What Are Grow Lights Used For?


Grow lights are used for indoor gardening where additional and long hour light is required. The most common uses are propagation and hydroponics growing. Grow lights are designed to emit light in a spectrum similar to the sun.

Uses of Fluorescent Lights

T12 fluorescent lights are used for start seeds and plants requiring low-intensity lighting. T5 and T8 high-input fluorescent lights are used for all stages of plant maturity. T8 lights are less expensive and more energy efficient than T5.

Uses of Incandescent Lights

Incandescent lights have low lumen output, making them useful only for individual houseplants. This type of light is the least expensive but also less efficient as a light source for plants.

Uses of High-Intensity Lights

High-intensity lights are the most efficient light sources for plants. They are available in two types: metal halide and high-pressure sodium. Metal halide lights promote green, leafy growth and keeps plants compact in size. High-pressure sodium lights are ideal for greenhouse growth and increasing flowering in plants.

Uses of LED Lights

LED lights offer a cool light that is efficient to use. The lights are used on plants of all maturity. Do not use LED lights on plants that are displayed as the light will distort the look of the plant.


Grow lights become hot with use and caution should be used if they need to be changed or touched. Use caution with water and chemicals near electrical outlets.


  • ACF Indoor Plant Grow Lights & Information Guide
  • Grow Light Choices
  • Lighting Guide
Keywords: indoor grow lights, plant lighting, gardening lights

About this Author

Jennifer Loucks has been writing since 1998. She previously worked as a technical writer for a software development company, creating software documentation, help documents and training curriculum. She now writes hobby-based articles on cooking, gardening, sewing and running. Loucks also trains for full marathons, half-marathons and shorter distance running. She holds a Bachelor of Science in animal science and business from University of Wisconsin-River Falls.