Did you know there are around 30,000 distinct species of orchids worldwide? Just imagine the number of different orchids you can grow!
From moth orchids to dendrobiums, it’s time to start your orchid collection at home.
All you need to achieve it is a suitable grow light. Orchids need specific quality and amount of light.
Since there are hundreds of choices, finding the best one for your orchids can be challenging.
To make it easier for you, we have made a list of the best grow lights for orchids and presented it to you in this buying guide.
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Light Needs Of Orchids
We must first understand their light needs to find the best grow lights for orchids.
Quality Of Light
The light spectrum that works best for orchids can vary slightly from one species to another.
But all orchids belong to the same family. So, 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 red light drives flower formation in most plants. This 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 working hand in hand with red light. Together, they encourage healthy and strong growth in plants.
The other major light your orchid plants need is blue light.
Researchers have conducted studies on blue and red light. They found that combining blue and red light is vital for photosynthesis and other important processes in orchids.
Blue light can also strengthen orchids, making them more tolerant to high light intensities.
But a mix of blue and red light is not enough for your orchids because green light is just as necessary.
Growers have ignored green light for years. They thought it wasn’t really essential for plants.
For many plants, particularly orchids, green light is just as important as red and blue light.
In their natural habitat, orchids usually grow under a canopy of trees. That canopy absorbs a lot of red and blue light. This means that orchids are typically left with massive quantities of green light they must figure out how to use.
A recent study showed that the largest leaf area in orchids grows under light that’s richer in green light than any other.
More or less, 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:
- Phalaenopsis (or moth orchids)
- Paphiopedilum (or lady slipper)
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:
These LED bulbs are perfect if you want to grow your orchids in the living area under lights. These lights do the job without ruining the aesthetic.
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 the BR30 and PAR38.
PAR38 is at least three times more intense than BR30, so it’s more suitable for high-light orchids.
Both bulbs are affordable but remember you also need to buy a lighting fixture if you don’t have one.
These grow lights are less versatile than grow light bulbs. But gooseneck fixtures are perfect for individual orchid plants.
Relassy gooseneck fixture is a high-quality LED grow light. It can provide your plants with the correct quantity and quality of light.
The spectrum of this grow light is extremely rich in green, red, and blue light. It will keep your orchids incredibly happy during their entire lifecycle.
This light is more suited for individual low-light to medium-light orchids. This is because it has a moderate intensity.
You can easily adjust the distance between your plants and the light. Just use the light’s adjustable gooseneck feature.
Like GE grow light bulbs, this light is very affordable.
Top Choices For A Collection Of Orchid Houseplants
You will need a more intense grow light if you want to grow several different orchid plants. Here are three great choices for you:
Viparspectra is a popular grow light brand, and its newest series is terrific for orchids.
The lamps use Samsung diodes to emit a balanced spectrum of light rich in blue, green, and red light.
They’re very bright and have a broad coverage area. 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.
This will be a perfect choice if you want to grow several orchid plants under one light.
Viparspectra XS lights are very affordable. And don’t forget to use the coupon code HERBSWITHIN to get a discount!
Another prevalent grow light that is well-suited for orchids is Mars Hydro TS 1000.
Mars Hydro also has an optimized balanced spectrum. It 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, we suggest the Mars Hydro TS 2000, which has a larger coverage area.
People also consider it highly affordable, considering its intensity and high quality.
Indoor gardeners traditionally use Fluorescent lamps (FLs) to grow orchids.
FLs are cheap and bright. But they’re also less efficient and have shorter lifespans than LED lights. They do 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 more comprehensive your growing area will be.
There are many great brands of HO T5 fluorescent grow lamps on Amazon.
Top Choice For Commercial Growing
You need to choose a very powerful grow light that can help you achieve your goals. That’s if you want to grow different varieties of orchid plants for profit.
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 orchid growing:
Developers created the HLG RSpec Quantum Boards for flowering plants, including orchids.
They also use Samsung diodes, which are very efficient to use. So, you will spend less money on running them.
Those Quantum Boards have a spectrum that is mainly rich in red light. It does also contain significant quantities of blue and green light, though.
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!
There is a solution if you want to grow many varieties of orchids with different light needs. You should use a high-intensity grow light.
Make sure not to bring your light too close to your plants. Also, don’t keep it on for more than 18 hours daily.
Finally, enjoy growing your orchids, and don’t forget to share your thoughts in the comments below!