Are All LED Lights Grow Lights

Are all LED lights grow lights, and can too much light affect your plants?

These are but a few questions that plant enthusiasts always ask, and we’re prepared with all the answers you need. 

Generally, we understand plants can’t thrive in the dark, and natural light is the best source.

However, not everyone with a home has a porch or balcony to access a limitless supply of sunlight.

And in some cases, sunlight isn’t always available throughout. 

Therefore, researchers have developed different artificial lights to help people grow plants indoors, with the latest addition being LED lights. But are all LED lights grow lights?

You can use LED lights to grow your plants, but they’ll offer insufficient light. 

Today’s article aims to help you understand LED grow lights. Let’s get rolling. 

Can You Use Any LED Lights To Grow Plants?

You can employ LEDs to grow plants, but not all LEDs support optimal growth.

However, we have a special LED type called LED grow lights that offer the required light intensity and spectrum for optimum growth. 

Regular LEDs may not be appropriate since they don’t provide the relevant wavelength for supporting photosynthesis.

Therefore, they might cause low yields, stunted growth, and in the worst cases, plant deaths. 

Differences Between LED Lights and Grow Lights

An LED strip

(An LED strip)

Grow lights differ from LED lights in the following ways. 

Spectrum: LED grow lights produce light in the red and blue spectrum, which supports photosynthesis in plants.

However, regular LED lights have light meant for human vision. 

Intensity: LED grows lights have high-quality heat dissipation systems and efficient LEDs providing high-intensity light to support photosynthesis.

However, indoor plants might not get high-intensity light from regular LEDs. 

Heat dissipation: All grow light designs support minimal heat dissipation to limit effects on plants.

This is possible thanks to the efficient heat dissipation systems that guarantee no overheating cases.

On the other hand, regular LEDs lose a large part of their energy in the form of heat. 

Cost: Generally, grow LEDs undergo a complex design with special components, making them more costly than regular LEDs.

And despite the high cost, they also offer a more efficient and high-quality light that translates into low energy costs. 

The Best LED Color for Plants

Growing plants under colorful LEDs

(Growing plants under colorful LEDs)

Generally, the LED color that a plant need depends on its specific needs and the growth stage.

But in most cases, they only require red and blue lights for optimal development and growth. 

First, blue light has a 450 nm wavelength and is responsible for photosynthesis by helping plants to generate chlorophyll which makes food.

In short, the blue light is responsible for growing roots, leaves, and stems. 

We also have the red light responsible for fruiting and flowering in plants by producing the flowering and fruiting hormones.

Therefore, if you see fruits or flowers on your plant, be sure the red light is available.

Also, the red light regulates growth and eliminates leggy growth. 

Undoubtedly, the best-LED color for plants provides a complete light spectrum with blue and red lights.

There is no harm in the spectrum having a white color that promotes appearance and plant color.

Most importantly, choose an LED light with adjustable spectrum and intensity settings to allow you to customize your lighting environment. 

Signs Your Plants Need More LED Lights

Sometimes, your indoor plants don’t meet your growth expectation, which indicates they need LED lights.

This section highlights the signs you should look out for. 

Slow growth: We know the expected plant growth rate, and if it is not met, the most likely is that it’s not receiving enough light.

Generally, light is responsible for photosynthesis, providing food and growth energy.

Slow growth is enough to supply your plant with a reliable LED grow light. 

Leggy growth: Sometimes, plants grow spindly and tall with few leaves and long stems.

This shows that the plants aren’t getting enough light and trying to stretch and reach light.

Therefore, the solution would be to provide a reliable LED grow light. 

Pale Leaves: Light is responsible for chlorophyll, which supports photosynthesis.

Put, chlorophyll is the green substance on the leaves that makes food.

A lack of light causes the plant leaves to be pale, and providing an LED grow light source is the ultimate solution. 

Drooping: Wilting and drooping in plants show that it’s not receiving enough light.

And in most cases, it happens when the light has low intensity or is far from the plant.

Therefore, supply your plant with a closer LED grow light. 

LED Grow Light Basics

A tomato plant under LED light

(A tomato plant under LED light)

It would be best if you grew lights to facilitate the growth of plants without challenges.

But there are some LED grow light basics you should understand, as we’ll highlight below:

Light Spectrum: All plants need a color spectrum of blue, green, and red lights to thrive.

Generally, green speeds up photosynthesis, while blue light facilitates chlorophyll production.

The red light is responsible growth and development of fruits and flowers. 

Color temperature: The light emitted can either be cool or warm.

A warmer LED growth light will support your plant and give your room a cozy glow. 

Light intensity: We measure this aspect in lumens, and it determines the amount of light your bulb emits.

Here, you’ll meet terms like watts, lumens, color rendering index, and photosynthetic photon flux density. 

Coverage: This is how much area your LED grow light covers, and we measure it in foot candles, lux, and lumens per square meter. 

Tips for Choosing LED Grow Lights

Professional grow LED light

(Professional grow LED light)

Consider the following features while selecting LED grow lights for your indoor project. 

  • First, consider the light spectrum by choosing an LED to grow light with both the red and blue light wavelengths. Surprisingly, we have some LEDs that come with white lights. 
  • Secondly, the LED grow light you select should cover the entire area with your plants. Therefore, you can use multiple LED grow light sources for larger spaces. 
  • Ensure the LEDs supply the right light intensity that supports your plant. 
  • Although LED lights are more efficient than fluorescent and regular bulbs, you’ll still find some more efficient options. High-efficiency ratings translate into a lower energy cost. 
  • Finally, always buy LED grow lights from a reputable brand with warranties and positive customer reviews. 


For how long should you have your plant under LED light? 

Multiple factors determine how long you expose your plant to LED light, including the growth stage and plant type.

For example, during the flowering stage, you’ll need to expose your plant to LED light for 8-12 hours daily.

And for the vegetative stage, about 12-16 hours daily is enough. 

However, some plants require more light than others, and this is something you should always research before buying an LED. 

Can too much LED light affect your plants?

We all know that plants require light for photosynthesis.

However, too much of something is always poisonous; thus, exposing your plants to too much light will damage leaves and negatively impact growth.

Also, too much light increases the temperatures, which harms plants.

And you’ll note this from the plant’s stunted growth or brown spots on the leaves. 

What’s the right wattage for your plants?

The perfect plant wattage depends on several factors, including the area in question, growth stage, and plant type.

But generally, you’ll need about 25-50 watts/square foot for most grow plants during the vegetative stage.

However, 50-75 watts/square foot is sufficient for the flowering stage. 

Final Remarks

All plants require sufficient sunlight to grow and produce food.

However, in the absence of sunlight or the case of indoor gardening, you can use artificial sources to provide light.

And no source comes closer to the energy efficiency and intensity we get from LED grow lights.

But for the best results, the LED light should have blue and red color lights.