Picking a grow light that looks normal in a living space starts with the quality of the light it puts out.
Until recently hideous purple LED grow light was the norm. Fortunately those purple-hued days are behind us now.
“Full spectrum” LED grow lights are the answer. They put out a pleasing, bright white glow. Plus they deliver exactly the wavelengths of light that your plants need.
You can choose a warmer, sunnier light or a cooler light with a hint of blue. Look for the K or kelvin value on a grow bulb — this tells you the visual color of the light it gives out. A lower K value light, say 3500K, will have a warmer tone. A higher K value like 5000k will have a slight blue cast.
Decorative lights for plants that are also effective are rather rare. There are a few well designed grow lights out there — often they sacrifice effectiveness for design though.
Soltech Solutions have a range of grow lights with good minimal design. They’re not class-leading for efficiency and light output but they’re still quite effective.
The Soltech Aspect grow light is available in black or white. The larger, 40W, version would give a nice pool of light for herbs or leafy greens.
Bring-Your-Own Lamp Shade
The most flexible way to find a grow light that looks good is to make your own. Simply buy a high quality LED grow bulb and put it in any fixture or shade of your choice.
Our #1 choice for an LED grow bulb is the GE PAR38 — it’s efficient and plenty powerful. Plus in versions tuned for leafy greens or fruiting and flowering plants.
There are very few things you should look for in a fixture:
- Avoid fully enclosed shades — grow bulbs can get warm so it’s good to have some air circulation.
- Metal shades are recommended — heatproof is nice and the metal helps radiate any waste heat safely.
- Adjustable height is good — for happy growth you’ll need to raise and lower your grow light
As long as you follow those suggestions you can use any kind of light fixture you like. I’m a fan of a simple metal shade suspended with a “swag” of cable. This gives loads of style options and is easily adjustable to give your plants their optimum amount of light.