Types of Grow Lights for Indoor Plants

*This post may contain affiliate links & I earn commission from qualifying sales. Click here for full disclosure*

There are different types of grow lights designed for specific growing needs. Indoor gardening has continued to gain popularity due to its many advantages compared to the conventional gardening methods. When you grow plants indoors, you will eliminate pest infestation, improve productivity and control the weather conditions for optimal growth.

But in order for your plants to grow well up to maturity, you need a source of sufficient light that can mimic the natural sunlight. That’s where grow lights comes in place and they are used to provide artificial light that is needed for photosynthesis to take place in plants and vegetables. 

Grow lights are man-made bulbs that used to provide artificial light that is similar to natural sunlight which is needed by the indoor plants so as to photosynthesize and  grow up to maturity.

The common light bulbs that we use in our households cannot be used as grow lights since they don’t have the required wavelength of lights that indoor plants requires.

Different grow lights have different color spectrums and are designed for specific plant growth stages. For instance, if a grow light is labeled 2500K, it indicates the warmth or coolness of that particular grow light.

Choosing the right grow lights for you indoor gardening system can be a daunting task. Today, the market is filled with many types of grow lights and each works differently.

It’s therefore, important to first of all understand the intended use of a particular grow light so as to buy the most appropriate grow light for optimal results.

1. Fluorescent Grow Lights

Fluorescent grow lights are perfect choice for house plants and especially seedlings. They produce low light intensity and they are effective when placed just a few inches for the foliage.

The T12 standard grow lights are ideal for seedlings while the T5 fluorescent models have high light intensity and are ideal for plants that require much light.
ir?t=fancygardenin 20&l=li3&o=1&a=B01M7NQYII

Barrina Plant Grow Light, 252W(6 x 42W, 1400W Equivalent), Full Spectrum, LED Grow Light Strips, T8...
1,695 Reviews
Barrina Plant Grow Light, 252W(6 x 42W, 1400W Equivalent), Full Spectrum, LED Grow Light Strips, T8…
  • Full Spectrum – Barrina LED grow lights 4ft provide indoor plants with full-spectrum sunlight replacement. It provides the most reasonable grow light wave based on the ratio of the absorption of the plants
  • Super Bright and High PPFD – Consuming only 252W with 1152 LEDS totally, replace 1400w general plant lights. Over 95% light energy can be absorbed by plants. The light efficiency can be increased by 17~20% with reflector. The shell of our light was made of 100% aluminum which provides the high-efficiency heat dissipation. Ensuring the longer service life of the led chips
  • Easy Installation – With included tape, clips and cable ties, you could install the lights by yourself in minutes. Plug and play, and you could link up to 6 led grow light strips in a series, saving your installation cost and time
  • Eyes protection – These grow lights are suitable for planting plants in any indoor application. Sunlight white color makes your eyes feel comfortable. It works extremely well for your plant grow tents, plant grow shelves, seedling cultivation, succulents, hydroponic rooms, greenhouses, etc
  • What You Get – 2 years warranty. 6 x Barrina LED Grow lights, 3 x Power cords with ON/OFF switch, 5 x Connecting Cords(48”), 6 x Small Connectors, 24x Installation Clips, 12 x Tapes, 24 x cable ties

Last update on 2022-08-22 at 11:24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

There are also full spectrum fluorescent light bulbs such as T5 Option and CFL Option which works perfect for flowering plants. Fluorescent grow lights are safer compared to Incandescent lights and are sold at pocket-friendly rates.

Related; How to choose the right grow light for your indoor garden 

2. LED Grow Lights

LED grow lights are designed in full spectrum form and are ideal for larger grow systems due to their higher light intensity per square foot.

LED grow bulbs uses less electricity and are much durable compared to other type of grow lights on the market.

LED grow lights are preferred due to their low heat emission and their potential of producing both red and blue spectrum which is needed by vegetative and flowering plants.

Although they are considered to be more expensive, the benefits that an indoor gardeners gets from using LED grow light bulbs are unmatched.

GooingTop LED Grow Light,6000K Full Spectrum Clip Plant Growing Lamp with White Red LEDs for Indoor…
  • 【6000K White Light】Equipped with 10 Red + 74 White LEDs, this mini growing light is similar to the full-spectrum sunlight at noon,that is professionally designed for indoor garden plants.Moreover, its color rendering index is as high as 95, the light is soft and flicker-free, which is very suitable for reading lamp
  • 【Timer Function & Multiple Settings】The indoor seedling light offer the circular memory timer function with 3 options-4h/8h/12h. When keeping power, it can automatically turn on and off every day according your settings, no more manual operation for you.【Also You Could Operate One of Them Separately,And Support 5 Levels of Dimming.】
  • 【Easy to Install】with flexible Gooseneck & strong clamp,it allows you to place the LED plant lighting fixture in any direction to provide the best lighting angle for your plants,meet the cover around the plant.Powered by USB or AC Power Plug (adapter included )
  • 【High Efficiency LED Lamp】as for LED power draw this mini succulent lights just comsume about 10watt and is equivalent to a 50w halogen bulb.Estimately monthly cost roughly $2 in electricity (12 hours a day). It is a great gift if you growing some desktop small plants.
  • 【365 Days Worry-free Warranty】We offer 365 days warranty and 24h friendly customer service. If there are ever any issues about the product, please feel free to contact us and we will give you a free replacement or full refund.

Last update on 2022-09-20 at 10:54 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

3. Incandescent Grow Lights

Agrosun, LKIT60 Dayspot Grow Light Kit, with 60 Watt Incandescent Bulb
  • Hydrofarm is the most trusted name in the industry
  • Low wattage high output for your garden
  • Great for reducing grow room temperatures
  • Ideal lights for starting seeds, overwintering plants and supplementing light in your garden
  • Another great item from Flora Hydroponics

Last update on 2024-02-28 at 17:45 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Incandescent grow lights produces more red wavelengths and in order to get optimal results, they should be used together with Fluorescent lights so as to balance the spectrum. In addition, they should be used with a lot of caution due to their excessive heat.

4. HID Grow Lights

HID (High-Intensity Discharge) grow lights are also popular and are used in larger indoor grow systems. HID grow bulbs are of two types namely; MH (Metal Halide) and HPS (High Pressure Sodium).

MH bulbs are ideal for vegetative growth while HPS bulbs are used for flowering.

They produce high light intensity but they also consume a lot of electricity. MH and HPS are often used together but they require separate lighting fixture which makes them more expensive to install and operate.

iPower GLSETX400DHMWING20 Horticulture 400 Watt HPS MH Digital Dimmable Ballast Grow Light System...
1,039 Reviews
iPower GLSETX400DHMWING20 Horticulture 400 Watt HPS MH Digital Dimmable Ballast Grow Light System…
  • 400W Digital Dimmable Electronic Ballast: Support 120V/240V Input; Dimmable Options: 50%, 75%, 100%; 8 Feet heavy-duty power cord included; Stable power output ensure flicker free light
  • 1 x 400W Super HPS bulb 2100K; 1 x 400W MH bulb 6000K; optimized Spectrum and high PAR (photosynthetic active radiation) to promote healthy plant growth and soonest flourish
  • 1 x pair of 8-ft adjustable ratchet clip hanger rope: hold up to 150 lbs
  • 19-inch Wing Reflector: up to 4′ x 4′ light coverage; Built-in 15 feet heavy duty lamp cord with E39 Ceramic Mogul Socket and standard Hydroponic S-Plug; highly 95% reflective textured German aluminum maximizes the light reflected to the plants
  • This system will generate too much heat to be used in an enclosed area without ventilation. Adequate ventilation is required for all iPower grow light systems. We recommend the use of an iPower inline fan

Last update on 2023-01-06 at 17:34 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you are planning to get into indoor gardening, consider going for grow lights that are efficient, affordable and the ones that meet your specific grow plant needs. Choosing the right types of grow lights for your indoor gardening is key to maximum results.

5/5 - (1 vote)