best Grow Lights for Houseplants
The Quick List
- Small White Aspect Luxury LED Grow Light from Soltech Solutions – The Winner
- Full Spectrum LED Grow Lights from GooingTop Store – The Runner Up (Budget-Friendly Option)
- Full Spectrum Grow Light Strips for Indoor Plants from FIDAROOMY
- Full Spectrum LED Grow Lights from Elaine
- Full Spectrum LED Grow Lights – 2×2 Foot Coverage from BLOOM PLUS
- 3 Pack of Full Spectrum LED Grow Light Bulbs from Wiyifada
This full-spectrum LED grow light gets the top spot on the list because, let’s face it, grow lights aren’t always nice to look at. Soltech Solutions offers beautiful sleek and modern grow lights that will fit perfectly into your home, looking like completely normal lights.
Set up is easy, with instructions and materials provided, and the light comes with a timer. This particular size is perfect for small-and-medium-sized plants. (You can find the medium-and-larger-sized plants light here.)
These full-spectrum LED lights make the runner-up spot because they are super convenient. I originally purchased them because they clipped onto a high-up plant shelf and the gooseneck lights can be easily repositioned.
They are not as pretty as the winner on this list, but I still think they’re kind of sleek. They have adjustable brightness settings, as well as a timer, and you can turn one off while keeping the other on.
Here’s a picture of them in my space:
These grow lights are a late addition to the list. It’s been a little while since I first published this post, but I bought these grow lights a few months ago (at the time I’m updating this post) and I’ve found them to be extremely useful. I have been using them for my greenhouse cabinet.
They are three separate lights, attached by one wire (I was worried about them all being attached to one wire but found that I had more than enough length). They come with sticky strips to stick onto a surface above your plants. It’s great for places where you can’t clip on or hang a light from somewhere. These full-spectrum lights also have adjustable brightness and a timer.
Another excellent full-spectrum LED grow light option. Very similar to the other ones I discussed earlier but this one has three separate gooseneck lights that can be adjusted, which provides even more versatility, so I had to include it on this list.
It also has a clip that can clamp onto a shelf or other surface, a timer, and adjustable brightness.
The first few lights I mentioned are great for individuals with a few plants and smaller spaces. However, some of you probably have grow rooms or greenhouses (and if you do, I’m very jealous of you).
This grow light has a 2-by-2 foot vegetative coverage and 1.5-by-1.5 foot flowering coverage, and there are larger models as well. It does not come with a clip—it has to be hung above your plants—but it comes with the ratchet hangers needed to hang it. Being a larger item, it also has a three-year warranty.
Perhaps you already have a lamp that you love. You don’t need a whole new LIGHT, you just need a BULB! These full-spectrum LED grow light bulbs will work perfectly for that situation.
Note: Regarding grow light bulbs specifically, keep in mind they still have to be within a reasonable range of your plant to actually work. For LEDs, this is generally one-to-two feet depending on the wattage—you’ll have to experiment for a few days on what a good distance is for your plants and see how they respond.
If you simply replace a regular lightbulb with a grow light bulb in the lamp that’s on the other side of the room, it’s not going to make a difference for your plants.
What type of light is best for growing plants indoors?
Two common types of grow lights for houseplants are LEDs and fluorescent lights. LEDs are typically more energy efficient and the better choice. However, if you’re in an office environment, you’ll most likely already have fluorescent lighting and many plants will be happy with that.
It’s also important that you’re not giving your plants the wrong amount of light in terms of how close they are to the light and how long they’re exposed to the light. Plants don’t receive natural light for 24 hours straight and therefore don’t need to be constantly under a grow light.
Plants need darkness and light in order to metabolize properly. Experiment with these two factors (1. distance from light to plant and 2. amount of time exposed to light) and see how your plants respond after a few days.
Which color of light is best for growing plants?
Full-spectrum light contains all colors of the light spectrum. Since natural light from the sun is full spectrum, full-spectrum light is best for growing plants. Some artificial lights emit one color such as red or blue, so for houseplants, make sure you are purchasing a full-spectrum light.
In fact, the three main colors of light are red, blue, and green. Plants reflect green light which is why they appear green to us. Therefore, they definitely don’t need only green light, because they won’t use it.
Blue light is specifically helpful for foliage and red light is specifically helpful for flowers and fruit. So on one hand, if you’re trying to address a specific problem like getting your plant to bloom, then yes, you might want to get a red grow light.
However, full spectrum is best for general use and your plant probably won’t flourish to its full potential with only one color of light.
How close should I place my plants to the grow lights?
Your grow lights need to be within a reasonable range of your plants in order to actually work. You can’t put your plants and lights on opposite sides of the room from each other and expect it to do anything.
For LEDs, this distance is generally one-to-two feet depending on the wattage—you’ll have to experiment for a few days on what a good distance is for your plants and see how they respond.
Some of my plants in my greenhouse cabinet are within a few inches of the lights simply because there’s not enough space. However, the lights are dimmed about halfway and I monitor my plants regularly to make sure they’re responding OK to the light.
Can any light be used as a grow light?
Not any light can be used effectively as a grow light for houseplants. As described earlier, since plants grow best overall under full-spectrum light (which includes every color of the light spectrum) lights of a single color won’t be particularly useful for overall plant growth.
Regular lightbulbs generally don’t provide the right balance of full-spectrum light. Typically, they also give off too much heat and are less efficient. If they’re your only option, they may help a little bit, but be sure you don’t put your plant too close where they could be affected by the heat.
Now that you understand artifical light, check out my post on an easy guide to natural light for indoor plants.