I’ve had a lot of luck with low light house plants, but what if I could grow succulents like string of pearls, or flowering plants like violets or hibiscus indoors? A key ingredient to that experiment will likely be supplemental light from grow lights for indoor plants.
There are several factors to consider when choosing a grow light such as what kind of light you want with what kind of bulb. Also do you want bulb to encourage growth or flowering? Or do you want to cover both with a full-spectrum bulb?
Grow lights for indoor plants: fixture, lamp or bulb
Grow lights come in many shapes and sizes. You can purchase large hanging fixtures for starting seeds in the spring. Or if you have a smaller space, a table lamp version may be the right choice for you. Maybe you already have a fixture and want a replacement grow bulbs.
Type of grow light bulbs
There are several types of grow light bulbs available as part of fixtures, lamps or for use in existing lamps:
- Incandescent: Inexpensive, but put off a good deal of heat. You have to be careful to place these at the right distance from your plants to avoid scorching the leaves
- Fluorescent: Also inexpensive and put off less heat than incandescent bulbs
- High Intensity Discharge (HID): There are two different types MH and HPS which should be used together to promote growth and flowering. These lights tend to be expensive to buy and operate.
- LED: Slightly more expensive than fluorescent and incandescent bulbs. For the same cost and efficiency reasons you may replace your regular bulbs with LED bulbs you can choose these for growth.
Best LED grow lights for indoor plants
Domserv Triple Head LED grow Lamp
This stand-alone LED grow lamp has a lot of useful features. This lamp would be ideal for summer plants you bring indoors for the winter. I like to have a hibiscus on the porch in the summer and instead of buying a new one every year, I could bring it in and winter it indoors. The three arms of this lamp operate separately. The full-spectrum bulb has a timer for ease of use. You could clamp the clip on base to a table or shelf without taking up very much surface area. With three arms, this will produce enough light for a generous area.
Lovebay Dual Head Gooseneck LED grow lamp
This clamp-on LED grow light is similar to the triple-armed lamp and shares many features. The lamp also has full-spectrum bulbs. Operate ach arm of this dual-head LED Grow lamp separately manually or by a built in one-way timer (the timer turns the lamp OFF only). The timer can be set for 3, 6, or 12 hours. The light is also 5 brightness levels to help control heat and how much power you use.
CF Grow Goose neck desk LED grow lamp
This is, you guessed it, a single-arm version of the clip on grow lamp. I like the idea of using this in an office or side table where you know a plant just isn’t getting strong enough or long enough exposure to light. I would use this on a single succulent, for instance, in winter months. This simple of a grow lamp has a full spectrum bulb and can double as desk lamp. The bulb casts a natural light hue so it can serve both purposes. The base is a clamp on model as well. At this price point, you could purchase a separate timer to control the power to the lamp.
GE LED grow bulb
A simple set up for a grow light is to replace a bulb in an existing lamp. This GE LED full-spectrum bulb produces a natural white (in appearance) light. This bulb is suitable for most plants and the full spectrum light should encourage both growth and flowering. Some people dislike the purple/reddish glow of other grow lights and prefer this type of bulb in a visible area of their home. Since it is a replacement bulb you could set up a separate timer on your fixture to control how much light your plant gets.
MIYA 50W LED Grow bulb
This grow light bulb produces a colored light, so keep that in mind if you’ll be using it in a very visible part of your home. The full spectrum bulb is powerful but has a system built in for dissipating any heat produced by the bulb. I’d use this to over winter outdoor plants such as herbs, or for succulents. I would purchase an inexpensive clamp on goose neck lamp to light about a 12×12 area with this single bulb.