What are the Best Grow Lights for Indoor Plants?
Indoor grow lights can help you grow a range of indoor plants year-round. These lights work by mimicking the sun's natural light to provide your houseplants or indoor garden with the color range they require for photosynthesis. There are plenty of options to choose from, and our review can help you determine the best grow light bulbs and setups to fit your plant cultivation needs.
Our Picks for the Top Grow Lights
Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
- Most Efficient - GE LED Grow Light
- Most Powerful - Haus Bright LED Grow Light
- Longest Lasting - Feit Electric LED Full Spectrum Grow Light
- Best for Small Spaces - Hydrofarm Agrobrite Desktop Plant Light
- Best for Seed Trays - Aerogarden LED Grow Light Panel
- Best for Beginners - Sunblaster Mini Greenhouse Beginner Kit
- Best for Larger Plants - Roleadro 75W LED Grow Light
How We Reviewed Indoor Grow Lights
We've put together a list of the best grow lights on the market today based on a number of key factors. In assessing the top indoor grow lights, here are some of the things we looked for:
Type of Grow Light - Grow lights come in three basic varieties: HID, CFL, and LED grow lights We'll get into the distinctions between these categories later. For now, just note that it's one of the primary factors you'll need to consider as you seek the best light for cultivating indoor plants.
Spectrum - You'll also need to determine whether you want cool, warm, or full-spectrum light. Again, we will go into detail on this later, but it can be an important factor to think about as you seek the best grow light to mimic natural sunlight for a particular kind of plant.
Single Bulb vs. Stand - Depending on the kind of plants you have, you may require either a single bulb or a stand. A single bulb is often best to position above a smaller, sun-loving succulent plant. For seedlings that are going to grow, however, a stand may be preferable as it allows you to change the height of your grow light as needed.
Price - Naturally, your budget is one of the factors to consider. We've sought to include indoor grow lights that offer maximum value.
The Best Grow Lights
Based on these factors, we've carefully reviewed top grow light options and determined these to be the most versatile and beneficial for plant owners.
GE makes energy-efficient LED grow lights in a number of different options for all types of plant-lovers. Made with compact fluorescent bulbs, the GE growth light is highly energy efficient. It creates a natural light that's pleasing to the human eye, and it's both sound-free and produces little heat. LED technology tends to last longer than other types of lights, making this a durable product that should hold up longer.
Why buy: For a long-lasting, energy-efficient grow light that works for a variety of different plants, GE's got you covered. Their bulbs comes in both balanced light spectrum LED and advanced red light spectrum LED options.
Haus claims to be the top choice among plant parents, and based on the number of rave reviews there's probably something to that. Not only do they make a great product, but they also offer an excellent customer support. Haus lights are backed with generous 18-month warranties. Their full spectrum bulbs offer an all-in-one light source for plant growers.
Why buy: Haus offers super bright LED plant lights for those seeking the maximum amount of light to help tend their indoor plant life. Their original LED grow light provides full spectrum artificial light for plants at all stages of growth.
Feit Electric makes a variety of grow lights that are equally suited for greenhouses and for household plant growth in small spaces. Their LED full spectrum bulb works in both soil or hydroponic gardens, and produces more red and blue light, as opposed to the white light that many LED bulbs favor. Blue light is said to be better for growing tall, leafy plants, while red light encourages flowering and fruiting.
Why buy: For a durable indoor grow light designed to produce a better photosynthetic response, check out the LED lights from Feit. Their bulbs can last for more than 20 years and are low on energy consumption as well as heat emission.
Hydrofarm is one of the oldest, most trusted providers of indoor gardening supplies in the nation. Their Agrobrite brand is especially useful for anyone seeking full lighting systems or kits, but they have many options for custom indoor lighting needs. We like their AgroBrite Desktop Plant Light with a flexible gooseneck style that can provide enough light to keep a plant thriving on a desk or table.
Why buy: An outstanding choice for experienced gardeners who have a good sense of what they really need, Hydrofarm offers both industrial-sized grow lighting and reflector products from leading brands as well as options for indoor plants at home.
Aerogarden is another brand that has won the trust of indoor gardeners. They boast some first-rate lights that combine red, blue, and white light spectrums, allowing you to provide your plant with exactly what it requires for healthy growth. Their LED Grow Light Panel features an adjustable stand and can rotate 360 degrees, making it a great option for every stage of plant growth.
Why buy: Aerogarden offers solid products available for a competitive price. Their LED Grow Light Panel can provide red, blue, and white LED light for plants in soil, hydroponics, and aquaponics.
Sunblaster has been making indoor grow lights for more than 20 years now, and in that time, they've developed a reputation for excellence. Their products are known for being really easy to use, and for displaying consistent performance over the long haul. While they offer a number of different bulbs and lamps, we especially love their Mini Greenhouse Beginner Kit for seedlings.
Why buy: Sunblaster is a favorite among gardeners, thanks to easy-to-use and highly durable lighting products. Their seed starting Mini Greenhouse Beginner Kit is perfect for anyone looking to start growing seedlings for garden herbs, vegetables, and leafy greens.
If you're looking for full lighting panels or systems, Roleadro offers aesthetically pleasing products in a number of different light spectrums. Their 75W Full Spectrum LED Grow Light produces an exclusive spectrum of red and blue light, is safe for indoor use, comes with easy-to-install hanging brackets, and includes a 30-month warranty.
Why buy: Roleadro is one of the top options for lighting panels and more large-scale grow lights, but their LED grow light options are also great for indoor gardening and come at a very reasonable price.
What Type of Grow Light Should You choose?
When it comes to indoor grow lights, there are plenty of great options to choose from. The question is, how do you assess the specific type of grow light you need for your indoor garden?
One thing you'll definitely want to think about is the different spectrums, or color temperature, of light that are available. As we noted above, different lamps may allow you to choose between cool, warm, and full-spectrum light. Each type of light is well-suited to different kinds of plant growth.
Specifically, cool light tends to emphasize the blue side of the color spectrum. This type of light is crucial for vegetative growth. Warm light, which emphasizes the red side of the spectrum, is likely to be more useful for helping your plants to fruit or to blossom. Full-spectrum lights will offer you the complete range.
In addition, you'll need to think about how many total plants you have, and the relative size of your indoor garden. For a single plant, a simple bulb is probably sufficient. But if you're trying to cultivate a room full of succulents, then a full lighting kit or panel may be more beneficial.
How Do Grow Lights Work?
Grow lights supply artificial sunlight that support the photosynthesis and germination of your indoor plants. They enable you to grow plants or vegetables no matter the climate outside. There are a number of specific types of indoor grow lights available. Here are the three primary options:
Compact fluorescent lights, or CFLs, can be screwed into any incandescent light fixture. These smaller bulbs are perfect for narrow spaces, and also deliver high energy efficiency. For more small-scale indoor gardens, CFL bulbs typically work just fine.
Alternatively, LED lights are considerably more expensive. With that said, they only use half as much energy, and they can last up to five times longer. As such, they may represent the better long-term value. They also emit a much higher intensity of light than what you'd get from a CFL.
The third and final type of indoor grow light is known as HID, or high intensity discharge. The light intensity from an HID unit penetrates deeper into the foliage than CFLs or LEDs, and can be the better option for growing larger plants, like tomatoes. With that said, HID lights require their own special fixtures, which means they aren't quite as beginner-friendly as the other two options.
Again, most of the indoor grow lights you will come across fit neatly into one of these categories. Understanding the distinctions is a crucial step toward finding the best indoor gardening solution.
Enjoy Year-Round Gardening With the Best Grow Lights
Gardening can be a highly rewarding activity, whether you choose to do it inside or out. If you prefer the former, you'll need to invest in the right equipment, and that means good indoor lighting. Be sure you understand all the important performance factors that are involved in selecting the best grow light for your indoor garden.
Josh Hurst is a journalist, critic, and essayist. He lives in Knoxville, TN, with his wife and three sons. He covers natural health, nutrition, supplements, and clean energy. His writing has appeared in Health, Shape, and Remedy Review.
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