Do LED Grow Lights Work & Can You Use Regular LED?

Do LED Grow Lights WorkProviding proper light is One of the biggest challenges to grow plants indoor. Artificial Grow Light can be a good alternative of sunlight & I prefer LED. But the price of LED Grow Lights is a little bit high than any other household lights. So, I think everyone should know about some basic things before buying it like; Do LED Grow Lights work for growing plants, Can a regular light bulb help plants grow, Can any LED light be used as a grow light? etc.

Let’s Go!!

Do LED Grow Lights Work? 

Before answer “Do LED lights work for growing plants” directly, I want your attention to two reports from two reputed organizations.

Linda Herridge, Public Affairs Writer of NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center has published an article where she said, NASA has used LED Grow lights to grow leafy greens, a variety of flowering & fruit-bearing plants as an Experiments for Deep Space Missions.

In this report, NASA’s Postdoctoral Fellow, Gioia Massa, said, LED Grow Lights are efficient and versatile. Due to durability and long life, they are perfect for space missions where resupply of things from Globe is limited.

You can read the original article here.

The second one is a video from BBC Earth Lad. In this video, Liz Bonnin visits a research center in Yorkshire, where they are exploring how plants grow without natural light and the potential that it has for farming using LED Grow Light technology. Dr Phil Davis from Stockbridge Technology Centre explained clearly why LED, why not normal light bulbs. I will request you to see the video below.

Do you want the answer of “Do LED Grow Lights work for plants” from me? I believe you already get the answer.

If your lights are able to provide all light spectrum according to plant need obviously it will work for your indoor garden including Cannabis cultivation. All lights in the market are not quality-full so you will need to check features & specifications before buying it.

Many people are using LED Grow Lights to grow plants at home & commercially around the world. So, no doubt plants can grow under this light.

Can A Regular Light Bulb Help Plants Grow?

Incandescent lights are familiar as standard light bulbs. Some call them regular light bulbs and we all already have this in our homes (here are a bunch of examples on Amazon).

Can a regular light bulb help plants grow?

The short answer is yes; you can grow a plant with them, but it’s not the best idea. Incandescent light bulbs spectrum is concentrated on the warm (orange) light, so it is not perfect for foliage growth, which requires more bluish (cool) light.

LED Grow Lights are a little bit expensive. Regular bulbs are the cheapest option, so you may think these could be a great way to save money. But regular lights are inefficient & produce a large amount of heat.

You can use your hand to test this. Place the back of your hand for a minute where the plant is. If the light becomes too hot for your hand, it is likewise hot for the plant.

They are expensive to operate because they use more power to get the same output. So it’s not cost-effective in the long run.

Take a look at the following graphic.

Light Bulbs

A comparison of three types of light bulbs (incandescent, fluorescent, and LED) when used as grow light for plants. Regular/Incandescent bulbs use the most power, have a short lifespan, and provide the least amount of usable lights for plants.

For these reasons generally, we do not recommend using regular light bulbs for your plants.

Can You Use Regular LED Lights For Grow Lights?

Regular LED lights are more energy-efficient than other types of household light bulbs and relatively cheaper compared to LED grow lights.

So, do LED Lights work for plants?

The answer is YES, you can use any LED light to grow plants but they aren’t best to ensure robust growth and maximum yield of your plants.

LED technology is customizable so you will find different types of lights that fall into the “LED” spectrum including- LED spotlights, LED light bars, LED aquarium lights, LED grow lights, etc. Each serves a unique purpose and all are not ideal for indoor gardening. Because all of these light sources don’t produce the exact mix of red, blue, and other wavelengths preferred by your plants like sunlight.

Plants need different light spectrum for different growth stages. Some lights help for vegetative growth and others works for flowers and fruits. Normal LEDs can’t provide all light spectrum according to the requirements of plants. So you have to choose a quality LED plant Light for your garden.

Here’s a quick and straightforward visual representation of light bands including the importance of each light in plant’s life cycle.

LED Light Bulbs

Nowadays, many manufacturers produce a single LED panel that contains a full spectrum of colors, to support your plants in all stages of growth.

In spite of the high price than regular LED bulbs, Grow Lights are preferable to keep your indoor plants healthy. If you don’t have the budget right now, regular LED Light bulb is good instead of Incandescent lights.

Now you know the answer to, Can You Use Regular LED Lights For Grow Lights. You can observe your plant’s physical growth to know whether your regular LED lights can serve as grow lights.

How Do I Know That My Plants Are Getting Enough Light?

This might be a tricky question since the answer depends on what you are trying to accomplish. There are some different goals that people try to achieve with their grow rooms. I am going to focus on the most popular: increased yield.

Basically, you can know that your grow lights are working if your plants look overall healthy. Also, if they grow at the appropriate rate and if they start flowering when they’re supposed to. But, ultimately, you will know your plants are getting enough light if the yield is good and the fruits are healthy. If you have the knowledge and the resources, you can perform scientific tests on the leaves or fruits. This way, you will find out if they are healthy enough.  However, this is a beginner’s guide. You should only look for obvious signs of malnutrition to know that your plants aren’t getting enough light.

I believe, now you are more clear about using Regular Light Bulb or household LED for Grow Lights.

Also, check out:

What Is A Grow Light & How Do They Work?

Best LED Grow Lights Reviews 2024