This Grow Light Can Nurture a Variegated Monstera in a Dark Room—and Look Stylish Doing It
Go ahead and put your plants in a low-lit room. Thanks to this grow light, they’ll still give you the green.
When I think of grow lights, I picture industrial-looking panels hanging over rows of cannabis while Seth Rogan lovingly tends to his flower. That may appeal to some, but it’s not necessarily what a proud plant parent wants to display in their living room. (There are exceptions, I’m sure.)
For us non-Rogans, the Aspect LED grow light is a game changer. With a minimal design that echoes mid-century can-style pendants, it looks chic and intentional over a side table. It also doubles as a regular accent light, so you can read The New Plant Parent by Darryl Cheng while admiring your thriving Rex Begonia. (The LED doesn’t give off UV, by the way, and it’s masked with ambient lighting similar to what’s used in museum galleries. Which means you won’t look haggard, which is nice.)
“When we started this, we thought, ‘Why are grow lights reserved for marijuana?’” says Paul Hodges, the CEO and Co-founder of Soltech Solutions, which makes the Aspect. “People want to grow an orchid in their bedroom, or a mango tree in their kitchen. They want plants they can see and experience daily, as opposed to a basement farm.”
In other words, this is a chance to liberate yourself from flat-panel-grow-light tyranny. To put your plants where you actually want them, and avoid sill syndrome, A.K.A. the row of sad-looking plants you stuck on the window sill because you couldn’t figure out where else to put them.
The engineering behind the lamps is apparently extensive. Frankly, we’ll have to take Hodges’ word for it, because once he uttered the phrase “photosynthetic science,” I lost the thread. But in lay-person’s terms, they created their LED “recipe” so we can just plug and grow. The light is height adjustable, so as your plant gets taller, the pendant can be raised higher, and there’s a lighting guide on their website to tell you what the distance between your Bird of Paradise and your Aspect pendent should be.
For those who have a growing brood, there’s another light available: the Highland, a track lighting system, which, yes, is track lighting, but it can nurture a serious number of plants. (There’s also a simple light bulb that you can use with the fixture of your choice.)
There is one problem to keep in mind, however: These fancy grow lights don’t work if you don’t use them. “When I moved to my apartment, I was so rushed I put my Fiddle Leaf Fig in a place that wasn’t close enough to the window and it died,” says Hodges. Wait, he didn’t have one of his own lights? “No!” he says, laughing. “And I paid a lot for that plant!”
Since then, Hodges has decided to get high on his own supply; he has a very-much-alive Fiddle Leaf Fig, two palms, a Monstera and—his pride and joy—a coffee plant with about six hundred coffee beans on it. And while he can dry the beans for espresso, he says it’s tedious so the plant is more of a conversation piece.
“People walk in and it’s the first thing they comment on,” Hodges says. Adding, “Plants are addictive. You buy one and then think, This corner of my room is dark and dry . I’d love to add a fern.”