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Can LEDs Grow Plants?

In an effort to become more aware of where our food is coming from, people these days are attempting to grow their food at home. In many ways, it can be both healthier and cheaper.

Are you interested in using LED string lights to grow plants in your own home? Keep reading below as we determine whether it’s possible.

LED Basics

First, let’s go over the basics of an LED light bulb.

The original light bulb was invented in the 1800s with the help of several inventors, including Benjamin Franklin. Since their creation, light bulbs have undergone many transformations – their adjustments and improvements have given us popular models such as the incandescent and filament. However, the newest and most promising light bulb of all is the LED.

LED light bulbs are similar in appearance to other light bulbs but they truly are the way of the future. They don’t have filaments like other light bulbs. Instead, they create light with the use of a diode. With the diode, the light bulb is able to produce a higher quantity of light with less heat and less energy. It’s a win-win!

Want to learn more about the light bulb history and how an LED works? Read our previous blog post here.

String lights as grow lights

Because they’re well known for their low heat and high energy efficiency, LEDs are the natural choice for grow lights. They are extremely versatile but to use an LED bulb as a grow light, you must have a specific style and color.


Not just any set of string lights will work as grow lights. So as tempting as it may be to grab those christmas lights out of the basement, you might want to think twice.

To use LEDs as grow lights, you need to have non-blinking ones. Continuously shining lights work best when trying to grow produce.


Color also plays a big part in grow lights. While it’s true that different colors promote different results in growth rate, it’s probably best to leave the multi-color string lights on the shelf. 

If you’re interested in learning more about the colors that affect plant growth, you can read this interesting article

Benefits of LED grow lights

If you do decide to try and grow plants with LED lights, you’ll be happy to know that there are plenty of benefits involved.

Energy efficient

As mentioned before, LED lights are extremely energy efficient. They use far less energy to produce the same amount of light as their counterparts and they don’t use any chemicals to do it. Because of this, your energy bills and your peace of mind will be positively affected.

Low heat

To create energy, you need some level of heat. However, LEDs use less energy to produce high quantities of light and this means that they produce minimal amount of heat. You won’t have to worry about your plants baking under the lights, they should be getting plenty of energy without the rising temperatures.


LEDs are able to create any light on the spectrum. That means that you’ll be able to purchase whatever color you need for growing purposes. Just remember that you can’t get multi-strings. The mix of color can be confusing to your plants and negatively impact their growth.


There’s a reason why string lights are normally made with LED light bulbs. This is because LEDs are extremely durable and can withstand bitter cold, high heat, and water. If they can survive an entire winter hanging onto the side of your home as Christmas lights, then you know they will do well indoors with your plants.


Lots of people enjoy using LEDs because they come with controllability features that a lot of other light bulbs don’t.

For example, LEDs can be controlled on dimmer switches and timers. This feature alone can be extremely useful when you’re growing produce. You can automatically set what time you’d like them to turn on during the day and you can control how much light they are producing – often straight from your phone!

 growing plants

Setting up grow lights

Now that you are aware of all the benefits of LED string lights, you’re probably wanting to know how to set them up for growing plants. If so, the answer is easy!

To use string lights, the most popular way to do it is to mount them on a hanging surface. You can purchase hanging kits and materials at your local hardware store on online at Amazon. If you’re creative, you can also try to make a DIY hanging system with Quik Clips and a Tracking System. It’s entirely up to you and whatever works best for your space.

Ask a professional

Want to learn more about LED string lights and their uses? That’s great!

At LED Lights Unlimited, we are dedicated to helping you with your vision. We offer a wide variety of LED string lights that can be used for any project, big or small.

Give us a call today, we look forward to hearing from you!

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