We reviewed hundreds of grow lights and create a simple list of the 5 best led grow lights for vegetables to help you pick the best one for your favorite veggies.
It is the time people should start growing vegetables indoors, either by using small pots or grow tents.
Having an indoor garden with green vegetables is the best thing you can embark on. This is because it saves you lots of money in expenditures at the farmer’s market.
So, if you decide to have an indoor garden with carrots, tulips, and kale, then it’s best you get the best grow lights for vegetables.
Most Popular LED Grow Light for Vegetables
- Shengsite 75W LED Grow Light
- YGROW Upgraded 75W Growing Lamp
- LEOTER Upgraded Version 80 LED
- Koopower LED Grow Light
- SANSI 70W Daylight Grow Light
What to Look for in Grow Lights for Your Veggies?
Effectiveness and Energy Efficiency
As a rule of thumb, it’s important to go with a grow light that’s not only effective and energy-efficient but also cost-effective. The market is flooded with a slew of lighting options to choose from, with each brand trying to outdo its competitors. Which is a good thing for you.
Since you are planting vegetables, you need the highest yielding grow lights that will make sure your seedlings and herbs grow faster into the full-grown vegetative stage. Yes, there are certain lights that are only effective during the seedling stages but disappointing in the final stages. Similarly, some lighting panels are great only once your vegetable is fully grown.
Therefore, you need something that’s gonna effective in all stages. Basically, most experts prefer picking the LEDs over the likes of fluorescent lights and HPS, because most LEDs usually come with a full lighting spectrum that includes different color temperatures.
For instance, while most fluorescents emit the white color spectrum, the HPS grow lights are mostly yellow and LEDs come with a combination of different colors like blue, red, and purple.
No Extra Equipment Required
It is important to go with a lighting system that doesn’t require buying extra equipment. Always pick a brand that comes as a full package.
The last thing you want is spending extra cash on an onboard fan that’s needed for the grow light. It is better to choose lighting that doesn’t overheat. This way, you won’t require an overboard fan.
At the same time, some lights usually have setups that include a light fixture that allow you to simply plug in the bulbs and you are good to go. Just make sure the fixtures are flexible and can be hanged from all directions – from the ceiling, vertically and horizontally.
Thirdly, apart from choosing a grow light that isn’t cost effective on the electric bill, it is recommendable to pick a brand that’s gonna last many years.
While some lights (mostly a fluorescent bulb) can last only up to 5000 hours of lighting, others (the likes of LEDs) can go up to 50,000 hours of lighting. But, as expected, with the LEDs you’ll have to dig deeper into your pocket.
In the spirit of longevity, it is worth noting imperative aspects like warranties and the brand’s policy on repairs and replacements. At the same time, check if the lighting fixture has a heat sink.
Tips Before Buying the Best Grow Lights for Vegetables
Now that you’ve figured out what to look for in a lighting system, here are a few tips you need to accustom yourself with before finally buying a specific light for your salad greens.
Decide on which vegetable you want to plant. To help you make the right decision, you should gauge on which specific vegetable is cheaper planting in your indoor vegetable garden compared to buying it on farmer’s market. If carrots are cheaper buying from the mall, then it’s best to plant an avocado or green onions or hot peppers.
Secondly, once you’ve picked the vegetable(s) you’ll be planting, find out how many plants you’ll want illuminated. Also, determine how much area the plants will be occupying. This actually helps you calculate the number of bulbs needed.
In terms of the best grow lights for vegetables, it is advisable to choose LEDs that emit blue light because it encourages chlorophyll productions whilst improving on the plant’s foliar growth. Some great examples are the Hydrofarm, Shangsite, and SANSI.
At the same time, if the vegetable you’ve chosen is grown for its fruits or flowers, then you’ll need the red lighting, because it encourages blooming.
Fourthly, it is imperative you think of the position of the lighting. Should you hang the grow light vertically or horizontally and what distance from the indoor plants? This is determined by the different type of vegetables (e.g. orchids) you’ve picked and the type of grow light you’ll be using. For instance, fluorescent lights and LEDs should be 12 inches from the plants, while HPS is 24 to 50 inches.
Detailed Review of 5 Best LED Grow Light for Vegetables
Since you are now armed with the right tips on what to look for before buying a grow light, it is best to check out a few grow light brands for vegetables.
1. Shengsite 75W LED Grow Light
Shengsite 75W is one of the best led grow light for vegetables. The LED lighting system has a total of 250 high-quality LEDs (186 red + 64 blue color). The colors are required by plants to provide effective lighting intensity to enable both vegetables and herbs grow faster and healthier.
The LED comes with a 60-degree condenser cup that has been designed to make the lighting intensity to concentrate on the plants, thus guaranteeing uniformity. This promotes fast growth of the indoor plants.
With the Shengsite, you don’t have to worry about costly electric bills. The LED adopts 250 pcs reen LED beads, which is energy efficient.
The LED is made of aviation aluminum material and the ABS cover. This makes sure the Shengsite LEDs achieve excellent heat dissipation. Better yet, it doesn’t need additional fan.
The LED is lightweight and doesn’t take long to assemble. Its upgraded hanging brackets make the Shengsite an easy to use and install. It boasts of a lifespan of more than 50,000 hours, which is backed by a 365-days warranty.
WHAT I LIKED
- Uses more than 250 high intensity LED red and blue lighting beads
- It has been designed to guarantee uniformity of light emission
- Made of high-quality aluminum ABS cover for optimal heat dissipation
- Doesn’t require additional fan
- The Shengsite LEDs saves on electric bill
- Lightweight and easy to use and install
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
- It doesn’t have the full spectrum light of other colors (yellow, warm white and UV rays). Luckily, the Shengsite 75W Sunlike Full Spectrum is a great alternative.
2. YGROW Upgraded 75W Growing Lamp
Another most popular and best led grow light for vegetables is YGROW Upgraded 75W Growing Lamp.
The light source offers an exclusive spectrum that provides major lighting for the vegetables to grow all year round, across all seasons. It features the red (660nm) and blue (470nm) color spectrums. These promote photosynthesis so that the vegetables grow at a healthy pace and without any drawbacks.
The YGROW has been designed to be perfect for all vegetative stages, from seedling to flowering. The spectrum bulb has adopted the 196 pcs LEDs, which are not only high-quality, but also produce super bright light.
When it comes to heat dissipation, YGROW features a heat sink for each chip, which is an amazing feature because the overall heat dissipation of the entire grow light is accumulatively effective.
The best thing though, is that the YGROW increases your yields by 30 percent since it consumes only 30W. Moreover, the LED lamp features a 60-degree reflecting cups to improve the lighting’s utilization rate by 98 percent.
WHAT I LIKED
- Both blue and red colors promote production of chlorophyll for better photosynthesis
- The YGROW is perfect for all growth stages
- Comes installed with a heat sink chip for better heat dissipation
- Boasts of a full spectrum of up to 800nm
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
- Lacks the yellow, sunlike spectrum. Still, the red and blue colors are best for the germination and growth of all types of vegetables such as orchids.
3. LEOTER Upgraded Version 80 LED
LEOTER Upgraded Version 80 LED is another most used led grow light for vegetables. The light source is made up of 80 efficient growing LEDs (36 red, 16 blue and 28 full-spectrum light). It meets the conditions of plant growth without sunlight.
A mix of Red + Blue + Warm White is best to fuel the growth of your plants.
The LEOTER comes with a timer functionality, which allows for an automatic turn ON and OFF every day. It reads your previous settings and reacts accordingly. This means you don’t require any manual operations, which is perfect even when you are away on vacation.
The LEOTER Version 80 comes with ten (10) dimmable modes suiting varied stages of the plant’s growth. More to that, the dimmable settings come with three (3) spectral modes, which are great at meeting different vegetative stages of the vegetables.
You’ll be impressed by the USB connector, which is a convenient feature that helps you connect the grow light in your office.
The LEOTER features four (4) head lights, each having 360-degree flexibility. Its gooseneck is made of high-quality materials to make sure it lasts many years without breaking.
WHAT I LIKED
- A mix of Red + Blue + Warm White hence perfect for growth of your vegetables
- Backed by aviation-grade heat sink
- The light has an upgraded On/Off timer, which allows for automatic functionality
- Comes with four (4) head lights that are 360-degree adjustable
- The LEOTER light features USB connector for connection at any place, even at your workplace
- Its gooseneck is made of high-quality tubing to make sure it is always in a fixed position
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
- It doesn’t hang from up above, which means it best works for plants that grow tall
4. Koopower LED Grow Light
The LED has a strong lighting intensity, which makes it ideal for all indoor gardening tasks. The LED has been designed to dissipate heat without ever overheating. This means you are guaranteed longevity and you don’t have to worry about excessive electric bill.
The KooPower LED features more than 98 powerful LED spectrum of light (61 red + 16 blue + 7 warm white + UV).
The KooPower features three modes settings – VEG, Bloom and Full modes. The VEG mode is used during the germination stages, while the Bloom setting is for flowering stages, and the Full mode is for controlling quality production of the vegetable you’re growing.
Better yet, the three modes are dimmable into three further levels of brightness.
The manufacturers have put into consideration that indoor garden plants need light during rainy and snowy seasons. For that reason, the LED comes with a 20-hour timer. That is, you can set the LED to allow for 1 to 20 hour options depending on the vegetable.
The best feature of the LED’s timer is that it remembers the previous day’s setting. So, if you forget to make a change it automatically recalls the previous setting and act accordingly.
The KooPower LED comes with a 14-month warranty. Nonetheless, the LED offers useful lighting that guarantees your vegetables grow faster, stronger and healthier.
WHAT I LIKED
- Has three mode settings – VEG, Bloom and Full
- The KooPower LED is dimmable into three levels of bright light.
- It features an impressive timer, which remembers previous settings and automatically act accordingly
- The grow light doesn’t overheat since it dissipates lots of excess heat
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
- It doesn’t have the yellow color temperature; however, the LED light features enough lighting intensity for the plants.
5. SANSI 70W Daylight Grow Light
Now, if you are looking for the sun-like experience, the SANSI LED is one of the best grow lights for vegetables. It is exactly what you need. Although its lighting emission color is yellow, it contains all color temperatures (Blue + Green + Red + Far Red).
The SANSI mixes all colors to create a white glow, thus emitting a lighting that’s similar to the sun. This makes you appreciate the vividness of the lighting as it hits the plants.
If there is something unique about the SANSI LEDs is the use of ceramic LED technology. This is different from what most manufacturers are using – the aluminum.
Ceramic modules are much better dissipating heat. Also, the lighting source has the hollowed-out design structure, thus making it more effective in dissipating heat.
You’ll appreciate the 70W low power lighting, which comes with 3915 lm luminous flux. This saves you lots of money on electric bills.
We love that SANSI is an IP66 resistant to both rain and corrosion. This means the LED is waterproof. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about the moisture and water vapor accumulated in your grow tent.
The lighting panel has three (3) installation methods, which includes an adjustable hanger. Also, with a 50,000-hours lifespan, SANSI promises 5-years warranty.
WHAT I LIKED
- Contains all necessary colors for best lighting output
- Mixes all colors to provide a vivid sun-like lighting experience
- IP66 waterproof
- Uses the ceramic LED technology, which makes it dissipate more heat
- The 70W low power saves you on electric bills
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
- A little bit costlier than other LED grow lights. But it’s worth the extra costs.
Types of Grow Lights for Vegetables?
I know most of you are overwhelmed by the many types of lights available, and that you cannot tell difference between LED, Fluorescent, HPS and Metal Halide.
Well, once you are accustomed to their differences, it helps you determine the exact growing light that’s suitable for your specific vegetable. You should note that their differences are based on how plants respond to their lighting effects.
LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes)
LEDs are more natural looking and offer an effect that’s closely similar to the sun. Compared to the likes of incandescent and fluorescent lights, LEDs are more energy efficient. The best thing though is that they use less power wattage, which makes them cost efficient.
The lighting emits low intensity in form of a warm and yellow glow. It is mainly used by first time indoor gardeners because it is a cheap option.
Although it works effectively, it isn’t necessarily recommended for indoor growing of vegetables. This is because it uses lots of wattage and have a low lighting output.
As the most popular growing light option, fluorescents are efficient and emits a full spectrum white light. Compared to incandescent lights, the fluorescent bulb produces 2-3 times light and produces lesser heat.
The best thing about fluorescent is the larger area it covers despite its lighting output deteriorating with time. Luckily enough, the lighting system is usually cheaper and much affordable even for newbie indoor gardening enthusiasts.
HPS (High Pressure Sodium)
The HPS is akin to the streetlamp and its lighting output is of high intensity, thus enabling the vegetables to grow fast. Its yellow color is particularly perfect for inducing flowering. Compared to LEDs, HPS lights are less energy efficient thus making it a great supplemental lighting.
This is a rarely used lighting for grow tents because it can easily explode when in contact with water. However, its effectiveness is amazing it has a spectrum of light that’s similar to sunlight. Also, the MH can produce ultraviolet light while its cooler temperatures are great at inducing green and leafy growth.
The Metal Halide light produces equal high intensity as the fluorescent. In terms of lighting spectrum, the MH emits a bluer light than both the HPS and Fluorescent.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Do Vegetables Need a Special Type of Grow Light?
The answer to this question is both YES and NO. Some vegetables achieve highest yields when grown under specific lights, while others aren’t specific and are okay with basic grow tents.
The most impart thing is to make sure the grow tent has the required lighting intensity and color spectrum for fast growth of the vegetables. That is, while every vegetable comes grow at best under LEDs, they are still effective when grown under HPS and fluorescent bulbs.
The bottom line is to pick a growing light that isn’t expensive to buy. Also, choose a light that costs less in electric expenses. Most vegetables need LEDs with full spectrum light consisting of vital colors like blue, red, yellow and purple.
How Many Hours Should I Leave Grow Lights On for Indoors Vegetables?
This depends on the type of lighting option you’ve picked. Since LEDs usually have better lighting intensity than fluorescents and HPS, it means you’ll less hours of exposure than the other alternatives.
On average, vegetable plants need about 13 to 18 hours per day. This is way more time than plants in the natural sunlight. This is because indoor plants are not exposed to the sun, and therefore you need to make sure the plants experience something similar to the sun by exposing it to more LED lighting.
At the same time, just like in natural outdoor gardening, you ought to leave the plants exposed to some darkness. The recommendable hours of darkness are six (6) hours per day.
Note that as the herbs and vegetables grow, don’t forget to raise the lighting panel or light fixture accordingly. This maintains the optimal distance between the plants and the lighting. So, what’s the right distance? If you have a fluorescent, the best distance is 4 to 12 inches from the plants. And if you’ve got LEDs, then the recommended distance is 12 to 24 inches while the HPS require distances between 24 and 50 inches.
What Kind of Grow Light is Best for Vegetable plants?
The market consists of three main growing lighting options – HPS, fluorescents and LEDs. You’ll need to pick what’s right for your vegetables.
This basically depends on how much you are willing to cough up financially. In most cases, fluorescents are fairly affordable than LEDs. This means if you’ve lots of vegetables, then fluorescents might be a better option because you won’t spend a lot on lights.
However, if you’ve got a small scale indoor garden, it’s best to go with LEDs or HPS.
In essence, there are different brands to choose from, especially on Amazon, but the likes of Roleadro LED, Relassy and Hydrofarm grow lights are some of the most popular. Still, you can check the one’s mentioned in this article above.
How to Install Grow Lights for Vegetable Plants?
Different grow lights for vegetables come with different designs and procedures on how to install them. Hence, it all depends on the type of lighting system you’ve picked.
At the same time, it is still important to determine the number of replacement bulbs you’ll need for your indoors garden or a grow tent. If it is a small tent, then a simple lighting panel is perfect. But it is a large grow room, then you’ll probably need a number of fluorescent bulbs.
You also need to determine the wattage released by the growing lights, because this helps figure out the exact number of lighting you’ll need.
For instance, once you’ve checked the wattage produced by the light you’ve picked, the next step is to calculate the light bulbs required for the grow room or tent. Simply multiply your room’s square footage by the no. of watts required by the plants (usually between 30 and 60); you’ll then divide the no. of watts by the lighting bulbs you want to use.
What color grow light is best for vegetables?
Most vegetable plants grow at best on 6500K even though some fruits are best exposed on 3000K temperatures. It is advisable to go with the best grow lights for vegetables that offer all color temperatures – from red, blue, yellow to purple. Such a full spectrum bulb guarantees your vegetable garden is effective at making sure plants grow faster and healthier.