Indoor gardening is a popular hobby for many people, but it can be challenging when there is no natural light available. Fortunately, grow lights provide an artificial solution for plants to grow indoors. However, before you start, it’s essential to understand the different types of grow lights, the plants that require them, and other factors that may affect their growth. In this brief guide, we’ll provide you with all the necessary information on grow lights, including how they work, their different types, and much more.

What are glow lights?

Grow lights are artificial light sources that are primarily electrically powered. They are intended to provide plants with optimal light intensity and spectrum to promote growth. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Grow lights are a useful solution when there is insufficient natural light indoors or when additional light is necessary.
  • You may choose from a range of light spectrums to suit your specific requirements or opt for a general-purpose spectrum that simulates natural sunlight.
  • Customizing the color, duration, and intensity of the light can help your plants thrive, and you can adjust the settings as necessary depending on the crop’s growth stage.

Types of grow lights 

Grow lights come in several varieties, including:

High-intensity discharge (HID) bulbs: These bulbs offer the highest intensity and are ideal for taller plants. They can illuminate plants up to six to eight feet via a canopy and come in two sub-types: high-pressure sodium bulbs (HPS) and metal halides.

High-pressure sodium (HPS) bulbs: These bulbs emit more orange or red light, which promotes better flowering.

Fluorescent bulbs: These bulbs are commonly used for indoor plant growth and come in T5, T8, and T12 varieties. They are available in red and blue light spectrums.

Light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs: These bulbs are energy-efficient and generate less heat than other types. They are suitable for plants that are around 2.5 feet or smaller.

Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs): These bulbs are budget-friendly and suitable for indoor lighting. However, you must select the wattage carefully, as they are generally more suitable for orchids and carnivorous plants.

Halides: These grow lights are commonly used for larger plants in more extensive areas and can cover varying distances with different wattage options.

Grow lights are an excellent option for indoor plant growth, providing an effective and customizable way to promote plant growth.

Can plants grow in artificial light?

Plants can be grown using artificial light, but it’s important to choose the right varieties that suit your needs. Plants have the ability to carry out photosynthesis, which allows them to create their own nourishment using water and carbon dioxide. However, they need energy from the sun or other light sources, as light is made up of particles called photons, which are essential for plant growth.

If you are planning to use artificial light for growing plants, you need to be careful about the wavelength of the light. Photons have different energies depending on their wavelengths. The light intensity is also important, as it directly affects photosynthesis.

LEDs are the best option for growing plants with artificial light, as they are highly efficient at emitting light in the blue and red parts of the spectrum, with higher intensity levels than fluorescent lights.

How to choose a grow light?

Choosing the right grow light for your indoor plants is easy. Just remember to keep a few things in mind: 

  • Look for lights that have a CCT rating of around 6,500K. This indicates the color of the light and is similar to natural daylight.
  • Check the CRI rating, which measures how well the light compares to sunlight. A higher rating means better quality light for plant growth. Choose lights with a rating of 85 or higher.
  • Make sure the light fixtures you choose are suitable for your space and can distribute light evenly to all your plants.
  • Consider getting adjustable light fixtures that you can move up or down as your plants grow.
  • Select bulbs that don’t emit too much heat, as too much heat can harm your plants.
  • LED lights have great CCT and CRI ratings and use less energy than other types of lights.
  • Choose lights with programmable timers, as plants need periods of complete darkness too. 

By keeping these things in mind, you can find the perfect grow light for your indoor plants.

Best grow lights for indoor plants

When it comes to grow lights, there are a few categories to consider:

For seedlings, you’ll want something that provides full-spectrum lighting with red and blue wavelengths. LED or fluorescent lights will do the job, but fluorescent lights can be pricier. For the best results, position the light source within six inches of the foliage. Hanging the fixtures or setting the plants on tables works well.

For flowering plants, red light waves are key. Invest in LED bulbs and fixtures designed for these plants, and consider high-output LED grow lights that are twice as bright. They’re great for plants like geranium, rosemary, cactus, and citrus. To get the best results, keep the light source at least 12 inches away from the plant foliage.


Indoor gardening has become increasingly popular, and grow lights have emerged as an effective solution for growing plants throughout the year. However, it is imperative to carefully choose the appropriate lighting fixtures after considering all available options and tips. Embracing greenery in your living space not only leads to a healthier lifestyle but also helps in alleviating mental stress and fatigue.

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