Specially and specifically designed to enhance growth and boost productivity, grow lights may be just what you need for your succulent plants. Choosing the right lights can be tough, but once you’ve found the lighting system that best suits your needs, you can use grow lights to keep your plants healthy and beautiful throughout the year, by providing them with their light energy they need.
But what are grow lights, how do they work, and how can you choose the best for your succulents? Let’s see below.
What Exactly Are Grow Lights?
The difference between grow lights and regular lights lies in their emitting spectrum. Your typical lamps at home emit soft and/or warm, yellow light when powered, and their light power (lumens) is considered pretty much weak.
Good grow lights, on the other hand, usually provide a “full spectrum” of light ―which means, a light as close to actual sunlight, in terms of range and color, from infrared to ultraviolet. As far as “light temperature” goes, this is measured in Kelvin (K, and grow lights usually measure around 3500K to 6500K on the Kelvin scale. Of course, the spectrum produced by a LED light bulb is determined by its manufacturing components, as the systems come in a wide range of wattages, voltages, sizes, etc.
Do My Succulents Really Need Grow Lights?
We can’t say that succulents absolutely need grow lights to survive, but they do need them in order to achieve their full potential, in cases where natural sunlight is not enough. If your plants inhabit a naturally bright space, perhaps next to a window, where sunlight feeds your succulents all year round, they will survive just fine. However, especially in the winter, when daylight lasts less, it’s a fact that your succulents won’t get as much light as they do in the summer ―and this is where the use of grow lights comes in.
When succulents get lesser light levels than those needed, mostly during the shorter winter days, they tend to stretch out, in an attempt to reach the light; in that way, they lose their original shape and bright colors, even though they remain technically healthy.
So, whether you can’t place your succulents outside, if your apartment isn’t bright enough, or if you live in a place where the days are shorter for the most part of the year ―generally, if you think your plants just don’t get enough light― investing in a grow light system would be a brilliant way to keep your succulents healthy, compact and colorful throughout the year.
What Do Grow Lights Do?
The electric beams of the grow lamps emit the two major types of colour spectrum lighting (red and blue), in a way that mimics the sunlight, as far as that is feasible, of course.
Essentially, grow lights stimulate photosynthesis, much like natural light does, providing your succulents with the light levels they need in order to reach their full potential, achieve the best health and yield all year round.
When your succulents start looking pale or stop growing as fast, using a grow light to supplement the natural light they get can help. Grow lights makes them healthier and prevents etiolation. Etiolation refers to the condition where your plant loses its bright color and starts to stretch or bend. Usually, this can happen during the winter, when succulents get less sunlight. You will have to trim stretched plants to keep them looking compact and beautiful. Sun-loving succulents such as Small Aloes and Pachyphytum will also need more sunlight year-round and grow lights can help.
Using grow lights for succulents also allows you to place your succulents anywhere in your house, including places without lots of natural sunlight. Even areas by windows can provide limited lighting depending on the type of window pane you have. Some house lights don’t have the right wavelength to replicate how sunlight helps plants photosynthesize. Photosynthesis is when plants use the energy from the sunlight to transfer it into nutrients. It also gives plants their color. Grow lights will provide the synthetic sunshine required to keep plants looking vibrant.
How To Use Grow Lights For Succulents
After you purchase your lighting system, be sure to read through the manual and instructions, in order to carefully and safely set up your system. You should take into account that the proper distance between the lights and your succulents should not be shorter than about 15 inches for the average sized plants. Even though LEDs ―the most popular grow lights― do not burn like regular lamps, safety measures should always be taken; you wouldn’t want your plants to sustain any heat damage from a misplaced lightbulb and burn up.
Like all plants, succulents have periods of growing, and periods that are dormant ―with winter being the dormant season for most of them, since less there’s fewer hours of sunlight. However, as far as your indoor plants are concerned, it’s true that succulents will generally take in as much light as they can get, so you should be aware of the light levels they are provided inside your space.
For a healthy growing cycle to be maintained and the plants to reach their utmost potential, at least six hours of sunlight a day are vital. Therefore, if you’re using grow lights for your indoor plants, an average of 12 hours is usually advised, as it’s not as efficient as actual sunlight. However, the exact amount of time will differ with each succulent species, size and growing phase.
Full spectrum LED growing lights are important for providing the needed light levels for your succulent throughout its life cycles, but bear in mind that you may be in need of a more focused approach, so do your research and choose a system based on your own particular plants.
Things To Consider
It’s important to read a grow light’s specifications before you make a purchase, and to select a system that provides at least 300 up to 800 lumens per square foot ―lumens being the main measure of light energy, output or brightness.
On another note, wattage is the point of reference that tells you how much electricity a lightbulb uses, not the amount or quality of light emitted. However, measuring lumens per watt is the safest way to estimate the energy efficiency of grow lights: the higher the lumens per watt, the more efficient the light ―and the better the result for your succulents to thrive!
Regarding the spectrum, light exists in a range of wavelengths that appear as different colors to the human eye. In their growing phase, plants make more use out of blue light, while red light can stimulate flowering and benefit your plants later in their life cycle. Grow lights that produce only red and blue light can be slightly more efficient, as they are more focused on a plant’s basic needs, but they emit a purple colored light, which might be annoying for some. Of course, you can find adjustable systems with programmable settings, but in general, full spectrum, white lights support healthy plant growth and are preferred by most home growers.
How To Choose The Best Grow Lights For Your Succulents
There are a variety of components to look for when selecting a grow light, including:
The brightness of the light, also known as light output, is measured in lumens. It is best to select a grow light that provides 300 to 800 lumens per square foot.
The wattage tells you how much electricity the light uses. The lumens per watt will tell you how energy efficient the light is. Higher lumens per watt mean higher efficiency.
Light exists as various wavelengths appearing in different colors. A typical lamp or light bulb uses soft or warm light that is usually yellowish. Plants generally reflect green light and will absorb other light colors, mostly red and blue. They require blue light to grow larger and red light to stimulate flowering.
Full-spectrum light, or white light, means it includes all wavelengths and colors from red to violet. Grow lights are often full spectrum as it supports healthy plant growth overall and closely mimics natural sunlight. Also, note that you can choose grow lights that are only red and blue light for efficiency reasons.
There are many factors to consider when choosing a lighting system for your succulents. In general, LEDs are cost-effective, regarding their performance; if you’re going to use LED grow lights, don’t be afraid to invest a few extra dollars, as they are generally very reliable, use low power and minimize cost in the long run, while taking good care of your plants.
LEDs are the most efficient and productive light types for indoor growing. However, there are different types of bulbs available on the market, the most popular being T5 and T8 light bulbs. If you are growing your succulents in a confined, smaller space, CFL, spiral typed light bulbs would probably be a better option than the long tubes.
The latter are great for providing light to multiple plants in a larger space, while single bulb grow lights are ideal for concentrating the light on just a few plants. Of course, you’re the only one who can determine what the best system is: consider your plants’ size, inhabiting space and placement, as well as the number of outlets and power around your home.
Plus, as far as temperature is concerned, the best temperature of LED lights for succulents is no more than 6500K (mostly blue light, regarding temperature). Fluorescent light, on the “daylight” spectrum is advised, ideally placed right above your plants for maximum result―so if your plants are placed in a 1 ft by 4 ft space, you’ll want to use a system that emits light energy to a radius of 1 ft by 4 ft.
Types of Grow Lights
The three main types of grow lights for succulents are incandescent, fluorescent, and Light Emitting Diode (LED) lights. Incandescent ones are the least popular because they produce a lot of heat, are energy inefficient, and don’t have the proper light spectrum. It is best to choose a LED or fluorescent grow light.
Price-wise, fluorescent lights can be cheaper in the short term, while LED lights are more cost-effective in the long term. Generally, fluorescent lights have a shorter lifespan than LED lights. Read on for more details on each type.
LED Grow Lights
Some LED lights allow you to give your plants specific wavelengths of light, such as only red or blue light. Because of this, LEDs save more energy and produce less heat compared to other light options. Little heat can be good for germinating seedlings. LEDs come in many different shapes and sizes, including tubes and tapes. They also have a long lifespan of up to 50,000 hours.
There are some downsides to LED lights. They lack lumens, or brightness, and light intensity. You also won’t be able to get sun-stress colors in your plants because it produces hardly any UV light if you purchase a red or blue light only product.
Fluorescent Grow Lights
The two main types of fluorescent lights are tube and compact fluorescent light (CFL) lights. Tube lights have labels like T5, T8, and T12. The numbers refer to the diameter of the tube in eighths of an inch. The best size to purchase is a T5 light which is 5/8 inches. It uses less energy, produces more light, and lasts longer than other options that are usually older technology. Tube lights can also be bought in large fixtures with multiple tubes if you have a large growing operation, but this will be more expensive.
CFL lights are useful if you have limited space or prefer a compact design. They come in various wattages and have a lifespan of around 6,000 to 15,000 hours. They are also similar to normal light bulbs and fit into a regular socket, so you can easily use them for a desk lamp over your succulents.
You can also purchase High Output (HO) and Very High Output (VHO) fluorescent bulbs that produce more energy and light. However, make sure to hang them at a distance from your plants, so you don’t burn your succulents.
Where Should You Position The Light?
Generally, you should try to place your grow light 6 to 12 inches from the plants. Closer lights will give you brighter light over a smaller area. The further away the less intense the light will be over a larger area. You must also consider the type of light you are using and the amount of heat it produces. A fluorescent bulb that produces a lot of heat can burn your plant if it is too close.
Another factor to consider is the type of succulent you have and their heat-tolerance levels. Plants such as cacti can handle more light and heat since they are used to extreme conditions. More delicate succulents such as Burro’s Tail will need the lights further away.
It’s best to monitor your plants after adding new lighting conditions to determine the best location and distance for the succulents you have. Brown spots or discoloration can be a sign of sunburn. This color change means your lights are too close or on for too long.
How Many Hours of Light Do Succulents Need?
Different succulents will need different amounts of light, so it is important to research the species you have. Some succulents are sun-loving while others can survive in low-light conditions. Generally, giving them 12 hours of light a day is sufficient. However, consider the location of your succulents and how much light they get from natural sunlight. It is always best to lean towards the side of caution when starting. You can increase the length of time if your succulents appear to handle your initial hours provided well.
You want to make sure succulents get some darkness, so they remain healthy. Although light lets them photosynthesize, dark periods allow succulents to take in the carbon dioxide they need. Plants use carbon dioxide for growth and respiration, where they break down sugars to get energy.
Tips for Selecting the Best Grow Light
With so many grow lights on the market and given their rise in popularity, there is a variety of options available and choosing the one might get confusing at times. It would be best if you didn’t go for the first system you come upon, but make a thorough research based on your succulents’ species, your budget and your available resources at home.
Consider the lifespan durability of the grow lights, and how efficient and reliable they are, based on forums and other users’ comments. The performance and cost ratio is a very important factor to consider, especially if you’re going to opt for LED systems on the more expensive side.
Additionally, if you’re worried about heat damage and fire hazards, you should look more into the aluminum heat sink versions of LED grow lights.
What Are The Best Grow Lights?
There are additional things to consider when choosing the best grow lights for your succulents. These factors include, how many succulents you have, where you locate them, and your budget. Here are the best grow lights available for different scenarios.
AmSuns LED Lamp
- Good For: One or two plants
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 5.5 x 3 inches
This clip-on lamp is only red or blue light and works well on desks or even windowsills. Since it is only one bulb, it’s best if you only have one or two plants to target. The gooseneck makes it easily adjustable so you can move it out of the way when watering. It also has an automatic timing function that turns it off and on as well as five dimmable levels to adjust brightness.
Durolux LED Panels
- Good For: Large setups
- Product Dimensions: 46 x 14 x 2.25 inches
If you have many succulents indoors, this eight square feet LED panel has adjustable chains for hanging and works well above a shelf. Make sure that all the plants under it have similar light needs. The package also includes a six-foot grounded power cord.
Jump Start Light System
- Good For: Growing plants from seedlings
- Product Dimensions: 4.02 x 2.95 x 52.91 inches
This system is best for watching your succulents grow from seedlings to full plants. It can grow seedlings faster with 15 to 20 percent more lumens and has a simple toggle clamp to adjust the light height as the plants grow. It’s four feet long, so ideal for medium to large setups. The light system also comes with a built-in timer to easily set an on-off schedule.
Nova LED Light
- Good For: Efficient Photosynthetic Light
- Product Dimensions: 18.9 x 8.27 x 3.15 inches
This product has low power usage, letting you save energy and money in the long term. The product includes a ventilation system of 2 large silent fans and comes with hanging wire for installation. It also has a magnifying lens for every bulb, increasing the PAR output by 50 percent. PAR is the measurement of light emissions within the photosynthetic range. Your plants can also still remain cool even at close ranges.
Juhefa LED Grow Light for Indoor Plant
The led grow light for indoor plant, 360° has proven to be very effective on succulents. New seedlings budding in your indoor garden as if in summer.
The magical effect of the new improved dual head design helps to solve the problem usually faced with setup of grow light and also cover 360° of the entire area.
Its 3 Lighting Modes & 10 Levels Brightness gives natural light that’s close to the one the sun gives. It has flexible gooseneck that can be rotated all round and very strong clamp to hold it steady.
Its brightness is not blinding, the lights are very good on plants, the greenery view noticeable in just few days. It charges fast and the charger is very durable. Its dual nature for seedling succulents makes it unique.
The timer allows for you to set and it comes up and off accordingly, which makes its easier to manage when it’s required and when the plants needs darkness. The timing function makes it very convenient and easy to operate.
Garpsen Grow Lights for Indoor Plants
The Garpsen inexpensive grow lights for indoor plants gives the perfect lighting for plants in offices and in homes. Its brightness and outlook beautifies the environment.
It doesn’t emits heat and when fully charged, its long lasting. The 4 plant heads makes it easier for multi layer planting. It’s has fixtures that enables it to stay fit, giving light that serves the same purpose as the sunlight to plants.
Well packaged products with 10 dimmable light levels for the perfect lighting. The lights can be stationed in 3 particular ways so there’s no way it can burn up plants.
The spectrum grow lights it emits are the best for plant. Already dying plants picks up just after few days of use.
- Low cost affordable low light
- Automatic on/off
- 4 different adjustable plants heads
- Full spectrum lights
- Multilayer planting
- Different dimmable levels for varieties of plants
- 12 months warranty
- Fragile lamp, handle with care
Elaine Grow Lights for Indoor Plants
Elaine 132W has been rated the best grow lights for plants by several buyers and reviewers.
It has a timing function that works just like sunlight. Auto on/off with 3 timer setting options that works on its own when set. Its brightness can be adjusted to 5 functional levels recommended for different stages of plants growth and preparatory seedlings.
Useful in raising healthy succulents and other indoor plants. It requires less power to operate, hence saves cost on electricity bills.
It emits light similar to the regular sunlight in a unified manner all seasons of the year to keep your plants growing at a healthy steady rate.
- Reachable lights that illuminates properly
- Easily adjustable goosenecks
- Energy/ time saving
- Great for succulents
- Independent light control for different plants requirements
- It comes with only clamps to hold no base to stand
Ankace Grow Lights
If you have multiple succulents, this full spectrum LED lamp comes with three tube lights. This design has an adjustable clip that clamps onto a table easily and a flexible gooseneck that allows you to adjust the different bulbs to different angles for the best coverage of your plants. It also has three lighting modes and a five-step dimming level so you can adjust the brightness.
Its adjustable gooseneck makes it easier to direct the full spectrum light on plants for a fully optimised growth. The timer suits needs of various levels development. It’s especially good for indoor plants like succulents, vegetables and flowers.
The Ankace grow lights does not only makes plants grow, it makes them bloom all year round. With it, it is natural to enjoy all seasons of vegetables, fruits and flowering. Suitable for both office and home use.
- Strong and durable
- For Home and Office use
- Full spectrum led lights for optimal growth and yield
- Adjustable neck for multi layer plants
- Uses more energy
- Strong clamp with no base
JUEYINGBAILI LED Grow Lights for Indoor Plants
JUEYINGBAILI 80W Full Spectrum plant lights 80W with auto on and off timer helps to freshen and revitalise plants affected by bad weather condition. Within days visible changes will appear, plants will ceased from drying out.
Can be sunlight supplement or its equivalent when there’s no sun at all for complete plants growth.
It’s easier to control the lights with 3 different time and switch mode, 9 dimmable levels. With Auto turn off and on, it’s simply the right choice for both office and indoor plants.
- Colourful, illuminating bright and full spectrum
- 3 different time and switch modes
- Sunlight equivalent/supplement
- Healthy moisturized plants
- Dimmable lights that can be adjusted as it suits
- Powerful clip
- All year round varieties of plants
- Can only be clipped, no stand
- Tilt to a direction of not properly fastened
Fauna LED Grow Light for Indoor Plants
Fauna 80W Auto ON/Off Timer Full Spectrum Plant Lights 3/6/12H with automatic on and off timer is an upgraded grow lights by Fauna.
It gives a wide range of lights that are easily adjustable and flexible, providing needed light for multi layer plants. The lights can be adjusted to cover large areas and can be readjusted again to cover smaller ones.
New seedlings sprouts up faster every time of the year. Comes with 3 modes automatic on/off timer, no need to keep resetting. Useful for indoor plants, office plants and house gardens.
It has full spectrum lights that regulates itself once the timer has been set. This newly improved Fauna grow lights emits less or no heat, thereby saving much energy.
- Flexible clamps
- Full spectrum dimmable lights
- Auto switch modes
- Wide coverage/ range of lights
- Saves energy as it emits less heat
- If not properly fastened, the lamp can tilt sideways
GHodec Grow Light
This affordable GHodec 80 LED 5500K grow lights with stand/brackets made of steel and iron, guarantees speedy amazing results.
Its durability and efficiency is one of the upgraded inputs of this product. With auto on and off timer and 5 levels of brightness which can be adjusted inline with plants need for the best outcome.
It has strong tripod stand that can be placed on the floor and other hard surfaces, close to the plants, absolutely, there is no need for clamps. The white lights supplements the light from the sun which provides the necessary energy for plants healthy and steady growth.
Suitable for all sun loving plants requiring normal pattern of growth in summer and winter time.
- Dimmable adjustable lights
- Strong, extendable tripod stand
- Quality plants outcome
- Very effective white lights
- Sunlight equivalent
- Probable 15 minutes daily error on timer
- Bright lights, not good for eyes, therefore avoid eye contact when operating
Shengsite LED Grow Light
SHENGSITE is a leading brand of grow lights that have been consistent in producing the best and affordable grow lights.
The SHENGSITE Bonsai 75W spectrum Grow Plant Light is an upgraded version with hanging kits that has proven to be very effective on vegetables and other plants. You need not worry any longer if you are a lover of veggies, this is just for you.
With this, you can have a bounty harvest of various types of your favourite vegetables in season and out of season, and a beautiful surrounding greenery. No need to keep readjusting plants to natural sunlight before they can harness it’s benefits, the BONSAI grow lights with advanced LED chips illuminates all kinds of plants making them grow steadily and efficiently.
Plants receives just the perfect heat for photosynthesis and the yield is outstanding. Useful for raising new seedlings and different levels of plants. With one year money back guarantee, you are sure to get it’s full potential.
- Steady growth and bounty harvest
- Saves energy thereby reducing costs
- Blooming varieties of indoor plants
- Very easy to assemble and set up
- Easily assembled hanging kits
- Sunlight equivalent
- Perfect for vegetables
- Very bright light, not suitable for naked eyes
- Lights not waterproof
Professional LED Plant Light
The professional MELOPHY COB full LED spectrum, 3/6/12H with Auto ON/Off is suitable for orchids, herbs and succulents.
It has 8 adjustable levels of brightness to meet different plants requirements at different stages of growth. It comes with auto switch that goes on and off by itself without it being remotely controlled.
The working lights can be adjusted as needed. With the 360° swivel gooseneck that illuminates plants all around and a sturdy strong metal clamps, the plants gets best the COB lights can give any season of the year.
Better effect, steady growth and output with less hassle. Newly improved to give your indoor and office plants a unique experience.
- Perfect memory, it automatically adjust to previous mode when switched on
- 360° COB LED plants light
- Very strong and classic
- Brights lights that illuminates and beautify
- Easily adjustable working lights
- Inexpensive and energy saving
- Suitable for naked eyes
- Clamps needs to be rested for the lamp to stay still
- Good For: Small setups
- Product Dimensions: 6.73 x 5.2 x 5.16 inches
This light bulb is full-spectrum, has a standard E26 socket, and doesn’t require a special lamp base. You can plug it into any overhead light or desk lamp of your choosing, and it works great for a small setup of succulents. It has a lifetime of 30,000 hours and uses 24 watts. The package also includes a five-year unlimited warranty.
- Full bright spectrum LED lights
- Energy saving
- Water resistant
- High quality ceramics materials
- Heavy, not easy to move around
Other Useful Tools for Growing Succulents
Besides grow lights, these additional tools can be useful for your indoor succulent growing activities.
Most succulents don’t require a lot of water, so using a spray bottle for watering can prevent you from overwatering your plants and drowning them.
Long Spouted Watering Jug
If you can spare a few more dollars, the best investment for watering your succulents would be a long spouted watering jug. Most succulents don’t like having water on their leaves, so these spouted jugs allow you to direct the water right into the soil. Wet leaves can rot your plants.
Digital Outlet Timers
So you don’t have to remember to turn your grow lights on and off manually, an outlet timer can help. These timers can be programmed to turn on or off automatically at the time of your choosing. It also allows your plants to get regular light even if you are away. Some grow lights have a built-in timer but consider investing in these outlet ones if they don’t.
Fans are a great way to generate airflow indoors. Adequate flow help prevent pests and diseases on your plants. You can easily place table fans or clip fans around your plants.
70 Percent Isopropyl Alcohol Spray
If you still get pests on your succulents, using a spray bottle of 70 percent Isopropyl Alcohol can easily kill insects without harming plants. Be sure to coat the entire plant daily, including in between the leaves, until the pests are gone.
A variety of small tweezers can be useful to remove pests from your succulents but also for loosening root balls when potting and tucking in roots when planting. You can also use them to move sharp leaves when pruning.
If you want to propagate your succulents, you’ll need some pruning shears. Propagating succulents is when you use a part of a mature plant to grow a new plant. Shears are better than breaking or tearing plant elements because you are less likely to damage sensitive succulent tissue that is required for it to regrow. You can also use pruning shears to trim dry leaves or rotting pods.
While there are multiple things to consider when choosing the best grow lights for your succulents, the main component is understanding the species of succulents you have. Depending on how much sunlight they need and how tolerant they are, you will need a different type of light and place it at varying distances. With this guide and a little research on your succulents, you can begin growing beautiful plants today.