Do LED Lights Work for Hydroponics? (My Best Take)

Plants require sufficient light to grow, bloom, and thrive in the hydroponic system, otherwise you won’t be able to make it sustainable for a longer period of time.

But, do LED lights work for hydroponics?

Well, LED lights are the most efficient and inexpensive light source, and the best part is that we can use it for hydroponics. In fact, from tiny indoor gardening enthusiasts to extensive commercial operations, these lights would be your go-to-go choice. 

Well, for all good reasons! 

LEDs for hydroponics are regarded as the lights to rely on because of their superior performance, power efficiency, usable light spectrum, and longer lifespan. So whether you are trying to grow strawberries, tomatoes, or plants indoors, LED light would be a prominent purchase. 

Do LED Lights Work for Hydroponics
LED Lights in Action for Hydroponics

Do LED lights work for hydroponics?

If you work in the world of hydroponics, you should understand how crucial the lighting system is. However, different plants may have different lighting needs. Hence, choosing the proper lighting is vital. 

LED lights are undoubtedly the next “big thing” for hydroponics. These grow lights are a modern marvel. I believe the rapid evolution of LEDs makes indoor gardening more convenient than ever. In addition, hydroponic plants grow and thrive better under these lights.  

Wondering how? These lights work in a way to mimic natural lighting conditions. They tend to use relatively less energy in comparison to standard bulbs. Thus, they are capable enough to support all your indoor plants. 

Benefits Of Using LEDs For Hydroponics

Are you in search of ways to grow your indoor plants? Or Is your apartment facing the problem of no natural light? If so, then hydroponic lights would be a savior for you. 

For indoor hydroponic gardens, LED hydroponic lights offer a bundle of benefits. They are an ideal option to give abundant light to your plants. As a beginner, I, too, was dubious of using these lights.

However, after installing them in my indoor garden, all my doubts got cleared. These LEDs offer sufficient light spectrum to my plants so that they can grow in a better way. 

Benefits Of Using LEDs For Hydroponics
Benefits Of Using LEDs For Hydroponics

Besides this, there are other numerous benefits of these lights:

Energy Efficient

LED grow lights are well-known for being energy efficient. As per research, these lights consume only one-third of the electricity compared to fluorescent lamps. 

These lights do not generate much heat and are more effective with photosynthesis. As they don’t generate much heat, they will ensure proper ventilation in the grow room.

Long Lasting

What makes these grow lights preferable among people is their longer lifespan. When it comes to the factor of longevity, these lights have no comparison. Compared to regular HID bulbs, LEDs generate more power and last longer. If I talk about my experience, I have been using these LEDs for the past year.

Fast Harvest Cycling

As you know, plants need adequate sunlight. Sadly, specific locations, especially the shady ones, may not receive adequate sunlight. 

However, the sun doesn’t set with the growing light. It means that your plants will continue to grow even after daylight. With LEDs, your plants will grow even under the shade. Thus, resulting in faster harvesting cycles.

Adaptable Wave Length

The light spectrum should be in accordance with the plant’s potential. In specific wavelength proportions, effects can occur, including growth rate or stretching. 

LEDs have a wider variety for plant growth. Moreover, in contrast to the traditional HID spectrums, these lights produce better-quality color. Therefore, you can take it as a big leap in the lighting world.

Cost efficient

LED grow lights produce less heat. Also, you can place them closer to the plants, and because they offer different light spectrums, you can intelligently position them to optimize your plant health. 

In this way, the plants will get better growth. Moreover, you will be able to witness this growth with less energy. This would ultimately save your cost in the long run.

Drawbacks of Using LED Lights for Hydroponics

Choosing the LED route for hydroponic may have certain perks. Unfortunately, though, you can’t ignore its disadvantages.

The truth is simple. Just like any artificial light, LEDs have certain disadvantages. I believe you should have a rundown on all the disadvantages before you head for its purchase.

Drawbacks of Using LED Lights for Hydroponics
Drawbacks of Using LED Lights for Hydroponics

Cover Smaller Areas

LED fixtures have the most significant disadvantage. They cover only smaller areas. You must be wondering how?

Just like flashlights, they cover or throw light in the same direction. However, because of the unidirectional light throwing, they are not capable of covering wider space. This factor may give them a thumbs down in comparison to conventional bulbs.

Bad at handling heat

Though LEDs are energy-efficient, they can be pretty sensitive to heat handling. As a result, these lights may become affected by high heat and temperature. When this happens, diodes may not last for long. This may affect the amount of light LEDs generated for the plants.

Light pollution

Believe it or not, energy-saving bulbs are adding to light pollution. In addition, the bright rays coming from these LEDs contribute to pollution issues. 

The blue light coming out of these LEDs emits pollutants that may cause harm to humans and wildlife. In addition, these emissions may harm your health, especially when you are near artificial light. 

Initial heavy costing

If you have initially switched or are thinking of switching to LEDs, you can’t deny the initial investment. Unfortunately, they are not as cheap as older bulbs. 

As you browse for LED grow lights, you may feel slightly scared by the pricing. Though, the pricing is justified to some extent based on the perks they offer. 

How Many LED Lights Do You Need for Your Hydroponic Garden?

Are you thinking of buying LED grow lights? In that case, you need to ensure the proper size of your garden. The number of LEDs you need for your hydroponic garden can depend mainly on two questions. 

The first one is how many LEDs you need based on per square foot of your grow area. Wattage can be a good approximator of LED coverage. As a consensus, you may need 400W per 4ft of grow space. 

How Many LED Lights Do You Need for Your Hydroponic Garden
LED Lights for Your Hydroponic Garden

However, you also need to consider the beam angle. This will give you a general idea of the LED to grow light coverage.

The second one would be how many plants per the LED grow light. An excellent growing system consists of plant density, appropriate room size, and the right temperature. Based on these factors, you can choose the number of LEDs you require for your Hydroponic Garden. 

What Type of Light is Best for Growing Plants Indoors?

Light is a crucial factor in growing houseplants. Nothing can beat the natural sunlight to let your plant grow or survive. But it is also a fact that you can’t get natural light for the whole day.

Lack of window space or seasonal changes may make it difficult to get adequate natural light. With that said, grow lights come into the scene. From Incandescent lights to LEDs to fluorescent lights, you will get multiple lighting options for your Hydroponic system.

What Type of Light is Best for Growing Plants Indoors
Best Light for Growing Plants Indoors

Incandescent lights are generally ideal to use for growing low-light plants. However, fluorescent lights are a good option for low to medium-lighting requirement plants. 

On the other hand, LEDs are generally preferred as they provide high-spectrum lighting. However, these lights can also be tailored based on the specific requirements of your plants. 

Whether for the start seedlings or full-grown plants, you can always choose a desirable lighting option based on your needs. 

Mistakes to Avoid with LED Lighting Fixtures

In recent years, LED lights have become an apt substitute for conventional lighting. Simply put, these lights are an ideal lighting fixture than any existing lighting technology.

To reap their maximum benefits, there are inevitable mistakes that you should avoid. While these issues may seem minor at first, not addressing them can result in more significant problems in the future.

Mistakes to Avoid with LED Lighting Fixtures

Not placing LEDs in the right place

Let’s accept it; improper installation can cause poor light distribution, supply overload, poor power, or frequent breakdowns. Therefore, prior planning is vital in how to install LED lights efficiently. 

Buying cheap lights

I always feel overwhelmed by the numerous lighting options available in the market. In that case, what saves my day is adequate information and smart decisions. 

You should research and find a reliable manufacturer to get good quality grow lights. Also, try to compare the LED fixtures with the other alternatives.


Overheating generally occurs when LEDs don’t go well in a hot environment. However, researchers show that the right ambient temperature for LEDs grows light at 25°C.  Quite significantly, you should place your LEDs at an ideal ambient temperature.

Don’t forget to adjust the lights

Believe it, and light adjustment is a crucial factor. You can’t get the most out of your grow light because of wrong positioning. Constantly adjust the angle so that your plants will get maximum light to grow. 

Frequently Asked Questions (fAQs)

Can LED lights be used as grow lights?

Yes, you can use LED lights as grow lights. Your plants are capable of growing under LED lights. These lights are designed to mimic the natural sunlight so that your plant will get the necessary lighting. In addition, they offer a wide light spectrum and are more energy efficient than traditional lighting alternatives.

What color is LED best for plants?

There is no specific answer to which color LED is best for plants. In comparison, outdoor plants receive both blue and red light naturally. Both of the lights are essential for the growth of your indoor plants. Where the blue light effect is related to chlorophyll production, red light helps plants flowers and produce fruits. Hence, both lights are vital for plant growth. 


LED lights are a revolution for hydroponics, and there is no denying it. These lights are the best option to be in an indoor Hydroponic Gardner or to let your plant grow ideally on. 

However, weigh all the pros and cons before you head towards using these LED grow lights.  Make a smart move toward letting your plants grow! 

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