Grocery costs rival - and even exceed - monthly mortgage costs in many cities across the United States. The average 4-person American family with 2 kiddos in elementary school spends a minimum of $639.30 on groceries per month - and that figure jumps significantly higher if they primarily buy organic products or allergy-friendly foods. Ouch.
Luckily, there are ways you can reduce the amount you pay to feed your family. If high food expenses are killing your budget, consider planting your own garden. As an added benefit, you can also avoid GMOs and pesticides when you grow produce at home.
You might be wondering:
What exactly is an indoor grow light? How do I choose the right one?
An indoor grow light mimics the golden glow of natural sunlight. You can use an indoor grow light on nearly any type of plant, from fruits and vegetables to fresh herbs and fragrant flowers.
Whether you’re growing a complete indoor garden or just want to help a few pots of cilantro and basil flourish, we’ve got you covered with our helpful list below!
Uses very little power compared to other indoor grow lights. Designed for all phases of plant development.
Not approved for outdoor use, but you probably didn’t plan to use this indoor grow light in the backyard anyway.
Color: 3 blue lights and 9 red lights shine down on your herbs and veggies, encouraging leafy growth and flowering. Unlike some of the other options on our list, there are no white LED bulbs - but the light still promotes healthy plant development.
Brightness: This compact yet powerful light gets its brightness from 24-watt bulbs. It’s an energy-efficient indoor grow light that is bright enough for plants to sprout, but it's not so bright that members of your home can’t deal with the glow. The bulbs continue burning for up to 35,000 hours, which basically means you can run this light constantly for several years.
Features: Heat-sink aluminum helps keep this light cool, so you don’t have to worry about scorching plants or overheating the room where you keep it. We love that it uses a standard E26 socket because they aren’t hard to find - you might even have one in your home already.
Price: The OxyLED 24-watt device is one of the cheapest grow lights on our list of faves. You can typically buy one for around $20.
Scientifically engineered design treats plants to a grow-inducing glow. Daisy chain connection lets you connect multiple grow lights without affecting performance.
It’s too hot for a grow tent or other small spaces, so use this light in a large room or basement.
Color: A combination of blue, red, orange, and white lights help plants thrive at any stage. LED Growlight Guide raves about this full-spectrum light, explaining that you can use it for all plant types. You can even use it on fruit trees!
Brightness: This 300-watt indoor grow light is extremely bright, and the company warns that you shouldn’t stare at it. It’s more than 10 times brighter than some of the other lights on our list, and it has a long lifespan of up to 100,000 hours.
Features: A cooling fan and aluminum heat sink join forces to help this indoor grow light run 70% cooler than HID lights. And we’re excited that this unit has a timer so we don’t have to remember to shut if off.
Price: The regular price for this indoor grow light is around $160, but we’ve seen it for less than $90. It’s reasonably priced for such a powerful indoor grow light.
Many of the lights on our list are energy efficient, but this one is also made from eco-friendly materials. It has a sleek profile that makes it ideal for small spaces.
There isn’t an on-off switch, so you have to unplug the light when it’s not in use.
Color: There are 225 LED bulbs in 4 different colors on this Mokoqi grow light. It has the usual red and blue bulbs, plus white and orange ones. This is one of the only indoor grow lights we’ve found with orange bulbs - the other one is the Viparspectra.
Brightness: We’re psyched that this 45-watt indoor grow light burns brightly, but still boasts a light efficiency that’s 30% higher than similar grow lights from competitors. Users say it illuminates an entire room, so remember that if you’re planning to put this light in a bedroom or living room.
Features: Lightweight ABS material reflects light without getting too hot. Includes hooks and a buckle hang rope for easy installation.
Price: Compared to other indoor grow lights, this Mokoqi has an average price. Amazon lists its regular price as $111.99, but it’s currently less than $40.
An overall lifespan of up to 50,000 hours makes this grow light an excellent choice for long-term use. Easy installation process.
The powerful bulbs in this indoor grow light can burn plants if you place them too close.
Color: Red, blue, and white LED bulbs give this full-spectrum grow light its glow. There are 12 bulbs, and they work together to help plants grow and flower.
Brightness: Coming in at just 24 watts, this LED grow light has the lowest wattage on our list. It burns brightly without causing the headaches and visual strain reported by owners of higher-wattage grow lights.
Features: You won’t find any special features on this budget-friendly, no-frills grow light - and that’s okay. It does what it advertises, and we like that it’s compatible with the desk lamp bases we already own.
Price: This is the cheapest grow light on our list of favorites, but it still gets the job done. It usually costs less than $20.
Low-maintenance growing system lets you grow herbs and salad greens with minimal effort. Does not require soil.
If a power outage occurs, you may lose some (or all) of the information stored in the grow light’s LCD screen. Not ideal for growing large, heavy vegetables.
Color: Like the Galaxyhydro light featured earlier in our review, the AeroGarden uses red and blue lights that help plants develop and thrive. It also has white lights that encourage quick growth - up to 5 times faster than plants grown in soil, if we’re being specific.
Brightness: The lower the wattage, the less energy a unit requires - so it makes sense that users rave that the AeroGarden is quieter than other indoor grow lights. The AeroGarden uses 30-watt full-spectrum LED bulbs, which means it’s not “Ouch, my eyes are killing me” bright. It has the second-lowest wattage of the growing lights on our list, but it still works its magic on sprouting seedlings.
Features: Tracking plant-growing data on the interactive LCD screen never fails to impress us. We also dig that this indoor grow light reminds us when to add water and plant food. We suck at remembering to take care of our gardens when life gets hectic, but the soil-free, low-maintenance AeroGarden prevents that problem.
Price: Expect to spend around $280 for your AeroGarden. It’s the most expensive indoor grow light on our list, but it comes with everything you need to get started growing your own indoor garden.
A practical daisy chain function lets you connect this unit to other indoor grow lamps. A combination of red and blue LED lights encourages plant development.
A handful of users complain that they have to exit the room when this indoor grow light is plugged in because it hurts their eyes, but most folks praise its brightness.
Color: Plants need blue lights when they’re seedlings and red lights when they flower; the Galaxyhydro 300-watt indoor grow light uses a combination of the two colors. This makes it ideal for multiple stages of plant development because you don’t have to switch to a different light as plants evolve.
Brightness: 56 LED bulbs illuminate your indoor garden without being blindingly bright. A small number of users say the LED bulbs are too strong, but most of them rave about their brightness. Like many indoor gardeners, we at Faveable prefer LED bulbs over incandescent or fluorescent bulbs because they use less energy and emit less heat.
Features: Our favorite feature is definitely the 3 fans that keep this unit from becoming too hot - and other reviewers agree. We also love the on-off switch (many other brands just use plugs) and the daisy chain function.
Price: The Galaxyhydro 300-watt LED indoor grow light’s price falls in the middle when compared to other grow lights on our list. A handful of sellers offer this indoor grow light for around $260, but you can generally find them as low as $99.99.