Cheap Grow Lights Alternatives Used in Indoor Hydroponics

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If you are like most hydroponic gardeners, you are always looking for ways to save money.

One of the biggest expenses in indoor hydroponics is the cost of grow lights. While some high-quality grow lights are on the market, they can be expensive. This blog post will discuss cheap alternatives to high-priced grow lights. We will also provide tips on choosing the best and cheap grow light or artificial light for your needs.

What Is Indoor Hydroponics?

Hydroponics is a soil-less method of growing plants. The plant’s roots are submerged in the water that contains nutrients. Indoor hydroponics is a method of growing plants without soil under controlled conditions. Steps for setting up a grow room or grow tent for indoor hydroponics are similar to those for indoor gardening.

Indoor hydroponic systems use various growing mediums, ranging from simple peat pellets to more complex grow mediums like rockwool and perlite. For example, most plants in a hydroponic garden can be grown in a gravel medium, where the roots are allowed to grow in the spaces between the small stones.

You can use this system to grow various plants, including fruits and vegetables.

Why Grow Lights, and How Do They Work?

Grow lights are artificial light sources that are used to stimulate plant growth. These lights are essential for indoor gardening, as they provide the plants with the energy they need to photosynthesize.

They provide the essential spectrum of light needed for proper plant growth. So, many commercial growers use them.

For hobby gardeners, it also provides a way to grow plants at home without paying high prices for commercial crop lamps.

They are essential because the right kind of light can play a significant role in proper plant growth. For example, some plants will respond better to red light than blue light, while others will thrive with both types of light. In this case, the blue light will help your plants grow better than the red light alone.

Providing the right spectrum of light also means that you’ll be able to grow different types of plants. This means that you’ll have many more options for growing new varieties of vegetables and flowers than you would have otherwise.

Grow lights are in a variety of types, including

  • Light Emitting Diode (LED)
  • High-Intensity Discharge (HID)
  • High-Pressure Sodium( HPS)
  • Metal Halide( MH)
  • Fluorescent( FL)
  • Halogen Light

Related: How to Properly Dispose of a Grow Light Used for Hydroponics?

What Are the Benefits of Grow Lights?

Grow lights offer several benefits for indoor gardeners.

6 Tips to Increase Yield Using Grow Light
Grow Light vs. Sunlight: Which is the Best Option for Your Garden?

What Are the Disadvantages of Grow Lights?

Although grow lights offer many benefits, there are also some potential drawbacks.

  • Grow lights can be expensive.
  • Grow lights generate heat, which can increase the temperature in your home.
  • Some types of grow lights, such as HID lights, can emit harmful ultraviolet rays.

Related: How to Overcome the Drawbacks of Grow Lights

pros and cons of grow light

Are There Any Cheap Grow Light Alternatives That Work Well?

Cheap grow lights come in various shapes and sizes, so choosing the best one for your needs can be challenging. Here are a few tips to help you choose the best cheap grow light:

  • Make sure the grow light is bright enough for your plants. The brightness of a grow light is measured in lumens.
  • Consider the size of the grow light. If you have a small grow area, choose a small grow light. If you have a large farm area, choose a large grow light.
  • Choose a grow light with adjustable angles. This will support you in directing the light toward your plants.
  • Consider the type of plants you are growing. Some plants need more light than others.

Related: How to Choose the Right Grow Light for Hydroponic Plants?

What Are the Less Expensive or Cheap Alternatives?

There are some less expensive or cheap alternatives to grow lights.

  1. One option is to use fluorescent light. These are available in various sizes, and they generate very little heat. These bulbs are relatively inexpensive, and they do not generate much heat. However, they are not as bright as some other types of grow lights on the market.
  2. LED grow lights is another option. LED grow lights are popular because they are very energy-efficient and last for a long time.
  3. Halogen grow lights are also an option, but they are not as efficient as LED or fluorescent bulbs.
  4. Finally, you can also use sunlight to grow plants indoors. Sunlight is free and provides the correct spectrum of light for plant growth. However, sunlight may not be practical during the winter months, when the days are shorter.

Related: Does Grow Light Temperature Matter?

How to Make a Cheap Grow Light?

If you want to save money on your grow light setup, you can make your own. Here are a few tips:

  1. Use an old coffee can or soup can. Cut holes in the bottom of the can and insert light bulbs.
  2. Cover the can with foil or reflective material. This will help to reflect the light onto your plants.
  3. Hang the can above your plants. To get the best results, you may need to experiment with the grow light height. Read What Is the Ideal Distance for a Grow Light to Be Away from Indoor Plants to learn more.

Making your own homemade grow light is a great way to save money, and it’s also an interesting project that you can do with your kids.


Grow lights are an important part of indoor hydroponics. They can be expensive, but some cheap lighting alternatives work well. When choosing a grow light, consider the above-given tips. If you’re looking for a more affordable option, making your own grow light is a great way to save money.

Thank you for reading!

Also, read:
10 Essential Tools for Indoor Home-Based Hydroponic Gardeners
11 Steps to Choosing the Right Fan for your Hydroponic Grow Rooms

If you are looking to buy any hydroponic light, and related items for your hydroponic garden check out these links.

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