An Affordable Sun Fix for Plants: GE Grow Light Bulb

A simple lightbulb that offers so much more

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5

GE BR30 LED Grow Light Bulb

GE BR30 Grow Light

The Spruce / Stephanie Vermillion

What We Like
  • Budget-friendly

  • Fits in most lamps

  • Soft, natural white light

  • Compact enough to fit in tight areas

  • Simple setup

What We Don't Like
  • Burn out within a few months

  • Purchase lamp separately

Bottom Line

If your house plants need more light and you’re not ready to invest or install clunky pseudo-sun contraptions, the straightforward and inexpensive GE Grow Light LED 9W Balanced Light Spectrum BR30 Light Bulb is the grow light for you.

5

GE BR30 LED Grow Light Bulb

GE BR30 Grow Light

The Spruce / Stephanie Vermillion

We purchased the GE Grow Light LED 9W Balanced Light Spectrum BR30 Light Bulb so our reviewer could put it to the test in her home. Keep reading for our full product review.

Living in Cleveland, Ohio, comes with many perks and a few pitfalls—probably the worst of them being lack of sunlight. Winters get drearier here than most places in the country, which means plant lovers like myself have our work cut out for us when it comes to keeping those house plants alive. My sunbathers, like my half-dozen aloe plants, occupy most of the direct-sun windows. But they’re not the only plants that need sun—and sadly, I don’t have enough window space for all of them to share.

That’s why the GE Grow Light LED 9W Balanced Light Spectrum BR30 Light Bulb piqued my interest. This handy plant light looks like an ordinary light bulb. In fact, I was pretty confused when first unboxing it because I figured it had to come with something more than just, well, a bulb. But that’s it, and I love it that way. This simple bulb is highly affordable, at about $10 to $15 per bulb. Since it fits in most ordinary lamps, so I could use an old desk lamp from my college days to shine it on my sun-seeking house plants.

GE BR30 LED Grow Light

The Spruce / Stephanie Vermillion

But after a week with this bulb-and-lamp duo, I realized my house plants weren’t the only ones who took to it. I love the light’s clean, natural white light. It’s a pretty little spotlight that puts my plants on display!

Beyond the aesthetics of it, I can’t get over the price tag. At around $15, I can justify getting a handful and buying affordable desk lamps to place in nooks and crannies of my house where house plants may need a little aid for growth.

Most importantly, let’s talk about results. I have this grow light helping my yucca plant—a sun lover. The plant gets a good amount of sun, but it’s not as direct as I think it’d like (because yes, I like to get into the mind of my plants). That’s why I gave it a little boost with the GE Grow Light BR30 bulb, and it seems to be taking off! Of course, growth is slow, especially with the dry heat—hence the need for a humidifier—but comparing photos from day one with the yucca to now, I can definitely see improvement. I attribute a lot of that to this lamp because I’ve noticed it even more in the three weeks I used it.

The main downsides I found were longevity—I read reviews that say this light bulb dies within a month or two, but after three weeks of straight, 12 hours per day use, it’s still going strong—and the other is equipment. While I was lucky to have my desk lamp from college, I’ll have to buy another lamp if I want to use a second light bulb. That said, this is why it’s so affordable. Plus, I’m sure I can find some great desk lamp options if I look for them.

It’s a pretty little spotlight that puts my plants on display!

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of light is this?

The GE Grow Light LED 9W Balanced Light Spectrum BR30 Light Bulb is a BR30 bulb with an E26 base that produces 9 watts of energy and has a 120 voltage. It fits in most ordinary lamps and sockets, as long as the lamp itself is wide enough (since the bulb is pretty wide), but always check the lamp specifications first.  

GE BR30

The Spruce / Stephanie Vermillion

How long does the light last?

My light is going on three weeks strong at 12 hours per day shining, and GE says it has 25,000 hours rated life.

I love the light’s clean, natural-white light.

What color is the light?

The LED produces a nice, soft white light that almost has the tiniest purple tinge—which makes sense since many grow lights are purple.

How does it work?

The GE Grow Light LED 9W Balanced Light Spectrum BR30 Light Bulb has 16 micromoles per second, a measurement for photosynthesis photon flux (the photosynthetically active photons emitted by a lighting system per second). GE says these lights offer the highest number of micromoles available in this kind of bulb—hence the effectiveness.

GE BR30 LED Grow Light

The Spruce / Stephanie Vermillion

How should the light be situated?

Overhead is the best, most natural way for the lights to be situated; it mimics sunshine. That said. I have mine slightly above but more to the side—I had to work with what was available to me—and it seems to work just fine.

GE Grow Light BR30 vs. GE Grow Light PAR38

The GE BR30 is a great grow light for beginner plant lovers—yours truly—and for plants that don’t need as much TLC. But for more sensitive plants, such as fruits or flowers, you’re better off with GE's Grow Light LED 30W Advanced Red Light Spectrum PAR38 Light Bulb. These bulbs are slightly more expensive than the BR30s, at around $29 to $48 per bulb. But, they have a variety of additional features, including a red light spectrum for everything from tomatoes and cucumbers to fruit trees and flowers. Plus, these bulbs are much stronger, with 50 micromoles per second and 30 watts.

Final Verdict

Treat your plants!

If your plants need an extra dose of sunshine, there’s perhaps no easier or more affordable way to bring it to them than the GE Grow Light LED 9W Balanced Light Spectrum BR30 Light Bulb. This is definitely a new staple around my house!

Specs

  • Product Name BR30 LED Grow Light Bulb
  • Product Brand GE
  • Price $15
  • Weight 1 lbs.
  • Wattage 9W
  • Warranty Limited Warranty