Cheapest Grow Light Setups Ideal for Beginners
Many horticulturists and plant hobbyists enjoy growing plants out of season by using grow light setups. These grow lights enable them to provide their plants with the fuel essential for growth even without the help of natural light. However, high-end grow light setups can be costly and off-putting for beginners.
While the cheapest grow light setups are typically fluorescent lamps in tubes and compact forms, the market also offers many LED substitutes. The following reviews will tackle five affordable LED grow lights with included mounting accessories for a quick setup. Check them out, and choose the most suitable one for your first indoor garden.
Cheapest Grow Light Setup Reviews
1. iGrowtek 2-Feet LED Grow Light with Stand
The iGrowtek 2-Feet LED Grow Light Setup includes an easy-to-assemble stand and a two-foot-long LED strip arranged in a T5 tube with a reflector. This lighting fixture features a light color temperature of 4000 Kelvin, and its output intensity measures 1100 lumens.
Overall, the setup measures 27.2 by 19.7 by 7.9 inches, and the LEDs offer a light beam angle of 120 degrees. The included stand has two legs with baseplates on either side, measuring 2.3 by 7.9 inches. While the frame doesn’t offer height adjustability, you can still make height adjustments using the included pair of suspenders.
The iGrowtek 2-Feet Grow Light features full-spectrum LEDs using warm white light. It mimics natural sunlight without the harmful effects, making it conducive for seedling growth.
Since it uses LEDs, this grow light presents energy savings in the long haul for your indoor planting requirements. It only has a power rating of 10 watts, and it offers a long 40,000-hour operational lifespan.
However, this grow light only has a single LED strip, and it won’t suffice for plants that require abundant lighting. It also only offers lighting for an area measuring 0.62 square meters. You can use it for indoor plants such as Pothos, English Ivies, ZZ plants, snake plants, and Bird’s Nest ferns.
- Excellent for seed starting and seedlings
- Adjustable height
- Full-spectrum LED
- Durable iron frame
- Wide coverage
- Long lifespan of lighting fixture
- Easy to assemble
- Freestanding floor setup
- Inadequate for multiple rows of plants
- Easily toppled lightweight frame
- Iron frame prone to rusting from water sprays
2. GooingTop Dual-Head LED Grow Light with Desk Clip
If you only require directional lighting for indoor ornamental plants on shelves and desks, the GooingTop Dual-Head LED Grow Light is a perfect choice. It is a spring-tensioned clip lamp that easily mounts onto the edge of furniture. It does not require any assembly, and all you have to do is plug and switch.
This grow lamp has two sets of LEDs arranged in tubes measuring 10.43 inches long, each with its 15.7-inch flexible gooseneck. Both LED tubes account for ten red and 74 white diodes combined to provide the full spectrum of sunlight at noontime. With these LED lights, the fixture can produce a color temperature of 6000 Kelvin.
Special features include multiple brightness levels and a built-in self-timer. You can jack the brightness up to five times the lowest setting, and you can choose from four, eight, or 12-hour automatic shutoff.
If you have some plants on your office desk, this desk lamp is an excellent choice. It has a high color rendering index of 95, and it produces soft, flicker-free light, making it suitable for reading. Moreover, the flexible gooseneck enables you to point the lights in any direction.
We like that this grow light only uses 10 watts of power, and its output is equivalent to a 50-watt halogen bulb. As such, it features exceptional energy efficiency, even for a low-cost device.
Another advantage is the inclusion of red LEDs into the lighting fixture. This addition promotes seed germination and flowering. With the full-spectrum white LEDs, this light also works well for general plant growth.
Generally, this clip lamp is a very versatile piece of lighting hardware. Since it uses a mounting clip, you can position it in almost any situation, even sideways and upside-down. It doesn’t matter where you mount the clip, as you can bend the goosenecks whichever way you need them to go.
- With red LEDs excellent for germination and flowering
- Has white LEDs for general plant lighting
- No assembly requirements
- Doubles as a reading lamp
- Straightforward lighting direction using goosenecks
- Multiple brightness levels
- Built-in timer function simplifies plant lighting schedules
- High LED count on each lamp for more lighting
- You will need more lamps for plenty of plants
- Inadequate timer settings for plant lighting requirements
3. Juhefa Dual-Head LED Plant Light with Clip
Like the GooingTop Dual-Head, the Juhefa Dual-Headed LED Plant Light uses flexible goosenecks for directional lighting and a clip for its mount. The main difference is that the Juhefa has cone-shaped lights instead of tubes.
The flexible goosenecks on this dual-head lamp are almost an inch shorter than those on the GooingTop. Each light cone has a diameter of 1.8 inches, and it measures 2.3 inches long from the tip of a gooseneck to the brim. Both lamps have 22 LEDs each, bringing the device’s total diode count to just 44.
While it carries notable drawbacks compared to the GooingTop, the Juhefa also has its advantages. Its LEDs include the blue light essential for vegetation, instead of just the red ones. Furthermore, it offers up to ten interchangeable brightness levels and three lighting modes on top of a built-in timer.
For the timer, you can choose between three, nine, or 12-hour lighting intervals. The three lighting modes include purple light, sunlike light, or mixed light.
While this light is also perfectly suitable for reading and writing, it can serve its purpose better if used for plant vegetation. Its purple light spectrum encourages foliage growth in small indoor plants, and its mixed-light mode encapsulates the requirements for general plant growth.
However, like the GooingTop, this grow light is pretty tiny for a sizable seedling bed. If you plan to grow multiple seedlings, you might have to crowd the surrounding area with several of these tiny lights. This lamp only offers a color temperature of 3500 Kelvin.
The good thing about grow lights like this one is their adaptability towards home interiors and small ornamental green patches in balconies, hallways, and stairways. You can use them anywhere you like without ruining the aesthetics of a space. In fact, they even make an area stand out with that tiny bit of accent lighting.
- Improves plant vegetation
- Does not require any assembly
- Can be used as a desk lamp
- Easy repositioning with goosenecks
- Multiple lighting modes
- Dimmable up to ten levels
- Has a built-in timer
- Sturdy desk clip
- Most affordable among the options
- Round-shaped LED assembly offers minimal coverage
- Not enough for seedling beds
- Timer settings are inadequate for regular plant lighting
4. GHodec 4-Head LED Grow Light with Stand
The GHodec 4-Head Grow Light is an improved version of the GooingTop Dual-Head. Unlike the GooingTop, it spreads its 80 light-emitting diodes over four light tubes with flexible goosenecks, increasing the coverage over a wider area. Each light tube has 16 white and four red diodes.
Furthermore, the GHodec 4-Head has an adjustable tripod stand instead of just a mounting clip. The tripod adjusts to heights between 15.7 and 47.2 inches, enabling its use for large and tall potted plants.
Everything else is similar with the GooingTop, including the length of the LED light tubes, five brightness levels, and timer durations. However, the light’s color temperature only ranges between 5000 and 5500 Kelvin.
The GHodec 4-Head is a freestanding grow light, which means it requires minimal to no setup at all. After finding a suitable placement for the light, all you have to do is plug it in, switch it on, and adjust the lamp positions.
Its tripod gives it the versatility to work around several potted plants grouped anywhere indoors. Moreover, it blends in seamlessly with surrounding plants, and it does not convey the mechanical feel of large-scale grow lights for commercial and industrial setups.
A disadvantage of the Ghodec 4-Head is its fewer LEDs per tube compared to the GooingTop. While it extends the coverage of the lamps, the light intensity is reasonably reduced. Because of its lower light output, it may still be inadequate for commercial scalability.
- Freestanding, stable tripod frame
- Blends in with ornamental plants
- No assembly required
- Flexible goosenecks allow easy repositioning
- Adjustable height
- Increased levels of red LEDs promote blooming and fruiting
- Multiple adjustable lamps in one
- Adjustable intensity levels
- Usable for tall and large indoor potted plants
- Includes a built-in timer
- Lamps have fewer LEDs than similarly shaped fixtures
- Still inadequate for multiple seedling beds
5. Mars Hydro TS 600W LED Grow Light with Mounting Accessories
If you want a grow light set up similar to those available in most grow tent kits, you might want to check out the Mars Hydro TS Series. One of them is the TS 600W LED Grow Light. Don’t get confused with its 600W designation, as this only refers to the power rating of an equivalent HID HPS lamp.
Since the Mars Hydro TS 600W contains LEDs, it actually just has a power rating of 100 watts. Unlike our other options, this grow light has 225 LEDs, making it more scalable for commercial purposes. The diodes are housed in an aluminum heat-dispensing board with a thermal insulator and a highly efficient reflector.
This lamp measures 14.1 by 12.2 by 1.4 inches, with the LEDs equally spread out for a more balanced distribution of a broad light spectrum.
Unlike the alternatives, this lamp is an excellent option for growing in plant tents, small rooms, indoor mini-greenhouses, and multi-tiered shelves. It even gives you several mounting options, including hanging, rack mounting, and wall mounting.
The single most essential advantage of this lamp over the alternatives is its inclusion of 760nm light wavelengths from the far-red end of the spectrum. In addition to the full-spectrum white light, this light is suitable for all stages of plant growth. With it, you can expect to have a rapid growth response from seeds, seedlings, and flowers.
However, it is not a complete grow light setup. The Mars Hydro TS 600W may require mounting hardware other than the included steel hangers and ratchet hangers. Of course, you will have to arrange something to hold these hangers in place.
Other drawbacks unique to this option are the lack of variable brightness settings, a built-in timer, and a control switch. This device only comes with a ready-to-plug power cord that turns it off or on.
- Excellent for germination, vegetation, and flowering
- Scalable for commercial purposes
- Includes hanging cables
- Offers equal light spectrum distribution
- High yield-to-cost ratio
- Wide coverage area
- Has the most number of LEDs
- Balanced combination of red, blue, and white LEDs
- Comparable with 200-watt HID lamps
- Comes with a reflective aluminum hood to increase light intensity
- Thermal insulator and aluminum material regulates heat gain
- Requires hangers or mounting racks
- Needs some assembly
- No built-in timer
- Costs much more than the other options
- Not a complete setup
Grow Light Setup Buying Guide
When choosing your first grow light, you should consider your gardening goals and the particular colors of the light spectrum that affect plant growth. These factors can make your choice of grow lights much easier, and you can be a step closer to understanding your plants’ needs.
Purpose of Grow Lights
Are you looking to provide your indoor ornamental plants with the lighting they need? What types of plants do you currently have? Do you plan to grow plants on a larger scale? These are the questions you will have to answer so that you can finally decide which types of grow lights you should get.
If you only intend to supplement the indoor lighting for your ornamental plants, small form factor LEDs such as the clip-on types should suffice. However, if you plan to grow seeds and seedlings in several small pots, you might want to consider scalable options such as the Mars Hydro.
Light Colors Essential for Growing Plants
The most important colors of the spectrum to look for in a grow light include blue and red light. Blue light is responsible for the vegetative processes occurring in plants. On the other hand, red light promotes germination, budding, and flowering.
Nevertheless, you can always choose a grow light that provides the full range of the visible light spectrum. The light with the most balanced mix of colors is white.
Which Is the Best Affordable Grow Light?
The cheapest grow light setups do not have to be flimsy and inadequate. Each of the products here has its benefits that can help you care for your plants in no time. As long as you understand how much light your plants require, you only need to focus on having enough space and a reliable gardening toolset.
For a simple ornamental setup, we recommend the GHodec 4-Head LED Grow Light. Since it is a freestanding device, you can position it anywhere near your plants. However, if you plan to set up some hydroponics on shelves, you should choose the Mars Hydro TS 600W LED Grow Light.