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Best Growlights For Indoor Plants

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Indoor plants need two things to live – water and light.

  • Water is a no-brainer for the most part; it’s simply about regularity and realizing when the soil is dry.
  • Lighting on the other hand, can be trickier. Most people seem to think that a ledge by a window will be enough to keep their plants healthy and happy, but oftentimes, that’s just not enough.

You might have noticed that your plants are suffering in the dark and have realized that you need to provide them with some additional lighting. Perhaps you’ve heard of grow lights before, but with so many different options on the market, it can be confusing to find the right fit for you and your plant parenting needs.

So where do you start if you want to be informed about your options without all of the fancy, scientific terminology?  This article is a great place to learn about the best growlights for indoor plants available to you so that you can get your plants the lighting they need.

First Things First – Why do Plants Need Light?

Light provides plants the energy they need to live and grow. Their leaves and petals act as solar panels that absorb the specific wavelengths from the sun necessary to fuel a plant’s life. This is why normal lights won’t grow plants efficiently, and why grow lights exist. Grow lights mimic the sun’s photosynthetic spectrum and essentially provide your plant with synthetic sunlight.

Best Growlights For Indoor Plants

Leaves in sunlight by Han Lahandoe

If you don’t get enough natural sunlight throughout your home to place the plants you want where you want, you’re probably in the market for a grow light! There are many various types to choose from when it comes to size, visual design, and functionality.

Popular grow light choices include:

We’ll explain each type, as well as all the pros and cons of each below!

What Kind of Indoor Grow Light Options Are Best for Plants?:

 

Fluorescent grow lights

Fluorescent lights are popular for small plants and starting seedlings. They are fairly cheap but don’t usually last very long. These bulbs typically have a short lifespan.  Fluorescents are most effective for growing leafy greens or plants in their vegetative stages, but they are not ideal for encouraging flowers and fruit in flowering plants and heavy-fruiting crops.

Pros

  • Medium initial cost

Cons

  • High power consumption
  • Requires a ballast or lamp
  • Ballast is often an eyesore

Best Growlights For Indoor Plants

Photo of fluorescent lights by Adam Kring

HID, Metal Halide and HPS

High-intensity discharge lights (HID) such as Metal-Halide (MH) and High-Pressure Sodium (HPS) lights are bulbs commonly used in large commercial grow operations. These bulbs consume the most electricity and produce the highest amounts of light and heat. Typically, this results in expensive electricity bills for the entire life of each light.  HIDs are typically used if you intend to grow large groups of plants indoors in a space such as heavy-flowering flowering and fruiting plants.

Pros

  • Medium initial cost
  • High output strength
  • High crop yield

Cons

  • High power consumption
  • Produces high amount of heat
  • Eyesore

Red/Blue LEDs

Light-Emitting Diode (LED) lights have recently taken command of the grow light industry because they’re able to precisely emit the ideal photosynthetic spectrum for plants while using little electricity.  While they are the most efficient type of grow light, many utilize bright and obnoxious red and blue lights to reach that level of efficiency. This may be ideal for plant growth, but is often an unflattering eyesore in the home.

Pros

  • High output strength
  • High crop yield

Cons

  • High initial cost
  • High power consumption
  • Blue/Red light is an eyesore

White/ Full-Spectrum LEDs

The search for grow lights that elegantly complement the home instead of bathe it in intensely red and blue hues has inspired the recent development and discovery of white, full-spectrum LED grow lights.  While they are not ideal for a larger crop-like growing operation, they allow you to efficiently grow any plant without sacrificing interior design aesthetics. With LED lights such as the Aspect pendant light or the Vita grow bulb, you can grow anything from lavender to a lemon tree whilst yielding ambient lighting. This type of grow light is ideal for growers who love their homes just as much as they love their plants. We recommend LED lights as one of the best growlights for indoor plants.

Pros

  • Low power consumption
  • Medium crop yield
  • Museum-quality lighting
  • User-friendly
  • Long lifespan

Cons

  • High initial cost

Best Growlights For Indoor Plants

The 40w White Aspect pendant grow light. Photo via Instagram by @goldalamode

Tips and additional resources we recommend for choosing an indoor grow light:

Best Growlights For Indoor Plants

Maria Failla of Bloom and Grow Radio, via bloomandgrowradio.com

  • The book, Gardening Under Lights: The Complete Guide for Indoor Growers by Leslie Halleck is a fantastic resource for anyone interested in learning the mechanics behind photosynthesis. It even includes a section on tools and gear recommendations! Great recommendations for best lights for growing plants indoors!

Best Growlights For Indoor Plants

Gardening Under Lights: The Complete Guide for Indoor Growers by Leslie Halleck

To learn more about the ins-and-outs of plant lighting and their effects on your plants and their environment, or if you have questions about the best growlights for indoor plants, feel free to contact us at Soltech Solutions here. We also provide consultation services for large projects that require lighting expertise.

 

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