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13 of the Best Grow Lights for Indoor Plants and Seedlings

Are you looking to bring a little sunshine indoors?

Maybe it’s time to start your flower and vegetable seedlings.

Perhaps your houseplants are drooping during the short days of winter, or sulking in a new home.

Or maybe you simply want to enjoy the taste of your own fresh herbs year round.

Whatever your need, grow lights can instantly provide hours of mock sunshine that your plants need for vigorous, healthy development.

They can provide any color spectrum required for every stage of growth and are easy to set up. The lamps run cool to the touch, are low wattage, energy efficient, and have long lives.

This also makes them economical. And by starting your own seedlings, you’ll quickly recover the cost with fewer trips to your local nursery!

But they do come in a huge array of shapes, sizes, and configurations.

To simplify matters, we looked for units from reliable brands that are well-designed, easy to set up and use, and provide effective coverage – and collected a few recommendations from our own writers, of course!

Here’s our take on 13 of the best grow lights for indoor plants and seedlings.

13 of the Best Grow Lights for Your Indoor Garden

  • Freestanding
    1. Glow ‘n’ Grow Garden Cart
    2. Burpee 2-Tier Garden Cart
    3. Hydrofarm Jump Start Grow Stand
  • Stackable Modular Units
    1. Low Bamboo Stacking Garden
    2. Stack-n-Grow Base Unit Garden Starter Kit
    3. SunLite 3-Tier Garden
  • Countertop Models
    1. SunBlaster Indoor Grow Garden
    2. SunBlaster Mini Greenhouse Nanodome
    3. AeroGarden Harvest Elite Hydroponic Grow System
  • Lights Only
    1. Hydrofarm Designer Grow System
    2. Feit Electric Adjustable Spectrum Lamp
  • Home Lamps
    1. Agrobrite Floor Plant Lamp
    2. Relassy Full Spectrum, Dual Head Gooseneck Plant Lamp

To help you choose the right setup for your own indoor garden, we’ve also included a handy buyer’s guide explaining the different features and what to look for when you shop.

This includes the following:

  • How to Choose the Best Grow Light for Your Indoor Garden
    • Why Grow Lights?
    • The Electromagnetic Spectrum
    • Types of Bulbs
    • The Kelvin Scale
    • Lumens vs. Watts
    • Consider a Kit or Lamp Stand
  • Accessories
  • Tips for Growing Robust Seedlings

Freestanding

Freestanding units typically have one or two tiers for plant trays and require a suitable location to accommodate their size. They are available with either LED or fluorescent bulbs, and some have casters so you can move them around easily.

Unlike the modular units, these come in fixed sizes.

1. Glow ‘n’ Grow Garden Cart

Burpee’s Glow ‘n’ Grow Garden Cart is a single-tier system constructed from powder coated aluminum, with four large casters for easy maneuverability.

The low-profile canopy has been designed to give complete plant coverage from the four 22-inch LED tubes.

The canopy fixture has a variable lamp-to-tray height of 20 inches, and is easily adjusted with the suspension chains on the overhead crossbar. This should be enough for starting seeds as well as growing small pots of herbs.

The cart has a generous single shelf that accommodates up to four standard-size plant trays without overcrowding.

Sturdy and easy to set up, the garden cart measures approximately 49 L x 23 W x 28.5 H inches.

Features
  • Freestanding with casters
  • Light deck adjustable to 20 inches above the tray
  • 4 LED tubes included
  • 49 x 23 x 28.5 inches
  • Accommodates 4 standard-size seed trays
  • Casters for easy maneuverability
  • 20-inch maximum lamp height accommodates seedlings and herbs
  • Can’t expand if you want more growing area
  • Seed trays are not included

A good choice for those who want easy portability for seasonal use and storage. However, if you think you might want to expand your indoor garden, you might consider one of the modular options described below instead.

2. Burpee 2-Tier Garden Cart

Burpee’s aluminum frame, two-tier garden cart doubles the available area for seedlings or plants by going vertical, but still maintains a compact footprint – with overall measurements of only 27 x 12 x 40 inches.

The two lamp fixtures each house two 24-inch T12 wide-spectrum fluorescent bulbs (750 lumens each) for full coverage at all development stages.

Plus, each fixture has a built-in electrical socket at one end – an ideal setup for use with heating mats.

Each tier comes with a 22-by-11-inch watertight plant tray made of BPA-free plastic. Canopy fixtures are easy to adjust on the uprights with a hand knob clamp, and provide a 16-inch lamp-to-tray clearance.

Features
  • Freestanding, two tier
  • Light decks adjustable to 16 inches above the tray
  • 2 T12 Fluorescent tubes per lamp fixture
  • 27 x 12 x 40 inches
  • 22 x 11-inch watertight plant tray
  • Small footprint won’t take up much room
  • Convenient electrical sockets for using heat mats
  • No casters, so it can be difficult to move around
  • T12 fluorescent tubes are older technology and have lower output than T5 bulbs

Compact and efficient, this is a smart, space-saving choice – and a wonderful option if you like to use heat mats for seed germination.

3. Hydrofarm Jump Start Grow Stand

The Jump Start Grow Stand from Hydrofarm is a sturdy, powder-coated aluminum frame with reinforced top bar that gives full coverage for greens, seedlings, and small plants. And the entire frame snaps together easily with robust connectors – no tools required.

The stand comes with a 24-inch, high-output, 6400K T5 fluorescent lamp (2,000 lumens) in a hooded, reflective fixture. The fixture height is easy to adjust with a simple toggle clamp and pulley system, and gives effective coverage to plants below.

It has an in-line on/off switch and comes in two sizes: 26 x 18 x 24 inches and 50 x 18 x 31 inches.

It doesn’t have casters. The bottom tray (not included) rests on the ground, instead of being elevated. With only one bulb, it may not have as much horizontal coverage as you require.

Features
  • Freestanding frame with suspended light
  • Light adjustable to approximately 20 inches
  • 1 high-output T5 fluorescent tube with reflective hood
  • Two sizes: 26 x 18 x 24 inches and 50 x 18 x 31 inches
  • Small footprint
  • Ideal for starting seeds or growing microgreens
  • Single fluorescent tube doesn’t provide maximum horizontal coverage
  • When positioned at max height, light isn’t strong enough to reach lower leaves on mature plants
  • No tray

This model provides effective lighting for growing indoor plants and starting seedlings, in a well-designed stand that doesn’t take up too much room. It’s ideal for those who are just getting started with indoor gardening.

Stackable Modular Units

Stacking, or modular units are similar to the freestanding models, but give you the option of expanding your indoor garden space over time if you want to.

4. Low Bamboo Stacking Garden

Gardener’s Supply has handsome, stackable bamboo racks available via Amazon that are ideal for cultivating herbs, houseplants, or succulents.

The bamboo garden system includes two 6400K, full spectrum LED lamps (3,960 lumens) for complete coverage over the base, and a clear acrylic cover tops the reflective lamp fixtures.

The lamps are fitted 12 inches above the tray. These are not adjustable, so select your plants accordingly.

A galvanized steel tray sits neatly in the base, and the unit measures approximately 38 x 19 x 18.5 inches.

The furniture-quality bamboo frames are strong (able to hold up to 50 pounds) and attractive enough for placement in a permanent location in your home. And the materials are acquired by the manufacturer from a sustainable source.

A rolling base is available separately via Amazon for added portability, and you can stack two or more of these units on top of each other when your garden expands.

Features
  • Freestanding stackable bamboo frame with 50-pound weight capacity
  • Fixed lamp height 12 inches above the tray
  • 2 high output 6400K LED tubes
  • 38 x 19 x 18.5 inches
  • Galvanized steel tray
  • Stylish design looks attractive in your home
  • Stackability means you can expand your indoor garden with additional racks
  • LED bulbs provide good horizontal coverage, and are recessed to prevent glare
  • Lamp height is not adjustable

This model is ideal for growing herbs in your kitchen without compromising your decor.

5. Stack-n-Grow Base Unit Garden Starter Kit

The modular Stack-n-Grow system is a sound choice for going vertical. Start with the base and add up to two more units for extensive seed propagation that maintains a small footprint.

The base measures a compact 31 x 15.5 x 21 inches and can hold up to 110 pounds.

Two 36-inch, 6400K, full-spectrum T5 fluorescent bulbs (3,730 lumens) give optimum coverage, and the high-tech reflectors shine directly onto plants for vigorous growth with less glare.

Made of recycled polypropylene​, the base unit includes everything you need to start your seeds today – except the seeds. It comes with three 24-cell seed starting trays with a germination dome, two 6-quart bags of organic seed starting mix, and 24 seedling markers.

The unit is easy to assemble without using tools, and you can take it apart to store when it’s not in use.

Features
  • Freestanding modular system of robust, lightweight polypropylene
  • Light adjustable to 20 inches above the bottom tray
  • 2 36-inch T5 fluorescent bulbs with reflectors
  • 31 x 15.5 x 21 inches
  • Ships with two 6-quart bags of seed starting mix, 24 plant markers, and three 24-cell trays
  • Easy to assemble without tools, and take apart to store when not in use
  • Can stack two more units on top as your garden expands
  • Everything you need to get started except seeds
  • When stacking two or more units, you may need to anchor it to a wall to prevent it falling over
  • Drip trays are not supplied, so when you stack two or more units, water can leak onto the lights below

This is a well-rounded choice for the beginner, with the ability to expand when needed.

See the Stack-n-Grow Base Unit and check prices on Amazon now.

6. SunLite 3-Tier Garden

Going vertical is always a smart solution when you want to expand your indoor garden, particularly for those living in smaller spaces or urban locales.

This portable, three-tier stand from SunLite allows you to triple your seedling and plant capacity. And it has large casters for easy maneuverability

The sturdy but lightweight aluminum frame is powder coated for durability, and each of the 3 tiers houses an adjustable light fixture..

Fixtures hold two 4-foot, full spectrum, 6400K LED (2,400 lumens) tubes that are easy to adjust with a hoist chain and locking toggle.

The adjustable clearance from lamps to trays is 14.75 inches, and overall measurements are 51 x 14.75 x 68.5 inches.

Features
  • Freestanding 3-tier frame
  • Lights adjustable to 14 inches above the trays
  • 2 full-spectrum 6400K LED tubes on each tier
  • 51 x 14.75 x 68.5 inches
  • Powder coated aluminum frame with plastic shelf trays
  • Casters included
  • Large growing capacity
  • Casters make moving it around easy
  • Adjustable lamp level for different stages of plant growth
  • The position of the two LED tubes can mean horizontal light coverage is compromised for seedlings in outer parts of trays
  • Bottom tier does not have a support bar for the tray, so it won’t hold heavier potted plants

Made in Vermont, this unit is a reliable choice for larger scale indoor plant production – without taking up all of your counter space.

Countertop Models

These models are more compact in nature, and suited for use on counters or tabletops.

7. SunBlaster Indoor Grow Garden

Sunblaster’s indoor garden kit is compact and self-watering – ideal for a countertop.

The heavy-duty base of recycled polypropylene acts as a 4-quart reservoir, and a wicking capillary mat provides steady self-watering action for 14 to 21 days at a stretch.

An elevated stand holds the mat and four heavy-duty plant trays above the water, and seedlings are left undisturbed by the gentle bottom-watering. The canopy houses two 24-inch, full spectrum, 6400K T5 fluorescent tubes (3,730 lumens) with nanotech reflectors, and built-in ballasts ensure maximum power output.

The canopy is easily adjusted on strong verticals with thumbscrew collars, and has a variable distance of 18 inches above the stand. This model measures 26 x 15.5 x 18 inches.

Features
  • Countertop single-tier aluminum frame
  • Lights adjustable up to 18 inches above the stand
  • 2 T5 fluorescent tubes with nanotech reflectors
  • 26 x 15.5 x 18 inches
  • Self-watering for 14-21 days
  • Convenient automatic watering feature provides steady irrigation to your plants
  • Light is adjustable to 18 inches above plants, giving your seedlings plenty of room to develop
  • No room to expand if your garden gets bigger

This is the type that I have at home, and I love its compact efficiency.

It’s currently our second season together and I have zero problems to report – it’s perfect for plant-and-forget convenience. Just top up the water reservoir and raise the canopy every few weeks. I added a standard timer, available via Amazon, for virtually hands-free convenience.

8. SunBlaster Mini Greenhouse Nanodome

The SunBlaster Mini Nanodome delivers a complete, controlled environment in a breadbox-sized package – perfect for easy tabletop seed germination or growing microgreens.

It includes a heavy-duty 10-by-20-inch planting tray and a sturdy, 10-inch, clear vented dome that creates a mini greenhouse.

An 18-inch, full spectrum high output 6400K T5 fluorescent lamp (3,730 lumens) and strip reflector mounts to the dome top, and the 6-foot power cord has an in-line on/off switch.

Features
  • Plastic tray with clear plastic mini greenhouse cover
  • 1 high output T5 fluorescent tube with nanotech reflector
  • 10 x 20 x 10 inches
  • Compact, lightweight starter system that takes up very little space
  • Easy to move around or store when not in use
  • Cover is easy to remove for watering and harvesting your greens
  • Plastic dome feels a bit flimsy, so you can’t expand your garden vertically by stacking one on top of another
  • Large drainage holes in the bottom of the tray mean you need to use a liner

A sturdy little system that offers convenience in a miniature package for growing herbs, microgreens, and seedlings, this one’s just right for small spaces.

Check prices and customer reviews now at True Leaf Market.

9. AeroGarden Harvest Elite Hydroponic Grow System

AeroGarden’s Harvest Elite is a compact hydroponic kit that includes everything you need to quickly cultivate and harvest six popular kitchen herbs – no soil required.

The canopy houses small blue, red, and white LED bulbs (1,500 lumens, 5500K total output) that supply optimal, full spectrum coverage to your plants in the sturdy base.

It has a timer so you can customize when you want the lights to switch on or off, and a handy “vacation” setting for when you are traveling. The digital control panel reminds you when it’s time to add plant food and water.

It includes seed pods of basil, Thai basil, dill, mint, curly parsley, and thyme and comes with a year’s supply of liquid plant food. Overall measurements are 10.75 x 7.5 x 10.5 inches and it has a 12-inch clearance from canopy to base.

Features
  • Countertop unit in sleek stainless steel
  • 5500K LED light canopy adjustable to 12 inches above the base
  • Fully automatic set-and-forget timer, with reminder lights for feeding and watering
  • 10.75 x 7.5 x 10.5 inches
  • Ships with seeds and a year’s worth of liquid plant food
  • Everything you need to get started with hydroponic herb gardening
  • Fully adjustable on/off timer and handy “vacation mode” allow your plants to thrive while you are traveling
  • Sleek, compact, modern unit looks stylish in your kitchen and won’t take up much space
  • You can’t start seeds in soil with this unit
  • Light bar doesn’t allow clearance for taller herbs

Easy and no-fuss, this is an excellent option for those who want to enjoy garden-fresh herbs all year.

Lights Only

If you’re a do-it-yourselfer and don’t mind mounting a fixture, you can buy lights-only models, and install them yourself.

10. Hydrofarm Designer Grow System

Hydrofarm’s Designer low-profile lamp fixture has a durable, powder coated steel housing with a hammered finish. And it comes with multiple hanging options suited to a variety of locations.

The fixture interior has a mirrored aluminum finish, and two energy efficient, high output, 6400K T5 fluorescent bulbs (4,000 lumens) give complete, full spectrum coverage.

The front-mounted on/off toggle switch and 10-foot grounded power cord add extra convenience.

It measures 24 x 7.5 x 2.5 inches and can be hung horizontally or vertically, or flush mounted. These units can also be daisy-chained together for customized configurations.

Features
  • Powder-coated steel housing with reflective interior
  • 2 high output T5 fluorescent tubes
  • 24 x 7.5 x 2.5 inches
  • Easy to hang, and convenient for use in a variety of locations
  • Long electrical cord
  • Can connect two or more units to expand your indoor garden
  • Bright, full spectrum light
  • No built-in timer

If you need a good quality, versatile grow light for starting seeds or growing herbs indoors, this unit is an easy to use option, without a lot of extra bells and whistles.

11. Feit Electric Adjustable Spectrum Lamp

Feit Electric’s adjustable color spectrum option solves the problem of determining which type of light to select.

With three color settings available, you can quickly choose the one that’s best suited to your plants’ growth stage – blue for seedlings and vegetation, red for flowering, or full spectrum white for all stages of development.

The 6400K LED strips provide full brightness (1,300 lumens) with no appreciable heat output, and are integrated directly into the fixture so there are no bulbs to replace. A flip of the color-coded toggle switch selects the appropriate color.

The tough polycarbonate housing is smooth-edged and doesn’t rust or dent. It measures approximately 24 x 5 x 1.75 inches and can be flush mounted or hung using the included 6-inch wire harness. The power cord is 5 feet long.

Plus, you can link up to four units together as your indoor garden expands.

Features
  • Robust, lightweight polycarbonate housing
  • 2 LED 6400K full spectrum strip lights
  • 24 x 5 x 1.75 inches
  • Lightweight, easy to hang with the included wire harness
  • Adjustable color spectrum for different growth stages
  • Cool operation doesn’t damage delicate seedlings
  • Ability to link up to four units gives you flexible growing space
  • Integrated unit with no bulbs to replace
  • Bright lights can emit a lot of glare

If you are an experienced grower and want to customize your color spectrum, this is a top choice.

Home Lamps

Grow lights are excellent for seed germination and growing seedlings, and indoor plants love them too. Freestanding lamps can be the ideal solution for houseplants or succulents struggling with low light conditions.

These units come in floor, desktop, and clamping models.

12. Agrobrite Floor Plant Lamp

Agrobrite’s freestanding floor lamp is ideal for growing houseplants.

The wide, weighted base gives sturdy, balanced support, and a flexible gooseneck makes it easy to accommodate large or developing plants – but it doesn’t take up a lot of floor space.

It comes with an energy efficient, full spectrum, 5400K LED lamp (1,500 lumens) that mimic natural sunshine to keep plants healthy and vigorous. And the flicker-free glow is great for reading too.

The gooseneck adjusts from 48 to 61 inches, and it comes with a 6-foot power cord with inline on/off toggle switch.

Features
  • Freestanding floor lamp with weighted base
  • Flexible gooseneck with replaceable 5400K LED bulb
  • 48 to 61-inch adjustable height
  • Does double duty as a reading light
  • Takes up very little room in your home
  • 6-foot power cord for flexible installation
  • Not suitable for seedlings as it stands quite high off the ground

If you are looking for a freestanding grow light that does double duty as a reading light, then this is a good choice.

13. Relassy Full Spectrum, Dual Head Gooseneck Plant Lamp

The dual head gooseneck lamp from Relassy is ideal for countertop or desktop use. It provides full spectrum, 5400K LED coverage suitable for all stages of plant growth.

The flexible goosenecks measure 18 inches and are made of rugged aeronautical aluminum.

Easily adjustable to any position, they hold the bulb fixtures in place without flopping from the weight. And a dual setting switch allows the lamps to be used separately or together.

Bulbs are easily replaceable, and the C-clamp securely attaches to counter, desk, or table edges up to 3 inches thick. It doesn’t stand up on its own though, so you will need something to clamp it to.

The manufacturer recommends wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes from the light emitted by these bulbs, and not to look directly at them. This limits the versatility of this unit, as you can’t use it as a desk light.

Features
  • Two 18-inch flexible aluminum goosenecks with replaceable LED bulbs
  • Robust C-clamp system to securely attach the unit
  • Dual switch allows lights to be used separately or together
  • Flexible goosenecks mean you can direct light to where you need it most
  • The lights themselves are cool, and won’t damage seedlings
  • Clamp can be difficult to use
  • Power cord gets in the way of installation
  • Light emitted from the lamps can be damaging to your eyes
  • Although the bulbs are cool, the housing of the light fixtures can get hot after a few hours of use

This unit is a good choice if you have limited space and need a small but effective light for your houseplants.

How to Choose the Best Grow Light for Your Indoor Garden

Grow lights provide a convenient, economical source of artificial sunshine, so your seedlings, indoor herb gardens, and houseplants can thrive throughout the year.

The lights and all-inclusive kits are easy to use, but there’s a huge variety of lamps to choose from.

From LED strips to fluorescent tubes, each has its own characteristics and strengths. And a basic understanding of their features can help you make a more effective decision when purchasing.

Let’s dig into the details a bit.

Why Grow Lights?

For plants to develop in a healthy manner, they need to capture and convert energy from the sun. This is the process of photosynthesis, and it provides plants with the fuel needed for vigorous development.

In the absence of adequate sunshine, plants can become leggy, stretch for the sun, and fail to thrive.

Grow lights provide an artificial source of luminous energy, providing the different frequencies in the color spectrum that plants need throughout all their phases of their development – from sprouting as seedlings to setting fruit.

The Electromagnetic Spectrum

The sun emits all the frequencies found within the electromagnetic spectrum, including those of visible light – violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red.

These are the frequencies plants need for normal development.

  • Blue – Blue is the first color absorbed by plants and is essential at the beginning, or vegetative, stage.
  • Purple – Purple also helps in the vegetative stage, although purple by itself does not provide effective energy for photosynthesis.
  • Green – Green is primarily reflected, but small amounts are retained and contribute to energy conversion.
  • Yellow – Yellow is the least effective for the purpose of photosynthesis.
  • Red – Red is needed in the mature, flowering stage for blooms to form and is most effective when combined with blue. Red alone should not be used in the early, vegetative stages.
  • White – White is the combination of all colors in the visible light spectrum and can be used effectively for all stages of a plant’s development.

So, for seedlings and leafy green vegetables, higher spectrum bulbs in the blue range are required.

But if you want plants to flower and set fruit, you’ll also need low spectrum red colors.

Or, you can make things easy. Use a full spectrum, white bulb to satisfy all stages of cultivation.

Types of Bulbs

A variety of specialized electric bulbs have been developed for indoor growing. The most common ones are:

  • Compact fluorescent lamps (CFL)
  • Fluorescent tubes
  • High pressure sodium vapor (HPS)
  • Light-emitting diodes (LED)
  • Metal-halide (MH)

For the average home gardener looking to start a few trays of seeds, fluorescents and LEDs are the most popular and easily obtained.

Compact Fluorescent Lamps

Compact CFLs make a good choice for small spaces, and can be used in any regular incandescent bulb fixture.

But, due to their compact size, light distribution from a single CFL is limited and typically covers only a small space.

Fluorescent Tubes

Fluorescent tubes come in varying lengths and give much better coverage than CFLs, providing enough exposure for several standard seedling trays – depending on the length of the tubes.

They fit into a standard fluorescent fixture, but special full-spectrum tubes are required – regular household ones cannot be used effectively for growing plants.

High Pressure Sodium Vapor

High pressure sodium vapor lamps provide light in the yellow and red spectrum, and are typically used only in the flowering stage to encourage bloom set.

These are used by large scale growers to replace metal halide bulbs, once plants are finished with the vegetative stage. Most home growers do not use these bulbs.

Light Emitting Diode

LEDs come in small bulbs or strips, and offer the best long-term economy. Compared to fluorescents, LEDs provide a much higher luminosity, use half the electricity, produce little heat, and last up to five times longer.

But the typical household LED bulb isn’t designed for use on plants. Choose a full spectrum, combo, or isolated spectrum bulb suited to your needs.

Metal Halide

Metal halide bulbs emit a cool, blue-green color and are most efficient for larger growing operations where they can be operated at full power.

Initial prices are similar to those of LEDs, but MHs have a much shorter lifespan, and are not normally used in a home growing environment.

The Kelvin Scale

The Kelvin scale ranges from 1,000-10,000 and indicates a color’s temperature – the higher the Kelvin value, the closer a lamp’s color is to natural sunshine. Degrees of Kelvin are indicated by the capital letter K.

Ratings below 3500K typically have a warm value, showing an amber tint, while those with a higher rating get closer to a pure, or cool white color.

For leafy vegetative growth, a rating around 6500K is the ideal. But to generate flowers and fruit, plants require a period of exposure to warmer hues at approximately 3000K.

Lumens vs. Watts

It used to be that a bulb’s brightness was indicated by wattage. For example, a 100-watt bulb gave one and a half times the luminosity of a 40-watt bulb.

But due to the advent of energy efficient bulbs, wattage is no longer a good indicator of brightness. Wattage simply shows the amount of power drawn to produce a lamp’s brightness – which is now commonly indicated by lumens instead.

For example, an energy-efficient LED of 1,600 lumens has the equivalent brightness of one 100-watt bulb – but it only consumes up to 22 watts of power. And a comparably bright CFL bulb will use around 26 watts.

Basically, the higher the lumen value, the brighter the light will be. For seedlings, approximately 2,000 lumens per square foot is adequate. Flowering crops can require as much as 10,000 lumens per square foot.

Consider a Kit or Light Stand

If you’re buying light bulbs rather than a manufactured kit or stand, be prepared to do a little creative rigging.

Lamps need to be adjustable in height to accommodate plants as they develop. In general, 2 to 5 inches between the lamps and the top of leafy growth is recommended.

Some bulbs will come with a built-in deflector to direct energy onto the plants, but others won’t – you may need to purchase a fixture to direct rays where they need to go.

A much easier solution is to invest in a kit or light stand.

Kits and stands typically have easily adjustable lamp fixtures to accommodate plants’ growth, and often include helpful accessories as well.

Accessories

A few well-chosen accessories such as these can help ensure the success of your indoor garden:

  • Capillary mat – a capillary mat provides steady, gentle bottom watering so seedlings are never disturbed by vigorous water flow.
  • Reservoir base – to use a capillary mat, a water reservoir is needed. Typically, water is added to the kit base and the mat sits on a shelf with the ends dipped into the water. The water is then absorbed into the mat and wicks moisture into the bottom of the trays.
  • Timer – a timer is convenient for giving plants optimal light exposure without having to manually turn them on and off.
  • Modular and stacking models – these provide the option of adding vertical tiers to increase capacity without requiring a larger footprint.

Tips for Growing Robust Seedlings

The following tips will help you to get the best results from your indoor garden:

1. If you’re new to starting seedlings indoors, begin with non-fussy plants that are easy to germinate and transplant.

Basil, coleus, cucumbers, kale, lettuce, marigolds, melons, nasturtiums, peppers, snapdragons, spinach, tomatoes, and zinnias are all good choices for the novice.

2. Use a high-quality, sterilized soil formulated for starting seeds. This is important, to prevent bacterial and fungal infections in tender sprouts.

Gardener’s Supply has horticultural-grade, finely ground coconut coir available via Amazon – excellent for germination and producing healthy seedlings.

3. Most seeds, even for cool weather crops like lettuce and spinach, require warm soil temperatures in order to germinate.

Household temperatures that reach 70-75°F for several hours each day should provide adequate soil temperatures.

To check your soil temperature, an ordinary kitchen thermometer works fine, or you can purchase one designed for horticulture, such as this one available via Amazon.

Keep soil temperatures within the range recommended on the seed packet, and if necessary, use a heat mat in cool cellars or unheated garages. One like this 9 x 19.5-inch mat from Hydrofarm available via Amazon fits standard seed trays.

4. It’s also important to keep the lamps very close to the seedlings, within 2 to 5 inches. Raise the fixture as plants increase in size.

5. Air circulation needs to be monitored as well. If your setup generates temperatures over 80°F, heat stress becomes a concern for tender shoots. Use a small fan to gently move the air if needed.

6. Water the soil with a gentle touch. To ensure delicate seeds aren’t disturbed by a strong water flow, water the soil thoroughly before planting. Then keep the soil evenly moist with a spray bottle, or allow trays to soak up water from the bottom.

7. Once seedlings have developed true leaves, gently separate any crowded clumps with a small fork, then replace in the tray until you are ready to transplant.

Let There Be Light!

Indoor gardening gets a lot easier with grow lights, and they enable you to cultivate plants at any time of year, in any climate.

Start seedlings, nurture herbs and salad greens, or pamper your houseplants with lamps specifically designed to mimic natural sunlight – there’s a model available to suit just about any location or setting.

Easy to use and economical, you’ll love watching your plants flourish under their nurturing glow!

If you have any questions, or a model you’d like to recommend, drop us a note in the comments below. And if you’re ready to start gardening, be sure to read our tips on how to start annuals indoors from seeds.

If you are looking for more information about indoor gardening, you’ll need these guides next:

© Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on March 8, 2020. Last updated: January 21, 2021 at 8:58 am. Product Photos via Aerogarden, Burpee, Feit Electric, Gardener’s Supply Company, Home Depot, Hydrofarm, Relassy, SunBlaster, and True Leaf Market. Uncredited photos: Shutterstock. With additional writing and editing by Clare Groom and Allison Sidhu

About Lorna Kring

A writer, artist, and entrepreneur, Lorna is also a long-time gardener who got hooked on organic and natural gardening methods at an early age. These days, her vegetable garden is smaller to make room for decorative landscapes filled with color, fragrance, art, and hidden treasures. Cultivating and designing the ideal garden spot is one of her favorite activities – especially for gathering with family and friends for good times and good food (straight from the garden, of course)!

For indoor gardens, a reliable, bright light source is needed for healthy seedlings and houseplants. Check our list of 13 best grow lights for the job.

Best Grow Lights for Seedlings Reviews: Complete Buyer’s Guide

Preparing yourself with a veggie garden is a great way to safeguard your family against food shortages. Speak to any vegetable farmer or hobbyist gardener, and they’ll tell you that the biggest challenge with growing your garden comes from managing the seedling phase of development.

Most beginner gardeners fail at this stage, causing stress in the plant that delays growth. If you want to start your veggie garden like a pro, you need the best grow light for seedlings. A grow light imitates the rays of the sun in a specific spectrum, providing your seedlings with the optimal light spectrum they need for speedy growth.

With growing zones expected to shift on the coming Grand Solar Minimum, a seedling grow light can help you get an early start on the growing season. As a result, you get more harvests per year, increasing your food stockpile.

In this review, we’ll look at the best grow lights for seedlings and make our recommendations on top products for your indoor garden.

Our Top Picks

If you want to skip on the rest of the review, and get right to the bottom line, check out this section. We scoured hundreds of online listings to settle on our top three choices for the best overall, premium, and budget grow lights for your indoor garden.

We selected these three models, giving you options to suit your gardening requirements and your budget.

Best Pick: Root Farm All-Purpose LED Grow Light

  • This 45 watt grow light is specially designed to grow a wide variety of plants from seed to harvest
  • Grow your favorite veggies fruits and flowers 365 days a Year
  • Versatile design adapts as plants grow
  • LED recipe specially designed to grow plants indoors
  • LED light provides more power with less energy compared to more traditional lights like CFLs

This model takes our top award for the best overall seedling grow light. This model features a sturdy, freestanding design, with an overhead canopy light for your seedling tray. This grow light comes with an all-purpose LED grow light, providing a suitable spectrum that raises your plants from seedlings to healthy adults. The adjustable legs on the stand allow you to lift or drop the light to the correct distance from the canopy, ensuring speedy growth in your seedlings. The 45-Watt capacity and blend of red and blue LEDs provide optimal lighting conditions for your plants. This model comes with a hanging rig and power adapter included.

Premium Pick: Future Harvest Developer

  • Sun blaster 6400K T5HO lamps simulate natural sunlight and are ideal for cuttings and vegetative growth
  • For maximum output and efficiency use with Sun Blaster T5HO lighting fixtures
  • NanoTech reflectors increase lumen availability, which maximizes fixture performance
  • Dimension:23.2 x 3.1 x 2 inches

The Future Harvest Developer wins our top award for the best premium seedling grow light in this review. With this model, you get Sun-blaster 6400K T5HO LED lamps, providing 48-Watts of total light to your plants. There’s an adjustable hood to accommodate your seedlings development, with nanotech reflectors to enhance the light on all sides of the plants. You get four seedling trays included with this farm, and efficient operation, using 20% less energy than other leading indoor grow light systems.

Budget Pick: Elaine Indoor LED Grow Light

  • Sunlight Full Spectrum: 3 Heads indoor plant light brighter than other plant grow light and lower heat.High performance and efficient features make your plants grow faster and healthier,promotes photosynthesis, increases growth rate,Ideal for all stage of plant growth.
  • Upgraded Timing & Auto Turn On/off Function: Look no further,this is the best plant growing lamp! Two-way memory timing function.3/6/12 hours timer setting options according to plant needs.Set up once and it will turn on and off automatically EVERY DAY!
  • 5 level dimming & 3 switch modes: You can adjust brightness to suit varied stages of plant growth,and 3 Switch Modes A Light On,B Light On and Both Light On.High quality led chips (50,000 hours lifetime),the wave of the light from 400nm to 840nm.Suitable for both home & office.
  • Three Flexible LED Goosenecks: 360-degree flexible gooseneck with clip that can easily adjust the angle and distance,which enlarge the illumination area and provided more efficient lighting for more plants.Suitable for both home & office.Great option for indoor garden enthusiasts for high quality and good harvest.
  • Widely Used:This Grow lamp has more larger lighting area that is suitable for whole growth circle. Perfect for balconies,greenhouses,darkroom,office and so on.

This elaine model is a great choice for starting your plants indoors. You get three light arms, featuring 20-Watts each, for total lighting power of 60-Watts. They feature five dimming levels and a built-in timer for three, six, and 12-hour light cycles. This model is affordable, and it comes with three brightness modes to help your seedlings adjust to stronger light as they develop. The flexible goosenecks allow for custom positioning above the canopy, with two-way memory timing to your preferred settings.

Grow Lights for Seedlings Reviews

After reading through the reviews of our top models, let’s unpack them further. We’ll also look at other models that qualify for the best grow light for seedlings.

After reading through the reviews, make sure you check out our buyer’s guide section. We’ll walk you through everything you need to know about choosing the right indoor lighting system for your seedlings.

Root Farm All-Purpose LED Grow Light

Growing seedlings for your veggie garden or indoor flower display require you to mimic natural sunlight to help the plants produce food for growth. This Root Farm model is an excellent example of a top-quality indoor lighting system.

With this model, you get compatibility with Root Farm seedlings trays (sold separately). The frame on this lighting system features telescopic legs with release and locking buttons available in various positions to suit your canopy height.

Start your plants indoors early this season using the Root Farm indoor LED lighting system. With this model, you get an attractive display for your indoor garden, featuring clean design and the use of aluminum materials in the frame for a classy finish.

This model includes a powerful 45-Watt LED light setup. It offers a good balance for red and blue light, providing plants with optimal growth in the seedling stage. There is a hanging kit and a power adapter included with your purchase.

    45-Watt output Good LED balance and PAR output Adjustable legs with locking and release mechanism Clean design Energy efficient Comes with a hanging kit

Future Harvest Developer

If you’re a home gardener looking to propagate cuttings or grow seedlings for your veggie garden, this indoor grow light is a great choice for starting your seedlings early.

You get a complete system included with this kit, featuring four seedling trays, a reflector canopy, and Sun-blaster 6400K LED lights.

The hood and reflector increase light absorption by your plants by up to 20%. You get two rows of LED lights, each offering a 24-Watt output, for a combined light output of 48-Watts total. The hood sits on a frame, allowing for adjustment to suit your canopy height.

This model is the ideal choice for homeowners looking for a complete lighting and growing system for indoor use. It’s easy to set up, with a plug-and-play operation for your seedlings.

    An excellent choice for hobbyist gardeners Includes four seedling trays Canopy with reflectors included Adjustable canopy height Sun-blaster 6400K lamps included 2 x 24-Watt output for 48-Watts total

Elaine Indoor LED Grow Light

If you’re looking for an indoor grow light on a budget, we recommend this model from Elaine. This indoor grow lamp wins not only our best budget model in this review, but it’s Amazon’s top choice as well.

With the Elaine indoor grow light, you get three gooseneck arms supporting three T5 LED lights. Each light offers a 20-Wat output, for a total light output of 60-Watts. Each light comes with a full-spectrum LED set up, and you have the option of choosing between three lighting modes to suit your seedling development.

This indoor grow light features a desk clamp design, allowing you to secure it to tabletops and windowsills in seconds. The Gooseneck arms on the lights allow for customizable height selection to suit your canopy.

This lighting system also includes a three-stage timer for three, six, and twelve-hour light cycles. You get high-quality LEDs included with this model, providing up to 50,000-hours service life.

    Affordable Powerful 60-Watt light output Five dimming options Adjustable goosenecks Timer included Three switch modes

VeRosky LED Grow Light

If you’re looking for professional-grade equipment for your indoor garden, we recommend this model from VeRosky lighting.

This SMD grow light features design and construction with 300 SMD LED chips, providing reduced heat during operation, and no LED burn on your plants.

This model produces up to 3X more lumen per LED, featuring a 90-degree reflector to reduce light loss by up to 30%. The triple LED chips to enhance plant photosynthesis, increasing crop yield, and the size of your seedlings when transplant season rolls around.

This model comes with a complete light spectrum for vegetative growth and flowering.

You get a hanging design, with easy access to the on/off switch. The fans keep the light cool, and you get a total light output of 1,000-Watts.

    Powerful 1,000-Watt output for larger seedling farms PAR levels three times above competitive models Full-spectrum light for flowering and vegetative growth Reflector included Efficient operation SMD LED chips for extended service life

Barrina Grow Light

If you’re looking to build a large indoor garden, we recommend going with the Barrina model.

This indoor grow light offers you full-spectrum grow lamps, featuring 384 LEDs, producing a light output of 96-Watts. These lights have the same lumen output as traditional 600-Watt models, with improved efficiency and low energy consumption.

The high-efficiency LEDs produce a light spectrum that’s 95% absorbed by your plants, speeding growth while increasing yield. The aluminum reflector enhances light output by up to 20%, with long service life.

The Barrina indoor grow lights feature easy installation, with plug-and-play operation. You can daisy-chain up to four of these lights together for the largest indoor setups. You get a hanging design and all mounting hardware included with your purchase.

    Professional-grade equipment Super bright 96-Watt output Reflector provides a 20% increase in efficiency 384-total LEDs Plants absorb 95% of light energy with this model Plug-and-play operation

Super Sprouter Deluxe Propagation Kit

If you’re looking for a quick start for your seedlings this summer, we recommend the Super Sprouter Deluxe Propagation Kit. This model features an enclosed environment for your seedlings, ensuring your plants’ best chances of survival.

The Super Sprouter comes with a 10″ x 20″ seedling tray and a propagator hood. The propagator hood increases temperature and humidity inside the unit by creating a greenhouse effect. The clear canopy allows for optimal light penetration for the 18-inch T5 LED light mounted into the hood.

You get plug-and-play operation right out of the box; with everything you need to get a great start on your veggie or herb garden this year. Use this model to grow seedlings or your favorite cuttings, providing the optimal growing environment for younger plants.

    Ideal for growing sprouts Hood included for micro-climate A good choice for propagating cuttings Seed tray included Complete system 18-inch T5 grow light included

Elaine Tri-Light Indoor Grow Lamps

Elaine gets a second mention in this review for the best grow light for seedlings.

This model features the same desk clamp design, fitting to windowsills, tables, and desks. You get three gooseneck stands featuring light setups with 132 high-quality LEDs, offering a service life of 10,000-hours.

The 18-inch gooseneck design of the lamps makes it easy to adjust them to the canopy height. You get three light settings for your preferred spectrum, with full-spectrum lighting available. This model comes with five dimmable modes to replicate sunlight hours.

This model comes with three timer settings for 3-hour, 6-hour, and 12-hour light cycles for your seedlings.

You get a 120-degree beam angle, with 360-degree illumination of your plants. This high-efficiency model features a 20-Watt output per light, offering 60-Watts of total light output.

    Three 20-Watt LEDs for a 60-Watt total output High-efficiency LED chips for 10,000-hour service life Three timer settings and auto on/off 120-degree beam angle Flexible gooseneck adjusts to canopy height

Ankace LED Growth Light

This Ankace indoor grow light is a great choice for starting your seedlings earlier this year. This model comes with four 11-inch gooseneck arms, allowing for a customizable setup to match your canopy height.

There are three light settings, with a full-spectrum setting available, and you get five dimming modes to replicate the daylight hours. This model includes a desk-clamp desk, allowing for easy setup on desks, windowsills, and tables.

This model comes with a 3-stage timer, offering you 3-hour, 6-hour, and 12-hour light cycles for easy operation.

You get plenty of coverage with this model, including a light output of 20-Watts per gooseneck, providing a total of 80-Watts of light output.

    Four 20-Watt LED arms Flexible goosenecks for adjustable canopy height Three lighting modes with a full spectrum Five dimming modes Affordable price Three cycle timer

CXhome T5 LED Grow Light Strip

This CXhome model is a great choice for homeowners building a custom indoor seedling garden. These light strips attach to shelves, providing you with a custom fit to your application.

The CXhome LED lighting system includes three lighting tubes, featuring high-efficiency, full-spectrum LEDs. You get three lighting settings, along with 10-dimming options, to adjust the light to your preference.

This model comes with a three-stage timer, allowing 3-hour, 6-hour, and 12-hour light cycles. The auto on/off button gives you total control over the lighting system for efficient and effective light cycles.

This indoor grow light includes an aviation-grade radiator material, dispersing heat for cool operation, even if you’re running 24-hour light cycles.

    T5 LEDs for full light spectrum High-efficiency LEDs Three-tube switching and 10-level dimming functions Three timer settings Scientific heat dissipation design

Byingo 2ft 32W Plant Grow Light

This full spectrum grow light for seedlings rounds off our review. You get a full-spectrum design suitable for vegetative or flowering stages, with a long tube design.

This model includes high-efficiency LEDs, with a polished aluminum shell that reflects more light.

This model comes ready for use right out of the box, with plug-and-play operation and a 4.9-foot power cord. The LEDs offer low power consumption, reducing the cost of your electricity bill.

You get an extendable design, allowing you to daisy-chain up to four lights together for the largest setups.

    High-power indoor grow light High-efficiency operation Plug-and-play operation Extendable design Full light spectrum

Other Best Selling Options

  • Auto turn on and off timming function
  • Red and blue led combination
  • 9 dimmable modes
  • 3 cycle timing modes
  • Suitable for indoor potted plants or indoor gardens
  • Full Spectrum(White color) – Barrina LED grow lights provide indoor plants with full-spectrum sunlight replacement. They provide the most reasonable grow light wave based on the ratio of the absorption of the plants
  • Super Bright – Consume only 96W with 384 LEDS totally, replacing 600w general plant lights. Over 95% light energy can be absorbed by plants. It is a great option for plants that in seedling, vegetative and flowering cycle
  • Reflector – The light efficiency can be increased by 17

20% with reflector. The shell of our light was made of 100% aluminum which provides the high-efficiency heat dissipation. Ensuring the longer service life of the led chips

  • Easy Installation – Plug and play. And could link up to 12 grow lights in a series by inclueded 48 inches connecting cords. Using clips or Double-sided tape to mount on ceiling, using cable ties to tie on grow light stand, or using hang ring to hang the lights, multiple installation methods provide the best way that you need.
  • What You Get – 2 years warranty. 4 x Barrina LED Grow lights, 2 x Power cords with ON/OFF switch, 4 x Connecting Cords(48”), 4 x Small Connectors, 4x Installation Clips, 8 x Double-sided tape, 16 x cable ties
    • Multiple Uses – It is suitable for indoor plant seedlings grown in a hydroponic greenhouse at your home or you placed in your office. It helps to speed up the growth of potted plants, flowering plants, foliage, and succulent plants.
    • Best Red/Blue Led Combination – This LED grow lights diverts targeted wavelengths for plants. The 12 Blue LED chips ensure plants take in more energy through the synthesis of chlorophyll to help in germination. 24 Red LED chip contributes to effective germination, flowering, and enhances photosynthesis for better results.
    • Timer – it comes with three timer setting options which allows up to 3, 6, or 12 hours according to plant needs. This is a one-way timer whereby lights can automatically turn on and off everyday.
    • 5 Dimmable modes & 3 Switch Modes – it has five dimmable modes to suit varied stages of plant growth. You can just switch the lights off or on to suit the plants need.
    • Adjustable Design – It has a USB connector which makes it convenient to connect to your office or home. With its 360 degrees adjustable gooseneck, it is able to light a wider area and emit light in any direction to provide energy to more plants.
    • ✔【CRI 95+ Full Spectrum】Monios-L 4ft led grow light with the full spectrum between 380-800nm, is the professional sunlight replacement for indoor plants.The 60W ultra bright leds provide high PPFD ( photosynthetic photon flux density ), perfect for seedling, vegetative and flowering cycle.
    • ✔【Eyes protection】This grow light are suitable for planting plants in any indoor application. 2900K color temperature makes your eyes feel comfortable. It works extremely well for your plant grow tents, plant grow shelves, seedling cultivation, succulents, hydroponic rooms, greenhouses, etc.
    • ✔【Excellent heat dissipation】The light efficiency can be increased by 17

    20% with reflector. The shell of our light was made of 100% aluminum which provides the high-efficiency heat dissipation. Ensuring the longer service life of the led chips.

  • ✔【Easy to install】Ceiling or Hanging installation. Plug and play, no wiring and reconstructing needed.
  • ✔【Quality after-sales service】12 months warranty 100% money back. Contact us for an easy and fast replacement.
    • 🌹[Classical Full Spectrum] Compact grow light that puts out the needed light, includes 163pcs (620-660nm)+58pcs blue leds(450-460nm) +4pcs white leds (6500k), which is ideal for all kinds of indoor plants seeding growing and flowering at all growth stages.
    • 🌹[Easy Set-up] This led grow lights are lightweight and very easy to use with the upgraded hanging brackets, system can be built in perfect sturdy condition within one minute. Built in 59’’ power cord could really stand another two feet of length though and make your plants happy.
    • 🌹[Low Heat] ABS plastic material molding hydroponic grow lights panel , excellent Heat control, runs cool and quiet, no harm to your plants. Square shape design maximizes the beam to cover 3ft by 3ft area of plants, recommended to hang at around 6-10 inches for seedling.
    • 🌹[High Efficiency] Plants grow fuller with much stronger and straight stems with these led grow light bulb. Most of the seeds are germinated and sprouting in 2 weeks. Low power consumption save your electric bill, 2 pack design are value for the dollar.
    • 🌹[Worry-Free Warranty] We offer 12 months warranty plus 30 days satisfaction or return guarantee for this grow light kit. Please contact us first if there’s any issue, we promise to response within 24 hours.

    Grow Lights Buyer’s Guide

    Plants require air, water, and light to grow. When the winter pulls around, the days get shorter, and the sun’s rays lose intensity. As a result, it’s challenging to grow plants until the ground thaws in the spring.

    If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, that means you can only put plants in your vegetable garden or flowerbeds when it’s mid-spring. Unfortunately, the shorter seasons in the Northern Hemisphere mean you don’t get a longer growing season than you do in the south.

    If you want to get more out of your garden this year, you’re going to need to start your plants indoors. To achieve growth indoors, you need an indoor grow lamp to provide your plants with the chance to produce food to thrive.

    It’s easy to reproduce the effects of rain and air. However, lighting presents the biggest challenge to replicate indoors. Leaving your plants on the windowsill won’t work – you need an indoor grow light for your seedlings.

    Why Do I Need a Grow Light for My Seedlings?

    An indoor grow light for your plants mimics the sun’s rays, providing you with a source of light energy for your seedlings. Your seedlings can’t tell the difference between the grow light and the sun, as the grow light emits the same lightwaves.

    Therefore, you can start your plants four to six weeks early, transplanting them into the garden as the ground thaws and spring starts. This strategy gives you a longer growing season and an additional harvest.

    Indoor grow lights allow you to start early, and your plants should be ready for transplanting as soon as the spring gets into swing.

    Features to Look for

    When purchasing the best grow light for seedlings, we recommend looking for the following features in a prospective model.

    LED Lights

    All modern grow lights feature design with LED technology. LED is effective and affordable to run. It’s the best way to give your plants the optimal spectrum they need for growth. LEDs have a longer service life than fluorescent, incandescent, or metal halide bulbs, and they use less electricity.

    LED Output and Power

    When selecting your ideal indoor grow light, we recommend looking at the LEDs’ output in your prospective light. The average small grow light for seedlings needs between 45-Watts to 80-Watts of light output. That’s enough lumens to help your plants achieve optimal growth.

    LED Quality

    The quality of the LEDs in your grow light makes an enormous difference in service life. The average high-quality T5 LED should provide you with at least 10,000-hours of service life before replacement.

    Light Spectrum

    It’s critical that you look at the wavelength emitted by the device when purchasing your grow light. Plants require full-spectrum light for the best growing results. Look for models featuring a full PAR spectrum, offering both red and blue wavelengths. Some models will also feature white-light.

    Lighting Modes

    Your LED grow light should feature different lighting modes. Look for models offering blue, red, and full-spectrum modes for your choice of growing conditions. The lighting modes affect your plants and how they grow.

    PAR refers to the balance of red, blue, and white light in your LEDs. Top models feature high PAR ratings, giving you the best performance out of your new grow light.

    Timers

    The best grow light for seedlings come with timers. You get the option of setting your light cycle to 3-hours, 6-hours, or 12-hours, depending on your plant’s needs.

    A timer is a handy feature in your light, allowing you to control the light cycle. However, if your model doesn’t come with a timer, you’ll have to purchase one separately or rely on manual operation.

    Reflectors

    A reflector helps increase the light intensity from the LEDs, amplifying the light output. Some reflectors can increase lumen count by up to 30%, depending on the design and materials used in the reflector. The best reflectors feature design and construction with polished aluminum or mylar materials.

    A reflector is not an essential piece of equipment for your grow light. However, we recommend looking at models with reflectors to speed up your seedling growth. Some models come with detachable hoods, while others have permanent fixtures.

    Propagator Hoods

    If you’re starting cuttings, then you need a humid environment to help with the rooting process. A propagator is a type of lighting setup involving a seedling tray and a clear hood, with an LED light on top.

    This setup allows you to contain humidity and heat inside the growing area. As a result, your plants root faster. Propagation kits are also good choices for growing seedlings. The additional moisture and warmth accelerate growth.

    Adjustable Light Height

    As your plants are growing, you need to move the light up to keep it at the correct distance from the canopy.

    If you place the light too close to the plant’s, it results in the burning of foliage and delayed growth. Some models come with gooseneck arms for easy adjustment, while others have hanging cables or telescopic legs for fast adjustment of the light height.

    Seedling Trays

    Some models include seedling trays, while others don’t. We like the custom setups with integrated seedling trays. They offer you a plug-and-play system that’s ready for use right out of the box. Seedling trays are relatively inexpensive and available at most nurseries and big-box retailers.

    What are the Mounting Designs for Indoor Grow Lights?

    • Hanging – Hanging models require installation into your roof or a growing cabinet. They are highly adjustable and can accommodate full-grown plants. They aren’t the best choice for indoor lights due to the advanced setup and mounting required.
    • Freestanding – A freestanding model is convenient and easy to use. You can set it up anywhere in the home, and it’s the ideal choice for starting seedlings. In most cases, freestanding models come as complete kits, but there are plenty of exceptions in this review.
    • Clips – These grow lights feature a clamp design, allowing you to secure them to tales, windowsills, and desks. While they offer a convenient mounting design, they have limited applications around the home.

    Grow Lights FAQs

    How far do I position the lights from my plants?

    We recommend you position your LED lights at least 12 to 30-inches from the canopy. As your seedlings develop, you’ll need to keep adjusting the canopy’s height to accommodate the new growth.

    Placing the lights too close to the canopy cause burning on the seedlings. Leaving the light too far from the canopy slows growth.

    How many hours of light do seedlings need each day?

    According to experts, your plants need at least 16 to 18 hours of light every day during the seedling stage. This lighting cycle provides the plants with the amount of light they receive at the height of the growing season. Don’t set your lights on a 24-hour cycle. Your seedlings need a few hours break from the light to recover from the stress of the growing hours of the day.

    What is the best color spectrum for my seedlings?

    When purchasing your grow light, it’s vital that you do your research on the system’s output before you finalize your purchase. Red LEDs stimulate flowering and fruiting in your seedlings, and it also mimics the shorter days of the season, allowing you to put your plants into the flowering phase of its lifecycle. Therefore, red light is essential for growth, but it shouldn’t be overwhelming in your grow light. Blue light LEDs assist with the vegetative growth of your plants. It’s the ideal spectrum for seedlings, but you do need to include some red light to balance it out.

    Where do I buy the best grow light for seedlings?

    We recommend searching for the best grow lights on Amazon. Amazon is the leader in global eCommerce, with the best selection and prices on grow lights. If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you get buyer protection on your order, with fast, free shipping to your doorstep. Amazon offers you a hassle-free returns service if there’s anything wrong with your grow light.

    Grow Lights – The Verdict

    By now, you should have your eye on a few prospective models for your new seedling grow light. Light is an essential element for development in your plants, and choosing the right lighting system makes a significant difference in your plant’s yield at harvest time.

    Start your plants early this season with one of our top choices in this review. If you’re having trouble settling on a model, why not go with one of our top picks?

    The Root Farm All-Purpose LED Grow Light wins our award for the best overall seedling grow light. This model comes with a freestanding design and telescopic legs for an adjustable canopy height. You get a good balance of red and blue LEDs, with a 45-Watt capacity that’s ideal for rearing seedlings.

    The Future Harvest Developer is our choice for the best premium seedling grow light in this review. This model comes as a complete system, including seedling trays. You get two banks of 24-Watt lights for a powerful 48-Watt total light output. The reflector hood features a telescopic stand to adjust to your canopy height as your seedlings develop.

    The Elaine Indoor LED Grow Light is another top choice and the winner of the best budget buy in this review. With this model, you get three flexible gooseneck arms featuring a 20-Watt LED. This model comes with five adjustable dimmer functions and easy adjustment to your canopy height. These grow lights come with high-quality LEDs, offering 50,000-hours of service life at a great price.

    Are you looking for the best grow lights for seedlings? Read on as we review all the top options with Pros & Cons.