As technology has improved significantly over the past few years, grow lights are more and more a second-best option to save your vegetables from long winters.
They are easy to install, efficient, and importantly, very cost-efficient.
Here are the best grow lights for vegetables you can buy in 2020:
- Best Overall: Shengsite Led Grow Light
- Best For Vertical Farm: Roleadro LED Grow Light
- Best Budget Option: CF GROW Led Grow Light
- Best Overall: DuroLux T5 Grow Light
- Best For Broader Areas: Durolux DL8048 T5
- Best For Horizontal Planting: Jump Start 2' T5 JSV2
|Top 6 Best Grow Lights For Vegetables|
|Shengsite Led Grow Light|
Best For Vertical Farm
|Roleadro LED Grow Light|
Best Budget Option
|CF GROW Led Grow Light|
|DuroLux T5 Grow Light|
Best For Broader Areas
|Durolux DL8048 T5|
Best For Horizontal Planting
|Jump Start 2' T5 JSV2|
Best Overall: Shengsite Led Grow Light
- Highlight 250 LED beads with ABS cover for higher brightness without overheating – provide more helpful light without burning your plants’ leaves
- Offer 50,000 hours of lifespan – save more
- Take under one minute for installation -> ideal for beginners or low-tech people
- The power connection is placed in right where the string attached to the panel, making it imbalanced
- No timer
Despite the alarmingly low price, this Shengsite LED Grow Light can keep your indoor veggies stronger and healthier.
It highlights 250 LED beads with a good ratio of blue and red spectra – something you hardly find on other models at the same price point. As a result, the amount of helpful light is higher, leading to faster plant growth.
What surprised us the most is it doesn’t overheat nor change the electricity bill. You don’t have to buy an extra fan to dissipate the air while it’s running.
The good news for beginner gardeners is its minimal assembly. We promise it won’t take you more than one minute.
|Shengsite Led Grow Light Specifications|
blue 460-470nm and red 660-670nm
186 red LEDs + 64 blue LEDs = 250 high quality LED Beads
Easy to use
78-inch long wire
For both the price and efficiency in boosting the plant growth, the Shengsite LED Grow Light is our Editor’s Choice Award winner that can give noticeable change in any indoor gardens.
Best For Vertical Farm: Roleadro LED Grow Light
- Provide exclusive light spectrum, bright and ideal to promote different plants at all growing stage
- Get UL, PSE, ROHS, CE, and FCC certification to ensure its safety and performance
- Versatile in mounting ways -> ideal for vertical farms
- While it’s useful to most veggies, the light doesn’t perform well on herbs and tomatoes
- No timer
If you want to increase the year-round crop production of your vegetable garden, look no further.
This Roleadro provides full-spectrum, containing 460-465nm, 620-740nm, and 6000-6500k wave band, which is versatile enough for all plant growing stages. It’s also bright and good at heat dissipation to promote veggies grow faster without making them wilt.
If you prefer some technical data, it meets all strict regulations of UL, PSE, ROHS, CE, and FCC standards for ultimate safety and performance.
As being built with a squared design, the system can be mounted in any flat, sturdy conditions or used with the upgraded hanging basket.
In short, it’s versatile and lots of gardeners who own a vertical farm also give a compliment for this unit.
|Roleadro LED Grow Light Specifications|
460-465nm, 620-740nm, 6000-6500k wave band
Rugged and durable lights
Has an external power supply
Providing plants with a diverse spectrum of light and promotes their growth
Looking for a dependable brand to buy some good grow lights for your vertical farm? This Roleadro won’t let you down.
Best Budget Option: CF GROW Led Grow Light
- Feature a rock bottom price point with a good warranty and long lifespan -> extremely bang for bucks
- Combine multiple color spectra for versatility – you can use it as a grow light, desk light, or more
- Feature a bendable long arm for flexible adjustment but still strong enough to hold in place
- Just ideal for potted plants or small gardens
- No power switch
- It’s hotter than other LED lights, you should buy a cooling fan for better heat dissipation
You don’t need to spend a fortune just to light an indoor garden, especially if it is small.
We’re talking about the CF GROW LED Grow Light, which features 5 pieces of Bridgelux LED of different colors but costs no further than $15. So, 3 bucks for each and its lifespan is 35,000 hours with a 2-year warranty, what else to ask?
Don’t worry, its performance won’t disappoint you! It contains one 2500K white LED, two 460nm blue, and two 660nm red ones – a good color combination to help your vegetables thrive better. But you can even use it more than just a grow light thanks to the eye-friendly white LED.
The light is also flexible when it features an adjustable long arm to be capably bent to anyway wanted. The clamp, on the other side, is secure and strong enough to hold up well in a good place.
|CF GROW Led Grow Light Specifications|
White LED 2500K, Blue LED 460nm, Red LED 660nm.
Has 5pcs Bridgelux LED
1pcs White LED 2500K
2pcs Blue LED 460nm
2pcs Red LED 660nm
We understand that not all gardeners start their hobby with a loose budget, so if you’re finding some affordable options, the CF GROW LED grow light is our highest recommendation.
Best Overall: DuroLux T5 Grow Light
- Provide 30% brighter than other brands at this price point -> save more
- Extremely safe to use – give no risks of fire and can be used in wet conditions
- Backed by a very good warranty and it also meets UL/CUL standards -> reliable
- No timer
- It does release heat -> you MUST use a small fan
- The lamp holder is a bit fragile
DuroLux T5 is the best performer in this category.
At merely $80 – which is also the lowest price point, it gives you 30% higher lumen output to provide more light to your plants, helping them grow healthier.
Moreover, it features a 95% reflectivity German hammer-tone reflector and made-in-Italy AAG Succhic lamp holder with I-certification for superb safety with no risks of fire, even when the tubes get loosed while running. It is also safe enough to work in wet environments.
To top all the goodies off, the light meets UL/CUL standards and is backed by a 5-year warranty.
|DuroLux T5 Grow Light Specifications|
Blue & red
Professional Grow Lighting System
95% Reflectivity German Hammer-tone Reflector
30% more light output vs comparable systems;
At around $80, you can beat this DuroLux T5 over other fluorescent grow lights for safety and brightness, making it the best overall option in this field.
Best For Broader Areas: Durolux DL8048 T5
- Offer the highest lumen output – 4000 Lm – twice the precious version – for double the brightness
- You can adjust its brightness/dimness due to the two switches attached on the body -> flexibility
- It’s hot
The Durolux DL8048 is our suggestion for people with a loose budget and who are willing to pay for quality.
It is near twice the price of the previous sibling but what you’ll get is double the lumen output, which is 40,000 lm, 3 fixtures with every necessary tool provided for installation, and a timer.
Our team testers particularly appreciate this timer. It actually comprises of 2 switches on the light body – one for 4 outer bulbs and another for 4 inner ones, which allows for step dimming. By flexibly adjusting the brightness, it’s more versatile for almost all growing stages of different plants.
So in the long term, it is an economical option.
|Durolux DL8048 T5 Specifications|
Qty8 6500K 4ft Bulbs
Hanging hooks and chains
8' Power cord
For those who have a budget on the table and want to invest in your veggie garden in the long term, the Durolux DL8048 T5 is the best bet.
Best For Horizontal Planting: Jump Start 2' T5 JSV2
- Give high rate of plant germination
- All necessary tools are included and they’re also helpful -> installation can’t be quicker
- Once getting the base on its legs, you hardly take it off
For horizontal planting, don’t hesitate to pick this Jump Start T5 JSV2.
It is durable, sturdy, and energy-efficient with the full spectrum to be an ideal selection for an early start with vegetable gardens. It provides a really high lighting output of 6400K at 48 inches to give a phenomenal germination rate.
The setup can’t be easier – just take you around 20 minutes to put everything together. And, you can easily raise or lower it for the best customization of lighting to your plants.
|Jump Start 2' T5 JSV2 Specifications|
Easily adjustable light height for growing plants
Great for African violets
Other houseplants and for getting an early start with garden Vegetables
Durable and energy-efficient
Specifically designed for the casual gardeners looking to make some starter plants, the JumpStart T5 JSV2 will give you exceeding results of your initial expectations.
How To Choose The Best Grow Lights For Vegetables?
- There are three types of grow lights that we highly recommend to you: fluorescents, LEDs, and HIDs (or high-intensity discharge lights).
The cheapest type
Generate very low heat output -> don’t require install extraction fans
More effective and powerful than the fluorescent lights
Higher cost efficiency -> save more
Generate less heat than the HID lights
Cheaper than LEDs
Highest yield per m2
Produce lower brightness than other lights -> lower plant growth rates
Less yield than HID lights
Consume more energy than the fluorescent and LEDs -> low cost-efficient
Create lots of heat
Small plants, seedlings, or growing clones
Gardeners who want to keep low running costs but don’t mind the expensive initial costs
Plants are grown in an area that’s hard to keep cool but you still want to provide a good yield to them
Those gardeners who want to maximize yield in their garden space
- Or how close the light source towards the vegetables or the brightness of the grow lights.
- This factor is varied based on specific plants.
- For example, those plants that are evolved in dry, sunny climates, like southern Mexico or the Mediterranean do require more light than those that are native to shade forests or tropical jungles.
- And it also depends on the type of grow lights as well. The stronger the light, the further it needs hanging away from your plants.
Type of grow lights
The ideal height
5”-12” (above the canopy)
900w+ LED Grow Lights
26”-42” (away from plants)
600-850w LED Grow Lights
24”-26” (away from plants)
240-400w LED Grow Lights
16”-30” (away from plants)
15W-90W Supplemental LED lights
>15” (away from plants)
1000w HID Grow Lights
16”-31” (away from plants)
600w HID Grow Lights
14”-25” (away from plants)
400w HID Grow Lights
12”-19” (away from plants)
- This factor depends on the current stage of your plants’ growth.
- Blue and red are the two most important wavelengths of light. While blue light helps plants to photosynthesis, the red makes them grow stronger with higher bloom production during flowering or more leaves during vegging.
- A fun fact is they can’t work all that effectively when alone. In other words, they need combining at a reasonable ratio. The most common is 5:1 red to blue.
- But if the grow lights can mimic similarly to sunlight which is full colors of the light spectrum – or full-spectrum, that would be even better for the plant growth.
Which Brands Make The Best Grow Lights For Vegetables?
- We recently know about Shengsite and the reasons why we decided to add it to this list are that regardless of the base in China, their LED grow lights are top-notch in quality. One of their product lines has been our Best Overall Editor Choice Award.
- With 11 years’ expertise in manufacturing and distributing grow lights, receiving lots of positive feedbacks from worldwide customers, Roleadro deserves to be on this list, too.
- JumpStart is quite a young brand in this industry but its products’ quality and performance don’t. They’re all manufactured professionally and with an excellent service team and a good warranty, you can rely on this brand to try at least once.
What lights are best for growing vegetables indoors?
HID, LED, and fluorescent lights. They are good at specific aspects of your plant growth. You can read our buying guide above to learn more.
Can any LED light be used as a grow light?
In the technical aspect, it’s possible to use an LED light for plants but one thing you’ll have to accept is their growth won’t be as efficient and healthy as the specialized grow lights.
What color light is best for plant growth?
Plants need full colors of the light spectrum to thrive happily, in which red and blue light are the most important wavelengths.
How far should my t5 lights be from my plants?
It actually depends on the shape and size of your lights. In general, 6”-8” away from the plants are our recommendations.
How far should LED grow lights be from plants?
15” to 42” depending on the heat release and brightness of the lights as well as the heat needs of your plants which is varied in different growing stages.
All-in-all, the best grow lights for vegetables are the ones that can mimic as closely as possible to their ideal natural sunlight environments to thrive.
And that is decided by the type of light, intensity, and colors.
Hopefully, this post has helped you understand more about which is the right one for your vegetables. Thanks for reading!