The 8 Best Grow Lights of 2022, Tested by The Spruce

Mimic the sun's rays with these top picks

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Best Grow Lights

The Spruce / Sabrina Jiang

Keeping plants alive and helping them flourish can be hard as is, but growing things indoors is even trickier. You have to give them enough water—but not too much—and make sure they have a large enough pot and quality soil. Aside from that, one of the most crucial factors of growing plants inside is light.

Positioning your plants in front of a window where they can drink up natural sunlight is ideal. But this is easier said than done. Whether your window situation is less-than-sufficient for plants or you live somewhere that only gets sunny a few months of the year, a grow light is an excellent solution.

"Even though some plants can thrive and others can tolerate low light situations, adding grow lights can help your plants, especially during winter when light levels are reduced even further," says Joyce Mast, Plant Mom at Bloomscape. "Adding supplemental lighting can help your plants grow quicker." When looking for the right grow light, consider things like size, type, and wattage.

To find the best picks for you, we put some of the more popular options on the market to the test. Over the course of 2+ weeks, our testers used these options on everything from aloe plants to yucca plants, assessing them on the basis of setup, instructions, design, effectiveness, brightness, and overall value. We combined their feedback with our own research to bring you this list.

With these insights in mind, here are the best grow lights to help your indoor plants live their best life.

Our Top Picks
With a 15-year lifetime, our tester gave this hanging light high marks for its overall effectiveness and modern, minimalist appeal.
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About the size of a reading light, our tester loved how convenient this budget pick was to transport and store.
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This panel grow light has a diverse light spectrum to effectively promote indoor plant growth any time of year.
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With a balanced spectrum of natural, warm lighting, you can grow herbs and veggies inside your home.
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This sleek desktop garden kit is perfectly compact and comes in green, black, white, or a stainless steel finish.
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It can be mounted flush to your walls or ceiling and provides the perfect combo of blue and red light.
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This LED grow kit delivers the perfect lighting and container for indoor herbs.
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Best Adjustable Spectrum:
iPower Dual Head LED Grow Light at Amazon
With three light modes, 11 dimmable settings, and flexible gooseneck arms, this grow light offers substantial adjustability.
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Best Overall: Soltech Solutions Grow Light

Grow Light
4.5

Our Ratings
  • Setup
    3/5
  • Instructions
    5/5
  • Effectiveness
    5/5
  • Design
    5/5
  • Brightness
    5/5

Size: 3.8 x 5.8 inches | Type: Hanging | Wattage: 20 watts | Return policy: Dependent upon retailer

What We Like
  • Minimalist design

  • Installation equipment included

  • Lasts 15 years

  • Available in different sizes and colors

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Installation requires about one hour

For an option that's long-lasting, aesthetically pleasing, and seriously effective, you can't go wrong with the Soltech Solutions Grow Light. "This LED grow bulb has a highly precise photosynthetic spectrum but also illuminates your space with warm white ambient light—so essentially, it doesn't look like a grow light," says Erin Marino, Editorial Lead at The Sill. "I also love that you can screw it into any traditional light fixture."

While one of the more expensive options on the list, we found this grow light to be well worth the cost. When used for an average of 16 hours/day, the light lasts 15 years—far longer than cheaper options. It has a 15-foot fabric cord and comes with an LED bulb, three ceiling hooks, two wall fairleads, and a swag hook. You can choose from two sizes—5.8 x 3.8 inches with 2,000 lumens or 7 x 4 inches with 4,000 lumens—and two colors to customize it to your space and needs.

After treating her aloe plant with the smaller, 20-watt lamp for three weeks, our tester noticed significant growth. It also added natural-looking light to her space, practically doubling as a decorative overhead light (we gave it a 5/5 for design). One thing to note, though, is that installation can prove to be difficult—we gave it a three out of five. Our tester had to solicit the help of her husband, and even then it still took an hour.

Soltech Solutions Hanging Light

The Spruce / Stephanie Vermillion

What Testers Say

"Installation was far from my favorite thing about this lamp, but looking at the light itself? That’s a different story...After several weeks admiring it, I’d honestly install one of these even without the sun-starved plant."—Stephanie Vermillion, Product Tester

Best Budget: Aceple LED 6W Desk Plant Grow Light

Aceple Grow Light
4.5

Our Ratings
  • Setup
    5/5
  • Instructions
    3/5
  • Effectiveness
    5/5
  • Design
    4/5
  • Brightness
    5/5

Size: 2 x 2 x 16 inches | Type: Lamp | Wattage: 6 watts | Return policy: 30-day window, 1 year warranty

If you're on a budget, the Aceple Desk Plant Grow Light is an excellent product that produces impressive results. This grow lamp combines two light colors: red delivers 660 nm, which is ideal for flowers and fruits, while blue provides 460 nm to support photosynthesis. With a large clip and a flexible gooseneck arm, it has the look and size of a reading light—but with all of the power your plants need.

After using it both in her house and in a greenhouse for two weeks, our tester found this light to provide more than enough light for multiple small plants. Easy to set up and small enough to fold up and store in a drawer, it's a great option for households with a few plants that require light on an as-needed basis. However, we did a few points off for design: the gooseneck arm was a bit too short, and the light is also lacking a timer. All in all, though, this is a great budget pick suitable for a variety of needs.

Aceple LED 6W Desk Plant Grow Light

The Spruce / Stacey L. Nash

What Testers Say

"With four potted African violets arranged in a circular potholder, we attached the Aceple to a towel rod and let it do its work in six-hour increments...After almost two weeks with the Aceple, one of our African violets—which hadn’t sprouted in years—started to produce a new bud."—Stacey L. Nash, Product Tester

Best Hanging: Roleadro LED Full Spectrum Grow Light

Roleadro LED Grow Light, 75W Full Spectrum Grow Lights for Indoor Plants, Plant Light with IR & UV
4.3

Our Ratings
  • Setup
    3/5
  • Instructions
    3/5
  • Effectiveness
    5/5
  • Design
    5/5
  • Brightness
    5/5

Size: 10.87 x 10.87 x 0.55 inches | Type: Hanging panel | Wattage: 75 watts | Return policy: Dependent on retailer

What We Like
  • Diverse range of light

  • Great for seedlings

  • Even light distribution

What We Don't Like
  • No timer function

  • Difficult to install

The best full-spectrum option is the Roleadro LED Grow Light. Thanks to the brand's proprietary spectrum with 460 to 465 nm, 620 to 740 nm, and a 6,000 to 6,500 K waveband, it provides indoor plants with a diverse range of light. This helps promote growth and allows even the most delicate tropical plants and flowers not only to grow but bloom year-round. You can also grow seasonal vegetables and herbs in the winter, spring, summer, or fall.

This 75-watt grow light also has an aluminum cooling plate to effectively dissipate heat, even on the highest setting. It comes with hanging brackets that you can hang just about anywhere in your home, making it a great option if you have lots of plants you want to cover.

After using this panel on various types of growing situations (including potted succulents and seed trays), our tester found this panel to be best for seedlings. It was the perfect size for a seed tray, and provided an evenly distributed amount of light—earning it a perfect 5/5 in effectiveness and brightness. However, the panel got just a 3/5 for setup and instructions. We found setting up the hanging element to be difficult, as you need to have hooks readily available.

Roleadro Grow Panel

The Spruce / Stacey L. Nash

What Testers Say

"In our test, the grow light gave our seedlings ample nourishment early on, so they didn’t outpace themselves. The light also proved to be the perfect size for a standard seed tray. It distributes light evenly, so each seedling gets an equal share of light."—Stacey L. Nash, Product Tester

Best Bulb: GE BR30 LED Grow Light Bulb

GE BR30 LED Grow Lights for Indoor Plant

Size: 4.06 x 5.94 inches | Type: Bulb | Wattage: 9 watts | Return policy: Dependent on retailer

What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Fits in most lamps

  • Soft, natural white light


What We Don't Like
  • Requires a nearby lamp

  • Burns out within a few months

You can also get special bulbs for growing indoor plants like the GE BR30. This balanced-spectrum bulb offers high-quality lighting that encourages houseplants, indoor gardens, cacti, and flowers to flourish every month of the year. Unlike some other grow lights that produce harsh lighting, it provides soft, natural illumination and warmth. Its balanced light spectrum is designed for seeds and greens, so you can grow herbs, lettuce, cucumbers, peppers, and other vegetables right in your home.

While our tester was initially underwhelmed by this option—it looks just like a regular lightbulb, and she was skeptical if it would actually do anything—she immediately found it to work great on her sun-loving yucca plant. She rated it a five out of five in all categories. It fits into any standard lamp, so you won't need to go out and purchase a new one. Plus, its innovative LED technology allows it to last for 25,000 hours (or about three years) and use only 9 watts of energy.

GE Grow Light Bulb

The Spruce / Stephanie Vermillion

What Editors Say

"I wasn't having a lot of luck growing seedlings until I got a GE BR30 bulb. Within days after I set it up, the seedlings were rapidly growing taller and sending off leaves. The light is bright enough to give the seedlings what they need, but it's not glaringly bright like a lot of grow lights are. It's like having an extra lamp in my apartment."—Jenny Hughes, Editor

Best Kit: AeroGarden Harvest Elite with Gourmet Herb Seed Pod Kit

 AeroGarden Harvest Elite - Stainless Steel

Size: 10.9 x 4.61 x 15 inches | Type: Indoor garden with built-in bulbs | Wattage: 20 watts | Return policy: Dependent on retailer plus 1-year warranty

What We Like
  • Full-spectrum illumination

  • Comes with grow pods

  • High-performance LEDs

What We Don't Like
  • Can be tricky to clean

Are you in the market for a desk garden? If so, we think you'll love the AeroGuard Harvest Elite. The high-performance 20-watt LED light provides full-spectrum rays for growing a wide range of herbs and veggies. We're talking mint, basil, parsley, thyme, rosemary, sage, and dill.

With a sleek design and an LCD control panel, it looks almost like a high-end countertop kitchen appliance. The Harvest Elite comes in light green, white, black, or a stainless steel finish. At just 11 x 4.61 x 15 inches, it's the perfect size for a tiny desk garden. The kit also includes seeds for six different herbs—and because they grow in water, you can get started right away.

After using this kit for over a month, our tester found it to be much faster and easier than growing herbs outside. She had mixed feelings about its stainless steel look, which fit seamlessly in with her kitchen but looked a bit clinical in other rooms. As a result, we docked one point for design.

Best Mounted: Feit Electric Dual Full LED Plant Grow Tube Light

Feit Electric 2 ft. 2-Light 19-Watt White Full Spectrum LED Non-Dimmable

Size: 23.33 x 4.9 x 1.73 inches | Type: Hanging or mounted | Wattage: 19 watts | Return policy: Dependent on retailer plus 3-year warranty

What We Like
  • Easy to install

  • Excellent blue/red ratio

  • Low heat emission

What We Don't Like
  • Not ideal for large plants

Looking for something you can mount? Your best bet is the Feit Electric Dual Grow Tube Light. This grow light is lightweight, durable, and easy to install. It arrives fully assembled and can be hung or mounted flush against your ceiling or walls. Designed to mimic natural sunlight and work as a replacement for traditional greenhouse bulbs, this product delivers. 

It emits 450 nm of blue light and 655 nm of red light, a combination that has very promising results for plant growth. Plus, it has a low heat emission, which prevents burnt leaves and reduces your electric costs.

Best for Herbs: TorchStar Plant LED Kit Indoor Herb Grow Light

Indoor Grow Kit

Size: 16.54 x 11.42 inches | Type: Indoor garden with built-in bulbs | Wattage: 14 watts | Return policy: 30 days plus 2-year warranty

What We Like
  • Full-spectrum illumination

  • Mimics natural sun cycle

  • Minimalist design

What We Don't Like
  • Not adjustable

The best option for herbs is from TorchStar. With full-spectrum solar simulation, the LED Plant Kit provides both the right lighting and a container for growing herbs indoors. Mimicking natural sunlight, it illuminates for 16 hours a day and then turns off for eight hours at night. This herb grow light is the perfect size to place on your windowsill, desk, kitchen counter, mantle, dresser, or side table. And it has a sleek minimalist look that won't take away from your herbs.

Best Adjustable Spectrum: iPower 10W Dual Head LED Grow Light

ipower-grow-light

Size: 4.53 x 3.15 x 13.78 inches | Type: Lamp | Wattage: 10 watts | Return policy: 30 days

What We Like
  • Flexible gooseneck arms

  • Two light heads

  • Three light modes

  • 11 dimmable settings

What We Don't Like
  • Not ideal for large plants

The iPower LED Grow Light has two flexible gooseneck arms and two light heads—but the rotatable necks aren't the only thing that's adjustable on this lamp. It has three light modes (red, blue, and a red/blue combo) and 11 dimmable settings. The smart timer allows you to set it to turn off after a certain amount of hours and then turn on at the same time the next day for a 24-hour cycle.

Like the CFGROW lamp, this grow light has a large mounting clip, which you can attach to a desk, table, shelf, or any other slim ledge. It comes with a USB cable and plugs into standard outlets. Plus, it comes in three different wattage levels, so you can pick the right one for your needs.

Final Verdict

Our top pick for grow lights is the Soltech Solutions Hanging Grow Light, which got high marks for its effectiveness and aesthetically pleasing look. If you're wanting a less expensive option, we recommend the Aceple LED Desk Plant Grow Light, which is compact and easy to set up.

Best Grow Lights

The Spruce / Nusha Ashjaee

How We Tested

Over the course of 2+ weeks, our testers used all different types of grow lights in their kitchens, bathrooms, greenhouses, and more. They assessed each option on their ease of installation, clarity of instructions, effectiveness, design, brightness, and overall value. We combined these insights with our editors' and writers' independent research to bring you this list.

What to Look for in a Grow Light

Size

When deciding what size grow light you need, think about how many plants you'll need to cover. Also, if you’re planning to move your light from place to place, you might want something lighter and portable, whereas if you know it’s going to stay put, that might not be as much of a factor. Also, consider the space where you plan to put it, and make sure there’s room for it to operate safely and not up against furniture, drapes, or other items.

Type

There are various types of grow lights to consider, from panels to ones that hang overhead or screw into a regular light fixture. The type of plants you have, the amount of existing natural light, and where your plants are located will help you narrow down your choices. Hanging lights are typically larger, while desktop lights are smaller and easy to move around. If you want a complete system, consider a full garden kit that includes the planter with a built-in light.

Wattage

Wattage isn't as important as you might expect when it comes to grow lights, but it's still a factor worth considering. The more important metric is actually PPFD, or photosynthetic photon flux density, which measures the specific light emission a lamp gives off. Because this is a bit complicated to figure out, wattage is a useful tool to determine the correct fixture for your plants. The rule of thumb is that you need 32 watts per square foot, so most indoor plants (especially herbs) will do just fine with a lower-watt light.

Roleadro

 The Spruce / Stacey L. Nash

FAQ
  • How far should grow lights be from plants?

    Though it depends on the wattage and light wavelengths, grow lights should be placed at least 2 feet away from your indoor plants to avoid overheating. That said, LEDs and fluorescent lights typically have lower heat outputs, so they can be placed a little closer.

  • How long should grow lights be on for?

    To effectively mimic the sun's natural light, a grow light should be on for eight to 16 hours a day, depending on where you live, what time of year it is, and the type of plant. If your plants receive some natural light, they generally won't need as much artificial light, whereas a plant that doesn't get any natural light may need the full 16 hours.

  • Do you have to use LED lights?

    LEDs are most often recommended for grow lights, though some fluorescent and incandescent bulbs can work. The most important thing is that the bulbs offer full-spectrum illumination and produce waves of red and blue light, which is often necessary for plants to thrive indoors.

Expert Buying Tip

"Plants 'see' light differently than us. They qualify light not by its intensity but by the required specific wavelengths in the spectrum, and a photosynthetic spectrum is key for plant growth. If you are providing the correct spectrum of light, all different types of plants should thrive from it."—Erin Marino, Editorial Lead at The Sill.

Why Trust The Spruce?

The Spruce contributor Theresa Holland has several years of experience covering gardening products. She's well-versed in indoor planting essentials, including pots, watering tools, plant food, and grow lights. To write this post, she considered products that have been tested and vetted by Spruce reviewers and chose products for their functionality, power, and features.

Article Sources
The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Darko, Eva et al. “Photosynthesis under artificial light: the shift in primary and secondary metabolism.” Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences vol. 369,1640 20130243. 3 Mar. 2014, doi:10.1098/rstb.2013.0243

  2. Naznin, Most Tahera et al. Blue Light added with Red LEDs Enhance Growth Characteristics, Pigments Content, and Antioxidant Capacity in Lettuce, Spinach, Kale, Basil, and Sweet Pepper in a Controlled Environment. Plants (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 8,4 93. 8 Apr. 2019, doi:10.3390/plants8040093

  3. Saito K, Ishigami Y, Goto E. "Evaluation of the Light Environment of a Plant Factory with Artificial Light by Using an Optical Simulation." Agronomy. 2020;10(11):1663. doi:10.3390/agronomy10111663