Did you know that microgreens are considered superfoods? If you haven’t planted yet microgreens seeds indoors, then now is the right time to do so.
Consuming microgreens regularly will improve your health and protect you against many diseases, including cancer and heart disease.
It is so easy to grow your favorite microgreens at home. You just need to provide a suitable environment and fulfill plant requirements—such as potting soil, water, air, and direct sunlight—to have thriving microgreens. In this article, we will be focusing on the light aspect, which is choosing a suitable grow light for you to grow microgreens indoors.
We did a comprehensive research to find the best grow lights for microgreens. Below you will find our top five list of microgreens lights. But before we talk about microgreen grow lights, let us first tackle the light needs of microgreens.
Light Needs of Microgreens
The right quantity and quality of light are key to the successful cultivation of microgreens at home.
Not any light can make your microgreens thrive, therefore choosing a suitable grow light for your plants is crucial.
Microgreens need good quantities of blue light and red light.
Blue light is important for the growth of plants’ foliage and stems, so it is vital for microgreens.
New research suggests that blue light can also increase the levels of antioxidants in microgreens.
Another study shows that red and green light can boost antioxidant levels in microgreens as well.
So, although red light is mainly required by flowering plants, microgreens will also enjoy good amounts of it.
Besides blue light, red light, and green light, microgreens can use some UV light. But in case you are growing your microgreens in the kitchen or the living area, it is recommended to avoid using grow lights that emit UV light. The grow lights listed below are all UV-free for that purpose.
To sum up, the spectrum of your microgreens light should be rich in blue light but should also contain good quantities of red light and green light.
As for the overall light quantity, microgreens will thrive under moderate to high light intensity.
The higher the light intensity your microgreens receive, the more flavor and nutrients they accumulate.
For that reason, the ideal light for microgreens should emit high quantities of light.
But it is important to note that very high light intensity can damage microgreens.
That means you need to keep enough distance between your microgreens and the grow lamp.
Not all grow light can work well for growing microgreen seeds. So we listed 5 of the best grow light that can work well with microgreens.
Best Microgreens Lights: Top Five List
1. Viparspectra V300
First on our list is the LED grow light Viparspectra V300. This LED light will work well with growing microgreens.
This LED light has an optimized light spectrum for microgreens that is very rich in blue light. The spectrum also has good amounts of red light and some green light.
Viparspectra V300 is a plug-and-play grow light that is very easy to use. You can hang it in the kitchen and grow your microgreens under it.
With a light output of around 200 μmol/s, Viparspectra V300 has a coverage area of around 3′ x 3′ (≈ 1m x 1m).
The overall light that Viparspectra V300 emits is purplish in color, a feature that makes it problematic for some growers.
But the device retails at a very affordable price and it is perfect for starters. So if you are just starting out or still testing the waters in indoor gardening, we recommend getting the LED grow light Viparspectra V300. You can get your Viparspectra V300 here.
2. MARS HYDRO TS 600 LED
Another grow light to consider when growing microgreen seed is the Mars Hydro TS 600. This grow light is perfect for microgreens and it is also easy to use.
The device is more efficient than Viparspectra V300.
Mars Hydro TS 600 has a light spectrum that is very rich in blue light, red light, and green light.
It has a coverage area of around 2′ x 2′ (0.6m x 0.6m), lower than that of Viparspectra V300.
The device emits a sunlike light that doesn’t dazzle the eyes. So, if you consider purple light unpleasant, this device is more suited for you.
Unlike Viparspectra V300, Mars Hydro TS 600 uses no cooling fans, and thus makes this device noise-free.
But you can’t control the light intensity or light spectrum of Mars Hydro TS 600. The design of the device is also somewhat unattractive. If the light intensity and design are not a major issue for you, then we suggest getting the Mars Hydro TS 600 to grow your microgreen plants.
That being said, Mars Hydro TS 600 is an affordable high-intensity grow light (you can check its price here) that will make your microgreens thrive at home.
3. Fluorescent Grow Lamps
With the rise of LEDs, fluorescent grow lamps are not a popular option when it comes to growing microgreens indoors, but they do still work well for microgreens.
In fact, the only reason we included fluorescent grow lamps in our list is that traditionally they are used by growers for microgreens growth and cultivation.
Most indoor growers have been cultivating their microgreens under high-output T5 fluorescent lamps.
T5 tubes are the most efficient fluorescent lamps.
Fluorescent lamps emit most of their light in the blue spectral range, so your microgreens will enjoy high quantities of blue light and green light.
One drawback of fluorescent lamps is that they are less efficient than LED grow lights and they emit more heat. Make sure there is enough ventilation or install a fan in your growing area to dissipate the heat. We don’t want cooked microgreen plants, do you?
Despite all that, fluorescent light is still effective in growing microgreens. Fluorescent is also very affordable.
One of the best brands of fluorescent light is VIVOSUN. They sell a full T5 fluorescent lamp fixture that fits 4 fluorescent bulbs and has a good coverage area (you can check its price here).
4. HLG 65 Quantum Board (QB)
Next on our list is the HLG 65 Quantum Board grow light. Most indoor plant growers use HLG Quantum Boards to cultivate heavy-flowering and fruiting plants, but one of the lower models, HLG 65 QB, is an excellent choice for microgreens.
HLG 65 QB uses 120 top-rated Samsung diodes that emit a very optimized spectrum of light for microgreens.
The device has a coverage area similar to that of Mars Hydro TS 600, but it has a higher efficiency rate.
HLG Quantum Boards are known for their high quality and durability.
However, HLG QBs need to be assembled by the customer, which is not a feasible option for everyone. Still, it is very easy to set up and there are also tons of tutorials online on how to install Quantum Boards.
That being said, HLG 65 QB is still an excellent light for microgreens plants. The grow light sells at a price higher than that of other grow lights on our list (check its price here), but with HLG, you get what you pay for.
If you are an experienced indoor plant grower, we recommend getting the HLG 65 QB. For beginners, a cheaper brand might be a good option for you.
5. GE PAR38 Grow Light Bulb (Balanced Spectrum)
GE LED grow light bulbs are perfect for indoor growers who are searching for more versatility.
These bulbs can fit in any lighting fixture of your choice, so you can get very creative using them.
PAR38 lamps are the highest intensity grow light bulbs manufactured by GE Lighting, but they are still far less intense than other LED lights mentioned here.
One PAR38 grow light lamp has a coverage area of around 8″ x 8″ (20cm x 20cm), so you need more than one LED bulb to grow a good quantity of microgreens.
GE PAR38 grow light (with a balanced light spectrum) puts out even quantities of blue, green, and red lights.
Those GE bulbs are very cheap (you check their prices here on Amazon), but you need a fixture to run them.
Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations to learn how to use these bulbs with your microgreens.
Growing microgreens indoors is a very rewarding activity, so don’t be reluctant to start. Microgreens are a superfood and now is the right time to start growing them in your indoor garden.
But remember that it is important to choose a suitable grow light for your plants. Don’t fall for the temptingly cheap grow lights that are found everywhere on the market. Not all LED grow lights or fluorescent lights will work well in growing microgreen seeds. Make sure to pick one that will work well with your plants.
What grow light will you be using to grow your microgreens? Will you be using a LED grow light or fluorescent bulb? Do you have a personal favorite? Share your thoughts and suggestions in a comment below.