Who doesn’t love a fresh herb? If you love to cook, chances are you are getting your supply of herbs from the supermarket. Why not have your own indoor plant garden made entirely out of herbs?
If you are growing indoors, your plants may lack the natural sunlight they need. So, you’ll need the help of grow lights to fulfill the light requirements of indoor plants.
There is so much confusion on the internet surrounding indoor gardening. Choosing the best grow lamp for herbs can be daunting, especially for beginners in indoor gardening.
There are a variety of famous brands of grow lights. And there exist hundreds of contradicting opinions on each one of them.
People spend hours online trying to figure out which grow light to buy for their herbs. Often, they end up end up becoming more confused and then indecisive.
But don’t you worry. We will help you pick the best grow lamp to start growing herbs indoors. This article will list some great choices and their pros and cons.
|Mars Hydro TS 1000||Check Price ->|
|HLG 65 V2 Quantum Board||Check Price ->|
|Viparspectra 600W LED||Check Price ->|
|Click & Grow Smart Garden||Check Price ->|
|Relassy LED Fixture||Check Price ->|
|Roleadro 75W||Check Price ->|
|GE PAR38 Lamp||Check Price ->|
Notes To Keep In Mind Before Buying A Grow Light For Herbs
We will look at the list of the best grow lights for herbs. But first, here are some essential points. It would be best if you think of these tips before choosing a grow lamp:
Most Herbs Need Less Light Intensity Than Other Plants
Most herbs do not need as much light intensity as fruiting and heavy-flowering plants.
So to make this list shorter, we won’t include any grow lights that emit a very high light intensity. Gardeners mainly use high light intensity grow lights to grow Most, vegetables, etc.
Instead, we will focus more on grow lights that emit moderate amounts of light. These grow lamps are suitable for growing your herbs indoors, allowing them to thrive at home.
You Get What You Pay For
Grow lights can come at different price ranges. Some are for expert growers with lights in the high-end of the spectrum. Others are mid-ranged, and some lights are cheap.
When you buy a grow light, you are paying for results. As they say, you get what you pay for.
Avoid cheap brands. These will generate too much heat and consume too much electricity. They will also produce a very low amount of beneficial light.
We’re not telling you to buy the most expensive grow light on the market. You’ll see below that some of the best grow lights for herbs are very affordable for the home grower.
Price doesn’t always mean it is a good grow light for your herbs. You need to factor in the quality and the quantity of light it produces to ensure it will be adequate for indoor herb growth. You don’t want to buy an expensive grow light that doesn’t work well with your herbs, do you?
Don’t Focus Much on Watts
With grow lights, common units can be very confusing. This is because manufacturers and retailers use them incorrectly, for advertising purposes.
In our review, we will focus on the actual number of watts the lamp consumes. This will help us to assess its power consumption and efficiency. We will look at several other features and specifications to determine how good the light is.
The PAR Output Determines Quality
PAR stands for photosynthetically active radiation. It is the frequency of light your plant needs to go through photosynthesis. Any frequency of light that isn’t in the PAR region of the spectrum cannot benefit your herbs.
The higher the amount of PAR, the bigger your herbs will grow (there’s a certain limit, of course). So, PAR output is a better measurement of the quality of light than lumens. Lumens only tell us how bright the light is.
Researchers studied this idea. Concerning the number of watts consumed, the PAR output shows how optimized the grow light is for plants.
We can assess the PAR output of a lamp by measuring PPF (μmol/s) or PPFD (μmol/s/m2). Learn more about growing plants with lights.
If you want to take your indoor gardening to the next level, we recommend getting a lux or a PPFD light meter. This tool is optional, but it can really help you out. It will measure the intensity and quality of light your plants are receiving. The meter works with natural light or artificial light sources.
Owning a light meter can also help you if you want to grow other plants indoors besides herbs.
LEDs Are the Best Grow Lights for Herbs
We will focus on LED light because it is more efficient than all other grow lamps, such as fluorescent light. An LED grow light consumes less electricity and emits more PAR.
Also, LED lamps generate very little heat. They have a wide coverage area due to their strong lighting footprint. (The lighting footprint is the area the light can illuminate at a certain distance.)
LEDs last for a long time and degrade at a slower rate than fluorescent lights. So, you can choose to change T5 fluorescent tube or fluorescent bulb every so often. But one LED fixture will allow you to grow herbs for many years. It’s your choice
The worst thing about some LEDs is that their light can be too colorful for some people. Recently, many brands have come up with optimized LED grow lights. They emit light closer to natural light.
You Can Use Grow Lights to Supplement Sunlight (Supplemental Lighting)
Your indoor herbs may already receive some hours of natural sunlight a day. In that case, you might not need powerful grow lights, such as the first three grow lights on our list.
Instead, you can use grow lights that emit moderate to low light intensity. They would be a better choice to supplement sunlight.
For example, your full-sun and partial-sun herbs may only receive two to four hours of sunlight daily. You can give them 12-16 more hours of low-intensity artificial light.
Grow Lights For Herbs: The Top List
Here is our final list of the best grow lights for herbs. Remember, we’ve spent a vast amount of time on this project. We inspected and compared all the most popular LED grow lights in indoor gardening.
1. Mars Hydro TS 1000
First on our list of the best LED grow lights is the Mars Hydro TS 1000. Of all the grow lights we reviewed and tested, Mars Hydro TS 1000 is hands down the best LED grow light for herbs.
Under this light, you can grow any species of herbs, including full-sun ones, such as sage and chamomile.
Mars Hydro TS 1000 is a very flexible device, suitable for all the various stages of a plant’s life cycle.
The PAR output of Mars Hydro is around 350 μmol/s. This output is enough for all herbs, including the highest light-demanding ones.
To better understand how powerful this grow light is, let us look at its PPFD measurements. Here are the PPFD values of Mars Hydro TS 1000 at 18 inches (45 cm) above the herbs.
High-light herbs need no more than 200 μmol/m²/s for 14-16 hours a day to thrive. And it seems, Mars Hydro TS 1000 can get the job done.
Keep in mind that, for the vegetative stage, the recommended coverage area of the light is around 3′ x 3′ (0.9m x 0.9m). The recommended distance from the plant is 18 inches (45 cm).
Mars Hydro consumes only 150 watts, and its efficacy rate is remarkably high (around 2.3 μmol/J). Gardeners consider a grow light with a PPF efficacy rate above 2 μmol/J super-efficient.
Mars Hydro doesn’t use any cooling fans to eliminate the heat generated by its diodes. The engineers based its heat dissipation system on the function of the aluminum heat sink that covers its LED board.
Aluminum has a high thermal conductivity, allowing it to absorb all the heat produced by the LEDs. We call this heat dissipation system “passive cooling,” and most modern LED grow lights rely on it.
The Mars Hydro TS 1000 grow light has a life span of 50,000 hours (like most other grow lights). It also has a three-year warranty.
The device retails at a very affordable price (you can check it here). For that reason, it is a very suitable option for both amateur and pro indoor gardeners alike.
2. HLG 65 V2 Quantum Board
They are perfect for any type of plant, including your indoor herbs.
The manufacturers make HLG QBs of top-rated Samsung LM301H LED chips.
Because of that, they have optimized LED light spectrums and a high efficacy rate. The PPF efficacy of a quantum board is around 2.5 μmol/J, higher than Mars Hydro.
HLG QBs also dissipate heat amazingly well, using high-quality aluminum heat sinks.
There are many models of HLG QBs, and most of them are DIY, which means you need to assemble the light yourself.
But don’t you worry. Setting up the HLG QB is easy. You can also find a lot of tutorials online that will show you how to put together an HLG Quantum Board.
As an herb gardener, you’ll find HLG 65 QB (DIY) very suitable for you.
It has a PAR output of around 156 umol/s. That’s lower than that of Mars Hydro TS 1000, which means it has a smaller coverage area, approximately 2′ x 2′ (0.6m x 0.6m).
HLG 65 QB is very affordable (check its price here). We highly recommend it for herb growers.
3. Viparspectra 600W LED
The third grow light on our list is Viparspectra 600W. This LED grow lamp is an affordable and adequately intense grow light.
Viparspectra 600W LED is an elegant lighting fixture. It puts out a full light spectrum pink-colored light.
The average PAR output of this device is around 350 μmol/s. So, the device is as intense as Mars Hydro TS 1000.
If you’re using Viparspectra 600W, heed this advice. Place your most-light demanding herbs at the center of the coverage area. Arrange those needing less light at the edges.
The recommended coverage area of Viparspectra 600W is around 3′ x 3′ (0.9m x 0.9m) at a hanging height of 18 inches (45 cm).
The device consumes a pretty high amount of electric power. Its power consumption is around 276 watts and its PPF efficacy is around 1.5 μmol/J.
So, if you’re looking for a very efficient grow light, Viparspectra is not the best choice for you.
Viparspectra has two Veg and Bloom switches. These switches let the indoor gardener control the quality of the light emitted by the device. You’ll find this necessary during different stages of plant growth.
To keep your leafy herbs in the vegetative growth phase, turn the Veg switch on and keep the Bloom switch off. This feature will also allow you to reduce the power consumption of the LED device.
Most grow lights rely either on aluminum heat sinks or cooling fans to remove heat. Viparspectra, however, uses both.
The cooling fans of the device are silent, but as you may have guessed, they need electricity to operate. That’s why we call this method of heat dissipation “active cooling.” A fan may be a good addition to a grow light. But that also means you’ll need extra juice to power this LED lamp.
The life span of Viparspectra 600W is 50,000-100,000 hours and has a three-year warranty.
Viparspectra 600W price is comparable to Mars Hydro TS 1000 (you can check its price here).
4. Click & Grow Smart Garden
Click and Grow is not entirely a grow light. Instead, it is more like a smart herb planter or portable herb garden. It’s equipped with smart techy features, such as a self-watering system and LED grow lamp.
With Click & Grow Smart Garden, you can grow many types of herbs. That list includes including rosemary, basil, cilantro, parsley, and more.
The Smart Garden is a self-watering optimized indoor garden. It uses automatic lighting, watering, and feeding system to grow herbs.
It is pretty simple to set up and use the device. This is why experts consider Click & Grow the perfect choice for people who want to grow herbs without much effort.
The LEDs of the Click & Grow Smart Garden only consume 8 to 13 watts of power. They’re not anywhere near as intense as Mars Hydro or HLG QBs. To our surprise, they’re very convenient for herbs. This convenience has to do with the fact that they’re situated close to the growing plants.
The two primary models of the Smart Garden vary according to how many plants they can grow. You can grow up to three herbs with the smaller model and up to nine herbs with the larger one.
You may want an instant, hassle-free way to grow an indoor herb garden. In that case, the Click & Grow Smart Garden will be your best option.
Click & Grow Smart Garden 3 retails at a price lower than Mars Hydro and Viparspectra (check its price here).
5. Relassy LED fixture (Supplemental Lighting)
Another way to grow plants indoors well is with the help of a Relassy LED fixture. This LED light is a flexible and optimized supplemental LED grow lamp for herbs. The company makes them with adjustable and separate LED bulbs.
The LED bulbs of this device emit a bright, full light spectrum. That spectrum resembles the color of natural sunlight.
The PPFD output of each LED bulb is around 90 μmol/m²/s at 12 inches from the plants. Using the unit as a supplemental grow light for high-light and medium-light herbs is best.
Relassy consumes 25 watts of electric power. And although we don’t know its exact PPF efficacy, we are aware that the device is highly efficient. That’s considering t its relatively high PPFD measurements.
This unit is very flexible, and it’s used for many purposes. For that reason, there’s no recommended coverage area for this fixture.
The Relassy LED is the cheapest grow light on our list (check the price here). It’s perfect if you want something cheaper for testing purposes. It is also ideal if you just need supplemental lights. In those cases, the Relassy LED light is your best bet.
6. Roleadro 75W (Supplemental Lighting)
Roleadro 75W is one of the best supplemental lights for herbs and one of the most popular grow lights on Amazon.
The company composes the Roleadro 75W of red light and blue light LEDs. Together, they emit a full light spectrum.
The PAR output of the device is around 50-60 μmol/s. For this reason, Roleadro 75W should be used as a supplemental grow light for herbs.
The grow light coverage area can reach 2′ x 2′ (0.6m x 0.6m) at a hanging height of 12 inches (30 cm).
The electric consumption of this device is extremely low. It only draws 25 watts of power and its PPF efficacy is around 2 μmol/J.
Roleadro 75W sports no cooling fans and only depends on an aluminum heat sink to dissipate heat.
It retails at a very reasonable price on Amazon compared to other advanced grow lights (You can check its price here).
7. GE LED Grow Light Bulbs (Supplemental Lighting)
Last on our list—but not least—are GE LED bulbs.
The GE grow light LED bulb is on our list for one significant reason: versatility.
A GE grow light bulb can fit in any lighting fixture of your choice. You can use GE grow light bulbs with floor lamps, table lamps, wall lamps, etc. It’s just like your ordinary LED bulb.
That means you can be creative with those lights.
There are several types of GE lamps you can choose from.
GE Balanced Spectrum BR30 lamp is the brand’s most popular grow light. It can provide enough light for individual medium-light herbs.
GE BR30 bulbs draw nine watts of electric power, which is very efficient.
Keep in mind, you can’t get a very high yield from your plants using GE BR30 bulbs.
If you’re growing light-demanding herbs and want to achieve better results, use GE PAR38 bulbs. It is preferable over the BR30 bulbs.
GE PAR38 lamps generate triple the intensity of BR30 lamps. Because of that, they produce much better results.
Both PAR38 and BR30 GE LED bulbs are inexpensive and last for a very long time (25,000 hours).
Remember, although the bulbs are cheap, you also need to purchase a lighting fixture to be able to run them.
So there you have it. There are over a thousand choices out there on the grow light market. And we’ve narrowed your list down to the seven of the best grow lights for your indoor herbs.
No grow light is perfect. Each one has its pros and cons. It really depends on the consumer, on what they are after and what they expect from a grow light.
With all these awesome features, you can go all out with the expensive grow lights. Or you can settle with an affordable grow. You can use it as a supplementary light. It’s also a great fit if you are still testing the waters in indoor herb gardening.
So, what is your choice for the best grow light for herbs? Do you have a personal favorite that we haven’t included in the list? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.