How to Effectively Grow Succulents Under Grow Lights

Do you love to grow succulents? Well, grow lights have steadily risen to popularity as more people look for artificial lights to boost their plants’ lighting needs. Commonly known as plant lights, they are simply light fixtures that stimulate the growth of the plants in an indoor garden.

Compared to the standard lights, grow lights often give away a full spectrum of light with ultraviolet light beams, photosynthetically active radiation, and infrared light. All these are crucial specs for the grow lights.

can succulents grow under grow lights

Growing Succulents Indoor Under Grow Lights

Can you really grow succulent plants with grow lights? Yes. Grow lights are a perfect source of artificial light for your indoor succulent plants. The leaves and petals of your succulents will absorb PAR light and blossom as perfectly as they would have if they were out in the sun.

The lights are a safe way to provide your plants with additional light without exposing them to sunburns. The only catch is that growers must find the right grow lights and have them professionally installed. Let’s learn how you can use these grow lights. 

Get the Correct Light

We have already discussed the best lighting options for grow lights. You can find them at your nearest lights and lighting fixture store or on reputable online platforms. After buying the lights, you need to have them professionally installed and set up. The professional setup is very crucial and differs from one indoor garden to another.

Distance Between Succulents and The Grow Lights

The distance between your plants and lights is an essential aspect of the setup. If you put them too close to the plant,  the heat emitted may scorch and kill the plant. If placed too far, your plants will not receive adequate light and are vulnerable to malnourishment. For LEDs, the distance should be between 18 – 24 inches and for the Fluorescent grow light it’s recommended to hang them between 6-12 inches from your succulents.

As a grower, remember that the exact distance depends on other factors such as the selected grow lights, the height or stage of the plants, and the heat emitted. Countercheck all these stats during the installation stage.

Monitor Your Plants’ Reaction to the Light

Sometimes the plants sit at a particular angle of the light source, and this can cause malnourishment on one side. As a grower, you need to constantly check on the succulents and notice how they react to the light. If they are in pots, you can rotate them every week so that each side gets a similar amount of light.

Always Water Directly on the Soil

Succulent plants have very thick leaves. They can survive without water for some time. However, sitting water can result in moldy and rotten leaves hence the need to water directly on the soil. If they are in a tin, do not use a spray bottle. Instead, soak the soil until you see the water coming from the drainage holes. Excessive watering may cause damage to the plant’s tissue.

Minimize the Use of Fertilizer

Your indoor succulent plants do not need a lot of fertilizer. You only need to add very little (preferably a weak fertilizer) during the developmental stage so that they can grow better. It should not be daily as this may suck out natural nutrients.

Tend to Them from Time to Time

Besides the light, you also need to tend to your succulent indoor garden. Provide them with adequate water, prune them, and weed out the small unwanted plants that could grow on the soil.

How to ensure your grow lights help your succulents!

Understanding the Types of Grow Lights for Succulent

Succulent growers have a wide array of grow lights that they can purchase. In this section, we will only cover the most popular and efficient ones.

Tube Lights

Tube lights come in various types, brands, and specifications. They can be T5, T8, T12, and so on. ‘T’ denotes tube while the number refers to the diameter in eights of an inch. T5 is an excellent option for most growers as it lasts longer, uses minimal energy, and burns brightest. While T5 is the most recommended grow light, you can purchase depending on your succulent indoor garden size.

CFL Lights

Compact Fluorescent Light, commonly abbreviated as CFL, are lights that simulate regular light bulbs. They will fit into any socket and are available in different wattages, base types, and light color temperatures. With a lifespan of 6000 to 15,000 hours, you can be sure that they are long-lasting.

LED Grow Lights

LED grow lights are the most common type for growers. Besides the massive variety of grow lights, the LED option allows you to customize the wavelengths depending on your plants. Whether your succulent plants are flowering or blossoming, you can quickly adjust the red and blue light wavelengths so that your plants make the most from the light.

High-Pressure Sodium(HPS)

HPS is a high-intensity light that emits very bright light. It simulates the streetlamps and gives your succulent plant the required light to flower. They are a perfect supplement for natural sunlight but cannot be used alone as they contain minimal blue light.

Incandescent Light

Incandescent light is the last one on our list. They are low-intensity lights that give away a warm and yellowish glow. While they are cheaper and can keep your succulent plants growing, they are the least efficient. This is because they have a low usable light output and a high heat output. Your succulent plants may suffer.

Tips for Selecting the Best Grow Lights for Succulents

Selecting the correct grow light for your succulent plants does not have to be a daunting and strenuous activity. This section covers some of the crucial aspects you must look out for when acquiring the plant lights.

The Output of Light

How powerful are your succulent grow lights? The light output assesses the brightness level of the grow lights. Often measured in lumens, the output determines the amount of light that your plants can use and how they will blossom. We all know that light is a crucial component of any plant growth.

While indoor succulent plants can withstand shade, they require the brightest light to grow optimally. Growers should go for light sources that can give away approximately 2000 lumens for every square foot. Here is a detailed guide to understanding the number of lumens a plant need.

The Wavelengths and Spectrums

Unlike humans, plants perceive light depending on the source’s wavelength and spectrum. Regular plants use a wavelength between 350 to 800nm. While all the human eyes can see is general light, there are a few categories of light that plants can experience; UV(Ultraviolet) light, IR(Infrared) light, and PAR(photosynthetically active radiation light. UV light causes your plants to develop a dark red tinge while IR boosts flowering.

As a grower, you need to know that plant lights come in different wavelength capacities. If you don’t know how your plants react to the spectrums, you can try a full-spectrum white light to balance all three natural lights.

Light Color Temperature

How warm is your succulents’ grow light? Commonly measured in Kelvin(K), the light color temperature shows you how cool or warm your lights are. The heat depends on several factors, such as the capacity of blue light or red light that your light source emits. Succulents love cool temperatures of around 3000K to 6000K.

At this temperature, the succulents can blossom and begin flowering. As a grower, you need to consider your succulent plant’s requirements as these colors cause different responses in your succulents.

Usable Light for the Plant

Plants crave PAR light. It is the most usable type of light, and lacking it may cause discoloration to your succulents. Since succulents are thick, they require more concentrated and brighter PAR lights. As you purchase them, you should have the prism test and determine how strong they are.

The efficiency of the Lights

How efficient are the lights for your succulent plants? In most cases, the efficiency of the lights is tied to the conversion from electric energy to light energy and the heat produced. It is measured in percentages, and you can quickly identify the most effective options. Find one that generated the brightest light while using the least energy.

Exposure Hours

How many hours will the lights be on? While light is a crucial part of growing plants, you shouldn’t leave it on at all times. Plants also need some darkness to facilitate physiological processes. Standardly, growers should expose their plants to 12 to 14 hours of light. However, the exposure hours may reduce depending on the grow lights’ brightness.


Like any other plant, succulents can grow under grow lights. Considering that most of them are thick and store water, you need to carefully select the plant lights to suit your succulent indoor garden. More people have brought their plants indoors, which has prompted light manufacturers to create various grow lights. You need to assess each option with caution as succulents are not ordinary plants.

Additionally, growers must understand that indoor plants depend on them to meet their basic needs, such as light, water, and nutrients. Keep learning and taking care of your indoor plants for the best results.

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