Grow Lights Explained

Grow Lights

A grow light is an electric light, often a necessary tool for achieving indoor plant growth. Indoor growing offers many advantages, more and more people tend to grow fruits or vegetables indoors. Grow lights are designed to replace natural sunlight, allowing plants to photosynthesize and reach their full potential for growth.

There are also seasonal benefits to the technology. Just as winter days have a negative impact on the health of people, the same can be said for plants. This is noticeable when attempting to grow plants inside to protect them from harsher weather. The mix of shorter days and less natural exposure to the sun leads to plants dying or not reaching their full potential.

For commercial businesses, the new technology has led to fantastic growth opportunities and a greater increase in the yield of crops and plants. Reducing the need to rely on good weather or peak times of the year, the benefits that grow lamp technology has offered to businesses is changing how we approach agrictulture.

As the technology becomes more popular, the variety of lamps on the market increases. This guide aims to explain how to approach picking the right one for you or your business, while offering top quality recommendations from trusted brands.


  • What Are Grow Lights?
  • Featured Products
  • Commercial Usage
  • How to Choose Grow Lights
  • Types of Grow Lights
  • Light Spectrum and Intensity
  • Placement
  • How Can I tell if My Plants Need More Light?

What Are Grow Lights?

Tomato Grow Lights

Grow Lights is technology designed to provide seedlings, vegetation, culinary herbs and other herbs with the light they require to grow healthily and minimise wasted crops. A good indoor lighting set up can also avoid damages that can develop in the absence of natural light. Grow lights is an ever improving agricultural tool that can simulate that natural light within the indoor environment.

The light intensity that planets require to grow efficiently is much higher than humans need for comfortable living. The minimum light intensity required to grow plants is at least 30 times greater than required for human lighting in an office environment.

Can you grow plants with regular light bulbs indoors? Very rarely. House lights simply do not provide the same intesity as grow lights. Some houseplants should be fine but if you're looking for a greater chance of a yielding a large amount of produce, You need proper lights. This also applies to boosting the flowering stage of tricker plants such as tomatoes and chillies.

What Can You Grow With Grow Lights? Here's some examples...

Tomatoes Orchids
Basil Peppers
 House Plants Other Herbs

Featured Products

Ge Grow Lamp

GE 400w SON T E40 Cap

  • Average Life - 18,000 Hours
  • Photosynthetic photon flux - 1020
  • Lumen Light Output - 55,000
  • Average Life - 18,000 Hours
  • Compatible with standard fixtures

Gro-Lux Tube

F8w T8 Gro-Lux

  • Average Life - 18,000 Hours
  • Photosynthetic photon flux - 1020
  • Lumen Light Output - 55,000
  • Average Life - 18,000 Hours
  • Compatible with standard fixtures

Commercial Usage

A quick glimpse at some of the unique ways the devloping technology is being used commercialy. The potential of Grow Lighting is clear to see, with improved produce yield being available from the smallest homes to the largest of industrial facilities. See the following examples:


Stadium with grow lightsStadium with grow lights

Major football teams, such as the Premiere League's Tottenham (pictured above), have used Grow Light technology to encourage the growth of stadium grass. This assists in finding the perfect length in a relatively short amount of time.


Grow Lights in ProductionGrow Lights in Production

Commercial production of vegetables has become even easier with the improvement of grow light technology. Producers now have more control over their crops with this exciting agriculture technology, protecting crops from harsh conditions.

Research Advancement

NASA Grow Light ResearchNASA Grow Light Research

Pictured above is a NASA test on growing potato plants in space.  Advancements in lighting for agriculture means advancements in research around food production in general. This demonstrates how the lights have opened the door for further progress.

How to Choose Grow Lights

Grow Lights Example

What Grow Light Type is the Best?

SON lamps: Gas discharge lamps that uses sodium to produce light via wavelengths. Both low pressure and high pressue Son Lamps are popular choices for grow lamps. A classic and easy to install option, these cost effective bulbs are an economical choice for a variety of indoor gardening needs.

Compact Fluourescent: These are less popular than HID and LED grow lights, but they are a good, cheap option. Powerful enough for low quantities. If you’re just growing a couple of plants and looking for supplemental light, a regular CFL can work.

Fluourescent Tubes: If you have enough plants to warrant getting a tube, a T5 can be a good option. These are also good for starting seeds or growing herbs. The light intensity is not very strong, so the plant likely won’t flower under this kind of light, but it’s better than no light at all.

LED: The more cost effective option. Upgrading to LED can save you money on your energy bills over time when you make the switch. Many options can also match tradition bulbs in intensity of light output.

Selecting the best Grow Light will depend on your needs and budget, so it's worth exploring the range of grow lights on offer to you to make the right match. For small growing projects, a SON or LED lamp will do the tick, with the former often being more powerful. For commercial projects an LED or Fluourescent Tube gives you wide efficient coverage. 

Light Spectrum and Intensity

Lights need a more intense amount of lumens than standard bulbs to fully function as grow lights, that's why our recommended choices are all powerful high-lumen options.

Most plants need a spectrum of color to thrive. Although standard grow lights appear clear or white to the naked eye, they actually consist of multiple colors emitted in varying degrees. This is known as a ‘full spectrum’ light. Contained within that spectrum are some colors especially helpful to indoor plants.

Ideally grow lights will be aiming to simulate natural daylight. This is why most available bulbs are 6000+ kelvins or higher, creating a powerful white-bule glow that simulates natural light.


Incorrect placement of lighting can be detrimental to the growth of your plant, and there are general rules that apply to both home and commercial use/

Grow lights should  of course be close to the plants with minimal obstruction, though not so close that the heat of lamp negatively impacts the plant. It is best to place them above plants to guide the plants to grow upward. Plants will grow well at a right distance from the lights. Generally speaking, the LED grow light should be 12 to 30 inches away from the top of the plant. Then, as the plant grows, adjust your light to stay at a consistent distance from the plant.

The distance also depends on the light intensity of the light used. If you are not sure, you can start from further away and gradually bring the light closer to see how the plant grows well.

How can I tell if my plants need more light?

If your plants thrive during the spring and summer, but struggle the rest of the year, it may be time to bring supplemental light to your living space. Adding a few hours of light in wintertime can reinvigorate houseplants and sustain overwintering outdoor pots until the next growing season. It can also help certain plants flower and make fruit.

Since stressed plants develop problems, here are some signs your plants need more light:

  • Dying or yellowing leaves.
  • Smaller than normal leaves.
  • New pests and diseases.
  • Tall and leggy growth.
  • Variegated plants losing variegation.

Dying Plant

Grolux Tubes

T8 Grow Tube

F58w/GRO - 5ft 58w

  • Average Life - 18,000 Hours
  • Photosynthetic photon flux - 1020
  • Lumen Light Output - 55,000
  • Average Life - 18,000 Hours
  • Compatible with standard fixtures

F36w/GRO - 4ft 36w T8 Gro-Lux

F36w/GRO - 4ft 36w

  • Average Life - 18,000 Hours
  • Photosynthetic photon flux - 1020
  • Lumen Light Output - 55,000
  • Average Life - 18,000 Hours
  • Compatible with standard fixtures

SON T Lamps

600w Son T Lamp

Son T 600w / GE- E40Cap

  • Average Life - 18,000 Hours
  • Photosynthetic photon flux - 1020
  • Lumen Light Output - 55,000
  • Average Life - 18,000 Hours
  • Universal Operating Position

ow Bay Fitting Complete With 400w Grow Light

Low Bay Fitting + 400w Grow Light

  • Osram branded 400w Lamp
  • Average Life - 18,000 Hours
  • Lumen Light Output - 56,500
  • Pre-wired aluminium low bay
  • Dimensions: 600mm(L) x 285mm(W) x 155mm(D)
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