Best Indoor Light for Succulents (2020 Reviews & Guides)

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Indoor light for succulents

As with any other plant, succulents need light in order to survive and to thrive. Some succulents in particular require more light than the others.

In general, succulents that are naturally green require less light than succulents of other colors. Examples of this include certain species of Aloe, Gasteria and Haworthia.

In contrast, most of the Echeverias, Pachyphytum, Graptopetalum, and Sedum, to name a few, require full sun to thrive and show their true colors. Not providing enough light for these succulents will cause them to etiolate or stretch, as they seek to reach out for light.

When grown indoors, it it important to get the right indoor light for succulents that is able to replace the natural sunlight outdoors.

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Growing Succulents Indoors

Growing succulents indoors has been a choice of many in recent times. Whether you’re living in an apartment with no balcony, or prefer to plant your succulents where you are most of the time – indoors, or that winter is coming and it is time to move your succulents indoors, it is still important to provide your succulents with the best alternative light possible so that they are able to maintain their colors and shapes.

When succulents are outdoors, they generally require 6 hours of bright, indirect sunlight every day. When grown indoors, however, it is highly recommended to place them by a window where they can still get bright sunlight all day.

If this isn’t an option, then it is best to invest in artificial indoor lights, otherwise known as grow lights. Plants are able to grow in artificial lights as good as, if not better, than in sunlight.

For humans, artificial light cannot replace sunlight, because the human body gets vitamin D from sunlight and not from artificial light. However, all plants need from light is light itself. With light (be it artificial or natural), plants are able to undergo a process called photosynthesis and grow.

However, it is still important to select an indoor light that is suitable for growing succulents, based on the following criteria.

Criteria for Choosing Indoor Light for Succulents

Light Intensity

While different succulents and cacti have different requirements for light (cacti being 20% higher), it is best to get lights that emit at least 2,000 lumens (otherwise 2,000 foot candles).

The direct sunlight at noon emits about 10,000 lumens, but if you provide 2,000 lumens of light for 14 hours daily, the plants will get approximately the same light exposure as they would in the summer.

Sounds great, but how do you measure lumens? The easiest way to measure for candles is by using a light meter like the one below:

While using a light meter is great in establishing the exact light exposure you’re providing your succulents, it is not required to grow and maintain healthy succulents and cacti.

Energy Consumption

When searching for indoor light for succulents, there is another aspect to consider – the wattage of the grow light. You want to get grow lights that are bright, but at the same time won’t cause your electricity bills to skyrocket.

The higher the wattage of the grow light, the more energy it consumes. We recommend that you look for lights that are labeled energy efficient, because they will most likely have high lumens and low wattage – giving you the best of both worlds.

Color Temperature

Succulents love the full spectrum of light they can get from the sun. Indoors, we also want to provide them with full spectrum lights that mimic the sun with a balance of cool and warm lights. The optimal color temperature which can provide your succulents with the sun’s full spectrum of light is 5,000 kelvins.

Below are some high quality full spectrum indoor light for succulents which are widely used nationwide.

Best Full Spectrum Light:

King Plus 1000w LED Grow Light

  • No reflector, no danger
  • High energy saving
  • Advanced cooling system
  • Double switch (Blue & White or Red & White)
  • Full spectrum, including UV & IR

Value Full Spectrum Light:

Relassy 15000Lux Sunlike Full Spectrum Grow Lamp

  • 88 high quality, high par value & high efficiency LED chips
  • Larger illumination area (120° beam angle and 18 inch gooseneck)
  • Full spectrum
  • More highly-uniform light than single red and blue spectrum grow lights
  • High-Efficiency & Scientific Heat Dissipation Design
  • Safe for indoor use

Heat Radiation of the Light

It is important to know how much heat the light emits. Too much heat can burn your succulents, while too little will not be enough for the plants.

There are some common indoor lights that are known to generate a lot of heat, while there are also some that remain cool to the touch even after being on for 24 hours.

How hot the light is also depends on the distance between the light and your succulents, as well as how long you leave the light on.

Indoor Light for Succulents

There are 2 common types of indoor light for succulents, namely fluorescent and LED. Both produce full spectrum lights.

Fluorescent lights offer remedy to low light but with high energy consumption, while LED lights are energy efficient and lasts longer.

We will go through both of them to help you better decide which type of light best suits your succulents.

Fluorescent Lights

There are 3 popular types of fluorescent lights used as indoor light for succulents which are T5, T8, and T12 lights.

What are they and how do they differ from each other?

According to Ballast Shop:

Fluorescent lamps, or fluorescent linear tubes as they are also known, are categorized according to their wattage, shape and diameter. The “T” in T5 indicates the bulb is tubular shaped, while the “5” denotes that it is five eighths of an inch in diameter. The other common lamps are the larger T8 (eight eighths inch = 1″) and T12 (twelve eights inch = 1½” tubes).

The T12 is an older generation fluorescent bulb that generates light through electromagnetic induction, which is considered less efficient method of creating light compared to that of newer electronic based circuits. Like the T5, the T8 tube creates light through advanced electronic circuits and are available in standard 2, 3, 4, and 5 foot lengths.

However, what sets T5 fluorescent lights apart from T8 bulbs is their dramatic reduction in size. T5 lamps are 40% smaller than T8 fixtures, but are capable of containing just as much and sometimes more light in a smaller area. In other words, more T8 fixtures are needed to produce the same amount of light generated by significantly fewer high output T5 bulbs.

Although the newest T5 lights generally cost more than T8 models, they are lower maintenance than other fluorescent bulbs. This combined with the T5 bulb’s ability to provide more light (lumen) than the other bulbs means long-term cost savings on your commercial and residential projects.

grow lights for succulents
Different sizes of T5, T8 & T12 bulbs.
Credits to Ballast Shop

Due to the reasons above, the T5 fluorescent light is the most recommended fluorescent indoor light for succulents.

Best T5 Fluorescent Light:

Hydroplanet™-T5 4ft 4-Lamp Fluorescent HO Grow Light

  • 95% reflective aluminum reflectors
  • High light output
  • Operates on 110V/120V,2A(ampere),15′ power cord,1 x Hanger
  • Comes with 2 “V” hanging connected to each corner and an 15′ grounded power cord

LED Lights

LED lights are the more recent technology compared to fluorescent lights. LED lights offer 2 benefits that fluorescent lights can’t – efficiency and safety.

Efficiency

LED lights only consume a fraction of the electricity that their fluorescent counterparts do. Because of this benefit, they are ideal for those who place importance in cost saving when selecting an indoor light for succulents. They usually also last around 10 times longer than fluorescent lights. Since your succulents require long daily runs, LED lights can offer a smarter and more efficient choice.

While fluorescent bulbs emit heat and light in all directions, LED lights are directional. This means that LED lights can deliver the full benefit in a desired direction – in this case, on your succulents. Simply by choosing LED lights, you will save energy, money, and light.

Safety

Do you know that fluorescent bulbs use mercury vapor to transport electrical currents? Mercury is a toxic heavy metal that can cause damage to the brain, lungs and other organs when breathed in. If the fluorescent light bulb is broken, it puts the people nearby at risk of inhaling the toxic vapor.

LED lights, on the other hand, use a solid state technology to produce light. This method is non toxic and much safer to the user.

Most Popular LED Light:

Phlizon 1200W LED Plant Grow Light

  • No reflector, no danger
  • Generates less heat, more energy saving and lower electricity bills
  • More effective coverage area than any reflector series lights
  • Double cooling fan
  • Double switch (Blue & White or Red & White
  • Full spectrum, including UV & IR

Best Value LED Light:

Yoyomax Grow Light

  • Best Red & Blue Light Combination
  • 60 Full Spectrum LEDs
  • 3 Switch Modes | 6 Dimmable Options
  • Auto On/Off | Circular-Memory Timer
  • Flexible Goose-Neck | Sturdy Clamp

Verdict – Best Indoor Light for Succulents

Best Indoor Light:

King Plus 1000w LED Grow Light

  • No reflector, no danger
  • High energy saving
  • Advanced cooling system
  • Double switch (Blue & White or Red & White)
  • Full spectrum, including UV & IR

Although LED lights cost higher than fluorescent lights, their energy efficiency and long life will be able to provide you with long term cost savings. Therefore, we personally love and use the King Plus 1000w LED Grow Light, as it has the longest lifespan among LED lights, at 100,000 hours.

Whichever lights you use, the full benefits depend on how high you place the lights above your succulents and how long you leave the lights on. Always be sure to check on your succulents to notice whether or not they receive the ideal amount of light.

If you notice signs of stretching or etiolating on your succulents, it is an indication that they need more light. Gradually increase the light condition for your succulents to prevent burns on the leaves.

If you notice burn marks on your succulent leaves, it is an indication that the current light is too strong. Either move the light further away from your succulents, or reduce the time you leave the lights on.

See our reviews on the Mars Hydro SP250, one of our most recommended grow lights for your succulent needs.

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