Best LED Lights for Plants in 2021: Buying Guide

Managing to keep plants living and assisting them to thrive can be a tough job, but it can be even trickier to grow things inside. You need to provide them with sufficient water (but not too much water) and ensure that they have sufficient soil and a pot that’s the right size. Besides that, light is one of the most important considerations for growing plants indoors.

Placing your plants near a window where they can absorb natural light from the sun is best. But, as you may know, this is not as easy to do as it sounds. Whether your window doesn’t get enough light for plants, or if you live somewhere that only gets seasonal light, having a grow light is a great way of mitigating these factors.

Are you keen to start growing plants indoors? Here are the top lights to assist you in growing plants indoors and letting them flourish.

This website is supported by readers. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Reasons to select LED Lighting for Plants
Growing Tomatoes using LED lamps
Many varieties of grow lights exist such as High-Intensity Discharge (HID) lights, metal halide lights, lights that have a ceramic metal halide (CMH), high-pressure sodium (HPS) lights – as well as fluorescent lights, which are commonly used. These types of lighting, which are all used for growing plants, can be used in different circumstances, and each has related support from users. My personal preference, for the optimal and most versatile lights for growing plants indoors, is Light Emitting Diode (LED) lights.

There are various points for why I like using LED lights for growing:

LED lights are efficient in terms of their energy use and they can be used for up to 50,000 hours. If you use LEDs with a twelve-hour timer, then they can last for up to eleven years. Certain people say that LEDs are pricey, which they may indeed be in terms of what you have to pay for them at first, compared with HPS lights. But, over time they are cheaper lights for growing and using for long periods of time, because of their energy efficiency.

They can be used by plugging them into normal power plug points and typically don’t need a separate adaptor so they are more practical to use in tiny spaces.

LEDs used to grow plants, give off less heat than HPS lights, which means you can put LEDs closer to your plants and there’s not as much risk of damaging them. Because they give off less heat, they use less energy to keep the temperature at the right level in your grow room.

Selecting LED Grow Lamps
Prior to shopping for grow lamps, there are certain factors to think about. The most suitable grow lamps for your next-door neighbor, may not function well for you.

Price – First start by considering “What can I afford”? It may not be possible to buy quite inexpensive LED lamps nowadays, but it’s always best to purchase the top one you can within your budget. Don’t consider purchasing the most affordable options you see. Like in most cases, you will receive the quality you pay for – and that’s the same for LED grow lamps. However, if you don’t have that much money to spend on them, there are cheaper options that work well as grow lights. You can read more about our recommended best 5 options in the section below.

Position – there are lots of sizes and shapes of LED lights for plants. It is of course critical to measure the size of the space that you want to cover with your grow lamp system. Remember to take note of the height allowance that you have for the lights too.

Types of Plants – What plants will you be growing? Different types of LED lamps will be used for different plants – lights used to grow vegetables under won’t always be optimal for pot plants.

Style of growing – How do you plan to grow your plants? Do you want to buy the top hydroponic grow lamps? Do you want to buy the leading lamps for seedlings and plants with flowers? Do you want to get the top LEDs for growing cannabis, using the sea of green (SOG) method? Depending on what your answers to these questions are, you may need different types of grow lights.

LED Bulb Colors
It’s necessary to differentiate between LED lamps and LED bulbs. LED lamps are the entire fixture that may have one or more LED bulbs – typically they will come with more than one bulb. A LED bulb is the little single part that produces the light.

LED bulbs have different lengths of lights or wavelengths. You can see from this picture the different light spectrums produced by the red, blue, and yellow bulbs. You can see that each color bulb makes quite a narrow spectrum of light. For example, the blue bulb only has a blue light and is approximately 60nm in width.

Because people tend to think that plants only require red and blue light, most of the cheaper LED lamps are only available with red or blue LED bulbs. This appears to be good, particularly because red and blue bulbs are more energy-efficient and cheaper than the other colors.

Many of the images of LED grow lamps that can be seen on the internet, feature a ‘burple’ lamp, which is the commonly used name for the red and blue LED bulb color combination.

There are more than 12 varieties of color of LED bulbs.

How to Produce LED White Light?

As previously detailed, LED bulbs come in different wavelengths, however, none provide a totally white spectrum of light like the sun.

A way to provide white light is to use different color bulbs in combination, in a single fixture. Simple lighting units mix red and blue. The more sophisticated ones also have yellow and green bulbs. Because most fixtures have many bulbs in them, they can be tailored to create different amounts of each color. If you combine enough varieties of colored bulbs, you will create white light.

A different solution to create white light is to coat the lens of the bulb with a compound made of phosphor. These types of bulbs typically utilize blue light, which shines on the phosphor and creates white light. This is similar to the functioning of fluorescent light bulbs.

It would appear that a white LED bulb would be an obvious solution, but it’s not that simple. When light is changed from one color to another, some of the light’s intensity gets lost during that change. Therefore white lights give off less light than other LED bulbs that aren’t coated in phosphor. Light bulbs that are white are also pricier. Despite these shortcomings, they are starting to be quite popular as grow lamps.

Factors to Consider When Selecting a Grow Lamp

How Big It Is
When you are contemplating what size of grow lamp you may require, consider the number of plants you will need to cover. And if you are thinking of moving your lightroom around, you might want a system that is less heavy and more transportable; whereas if you are certain that the system will stay in one place then that may not be as much of a consideration. Furthermore, think about the place where you will set it up and ensure that there is enough space for it to be used safely and that it won’t be touching any furniture, curtains, or other things.

The Type of Grow Lights
There are lots of grow lamp options to think about, like grow light panels and ones that hang from above or ones that play into normal plug points. The kind of plants you have and the availability of natural lighting, as well as where you will position your plants will help you to focus your selection of options.

How Easy Are They To Use
Certain grow lights are more challenging than others to install and operate. Also think about the noise levels they produce, especially if they will be used in an area that is frequented.

This website is supported by readers. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

If you have any questions or do you spot any mistakes, please add them below.

Last update on 2021-02-27 / Most affiliate links and/or Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.