This Pendant-Style Grow Light Kept My Plants Perky Through a Long, Gray New York Winter

I’ll keep using it even when things warm up.
Samantha Weiss-Hills Avatar

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For many years, I considered my husband to be the plant person in our partnership. He’s a Cancer, loyal to his commitments, applying method and routine to his hobbies. I wouldn’t consider myself well positioned for the job: I’m not into user manuals, and every day looks different. I’ve somehow killed a rubber plant in the past and found ways to off stalks of cacti and webs of ivy, which doesn’t make for a promising résumé.

But over the past year, I experienced a gradual shift. I was the one gently petting the leaves of our schefflera, trimming long strands of monstera adansonii, and regularly misting the succulents that line our windowsills. There was one problem child, though: the dracaena (or “dragon tree,” as the taller version is more commonly called). Due to a neighboring building, our apartment doesn’t get great light, and that little guy was not thriving. After testing out various positions, and noticing that our fiddle-leaf fig was also struggling, we decided to try a Soltech Aspect grow light late last year.

Soltech Aspect Grow Light


I won’t lie: I’d always resisted grow lights because of their laboratory looks, but there’s something contemporary and versatile about the Aspect that caught my eye. The pendant-style LED light is designed specifically for indoor plants, but it’s not far off from something I’d theoretically hang over my theoretical kitchen island. The solid aluminum fixture comes with a 15-foot fabric cord and is available in two sizes: small (20 watts) and large (40 watts). The small is appropriate for plants that need low-to-medium indirect light, and the large is made for plants that require bright indirect or bright direct light. U.S.- and Canada-bound orders also get an Outlet Timer, which can be used to create a 12- to 16-hour light cycle. The fact that Soltech products are hand-built in the U.S. and come with a five-year warranty really sold me on them. All of this combined does bump the price up from other basic grow lights, so take that into account. (To note, there are payment plan options if you prefer to buy now and pay later.)

The Aspect comes with most of the tools you need to hang it except for a drill, anchors, 3/16-inch drill bit, and No. 2 Phillips screwdriver (things you probably already have around the house anyway). How you go about installing it really depends on whether your ceiling is made out of wood, drywall, plaster, or cement. While someone might be able to install this on their own, I’d recommend a two-person crew. My husband and I, both able-bodied, handled it all in about 20 minutes. Essentially, it works like a little pulley system.

Large Aspect LED Grow Light, Soltech


Large Aspect LED Grow Light, Soltech


First, determine the hanging height based on the amount of rays your plants require. Soltech has a small resource for this in its plant guide, but even as an on-the-fly kind of person, I’d recommend doing your research. Otherwise, your fixture might not be effective or you’ll end up with burnt leaves. For example, Soltech says that if you’ve purchased a large Aspect for plants that need high light, hanging the pendant 24 to 26 inches above them is ideal.

Then you’ll screw in what’s called a swag hook on the ceiling, plus two fairleads on the wall (one near the ceiling and one near the floor). The piece weighs 4 pounds, so while it’s not nothing, it isn’t going to pull the drywall down if you’ve installed your swag hook properly. Nestle the cord in the swag hook so that the light is at its appropriate height and then snugly thread it through the two fairleads, which will tighten down the wire and keep it taught. Plug it in to the nearest outlet and—ta-da!—light. Our timer is set to an overnight cycle, so everyone gets their dose while we’re sleeping.

You would never know that we’ve experienced an exceptionally gray New York winter with the Aspect: My plants have never been happier. The dracaena got a prime spot directly under the light, right next to the schefflera and fiddle-leaf, and it’s previously droopy, brown tips are vibrant and pleased. To my surprise, the sansevieria grew more than it had in months.

The best part is that guests don’t notice it when they come over for dinner—the matte finish blends right into our white walls and the cord doesn’t draw your eye. Although, I wouldn’t mind even if they did.

Shop All Soltech Grow Lights and Accessories

Vita Grow Light, Soltech

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Archetto Transparent Wall Mount, Soltech


Grove LED Grow Light, Soltech



Samantha Weiss-Hills Avatar

Samantha Weiss-Hills

Managing Editor, Home & Shopping

Samantha Weiss-Hills is the managing editor of home and shopping for Domino. She edits and writes home tours, shopping guides, and features, and she’s the friend who everyone texts for glassware, sofa, and sheet recommendations. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, Alex, and their beagle-corgi, Elsa.