Will Grow Lights For Indoor Plants Help You Grow ANYTHING? Yes.

What would your life be like if you could grow anything you want at any time?

Would you live in a jungle apartment, brimming full of lush low maintenance houseplants?

How about fresh, crunchy vegetables or aromatic herbs in constant abundance always a couple of steps away?

Look around your home. That is what you could be living in. But you live in an area that gets winters and virtually no light. And you are limited to however long your summer is.

But that doesn’t have to be your reality. You really can grow anything at any given time by using grow lights for indoor plants.

I’ve been using grow lights for indoor plants for the past year, and I’ve seen extraordinary results. It’s how I’m growing my winter garden right now!

So if you want to take back time and grow some indoor plants, keep reading.

Why Use Growlights For Indoor Plants?

Before we go through the tips for buying grow lights, I need to tell you exactly why you need one in the first place. I can tell you one thing, you won’t regret it!

I talk more about using grow lights, sunlight, and my exact gardening method in my book, “You are a Gardener: A Beginner’s Guide to Successful Gardening”. My evergreen gardening handbook on becoming a green thumb and growing whatever your heart desires.

1. You Can Use Grow Lights for Indoor Plants Year Round

Sunlight is one of the most vital parts of growing plants. Without enough light, your plants will grow spindly and weak.

And winter doesn’t help that at all. There’s barely enough light to grow anything!

Thankfully, you can achieve your winter gardening dream by adding a few grow lights, even if the sun goes down as soon as it comes up!

2. You Can Use Grow Lights Indoors to Start Seeds

IIf you want to grow from seed, starting seeds indoors is necessary. Seeds need lots of sunlight to have a chance to grow into repotted plants. So set yourself up for success by using a grow light indoors from the start.

3. You Can Use Grow Lights To Grow Plants From Cuttings

I love growing plants from cuttings that one of my best posts [readers love it too] is my guide to growing mint plants from cuttings.  I also have a broader post on growing plants from cuttings the right way, which I’ve found through years of trial and error.

Imagine you want to grow your hair quickly. So you need lots of nutrients and energy to grow it so quickly. Plants need lots of light energy to develop new roots and continue growing.

Not enough light can lead to weak, flimsy cuttings, even if you have everything down to the container. And yes, the container matters.

Tips for Buying Grow lights for Indoor Plants

Alright! You’re getting a grow light for your indoor garden!

So you go on Amazon and search for “grow lights for indoor plants”.

The next thing you know, you get bombarded with so many different types of grow lights you click off the tab immediately.

Or you decide to scroll for years, constantly searching up “Best grow lights for indoor plants”. Perhaps you comb through a Reddit post or two, maybe that’s how you got to this post!

Regardless of where you’re coming from, I’m here to say your search is over.

I’m going to walk through the different types of indoor grow lights you might want for your plants. I did the hard work and attached some [non-affiliated] links to grow lights that will rocket you to indoor gardening success.

So let’s start on the types!

Grow light indoors growing lettuce indoors

1. Fluorescent Lights: Cheaper, Less Efficient, For The Hobbyist Gardener

This is the cheaper option of the two and is great for hobbyists or people with small indoor gardens. If you’re not looking to grow anything serious or need it only for growing cuttings in water, this is for you!

However, fluorescent lights have a smaller output, nor cost-effective in the long run. It is certainly not what you should get if you want your plants to flower. There is also a risk of mercury poisoning if it breaks.

Led grow light indoors

2. LEDs: A Bit More Expensive From The Jump, But Worth it

I will say it now, I am biased and like LEDs a lot more than fluorescent lights. But for good reason!

LEDs [Light Emitting Diode] are more efficient and cost-effective than fluorescent lights, even though its a bit more costly in the long term. It also lacks toxic mercury that is bad for you and the environment.

Grow Light Tip: Blue light is best for vegetation, and red light is best for flowering. Try to have a mix of both if you can!

However, that doesn’t mean every LED grow light is good for you or worth its price. There are a ton of crappy ones that lure you in with fun colors but have poor functionality.

Grow Light Tip: Don’t worry if you don’t see all the LEDs lit. Many LED grow lights have UV and IR [infrared] lights, which can’t be seen by the naked eye.

Some LED light recommendations are:

SANSI 24W LED Plant Light Bulb

SANSI 36W Daylight LED Plant Light Bulb

That depends on how many watts your lightbulb is. Usually, 12-18 inches above a plant is good enough. To get that perfect height, try the palm test.

Place your hand palm up just above your plants, and hold it for a few minutes. If it feels tolerable but warm, you can keep it at that distance. If it’s not warm enough, try to lower the lights closer and test again. But, if your hand feels too warm, try raising the lights and test again to find the sweet spot.

How Many Watts Do I Need To Use Growlights Indoors?

Most grow lights don’t operate at full capacity to prevent bulbs from burning out and increase their life span. So the wattage that’s advertised is an estimated theoretical wattage.

Make sure to check the description of an online posting or look for the fine print in a boxed package. It’ll have the correct wattage listed.

If it’s not listed, assume that the actual watts are half of the advertised number.

Growing High Watt Plants and Low Watt Plants

High-watt plants are plants with high light requirements. These plants include but are not limited to:

  • Tomatoes
  • Most vegetables
  • Flowering Plants
  • Peppers
  • Cucumbers
  • Citrus

Low-watt plants are plants with low light requirements. These plants include but are not limited to:

  • Herbs, like basil and oregano
  • Lettuce
  • Leafy greens

The great thing about grow lights to use indoors is that you can use one light to grow both high and low-watt plants!

Figuring How Many Watts Your Grow Light for Indoor Plants Need

When figuring out how many watts we need in a garden, we measure with square feet, not the number of plants in the garden. Refer to the chart below.

Grow SpaceTotal Square FeetTrue Wattage (High Plant)True Wattage (Low Plant)Number of Plants
(4 sq ft.)
1′ x 1′1 square foot30 to 40 watts15 to 20 watts
2′ x 2′4 square feet120 to 160 watts60 to 80 watts1
2′ x 3′6 square feet180 to 240 watts90 to 120 watts1
4′ x 4′16 square feet480 to 640 watts240 to 320 watts4
5′ x 5′25 square feet750 to 1000 watts375 to 500 watts6
10′ x 10′100 square feet3000 to 4000 watts1500 to 2000 watts25

How Long Should My Grow Light Be Left On?

That depends on a couple of factors, like the wattage, how you’re using the grow light for indoor plants, and the plant itself.

If you’re growing plants that don’t need a lot of light [like herbs or young plants], you can leave your grow light on for less than for plants that love sunlight.

Your grow light usually needs to be on for at least 8-10 hours to have any actual effect. This is why LEDs are so famous for their efficiency!

So What Now, Sarika?

If you’re ready to buy a grow light, just scroll back up to my product recommendations [not affiliated] to start shopping!

If you’re looking for plants to grow under your grow light, read 5 Easy Houseplants that Anyone Can Grow, 5 Vegetables That Grow Quickly In Pots, and 10 Herbs You Should Grow in Your Garden.

This post is also part of a mini-series about winter gardening! Check out 5 Vegetables to Plant Now for Bountiful Spring Harvest! and Your New 2022 Supply List For Starting Hand-Growing Vegetables Indoors During Winter Right Now.

If you’re already blown away by the value of this post, check out my book, “You are a Gardener: A Beginner’s Guide to Successful Gardening”. I talk about my specific process of going from a black thumb to supporting 2 guinea pigs with a garden alone!

Still on the fence? You can join my book email list to get even more announcements and info.

That’s all for now, Happy Gardening! Till we meet again.

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My name is Sarika, and I am the founder of “The Blossoming Gardener”! Let me tell you a little bit about myself…Read more

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