Are you one of the many people who have taken up the challenge of keeping a fiddle leaf fig (Ficus lyrata) as a houseplant? Then you know that these plants need plenty of bright light to thrive.
And if you’re like many people, you may not have enough natural sunlight in your house to provide your fiddle leaf fig with the light it needs. That’s where grow lights come in!
Grow lights are a great way to supplement the natural lighting in your house and provide your fiddle leaf fig with the bright light it needs to grow and thrive. But with so many different types and models of grow lights on the market, it can be tough to know which one is right for you and your plant.
Here, I’ll share my top 9 choices for a grow light for fiddle leaf fig. I’ll also discuss what to look for in a good grow light and offer tips on using one with your fiddle leaf fig.
How do grow lights work?
Let’s start with the basics. How do grow lights work?
It’s simple, really. A grow light is a type of electric lighting used to help indoor plants grow. They mimic the effect of sunlight, giving your plants the light they need to perform photosynthesis, even in dim interiors.
Grow lights typically emit different wavelengths of light, which plants use for various purposes. For example, blue light is used for leaf growth, while red light is used for flowering and fruit production.
Many grow lights are full-spectrum, meaning they emit a wide range of wavelengths, just like sunlight. This is beneficial because it allows indoor plants to receive the full spectrum of light they need for optimal growth.
Why use a grow light with your fiddle leaf fig?
Fiddle leaf figs are tropical plants, which means that they need a lot of light to survive. If you live in an area with low natural light, or if you don’t have a good spot near a window in your home, then using a grow light can help your fiddle leaf fig get the light it needs.
You can also use a grow light to supplement the light your fig tree receives in the winter when there isn’t as much sunlight available due to the days being shorter.
They also help prevent the stems from getting too leggy, which can happen if the plant doesn’t get enough light. You may notice it growing toward the window depending on the spot it’s in. You can use a grow light on the other side to help balance it out.
How much light does a Fiddle Leaf Fig tree need?
Fiddle leaf figs originate from the tropical rainforests of Africa. In their natural habitat, they typically grow under the canopy of taller trees, where they receive filtered sunlight.
They need at least 6 hours of indirect sunlight per day. Notice I said, “at least.” In fact, they’ll thrive if they get more light.
They can also handle a few hours of direct sunlight each day as long as they’ve been acclimated.
Insufficient light may be the problem if your plant seems healthy but isn’t putting out new growth.
Do fiddle leaf figs do well under grow lights?
Yes, fiddle leaf figs do very well under grow lights! In fact, many people who have trouble growing their fiddle leaf figs indoors find that using a grow light is the key to getting their indoor plants to thrive.
What are the different types of grow lights?
Now that you know how grow lights work and why you should use one with your fiddle leaf fig, let’s take a quick look at some available types.
These used to be the most common type of grow light. They come in compact fluorescent and tube fluorescent varieties. They’re relatively inexpensive and emit little heat, making them a good option for small spaces.
However, they don’t produce as much light as other types of grow lights, so they’re not the best option for large plants or plants that need a lot of light.
LED grow lights
LED lights have become increasingly popular as grow lights because they’re very energy-efficient and last a long time. They also don’t produce as much heat as other types of grow lights, so they can be placed closer to your plants. However, they tend to be more expensive than other types.
There are other types of grow lights available, but for home use, you are typically going to want either fluorescent or LED. And, in fact, LED is my preference every time. I think they are less expensive in the long run because they are so energy-efficient.
The top 9 choices for a grow light for fiddle leaf fig
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- Full-spectrum light appears white to the eyes but emits red and blue light for plants.
- High brightness: Equivalent to 100 watts, but only 11 watts of energy use
- LED bulbs have a long span.
- Easy to install – E26 base fits most standard American lamps
- Compatible with any type of light fixture – ceiling mount, table lamp, floor lamp, etc.
- Low heat output.
- Light appears clear like regular light bulbs with no blue or purple tones.
- The bulb needs to be 6 inches away from the plant for a high-light plant.
- You’ll likely need several bulbs for a large fiddle leaf fig plant.
- Super long lifespan – up to 25,000 hours
- Lamp body is made of ceramic material, making it more safe and reliable
- Less heat radiation reduces burns on plants
- Emits clean white light
- More expensive than other grow bulbs.
- You may need multiple bulbs for a large fig tree.
- Puts out bright white light with no harsh red or purple tones
- Can be used like a regular light bulb
- LED light, so it has a long lifespan
- Needs to be close to the plant
- Some reviewers have reported a weird buzzing sound
- This is a versatile option. You can move it around, extend the stand, adjust the goosenecks, and change the light spectrum or brightness.
- The timer means you don’t have to remember to turn it on and off. Great for travelers!
- Easy to set up and use.
- The tripod may tip over depending on how you place the heads or if something bumps into it.
- Not the most attractive option for a grow light.
- Easily adjustable
- You can turn on either light by itself or both simultaneously.
- Easy to use
- For a tall fiddle leaf fig plant, you may need to clamp it on something like a shelf.
- Attractive design – this looks more like a decor light than a grow light.
- The light it produces is easy on the eyes while also targeting blue and red wavelengths for indoor plant growth.
- 15-year lifespan, with no bulb necessary.
- Expensive up-front cost compared to other options (but it also has a super long lifespan).
- The bulb isn’t replaceable.
- The flat light panel and extendible stand make this an excellent option for a tall fig tree. The panel can also be ceiling mounted.
- Easy to set up and use
- Has a 12-month warranty and 30-day satisfaction guarantee
- You can adjust the angle and direction of the light.
- Kind of funky looking. You might not want this in a living area.
- It’s lightweight but top-heavy. You may need to brace the stand to keep it from tipping over.
- Tall enough to work well with a large fiddle leaf fig plant
- Adjustable tripod and goosenecks so that you can point the light where you need it to go
- Easy to put together and use with simple controls
- The timer is unreliable.
- Like other tripod stands, it may tip over easily.
- This will be a good option if you have a lot of plants that you want to put under a grow light.
- Puts out a lot of light.
- More expensive than smaller lights.
- Not aesthetically pleasing; it’s meant to be used in a greenhouse or other dedicated plant space.
5 things to look for in a good grow light
When choosing a grow light, there are a few things to keep in mind.
What does it look like?
I don’t know about you, but my plants are an integral part of my living space. So I don’t want any of those industrial-looking grow lights. Instead, I want something attractive that goes well with my décor. That’s why I’m a fan of grow bulbs that I can put in my own lighting fixtures or lamps.
What color light does it emit?
As we talked about before, different light colors are used for different purposes. And not all grow lights emit a full spectrum of light. If you want a light that will help with both leaf growth and flowering, then you’ll want a full-spectrum light. For a foliage plant like a fiddle leaf fig, you’ll want a light that emits blue light or a full-spectrum light.
How big is it?
This will depend on how many plants you’re trying to grow and how big they are. A larger light will obviously be more expensive, but it will also be more effective. For a fiddle leaf fig, you’ll want something tall (or that can be placed on a high shelf).
Is it easy to use?
You don’t want a grow light that is difficult to set up or take down. And you want something easy to adjust as your needs change. That’s why I like grow bulbs and portable grow lights.
What is the price?
Of course, you’ll want to consider the price when choosing a grow light. But keep in mind that a more expensive light is not necessarily a better light. You’ll want to balance the features with the price to find the best option for you.
How to use a grow light with a fiddle leaf fig
At this point, you may be wondering exactly how to use a grow light with your fig tree.
Where should a fiddle leaf fig grow light be placed?
Ideally, you’ll want to place the light so that it is about 12-14 inches from the plant. (Some models need to be placed closer so be sure to read the instructions).
You want the plant to get the light it needs without causing damage. For example, if you notice brown spots on the leaves, it may be getting sunburned from too much light exposure.
It’s best to place the light directly above the plant if you can. Remember that plants grow toward the light source, and your fig tree is no exception.
If the grow light is placed to one side, then your tree may end up being lopsided. One option is to rotate the plant at regular intervals so that it receives light evenly on all sides. Another option is to use multiple grow lights to illuminate the fig evenly.
For a large fig tree, you may want one grow light placed above and additional lights facing the sides.
How long should you keep the grow light on?
Fiddle leaf fig plants need a minimum of six hours of light each day. So, you’ll want to keep the grow light on for at least that long.
Longer than that is okay, but don’t leave the grow light on all the time. Plants need 8 hours of darkness each day to rest.
It’s best to keep the grow light on during the daytime when the sun is up. That way, you are replicating the natural light cycle.
If you have a timer, you can set it so that the light goes on and off at the same time each day.
If you don’t have a timer, you can just turn the light off at night before going to bed.
Light is necessary for plants to grow and thrive. So if you want to keep your fiddle leaf fig healthy and flourishing, giving it the light it needs is essential. A good grow light can provide your plant all the light it needs to grow big and beautiful.
Yes, you can use a grow light for your fiddle leaf fig. Make sure to choose a grow light that emits blue light or full-spectrum light. These are best for foliage plants.
Technically, yes, all LED lights can be used as grow lights. However, regular LED lights are not as effective as those specifically designed for plants.
Ficus trees do not necessarily need grow lights. They prefer six hours of indirect light per day, but they can tolerate low light conditions. However, if you want your ficus tree to thrive and grow to its fullest potential, then it’s best to give it some extra light. A grow light is an easy way to do that.