The Best Grow Light For Growing Orchids Indoors

Orchid Close-up

Did you know there are around 30,000 different species of orchids worldwide?

Just imagine the number of different orchids you can grow today!

From moth orchids to dendrobiums, it’s time to start your orchid collection at home.

All you need to achieve that is a suitable grow light. Light needs of orchids.

Since there are hundreds of grow lights today, finding the best one for your orchids can be challenging. For that reason and to make it easier for you, we have made a list of the best grow lights for orchids and present it to you in this buying guide.

Light Needs of Orchids

To find the best grow lights for orchids, we must first understand their light needs.

Quality of Light

The spectrum of light that works best for orchids can vary slightly from one species to another. But since all orchids belong to the same family, we can still find a lot of similarities between them, especially when it comes to their light needs.

All orchids are flowering plants, so they need a spectrum of light that boosts their blooming phase.

Expert indoor growers will tell you that red light drives flower formation in most plants, which is also true for orchids.

But red light on its own would most likely impair the growth of your orchid plants.

Orchids need other frequencies of light that work hand in hand with red light to encourage healthy and strong growth in plants.

In fact, the other major light that your orchid plants need is blue light. 

Studies have shown that a combination of blue and red light is necessary for photosynthesis and other important processes in orchids.

Blue light can also strengthen orchids and make them more tolerant to high intensities of light.

But a mix of blue and red light is not enough for your orchids, because green light is equally important for them. 

Growers have ignored green light for years, thinking that it wasn’t really important for plants.

For many plants, particularly orchids, green light is as important as red and blue light.

In their natural habitat, orchids usually grow under the canopy of trees that absorbs a lot of red and blue light. This means that orchids are usually left with large quantities of green light they must make use of.

A recent study showed that the largest leaf area in orchids was obtained under light mostly rich in green light.

Basically, a great spectrum for orchids growing at home should be rich in blue, red, and green light.

Intensity of Light 

Different orchid species need varying quantities of light. There are low-light, medium-light, and high-light orchid plants. 

Choosing the best grow light for your orchid plant will largely depend on the quantity of light it needs.

To find the light needs of the orchid plant you want, you do a simple search on Google.

Here are some species of orchids that are classified according to their light needs:

High-light or full-sun orchids:

  • Brassia
  • Cymbidium
  • Dendrobium
  • Epidendrum

Medium-light orchids:

  • Cattleya
  • Oncidium

Low-light orchids:

  • Phalaenopsis (or moth orchids)
  • Paphiopedilum (or lady slipper)
  • Dracula
  • Maxillaria

Even low-light orchids will still need some light, so if you’re growing your plants in the dark, you’ll have to get them a grow light.

Best Grow Lights for Orchids 

Besides the light needs of orchids, choosing a grow light will also depend on how many plants you want to grow.

Top Choices for Individual Orchid Plants:

If you want to provide light to one or two orchid plants, these grow lamps will work great for you:

  1. GE LED Grow Light Bulbs

Those LED bulbs are perfect if you want to grow your orchids in the living area under lights without ruining the decoration.

GE LED grow light bulbs have E26 bases, and you can fit them in any decorative lighting fixture you choose.

GE manufactures bulbs that have enhanced red light spectrum, but you can still use their normal balanced spectrum ones.

There are two models with different intensities you can choose from: BR30 and PAR38.

PAR38 is at least 3 times more intense than BR30, so it’s more suitable for high-light orchids.

Both bulbs are very affordable, but remember you also need to buy a lighting fixture if you don’t have one.

  1. Relassy Gooseneck LED Grow Light

Although less versatile than grow light bulbs, goosenecks fixtures are perfect for individual orchid plants.

Relassy gooseneck fixture is a high-quality LED grow light that can provide your plants with the right quantity and quality of light.

The spectrum of this grow light is highly rich in green, red, and blue light, so it will keep your orchids very happy during their entire life cycle.

This light is more suited for individual low-light to medium-light orchids because it has a moderate intensity.

You can easily adjust the distance between your plants and the light using the adjustable gooseneck feature of the light.

Just like GE grow light bulbs, this light is very affordable.

Top Choices for a Collection of Orchid Houseplants:

If you want to grow several different orchid plants, you need a more intense grow light. Here are three great choices for you:

  1. Viparspectra XS Lights

Viparspectra is a very popular brand of grow lights and its newest series is great for orchids.

The lamps use Samsung diodes to emit a very balanced spectrum of light that is rich in blue, green and red light.

They’re very bright and have wide coverage areas. For instance, the lowest model, Viparspectra XS1500, can cover a growing area measuring 2′ x 2′ (0.6m x 0.6m).

Those lights come with a dimmer that allows you to lower the intensity of the light during different growth phases.

If you want to grow several orchid plants under one light, this would be a perfect choice for you. 

Viparspectra XS lights are very affordable. And don’t forget to use the coupon code HERBSWITHIN to get a discount!

  1. Mars Hydro TS 1000

Another very popular grow light that is amazingly suitable for orchids is Mars Hydro TS 1000.

Mars Hydro also has an optimized balanced spectrum that will make your orchids very happy.

It’s also very bright and has a coverage area measuring 2′ x 2′ (0.6m x 0.6m). If you want to grow orchids in a wider space, you can for Mars Hydro TS 2000, which has a larger coverage area.

Taking into account its intensity and high quality, the light is also considered affordable.

  1. HO T5 or CFL Fluorescent Lamps 

Fluorescent lamps (FLs) are used traditionally by indoor gardeners to grow orchid.

FLs are cheap and bright, however they’re less efficient and have shorter lifespans than LED lights. They also emit a lot of blue and green light but little amounts of red light.

If you want to grow your orchids under FLs, you can choose HO (High-Output) T5 fluorescent tubes or CFL bulbs. Those are very efficient.

The more FLs you use, the wider your growing area will be.

There are many great brands of HO T5 fluorescent grow lamps on Amazon.

Top Choice for Commercial Growing

If you want to grow different varieties of orchid plants for profit, you need to choose a very powerful grow light that can you help achieve your goals.

Mars Hydro TS 1000, Viparspectra XS lights, and fluorescent lamps will work for you in this case, but you will need more than one lamp or device.

Here is another option that is great for commercial growing of orchids:

HLG RSpec Quantum Boards

HLG RSpec Quantum Boards are made for flowering plants, including orchids.

They also use Samsung diodes and they’re very efficient to use, so you will spend less money on running them.

Those Quantum Boards have a spectrum that is mostly rich in red light but also contains great quantities of blue and green light.

The lowest RSpec model can cover a growing area measuring 5′ x 5’ (1.5m x 1.5m) to 6’ x 6’ (1.8m x 1.8m).

Those lights are high-priced, but they will give you the best results!

Final Words 

In case you want to grow many varieties of orchids with different light needs, you should use a high-intensity grow light to be on the safe side.

But make sure not to bring your light too close to your plants or to keep it on for more than 18 hours a day.

Finally, enjoy growing your orchids and don’t forget to share your thoughts in the comments below!

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I'm Jad, a biologist, blogger, and experienced indoor gardener. I am knowledgeable in plant biology, particularly in plant cultivation and propagation. I founded in 2019 to share my knowledge in indoor gardening with passionate home growers.