Not all of us have a green thumb. If you have a track record of accidentally killing plants, a friend may have directed you to get a cactus or some succulents instead.
“They're so easy to take care of!” they probably said.
While this is true, cacti trade their requirement for lots of water for lots of light instead.
Depending on where you keep your cacti, they may not be receiving enough light. They need very intense light, similar to the intensity of direct sunlight. Grow lights are often the only way to achieve the real exposure a cactus needs. This post aims to introduce to you the best grow lights for cactus.
Cactus Lighting Needs
Succulents and cacti are highly adaptive plants and can typically survive in any location you put them in, but if you want them to truly thrive, grow lights are beneficial. Cacti, on average, require 20% more light than succulents.
Everything is best in moderation, though, and too much or too little light can be detrimental for your cactus. Sunburn on the prickly plants looks like a yellowing or splotchy area on the skin. Underexposure most commonly leads to etiolation, which is stretching of the stems and leaves.
So what does your cactus need?
The best practice is to research the specific plant you're caring for, but most cacti thrive when they receive between 10-14 hours of sunlight every day, and no more than that. When researching grow lights, look for these qualities:
- The brightness of the grow lights: Using 2,000-lumen bulbs for 14 hours a day would emit the same exposure as the summer sun.
- Power consumed by the lights: The more power consumed, the higher your energy bill will be.
- The lights' color temperature: Measured in kelvins, cacti do well with a color temperature that begins at around 5,000 and closely matches sunlight.
- Amount of heat radiated: Not to be mistaken with the color temperature of the lights, heat radiated from the bulbs can damage your plants, and must be placed the correct distance away.
Keeping these qualities in mind, here are some of the best grow lights for cactus that I have found during my research.
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Best Grow Lights for Cactus
Jump Start 2′ T5 Grow Light System
- Easily adjustable light height for growing plants
- Great for African violets, other houseplants and for getting an early start with garden Vegetables
- Sturdy, durable and energy efficient
Last update on 2020-12-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
The Jump Start T5 System is an excellent grow light for many plants and a popular choice for cacti and supplements. It comes with a built-in timer that allows you to set a 12 hours on, 12 hours off schedule, ideal for cacti.
The light hangs from a 2 or 4 feet tube (depending on which one you buy) with legs on either side. As your plants grow taller, you can adjust the light's height with an easy-clamp system that doesn't require any tools. If you'd like a more extended setup, you can also purchase an extension kit.
The Jump Start Grow Light System has an overall rating of 4.3 out 5-stars, with 20 total reviews.
Ankace 40W Dual Head Timing Grow Lights
- Multiple Uses - It is suitable for indoor plant seedlings grown in a hydroponic greenhouse at your home or you placed in your office. It helps to speed up the growth of potted plants, flowering plants, foliage, and succulent plants.
- Best Red/Blue Led Combination - This LED grow lights diverts targeted wavelengths for plants. The 12 Blue LED chips ensure plants take in more energy through the synthesis of chlorophyll to help in germination. 24 Red LED chip contributes to effective germination, flowering, and enhances photosynthesis for better results.
- Timer - it comes with three timer setting options which allows up to 3, 6, or 12 hours according to plant needs. This is a one-way timer whereby lights can automatically turn on and off everyday.
- 5 Dimmable modes & 3 Switch Modes - it has five dimmable modes to suit varied stages of plant growth. You can just switch the lights off or on to suit the plants need.
- Adjustable Design - It has a USB connector which makes it convenient to connect to your office or home. With its 360 degrees adjustable gooseneck, it is able to light a wider area and emit light in any direction to provide energy to more plants.
Last update on 2020-12-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Ankace has produced a great grow light for many different environments, ranging from a greenhouse to your desk. It uses a powerful clip to grip any surface with up to a three-inch thickness, making it ideal for tables or a windowsill.
Its control panel allows you to pick from multiple features depending on the needs of your plants:
- Switch: Light one on, light two on, or both at once
- Dimming: Choose between 20, 40, 60, 80, or 100% brightness
- Timing: 3, 6, or 12 hours at a time
The mix of red and blue LED chips contributes to more significant plant growth, vibrant colors, as well as improving photosynthesis and germination (flowers!) function. It has a 360-degree adjustable gooseneck so you can adjust it as your plants grow.
Ankace's Dual Head Grow Light has an overall rating of 4.7 out of 5-stars, with almost seven thousand reviews.
MARS HYDRO TS 1000W LED Grow Light
- HIGH EFFICIENCY WHITE LED LIGHT: Newest SMD LED technology provide highest PAR/LUMEN output([email protected]"), designed to replace a single-ended 250watt HPS; MARS HYDRO TS 1000W Plants Growing lamp makes you get 30% higher yield compare OLD blurple led lights, Max 2.0g yield per wattage (power draw)
- LOW ENERGY CONSUMPTION GROW LIGHTING : Consuming only 150W with 342 LEDS! It saves up to 50% energy than other led grow lights. Perfect for 2.5x2.5ft,Max coverage 3x3ft. Over 90% light energy can be absorbed by plants; higher intensity and more even coverage in a MARS HYDRO grow tent, reflective area, or by crossing over using multiple TS1000
- SUNLIKE FULL SPECTRUM LED INDOOR GROWING: 660-665nm Red IR/3200-4200Knm/5200-6800Knm, infinite close to natural light, best for all plants all stages growing, rapid plant response from seed to flower and increase yield & crop quality
- HIGH REFLECTIVE & NOISE FREE-Fanless LED GROW SYSTEM design will make your growing life easy and quiet, quickly heat dispersing material aluminum reducing light lost to aisles and walls, increase the light intensity up to 20%, allowing your plants receive more energy and without burning your plants for maximum headroom
- UPGRADED COMMERCIAL LED GROW LIGHT, easy dimming & daisy chain function, up to 15 multi-lights connected, convenient main light controlled; Auto sensing power supply works on both 120VAC and 240VAC and 277VAC, suit for Large Rooms and Commercial Setups
Last update on 2020-12-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
MARS HYDRO has satisfied the most enthusiastic cacti lovers with their full-spectrum hanging grow light. You can choose from multiple sizes and wattage, but the 3×3 and 1000 watt model will be sufficient for most hobbyists.
Its LED technology provides a high par/lumen output. You can rest assured your energy bill won't spike as it only consumes 150W. It has a highly reflective aluminum hood, which provides more light for your plants and more excellent heat dissipation, increasing your light's lifespan. It comes with a 3-year hassle-free warranty if this isn't the case.
MARS HYDRO's LED Grow Light has an overall rating of 4.6 out of 5-stars, with almost 1,500 customer reviews and photos.
Read our full review on MARS HYDRO TS 1000W LED Grow Light.
Shine Some Light on Your Cactus
Even if you've found a suitable place for your cactus and are happy with its growth, I know from experience that winter can be a challenging time for lots of plant owners. There is significantly less sunlight at a weaker strength than other seasons, and you could begin to witness unwanted etiolation in your cactus.
For the happiness of both you and your cacti, consider purchasing a grow light to supplement their growth.