8 Best Grow Lights for Indoor Plants
Winter's waning sunlight doesn't mean your plants have to die or go dormant. Replace the lost sunshine with these top indoor grow lights.
Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.
Family Handyman, via retailers (3)
What Is A Grow Light?
Grow lights imitate natural sunlight for indoor plants. This artificial light triggers photosynthesis, the biochemical process that makes it possible for plants to sprout, flower and fruit.
Indoor plants are happiest when they can bask in warm, bright, natural light, rain or shine. If you want to create an all-season indoor garden for your seedlings and stalks, get yourself some grow lights.
“Choosing the right grow lamp comes down to understanding the house plants or crops you’re growing indoors,” says Leslie F. Halleck, a certified professional horticulturist and author of Gardening Under Lights.
“Are they low-light foliage plants or are you trying to produce an edible harvest? Foliage plants that can tolerate lower light levels won’t need intense supplemental light, whereas young seedlings and fruiting plants (citrus, tomatoes, peppers, etc.) need more intense light than small grow lamps can provide.”
Here are the different types of grow lights:
- Fluorescent or compact fluorescent lamp (CFL);
- Light-emitting diode (LED);
- High intensity discharge (HID);
- Full-spectrum (closest to natural sunlight);
- Broad-spectrum (mimics the sun but without the UV rays).
Provide life-giving illumination to your plants with our picks for the top grow lights.
Best Grow Light for House Plants
For most indoor gardeners who simply want to supplement natural light, the Soltech Solutions Vita Grow Light keeps your house plants happy with 20 watts of warm, white ambient LED light. We love that it’s dimmable, offers narrow- and wide-angle beams and screws into existing household fixtures. An instructive quick-start guide is included.
Best Grow Light for Vegetables
Choose the VEG channel to germinate seeds and young plants, or the BLOOM channel that gives off more red wavelengths to stimulate the flowering stage. The triple-chip design makes lights brighter and more intense. It’s also daisy chain compatible to connect up to three panels.
Best Fluorescent Grow Light
If you’re new to the indoor gardening game, get growing with the Hydrofarm Agrobrite Fluorescent System. Featuring an output of a whopping 40,0000 lumens, the powder-coated steel apparatus holds the slender 6,400 K T5 tubular bulbs.
Available in seven sizes (two to 12 tubes), the panel may be hung overhead, vertically or horizontally. The bulbs are low heat so they’re safe to use in close quarters.
Best Grow Light Bulb
If you’re looking for a standalone bulb, the Sansi grow light bulb is an excellent, full-spectrum all-arounder, available in 10, 15, 24 and 36 watts. Effective for germinating and growing plants, the Sansi gives off between 900 and 3,250 lumens of light.
It’s powered with Sansi’s patented chip on ceramic technology that reduces thermal resistance and promotes light efficiency. Go ahead and let it shine in just about any indoor garden environment.
Best Grow Light For Cacti/Succulents
Succulents love the sun — the brighter the better. When your windows don’t let in enough light, call on the Felt Electric full-spectrum LED plant grow light strip. Placed about 12 inches above your plants, the super-bright light strip emits intense daylight conditions that will help your cacti and other succulents get through the long, dark winter.
Best Grow Light For Herbs
Have fresh herbs at your fingertips, even if space is limited. The self-watering and energy-efficient Click and Grow Smart Garden 3 fits practically anywhere — on a counter, table or a dimly lit window sill. It can even go inside a cupboard!
Grow basil, chives, parsley and more. There are more than 50 pre-seeded plant pods to choose from, including chef favorites like cilantro, thyme and chili peppers.
Best Clip-On Grow Lights
If you’re looking for something that’s portable and easy to mount, consider the LED Grow Light full-spectrum clip plant growing lamp. This clip-on grow light has two flexible gooseneck arms with strong, sturdy clamps at the base to grab and hold tight to surfaces.
Point the beams (10 red and 74 white LEDs) in any direction or angle toward your houseplants, then choose one of five brightness levels. Program the timer to four, eight or 12 hours. It also has an automatic on/off so you can set it and forget it.
Best Hanging Grow Light
Choose between a 20- or 40-watt LED lamp in white or black. It comes with everything you need to hang it: a 15-foot fabric cord, an outlet timer, a pack of three ceiling hooks, a swag hook and instructions.