Whether you’re preparing the vegetable garden for the coming season or if you have a collection of rare and unusual plants that require special attention, the right amount of light is essential to plant health.
For those who place their plants in particularly dark areas, a grow light can substitute the sun’s rays and allow you to have a happy, healthy garden even in the darkest places. Check out the best indoor grow lights on our list below. From the school greenhouse to the depths of your basement, we’ll help you compare and contrast lights so you can find the perfect one for your growing needs.
How to Choose
A lot of factors are at play when you’re choosing a grow light. Here are some that will help you narrow down your choices.
- Space to Illuminate. The wattage of the bulbs depends on the size of the space you need to illuminate. On average, you’ll need between 20-40 watts per square foot. The larger the space you have, the more lights you’ll need (depending on the current light source, if any, that is already available).
- Light Color. Cool colors, such as blue, will encourage a bushier growth from the plant while warm colors, such as red, will encourage blooms.
- Heat. Some lights will also produce heat. This may be harmful to some plants and helpful to others, so before you choose a light, make sure you studying up on your particular plants’ needs.
Top 6 Indoor Grow Lights Overview Chart
Here are the main types of grow lights to choose from:
- Fluorescent. Fluorescent light is the least intense and probably the most common choice for many indoor growers. There are bulbs that produce cool, blue light (great for starting seeds) and bulbs that produce warmer colors (pink/white) to encourage blooming.
- Full-spectrum Fluorescent. These lights feature a T5 bulb, which is able to produce a high light output without increasing bulb wattage. These are the most energy-efficient. Number six on our list above uses this kind of bulb.
- Incandescent. These are the least expensive option and they create the most heat when in use. Not all plants will do well with this type of light, so be sure to research your plants in order to determine which is the best indoor grow light for each one.
- LED. These are perfect for greenhouse use or anywhere you have room to hang them. They maximize blue and red light without using much green or yellow light. Great for encouraging blooms and bushy growth.
Top 3 Best Indoor Grow Lights Reviews
This LED grow light has a full spectrum wavelength, produces no additional heat and is very energy-efficient. The perfect choice for many indoor gardens!
Each light contains three blue bulbs and nine red bulbs, allowing full absorption for all types of plants. It screws into any average lightbulb socket, so if you use a simple socket and clamp or sport grow light, you can place this just about anywhere.
The perfect choice for those who don’t need a hanging fixture or for those with not a lot of space.
This light is pricy, but it produces some seriously awesome growth results, and you can get it in different wattages based on the area that you need to illuminate. The COB, which stands for “chip on board,” refers to the fact that the LED chips are packaged together as one single lighting module, creating more light and less glare.
This light will improve color uniformity, dissipate heat, and allow plants to absorb light better than standard LED lights. Great for flowering and fruiting plants!
This LED light is similar to number one on our list. It has three blue lights and nine red lights, has low energy consumption and won’t burn your plants with excessive amounts of heat. It costs slightly more than the Top Shelf light but the quality of both is about the same. If you’re looking to save a few bucks, then that is the only reason to choose the Top Shelf light over this one!
Use this light for plants that may receive some natural light but need a little extra boost to help them grow to their full potential.