Sometimes, you need grow lights for plants if you plan to winter them indoors. These lights can provide a boost that they would normally get from the sun. LED grow lights for plants are very popular, but there are several types you can try. It can be slightly overwhelming when you try to decide which grow lights for plants are best since there are so many available. However, this short guide and review roundup will walk you through the key features you want to consider and give you reviews so you can make informed decisions.
1. Phlizon LED Plant Grow Light
This is a newer style grow light for plants that has several of useful key features that help your plants grow through every stage. It has a simple and sleek appearance that wraps around a full spectrum design. You’ll find two color coded buttons that allow you to pick the stage your plants are at. Once you do, the light will put out the correct amount of power to ensure strong growth.
There is no reflector with this light, so you don’t have to worry about it melting or getting overheated. The unit is a great size for beginner or veteran gardeners with op to 3 by 3 feet in space. It outputs 1,200 watts, and there are two cooling fans to ensure your plants don’t get overheated. The heat could also negatively impact your growing environment. However, it only uses the equivalent of 300 watts of power, and this saves you on the energy bill.
- Supports every growing stage
- Includes mounting hardware
- Full spectrum design
- Can flicker after a few hours of use
- Only covers 3 feet by 3 feet
- Fans are loud
2. MARS HYDRO TS Grow Light
This grow light for plants only consumes 150W of power, even though it gives out 1000W of light. This full spectrum grow light mimics natural sunlight, and this means you can use it on seedlings to mature plants without a problem. The plants will absorb over 90% of the light due to the higher intensity, and the light can cover up to 2.5 feet of space, with the maximum coverage going up to 3 feet.
If you need to dim the lights, you’re able to with the smart dimmer switch. It’s very reflective thanks to the heat-dispensing aluminum design. This design helps to funnel the light directly to the plants and it makes sure it doesn’t bounce off the walls or furniture. The light runs cooler, so it won’t burn your plants. Since there are no fans on the grow light for plants, it runs much quieter.
- Runs slightly cooler than other models
- Gives out full spectrum light
- Dimmer switch installed
- Need multiple lights for bigger gardens
- Installation is tricky
- Difficult to get in touch with customer support
3. Roleadro Full Spectrum Grow Light
This full spectrum grow light for plants is perfect for putting next or above plants at any growing stage, including seeding, flowering, or vegetative. It has a low heat output with aluminum housing that helps direct the light to the plants while keeping the unit cool to the touch. You can put your plants close to it without worrying about the light being too powerful and drying them out or burning them.
You’ll get 117 red bulbs and 52 blue bulbs in this grow light for plants, and this helps to create a very balanced lighting effect that diffuses over the plants. The lights come with a PAR of 205 at 12 inches and 94 at 24 inches, and this allows the light to generate what plants need to kickstart the photosynthesis process and grow. It has a compact design that allows you to easily fit it in tight areas.
- Very cost-effective
- Has red and blue bulbs for balance
- Can sit it alongside plants or hang it up
- Has several cords to hook up
- Hangers are flimsy
- No cooling fans for backup
4. Feit Full Spectrum Light Fixture
If you want a hanging grow light for plants, consider this one. It’s a full spectrum LED setup that comes with a natural daylight hue instead of the red or purple hue other grow lights for plants give off. It has a very versatile design that allows you to hang it however you need to maximize your growing season, and this includes giving you the ability to flush mount it onto a plant stand if needed.
It has an extended lifespan associated with it that will help even out the cost, and it doesn’t make any buzzing or humming noises when you have it on. You can create links of lights with it that allow you to connect up to eight units in a single power supply if you need expanded lighting coverage. This makes it a good choice for large gardens or indoor plant growing areas. It’s very user-friendly and easy to set to your desired lighting strength.
- Has a more neutral daylight look
- Easy to mount and versatile
- Lasts longer than other units
- Has lower PAR ratings
- Challenging to link up
- Flimsy outer case
5. CF Grow Desk Grow Light
If you’re after an affordable grow light for plants, the CF Grow Desk is a great pick that will cost you less than $20 per light. It’s a smaller light that still manages to cover the light spectrum, and it has a central white LED light source. There are also two red and two blue LED lights flanking the center white light. It’s excellent for giving your plants a little extra light in apartment gardening.
This is a highly flexible grow light for plants that has an adjustable neck. You can move it closer or further from your plants as they grow, and you can attach it directly to your plant’s pot with a clip. It should only support one plant at a time due to the smaller build, and the housing can get very warm to the touch after a few hours of use. There is no fan, so you get a noiseless operation the entire time you have it on.
- Flexible neck
- Plant pot clip included
- Very affordable and durable
- Housing gets very warm
- May burn more fragile plants
- Cord is very short
6. Easy Bright Grow Light Bulb
This is an easy and convenient screw-in LED grow light for plants. It has a full spectrum light range at an affordable price, and it’s an energy-efficient option. It’ll work with any E27 screw base, and you get more than 150 LED light diodes that work very well for energizing your plants. It’s popular during the winter months, and it works well on houseplants, vegetables, and flowering plants.
It has a long lifespan since it’s an LED bulb, and it’s small enough to not take up a lot of additional space. However, you will have to buy a few if you have more than one or two plants or larger plants that need lights. At just under $25 per bulb, this is a very affordable option that won’t drive up your light bill. It comes with a bonus video and e-book to help you maximize your plant’s growing ability.
- Has 150 LED light diodes
- Works with an E27 screw base
- Very affordable option
- Need to buy or have a base
- Not strong enough for multiple plants
- Clamp is very flimsy
7. Shengsite UFO Plant Grow Light
This is a very lightweight and compact grow light for plants that is very popular because it covers a broad range of plant growth stages, and the light is also very easy to set up and use. It has a 13-inch diameter size in a circular shape, and the light will give you up to 50,000 hours of use. You can have it on for 16 hours at a time and get effective heat dissipation when you plant it within eight inches of your plant.
The red light to blue light ratio is 3:1, and this will help support seed germination and growth, and it also supports mature flowering. This grow light for plants is excellent for any hobbyist gardener, and it’s a nice addition to your toolkit for indoor gardening. Depending on your needs, this setup can cover up to 18 square feet of plants on a single light, and it’s very lightweight.
- Covers up to 18 square feet
- Very lightweight and easy to hang
- Highly efficient
- Slightly bulky build
- Comes with limited mounting hardware
- Gets very warm after several hours
8. Sun System Digital Wall Fixture
The Sun System grow lights for plants helps to ensure your plants grow anywhere in your home, whenever you need it. It’s a 150W system that has a very simple and straightforward toggle switch that allows you to switch it on and off each day. It comes with a very sleek and lightweight design that is easy to set up, and you can adjust it as your plants grow to accommodate different heights.
It brings a maximum of 16,000 lumens to help stimulate your plant’s growth, and you get two hooks to hang it from the ceiling. The lighting system comes equipped with a two-year manufacturer’s warranty against defects or damage to give you a greater peace of mind. The metal interior ensures that the light shines down on the plant and doesn’t bounce off the furniture or walls, and this boosts the efficiency of this grow light for plants.
- Has up to 16,000 lumens
- Sleek and lightweight design
- Easy to hang
- Generates heat when it’s on
- Puts out a yellow-hued light instead of white
- Prices fluctuate
9. Hydrofarm Agrobrite Fluorescent Grow Light
This grow light for plants comes in a variety of styles and sizes that allow you to use it for smaller gardens, indoor plants, herb gardens, and larger garden operations. Since this is a fluorescent grow light for plants, you’ll get a light that is closer to the blue range of the light spectrum. In turn, this means that you can use it for seedling starts and germination instead of encouraging larger plant growth.
These bulbs don’t put off a lot of heat, and this makes them great for using in enclosed spaces. You can mount it overhead, horizontally, or vertically without a problem, and this allows you to reach into tight spaces. If you want to start a strong herb or vegetable crop, this light can help. It has a high adjustability factor that lets you choose how close it is to your plants, and you can buy red lights to go in the system if need be.
- Five-year warranty attached
- Red lights available
- Several sizes and types available
- Heavier and more bulky
- Bulbs can wear out quickly
- Produces a lot of heat
10. Ankace 40W Grow Light
This grow light for plants has multiple uses that include indoor plant seedlings, plants grown in a hydroponic greenhouse, or in your home or office. It works wonderfully for flowering plants, potted plants, and succulents. You get 24 red LED lights and 12 blue LED lights that enhance photosynthesis and encourage healthy growth all year round. The USB connector makes it easy to use, and it has a 360-degree adjustable gooseneck for maximum flexibility.
There are three timer setting options that let it run for 3, 6, or 12 hours at a clip before turning off. There are also five dimmable modes and three switch modes equipped on this grow light for plants. You can adjust the brightness based on your plant’s needs. The dual lights give you a greater coverage area, and it has a clamp to hold it firmly in place when you attach it to the plant’s pot or to your desk.
- Comes with red and blue LED lights
- USB connector allows you to plug it into your computer
- 360-degree adjustable gooseneck design
- Cord is very short
- Not suited for larger plants
- Clip can snap
Grow Light for Plants – Buying Considerations
There are a few things you want to consider when you start looking for a grow light for plants. Along with different types, each grow light for plants brings something unique to the table. This buying guide will help you narrow down your choices without taking up a lot of time.
Deciding between the different grow lights for plants can be intimidating, but there are several very nice options available on the current market.
Types of Grow Lights for Plants
First up is understanding the different types of grow light for plants available on the current market. Understanding the difference between them will help you narrow down your choices right from the start. The different types include:
- LED – Arguably one of the most popular grow lights for plants, LED lighting is very powerful and cost efficient. They produce specific wavelengths that are optimal for promoting plant growth. This is more expensive upfront, but it pays off in the long run with a longer running time, and they produce a small amount of heat.
- High Intensity Discharge (HID) – HID lights are more cost-effective than LEDs, and they come in two styles. You can choose from metal halide grow lights and high-pressure sodium grow lights. The metal halide ones are better for vegetative growth, and the high-pressure sodium grow lights work better for the fruiting and flowering phase. You can combine them both for more full coverage too.
- Ceramic Metal Halide – These lights use a ceramic core instead of metal, and this allows them to work at much higher temperature and emit a broader spectrum of light. They work for all stages of the plant growth cycle because they bring full-spectrum light, and they’re very efficient when it comes to energy savings.
- Fluorescent – These grow lights for plants come in two styles, just like the HID lights do. They put out very low levels of heat, and they’re cost-effective. You can get tube style or compact fluorescent grow lights. If you’re on a budget or you have tight spaces, either of these fluorescent lights can work well.
- Induction – Instead of traditional electrical connections, this light uses electromagnetic field induction. They work up to 100,000 hours, and they produce a very good light spectrum. They’re also very expensive, and this causes people to turn away.
- Plasma – Although plasma grow lights look neat, they’re not very good for helping stimulate plant growth. They can also cause interference with some electronics because they operate by using microwave radiation to excite sulfur.
It’s a good idea to compare different types of grow lights for plants because each one has good and not-so-good points to consider that could make one better than the other for your needs.
Defining a Grow Light for Plants
Simply put, a grow light is an artificial light that mimics the light’s natural spectrum to encourage the natural production and growth cycle of plants. They plug straight into your electrical outlets like any other plants, and they’re easy to set up. Many of these grow lights for plants have varying brightness switches you can use to cycle through the various light requirements for germination and flowering.
These lights are popular for seasoned horticulturalists and hobby gardeners because they can help you start your seedlings and grow different plants and vegetables all year round. You can choose from a variety of different shapes, styles, and sizes, and this allows you to fit them into your space easily. They also have a broad price range that allows anyone to buy one without breaking their budget.
How to Use Your Grow Light for Plants
You want your plant to get the most out of growing light when you use it because this gives you the best chance of having a successful crop all year round. If you have an HID light, you want to keep it at least 12 inches from your plants, fluorescent lights should be as close as possible without burning them up to 12 inches, and an LED light can be six inches or more from your plant.
You typically put your grow light above your plants to encourage photosynthesis. As your plants start to sprout and grow, you’ll raise your light. Keep your light at the optimal distance depending on the style, strength, and whatever you want to grow.
Your plants need as close to the full light spectrum as possible because this mimics natural sunlight. You measure the different colors of the light spectrum by the temperatures they emit. High-quality grow lights emit more than one color, and they can cost more to do so.
Understanding what light spectrum your plants need will allow you to tailor your light choice to encourage the maximum growth throughout the year.
If you’re not sure what color your plants need to thrive, take a look at their specific needs. Tomatoes and other producing plants have more than one growth phase they cycle through. During the first stage, they leaf out and turn into more than a single plant. During this stage, they need more blue spectrum lighting because it’s warmer.
The second phase of the plant growth cycle starts when they begin to sprout flowers and reproduce. In order to help your plant reach this phase and cycle through it, your plant will need cooler temperatures like the yellow and red growth lights give. You want red lights for the growth stage as well
Grow Lights for Plants – Buying Considerations
You might think all grow lights are the same thing, but you now know this isn’t true. No matter if you want to replace your lights or if you’re buying them for the first time, you want to keep a few key features in mind. They’ll help you narrow down your choices and pick out the best option to suit your wants and needs.
All types of grow lights burn at a different rate. This is why it’s a good idea to check and see what the burn time is on the light you buy. Spending a lot doesn’t mean that your light will last longer, and you’re not necessarily getting the best value. Double-check the packaging when you compare lights to see which one burns the longest while being the most energy efficient.
Ease of Use
Your time is very important, even if you only have a small vegetable patch or a few indoor house plants to tend to. The last thing you want to do is spend hours setting up and adjusting your lights over and over again. Pick out the lights that have a simple operation, are easy to set up, and easy to maintain. Double-check how easy it is to adjust your light intensity as well.
How big do you want your indoor garden or growing space to be? This is something you have to know before you start shopping because it’ll help you decide how many lights you need. If your plants need a higher amount of light, you’ll have to have around 32 watts for every square foot of space. If your plants need a lower amount of light, you’ll want to have around 14 watts for every square foot of space you have set up.
Smaller garden sizes won’t need as many grow lights to support them, but you will need more if you have bigger plants in general.
Internal Chip Strength
Inside every grow light you buy, you’ll have a chip that converts electricity into light. Your internal chip should be extremely high quality because it’ll help ensure it’s powerful enough to jumpstart your plant’s growth cycle. As a rule of thumb, look for lights that have a chip of at least 3W. In turn, this will help ensure your light emits enough power to help your plants grow.
Grow lights come in several different shapes ranging from light bars to saucers and panels. You’ll have to consider where you want to set up your space before you buy the light. This will help you pick out the correct shape when you shop for your grow lights for plants. Smaller lights let you set up scattered light patterns, and they’re better for tight spaces. A panel light will cover bigger areas.
Lower Heat Generation
Heat generation is something you really want to keep an eye on with your lights. Some LED-style lights will put out a large amount of heat to create a warming growing environment. If this is the case, you’d have to have a fan or two going to help cool the area and keep your plants comfortable. To save yourself this step, get lights that have a lower heat output. They tend to have longer burn times because they don’t overheat, and they put out less atmospheric heat as a whole.
Grow lights can help you grow and maintain your indoor plants and vegetable garden through the seasons without a problem.
Using this comprehensive guide, you should be able to pick out the best grow lights for plants based on your needs and spatial requirements. Once you get it set up, you can easily keep your plants healthy and thriving all year round.