Top 5 Best Grow Lights for Seed Starting Every Gardener Needs!

best-grow-lights-for-seed-starting
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One of the most crucial elements for success is selecting the ideal grow lights to support your seedlings through their early stages of development. In this blog post, we will guide you through the process of choosing the best grow lights for seed starting, ensuring you have all the knowledge you need.

Our Favorite

VIPARSPECTRA P1000 LED Grow Light
  • TOP COMPONENTS & LOWER RUNNING COST: VIPARSPECTRA 2024 newest upgraded P1000 grow light adopts the market-leading Samsung LM301H Diodes (3.10 μmol/J) and high-safety performance MEAN WELL driver,…

If you’re a serious gardener, this is the fixture for you. Viparspectra just keeps on impressing us. We love the dimmable feature which enables you to start seedlings with this grow light. At 100% brightness you can even take plants to full size indoors. Uses top of the line Samsung LED diodes. They even include two easy to raise/lower ratcheting pulley straps for hanging. Output from this grow light is blinding at full power.

Pros

  • Full spectrum: This grow light provides a full spectrum of light, which is ideal for supporting plant growth at all stages, from seedling to flowering and fruiting.
  • Energy-efficient: The grow light uses high-quality, energy-efficient Samsung LEDs, which consume less power compared to traditional HID or HPS lights, leading to cost savings.
  • Dimmable feature: The dimmable function allows users to adjust the light intensity according to the needs of their plants, promoting optimal growth without wasting energy.
  • Solid construction: The grow light has a sturdy design, featuring an aluminum heat sink, fire-resistant housing, and high-speed, noiseless fans for effective heat dissipation.

Cons

  • Price: It may be considered expensive for some users

Using the Best Grow Lights for Seed Starting is Essential

Using the best grow lights for seed starting is essential for a number of reasons. For starters, it ensures that your young plants receive the appropriate light spectrum needed to promote strong and healthy growth during their initial stages.

Light is a crucial factor in the process of photosynthesis, where plants convert light energy into chemical energy to fuel their growth.

Seedlings require an optimal balance of red and blue light, which encourages vigorous root development, sturdy stem growth, and robust foliage.

By choosing the best grow lights for seed starting, you provide the ideal light conditions for your plants, setting the foundation for their overall success throughout their lifecycle.

Additionally, the best grow lights starting seedlings are energy-efficient and adaptable to various growing conditions.

High-quality grow lights consume less power compared to traditional lighting systems, which not only leads to cost savings but also reduces your environmental footprint.

Summary of the Best Grow Lights for Seed Starting

Best OverallViparspectra P1000 LED Grow Light
T5 Fixture (With Bulbs)Durolux T5 Grow Light
Best Bang for the BuckBLOOM PLUS LED Grow Light
LED Strip LightBarrina 4FT LED Grow Lights – 4 Pack
LED FloodlightsGE LED Lighting Grow Light Bulbs – 2 Pack

More information about these grow lights can be found below.

t5-fixtures-best-grow-lights-for-seed-starting

Why Use the Best Grow Lights for Starting Seeds

By using the best grow lights for seed starting, you’ll provide your seedlings with the optimal light spectrum needed for strong and healthy growth, setting a solid foundation for their overall success.

High-quality grow lights offer energy efficiency, reducing power consumption and saving on energy costs. Investing in the best grow lights will lead to healthier, more vigorous plants and a more successful, bountiful harvest.

Quite commonly, gardeners start vegetables such as tomatoes, eggplant, or peppers from seed indoors to get a head start on the season. The right light intensity is important since these plants will be under the lights for many weeks. Low intensity lights such as fluorescents, won’t be strong enough to sustain them until spring.

Using the best grow lights contributes to the overall resilience of your plants, resulting in better disease resistance and adaptability to varying conditions. This investment in your seedlings’ early growth stages will pay off in terms of plant productivity and the satisfaction of a thriving garden.

Our Picks: Best Grow Lights for Seed Starting

T5 Fixture (With Bulbs)

DuroLux T5 HO 2Ft 2 Tube Grow Light
  • 5000 Lumes – 50W Full Light output – Powerful Grow Lighting System with low profile.

We’ve used these T5 fixtures for years. They include two 24″ bulbs with a 6500k spectrum. The lightweight aluminum hood is highly reflective and does a great job directing light down towards your plants. Low heat output so you can keep the bulbs close to your plants without burning them. Included accessories are hanging hooks and chains.

Pros

  • Energy-efficient: The T5 fluorescent bulbs in this grow light system are energy-efficient, consuming less power compared to traditional HID or HPS lights, leading to cost savings.
  • Easy installation: This grow light system comes with hanging brackets, making installation quick and easy without the need for additional hardware.
  • High output: Provides the necessary brightness for healthy plant growth.
  • Wide reflector: The 95% reflector ensures that a larger area is covered by the light, improving the light distribution and maximizing the efficiency of the grow light system.
  • Durable construction: This grow light system features a durable, rust-resistant, and heavy-duty steel housing to ensure long-lasting performance.

Cons

  • Bulb replacement: Fluorescent bulbs have a limited lifespan compared to LEDs, which means they will need to be replaced, increasing maintenance costs and efforts.

Best Bang for the Buck

BLOOM PLUS LED Grow Light BP1000
  • LOWER COSTS & HIGHER-QUALITY YIELDS—Using the Newest high-yield LED technology-336 pcs Samsung 2835 diodes. So BP1000 LED Grow Lights achieves a high energy efficiency of 2.7 umol/J and improves the…

For those wanting to dip your feet into the LED scene, we recommend this fixture. We had excellent results when starting seedlings and even growing some plants to full size. It comes with all the necessary hardware for hanging the fixture.

Pros

  • Full spectrum: This grow light offers a full spectrum of light, which is ideal for supporting plant growth at all stages, from seedling to flowering and fruiting.
  • Energy-efficient: The BP-1000 LED grow light is energy-efficient, consuming less power compared to traditional HID or HPS lights, leading to cost savings.
  • Silent operation: The grow light features a fanless design, which ensures quiet and noiseless operation, making it suitable for indoor use.
  • Adjustable hanging height: The grow light comes with an adjustable rope hanger, allowing users to easily modify the height of the light according to their plants’ needs.
  • Wide coverage area: The BP1000 model covers a 2.5′ x 2.5′ area making it suitable for medium-sized grow spaces.

Cons

  • Weight: Weighing 9.3 pounds making it more challenging to hang and position in their grow space.

LED Strip Light

Sale
Barrina LED Grow Light (6 x 42W)
  • Full Spectrum – Barrina LED grow light provides sufficient light for indoor plants, especially blue and red light that perfect for seed germination and leafy plants growing, also work great in bloom…

These are a good option for using over a shelving unit. The fixtures can be daisy chained so you only need one power outlet. The heat output from these strip lights is low so you can lower them close to your seedlings for maximum growth.

Pros

  • Full spectrum: This grow light set offers a full spectrum of light, which is ideal for supporting plant growth at all stages, from seedling to flowering and fruiting.
  • Energy-efficient: The Barrina grow lights are energy-efficient, consuming less power compared to traditional HID or HPS lights, leading to cost savings.
  • Linkable design: These grow lights can be linked together, allowing users to create a customizable lighting setup that suits their specific needs and grow space.
  • Easy installation: The grow light system comes with mounting clips, making installation quick and easy without the need for additional hardware.
  • Wide coverage area: The Barrina LED grow lights cover a large area, making it suitable for medium to large-sized grow spaces.

Cons

  • Limited spectrum control: Although the grow light offers a full spectrum, it does not feature adjustable spectrum controls.
  • No dimming function: The grow light system lacks a dimming function, making it more challenging to adjust light intensity.

LED Floodlights

GE LED Lighting Grow Light Bulbs – 2 Pack
  • Grow your plants throughout the year: These LED grow lights for indoor plants (full spectrum) provide the perfect high-quality plant light that will allow your indoor garden to bloom and flourish year…

If you’re only starting a small number of seedlings, you could consider these bulbs. While the light output from these bulbs is good, the coverage area is small. We had good results with growing seedlings with these bulbs in close proximity. The convenience of the bulbs is that they can be screwed into any light fixture or clamp light hood.

Pros

  • Full spectrum: This grow light bulb offers a full spectrum of light, which is ideal for supporting plant growth at all stages.
  • Energy-efficient: The GE BR30 LED grow light bulb is energy-efficient.
  • Long lifespan: Has a long lifespan of 25,000 hours, reducing the need for frequent replacements and lowering maintenance costs.
  • Easy to use: Fits into standard E26 sockets, making it easy to use in a variety of fixtures without requiring any additional equipment.
  • Compact design: The BR30 bulb has a compact design, making it an ideal choice for small grow spaces or for supplementing existing lighting systems.

Cons

  • Limited coverage area: As a single light bulb, the coverage area is limited compared to larger grow light systems.
  • Limited control: Does not offer adjustable spectrum controls or dimming functions.

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Grow Lights for Seed Starting

Choosing the right grow lights for seed starting is a crucial step in creating a thriving indoor garden.

High-quality grow lights set the foundation for strong, healthy seedlings, which ultimately contributes to a successful harvest.

With so many options available on the market, finding the perfect grow light can be a daunting task. To help you make an informed decision, we have compiled a list of key factors to consider when selecting the best grow lights for seed starting.

By taking these factors into account, you can ensure that your plants receive the ideal light conditions for optimal growth and development during their initial stages.

Here’s a more in-depth look at each factor:

Light spectrum

Different stages of plant growth require different light spectra. Choose a grow light with a balanced spectrum that includes both red and blue wavelengths. Red light encourages flowering and fruiting, while blue light promotes vegetative growth and strong root development.

Energy efficiency

LED and fluorescent grow lights consume less power compared to traditional HID or HPS lights, making them a more energy-efficient choice. This not only saves on energy costs but also minimizes your carbon footprint.

Adjustability

Grow lights with adjustable spectrum controls and dimming functions give you the flexibility to customize light conditions for your seedlings’ specific needs. This adaptability helps ensure that your plants receive the ideal light intensity and spectral distribution for optimal growth.

Coverage area

Assess the size of your grow space and choose grow lights that provide sufficient coverage for all your seedlings. For larger areas, you may need multiple light fixtures or a more powerful grow light system to ensure uniform light distribution.

Durability and lifespan

High-quality grow lights have long lifespans and are built with durable materials. This minimizes maintenance, reduces the frequency of replacements, and ultimately lowers long-term costs.

Heat output

Excessive heat can damage seedlings. Select grow lights with low heat output or efficient heat management systems, such as built-in heat sinks and fans, to maintain optimal temperatures for your plants.

Ease of installation

User-friendly grow lights that are easy to set up, with straightforward mounting options and compatibility with standard fixtures or sockets, save time and effort during the installation process.

Budget

Determine how much you’re willing to spend on grow lights and find a product that offers the best combination of features and performance within your price range. Remember that investing in a high-quality grow light can yield better long-term results.

Reviews and recommendations

Conduct thorough research by reading customer reviews, expert opinions, and recommendations from trusted sources. This will help you identify reliable, high-performing grow lights that have been proven to work well for seed starting and other stages of plant growth.

Final Thoughts

If you’re serious about gardening and plan on starting your seeds every year, we recommend investing the money in a Viparspectra P1000 or XS2000. These LED fixtures both cover a large area and are extremely bright.

If you’re looking for something a little more budget friendly the BLOOM PLUS LED Grow Light is a great choice. With the Viparspectra or Bloom Plus, you’ll not only be able to start seeds but grow plants to several feet tall.

For those on a tight budget and only starting a small tray of seedlings the GE LED floodlights will be sufficient, but you may need to pick up some clamp lights to mount them.

FAQ: Grow Lights For Seed Starting

What type of grow light is best for seed starting?

There isn’t really a type of grow light fixture that’s best, it’s the color temperature and intensity that matters. The best grow lights for seed starting will be full spectrum, ideally 6500k. However, 5000k-6500k is adequate. The intensity should be between 100-300 PPFD to ensure strong growth.

Are LEDs the best grow lights for seed starting?

In a word, yes. LED grow lights have come a long way in the last few years. Just be mindful that there are a lot of junk LED grow lights on the market, many fall short of their big claims. Do your research, don’t just rely on manufacturers’ claims. The lights we recommend here have all had their claims verified.

Should seedlings get 24 hours of light?

The recommended amount of light for seedlings is between 14-16 hours per day. While the seedlings would grow continually if provided light 24 hours a day, it is unnecessary. Anything beyond 18 hours of light per day is just a waste of electricity.

How do you know if grow light is strong enough?

If your seedlings are getting excessively tall (leggy) then your grow light is not strong enough. The reason the seedlings stretch is because they are trying to get closer to the light.

How do you know if seedlings are too close to light?

If your lights are too close to the seedlings, you’ll see signs of burning. This is where the leaves start getting yellow or even brown, starting on the tips and edges of the leaves. The veins of the leaf will usually still be green.

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