Recently, more and more gardeners are resorting to the use of grow lights for indoor plants. Keeping plants alive is difficult enough, but growing anything inside is considerably more difficult. You must provide them with adequate water – but not too so – as well as a large container and high-quality soil. Aside from that, light is one of the most important nuances of growing plants inside. It’s best to put your plants in front of a window, so they may get enough light. This, however, is easier said than done. A grow light is an ideal choice if your window space is insufficient for plants, or you live somewhere where the sun only shines for a few months of the year. Today we will analyze what is the best light for growing plants indoors and how to pick the right one based on the needs of the plant. But first, we advise that you familiarize yourself with the most common types of grow lights for indoor plants.
What Kind of Light to Choose to Grow Plants Indoors
Plants require full-spectrum light, which is produced by both LED and fluorescent lamps. Many plant light systems are available on the market that comprises LED or fluorescent bulbs, but an LED system has numerous features that make it the best light for plant growth. For instance, while LED bulbs are more expensive than fluorescent lights at the time of purchase, they use half the energy that fluorescent lamps do and last much longer. They also produce less heat, and unlike glass fluorescent tubes, mercury-free LED tubes do not shatter, posing fewer safety risks.
How to Pick a Grow Light
The choices don’t end when you’ve decided between fluorescent and LEDs. Today, there are many types of grow lights on sale, but these factors might help you limit your options.
When you’ll use them: Fluorescent lights are best for novices who want to use them on a small plant collection for a short period (i.e., to grow seeds). In this scenario, the light with two 40-watt T12 fluorescent bulbs would suffice. If you’re a more experienced gardener who wants to keep plants living all year, or if you’re working with a difficult crop that you want to thrive on, LEDs are the way to go.
How much space do you have: Do you have enough room for a full shelf unit with built-in grow lights, or do you only need a single bulb to put into an existing clamp light? Also, do not forget about vertical space. LED lights must be hung at least 14 inches above the plants, but fluorescent lights may be hung as low as 3 inches above the plants.
What you’re growing: Bluer lights (5,000 to 7,000 Kelvin) are best for vegetative development, whereas red lights (3,500 to 4,500 Kelvin) are best for fruiting and blooming. The former is better for green herbs and vegetables, while the latter is better for flowers. Brighter bulbs with a greater wattage number are required for plants that demand a lot of light.
Your light sensitivity: If you have photosensitivity (or simply don’t want bright lights in your home), we can advise white, full-spectrum bulbs for you.
How to Understand That the Plant Does Not Have Enough Lighting
Before understanding what type of light do plants need, it is necessary to understand whether it is needed at all. It might be difficult to discern what condition your plant is suffering from if you are new to gardening (and even if you aren’t). If your plants display any or all of the following signs, you can conclude that your indoor light is insufficient for them:
- Stems are spindly or leggy.
- The rate of new growth is slowed.
- Lower leaves wither and perish.
- Flowering is reduced or absent.
- New growth is light in color or lacks variegation; yet, for shade-loving plants like Calathea, pale color signals that it is getting too much sun.
Don’t worry if your green babies don’t get enough light – your indoor plants can still grow. Indoor grow lights will augment the natural light, allowing your plants to photosynthesize more efficiently.
Now that you have read our grow light recommendations, we invite you to learn about the best lights to grow plants, so you can find the right one for you.
Best Indoor Plant Lights
EZORKAS 9 Dimmable Levels Grow Light
This is by far one of the best grow lights for houseplants if you are looking for an inexpensive option (about $24). Bendable LEDs can be adjusted to send light where it’s required, and they’re ideal for keeping bigger houseplants happy throughout the year. This budget-friendly variant is also available in a variety of red-blue color options with adjustable brightness. It also has a smart timer, which makes it a good choice for anyone who has never used such lamps before.
LED SunLite Compact Tabletop Garden
This is what you can use to grow all of your seedlings in trays before transplanting them to the garden. Well, it might not be the best option for long-term plant maintenance, but it’s fantastic to achieve the goal in a short period. The lightweight lights can be lowered and adjusted as needed with the help of a pull chain, making them suitable for a variety of plants.
EXLENVCE 1500W LED
Speaking of the best grow lights for indoor plants, we couldn’t help mentioning this option. This EXLENVCE high-wattage device will give you a decent idea of the power of LEDs. It comes in two colors: red and blue, which are both brilliant yet energy-efficient, and is easy in maneuverability. It’s ideal for growing more sensitive plants like tomatoes.
Feit Electric Dual Full LED Tube Light
This plant light for indoor plants is preferred by many gardeners. It is portable, long-lasting, and simple to set up. It comes completely built and ready to hang or mount flat to your ceiling or walls. This device is designed to replicate natural sunshine and may be used as a replacement for typical greenhouse lights. It produces blue light at 450 nanometers and red light at 655 nanometers – a combination that promotes plant development. It also emits little heat, which prevents burnt leaves and lowers your power bill.
TorchStar Plant LED Kit
It is the finest light source for herbs. The LED Plant Kit delivers both the proper illumination and a container for growing herbs, thanks to full-spectrum sun simulation. It works for 16 hours during the day and then goes off for eight hours at night, simulating natural sunshine. This herb grows lamp is ideal for use on a desk, kitchen counter, windowsill, mantel, dresser, or side table. It also features a clean, basic design that doesn’t detract from your herbs.
iPower 10W Dual Head LED
This one comes with two flexible gooseneck arms, but the lamp’s rotating necks aren’t the only item that can be adjusted. It includes 11 dimmable settings and three light modes. For a 24-hour cycle, you can configure the smart timer to turn off after a specified number of hours. This grows light comes with a wide mounting clip that you may use to secure it to a desk, table, shelf, or another slender ledge. It plugs into normal outlets and comes with a USB cord. It also comes in different wattage levels, allowing you to pick the one that suits you best.
Growing plants at home – both decorative and seedlings – is possible only by providing suitable lighting, and special growing lamps will be your indispensable assistant. Remember that the advantages of buying products from well-known manufacturers are long warranty periods and high reliability. Trying to save money by buying models of unknown brands often leads to the impossibility of returning or replacing them, even if they fail within a year of purchase. That’s why we strongly recommend that you choose your growing lamp with due attention and care so as not to harm yourself or your green friends.
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