Aquaponics Grow Lights – Best Types Of Aquaponics Grow Lights

Aquaponics Grow Lights

Many aquaponics gardeners set up an indoor system due to the cold climate outside or lack of garden space. Such a system is usually set in a basement, garage, or an additional room where direct sunlight could be insufficient. Thus, they need to use grow lights to ensure sufficient light to plants for their growth, as these lights offer an artificial gamut for accelerating photosynthesis.

Such lights are usually seen in areas where extra light is required or where there is a dearth of sunlight. For instance, in winter, the aquaponics grow lights that supply enough light for more hours for the growth of plants indoors. When set on a large scale, an aquaponics system can use these lights to replace the direct natural light completely. In several applications, these lights tend to outperform natural light.

More Needs that Trigger the Use Aquaponics Grow Lights

Aquaponics gardeners or practitioners have distinct needs. They usually grow a myriad of produce versus medicinal herb crops for which grow lights are ideal. However, to them, the idea of fine-tuning these lights by alternating between red and blue spectrums does not sound interesting. So, their first need is a hassle-free, full-spectrum light.

Their second need is cost-effectiveness, as they are energy conscious. This is perhaps due to their concern about sustainability and/or going off-grid. Third, these gardeners do not intend to spend much time knowing each detail of the lights, such as wavelengths and absorption sensitivity. They simply want to know the ideal lighting option, which will be more affordable as well as durable.

Best Types of Grow Lights

Based on the aforementioned needs, aquaponic practitioners have different types of lights to choose from. While there are many artificial lights to choose from, the following are the best types for top plant growth in your aquaponics system.

1. Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs)

These lights as bulbs are among the most energy-efficient options thronging the market. It is a myth that these lights do not help in plant growth. Instead, its full-spectrum ability makes these lights effective for aquaponics plant growth. You can use them 24 hours a day without any change in the temperature and consider them safer than other options due to the limited toxic wavelengths that dry plants. These bulbs are green options due to no toxic emissions such as mercury, have lesser intensity loss, and are durable to last long for years. You can place these bulbs farther from plants without affecting sufficient light transmission or consuming much energy. On the flip side, the LEDs are expensive, and you need some eye protection, as they can be harmful to the eyes.

led lights

2. High-Intensity Discharge (HID)

With an initial low cost, the HID lights are among the widely used grow lights after LEDs. You can set them as per your needs and budget. This is perhaps because their reflectors, bulbs, and ballasts are switchable. This also means that you can mix and match them as per your requirements. They work continuously for 24 hours a day to help your aquaponics plant grow. Just as LEDs, they are green and safer lights. However, on the flip side, you need to replace them every year that they emit more heat than other light options.

3. Induction

Aquaponics hobbyists also set up induction lights in their indoor systems. Just as LEDs, but unlike HIDs, these bulbs do not need replacement every year, and that their energy is more inclined towards the light spectrum that plants need and use than towards the production of heat. So, there is no production of much heat, less consumption of electricity, and quick starts and restarts only in milliseconds. In terms of price, these lights come in-between the LEDs and HIDs per square foot of exposure. On the flip side, the initial cost of these bulbs is high, unlike the HIDs. Still, one cannot ignore its contribution to the superb growth rate.

4. Compact Fluorescents (CFs)

These are the traditional bulbs, which are popular as the most economical lights for cultivating vegetables and herbs. They consume far less energy and last 10 times more than the standard incandescent bulbs already in use for lighting homes and are known to generate less heat. Thus, you can place them near plants and enjoy the benefit of energy efficiency.

5. Fluorescent Tubes

You are likely to come across two types of fluorescents, namely, CFs and fluorescent tubes. The latter ones are available in different intensities, are relatively more energy-efficient, and last longer than the incandescent bulbs. They are slim enough to fit into small corners. On the flip side, they need a ballast to control the current and a stand instead of a standard socket. Thus, their cost of installation is likely to be more than expected.


Aquaponics grow lights are indispensable for better plant growth indoors, no matter what you are cultivating and which technique you are using to do so. The best grow lights are LEDs, HIDs, induction lights, and fluorescents.

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