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Growing plants and flowers is tricky enough outdoors. Maintaining the right amount of water and nutrients while protecting a garden from the elements is a balancing act. Many people turn to indoor gardens to avoid the challenging growing conditions of the winter or harsh environments. This route, however, brings its own set of challenges.
First and foremost, you are going to need some light. Grow lights provide the same energy to indoor plants that the sun brings to the outdoors. Without them, photosynthesis would be impossible and the plants would die.
Here, the best grow lights to consider for your indoor garden.
Cultivate healthy plants year-round with a full spectrum grow light, like our top overall pick—the Roleadro LED 75W Grow Light. Position this grow light above or next to plants at any stage of growth, including seeding, vegetative, or flowering, for a boost of full-spectrum lighting.
This grow light earns high praise for its low heat output, thanks to the aluminum housing that stays relatively cool to the touch. This also means that it’s safe for growing plants to be close to. Some users report excellent results even when plants are within 1 to 2 inches of the LED panel.
Related to the LED panel, customers find the 117 red bulbs and 52 blue bulbs to create balanced lighting that is evenly diffused over the plants. The manufacturer reports that these lights have a PAR of 94 at 24 inches and 205 at 12 inches, making this full spectrum grow light a solid contender when it comes to generating the type of light that plants need for photosynthesis.
While people have used this top overall grow light to grow everything from microgreens and herbs to flowers and fruit-bearing plants, a few people point out that a single panel is better suited to smaller green vegetation only. If you have larger flowering or fruit-bearing plants in your greenhouse or indoor garden, you may need to use more than one panel to support maximum growth and yield.
For an affordable grow light that offers plenty of adjustabilities, the CF Grow Desk LED light is a good choice for less than $15. This small grow light still covers the light spectrum with a central white LED light source complemented by two blue LED lights and two red LED lights. It makes a good choice for apartment gardening or if your plants need just a little additional light.
What you’ll appreciate about this budget grow light is its flexibility—the adjustable neck of the light allows you to position it closer to plants and adjust it as they grow. It’s also easy to attach onto a single pot with the built-in clip. Due to its smaller size, users do find that this grow light is best suited for supporting a single plant or smaller plants sharing a pot. It also makes a good option if you need a supplemental grow light to help your plants continue to thrive.
The housing of this light may get warm with continuous use, so be careful when adjusting it if it has been on for an extended period. However, it boasts noiseless operation (there's no fan) which is a huge plus for some buyers. All in all, people appreciate that this grow light is lightweight, flexible, and ultra-affordable.
For another budget-friendly grow light with great reviews, we recommend the Aceple LED Grow Light. The Aceple Desk Lamp will provide enough heat for a small plant to grow anywhere in the home. This lamp utilizes a single bulb with six individual red and blue pieces. Combined, the lighting elements will provide the most common spectrum of light plants naturally get from direct sunlight. The LED bulb maximizes the life of the lamp to around 25,000 hours and can be replaced easily when it dies out. The body of the lamp uses a single metal fixture with a clamp on the end to hang the light from ledges, shelves, or other surfaces.
If you’re looking for a hanging grow light, consider the Feit Electric LED Light Fixture. This is a full spectrum LED light that offers a more natural daylight hue, instead of the purple or red-hued light of some grow lights.
This light fixture is easy to hang according to users, and it’s especially popular because of its versatile design. You can either hang this grow light using the included eye-hooks and cables or flush mount it to a plant stand if necessary.
While this hanging LED grow light may look similar to a fluorescent grow light with its long tubular design, you’ll appreciate the extended life span and the fact that this light doesn’t make any humming or buzzing noises when in operation. Bonus: it’s also linkable, meaning you can connect up to eight units to one power supply for expanded grow light coverage. If you have a large indoor garden, use more than one of these hanging grow lights to provide additional light to your plants.
You can buy a pricier LED grow light, but if you just need a screw-in LED grow bulb, this is an affordable full-spectrum option. The Easy Bright 100W LED Grow Light bulb is energy efficient and compatible with any fixture that has an E27 screw base.
This LED grow light works well for energizing plants that receive little to no natural light, thanks to more than 150 LED light diodes. It’s especially popular in northern climates during winter when daylight is minimized. Users have had great success using this LED grow lightbulb for houseplants, flowering plants, and more. LED grow lights have been gaining in popularity over fluorescent grow lights for their longer lifespan and quiet operation.
For larger plants, people recommend using several of these LED bulbs together to distribute plenty of light from various angles. Satisfied indoor gardeners report that their plants have begun to turn toward this grow light as if they’re listening to a speaker. You can expect to pay around $25 for this type of grow bulb, but you’ll get full-spectrum light without hiking your electric bill.
The GE Grow Light LED bulb is a smart buy for a balanced spectrum grow light. This budget-friendly and plant-pleasing grow lightbulb costs less than $15 and delivers a balanced ratio of blue to red waves of light that support both vegetation and flowering plants.
One thing you’ll notice right away with a balanced spectrum grow light, like this bulb from GE, is the fact that the light gives a natural daylight glow that is easier to incorporate in your home than a typical red or purple-hued grow light. The GE Grow Light LED bulb delivers up to 16 micromoles per second, which is a measure of how much light your plants will be able to utilize for growing and photosynthesis. Larger fixtures are rated for increased micromoles, but this bulb is still sufficient for both high and low light plants.
For an all-in-one grow light garden, consider this simple and sturdy Low Bamboo LED Grow Light Garden. This grow light garden makes it easy to get started with seeding your favorite plants or cultivating an indoor flower garden.
Constructed of bamboo, this grow light garden is stackable—making it easy to add more levels as your gardening hobby grows along with your plants! The set-up includes two T5 LED lamps. The 12 inches of clearance between the growing tray and lights allows ample room for small to medium-sized plants to flourish. Users appreciate the fact that these high-output LED lights don’t require adjustment as the plants grow.
There’s a lot of praise for the quality, look, and construction of this plant stand, but it really shines as a complete grow light set-up. According to hands-on reviews, this grow light garden yields faster-growing plants with brighter vegetation and blooms. It’s a great one-stop option for anyone who wants to begin indoor gardening with grow lights.
If you’re searching for a versatile grow light with an adjustable spectrum, the Phlizon Plant Grow Light is a popular LED option.
This energy-efficient grow light includes a range of light waves, including red, blue, infrared, white, and UV spectrums. A unique feature is a switch that lets you optimize the grow light for either germinating or flowering plants. The veg option activates the blue and white LED lights only, while the bloom option activates red and white LEDs. You can also select both switches to provide the broadest spectrum of light available.
Like other LED grow lights, users report little to no heat output from this LED grow light, making it easy to handle and adjust. This adjustable spectrum grow light is pricier than other grow lights on the market, but its versatility is important to growers who want to optimize lighting with a single device.
If you want to always have fresh herbs on hand, grow them right in your kitchen with help from the Spigo Indoor LED Grow Light. This compact grow light offers the perfect lighting conditions to grow herbs quickly and easily. It also includes a self-watering function that reviewers find useful.
While users positively comment on the favorable growing conditions of this grow light for herbs, keep in mind that it does emit a very bright light. Some people said the brightness of the light combined with its long cycles interfered with sleep. It’s suggested that you cover the grow light or keep it out of sleeping areas to avoid interrupted sleep as your herbs grow.
If you’re looking for a convenient solution that won’t take up much space, this clip-on light is a great option. Despite its small size, this light packs in a lot of the same features as larger (and pricier) models. It includes lots of LED lights, which promote photosynthesis, germination, flowering, and fruit bearing.
The flexible light pole allows you to adjust the direction and placement of the light without having to unclip it from the side of the table (it can attach to a table up to 2 inches thick). Position the light closer to your plant during photosynthesis, and further away once it starts to bloom. Note that this light doesn't have a timer, so it's up to you to make sure you're giving your plants enough light without burning them.
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 may want something lighter and portable, whereas if you know it’s going to stay put, that may 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 than 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.
Ease of use From installation to keeping them operating properly, some grow lights require more effort than others. Also consider how much noise a grow light makes, particularly if it’s going to be placed in a busy area.