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Last updated: February 20, 2021
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If you live in a particular area of the world where your winters are harsh and the overall climate is not suitable to growing seedlings, then you shouldn’t rush your decision when looking for the best grow lights for seedlings. While buying a grow light is a great way to speed up the growth of your plants and create a controlled environment for them in your home, you should pick wisely.
It can be quite hard to decide which option is the best bet for you, especially if you’ve never come across those products. That’s why we are here to help! In this review, we’ll present to you 10 of the top-rated models available on the market today. A number of important features will be touched on here, including product type, power, dimensions, weight, lifetime, and warranty. Continue reading, and by the end of this article, you should be well-informed about what makes the best grow lights for seedlings.
Kicking things off on our list of the best grow lights for seedlings, we have our Editor’s Choice, the Venoya LED Grow Light. LED grow lights are becoming more commonplace in the grow light world, thanks to their energy efficiency and fantastic performance.
This LED hanging panel measures out to about 1 foot wide and tall with a depth of about 1.5 inches. It comes with a maximum of 45 watts of power, but as for the consumption rate, it only requires 15 watts. This LED grow light is also excellent to have because of its reliability, and like most products on this list, this one comes with approximately 50,000 hours of lifetime. In terms of growing your seedlings, this Venoya LED grow light is full-spectrum, which includes UV, blue, and red to produce that intensity.
This low-energy consuming grow light comes with a 1-year warranty with an added bonus of a 30-day return policy. The overwhelming majority of owners were thrilled with this product, but a few people did mention that the hanging wire was weak and not sturdy.
Another LED grow light, but this one with a bit of a different take, is our Best Value selection, the Ankace Tri Head Grow Light. This one has a unique clip-on design with 3 heads. This is particularly great if you don’t like the aesthetic of a grow light coming in the form of a large board or stand.
This grow light is quite minimalistic and still provides 60 watts of power with a focus on red and blue lights on the light spectrum. Also, the product has a lifetime of 50,000 hours that is enhanced with its auto turn on and off timer. This 3-head lamp measures out to about a foot tall, but thanks to its design, it barely feels visible in the first place.
Despite its unconventional look, a lot of users love it for its effectiveness and energy-saving ability. However, some have noted that the automatic timer function stopped working after a few months of usage.
The AeroGarden 45w LED Grow Light Panel features excellent quality, and this is evidenced by its price tag. It’s also our Premium Pick on this list. This grow light comes as a stand but is versatile enough so it can also be hung from above and can rotate a full 360 degrees ensuring all your seedlings receive the proper amount of light.
Speaking of light, this grow light three specific-colored LED lights: red, blue, and white. AeroGarden states that red triggers more flowers, blue generates bigger yields, and the white lights spur faster growth. The light is powered with 45 watts and has a lifetime of 30,000 hours, but thanks to the LED technology, they are less costly and more energy-efficient. Its dimensions are 21 inches wide and 12 inches tall, and it weighs a light 2 pounds. Another great feature of this grow light is that you can also adjust the height of the stand to make it suitable for the growth of your plants.
Despite being our Premium Pick and on the more expensive side, owners of this grow light have very few complaints, but some did note that the legs could get wobbly.
What we liked:
Red, white, and blue LED lights for optimal plant growth
Here, we have another candidate, the iPower T5 Fluorescent Grow Light Stand Rack. This model uses the fluorescent lamp that emits a higher level of light than LED lights, and as such, uses a bit more energy. This standing rack comes with two lamps, each of them features 54 watts of power, and it also has a reflective internal finish. These fluorescent lamps provide high output and a full daylight spectrum. As for the frame, it is made of metal and is quite sturdy. Another great feature here is that it can be easily adjusted to the height that you want. Also, the frame is much bigger than other grow lights from our list, and it measures out to 50 inches wide and 30 inches tall. Next, due to the stand being metal, it is heavier than most grow lights as it weighs 12.5 pounds.
Unfortunately, it can be too big for some, so if you have limited space for your seedlings, consider other options. On the other hand, it can be a fantastic choice for larger gardens.
Just like any product, grow lights too can malfunction, or a certain part can get defective. With that in mind, you’ll want to find a grow light that is both excellent in quality and has a good warranty, and you’ll find both with the SANSI 70W Plant Light.
Having the peace of mind knowing that you are protected with a 5-year warranty for this grow light will enable you to get the full benefits of this product. On top of its generous warranty, this SANSI grow light is an LED hanging panel that boasts solid 70 watts of power with a lifetime of 50,000 hours. It measures out to 9 inches wide and 9 inches tall and weighs a shade under 3 pounds. Another great feature of this grow light is that it is waterproof, as denoted by its IP66 rating. It’s resistant to rain and corrosion, and thus, you can place it in a room with a high humidity level freely.
One of the notable comments from users was that the brightness of the lamps could be better. On top of that, there is no fan to cool it down.
If you’re searching for a grow light with the highest power output, look no further than the Lightimetunnel Led Grow Light Panel. This 1000-watt LED grow light is full-spectrum, and it will definitely provide your plants with everything they need to achieve its optimal growth.
The 1000-watts are generated by 100 tiny and unique LED beads, and each has a 10-watt LED chip that is much more efficient than a traditional 5-watt LED. Although it generates that much power and heat, it has an effective internal heat dissipation system with 3 high-speed and quiet cooling fans. In terms of dimensions, this one comes out to roughly 16 inches wide and 8.3 inches tall and weighs 6.2 pounds. Moreover, it is a growing LED hanging panel that comes with its own hanging kit.
Despite the three cooling fans, a few people pointed out that when it was left on for too long (15+ hours), it could get really hot, so you have to be careful with that.
Some people tend to prefer their grow light to be as small and take up as little room as possible. You can find it with our choice for the best compact grow light, the Future Harvest Developer SBL1600200 Grow Light Garden.
This grow light is not a hanging panel, but rather a stand that features fluorescent lamps. It is compact enough so that you can put it just about anywhere in your house, and it wouldn’t seem like it’s taking up too much space. Next, it’s powered with two 24-watt 6400 Kelvin fluorescent tubes and has a curved hood that uses NanoTech reflectors to help trap the light and heat within the space, ensuring that nothing is wasted.
Once your seedlings begin growing, the hood of this grow light is also adjustable so you can easily increase the height of it to accommodate your seedlings. As helpful as this feature is, a number of people had issues with the flimsiness of this product, and a few said that the hood didn’t stay up.
What we liked:
Very compact and can be placed anywhere in the house
For those who live busy lives and, maybe, don’t have the time to pay close attention to how your seedlings are growing, it might be best to invest in a grow light that is able to do the work for you. We suggest going for the Jump Start JSV2T Light Timer System. With this grow light, you’ll be able to use the built-in timer function that allows you to set a very easy schedule of 12 hours on and 12 hours off, or 18 hours on and 6 hours off, depending on your preference.
This timer function is ideal for seedlings as it will help grow them faster. It will do so using 24 watts of power from a fluorescent lamp. This stand is approximately 30 inches tall (that can be adjusted) and weighs 3.6 pounds.
The adjustable stand allows you to create an optimal space between the light and your seedlings, and it’s recommended to keep it at least 3-6 inches away. There weren’t many complaints with this grow light, but some have noted that the frame is not particularly sturdy and can get wobbly.
What we liked:
Two great timer functions automate the work for you
Perhaps, one of the unique items on this list of the best grow lights for starting seeds is the Root Farm All-Purpose LED Grow Light. It is what we’re calling the most versatile product because it will allow you to transform it from a stand to a hanging panel accordingly to your needs.
When starting out growing your seedlings, this Root Farm grow light works extremely well as an LED panel stand. But over time, this 45-watt powered grow light will allow you to remove its legs and use the hanging wires to accommodate the plants that are much bigger. This is a great substitute for adjustable legs, which this grow light has, as it can get wobbly over time.
In its panel stand state, it measures out to 24.5 inches wide and 12 inches tall. Unfortunately, it is a bit on the heavier side at 6.3 pounds and only comes with a 30-day return policy with no warranty period.
The Roleadro Grow Light Strips are a more unconventional type of lights that can be attached on any surface with the help of double-sided tape that can be found in the package. There are four LED strips that each produce 10 watts of power and measure out to 16 inches.
You might look at this and think that they won’t last you a long time, but on the contrary, these strips are bound to work for at least 50,000 hours! They come with an auto turn on and off function to go along with a useful timer. Another neat feature is that you can dim the brightness of these LED strip lights using 4 levels.
Despite the amazing parameters of this product, it’s common for the grow light strips to have lower quality, so they may end up flickering. Still, it is hard to complain, considering the price tag.
What we liked:
Small in size and big in power
Great lifetime of 50,000 hours
Timer function and 4 dimmable levels
Affordable price tag
What could be better:
Might have issues with quality
Things to Consider
You’ve already read about our top 10 choices for best grow lights for seedlings, and now it’s time to find out more about these products and their individual features. All of these factors play a big role when it comes to performance, and depending on your preferences, some of these features may be more important to you. Continue reading to find our answers on a few of the frequently asked questions about grow lights, and then our top three choices to make things easier for you.
How to pick the best grow lights for seedlings?
Picking out the best grow lights for seedlings comes down to your needs. Many people will prioritize different things than other people when looking for the best grow lights for their starting seeds. We’ll cover many of the individual features, and they include the product’s type, performance, dimensions, weight, lifespan, warranty, extra features, and their prices. So, if you’re putting more emphasis on a specific parameter over another, you’ll find all the information you need about it in this section.
There are three most popular types of grow lights, and all of them are featured on our top 10 list. Panel and stand grow lights are, by far, the most common and easiest to set up and use. A panel grow light is one that hangs from a ceiling or the top of the roof of a small encased seedling area you’ve created in your house. Panels, such as the Venoya LED Grow Light, are extremely effective grow lights for seedlings because they feature multiple rows of LEDs that are able to emit a good concentrated amount of light on your plants. A stand grow light is one that simply stands and, in some cases, allows you to hang it depending on the model. Lastly, strips are another grow light option. They are usually attached to some flat surface near your plants, and you can install them using double-sided tape.
The performance of these grow lights can often be attributed to its power, and in this case, it is shown by its wattage. On our top 10 list, you’ll find that each grow light features a different wattage level. A grow light’s wattage usually tends to indicate the lamp’s brightness. However, the last decade has brought about the importance of more energy-efficient LEDs. These beads use lumens as the figure of how much light is generated, and the higher the number is, the brighter you light will be. An example shows that 1,600 lumens can translate into roughly 100 watts of power.
A consideration for grow light shoppers is to find lamps that are more energy-efficient, as you’ll get more power and better performance from your grow lights while also using less power.
All grow lights for seedlings come in various sizes. There really is no consensus or range of dimensions for these grow lights as they all need the proper space and room to ensure that all seedlings and plants are well lit. As an example, one of the smallest products from our list is the Ankace Tri Head Grow Light, which is only 11.8” long but is extremely thin. Conversely, one of the biggest grow lights from our list is the Root Farm All-Purpose LED Grow Light, and this one measures out to 24.44” x 12.13” x 4.38”. As you can see, there’s quite a difference between the two, and to find the right grow light, you should check to see how much space you can give for your seedlings before purchasing one.
Generally speaking, the best grow lights for seedlings are fairly lightweight. With the exception of the iPower T5 Fluorescent Grow Light Stand Rack, which weighs a hefty 12.5 pounds, but at the same time, comes with its own stand, the rest of the grow lights are fairly light and easy to install. We see that they can range in weight between 1 and 6.3 pounds, with the majority of these weighing under 3 pounds. The lightest option on our list is the Roleadro Grow Light Strips, as the whole kit weighs only 1.65 pounds.
Perhaps the best thing about buying a grow light for your seedlings is its durability and long-lasting performance. With many of the models turning to LED lights because of their lower energy consumption, these lights are proving to last for a long time. For example, we can see a pattern from our list with grow lights that use LED lights. These products offer up to 50,000 hours of runtime.
LED lights last longer than fluorescent lights and are much more suitable for seedlings that need plenty of light every day.
Fluorescent lights, on the other hand, are much less efficient in terms of electricity usage and have a much shorter lifespan than LED lights. However, the benefits of fluorescent lights are their price and ease of replacement, whereas LED lights can be somewhat tricky to fix if anything happens.
Much like with everything else about the best grow lights for seedlings, the warranty policy too can also vary between the different products. Most of the warranties that you can find here are typically limited to just one year, with the exception of the SANSI 70W Plant Light and the Lightimetunnel Led Grow Light Panel that come with periods of 5 years and 2 years, respectively. One other important thing to point out is that a good number of these grow lights also have a 30-day return policy. What this means is that you’ll be able to try it out for 30 days and see if it works for you. If not, you can return it within 30 days for a full refund.
If you surpass the 30 days and are within the 1-year warranty, you can get a replacement, or the manufacturer can send you necessary parts for your model in case of malfunction.
In terms of extra features, some of the best grow lights for seedlings offer different ones. For example, quite a few of these grow lights come with some form of a timer. This allows you to set for how long you want to keep the grow light on while you are busy. When you’re dealing with light, oftentimes, they can become too bright. Some models, like the Roleadro Grow Light Strips, have a dimming function that allows you to control the brightness of the lights. Another helpful feature, especially for a grow light that uses a tremendous amount of power, is a cooling fan. The Lightimetunnel Led Grow Light Panel uses three of them to help regulate the temperature.
What’s great about grow lights for seedlings is that you can buy one for just about any price. On top of that, with the higher price tag, you are sure to get that premium quality and durability. At the same time, affordable options show excellent performance as well. If you are looking for a grow light that is more on the budget-friendly side, you can turn to our Best Value choice, the Ankace Tri Head Grow Light, which costs less than $30 and has a compact footprint with three adjustable goosenecks. You can also get our Editor’s Choice, Venoya LED Grow Light, which is available at $35. This marvelous product ensures great coverage and low energy consumption. On the other end of the spectrum, we have grow lights that are much more expensive, but their price is still not wallet-breaking. For example, our Premium Pick, the AeroGarden 45w LED Grow Light Panel comes at $130 while offering you fantastic quality and ease of use.
Fluorescent lights emit more heat than LED lights, and because of this, you should position them approximately 12 inches away from your seedlings. For LED lights, this distance decreases to 6 inches since they emit less heat than fluorescent lights and are much more energy-efficient. This is just a rough guide, and it’s always good to check and adjust your lighting positioning as your seedlings develop over time. Another factor that may influence how far away you position your grow lights from your seedlings is the type of plant you are growing. You might need to place it either higher or lower, so it’s best to keep this in mind as well.
For the most part, grow lights are resistant to moisture, but you will want to pick carefully if you need an option for a room with a higher humidity level or a hydroponic harden. Some grow lights, like the SANSI 70W Plant Light, come with an IP66 rating, which certifies the product as both water and corrosion-resistant. It’s natural and necessary for you to spray your seedlings with water to speed up their growth, and this moisture resistance can help you avoid any problems with your product.
One of the best ways you can increase the efficiency of your grow lights for your seedlings is by exposing them directly to natural light. If you have a room in the house that you’re dedicating to growing your seedlings in, make sure that during the day, the curtains are pulled back, and that they receive as much sunlight as possible. Not only will this save you energy by not having your grow light on, but it will receive the proper nutrients that sunlight can provide for your plants. Another excellent way to increase efficiency is by building a DIY reflective enclosure within your area for seedlings. This is to help prevent light and energy from being wasted while ensuring that your seedlings are getting as much from the grow light as possible.
Now, we are ready to present to you our top three products.
Number one is our Editor’s Choice, the Venoya LED Grow Light. We love the overall quality and fantastic affordability of this grow light. It is a full-spectrum LED light with a very aesthetically pleasing design and low energy consumption.
Another wonderful product here is our Best Value pick, the Ankace Tri Head Grow Light. This three-headed lamp has a clip-on design and gives users 60 watts of power. It has a fantastic lifetime of 50,000 hours, and we love that it has 5 dimmable light settings at this price tag.
Lastly, our Premium Pick, the AeroGarden 45w LED Grow Light Panel is great for its versatility as it allows you to keep it in its standing position when the seedlings first start growing and then enables you to hang it once your plants are quite large. It’s no wonder why we’ve included this convenient model on our list of the best grow lights for seedlings.