Tips & Tricks

Grow Light 101

An assortment of tropical plants with grow lights hanging above them.

All houseplants require light to photosynthesize, fueling their own growth while helping us breathe a little easier. Unfortunately, not everyone's living situation allows for a sun-soaked plant oasis. That's where grow lights come in to save the day. 🦸‍♂️

Plants’ lighting needs vary from low light to bright, direct light, so it's very important to know your plant's specific care requirements before integrating grow lights into your space. Need more information on determining the light your space has to offer? Check out our blog post on determining your light levels here.

A cartoon graphic of a girl lying upside down on a couch surrounded by plants while her elephant friend paints her nails with its trunk. There are indicators in the room showing that bright light is by the window, and low light is in corners of rooms and high shelves.

Most grow lights can keep low light plants such as sansevierias or pothos alive in windowless rooms, but they shouldn't always be used as a complete substitute for sunlight. For example, your snake plant will probably be totally fine... Your cactus, on the other hand? It will appreciate a grow light, but it's gonna need an occasional trip to a well-lit window to survive in the long run. Consider grow lights as a boost of good ol’ vitamin D.

When choosing your own grow light setup, you have three things to consider: intensity, timing, and the color spectrum.

  • A high intensity bulb standing 10 feet away from a plant is a lot different than one sitting 6 inches from your collection.
  • Choosing a light with programmable timers can help control how long your plants receive additional light within a 24 hour day.
  • Most grow lights provide full-spectrum light, using blue and red ends of the spectrum. Yellow and green light is unnecessary as plants do not pick up on those color wavelengths.

Every grow light differs in intensity and use, so it’s always best to research the brand and style you’re choosing. Most brands will tell you what type of plants grow best with their bulbs, and are specific about intensity and color spectrum.

If you're still unsure about which plant lights are right for you, email us at We'd be happy to illuminate you. 💡

A large alocasia calidora potted underneath a grow light lamp indoors.
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