Just because your garden is growing doesn’t mean your bank account needs to shrink! There are some incredible, affordable grow lights out there that will help your greenery thrive without costing you too much green.
Whether you are looking to support a winter garden, anticipating year-round produce, or have a cash crop, this guide has the perfect affordable grow light for you. Check out our in-depth reviews on all of the best cheap grow lights of 2021 and bonus, helpful purchasing tips.
BACKYARD BOSS TOP THREE CHEAP GROW LIGHTS
|Roleadro Galexyhydro Series Grow Light||Check The Price!|
|Shengsite UFO LED Plant Grow Lights||Check The Price!|
|Autien Dual-Lamp Full Spectrum Grow Light||Check The Price!|
|Newhouse Lighting Dual Head LED Clamp Grow Light||Check The Price!|
|Ankace 40W Dual Head Grow Light||Check The Price!|
Why You Should Trust Us
Through countless guides, Backyard Boss has lit the way for people to find the perfect grow light for their indoor garden. We’ve reviewed the best grow lights for vegetables, the best grow lights for seedlings, the best grow lights for succulents, and even the best grow lights for cannabis, to name just a few of our guides.
Personally, I’ve tried every grow light under the sun, or rather the lamp, to keep my plants thriving even in the wintertime. Our dedicated team is full of indoor gardening enthusiasts, who have grown countless plants indoors and in unfavorable conditions with grow lights.
You’ll see all of our wisdom and experience compiled in this guide, which includes helpful, in-depth information that will help you find the perfect grow light for your indoor garden.
Best Cheap Grow Light for Vegetables
WHY WE LIKE IT: With a red to blue bulb ratio of 8:1, this LED grow light provides full-spectrum support that’s perfect for vegetative and flowering stages.
Its compact design measures only 12 x 8 inches, however, it can cover up to nine square feet of space making it perfect for larger growing areas. Although its LED set-up is energy efficient, it includes a dual-fan cooling system and built-in heat skins to protect against overheating. The light bulbs on these 300-watt lights run continuously for up to 20 hours and have a 50,000-hour lifespan.
WHO SHOULD BUY IT: The higher red to blue ratio makes this the perfect light for plants in bloom and production, while its size and power make it great for grow tents.
Best All-Around Cheap Grow Light
WHY WE LIKE IT: This compact grow light provides support for both vegetative and bloom stages with 50 watts of power and 250 LED bead style bulbs.
While it only measures 13 inches in diameter, it can cover 18 square feet of space making it excellent for grow tents and small spaces. The red to blue ratio is 3:1, so it supports all stages of plant growth. Its lightweight, compact design makes it easy to mount and raise. It comes with everything you need to get started so all you have to do is mount it, plug it in, and turn it on!
WHO SHOULD BUY IT: This light is perfect for hobbyists and experienced growers who want an affordable, easy to use light.
Best Small Grow Light for Compact Spaces
WHY WE LIKE IT: These dual-headed grow lamps have a compact size that allows them to fit anywhere while their clip-on installation makes using them a breeze.
Simply clip them to any surface near your plants and then use these light’s flexible heads to shine light directly on them. Each lamp contains 18 grow light LED beads and has a red to blue ratio of 2:1. They include convenient features, like a timer and dimmer, which make them unbelievably easy to use.
WHO SHOULD BUY IT: This is an amazing source of light for indoor plants or smaller produce grows, such as tomatoes, peppers, or even fruit tree support.
Best Cheap Grow Light for Seedlings
WHY WE LIKE IT: This clamp-based grow light is extremely easy to install and use, simply clamp it on to a surface near your plants and then turn it on.
The flexible neck on this grow light makes it really easy to move and adjust so it’s the optimal distance away from plants throughout their growth. This, and the lamp’s combination of blue and red light, makes it ideal for seedlings. Not to mention, this light is energy efficient and doesn’t put off a lot of heat.
WHO SHOULD BUY IT: Its smaller size makes this grow light a great choice for people who have a small grow space with only a few plants or seedlings.
Best Cheap Grow Light for All Stages of Growth
WHY WE LIKE IT: This extremely affordable, convenient grow light was designed to nourish plants through all of their stages of growth.
The blue/red light combination incorporated into this LED grow light’s design ensures that plants get the optimum levels of light from germination to flowering. The light comes with three timer settings, three, six, or 12 hours, five dimmable modes, and three switch modes, so you can customize the light based on your plant’s needs.
WHO SHOULD BUY IT: This completely adjustable grow light is perfect for people who want a flexible light that can nurture their plants through all of their growth stages.
What Is a Grow Light?
A grow light is a light you can use indoors to nurture plants. By mimicking the spectral light wavelengths that plants utilize in their growth and production, grow lights are able to provide specific temperatures and energy to vegetation.
They allow you to grow plants indoors during the darker months or to start seedlings prior to the warmth of spring, ensuring a healthy and early start to an outdoor garden.
Grow lights are viewed as necessary tools by avid gardeners because of all the benefits they can have for plants. Because of their popularity, there are so many grow light options available, including the quality, affordable ones reviewed in this guide.
How Do Grow Lights Work?
Grow lights influence plant growth by providing specific spectral wavelengths. This light gives energy to the plant which supports the chemical process of photosynthesis. Photosynthesis converts the light energy into energy the plant uses to grow, mature, and produce. Without light, plants will struggle for nutrients, degrading in health, developing a sickly appearance, and stalling in their maturation.
If you plan on growing anything without the correct natural sunlight it needs, then you should consider a grow light for the sake of your plants’ health.
What Spectrums of Light Do Plants Utilize?
We all remember learning about the light spectrum in school, how lights of different colors provide different temperatures and wavelengths. Well, plants are picky about what colors they prefer, and in turn the wavelengths and temperatures they take in, throughout their stages of growth. Grow lights keep this in mind, providing specific or full spectrums of light to plants to nurture their growth throughout different stages.
Plants that are early in their growth and maturity prefer warmer, shorter wavelengths of light which are found on the blue side of the spectrum. Plants farther along in their development, in vegetative and flowering stages, prefer different wavelengths. They need cooler, long wavelengths found on the red end of the spectrum. These differences in light preferences help define the sunlight that is most utilized by plants throughout the day.
With grow lights, you can control what light your plant receives through proper grow light usage. If you find this topic fascinating, check out the video below which further elaborates on it:
Types of Grow Lights
When picking out a grow light, it’s a good idea to keep in mind the different types of spectral light that grow lights provide since that will impact how they support your plants. Below are descriptions of the most popular types of grow lights and the light they provide.
High-Intensity Discharge (HID)
HID grow lights, while one of the most traditional types have fallen out of favor in recent years because of their high cost and heat output. They typically will get quite hot while operating so they need cooling fans.
However, their high light intensity can be great for people with a lot of plants or a large area to cover. Because of their bulky set-up, which normally requires a specific type of hood and a ballast, these are best for bigger spaces.
HID lights can produce the entire spectral range, typically being full spectrum, so they can provide for plants throughout their growth stages.
Fluorescent lighting is for more than just your workspaces and garages. Popular due to their long lifespan, fluorescent lights tend to be an affordable option which makes them great for people with a limited price range.
They produce a bluish-white light that is excellent for early growth and maturity. If you have seedlings, fluorescent lighting is a great way to pamper them.
Light Emitting Diode (LED)
One of the most affordable types of grow lights out there are LED lights. This is in part because a lot of LED light options have a compact size and a low wattage.
LED grow lights are popular for their small size, cool usage, and how customizable they are. Panels can have a majority of blue lights, red lights, or be full spectrum.
Plasma lights are still very new on the grow light scene. They are a new technology that is considered highly efficient and very effective with cash crop production.
Plasma lighting isn’t exactly cheap yet because it’s so new, however, it can provide a wide range of spectral light which can support plant growth from seedlings to flowering.
What Is the Best Cheap Grow Light for Your Vegetation
Even when working on a budget, know what your plants’ needs are before making your purchase. Remember, you want the best bang for your buck, not a gimmick product that won’t last you through a growing season.
We love our plants and we know you love your plants, too, so treat them right and consider these questions before making a grow light purchase.
How Much Space Do You Have and How Many Plants Are You Trying to Grow?
The more you grow, the more lighting you will need. This can begin to cut into finances quickly, so be sure to have an idea of what coverage area you will need, and look closely for the footprint size offered by the light itself.
Multiple, less expensive lights may be a solution compared to a larger, more expensive light; or vice versa.
What Kinds of Plants Are You Supporting?
Although the kinds of wavelengths needed during different stages of growth are very similar, your species may have slightly different requirements.
It’s always a good idea to check to see what your plant’s preferences are before committing to a certain grow light to ensure you’re providing the best lighting possible.
What Stages of Plant Growth Do You Need a Grow Light For?
Make sure that you are providing your plant with the right light for its stage of growth. Plants in later stages like more red light, while those in earlier stages will flourish under blue light.
If you want a grow light that works throughout your plant’s growth then get a full spectrum light. Otherwise, you can change the bulbs in your grow light from stage to stage.
How We Picked
There are so many incredible, affordable grow lights out there, it really was a difficult task to narrow them down to the five best options. However, with a list of specific criteria in mind, and countless hours browsing through grow lights, we were able to do it.
In picking out the best cheap grow lights, our priority was to find grow lights that balanced affordability with quality. A cheap grow light that only lasts one season isn’t a deal it’s a waste of money. We found grow lights that would satisfy different customer’s needs, like the best cheap grow light for seedlings, the best cheap grow light for later stages of growth, and the best all-around cheap grow light.
We also looked for grow lights that were convenient to use, with high-tech features and compact designs. Every grow light on this list was a winner, but one outshined the others.
Which Grow Light Should You Get
Our favorite grow light was the Shengsite UFO 50W LED Plant Grow Lights. It works really well in compact spaces, and even with its remarkably affordable price includes a bunch of convenient features. Not to mention, it provides a full spectrum of light so it can nurture plants throughout their different stages of growth.
Of course, if another light stood out to you because of your specific needs and situation, then go with that one. Every light on this list is incredible, so you’ll be happy with whichever one you choose.