Using Grow Lights For Indoor Plants: Healthy Growth
One of the things I love about the indoor plant world is that for almost every problem, there is a solution! Enter in here the issue of not having enough light in your home or office spaces. Whether you just prefer houseplants that require lots of light, or your home doesn’t have much natural lighting, grow lights are a phenomenal choice. In this post, I’ll be focusing on a few options of grow lights for indoor plants, as well as reviewing those options to give you a clear list of pros and cons. I use grow lights myself and love them. They’ve been absolute lifesavers for my plants in a poorly lit house.
If you are growing orchids in particular, the American Orchid Society wrote a fantastic article about how orchids thrive under artificial lighting. Some experts were surprised by this, but it has been my experience that grow lights work. Not only do they work but they work well.
It’s a happy day for a lot of plant lovers, because many people believe they can’t own their light-loving favorites due to their lack of natural light, but thankfully, that simply isn’t true.
The best part is, when it comes to grow lights, there are endless options for you to choose from. If you need supplemental light, only one light for focusing on a single plant, or the “big guns” for large collections/very high light requirements, you will find what suits your growing situation.
The review list below will take you from lower powered choices to high powered, in that order, to make it easier for you to browse.
** Here is a great video for you about how to create a small indoor “greenhouse” growing area for your orchids, also using a grow light. Best of all, you can do this on a lower budget!
This post contains affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure for more information.
How Do Grow Lights Work?
To understand the question how do grow lights work, we must first think of natural sunlight.
As you probably are aware of by now, natural sunlight has a wide spectrum of colors. In order to most closely replicate this type of light for your indoor houseplants with artificial lighting, you will typically see both red and blue bulbs in LED grow lights.
The red bulb in a grow light promotes blooming.
The blue bulb promotes healthy vegetative/foliage growth.
Fluorescent tubes will work as well for houseplants that are lacking in natural light. However, I have found that LED grow lights with colored bulbs still outperform that of a standard fluorescent, particularly when it comes to creating re-blooms.
Please be sure to visit my shop! It’s a one-stop shop for many of your orchid and plant care needs. I think you’ll like it! Thank you sincerely for your support.
I know this is a fairly long post (sorry!), but I have taken an extensive amount of time to create the best possible recommendations for you to choose from. You, my readers, matter greatly to me and I value integrity. Even in the cases where I have not had personal experience with a particular product, I still do tons of research to find out what works & what doesn’t. My goal is to save you time and be a help to you. I hope this list accomplishes just that for you.
These smaller, compact LED grow lights are great for smaller collections. The heat output is minimal and therefore will not burn your more delicate houseplants, even when they are close to this light.
- 12W usage is gentle on your electric bill! Thank goodness for that!
- Rated at 50,000 hours, this light will provide your money’s worth in its lifetime
- A bracket for changing the direction or angle of light to suit your current plant set up
- Low heat output to prevent damaging your most delicate plants
- It is a smaller unit. Only 4-5 inches in width. If you are looking to provide light for a larger area or large plant, this is most likely not the option for you.
- Updated timer function! The convenience of having a 3hr/6hr/12hr switch. You can set it to automatically turn off. You will still need to turn it on yourself daily, however.
- USB plug. This gives you versatility for use and could make it easier for your office space. Or you can simply choose to use an adapter to plug the USB into the wall.
- This manufacturer has included 3 ways to secure your grow light. You can either clamp it to your desk, window ledge (etc), screw it on to a surface, or use the sticky side to adhere it to your chosen surface. The versatility gives you options, whether you want more permanent or temporary placement. Not all lights have this.
- Adjustable 360* goose-neck design. I can tell you, this is very helpful! When I have needed to move my plants around, working with my other grow lights, not having the ability to bend them as I choose leaves less option of where I’m able to place the plants. The more flexibility your grow light has, the more liberty you can take with your design 🙂
- Dimmable light levels. This is another great feature. If you arrange your plants together based on light requirements, you can easily set this grow light for indoor plants to the desired level of light. Perfect!
- Short power cord. You’ll likely need an additional extension cord to use.
- The timer could use some work. The functions are great, being able to dim the light or set it to automatically turn off at 3, 6, or 12 hours. However, you must manually turn it on each day.
- You may need more than 1 to provide ample light for some plants. They do produce bright light but could be too weak for some of your true light lovers.
- It is not compatible with external timers, enabling automatic on function.
* This post contains affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure for more information. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases at zero additional cost to you. However, I only recommend what I use, trust and/or believe in.
- Excellent timer function! If you need automatic turn on feature, this one has it! If you go on vacation, know that your plants will still be basking in their favorite light. It also has the 3h/6h/12hr automatic shut off feature. Ultimate convenience.
- This one also has the dimmable light feature. That’s a must for many plants.
- 360* swivel gooseneck design. As I mentioned in one of the earlier reviews, this is critical for the coverage of all your plants. Set them up the way you like, not the way the light determines you can!
- 3 head design. I love this. Being able to angle the light exactly where you need improves the health of your plants dramatically. Also, adjustable heads (3 of them) allows you to be in control of how, when and where you display your favorites while still ensuring they aren’t missing out on maximum light.
- One of the biggest selling points: Lifetime warranty. Knowing a company has your back, well, that’s priceless.
- These bulbs are rated at 100k hours of use. You should be able to use this grow light for many years to come. If you’re frugal like me, you’ll enjoy that!
- The 3 heads have separate controls. If you only need/want 1 head on, you can do just that. You’re in control, not the grow light.
- Easy to install – clamp secures well and is sturdy.
- To be entirely honest, I have not been able to find any yet. This is a great product at a very reasonable price.
This is a really neat option for those of you who love outdoor gardening as much as indoors. Or maybe you know someone who fits that description? This would make an amazing gift for holidays or birthdays. They’ll never forget you every time they see their plants healthy and thriving 🙂
- Versatility. This is a great garden starter as well, for those of you who are looking for seed starters, or vegetation growth before transplanting outdoors. Yet it also works great for indoor houseplants of the right size.
- 45W usage is very reasonable for your electric usage. No worries about extreme utility bill surprises.
- This stand is adjustable which means as your plants grow, this stand will accommodate that growth.
- This unit also can be hung. Not only is that a space saver, but it enables you to maximize the number of plants beneath it.
- 360* rotation, allowing you to manipulate the light precisely how you need it.
- This AeroGarden unit is made by MiracleGro, a well known name in the plant care world.
- No timer for automatic on/off functionality but you can add your own timer separately.
- The legs on this unit are kind of wobbly. You do need to be careful not to bump it too much, as this could topple over. Finding a way to secure it better might be necessary. It’s usually not a deal breaker, because this AeroGarden does cost less than others in comparison.
- The legs are a wee bit short. For some plants, you may need to place something under the legs to provide additional space between your plants and the stand.
This is another great gift for your family or friends that love gardening – indoors and out. It’s great for small plants or seedlings and superb for herbs!
- Extremely energy efficient. Grow herbs and small plants without affecting your bank account!
- The overall appearance and lighting effect of this grow light make it an excellent choice for those of us who value home decor. It’s a classy design that adds to, instead of subtract from, your surrounding home design.
- It does have an on/off timer but be aware that the functionality is somewhat limited.
- The timer doesn’t seem to always be precise. Once you plug it in, it’s set to stay on for “X” amount of hours and then shut off. However, consistency may be questionable.
- The size. For some, the size is a pro and not a con. It depends on what type of herb or plant you’d like to grow. If small herbs, the size will be great. For larger plants, they may easily outgrow the space. The dimensions of the inner tray from bottom to light are: Width: 14-15/16″, Depth: 4-13/16″, Height: 8-9/16″
- You will need to supply your own pots – this unit does not come with those. Be aware of size limitations.
- Light reflector built in. Much in the same way that a light colored wall behind your plant reflects light and increases photosynthesis, this light uses the same theory. Light efficiency use is increased by about 20% which can make a big difference
- Powerful light but LED technology reduces energy consumption.
- Greenhouses often use this style of grow light because of the wide coverage area it can provide. These “strip styled lights” can be set up in “chains” side by side.
- 12 months warranty, 100% money back guarantee. They stand behind their product. That means a lot to me.
- Excellent customer service. If you do have a problem with this product, the company has been responsive in addressing the issue. For me, that says a lot and a company that I enjoy supporting.
- You may need to upgrade some of the hanging accessories. Some of the brackets (etc) are slightly less than ideal quality. However, when you purchase, it may be that they have improved upon this aspect of their product and you won’t need that at all. Given their customer service, I doubt it would be a problem if you contacted them.
Bootstrap Farmer is a really neat place to shop. They have a home grown feel to them and really love what they do. They sell everything from greenhouse kits, grow lights, seed starter kits, tools, on and on. They also have a podcast and other very helpful information. I highly recommend this group!
- You can easily daisy chain these lights. What that means is that there’s a plug which will allow you to connect up to 7 of these lights into one another, with only 1 plug for power. For large indoor growing environments, that’s amazing!
- You can mount these vertically or horizontally to suit your needs.
- This light has a T5 reflector that captures up to 99% of lost light, ensuring that you get the maximum amount of light possible
- The LEDs have a protective shield, preventing build up of dust and debris that will shorten the lifespan of your light
- Lights are rated for 50,000 hours. That’s quite awhile 🙂
- Free shipping anywhere in the lower 48 states
- Energy efficient, saves you money!
- Great customer service should you run into a problem
- Extremely durable construction, long lasting product.
- Because of their valuable customer service, I haven’t found any. If you should be missing a part or in need of anything, giving them a call should yield productive results for you.
- Energy efficient. Power consumption they estimate to be around 99w.
- 3000K white light full spectrum. This type of light produces great results. It closely mimics the sun.
- Very low heat for such high output. If raised to the proper height above your plants, there is zero risk for burning.
- A lot of people prefer this type of light over the others and have seen marked performance increase in re-blooming. Full spectrum light is always your best choice.
- Depending on your setup, you may need to work with the mounting a little bit. This does come with a set of screws to mount the power supply and some hanging accessories as well. That may be everything you need.
- Ultra quiet, lightweight and no fan! This device uses a high tech cooling coating that changes everything you know about how grow lights work. 100x more effective cooling.
- 24 hour customer support. 30 day money back guarantee. 3 year warranty. There are a few major pros in one!
- Rated at 50,000 hours of use. Durably made to last. You will get your money’s worth out of this light.
- Adjustable dimmer function allows you to be in control of how might light your plants receive
- This grow light truly yields impressive results. Much healthier plants, easy re-blooms.
- The design is slick and unique. There really isn’t anything else like it on the market.
- You may need to play with the hangers it comes with. They are fairly long and may not be suitable for the space you have. However, this is an easy fix and their customer service is more than happy to work with you, should you need a different length. Because of the fantastic value these grow lights are, I would not let this discourage me.
- Full spectrum light – This is what you look for in a quality grow light. Offering your plants the light that most naturally matches sunlight produces great results. Grow faster and have healthier yields on flowers and vegetation.
- Very nice design. You can easily mount this in your grow space or have it anywhere in your home without messing up your decor.
- Get the power of 600w while only consuming around 200w of power. Energy efficiency means lower light bills.
- Light reflector helps you not to lose light. Improving your light efficiency means better results in your growing. You’ll be the genius 🙂
- Great for up to a 3×3 growing space
- Does not come with dim option. Your unit may be harmed if you add one to it. You may also add a timer, but it does not come with that option either.
- The design: it is really neat. Most grow lamps have a very standard design, but this company paired function and design together. The green color was meant to bring a more complimentary and blendable design element to your space vs. being the very first thing you notice.
- This grow lamp does support daisy chaining. As was mentioned in a previous review, that allows you to connect more than one of the same lamp together in a row, while using only one power plug. This is great for those with limited power outlets.
- Pop LED lights provide full spectrum light. In order to get the results you’re seeking as an indoor grower, this is a must.
- Fairly lightweight. The unit only weighs around 5 lbs. or so
- An included hanging cable should suit most growing conditions. This means you don’t have to fumble around finding a way to hang and safely secure your new light
- 6 foot long power cable. For most, this would be sufficient length.
- Excellent value for the money spent.
- Responsive customer service. Most inquiries were responded to quickly in a satisfactory manner.
- Slightly higher heat levels than other units but still less heat than cheaper models will emit. This is important because you don’t want to cook your plants. Making sure you have sufficient air flow around this heat lamp is an absolute must.
- Individual 10w LEDs make for a powerful and bright grow light
- This unit will use approximately 615 watts of power. Compared to other 3000w units, that is quite a savings on your electric!
- 3 year warranty. Response time on customer service inquiries within 24 hours. (thumbs up!)
- Full money back if not satisfied within 30 days of purchase
- They will ship you replacement parts for free within 180 day time span
- At the time of writing this, they include a pair of glasses to protect your eyes. You should never look directly into a grow light. Eye damage can result.
- There have been some loudness issues with the fan. I’m not sure if that’s a defect they will send replacement part for or if that is simply the typical noise. Do keep in mind that there is a 30 day money back policy.
- May not have enough white light for some plants to really thrive
- The hanging accessories that come with this light may not be sufficiently strong. You may need to find parts at your local hardware store to more securely attach your light.
Grow Lights Change Your Growing Experience
As you can see, I absolutely love using grow lights for indoor plants! For so long, if we didn’t have sufficient light for certain plants, we just simply couldn’t enjoy them in our homes and offices. Technology came through for us and we now have no need to worry!
There are endless options, but do save yourself time and money. Quality in grow lights is everything. If you wind up buying cheap, you spend more in the long run because they will have to be replaced more often.
Not to mention, you probably won’t get the results you need. My weaker grow lights just weren’t up to the challenge for orchids, especially. They helped but weren’t enough.
There are grow light light bulbs for your household lamps too. This Miracle LED light bulb has worked for many people.
Now that this post is coming to a close, I sincerely hope that this review list has helped you. A lot of love went into it 🙂 If it did help you, please let me know!
If you have any questions, please feel free to leave me a comment. I’d love to hear from you! It would mean a lot if you would also share the word about us here at PottedOpulence. Thank you so much! It is my aim to help in any way I can.