Compare the Best Small Grow Lights for your Hydroponics Garden

Grow lights are used in indoor gardening as a substitute for abundant, natural sunlight. They have the ability to power plant growth from the very beginning stages of germination all the way through the flowering and fruiting stages. Whether you are growing indoor plants in soil or with hydroponics, grow lights are often essential to keeping your plants at their healthiest. And since many indoor gardeners don’t need large and powerful grow lights to cultivate a few plants, small grow lights can be sufficient for your needs. With that said, let’s review some of the most popular and best small grow lights on the market

Types of Small Grow Lights

There are 3 major types of grow lights: Fluorescents, High-Intensity Discharge (HID), and Light- Emitting Diode (LED).  Let’s take a look at how each type works before reviewing the best small grow lights.


There are two types of Fluorescents: CFL and T5 grow lights. Fluorescent grow lights are inexpensive, provide a good light spectrum, fit well into small spaces and can be used in a standard lighting socket, give-off a pleasant color for indoor environments, don’t use a lot of electricity. and work well for small and well-trained plants (like hydroponic herbs, lettuce, clones, and seedlings). The downside is they have a smaller yield per watt vs. HID and LED so they need to be positioned very close to the plant. As such, they are not recommended for taller plants like tomatoes or cannabis. Fluorescents also contain a small amount of mercury, which may turn off some to this type of lighting choice. CFL lights are usually twisted in their shape, while T5 grow lights are long and narrow.

High-Intensity Discharge (HID)

High-Intensity Discharge (HID) grow lights are a step above fluorescents in efficiency. They have a large, awkward shape and are normally used in conjunction with a reflector hood to direct light downward towards the plants. One notable disadvantage to HID lighting is that they are prone to running very hot, so exhaust fans are often used to vent the grow environment or grow tent.

The three types of High-Intensity Discharge lighting are Metal Halide (MH), High-Pressure Sodium (HPS), and Ceramic Metal Halide (CMH, LEC, Light Emitting Ceramic). Metal Halide’s blueish hues are especially good for vegetative growth, while HPS yellow lighting is great for the flowering stage and produce an amazing yield per watt. Ceramic Metal Halide grow lights are designed with ceramic, making them more efficient than standard MH lights.

LED Grow Lights

While HPS lighting is certainly efficient, the heating issues are a concern. As you may have read in our Best LED Grow Lights article, the primary benefits of LED grow lights over the more established light sources is it can significantly reduce heat and power consumption.   Because they produce less heat than other options – and often have heat sinks and built-in fans – LED grow lights are more energy efficient and require significantly less expense to ventilate and cool.

Small LED grow lights can simply be hung over your plants and plugged directly into the wall without any other major adjustments. Most LED lighting can produce the particular spectrum a plant need for its various stages of growth. Another advantage is their longevity. LED bulbs do not need to replaced nearly as often as HID or fluorescents. Because of their numerous benefits, we recommend LED grow lights to hydroponics beginners and experts alike.

Best Small Grow Lights

Now let’s look a some of the most popular small grow lights on the market. One of the key consideration of choosing the best small grow light is to find one with a combination of colors spectrums. Blue lights promote vegetative growth, red lights stimulates budding and flowering, and an orange to whitish tones are good for fruiting. Full spectrum LED grow lights are great for all stages of growth.

3 drop rating

uPONICS Rating

Item Length(from base to head lamp): 20.75″
Item Weight:1.3 Ib
Light Head Diameter: 3.7″
Cable Length: approx. 57 ”
Clamp: range up to 3″
LED Beads Quantity: 78 pcs SMD Chips
LED Color and Wavelength: Red (620-660nm), Blue(440-460nm), IR(730nm), UV (380nm)
Color Temperature: 3500K-6000K
Working Temperature:50,000 hours
Material: Aluminum (heat dissipation), Iron, Plastic
Working Condition: -20-40 ° 45-95%RH

Aokey True 15W Desk Clamp Lamp with 360° Flexible Gooseneck

Aokey’s 15W led grow lamp may be just enough light for your tiny garden or single plant.  It features a 360-degree gooseneck that easily adjusts to any indoor grow setup, and a study clamp to secure it to a desk, bookshelf, or wherever you decide to grow in your garden.

While this light is not really powerful enough to use on larger plants, this is rated as a top choice product for small grow lights because it offers quality and value. The aluminum shell provides good heat dissipation, while the full spectrum, 78 pcs SMD Chip LEDs provide red, blue, IR, and UV to give targeted wavelengths to your plants for increased photosynthesis. With all the high luminous efficiency, long service life of 50,000, and 100% money back guarantee,  this small LED grow light is money well spent.

Package included:

1 LED Grow Desk Lamp
1 User Manual

3 drop rating

uPONICS Rating

Package Dimensions: 11″ (L) x 2″ (W) x 9.5″ (H)
Color Temp: 6400K
Rated Wattage: 13
4 pack

Also available in 26W and 55W

SunBlaster 13 Watt CFL Grow Lamp 4-Pack

SunBlaster CFL self-ballasted lamps have a 6400K spectrum to replicate natural sunlight.  They are great for any indoor hydroponic or soil application – whether it be for propagation or supplemental purposes. SunBlaster CFL bulbs are designed for convenience and simplicity.  Just screw them into any standard size light socket and start using them on to grow your plants. This 13W 4-pack provides energy-efficient lighting at an affordable price.

3.5 drop rating

uPONICS Rating

Dimensions: 4.84 x 5.44 inches
Gross weight: 0.37 kilograms / 13 ounces
Led ratio: Red (660 nanometers 3 pcs; 630 nanometers 6 pcs): Blue(460 nanometers 3 pcs)
Power: 12W
Frequency: 50/60 Hz
Lifespan: Above 50,000 hours
Socket type: E27

TaoTronics Led E27, 12w, 3-Band Grow Light Bulb

TaoTronics bulbs are some of the best selling small grow lights on the market.   They provide high luminous efficiency, low power consumption,  and a long service life (50,000 hours) at an affordable price.

The Taotronics 12W bulb is constructed with an all metal housing and conveniently fits in standard E27 light sockets.  It features 12 LEDs  – 3 blue for photosynthesis and 9 red for blooming and fruiting. This gives plants the spectrum they require for every stage of growth. Built-in heatsink construction keeps the temperatures down even when it runs continuously. Hook this up to a lighting clamp and power cord (with an E27 socket) to add versatility to your grow room setup.

4 drop rating

uPONICS Rating

Power: 36W
LEDs: 12x3W
Band: 660nm 3 leds, 630 nm 7 leds, 460nm 2 leds
Suggested Height: 1.7-5ft
Illuminated Area: 0.6-5.46 sq ft
Input Voltage: AC 85-264v
Input Current: 650mA
Socket Model: E26
Lifespan: Up to 50,000 hrs
Angle: 60 degrees

TaoTronics 36W, 3-Band Grow Light Bulb

The 36W, 3-Band LED grow light bulb is another popular model from TaoTronics. It comes equipped with 12x3W LEDs for higher lumen output for any indoor growing application. Compared to traditional T5, HPS, and HID lights, Taotronics claims superiority is heat dissipation, the ideal temperature for photosynthesis, and overall energy utilization. The aircraft grade heat sink is constructed with aluminum fins to ensure it continually runs cool, while the 60-degree beam angle expands the reach of illumination.

TaoTronics’ 36W, eco-friendly bulb contains no mercury, heavy metals, or other toxic materials. Included is a free standard E26 light socket.  This is a great small grow light for your indoor growing needs.

3.5 drop rating

uPONICS Rating

Dimensions: 13.1×13.1×0.4 inches
Item Weight: 2.6 lbs
Core Coverage: 24″ Height 1x1ft
Max Coverage:  24″ Height 2x2ft
Replacement: 100 watt HPS/MH
Avg. Power Draw: 35 watt
LED Quantities: 225pcs 0.2Watt Bridgelux/Epileds
LED reflector: 60°degree
Input Voltage: 110V AC
Frequency: 50-60Hz
Lifespan: 50,000 hours

KINGBO Reflector 45W LED Grow Light Panel

Kingbo’s full spectrum 45W grow light panel suited for all types of indoor plants- from seedlings to the flowering stage. It comes equipped with 225pcs LEDs, 60-degree reflector, and 6-band 380nm-740nm full spectrum that includes blue/red/white/UV/IR. Measuring less than a half-inch thick, the super-thin casing has a built-in aluminum hanging system to easily accommodate your growing space.

The 45W Kingbo Reflector LED grow light replaces a 100W HPS/MH light while consuming just 35W. The manufacturer claims higher actual power/lumen/PAR than other 45W lighting panels. It operates quietly while the aluminum cooling heat sinks keep it running cool. With a 12 month warranty and a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, there is minimal risk in ordering this small grow light to give it a try.

-1 x KB-GLX45 LED Grow Light
-1 x Hanging Kit
-1 x Product manual
-1 x 5ft Power Cord

4 drop rating

uPONICS Rating

L*H*W: 45.3 x 1.2 x 1.2 inches
Input voltage: AC100-240v
Chip size: 45mil
Working current: 520ma
Working Frequency: 50-60hz
G.W: 2.1kg/pc
Actual power:45w±3%
Housing color: Silver
Lifespan: 50,000hrs
Waterproof: IP65

Lightimetunnel 108w LED Grow Light Bar

LED grow light strips are a popular alternative to traditional grow light designs, especially with greenhouse growers and DIY hobbyists. This ultra bright, high lumen grow light strip by Lightimetunnel is designed with 3w Epileds LEDs and 120-degree acrylic lens over the LEDs to increase lighting efficiency. The spectrum includes 14pcs deep red 660nm, 10pcs red 630nm, 6pcs blue 470nm, 4pcs IR 740nm, 2pcs UV 410nm to mimic natural sunlight for all stages of plant growth. Lighttimetunnel’s led grow light bar is rated IP65 waterproof and features aluminum casing for heat dissipation. The strips also have 180-degree adjustable brackets to accommodate your installation needs.

4 drop rating

uPONICS Rating

Dimensions: 6.5 x 9 x 18.1 in
Weight: 3 lbs.
Lumens: 1600
Voltage: 120
 Reflector Finish: Hammered Aluminum
Housing:  Galvanized/Steel
Ballast Type: Electronic
Cord: 7 ft
Socket: Mogul (E39)
Switch: On/Off Push Button
Bulb included

Sun System HPS 150W Grow Light

Sun System’s 150W HPS grow light is complete and ready to plug-in right out of the box. It is able to simulate natural sunlight for maximum plant growth and has 5 more light per watt than standard incandescent bulbs. The ballast assembly is built into the reflector, the glass is removable, all hardware is included, including light sockets. The bulb even comes pre-installed. It features a lightweight construction, hanging hooks, and the parts are easy to replace. This system can cover up to a 2’x2’ growing area. The quality construction and superior components make this a great small HPS grow light.

Note: Not air cooled and not shipped discreetly

4.5 drop rating

uPONICS Rating

Product Dimensions:  10.4″ x 11.5″ x 2.5″
LEDs:  Epistar™ (HI-LED) High Intensity 5 watt chips
Spectrum:  440nm, 460nm, 630nm ,660nm,730nm(IR), 2700k-3000k
Power Consumption:  120V: 102W±5%
Coverage Area:  2′ x 2′ (60cm x 60cm)
Hanging Distance:  24″ – 30″ (60cm – 76cm) from the top of your canopy
LED Lens Degree:  90°-120°
Plug Type:  EU,UK,AU,USA,Japan
Warranty:  2 years

MarsHydro Reflector Series 48

MarsHydro is one of the most recognized manufacturers of grow lights. This 240W LED Grow Light features a compact, reflective design to maximize light to the targeted growth area.  The user can control the spectrum settings between Growth / Bloom Mode to maximize efficiency at all stages of growth while giving an impressive and effecient coverage area per watt, The premium Epistar 5W high intensity LED provides a  full spectrum of 440nm, 460nm, 630nm ,660nm,730nm(IR), 2700k-3000k. Easily replaces a 150W HPS/HID/MH. The MarsHydro Relector 48 also comes with a generous 2-year warranty. Overall, this light is an excellent choice for grow tents and other small enclosed areas.

We hope that our Small Grow Light article helps you choose the best lighting for your growing needs. To review more powerful, feature-rich grow lights, see our Best Grow Lights for Cannabis, LED Grow Light Reviews, and COB LED Grow Lights articles.