OS - 6 months ago, Verified purchaser
We bought a few different LED grow bulbs to compare them all at once. They've been on for over a month and we can see a difference in our plants. We think the best bulb to get is the GE “PAR38 with Balanced Spectrum Seeds & Greens LED.” You get more PPF (what plants need to grow) at 50 micromoles per second, compared to the GE BR30 bulb that has a PPF of 16 micromoles per second. IIRC, the PAR38 has a beam angle of 60, so for our plants at 3-5 feet away it completely covers several pots in very bright light. This works out better for us because we want to live with our plants at a farther distance from the bulb among our decor.
You should know this is a large bulb. It’s about 5 inches across. We were using a 5.5 inch clamp light from a big box store, but found perfect pendant lamps with plug-in 15 foot cords here if you search for item 53541412. They come in brass (what we bought), and in black. We hung them from a swag hook. They look really nice!
The BR30 bulb is great if you have a gooseneck lamp (or similar) that can be closer to your plants. It will *need* to be closer because the beam isn't as focused. Can't recall the beam angle, but it does seem to cover quite a lot and the bulb has some light coming from sides of it as well. We just got another BR30 "Bloom" bulb so we could get more African Violets. The BR30 "Bloom" is on & set about 2 feet above our African Violets for a few hours a day. Right now, all of the AVs have more than 15 blooms on each plant! We fertilize them with each watering, but they weren't blooming like this before. The light of the "Bloom" bulb is nearly a ‘daylight’ color but it does have a slight bit of pink tint. Barely noticeable, and definitely not annoying. Leaves will look green but for our deep purple AVs, the blooms look slightly more violet than blueish under the "bloom" bulb.
BTW, neither of these bulbs get burning hot. They didn’t heat up our house, which *is* an issue with non-LED bulbs.
These GE bulbs are definitely the best out of the many we tried. Target doesn’t sell the other types. We’re glad to have these available locally where if anything happens during shipping we can easily buy them in the store.
The best thing for us: The “Balanced Spectrum Greens” bulbs have a really nice color light. Looks just like the actual daylight that streams in our windows before the sun moves to the other side of the house. Some of the other ‘daylight’ bulbs we tried looked way too blue. Other “bloom” bulbs looked bright purple or pink. These are a bright white without too much blue, and are *nice to live with*, unlike the blue or purple bulbs.
The best thing for the plants: We think it's the high PPF of the PAR38, as the plants are now thriving! Variegated plants are keeping their proper colors and even soft succulents are not getting leggy - Though the bulb will need to be closer for succulents. About 1-3 feet. For most medium or low-light house plants, a farther distance than what is recommended on the box will work well. Our med-low light plants are about 3-5 feet from the bulbs and have been thriving for almost two months now. That's why we're here to buy more to use in other rooms. Once winter arrives and the morning sun is even weaker, our plants are going to be really pleased to have these bulbs :)
Some of the plants we used these on: Various silvery-to-blue soft succulents, Crested Euphorbia, Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum) that’s about 3 ft. across, lots of different African Violets, Dracaena Marginata, Plumosa Fern (Asparagus Setaceus).
Hope this helps some plant lovers!