Just googling "grow lights" does not instill confidence in plant parents who want to care for their plants and give them the light they need without their home looking like a terrarium for a lizard. Unfortunately, most grow lights that are available just give off those vibes. Thankfully, though, there are a few hacks to make your grow lights look better.
Meet the Expert
Zachary Kostantewicz is the partnerships manager at Soltech Solutions, which makes aesthetically pleasing grow lights.
If you’re not familiar with grow lights you might not understand why you may need them. “People use grow lights to keep their favorite plants alive all year round," explains Zachary Kostantewicz of Soltech Solutions. "No matter where someone is, grow lights allow you to grow a variety of plants in your space. For most people, it’s a combination of wanting a certain plant in their space as a decor piece and needing more light to support the growth of that plant.”
You might have a plant that needs a lot of light but you want to place it away from the window. Having grow lights allows you to do that because of the way that they work. “Grow lights work by producing the vital blue and red wavelengths that plants need to sustain and grow. They enable people to do it anywhere there is a light fixture instead of taking their plants outdoors,” explains Kostantewicz.
Use Shelving to Hide Grow Light Panels
You can buy lots of grow light panels but they usually look really tacky and cheap. The best way to utilize these without feeling like you’re living in a greenhouse is by attaching them to the underside of shelves. You can create the ultimate #plantshelfie by using two to three shelves, a few plants, and some grow lights. Place your plants that are comfortable with low light on the top shelf. Plants that need something a little extra can go on the lower shelves so you can attach grow light panels on the bottom of the shelf above it.
Opt for a Single Bulb
Some of the best solutions to ugly grow lights is by opting for one bulb instead of a bar or panel. Less is often more when it comes to grow lights and you can find high quality versions that are only one bulb. This will help avoid having to attach bars to your table ledge. Instead, you can mount them from the ceiling or place them on a shelf.
Cover Cords with Macrame
This next tip goes hand in hand with the single bulbs. Sometimes these grow lights will come with really long extension cords that you may want to hide. Given that you often have to hang the grow lights from up high, hiding that cord isn’t always an option. So instead wrap the cord with macrame. It’s really easy to do a box stitch around the entire thing. Plus, macrame is having a moment and it’ll create a nice boho design aesthetic.
Select Your Favorite Lamp
If you have a lamp that you love but you don’t really use it that often, swap the bulb out for a grow light. The best lamps to do this are the ones without shades—like a desk lamp. You should be able to find a bulb that fits into your lamp, just make sure to check the wattage so you aren't stretching your lamp past its limits. Your grow light will blend in seamlessly with the rest of your decor.
Grab a Grow Light Frame
Did you know you can find grow light frames? They can be mounted on the wall and can house your favorite plants like artwork. You can buy these, but you could also get crafty and make one yourself. You’ll need some grow light bars, something you can put your plants in (a self-watering pot would be the best so you don’t overwater your plants), and then a frame. Attach the grow light to the top of the frame and then attach the frame to your pot. It’s a unique way to display your plants.
Go Scandi—Simple Is Best
The best thing to do is keep things simple, like the Scandinavians tend to do. Finding grow lights that are compact and sleek is your best bet when it comes to making grow lights look good. It will be easy to make grow lights look nice if they can easily tie into your decor. It’s going to be hard to tone down any clunky, metal grow light with purple lights. Opt for slim grow bars, or light fixtures that can blend in with your home design.
Trinklein, David. Lighting Indoor Houseplants. University of Missouri Extension. 2016.