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How Do I Choose an Indoor Grow Light?

Lighting - by Bryan Veldboom - updated on 1/25/2022

Find the best grow light bulbs

Keeping plants in your home is a great way to add variety to your decor, while helping to improve your quality of life. Studies have found that houseplants can actually provide a number of health benefits to their owners, improving their mood, boosting their energy and sharpening their mental focus. But what do you do if your living space has limited access to sunlight? You could pick a plant that doesn’t require much sunlight opens in new window, or use grow lights to compensate for the lack of lighting. Can houseplants live on artificial light? The truth is that plants can do quite well under artificial lighting, provided that you use the right light bulb. Today we’ll be discussing artificial grow lights. We’ll cover which type of bulbs are best for plants and how you can create a healthy environment for them without investing a lot of money.

What Light Temperature is Best for Plant Growth?

The key to a good grow light is providing the proper spectrum of light. Red and blue wavelengths are the most important energy sources for plants, while green and yellow wavelengths provide virtually no benefit whatsoever. For that reason, it’s important to use a light bulb with the right color temperature.

Color temperature refers to how closely the light produced by an artificial source resembles actual daylight and is measured in degrees Kelvin (K). Red wavelengths exist on the lower end of the color temperature spectrum, while blue wavelengths are produced on higher wavelengths. Ideally, you’ll want a light bulb with a color temperature range of 2700K to 7000K.

What are the Best Light Bulbs for Growing Plants?

There are many different types of light bulbs at your disposal, including LEDs, incandescents, fluorescents, halogens and more. So which one is best for growing plants? Full spectrum LED light bulbs make the best grow lights. They can provide all the benefits of full spectrum light and produce less heat than any other light bulb types. LED light bulbs will cost you a little more upfront than other bulbs, however, their long lifespans will probably end up saving you money in the long run.

A fluorescent light bulb is a decent second choice. While they’re not as energy-efficient as LED bulbs and will not last as long, they will provide the full spectrum light that plants require and produce less heat than incandescent or halogen light bulbs.

How Many Lumens Do I Need for Indoor Plants?

Lumens measure how bright a light bulb is; the higher the number of lumens, the brighter the bulb will be. The proper brightness level will vary from plant to plant. For low maintenance houseplants, 2000 lumens per square foot of your growing area should suffice. If you’re planting vegetable seedlings, you will want something in the range of 5000 lumens per square foot.

You’ll also want to think about how many light bulbs you need. If you have a larger growing area, it will require several bulbs in order to cover the area effectively. If you’re growing only a few plants though, you may be able to get away with using only a single bulb.

Visit Batteries Plus for Your Lighting Needs

Whether you’re looking for a grow light for your house plants, a replacement headlight bulb for your vehicle or new fixtures for your home or business, Batteries Plus has you covered. We have an enormous selection of lighting solutions at our disposal, including light bulbs, ballasts and fixtures, as well as exit and emergency lighting. Need help finding the right bulb for your needs? Visit our Lighting Purchasing Guide, or contact the experts at your neighborhood Batteries Plus location.

We also offer light bulb recycling. Drop off your old light bulbs at your nearest Batteries Plus and we’ll take care of the rest. Please note: due to differences in state and local regulations, there is some variation in what each location accepts. There may also be a cost for recycling, so check out our Recycling Page or contact your nearest store for more details.