ISSUE 12  |  21st Century Gardens

10 Easy Pieces: Grow Lights for Indoor Plants

March 22, 2016 4:00 AM

BY Michelle Slatalla

If you have never seen Seasonal Affective Disorder in action, just take a look at a houseplant in winter: sad, droopy, and straining toward a watery shaft of sunlight.

This is why people who take their plants seriously often invest in indoor grow lights. Grow lights mimic the sun’s rays, delivering the equivalent of extra hours of light to encourage growth or blooming in winter months. Indoor grow lights can use different kinds of high-intensity bulbs–incandescent, LED, or fluorescent–to deliver the kind of light plants can best absorb.

Here are 10 of our favorite indoor grow lights:


Above: From Italian designer Lorenzo Antonioni, a Cynara Grow Lamp is a three-spot LED lamp that delivers white, red, and blue light to a medium-size house plant. It comes with either a gray or red cord; £84 from Really Well Made.


Above: Photograph via Decordots.

A Green Light delivers an optimal wavelength of light to encourage houseplants to flourish even in dark winter months–in even the darkest places on earth. Designed by Helsinki-based Linda Bergroth for Kekkila, the grow light comes with a drainage tray to collect excess water; €159 from Finnish Design Shop.


Above: Made of varnished white aluminum, a Quadra Grow Light comes comes with a mechanical timer and emits energy efficient light from LED bulbs. It’s available in two sizes, for €199 or €269 from manufacturer Bulbo.


Above: From Japan, a tabletop Green Farm Cube to grow microgreens measures approximately 9 by 9 by 11 inches and requires electricity to operate its LED grow light  (it comes with a power cord that plugs into a Japanese outlet).


Above: A Germination Lamp comes with a power adapter for either US or EU standard plugs and is €49.95 from Click and Grow.


Above: From French design studio Florent Coirier, a black steel Kusamono Grow Light has a compact fluorescent bulb; for more information and pricing, see Florent Coirier.


Above: For seedlings and cuttings that thrive under light with a bluish tint, a fluorescent light with a 24-watt bulb fits into a plant stand from Swedish garden supplies company Nelson Garden.  A Nelson Taimivalaisin is €48 from Pavunvarsi.

seed-starting-grow-light-stand-gardenistaAbove: A tabletop Seed Starting Universal Light has two 18-inch powder coated aluminum support bars to hold the light hood (and T5 full spectrum bulb) in place. Lightweight, very durable, and adjustable,” says Park Seed, adding that “somehow this light stand is far less clunky than older models.” It’s $39.95 from Park Seed.


Above: A Tabletop SunLite Garden has an aluminum frame and two T-5 fluorescent lights is $159 from Gardener’s Supply.


Above: A Jump Start Grow Light System is available in two sizes (either 2 feet or 4 feet long) and uses a high-output T-5 fluorescent bulb. It is available for $55.50 or $68 from Greenhouse Megastore.

Starting seeds indoors this winter? See: