When growing hydroponic plants indoors, the lights for hydroponics should mimic sunlight in the appropriate spectrum (approx.: red: 640-680 nm and blue: 430-450 nm) and at the ideal time.
If your hydroponic system is indoors and you are a beginner, choosing a lighting system may be difficult. Therefore, here are the best hydroponic lights that might help your system.
What lights do I need for hydroponics? What type of lights are used for hydroponics? The most common bulbs are LED; compact fluorescent (CFL); high intensity discharge (HID), which incorporates metal halide (HPS) and high pressure sodium (MH). In my personal opinion, LED lights are the best for price and performance.
Best LED Grow Lights for Hydroponics
Are LED lights good for hydroponics?They are very efficient and customizable up to long term because with the PAR spectrum (photosynthetically active radiation) plants receive all the fundamental wavelengths for photosynthesis.
Overall, LED lights have an efficiency between 5 – 10 years. What LED lights are good for growing plants?:
Best Hydroponic Lights: Galaxyhydro
This led grow lights is of high reputation and quality. They are ideal for small and medium sized areas. Besides, the lights are full spectrum and for both phases (growth and flowering).
Furthermore, They are lightweight and easy to handle. Their performance is up to 50 000 hours. Also, they come in various sizes: 135W – 270W. The kit also includes a power cord.
- Good spectrum.
- Effective lighting area
- Cooling system.
- If the humidity is very high, these lights may decrease their performance.
- It is advisable to wear sunglasses, if you are in close proximity to the lights.
Best Hydroponic Lights: Barrina Led
These hydroponic lights provide the most reasonable growing light wave according to the absorption ratio of plants. Especially, the light housing is made of 100% aluminum, which generates high efficiency heat dissipation.
- Easy configuration.
- Multiple LED strip lights can be linked together.
- Full spectrum.
- After several months of use, the power switch may become damaged.
Best Hydroponic Lights: MARS
Particularly, this hydroponic light has 150 watts, a refraction angle of 120° and a waveband of 400-700nm, therefore the range is very wide for plants to absorb the necessary light.
- Effective light.
- Light dimmer.
- Great coverage.
- Good design.
- Instructions are confusing.
Best Hydroponic Lights: VIVOSUN
These full-spectrum LED lights offer the power your plants need at all stages of growth as they have highly energy-efficient Samsung LM301 diodes and consume only 200 watts.
Similarly, it has an attenuation knob that makes it adaptable to different growth periods.
- Almost no noise.
- Good performance.
- Latest technology diodes.
- Generates a little heat.
Best Hydroponic Lights: Spider Farmer
Samsung’s new diode arrangement and full spectrum of white, blue, red, and IR allows the PPFD to be uniform, absorb light better, and produce higher yields.
- Long cable.
- Adjustable settings.
- Good power.
- Depending on the plant, the light could be very bright.
Fluorescents grow lights
Is fluorescent light good for plants? They are optimal for the growth phase because their lights are not very powerful, so the plant does not dry out or burn.
Hence, they are ideal for green leafy plants and are not functional for flowering plants. What are the best fluorescent lights for growing plants?
Best Grow Lights for Hydroponics: VIVOSUN T5
These hydroponic lights emit a balanced blue and violet spectrum at 6,500K plus 2,000 lumens to help your plants grow well and prevent stretching. Also, its heat emissions are very low.
- Affordable price.
- Very bright lights.
- Good spectrum.
- Regular useful life.
Best Grow Lights for Hydroponics: Durolux T5
Featuring 5,000 lumens plus 50W output and 6,500K, this fluorescent light for growing vegetables is very powerful and ideal for indoor gardens, greenhouses, just about anywhere and for growing strong seedlings.
- Lights do not overheat.
- Hooks for hanging.
- Good build quality.
- It is somewhat heavy.
- Eventually, some ballasts fail.
HID Grow Lights
These hydroponic lights are very powerful and suitable for the flowering stage, but it produces a lot of heat, so in certain cases, fans are required. On average, the longevity of HPS is about 2 years.
Best Grow Lights for Hydroponics: iPower Grow Light
These hid lights have 1 000W, 2 100K, optimized spectrum and high PAR (Photosynthetic Active Radiation) to promote healthy plant growth and faster flowering.
- Lots of power and brightness.
- Easy to assemble.
- It is somewhat difficult to change the light bulbs.
Best Hydroponic Lights: Hydroplanet
The grow light is 150 watts and has reflective aluminum to improve light projection and heat dissipation.
- Easy to install.
- Gives off good heat.
- Slight hum of light.
Best Grow Lights for Hydroponics: Sun System
These grow lights for indoor have a high-pressure sodium bulb, highly reflective aluminum inserts and a ventilated housing to dissipate heat to produce a year-round spectrum of light.
- It does not consume much energy.
- In enclosed areas, a fan is recommended.
How to grow plants with a grow light
Distance and lighting cycle
The distance and time of use of hydroponic grow lights depend on multiple factors.
Normally, the manufacturer recommends continuous working hours and the desired height.
How many hours of light for hydroponics? As a general rule, the light duration for hydroponics:
- Short day plants: 12 hrs. max.
- Long day plants: 16 hrs. maximum.
How far should led grow lights be from plants? According to Scynceled.com these would be the distances for LED lights:
If you are on phone or tablet, swipe to see >>
1 000W: 1.17 m (46 in)
1 000W: 91-1.17 cm (36-46 in)
1 000W: 53-91 cm (21-36 in)
800W: 1.07 m (42 in)
800W: 81-1.07 cm (32-42 in))
800W: 48-86 cm (19-34 in)
600W: 96.5 cm (38 in)
600W:76-96.5 cm (30-38 in)
600W: 46-76 cm (18-30 in)
400W: 68.5 cm (27 in)
400W: 51-68.5 cm (20-27 in)
400W: 33-53 cm (13-21 in)
200W: 51 cm (20 in)
200W: 30-51 cm (12-20 in)
200W: 20 -41 cm (8-16 in)
Regarding HID lights: urbanorganicyield estimates:
- 1 000W: 51 – 61 cm (19 – 26 in)
- 600W: 30 – 46 cm (12 -18 in)
- 400W: 23 – 30 cm (9 -12 in)
Higher wattage growth lights emit more heat compared to lower wattage grow lights, therefore, it is critical to consider the distance of the hydroponic light. Generically, growing areas are shown as a function of wattage.
- 150W: 6.5 ft2 (0.6 m2)
- 250W: 9 ft2 (0.8 m2)
- 400W: 11 ft2 (1 m2)
- 600W: 13 ft2 (1.2 m2)
- 1 000W: 16 ft2 (1.5 m2)
Some bulbs emit much more heat than others, so it is important that you manage the temperature so as not to damage your crop.
Area of coverage
A common mistake is to grow as many plants as possible in a small area under the lamp, causing shadows, hence lack of light for some of the plants. So, make sure that the entire hydroponic system receives the appropriate light.