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 light for plants are very popular, but there are several types you can try. It can be slightly overwhelming when you try to decide which LED 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. LED Full Spectrum Grow Light – Top Pick
This is our top pick for the best grow lights for your indoor plants because it comes with a proprietary spectrum that ranges from 460 to 465nm, 620 to 740nm, and a K waveband of 6,000 to 6,500. You’ll be able to use it to give your indoor plants a very diverse light range, just like you’d get if they were outside. In turn, this helps promote healthy growth for your plants, including the most tropical, delicate plants you have on-hand. It also allows you to grow seasonal vegetables and herbs during the fall, winter, spring, and summer months without a problem.
This is a 75-watt grow light that comes with an aluminum cooling plate equipped to ensure that the housing doesn’t get too hot when it’s on for hours at a time. It will effectively dissipate heat on any setting. There are hanging brackets included in the cost that help you hang the grow light almost anywhere in your home without a problem. It makes this pick a fantastic option if you have a lot of plants that you want to cluster in a smaller area to ensure they all get light.
- Gives plants a diverse light range
- Can use on vegetables, herbs, and plants
- Aluminum cooling plate
- Effectively dissipates heat
- Mounting hardware included
- Quick to set up
- Doesn’t include a timer function
2. Electric Dual Grow Tube Light – Step-Up Pick
If you want a grow light that you can mount, this is a solid choice. The light is very lightweight, easy to install, and durable so it won’t accidentally break as you take it down or put it back up. It comes completely assembled, and you can mount it flush against the walls and ceilings or hang it in the middle of the room without an issue. It comes designed to mimic natural sunlight, and it works to help you replace more traditional greenhouse bulbs while giving your plants the full light spectrum that they need to thrive.
This grow light can emit 655 nm of red light and 450 nm of blue light when you switch it on, and this is an excellent combination for indoor plants or gardening operations. The blue light will encourage your plants to grow leafy and tall, including vegetables. The red light will encourage fruiting, budding, and flowering on plants and vegetables. It also offers a very low heat emission, and this prevents the leaves from burning while helping to control your electrical costs.
- Comes totally assembled
- Can hang or mount it
- Offers blue and red light
- Durable but lightweight
- Doesn’t get extremely hot
- Low electricity consumption
- Broad light spectrum
- Doesn’t work well for big plants
3. iPower LED Grow Light – Mid-End Budget Pick
If you want to grow smaller plants or herbs like basil, this grow light can work well to help keep them healthy. You get two flexible gooseneck arms and dual light heads with this design, and the necks can rotate to reach more plants. However, this isn’t the only adjustable thing on this lamp. There are triple light modes on each lamp that let you cycle through blue, red, or a combination of blue and red lighting for your plants to create the best growing conditions available.
Additionally, there is a smart timer on this grow light that lets you set the time and it’ll turn off when it reaches your setting. It’ll turn on and off at the same time the next day to create a full 24-hour cycle. You’ll get a very large mounting clip to secure this light to your chosen surface, and it attaches to the shelf, table, or desk without a problem. There is a USB cable that plugs into a standard electrical outlet, and you can set it between three different wattage levels to match your plant’s needs.
- Two flexible gooseneck arms
- Get dual lights
- Three lighting settings
- 24-hour timer
- Clips to the desk
- Three wattage levels
- Works for small plants and herbs
- Goosenecks are more fragile
4. GE Grow Light – Bargain Budget Pick
If you don’t want to get a whole lighting setup for your plants, you can buy bulbs that go into traditional sockets like the GE BR30. This is a full-spectrum bulb that gives your plants high-quality lighting conditions that mimics natural sunlight. It works well on traditional house plants, cacti, indoor gardens, and flowers to encourage them to bloom over and over again. You won’t get the harsh lighting conditions like some grow lights give you, but you’ll get a natural, soft illumination and warmth that is ideal for delicate plants.
There is innovative LED technology that will let this bulb last roughly 5 years or for 25,000 working hours. It only uses nine-watts of energy, and this will help keep your light bill costs down when you use it. The balanced light spectrum comes designed for greens and seeds, so you can easily grow lettuce, herbs, peppers, cucumbers, and peppers right in the comfort of your own home. Also, it won’t get extremely hot if it’s on for a few hours at a time.
- Full-spectrum bulb
- No harsh lighting
- LED technology
- Lasts 5 years or 25,000 hours
- Uses nine-watts of power
- Screws into a regular socket
- Very budget-friendly
- Doesn’t offer a wide light path
5. AeroGarden Harvest Elite – Best For Growing Herbs
If you’re trying to start an herb garden, this grow light is a very nice choice to get you off to a strong start. This is a very high-performance setup that offers a LED light with 20-watts of power, and you get full-spectrum lighting that allows you to grow a huge range of vegetables and herbs. It works well for basil, mint, thyme, parsley, dill, sage, and rosemary, and they all stay nicely contained and ready to use whenever you need them when you cook.
You get a very sleek design with this grow light that can fit well into virtually any decor, and it offers an LCD control panel that makes it look like a sleek kitchen appliance. You can choose from black, white, green, or stainless steel when you buy it. This product is just 11-inches by 8-inches by 15-inches, so it makes a good desk-sized garden. You get seeds for six different herbs when you order it, and they grow in water so you can start them as soon as you get it set up. It has a very stable base that won’t tip when you fill it, and it’s easy to pick up and move.
- Sleek design
- Get herb seeds when you order
- 20-watt LED light
- Easy to move
- Nicely contained
- Solid base
- Several colors available
- Challenging to clean
6. Jump Start Grow Light System – Best For Quick Setup
You’ll get a very sturdy aluminum frame with a protective powder coating when you pick this grow light setup. It also has a nice reinforced bar at the top that will give your seedlings, greens, or small plants full coverage. The frame has very sturdy connectors that snap together without needing any additional tools, and this ensures that you can put it together out of the box without any hassles or delays to get it up and running faster. It’s a freestanding frame that you can move around as you see fit.
This grow light comes equipped with a 24-inch 6,400K, high-output, TF fluorescent lamp that offers 2,000 lumens. The light sits in a reflective, hooded fixture. It’s easy to adjust the fixture height with a pulley system and a toggle clamp, and this gives you enough lighting for plants on the second layer. There is an inline on/off switch included in the design, but it doesn’t have casters. Instead, the second tray will sit flat on the ground to provide stability to this product. You can adjust the light up or down 20 inches, and this allows you to have different-sized plants without getting them too close to the light.
- Aluminum frame
- Powder coating for durability
- Snap-together connectors
- Requires no tools to set up
- 24-inch TF fluorescent lamp
- Easy to adjust the light’s height
- Doesn’t give full horizontal light coverage
7. Aspect Luxury LED Grow Light – Best For Hanging Plants
If you have hanging plants, it can be difficult to find a grow light that will hang right along with them, but this product does it. This is a very sleek and aesthetically-pleasing hanging lamp that comes with a 15-foot fabric cord that is flexible but durable. It comes with three ceiling hooks, an LED bulb, a swag hook, and two wall fairleads to allow you to hang it without worrying about snagging the cord as you walk by. You can choose from black or white for the coloring, and it gives you a very minimalistic, sleek vibe for your space. It’s also small enough to have one for each plant.
This grow light comes in a small size with 2,000 lumens or a large size with 4,000 lumens, so you can mix and match to suit your different plants. It can last for 15 years, and it gives sufficient lighting for both big and small indoor plants. You can plug this light into any outlet, and each package comes with a basic timer function. The instructional guide is very straightforward, and it ensures you get everything set up correctly before you use it.
- Works well for hanging plants
- Two sizes available
- 15-foot fabric cord
- Swag hook included
- Sleek and minimalist design
- Black or white coloring
- Basic timer function
- Expensive for a single light
8. TORCHSTAR Herb Indoor Garden – Best For Kitchen Gardens
TorchStar offers a robust grow light if you want to grow herbs indoors all year-round. It offers a full-spectrum solar simulation for your plants, and you get an LED plant kit that gives you the correct lighting with a good container for growing your herbs. It mimics natural sunlight to illuminate your plants for up to 16 hours a day, and it’ll automatically switch off for eight hours during the night. It’s a good size to put in your desk, windowsill, mantle, kitchen counter, side table, or dresser without taking up too much space.
You get 21 high-quality LED bulbs that encourage photosynthesis with your plants, and it works well for succulents, mint, sweetgrass, and vegetables. It produces 4,000K of cool white light with 95 CRI and 900 lumens, and this also turns the grow light into a sleek decoration for your home. It’s very easy to install and put together once you get it, and it has a durable plastic body that won’t have a problem with water. You also get a UL listed power adapter to keep it safe.
- 21 LED lights
- On for 16 hours/off for 8
- Automatically turns on and off
- Smaller size with a sleek design
- 900 lumens
- Soft white light
- Very stable base
- Can’t adjust the light height
9. 3 Head Timing Grow Light – Best For Multiple Plants
You can easily manipulate the bendable goosenecks on this grow light to hover the LED light right over your rare houseplants to give them adequate lighting to thrive. There is an automatic timing function on this setup that allows you to set the lights to run for 3, 6, or 12 hours a day before switching back off. You can adjust the distance between the plants and the lights and the brightness level on each light head to create excellent growing conditions for different types of plants. You’ll get 60 efficient LED lights on this product with a 21 blue and 39 red split for coloring.
This light combination allows you to get a grow light that promotes fruit bearing, germination, blooming and photosynthesis. So, your plants can bloom for longer periods without a problem, including during the winter months. There are five dimming modes you can cycle through with three spectrum modes, and it’ll adjust to 20%, 40%, 60%, 80%, or 100% for your light intensity. You can also swap through mixed light, red, or blue lighting to support the different growth stages of your plants.
- 60 LED lights
- Five dimming modes
- Three spectrum modes
- Automatic timer
- Encourages longer blooming
- Flexible goosenecks
- Get three lights
- Clips onto surfaces to stay upright
10. Agrobrite Spiral Grow Light – Best For Localized Lighting
This grow light offers a temperature score that comes in at 6,400K, and this is on the cooler side with a soft white glow. It works well for localized lighting needs when you have seedlings that you’re trying to encourage to grow. It can also help your houseplants produce lush foliage. However, it won’t work well to increase your flower production, so save it for more foliage-based plants over flowering ones.
This grow light works well in every standard light socket, and it can last around 10,000 hours without fading. It has lower energy consumption on it too, and this means that it won’t increase your light bill when you use it. You can choose from 26 or 34-watts when you purchase it to tailor it to your needs.
- Fits in all standard light sockets
- Two wattages available
- Soft white glow
- Works for foliage-heavy plants
- Lasts up to 10,000 hours
- Low energy consumption
- Easy to swap out
- Won’t encourage flowering
LED Grow Light for Plants – Buying Considerations
There are a few things you want to consider when you start looking for a LED grow light for plants. Along with different types, each LED 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 LED 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 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 and high-pressure sodium. The metal halide ones are better for vegetative growth, and the high-pressure sodium 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 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 LED Grow Light for Plants
You want your indoor plant to get the most out of growing light when you use it because this gives you the best chance of having a successful indoor crop all year round. If you have an HID light, you want to keep it at least 12 inches away, fluorescent lights should be as close as possible without burning them up to 12 inches, and an LED grow light can be six inches or more from your plant.
You typically put your grow light above your plants to encourage photosynthesis. As they 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 LED grow lights and products 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.
These 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.
Ashley is a seasoned horticulturist with a passion for all things green. She has a Master Gardener Certificate and cultivated her expertise through over 10 years of hands-on experience in a thriving greenhouse environment. Her green thumb extends beyond work hours, as she relishes the joy of nurturing her own vibrant garden oasis. Inspired by the bountiful harvest, Ashley delights in canning the fruits of her labor and using homegrown herbs to elevate her culinary creations. Alongside her botanical endeavors, she eagerly tackles various DIY projects around the house, combining her creativity and practical skills to transform spaces into havens of beauty and functionality.