Having little natural light in your house doesn’t have to mean going without plants. LED grow lamps are made to resemble the sunlight that plants require for photosynthesis, which provides them with the energy they require to expand and bloom. Full-spectrum light is produced by LED grow lights, which are also durable, economical with energy, and ergonomic. Additionally, they come in a variety of designs, from countertop LED grow lights for potted herbs to many bulbs strung together like Christmas or outdoor string lights.
There are also LED grow light panels that are several feet wide and provide coverage for extensive growing operations, as well as strips that you can put underneath a shelf. While LED grow lights are usually more expensive than other grow light types, for many people, the advantages outweigh the extra expense. Continue reading for our suggestions for the best LED grow lights for your plants, as well as for things to think about before you buy one.
How do these artificial light bulbs work?
Grow lights, produce light with a spectrum that is comparable to that of the sun as opposed to chandelier or sconce bulbs. According to Roger Buelow, chief technology officer at AeroFarms, a high-tech vertical farming business that grows food year-round indoors, grow lights enable indoor producers of any scale to provide the correct spectrum of light to their plants.
“In theory, plants can survive without sunlight. They require the proper light spectrum.” He adds that plants are actually rather picky in this regard, as he has already mentioned. Grow lights are less likely to scorch your plants because they emit less heat than conventional light sources.
Grow lights can be used to care for outdoor plants that have migrated indoors for the winter, start seeds indoors before spring, or grow plants year-round. For people who live in chilly countries and require assistance keeping sunlight-loving houseplants alive, they can also serve as substitute windows.
Which one is better? Fluorescent or LED?
All about fluorescent lights
Fluorescent grow lights are the more affordable of the two types. They’re excellent for novices because they’re affordable, simple to use, and effective.
Although they don’t offer a specific color range like certain LED lights, they may be used on a variety of plants well as mentioned by Kevin Espiritu, who is the founder of Epic Gardening. They work just as well for indoor houseplants that need a little more light, but I particularly prefer them for seed-starting and microgreens.
Green thumbs have a lot of options to pick from because they come in a range of sizes, from really small to enormous on an industrial scale. Despite having a smaller initial investment, fluorescent lights may end up costing more to operate in the long term due to their inferior energy efficiency compared to LED bulbs.
They can’t be recycled since they contain mercury, and if they break, they could be harmful. Since fluorescent bulbs have a much shorter lifespan than LEDs, they are generally not the ideal choice if you plan to use your lights all year long.
All about LED lights
Because they provide you more control over your light source, LEDs are becoming a more and more popular replacement for fluorescent lights.
According to Allison Vallin Kostovick, the organic gardener behind Finch & Folly farm, “The benefit of LED lights for your plants is that it offers a full spectrum of lights, including blue light, which promotes the chlorophyll and leaf production in leafy vegetables and herbs; along with red light which benefits the blossom production of flowering or fruiting plants.”
Because they enable them to be more precise with the spectrum, intensity, and frequency of light they offer each crop, AeroFarms decided to employ LEDs to power their operations. Buelow continues, “LEDs have a considerably longer lifespan and use less energy than fluorescent bulbs.”
As previously stated, purchasing LED bulbs can initially be costly. Additionally, they only cover a small area. So, depending on the extent of your plant collection, you might need to purchase more than one. Bright blues, reds, and purples are among the spectrum of hues that certain LEDs emit, but they aren’t for everyone. Some people believe LEDs are too distracting and not aesthetic enough to be used in homes.
Things to consider before buying LED growing lights
Grow lights can be your savior if the sun isn’t helping you out. Here’s how to choose the finest grow light for your needs and location, whether you’re trying to get a jump on the food growing season or simply want to assist your indoor plants survive the winter.
You should think about where you intend to utilize the light before choosing an LED grow light because they come in a range of shapes, sizes, and designs. There are traditional hanging grow lights for single plants or massive indoor gardening installations, stick-on LED grow light strips, LED grow lights with a clip to connect to a shelf or desk, to mention a few. Before you go ahead and purchase one, you should keep the below-mentioned more technical factors in mind:
1. When you’ll use them: Once more, beginners who are employing grow lights on a small plant collection for a brief period of time are best served by fluorescent lights. Kostovick believes that in this situation, a light that can accommodate two 40-watt T12 fluorescent bulbs will suffice. Choose LEDs if you’re a more experienced gardener who wants to keep plants alive all year long or if you’re working with a finicky crop that you really want to succeed.
2. How much space you have: Are you looking for a single bulb that will fit into an existing clamp light, or do you have room for a complete shelving unit with built-in grow lights? Also think about vertical space. Kostovick explains that fluorescent lights can hang as low as 3 inches above plants, whereas LED lights must dangle at least 14 to 24 inches above plants. This difference makes it simple to install multiple shop lights on a single stacked shelf unit. The brighter a light is and the further away from your plants you can place it, the more lumens it has.
3. What you are developing: In general, bluer lights (5,000–7,000 Kelvin) encourage vegetative development while redder lights (3,500–4,500 Kelvin) are preferable for fruiting and flowering. According to Kostovick, the former is usually preferable for green vegetables and herbs while the latter is preferable for flowers. Bulb brightness and wattage requirements are higher for plants that require a lot of sunshine.
4. Your light sensitivity: Urban gardener Marie Viljoen suggests going with white, full-spectrum bulbs if you have any photosensitivity issues (or simply don’t want bright, colorful lights in your home).
The majority of LED grow lights use full-spectrum bulbs that emit both warm and cold light to mimic natural sunlight. The light output of each product, as shown by its PPF rating, is what you should pay attention to. PPF is the quantity of photons emitted by a light source per second, and various PPF values are preferable for various plant kinds. In contrast to fruiting vegetables, which require a significantly higher PPF of 400–500, low-light plants and seedlings only require a PPF of 100–200. You should also think about the light’s lifespan, dimmer and timer capabilities while you shop.
How did we select these 7 to be the best full spectrum LED grow lights in the market?
Well, first things first, we searched for top-rated goods in a variety of designs in order to identify the best grow lights to accommodate various settings. We prioritized features that are simple to use for gardeners of all skill levels when evaluating each product based on dimensions, installation requirements, energy use, and bulb life. Only items with an average customer rating of 4 stars or higher were chosen, and we reviewed a large number of reviews to get a feel of how each item performed in actual use.
Our top picks for you:
1. TS – 1000 LED grow light
This LED grow light is a good investment for your indoor plants, even though it is a little pricey. The light is a 3-by-3-foot square with more than 350 LED lights that provides wide-angle light coverage. Depending on how much you dim it, the PPF ranges from 150 to 1,000 or more.
Up to 60 of these lights can be connected together if you have a large setup. There is a knob on top of the light that makes it simple to dim or brighter. It also has a digital thermometer and a plug-in timer, giving you everything you need for happy, healthy plants.
2. Growled indoor garden
With the aid of these stylish Full Spectrum LED grow lights, you can practically anyplace in your home cultivate fresh herbs. You may place many small pots on a 7.5 by 17.7-inch tray above the light, and you can easily adjust the light’s height to meet your growing demands.
The PPF unit of this light is nearly 1,150 and the brightness levels can be adjusted according to your own preference and requirement. It has got a timer setting ranging from 8, 12 16, and up to 24 hours. It is also important to mention here that this unit works well with smart plugs also.
3. Most think LED grow light strips
Another inexpensive and simple to install option are these LED strips. Two 13-inch LED light strips are included in the kit, along with double-sided tape you may use to secure the lights beneath a shelf or cabinet. There are four brightness levels and a built-in timer on the controller that can be set to two, four, or eight hours. The LED strips will also last you for many years because of their outstanding 50,000-hour lifespan.
4. GE lighting LED flood light bulb
With the aid of this LED bulb from GE, you can convert almost any light fixture into a grow light. The full-spectrum light from the grow light bulbs, which are available in three sizes (A19, BR30, and PAR38), promotes plant growth. Although the price of this LED bulb is very low, you should be aware that it is not the most powerful option available due to its poor PPF.
5. Barrina BU 2000 LED grow light
You need an enormous LED grow light for large-scale cultivation, like this one from Barrina. The hanging panel is a square measuring 4 by 4 feet, but it features side panels that are moveable and may be lowered to provide a narrower coverage area.
The Full Spectrum LED grow lights have an on/off switch and a dimming knob, and the PPF value in the middle of the fixture may reach up to 1,600, making it excellent for a variety of growing applications. Additionally, a three-year warranty is included.
6. Gooing top LED grow light
This LED grow lamp is inexpensive and simple to use if you only have a few houseplants that you wish to give extra light to. It has a clip-on style for mounting to a shelf or tabletop and contains two flexible gooseneck-supported tube-shaped lights.
The supports can be bent to tilt the lights in any direction, and the controller has five brightness settings in addition to an integrated timer that can be set to operate for four, eight, or twelve hours at a time.
7. GE grow light integrated fixture
This 24-inch bar-shaped LED grow light is made to hang directly above plants. It employs a balanced light spectrum with a red to blue ratio that is motivated by professional growers’ best practices. Its PPF of 72 makes it ideal for seed germination, and since the light on it appears white indoors, it won’t be an annoyance. The device has a 25,000-hour lifespan and comes with mounting chains and a 5-foot power wire.
Grow Lights in Shipping Container Farms
Shipping container farms are systems with several sub-systems. There is obviously the structure of the container itself, but then there’s the “guts” – the electrical/light systems, water systems, heating ventilation and air condition (HVAC) systems, control, and organizational systems.