Can You Use LED Strip Lights to Grow Plants

You’ve probably observed that some houseplants grow more successfully than others. And their location in the home or business is the cause of that. Because light assists in the process of synthesis, making them easier, plants do better when they are close to a source of light. 

All wavelengths of light are beneficial to plants. While white light is ideal, stronger hues can encourage plant growth in the absence of natural light. You might be wondering whether LED strips, which act as a substitute for sunshine, can be utilized to grow plants.

Can You Use LED Strip Lights to Grow Plants

And that is precisely what this guide aims to clarify. The queries and reality-based facts around the safe and efficient usage of LED grow lights, their installation style, and reviews are the main topics of this article. So let’s get started straight away.

Can Any LED Light Be Used As A Grow Light?

Unfortunately, not all LED light types can be utilized as grow lights. Scientifically speaking, using an LED light as a grow light is not advantageous even if that particular LED light is able to emit a wavelength that is suitable for plant needs. Despite the fact that these lights provide helpful radiation and wavelengths, they are not enough to promote healthy plant growth and development. Only a few LED lights are made to emit blue and red light at their maximum levels, which are ideal for growing plants.

There are many different models and varieties of LED grow lights on the market, and some are better than others since they can cover more ground and create light that is particularly tailored to the needs of plants. There are some other facts that determine whether can you use LED strip lights to grow plants or whether you should be more specific about that. 


For instance, The choice of LED grow light for the indoor grow room has a significant impact on the performance of vegetative plant growth, development, and production. Most common LED strips only produce 450 lumens per foot on average. Brighter strips, 5050 or higher, are required for lumen output beyond 2,000. They are substantially brighter than regular LED strips and more suited for plant development because they typically include three LED chips in one. 

These grow lights cost more than regular LED Strip Lights Therefore, it comes down to personal taste because investing once in proper grow light can guarantee improved plant development for years. Choosing the correct LED to grow light for indoor plant growth has several advantages, including efficacy, longevity, reduced heat, and efficiency. 

What Is The Difference Between A Grow Light And A LED Light?

There are some obvious differences between a grow light and regular LED light, which may help you to decide whether can you use LED strip lights to grow plants or whether you should get a grow light. Regular LED lights merely offer illumination. Despite the fact that LED lights have a longer lifespan and higher energy efficiency than incandescent bulbs. 

They are therefore a fantastic option for both domestic and industrial use. LED grow lights on the other hand cover a larger spectrum of blue and red light, which respectively encourage vegetative development and blooming. While normal LEDs do offer a color spectrum, they may not be as extensive as a grow light.

Difference Between A Grow Light And A LED Light

LED grow lights, for instance, require both blue and red light spectrums. While the red might encourage flowering, the blue enables your plant to undergo vegetative development. LED lights are widely accessible and reasonably priced. On the other hand, grow lights are pricey. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, illumination intensities, features, durability, power consumption and wattage, and coverage areas.

LED lights are significantly more energy-efficient and effective. On the contrary, grow lights use more watts and power than LED lights. Although grow lights can seriously harm eyes, LED lights have the finest attributes for eye safety. 

That aside, While grow lights have a specific spectrum and area of coverage, LED lights have a narrower spectral wavelength. Last but not the least, while grow lights are very useful to boost photosynthesis and output, LED lights do not assist photosynthetic activities. 

Reviews and scientific evidence have demonstrated that using more light does not result in increased photosynthesis, thus it is crucial to choose the optimal system for the demands of the plant.

What Kind of LED Lights Grow Plants?

Not every type of LED light is capable of making your plants grow. So, before purchasing/setting up any LED lights, make sure they have the following attributes which are mandatory for healthy plant growth-

Luminosity: Strip lights that have a level of around 2,000 lumens per square foot at least can be used to grow plants. Any lower than that are not capable of younger plants growing.

Color: Your LED light’s color also indicates whether can you use LED strip lights to grow plants or not. Violet-blue light promotes the uptake of chlorophyll, photosynthesis, and plant growth. Red light also encourages flower blooming and budding. 

LED lights are very useful in this situation. The majority of LED growth lights include both forms of color spectrum illumination, allowing you to fully enjoy all the advantages. Warm white LED light also can give you some benefits, but using white light alone will not work.

Color Temperature Scale

Wavebands: The human eye can see the light wavebands that are necessary for plant development. This range, which is measured in nanometers, spans from 380 nanometers to around 720 nanometers. The wavelengths of red and blue LED light are 690 and 450 nanometers, respectively. Studies have shown that photochemical efficiency peaks around 650 nanometers.

Temperatures: We need to replicate sunlight as much as possible in a confined enclosure because this is where seedlings and plants develop best. The ideal lights to use as grow lights are those that can produce temperatures between 2000 and 7000 kelvin.

Modern Lighting System: According to research, plants grow better and faster in the modern lighting system. They provide the exact spectrum and amount of light in the most appropriate way to ensure vegetative plant growth.  You can find these lights in stores that sell gardening tools and equipment online and offline. Some stores also offer free delivery to consumers. We recommend you buy online, this way you can check the product review before you make any purchase.

Do LED Strip Light Emit Enough Light for Photosynthesis?

In nature, plants rely on sunlight for growth and photosynthesis. But when they’re grown indoors, plants need to be kept in a place that very much resembles the natural environment and lighting. Plants that have already matured can survive with dimmer lighting without issues, as they don’t require strong initial sunlight that would trigger a seedling to start growing. But the younger plants do need artificial replication of natural sunlight. 

photosynthesis with LED Lights

For a healthy growth cycle, it is important to have lighting at a level of around 2,000 lumens per square foot at least. Most of the standard LED strips only emit around 450 lumens per foot which are greatly insufficient. For proper growth of your plants, you need brighter strips of 5050 or above. They are much brighter than standard LED strips and are better suited for plant growth.

How To Setup LED Strip Lights to Grow Plants

Before you set up your LED lights, you must take care of certain things to get the best optimal outcome and avoid risks. Such as-

Distance: LED lights are very bright and their intensity can damage your plants. if. So keep a proper distance between them depending on the size, age, and type of plant you’re growing. Keep a minimum distance of 4-6 inches (10-15 cm) between the seedlings and LEDs and don’t forget to move the LEDs up frequently as the plants grow.

As for foliage houseplants, keep a distance of 12-24 inches (30-60 inches). For hydroponic lettuce and herbs, keep 6-12 inches (15-30 cm) and for flowering houseplants, keep a distance of  6-12 inches (15-30 cm).

Location: When setting up your LED strips, look for a place where there is no water as well as any flammable objects. Also, keep them out of reach of children. Make sure to check them regularly and clean them if necessary.

Once you have taken care of these, follow the steps below to set up your LED strip light-

1. Cut the strip lights according to the parameters of the growing space of your plants. Make sure the light covers all of the areas. 

2. Remove the thin paper and mount the strip light to an aluminum surface. Aluminum is an excellent heat sink and protects plants from extreme heat. 

3. Attach solderless connectors to the strip lights and fix the stability issues by tying the wires with nylon ties or something similar to that. 

4. Finally, apply a silicone blob on the connections to make sure insulation on the panels.

What are the Advantages of Using LED Lights for Gardening?

You can enjoy some exclusive benefits if you use LED Lights for gardening. Some of them are the following-

1. LED lights can mimic sunlight more accurately than other artificial lights as they come up in a wide range of colors.

2. They produce far less heat than traditional types of grow lights. Thus your plants require less watering.

3. LED Lights are far more cost-efficient because they use less electricity and don’t need to be replaced as often as other types of bulbs.

4. They are a great solution to reducing your carbon footprint. It makes them the most environmentally friendly alternative.

5. When it comes to life span, LED lights are beyond comparison.

6. LED lights come up with the features of eye protection which other forms of light can not come up with.

Read also: Can You Cut LED Light Strips?

Frequently Asked Question

Can I use normal LED strip lights to grow plants?

Normal LED strip lights can not be used to grow plants unless they come up with some vital attributes which are necessary to grow plants. Primarily, growing plants require blue and red light emissions, and only a handful of LED lights are designed for maximized emission of these two lights. 
Also, you have to consider whether your LED is powerful enough for plants to photosynthesize or not. Growing plants requires lighting at a level of around 2,000 lumens per square foot at least. So make sure your LED supports that as well. And finally, make sure your LED has a properly working heat sink, otherwise, excessive heat can damage the plant.

What color LED lights help plants grow?

Plants grow best in natural sunlight. Sunlight creates a spectrum of yellow, white, red, blue, and violet. So you need LEDs that cover these spectrums. The most crucial colors for plants are white, blue, and red light. White is good for general plant growth. Red light helps with seed germination, flowering, and fruit production. 
Blue light is required for strong leaves and stems. Violet, yellow, and green light play vital roles too. Violet light can boost growth and may improve the flavor and aroma of some plants. Yellow light and green light contribute to photosynthesis (Although, they do not promote as much growth as red and blue light).

Final Words

LED strip lights can be used as your sole growing lights or part of a more complex setup. Their flexibility can be highly beneficial, allowing you more accurate control of your growth lighting position. With a full-color spectrum, you can be confident that plants will get everything they need, only if you know which one to purchase. 

You must get brighter 5050 strip lights if you want to increase your chances of success. These will cost more, but they will produce more lumens, which is essential for optimal seed germination and healthy growth. Hopefully, now you have an in-depth idea of whether can you use LED strip lights to grow plants.

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