A few decades ago, eating fresh homegrown tomatoes during the winter was impossible. Today, it’s no longer a pipedream.
Thanks to modern technology, you can now grow your tomatoes during any season of the year.
But to do that, you must choose a suitable grow light for your plants.
Not all grow lights are created equal, and searching for the best ones can be confusing.
This guide will show you three perfect grow lights for tomatoes (click here to jump directly to the list).
|OUR TOP PICK|
VIPARSPECTRA XS Series
Dimmer Control Switch
|CHECK PRICE ->|
|Kind K3 XL300||For Professional Growers|
|CHECK PRICE ->|
|Philzon COB 2000W||Double the coverage area|
Better light density
|CHECK PRICE ->|
Table of ContentsShow
What Makes A Grow Light Suitable For Tomatoes?
You’ll find hundreds of grow lights on the market today, but few will work well for tomatoes.
Two major features make a grow light suitable for tomato plants:
1) An Optimized Light Spectrum
Plants use specific frequencies of light that can fuel photosynthesis.
The combination of light that a plant needs will vary depending on the species. But the majority of plants mostly need blue and red light—and tomatoes are no exception.
Blue light is vital for your tomato plants’ vegetative phase—when they grow their leaves and stems. It can also increase the vitamin C content of your tomatoes.
A new study published in 2019 found that blue light increases the tomato plant’s mass and yield. It also saw that when the quantity of blue light rises above a specific limit, it becomes counterproductive.
Another study showed that tomato plants grown exclusively under blue light had a reduced rate of photosynthesis.
Blue light is necessary for the growth of your tomatoes but in moderate quantities.
Tomatoes need red light in larger quantities than blue light. Red light carries less energy than blue light, but plants use red light more efficiently.
All fruiting plants need an abundance of red light during their flowering phase, including tomatoes. The quantity and quality of flowers largely depend on the red light.
We know red light is vital to photosynthesis. But it plays another critical role. Red light makes tomato plants more resistant to disease and environmental stress.
When growing tomatoes, you need to ensure that the ratio of red to blue light is high.
Most grow lights made for flowering plants emit more quantities of red light than blue light. But they mainly emit low red light (below 700 nm on the spectrum) and little far-red light (above 700 to 750 nm).
Recent studies show that far-red light can enhance the yield of tomatoes. Unfortunately, you won’t find many grow lights that emit good amounts of far-red light.
Your tomato plants also need other light frequencies besides blue and red light.
Green light is not used efficiently by plants. Still, it plays an important role in their development.
In tomatoes, green light may increase plant height, leaf area, and rate of photosynthesis.
But, in large quantities, green light can adversely affect growth. So, a good grow light for your tomatoes should emit moderate to small quantities of green light.
Your tomato plants also need small amounts of ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) light.
UV light can improve the taste of tomato plants and make them more resistant to disease.
But IR light can increase vitamin C and sugar levels. It’s also necessary for flower formation.
In summary, you will need a full-spectrum grow light for tomatoes’ highest yield and quality. The light must emit variable quantities of blue, red, green, UV, and IR light.
2) High Intensity And Efficiency
Flowering and fruit formation are exhausting and energy-demanding processes for plants. So during the flowering phase, you have to give your tomatoes high amounts of energy.
That’s what many indoor gardeners fail to achieve. Why?
Because they use low-intensity grow lights. There are hundreds of those on Amazon, and they’re all useless for tomatoes.
Most low-intensity grow lights are tempting because they’re cheap. But they only work for low-light plants or as supplemental lighting.
Heavy-fruiting plants, such as tomatoes, need high-intensity grow lights. Those lights, especially efficient ones, make an excellent investment.
High efficiency is necessary when growing tomatoes, or else you’ll be wasting a good amount of money on energy.
So, the more efficient a grow light, the better—even if it will cost you more money.
Always remember that efficiency translates to cost-effectiveness. That is very important in indoor gardening.
Best Grow Lights For Tomatoes: Top Three List
Based on the above information, we found that the following grow lights are the best for tomato plants.
Viparspectra XS Series LEDs have all the basic features. They will help you grow your tomatoes efficiently.
Above all, they’re among the most affordable, high-intensity grow lights on the market. One of the more cost-effective lower models, the XS1500, has a life span of over 100,000 hours.
Viparspectra XS grow lights consist of top-notch Samsung diodes. Together, the diodes create a spectrum rich in blue, red, and green light.
The devices also contain a few 730 nm diodes. They emit far-red to infrared light, which boosts flower formation in your tomatoes.
Viparspectra XS lights have a dimmer, allowing you to control the intensity.
You can use the dimmer to customize each plant phase. Lower the intensity during the seedling and vegetative phases of your tomato plants. Then, you can increase it to the maximum during the flowering phase.
Such a feature will allow you to save money on your energy bill.
If it’s your first time growing tomatoes indoors, start with a low model, such as Viparspectra XS1500.
Viparspectra XS1500 can cover a 2’ x 2’ (0.6 x 0.6 m) growing area during the flowering phase.
Buy your Viparspectra XS1500 here.
Kind K3 XL300 LED is at least two-and-a-half times more expensive than Viparspectra XS1500. But it has a more optimized spectrum to account for it.
The high red-to-blue ratio of Kind K3 XL300 LED is perfect for tomato plants. Better still, this LED doesn’t emit large amounts of useless yellow light.
Kind K3 XL300 also puts out a significant quantity of far-red and infrared light.
This light ticks all the boxes when it comes to light quality. So, Kind K3 XL300 can maximize the yield of your tomato plants.
Another outstanding feature of this light is its secondary optical lenses. These lenses can boost light penetration.
High light penetration is essential for your tomato plants. It can increase their photosynthetic activity, making them grow more tomatoes.
Kind LED K3 XL300 is slightly less efficient than Viparspectra XS1500. But it has six cooling fans that will dissipate heat better.
It has a high price tag (check its price here). So, we recommend this light for professional growers looking for the best results.
COB lights are unique LEDs that have their diodes packed together. This design has several advantages over standard LED lights, including improved light density, spectrum, and light penetration.
There are several COB LEDs on the market, but some are wildly expensive.
One very affordable choice for tomato growers is Phlizon COB 2000W.
The device has a perfect spectrum for the entire life cycle of your tomato plants.
Phlizon COB 2000W is very bright. It has a coverage area of around 4′ x 4′ (1.2m x 1.2m), double that of Viparspectra XS1500.
The light is also very efficient, considering it uses cooling fans to dissipate heat.
Phlizon COB 2000W is more expensive than Viparspectra XS1500. But cheaper than Kind LED K3 XL300 (You can check its price here.)
Growing tomatoes indoors is very rewarding. Don’t hesitate to begin. Please choose one of our recommended grow lights, and start growing your own tomatoes at home!
Enjoy gardening indoors, and don’t forget to share your thoughts in the comments below!