Organic gardener growing food and flowers, lovin' pollinators and birds.

Choosing a grow light for your houseplants

There's a grow light to fit your space ... but will it fit your needs?

My indoor "plant room" is located on the north side of my house with small windows — which means very little natural light reaches my plants. 

But, this room has the most plants than any other part of my house. 

How? With grow lights!

Over the last two years I have purchased and independently tested several grow lights available on the market for the home gardener. These purchases were focused on keeping houseplants happy and flourishing. (Note: I did not test these grow lights for seed-starting, since I have a dedicated light set up for that... even if it is currently overrun with orchids...)

Grow lights can be a complicated topic to dive into, throwing around terms like PAR values (amount of light energy a plant can absorb), and factoring in the color of specific lights. 

I wanted to keep it simple: do they keep the houseplants happy? Then that's a win in my book. 

My purchases and observations are purely based on what has worked and not worked for my expanding houseplant collection. The findings are my own opinions and there are no affiliate links included below.

My two favorites:

2 ft. 100-Watt White Full Spectrum LED Linkable Plant Grow Light Daylight
Retails for $129.00 USD on the Home Depot website (same price when I purchased in 2021).
ETL Listed.

This light fixture changed my lighting for the better in my plant room, and honestly, 100 watts should do that. I didn't use the hanging fixtures included with the kit due to my current shelf setup, but it is an option if your space allows. I have two of these light fixtures, one on each shelf, plugged into a power strip with a timer.

Lordem Full Sprectrum LED Plant Light for indoor plants, pack of two
Retails at $37.99 USD on Amazon (I purchased for $30.39 in 2021). 
Please note: This is an Amazon Affiliate link. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

This was a follow-up purchase after I received The Plant Halo (below) and was looking for something that offered more options that could be used with individual houseplants in darker corners of my home. This version is adjustable in height, comes with a built-in timer, is dimmable, and includes a power brick to plug the USB plug into. The only issue is that when it is off, the timer portion glows either green, red or blue (depending on your timer setting). Because I have four in my north-facing bedroom, I decided to cover the timer with black electric tape to cut down on the the ambient light when trying to sleep.


Gooing Top LED Grow Light, 6000K Full Spectrum Clip Plant Growing Lamp with White Red LEDS for Indoor plants
Retails at $39.99 USD on Amazon (I purchased for $25.94 USD in 2021).
Please note: This is an Amazon Affiliate link. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

This grow light has two "light bulb stems" attached to a clip, so you can attach the fixture to a shelf or table ledge. The stems are adjustable so you can bend them to accommodate the plant you are lighting. It offers a built in timer (four, eight or 12 hour) and you can change the brightness with the built in dimmer. I have two of these (in two different rooms). 

Monios-L T5 LED Grow Light, 2 Feet Full Spectrum Sunlight Replacement, 30W
Currently retails at $28.99 USD on Amazon (I purchased at $34.99 USD in 2020 and 2021).
Please note: This is an Amazon Affiliate link. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

For full brightness, I paired two of these fixtures on a shelf, but an individual one also works for plants with lower-light needs (as seen in the photo above). It comes with reflectors (which helps not to blind you). I have one plugged into a power strip with a timer, and the two paired together on the shelf I turn on manually.

Feit Electric, 2 ft. 2-Light 30-Watt White Full Spectrum Daylight LED Non-Dimmable Indoor Linkable Plant Grow Light Fixture
Currently retails for $70.97 USD on the Home Depot website (I purchased two when they were $59.97 in 2020). UL Listed.

This light is BRIGHT on the eyes, so I have two mounted on my lowest plant shelf for cactuses and carnivorous plants. It does give off a reddish glow despite being advertised as a white full spectrum light. I haven't been motivated enough to buy or create a shield for the lights since they are mounted on the lowest shelf, but you would likely need to add that if you were going to mount them anywhere eye level or higher. These are both plugged into a power strip with a timer.

No longer available:

AgroBrite 14 Watt Standing Plant Lamp
(I purchased for $76.68 in 2020 from Amazon. This model is currently not for sale on Amazon - as of 1/18/24.)

I bought this early on in my grow light search, because I was trying to provide light to an overwintering plant I brought in from outside. Nothing too fancy here, but it does fit in tight spaces and now keeps my anthuriums happy. I turn this one on manually each day.

Linkind LED Grow Light 50W Equivalent Plant Light, 3000K Full Spectrum.
Was $13.39 on Amazon.

Even thought the link to this listing changed on Amazon since I purchased (kinda annoying when that happens), I wanted to include this grow light in the review since I do use it. I was drawn to the clip and timer feature, and use it to cast light on the top of my metal plant rack for my sansevierias. While not the brightest light in the room, it keeps the plants that are tolerant of lower light conditions happy. 

Basic but needs improvement

The Plant Halo: 1 Head Sunshine Yellow (20W USB) and 3 Head Sunshine Yellow (20W USB)
Currently retails for $19.99 USD/$49.99 USD on the Plant Halo website (I purchased when they were $26.99/$62.99 in 2021).

This purchase was the result of a targeted Instagram advertisement that I kept getting on my account. It took about four weeks to arrive, and I was disappointed that it did not come with a power brick to plug into (which resulted in purchasing additional hardware, a Philips 4-Port Slim Desktop 4USB Charger for $24.99 USD, from Target). The stake is 11 inches, and the halo is mounted to the top. It does not offer a time, just an on/off switch, and the three connected halos had to be relatively close to each other due to the short connecting wires. To change the height of the timer by a little bit, I use an orchid clip to hold it in place. Hoping they continue to work on this model to make it a better investment.

Originally published on Feb. 24, 2022. Updated on Jan. 18, 2024.


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