Best Grow Lights for Succulents: Buyer’s Guide
Succulents are one of those plants that you either love them or, couldn’t care less about. Those that do like them and grow them, know they come in hundreds of sizes, styles, colors, and from different growing regions. Once you are introduced to them, collecting and growing succulents can become addicting. But, what if you don’t live in an area conducive to growing them, maybe your winter is too cold, or you do not get enough sunlight? Grow Lights for your Succulents is the answer.
How Much Light Do They Need
Most succulents need, on average, 6-7 hours of sunlight. If they receive too little, they will tend to stretch, reaching for more light. Most windows in your house just do not receive enough natural light, except maybe a southern exposure, but even then, that is not the norm.
Supplementing that sunlight, especially in the winter, with an artificial grow light will not only keep them happy and healthy, but you will also get much more pleasure from growing them, especially, if they will actually grow for you!
What Kind of Light Should You Get
This will depend on many different factors that you will have to ask yourself. There is a ton of information floating around the Internet. You will want to start with probably one of the most obvious of questions: How much space do you have?
Grow lights come in just about every size imaginable, from multi-bulb Fluorescent Light systems that hang from the ceiling, having the long bulbs that can be a couple of feet long. Then, the sizes can go down to an individually sized bulb, better known as Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL), which are inexpensive and perfect for just a couple of succulents. The CFL bulbs come in spiral shapes or in a series of vertical tubes; both can be placed in a clamp-type lamp with an aluminum reflector. You can also get Incandescent Grow Lights that screw into those lamps.
What is the difference between CFL and Incandescent bulbs
An entire article can be written on the difference between the two. Basically, the CFL’s stay cooler and can be placed about a foot from the plant. The generic fluorescent bulbs need to say “full-spectrum,” or you can have a mix of both “cool” and “warm” bulbs. If you do not have that much room, look for one that says “cool white” the white light that this bulb produces contains the full spectrum of light.
The spectrum of light can be the real confusing part. There is a lot of talk about red lights and blue lights. CFL bulbs are available in a warm or red color, cool or blue color, and full spectrum, closer to actual daylight versions. The red spectrum is recommended if you want your succulents to flower. The blue spectrum is preferred for more growth. The full spectrum would be the best choice for a small area that only has a couple of plants.
Incandescent bulbs are an electric light that has a wire filament and is heated to such a high temperature that it glows, giving you light. One problem when using incandescent lights to grow succulents is, they just are not very efficient. The amount of light you get is very small compared to the amount of energy needed to light the bulb. They are cheaper to purchase, but they end up costing more to operate, especially compared to fluorescent bulbs. Fluorescent bulbs do tend to cost more initially. One other problem of the incandescent bulb is the heated element itself, and you should keep them farther away from the plant because it can cause a burn.
There is a third choice, LED (Light Emitting Diode) Grow Lights, which can be of the different color spectrums, as well as a Full Spectrum LED Light. The advantages to these are, much less heat, and they do not consume as much electricity. The full spectrum LED bulb tends to be very pricey so keep that in mind.
The Light at the End of The Tunnel
Grow lights can supplement the natural light your succulents need, especially in the winter. The biggest challenge is getting enough light for them indoors. Depending on your situation and which kind you opt for, grow lights can be inexpensive if you go with the fluorescent ones. You just need to do your homework and decide what kind of light you want to give them, how much space you have, and at what price you can afford.