How to Use Grow Lights for House Plants

How to Use Grow Lights for House Plants

Plant Collective
4 minute read

Are you worried about your house plant not receiving adequate lighting now that Fall has arrived and Winter is quickly approaching? Or perhaps your space lacks natural sunlight and you would like to grow plants that require more light? In today’s article, we will discuss the benefits of grow lights and offer some recommendations on what kind of lights might work best for your home environment and the plants that you are growing.


LED vs. fluorescent vs. incandescent light

We recommend using LED or fluorescent lights because they are most efficient per wattage, costing less money to run and have a significantly longer lifespan than standard incandescent lights.

 

White vs. red – blue spectrum lights

There seems to be a lot of discourse over what colour lighting works best, especially within the succulent community. Though many succulent growers believe that the red-blue lighting spectrum promotes more compact and colourful growth, there is no real benefit of using red-blue light over white light (which includes a full spectrum including red and blue). Ultimately this one comes down to your preference. Most people will find white light is easier on the eyes.

 




Types of lights

a photo of a grow bulb used in a desk lamp for house plants a small cactus under a red - blue spectrum grow bulb

Grow bulbs 


Grow bulbs are a great, quick fix if you are just looking to provide some extra light for 1 – 3 small plants that are displayed in the same area. They are also great for those that prefer a more discreet way of providing a light boost for their plant. The look of traditional or industrial plant lights is not for everyone. Ikea sells grow bulbs and a variety of minimal yet stylish lamps that they can be installed in. Grow bulbs can also be found at your local hardware store or on Amazon.

Pros:
- Easy to find
- Cost-efficient
- Can be installed in a lamp you already own at home
- Available in both white and red-blue colour spectrums
- Discreet
- Great for air plants, small succulents or small tropical plants

Cons:
- Not strong enough for larger plants

 

red - blue spectrum grow lamp white full-spectrum grow lamp

Grow Lamps

These are commonly sold in stores such as Walmart or on Amazon. They are also a great quick fix for smaller plants and usually come with a clamp making them very easy to use. 

Pros:
- Easy to find
- Ready to use
- Easy to install
- Some come with on/off timers
- Available in both white and red-blue colour spectrums
- Cost-efficient
- Great for air plants, succulents or small tropical plants

Cons:
- Some people may not like how they look
- Not strong enough for larger plants
- Lights are harder to replace once they die

 

white full spectrum grow lights red - blue spectrum grow light panel

Grow light strips and panels

These are what is preferred by serious growers, especially those who grow succulents or plants from seed. Both can be installed to shelving units or they can be suspended using rope, chain, etc., depending on your needs. If that seems daunting, there are grow light strips that come with double-sided tape for easy installation. These lights can be found at your local hardware store or on Amazon.

Note: For succulent growers that want to stimulate stress for more vibrantly-coloured plants, we recommend choosing a light that offers 5000k – 6500k colour temperature, as these best replicate natural, direct sunlight.

Pros:
- Easy to find
- Great for succulent collectors
- Come in various specs including colour spectrums, lumens, wattage
- Best stimulates natural sunlight
- Great for seedlings, air plants, and succulents

Cons:
- Some assembly and installation required
- Though they can be applied discreetly, this look still may not be preferred by some

 

Soltech Solutions track grow lighting Soltech Solutions pendant grow light

High-end fixtures


These are super stylish lights designed to help provide extra light for your plants while also providing great aesthetics to fit your home décor. Companies such as Soltech Solutions, offer a variety of grow light track lighting and hanging fixtures.

Pros:
- Sleek, stylish design
- Discreet
- Good for providing a sunlight boost for tropical plants

Cons:
- Assembly and installation required
- Can be costly
- Not optimal for covering larger areas/plants


A group of potted plants

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Regardless of which lighting system you opt for, just remember to slowly acclimate your plants to your new grow lights. Start with small intervals of exposure and increase every couple of days.

We hope this article helped to shed some light on the popular grow lighting systems and that you discovered something that will work for your space and your plants. Happy growing!

 

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