8 Best Grow Lights for a Greenhouse

Updated: Feb. 28, 2024

Whether you're setting up a traditional greenhouse or something customized for your specific needs, grow lights may be your key to success.

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Aspect Led Growlight Ecomm Soltechsolutions.comVIA MERCHANT

Many greenhouses can benefit from supplemental lighting, especially at certain times of year. If you’re trying to grow vegetables in Minnesota in the winter, sprout delicate seedlings in the spring or control the sensitive blooms of orchids, grow lights in your greenhouse can help.

If you have an indoor greenhouse, grow tent or grow room, you need good lights. But trying to figure out the best ones for your setup can be overly confusing. We talked to Puneet Sabharawl, author, CEO and co-founder of plant subscription service Horti and Andy Russo, a year-round greenhouse expert at Bootstrap Farmer, to learn everything there is to know about grow lights. We then scoured the market for the best options for every type of grower.

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Led Strip Grow Lights Ecomm Bootstrapfarmer.com via merchant

Best Grow Lights Overall

Bootstrap Farmer LED Strip Grow Lights

For versatility in grow configurations and flexibility to expand, Bootstrap Farmer’s 48-inch LED Strip Grow Lights are a reliable choice for power and quality. They can be mounted overhead, vertically or horizontally depending on your setup, and you can daisy-chain up to seven together through a single power cord.

They give off a cool white, 6400K (blue) spectrum light, which mimics bright daylight and is especially good for the plants’ seedling stage. These also have a NanoTech T5 reflector that captures 99.9 percent of lost light. A reflective shield makes them splash and dust-resistant. Plus, they’re rated for 50,000 hours.

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Bestva 2000w Led Grow Light Ecomm Amazon.com via merchant

Best Grow Lights for No-Brainer Setup

Bestva LED Panels

Bestva’s LED panels are easy to install, put off minimal heat and are a good price for the quality. For light, they use nine bands of LEDs, which makes a comprehensive full-spectrum light for all growing stages. There are also two cultivation modes, so you can switch from “veg” to “bloom.”

A system of efficient, quiet cooling fans makes them particularly good for rooms and greenhouses otherwise too warm for growing. They come in lots of sizes and wattages.

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Hydrofarm Agrobrite Flt24 T5 Fluorescent Ecomm Amazon.com via merchant

Best T5 Fluorescent Grow Lights

Hydrofarm Agrobrite Fluorescents

Fluorescents are effective for starting seedlings and greens; they’re great for shelving with limited vertical space. Hydrofarm’s Agrobrite FLT24 fluorescents. known for reliability and quality, come with 6400K, energy-efficient, high-output tubes. This setup comes in seven sizes (two to 12-foot tubes). It can hang overhead, vertically or horizontally. It’s rated to 18,000 lumens.

“Fluorescents need to be close to the crop in order for effective illumination and to reduce the stretching of plants,” says Russo.

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Ipower 600 Watt Hps Mh Digital Dimmable Grow Light System Kits Wing Reflector Set With Timer Ecomm Amazon.com via merchant

Best Budget HID Grow Lights

iPower 600 Watt System

High-intensity discharge (HID) lights are typically for larger areas and hang higher over crops. They consume more energy and produce more heat than other types of bulbs, which can be problematic in tight and warm growing situations.

But in cooler climates, Russo says the extra heat can be beneficial, especially when coupled with circulation fans. iPower’s 600 watt system is a comprehensive kit with a timer, wing reflector set, hanger rope and 2100K and 6000K bulbs.

Note: Because of the heat, HID systems require adequate ventilation. Also, don’t touch bulbs with bare fingers; the oils may cause damage when hot.

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Yield Lab Pro Serie 1000w Hps+mh Double Ended Wing Reflector Complete Grow Light Kit Ecomm Growace.com via merchant

Best DE HID Grow Lights

Yield Lab Pro Series Grow Light Kit

Dual-ended, high-intensity discharge fixtures (DE HID) are higher energy than standard HID fixtures, so Russo says they produce even more intense light. This makes them a good choice for larger fruiting crops, but they can also be used on greens if they have more vertical space.

Yield Lab’s Pro Series 1000W HPS+MH Double Ended Wing Reflector Complete Grow Light Kit includes the bulbs, a dimmable ballast, hanging ratchet kit, timer and a 12-week grow guide.

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Ge Grow Light, Led Flood Light Bulb For Seeds And Greens Ecomm Amazon.com via merchant

Best Single Grow Light

GE PAR28 Grow Light LED

If you’re just growing a few pots of basil or some year-round flowers, a small arrangement of single lamps might be all you need. GE’s PAR28 Grow Light LED works for seeds and greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and herbs.

“At the showroom we are simply using these grow light bulbs combined with a clamp lamp,” says Sabharawl. This light uses a balanced spectrum to encourage growth but appears white to our eyes, adding a natural and aesthetically pleasing look to living areas.

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Brite Labs Led Grow Light For Indoor Plants Ecomm Amazon.com via merchant

Best Tabletop Grow Light

Brite Labs LED Grow Light

Brite Labs LED Grow Light clamps onto the corner of a table. Then you can move around its three flexible gooseneck arms to focus their light at your plants. That makes it ideal for quick setups, like moving a tray of plants indoors because of a storm.

It comes with a built-in timer and dimmer. It can switch between red lights (to trigger flowering) and blue lights (for photosynthesis). The light appears purple, so set it up somewhere where that won’t bother you.

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Aspect Led Growlight Ecomm Soltechsolutions.com via merchant

Best Designer Grow Lights

Soltech Solutions Plant Light

If fashion is as important as function and price is not a concern, then try a single grow light from Soltech Solutions or Rousseau Plant Care. They’re made to blend in with discerning interior decors.

What to Look for When Buying the Best Grow Lights

  • Type of light: The main types for residential use are LED (the most common and energy efficient) and fluorescent (great for starting seeds and greens). In large grow areas and really cold climates, high-intensity discharge (HID) lights can also be a good choice, but come with a higher electricity bill.
  • Type of crop: In general, you’ll need more intense light for vegetables than for greens and herbs. Light intensity (quantity) is measured in PAR (photosynthetic active radiation), while light spectrum is measured in Kelvin (K). It can all get pretty scientific, depending on how deep you want to dive in. “Research shows that the direction of light and length of exposure can make a substantial difference in the growth, fragrance and, when applicable, taste of plants,” says Sabharawl.
  • Configuration: This depends on how much growing space you have and whether you’ll need to light your beds overhead, horizontally or vertically. With higher intensity lights, plan for extra ventilation and space between the ceiling and your lights as well as between your lights and the plants. Depending on the fixture, you may also need 220-volt electrical service.
  • Quality: With grow lights, you get what you pay for. “As a general rule, price does indicate quality with LED grow lights,” says Russo. To further ensure you’re buying a quality product, look for UL and ETL-certified products.

Why You Should Trust Us

As a writer with a passion for the outdoors, I bring a wealth of experience to the table. My work with Family Handyman has allowed me to delve deep into the world of DIY, covering topics ranging from wildlife and green living to travel and gardening. My hands-on experience includes years spent renovating a rural Colorado home and customizing kit homes with sustainable features. I’m also a member of various well-regarded organizations, including the Outdoor Writers Association of America and the Florida Outdoor Writers Association.

For this article we spoke with Puneet Sabharawl, the CEO and co-founder of plant subscription service Horti. He currently lives in Brooklyn where he cares for more than seventy houseplants. He’s the author of Happy Plants, A Beginner’s Guide to Cultivating Healthy Plant Care Habits.

We also consulted Andy Russo, a year-round greenhouse expert at Bootstrap Farmer, which sells commercial-grade greenhouse equipment and custom greenhouses. In addition to products, the site offers reliable service and supportive resources for growers of all sizes. Russo also runs a tree nursery, Russo Tree Farm, in rural South Dakota.

How We Found the Best Grow Lights

To find the best grow lights, we started by examining a wide array of options to ensure we uncovered what gardeners need. Next, we talked to industry experts to understand what kind of light different plants crave at each growth stage. Additionally, we dug into customer reviews to see which lights shine in real gardens. We also considered factors like how much energy they use, what kind of light they give off, how long they last and if they’re a good deal. Finally, we put together a list of the best grow lights to suit gardeners of all skill levels.


What kind of light is best for a greenhouse?

The best choice depends on the specific needs of the plants you’re growing and the conditions of the greenhouse. Here are some common types of lights used in greenhouses:

  • High-pressure sodium lights: These lights are efficient and emit light in the red and orange spectrum, which is beneficial for flowers and fruit plants.
  • Fluorescent lights: These options are energy-efficient and emit light in the blue spectrum, making them suitable for seedlings, young plants and leafy greens.
  • LED grow lights: LED grow lights are energy-efficient and can be tuned to emit specific wavelengths of light, making them versatile for various stages of plant growth.
  • Full spectrum grow lights: These lights emit a balanced spectrum of light, similar to natural sunlight, and can support plant growth throughout all stages.
  • Dual-ended, high-intensity discharge fixtures: According to Russo, these produce an intense light, making them a good choice for larger fruiting crops. They can also be used on greens if they have more vertical space, he adds.

How much light do plants need in a greenhouse?

Plants in a greenhouse generally need about 12 to 16 hours of light per day for optimal growth. However, the exact amount of light depends on the type of plants and their growth stage. Seedlings and young plants typically require more light, while mature plants may need slightly less. It’s also important to consider the intensity of light, as some plants may require higher light levels than others.