Best propagator with lights in the UK

2021 Update

It seems brexit and/or the pandemic may have hit supplies for some propagators with lights. Neither Harrod Horticultural or Greenhouse Sensations have any stock of either the Vitopod or the Geopod propagators (though it may be worth checking yourself anyway). Thankfully they’re both stocked by Suttons albeit at a slightly higher price compared to last year, and it might be necessary to buy the light kit for the Vitopod separately.

Why do I need lights on my propagator?

If you’ve ever tried starting seedlings indoors in the UK, you’ll be familiar with the issue of weak, spindly seedlings. When seedlings don’t get enough light they put all their energy into growing taller, this makes sense in the wild (where plants are competing with each other for light), but it spells disaster for us growers.

Adequate lighting is key to preventing seedlings from stretching and becoming spindly. This gives them plenty of energy, but it also encourages them to grow in a sturdy, compact fashion1. I previously ran an indoor farm entirely under artificial light, I know first hand the difference some good lighting can make to plants.

Finally, it may be counterintuitive but you can save money and be kinder to the environment by starting seeds under artificial light. If the choice is between indoors under light, or outdoors with heating – energy efficient lights will often win out. You can use our grow light running cost calculator to get an idea of the costs and potential savings.

Things to consider when purchasing a propagator with lights

  • The dimensions: is it wide and long enough for your seed trays? is it too big for your chosen space? Is is tall enough to accommodate your plants?
  • Integrated heating: do you need it? it can help with germination in an outbuilding, but might add unnecessary cost if growing indoors.
  • Build quality: It’s always better to buy a product that will last many years, it not only saves you money, but is kinder to the planet.
  • Consumables: Replacing bulbs can be inconvenient and expensive – look for LED lamps to make this a thing of the past.
  • Budget: I’ll be including prices for guidance, and links so you can check up to date pricing information.
  • Running costs: Choosing an inefficient light source could see your electricity bills taking a hit, choose an LED light for best efficiency. Bringing seedlings indoors can save on propagator heating costs too.
  • Convenience: Is it easy to remove the lid to check on and water your plants, or are the lights heavy, do they get in the way and need to be detached and reassembled each time?


PropagatorDimensions (cm)Capacity*TypePower (lights)Power (Heater)Price
Vitopod Single Length Single Layer56 x 55 x 246T548W50W£239
Vitopod Single Length Double Layer56 x 55 x 396T548W50W£275
Vitopod Double Length Single Layer111 x 58 x 2412T578W100W£285
Vitopod Double Length Double Layer111 x 58 x 3912T578W100W£335
Geopod Standard62 x 43 x 284T548W37W£150 (out of stock) or £170
Geopod Large112 x 63 x 2912T5108W100W£200 (out of stock) or £220
Selections Large58 x 37 x 234LED16Wnone£70
*capacity is given in half seed trays

Ultimate Vitopod Heated Propagator With Lights

This is the high end of the propagator market for Vitopod – but it doesn’t use LED lighting (instead it uses fluorescent tubes). Shown is the single layer double height variant.

The Vitopod propagator is big, configurable and includes a temperature controlled heating mat. It’s available in a choice of widths and heights (pictured above is the single length, double layer with dimensions: 56cm L x 55cm W x 39cm H (52cm H incl. lights)

It’s far from a windows sill model and is better suited to the very serious or semi professional grower. The running costs of the lights (48W for the single length, 78W for double length) are also worth bearing in mind.

It is a solid unit and has been built to last (comes with a 2 year manufacturers warranty) and there is certainly enough light generated by those T5 sunblaster for your seedlings. You get a lot of propagator for your money – between £239 and £335 at the time of writing.

Geopod Heated Propagator with Lights

Another huge propagator, cheaper than the Vitopod but less configurable, it also lacks LED lights (using fluorescent tubes instead). Shown is the large model.

The standard unit is L62 x W43 x H28cm making it a little smaller than the single length Vitopod, but rectangular (so it might be easier to fit on a shelf). There is a bigger model available (L112 x W63 x H29cm) which is nearly three times the size and comparable to the double length vitopod.

The height at 28cm is slightly taller than the single layer vitopod, but there’s no option double height option. If you’re planning to grow more mature plants in pots then you’re better off with a double height vitopod.

It uses the same sunblaster T5 lights (48W for standard size, 108W for the large), so expect the same draw backs in terms of energy efficiency/power consumption, and needing to eventually replace the bulbs, but more than adequate lighting.

At £145 for the standard size it’s not cheap, but it represents good value if you’re in the market for something this big. The large size is around £195.

Selections (Large) Seedling Propagator with Lights

They say large, but it’s the smallest and cheapest of this roundup.

This comes in as the budget option, but it’s the only one we could find with LED lighting. They explicitly state that it’s not for use in an unheated green house, but if you are in a greenhouse would you need the lights?

This gets the value for money award for being less than half the price and nearly as big at the others. It’s also got LED lights (16W) for power efficiency and no bulb replacement costs.

Do check that the dimensions ( 58cm W x 37cm D x 23cm H) are enough to hold your seed trays though!

This was £68 at the time of writing this guide.


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What do you think? have you tried these propagators? have you got a favourite propagator with lighting that you think deserves a place here? Let us know in the comments – it’s a pleasure to read each and every one.