The 9 Best Grow Lights of 2020
Mimic the sun’s rays with these top picks
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Keeping plants alive and helping them flourish can be hard as is, but growing things indoors is even more tricky. You have to give them enough—but not too much—water and make sure they have enough soil and a large enough pot. Aside from that, one of the most crucial factors of growing plants inside is light.
Positioning your plants in front of a window where they can drink up natural sunlight is ideal. But as you probably know, this is easier said than done. Whether your window situation is less-than-sufficient for plants or you live somewhere that only gets sunny a few months of the year, a grow light is an excellent solution.
Want to flex your green thumb inside? Here are the best grow lights to help your indoor plants live their best life:
Best Overall: Roleadro LED Full Spectrum Grow Light
The best overall option is the Roleadro LED Grow Light. Thanks to the brand’s proprietary spectrum with 460 to 465 nm, 620 to 740 nm, and a 6,000 to 6,500 K waveband, it provides indoor plants with a diverse range of light. This helps promote growth and allows even the most delicate, tropical plants and flowers to not only grow but bloom year-round. You can also grow seasonal vegetables and herbs in the winter, spring, summer, or fall.
This 75-watt grow light also has an aluminum cooling plate to effectively dissipate heat, even on the highest setting. It comes with hanging brackets and is easy to set up. You can put it together in about a minute and hang it from almost anywhere in your home.
Best Bulb: GE Lighting BR30 LED Grow Light for Indoor Plants
You can also get special bulbs for growing indoor plants, like the GE BR30. This full-spectrum bulb offers high-quality lighting that encourages houseplants, indoor gardens, cacti, and flowers to flourish every month of the year. Unlike some other grow lights that produce harsh lighting, it provides soft, natural illumination and warmth.
The GE BR30 features innovative LED technology, which allows it to last for 25,000 hours (or about five years) and use only 9 watts of energy. With a balanced light spectrum designed for seeds and greens, you can grow herbs, lettuce, cucumbers, peppers, and other vegetables right in your home.
Best LED Bulb: Haus Bright LED Grow Light Bulb Original
The best LED bulb for indoor plants is the original Haus Bright LED Grow Light Bulb. Compared to others in its category, this bulb is notably bright with full-spectrum power.
Though it’s a little more expensive than the GE option, it produces 1,200 lumens of brightness and 140 micromoles per second while only using 20 watts of energy. This LED bulb provides adequate, nourishing lighting for houseplants, bamboo, cactuses, succulents, flowers, tomatoes, vegetables, and seed starts, no matter how cold or dark it is outside.
Best Mounted: Feit Electric Dual Full LED Plant Grow Tube Light
Looking for something you can mount? Your best bet is the Feit Electric Dual Grow Tube Light. This grow light is lightweight, durable, and easy to install. It arrives fully assembled and can be hung or mounted flush against your ceiling or walls. Designed to mimic natural sunlight and work as a replacement for traditional greenhouse bulbs, this product delivers.
It emits 450 nm of blue light and 655 nm of red light, the perfect combo for indoor gardening. The blue encourages the growth of tall, leafy plants and vegetables, and the red promotes budding, fruiting, and flowering. Plus, it has a low heat emission, which prevents burnt leaves and reduces your electric costs.
Best Hanging: Soltech Solutions Grow Light
The Soltech Solutions Grow Light is an aesthetically pleasing hanging lamp. It has a 15-foot fabric cord and comes with an LED bulb, three ceiling hooks, two wall fairleads, and a swag hook. Choose from either white or black, both of which offer a chic, minimalist vibe.
You can get this grow light in size small (5.8 x 3.8 inches with 2,000 lumens) or large (7 x 4 inches with 4,000 lumens). The lamp provides sufficient lighting for houseplants of all sizes and varieties, and it lasts for 15 years.
Best Desktop: TorchStar LED Indoor Garden Kit Plant Grow Light
If you’re looking for something for your desktop, check out the Indoor Garden Kit from TorchStar. It’s just under 20 inches tall and comes with a 7.3-inch glass hydroponic pot, which you’ll fill with water instead of soil. The bulb emits an ideal combo of blue and red lights to nourish orchids, tropical flowers, water lilies, tomatoes, indoor plants, seedlings, herbs, and mushrooms.
This lamp has two settings: plant mode and lamp mode. When set to plant mode, it helps your indoor flora absorb nutrients and grow, while lamp mode gives you the option to just use it as a desktop light.
Best for Herbs: TorchStar Plant LED Kit Indoor Herb Grow Light
The best option for herbs is also from TorchStar. With full-spectrum solar simulation, the LED Plant Kit provides both the right lighting and a container for growing herbs indoors. Mimicking natural sunlight, it illuminates for 16 hours a day and then turns off for 8 hours at night.
This herb grow light measures 19.9 x 2.2 x 14 inches. It’s the perfect size to place on your windowsill, desk, kitchen counter, mantle, dresser, or side table.
Best Adjustable Spectrum: iPower 10W Dual Head LED Grow Light
The iPower LED Grow Light has two flexible gooseneck arms and two light heads. But the rotatable necks aren’t the only thing that’s adjustable on this lamp. It has three light modes (red, blue, and a red/blue combo) and 11 dimmable settings. The smart timer allows you to set it to turn off after a certain amount of hours, and then turn on at the same time the next day for a 24-hour cycle.
Like the CFGROW lamp, this grow light has a large mounting clip, which you can attach to a desk, table, shelf, or any other slim ledge. It comes with a USB cable and plugs into standard outlets.
Best Desk Garden: AeroGarden Harvest Elite with Gourmet Herb Seed Pod Kit
Are you in the market for a desk garden? If so, we think you’ll love the AeroGuard Harvest Elite. The high-performance 20-watt LED light provides full-spectrum rays for growing a wide range of herbs and veggies. We’re talking mint, basil, parsley, thyme, rosemary, sage, and dill.
With a sleek design and an LCD control panel, it looks almost like a high-end countertop kitchen appliance. The Harvest Elite comes in light green, white, black, or a stainless steel finish. At just 11 x 8 x 15 inches, it’s the perfect size for a tiny desk garden. The kit also includes seeds for six different herbs—and since they grow in water, you can get started right away.
Our top pick for grow lights is the Roleadro LED Grow Light (view at Amazon) due to its unmatched waveband emission. If you want a complete indoor garden kit, opt for the AeroGarden Harvest Elite (view at Best Buy), which comes with a starter pack of seeds.
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.
The best grow lights will support your indoor garden to achieve maximum growth. We researched the top options for making your garden light up.
The 15 Best Grow Lights for Your Plants
Because sometimes a windowsill just won’t cut it.
Maybe your house isn’t an ideal environment for growing plants. It’s dark, it’s drafty, and what if you want to start seeds, which require some coddling? Forget about it. That’s where grow lights come in. Grow lights can be used for houseplants that need bright light, which is not always available in every home (or in any home during the dark days of winter). And they can provide the proper light for starting plants from seed. Growing plants from seed lets you choose heirloom or unusual varieties you won’t find at local nurseries or big box retailers.
Without sufficient light, your houseplants will struggle and generally look unhealthy. And if you have planted seeds, seedlings need strong light once the first leaves emerge; otherwise, they get spindly and flop over. If you live in a more northern climate, the amount of light from windows may not be enough to allow your little plants to grow well on a windowsill, especially on cloudy days. Windowsills also get too chilly at night for many plants.
There are tons of choices when it comes to grow lights, but standard fixtures with two cool white fluorescent tubes are an inexpensive option. A combination of cool white and natural daylight fluorescent tubes also works. LEDs, which use less energy, are another choice. Buy a shelving kit that’s pre-fitted with either kind of lights, or hang lights on a chain and suspend them over your plants on a regular bookshelf. Stand-alone fixtures also are available. For starting seeds, seedlings need 12 to 16 hours a day of light, so set a timer because plants also need periods of darkness to develop.
Fitted with its own LED light, this is convenient and easy to use, giving your baby seedlings everything they need to sprout and thrive.
This compact stand with built-in LED light and timer is a handsome addition to any room where you need a little greenery.
This cute little LED set is perfect for an indoor mini herb garden (and the white curves of the structure are pretty chic!).
This fixture comes in 24 or 48-inch lengths to attach to any shelving unit or bookcase you already have.
Have a plant that’s a real diva? This LED grow light is designed for just one plant, so you can give your baby all the TLC it needs.
This budget-friendly LED lamp allows you to direct light where you need it and clips to the edge of a table or shelf.
A three-light set features adjustable brightness levels and a timer, which gives you more control over how much light you’re supplying plants.
This LED grow light kit grows herbs hydroponically (in water). No soil needed!
And adjustable rack with fluorescent light works well for seed-starting. Move it up as plants germinate and grow.
Grow herbs indoors with this compact LED grow light kit. Plus, the sleek stainless container actually looks good sitting on your counter!
Suspend this LED grow light over your indoor plants or seedlings if you have a more serious greenhouse.
Use your own fixture with this LED grow lightbulb.
This self-contained LED grow light either can be hung or tilted on its stand.
An adjustable-height floor lamp makes it easy to direct light where you need it for larger plants.
An LED grow light with three heads can be directed towards large houseplants or exactly where you need the most light.
Without sufficient light, your houseplants will struggle and generally look unhealthy. That’s where grow lights come in.