Cheap Amazon Houseplant Grow Light Review

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Grow lights are often one of the first purchases house plant beginners get, purely because light is usually the commodity we have the least of. One grow light can allow us to increase our collection LOT.

But grow lights are difficult to pick. There’s always a tonne of specs that we don’t get. And the PRICES. Jesus christ.

Do we even need grow lights? I have article here on using normal LED lights as grow lights.

My first grow light was this one:

No one look at my Aglaonema dying in the corner. We’ve had a tough winter (because I’ve not been giving good enough care, not because we’ve had a harsh winter).

This grow light is FINE.

It kept my peace lilies and calathea alive in a super dark corner for a long time, and it was, like, £30.

How to choose a grow light

If you’re new, I’d just go onto Amazon, set your budget, and pick one based on the reviews. I’ve read tonnes of rave reviews for cheap lights that *shouldn’t* do much, according to specs, but provide enough light for your houseplants to do ok over winter.

All you need is something that provides light.

The only spec we’re interested in is PAR. And PPFD, but if there’s no PAR measurement (and there rarely is on cheap grow lights) then there won’t be a PPFD.

Do cheap grow lights work?

As long as they’re close enough to your plants, they’ll work. Maybe not well enough for you to get a tonne of big growth, but enough to keep them alive and growing.

Something that often comes up on Facebook groups is bulb that fit in overhead lights. Whilst it would be amazing to just fit one bulb to your big light (as we call them in North Yorkshire), realistically it’ll be too far away from your plants to be of any benefit.

Unless you’re forking out for a fancy grow light, you want your plants to be a foot or so away from your light.

Ideally, we want a lot of light volume – i.e. a really strong light, but far away. Like the sun! But the cheaper the light, the closer it needs to be to the plant to have any real effect.

Grow light specifications

The growlight I have is linked on my resources page here.

This tells us nothing about how effective it’ll be for plants. You just have to read the reviews and cross your fingers.

Lumens, footcandles and lux are of zero interest to plants. 

All these measure visible light. Plants only care about PAR (photosynthetically active radiation) which will likely not show up in cheap grow light specs.

Pros of this grow light

  • It’s cheap and easy to get hold of
  • It’s white. There are so many purple ones out there, but they look a bit….weed farmy in my opinion. I don’t fancy the police ziplining through my living room window at 2am.
  • It works perfectly well for my needs. It’s obvs not professional, and my plants won’t start producing mature leaves or anything, but they won’t die in winter.
  • It’s adjustable, so if there’s a plant that needs a lot more light, I can concentrate both bulbs on it (and I can use it as a reading/jigsaw light if required). The clip is also a good idea, because I can put it anywhere on my shelf.

Limitations of this grow light

  • I don’t like the way it looks. At all.
  • It’s not strong enough to produce great results in terms of growth

Would I buy another of these grow lights?

Eeeeeerrrrm probably not, just because I have other grow lights, but I would definitely recommend them as a decent grow light for beginners.

I also have an entire article dedicated to keeping houseplants and sticking to a budget here.

Caroline Cocker

Caroline is the founder and writer (and plant keeper) of Planet Houseplant

2 thoughts on “Cheap Amazon Houseplant Grow Light Review”

  1. I have been using the SANSI grow lights on Amazon with great success. I have a lot of plants that are grown exclusively under their lights (no sunlight provided), and they are doing great.

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