Tips & Tricks

The Best Grow Lights for Indoor Plants

Winter is here. We’ve replaced our bronze tans with thick sweaters, and our evening cookouts with hot cocoa by the fire. But just because the world has gotten darker, and our days shorter, doesn’t mean your indoor plants have to die. 

Lights aren’t just for your Christmas tree. Grow lamps are used as a substitute for natural sunlight, which all plants and herbs need to grow to their most vibrant and healthy potential. 

How Much Light Do Plants Need?

Different plants need different levels of light. Plants that grow naturally in the heat of the desert, like cacti, tend to need high levels of light. Meanwhile, plants that grow naturally in dimmer environments (such as Calathea majestica, which grows in the Amazon rainforest) will need less light. 

Most plants will be categorized into needing low, medium, or high light. But, a lack of sunlight will have negative effects on nearly every type of plant. Insufficient light means your plant will stop producing chlorophyll, so you’ll see those vivid green colors fade to pale yellows and whites. They may also stop producing flower buds.

We know that humans can get depressed due to a lack of light. Does this happen to plants too? Hmmm. We may never know. But probably.

Types of Grow Lights

If you’re an indoor plant grower, you probably already know about grow lights. If you’re a stoner, you probably do too. 

Unlike normal lights, grow lights often provide full-spectrum lighting, which imitates the rays from the sun. This allows plants to absorb as much of that full spectrum light as possible, empowering the process of photosynthesis

There are many different types of grow lights, each with different benefits. Incandescent (traditional) bulbs are often the cheapest, but their lack of energy efficiency, as well as their heat output, make them a poor choice for plant growth

Instead, we recommend either LED lights or Fluorescent bulbs. And different types of these lights are perfect for different plant owners. You have to find the perfect light for you to best imitate natural light!

Permanent Grow Lights

A permanent grow light is ideal for someone who treats their indoor garden as a part of their household. A permanent light, such as compact fluorescent lights, will also blend into your space better than other grow lights, so the plants get the light they need for optimal foliage without hassle or obstruction.

We recommend the Hardwired Aspect Grow Light. It’s stylish, powerful, and fixes right into the ceiling.

Hanging Grow Lights

Hanging grow lights are the ideal type of light if you have quite a few plants or large plants. You can focus them on one corner of a room, or hang them in a centrally located position to hit everything at once. The Aspect LED Grow Light is exemplary because you can set it to a timer, and give your Hawaiian Dwarf Umbrella Tree the exact amount of light it needs to thrive.

Clip-On Grow Lights

Clip-on grow lights with full spectrum bulbs are excellent for a single plant. They’re also ideal if you only want to use them for a few hours a day, and then conveniently and easily store them. They won’t look like a natural part of your setup, but they’re not supposed to.

Grow Light Bulbs 

Grow light bulbs are useful because of their versatility. Just plug them into any light fixture and voilá - you have a grow light for your seedlings! We love the Vita Grow Light Bulb. It lasts for 30,000 hours so ten years later, you may have totally forgotten buying it in the first place. 

It’s Time To Let You Grow

Now that you’ve learned all about grow lights, you can rest easy at night: Becky will survive the winter. Grow lights will be sure to keep that mistletoe and holly looking extra green this holiday season—and your succulents too!



Lighting for indoor plants and starting seeds | University of Minnesota

Shining a light on winter depression | Harvard Health Publishing

Photosynthesis | National Geographic

Light for Houseplants University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences