Skip to Content

How Do I Choose an Indoor Grow Light?

Lighting - by Bryan Veldboom - updated on 8/28/2023

Grow light over some plants

Keeping plants in your home is a great way to add variety to your decor and improve your quality of life. But what can you do if your living space has limited access to sunlight? You could pick a plant that doesn't require much sunlight  , or use grow lights to compensate for the lack of sunshine. Today, we'll cover which type of light bulbs are best for plants and how Batteries Plus can help you create an effective grow light without investing a lot of money.

What Color Light Bulb is Best for Indoor Plants?

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. Green and yellow wavelengths provide virtually no benefit whatsoever. For that reason, it's important to choose 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 spectrum, while blue wavelengths are produced on higher wavelengths. An ideal color temperature range for plants would be roughly 2700-7000K.

What Light Bulbs are Good for Indoor Plants?

There are many different types of light bulbs available at Batteries Plus, including LEDs, fluorescents and halogens. So, which one is best for growing plants?

LED Light Bulbs are the best grow lights

  • To achieve the desired wavelengths, use a full spectrum LED bulb or a combination of red wavelength (2000-4000K) and blue wavelength (4600-6500K) LED bulbs.
  • LEDs produce less heat than any other light bulb types.
  • LEDs cost a bit more upfront than other bulbs, but last longer, which often ends up saving you money long term.

Fluorescent Light Bulbs are a good second choice

  • Fluorescents provide full spectrum light.
  • While not as energy-efficient as LEDs, fluorescent bulbs produce less heat than incandescent or halogen bulbs.
  • Fluorescents cost less upfront than LEDs, but have shorter lifespans, meaning you'll have to replace them more often.

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. Eartheasy   has a great guide matching different types of plants to their ideal lumens level. Here is a brief summary of what they recommend.

  • Low Light Plants (calathea, pothos, philodendron) - 50-250 lumens per square foot of growing area
  • Medium Light Plants (rubber plant, fiddle leaf fig, spider plant) - 250-1,000 lumens per square foot
  • High Light Plants (poinsettia, cactus, succulents) - 1,000+ lumens per square foot
  • Seedlings - 2000-3000 lumens per square foot
  • Herbs - 1,000+ lumens per square foot

How Do I Get the Most Out of My Grow Light?

Here are a few general tips to follow when setting up your grow lights:

  • Place LED lights approx. 6-12 inches away from the plants.
  • Since fluorescent lights give off more heat than LEDs, they should be placed approx. 12 inches from your plants
  • Use your grow lights for about 12-16 hours a day and turn them off for about 8 hours.

Visit Batteries Plus for Your Lighting Needs

Whether you're looking for a grow light for your houseplants, a replacement headlight bulb for your vehicle or an emergency lighting fixture for your business, you'll find it at Batteries Plus. Read our Lighting Purchasing Guide for help finding the right light bulb for your needs, or stop into your nearest store and discuss your lighting needs with one of our knowledgeable associates.

Searching for a new LED bulb?

Shop LEDs