Blue LED grow lights are not the best choice for vegging.
Plants in the vegetative stage love blue light, that is true. But they don’t want only blue light.
They do much better if they are also getting light in every other color, especially red. They want: mostly blue, a good amount of red, and some of every other color.
In other words: a full-spectrum light.
So what are blue lights good for then?
Well, they do work for vegging. They’re just not ideal. The same goes for seeding.
Apart from the first light listed below, which includes some white diodes and thus has light in every color, blue LED panels and bulbs are best used as supplemental lighting.
That is their strength.
If you have a primary light that is mostly red, these blue fixtures are a great way to increase the blue light hitting your plants.
Red-heavy fixtures are often used for flowering. By providing some additional blue light during the vegging stage, you can give your plants better light for that stage, without having to get a whole new lighting fixture.
These blue LED fixtures are all extremely inexpensive, making them a nice, cheap way to boost plant growth.
But you do have to make sure you get a good one. Many of the options out there are completely useless. That’s why I’ve narrowed them down to the best few.
Let’s take a closer look at those lights.
Blue Spectrum LED Grow Lights: Comparison Table
|ToPlanet 75w Panel|
|1500 lm||9.4 / 10||$$|
|ABI Blue LED Bulb|
|450-460nm blue||not given||9.2 / 10||$$$|
|Yescom Blue Panel|
|450nm blue||2475 lm||8.9 / 10||$$|
|HiGrow Blue Bulb|
|450-460nm blue||1046 lm||9.0 / 10||$$$|
|Miracle LED Bulb|
|475nm blue||1900 umol|
|7.8 / 10||$|
How Does Blue Light Affect Plant Growth?
Before we get to the individual reviews, I wanted to briefly explain what blue light does for plants. This post has a more in-depth explanation of the effect of different colors of light on plants.
Blue photons drive the photosynthetic reaction and blue light regulates the opening of stomata. Those are minuscule openings on that leaves that control water loss carbon dioxide intake.
The most important function for our purposes is that blue light suppresses extension growth. This results in shorter plants with thicker, bushier leaf growth. Without blue light, plants will stretch and grow spindly and weak.
Best Blue LED Grow Light: Review Of The Top 5
These are the top 5 blue spectrum LED grow lights currently available. I’ll begin with the best panel (and also the best overall), and then follow with the best bulb. After that, I’ll give a great alternative for each and finally, a smaller (and more budget) bulb.
Best Blue LED For Seedlings: ToPlanet 75 Watt Blue/White LED Grow Light
There is one big reason why I recommend this 75 watt LED panel from ToPlanet for seedlings over all other blue LED lights and you can probably see it in the photo.
It is the color spectrum. Instead of only using blue diodes (460 – 465 nm), it mixes in white ones as well. The white diodes have a color temperature of 12,000 K, meaning they are very heavy in blue spectrum light.
Using extremely cool white LEDs is a great choice. It means even more blue light, but you also get some light in every color, which is better for plants than just having blue light. In total, there are 91 blue diodes and 78 white ones.
As a result, this is a light that can stand on its own, in addition to being a great supplemental light. It is not extremely powerful, with a power draw of only 35 watts and an output of 1500 lumen, but that is plenty of power for seedlings. Plus, it is more than most competing lights and you really can’t expect more power at such a low price, to be honest.
A nice bonus of the low power is low heat. No fans are necessary to keep the fixture cool, the aluminum construction dissipates the little heat generated just fine. That means the light runs silent.
The TopPlanet 75 watt blue LED light panel is rated for 50,000 hours of use and comes with a one year warranty. It has the following certificates: CE, FCC, ROHS. It is not only my top rated blue light for seedlings, but my top rated blue LED grow light overall.
- Great spectrum with mix of blue and 12,000K white diodes
- Great output of 1500 lumen
- 50,000 hour rated lifespan
- Only a 1 year warranty (to be expected, though, given the low price)
Best Blue LED Grow Light Bulb: ABI True 24 Watt Blue LED Bulb
The 24 watt blue blue from ABI is the best blue LED grow light bulb on the market. It rates above the other good choice further down this page, because it is more powerful, though it may not seem like it at first glance. And also for honesty and quality.
This bulb is 24 watts and that one is 36 watts, so how is this one more powerful?
Because 24 watts is the actual power draw, while the other bulb below has an actual draw of 20 watts. In general, the 2 bulbs are very close, but I gave this one the edge in power and in being honest about that power.
Instead of calling their bulb a “45 watt” light, like most Chinese brands would, they call it a 24 watt light, because that is the actual power consumption. That kind of honesty should be rewarded, especially in an industry where it is exceedingly rare.
But honesty isn’t the only thing ABI has going for them. They also make a great little bulb.
It screws right into any standard light socket (E26), so you can use it in an existing lamp fixture you may already own. The diodes emit a blue light with a wavelength from 450 to 460 nm.
The reason this bulb is able to get more power than most competing bulbs is an integrated ball-bearing cooling fan. It runs quiet, but keeps the temperature down, which makes it possible to get more power into a bulb this size than usual.
The ABI bulb is assembled in the USA from quality components. It is rated for 50,000+ hours of use and comes with a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty.
- Works in any standard light socket (E26)
- High output for a LED bulb (with a 24 watt power draw)
- Assembled in the US from high-quality components
- 3 year warranty
- ABI does not provide lumen or PPDF info
Thinnest Blue LED Light Panel: Yescom Blue Ultra-Thin LED Grow Light Panel
The Ultrathin 225 LED Panel from Yescom is the thinnest grow light I’ve ever seen, apart from strip lights. That makes it a great choice for supplemental light. I would not use it as a standalone fixture, though.
The main reason for that is the limited spectrum. As the only light source, you’d want some light in every color, not just blue. Even for seeding. For that reason, I recommend the first fixture listed above if you are looking for a standalone seeding light.
But if you’re looking to supplement an existing light with some additional blue light, this fixture will do just that. And its small size gives it some more flexibility than the first fixture on this list.
This light only draws 22 watts, but has a lumen output of 2475. That gives it more output than the first fixture, but this light has no lenses, so the light is not as focused and won’t penetrate as deeply into the canopy. That said, canopy penetration is not a strong point of any of these lights, nor is it something you’d expect in a supplemental light.
The 225 diodes on this panel emit a blue light with a wavelength of 450 nm. The panel has a rated lifespan of 50,000 hours. Yescom does not provide a warranty. The same fixture is also available with white diodes, instead of blue. Using the two in combination could be a great idea, depending on the kind of light your plants are already getting.
- Great output for only 22 watt input
- Ultra-thin and light weight
- 50,000 hour rated lifespan
- No warranty
Great Alternative LED Bulb: HiGrow 36 Watt Blue LED Grow Bulb
The ABI bulb reviewed above is my favorite, but this 36 watt blue bulb from HiGrow is a close second. My main issue with this bulb is the fact that it only draws 22 watts of power, not 36 as stated, and it is lower quality.
Obviously I know that every Chinese brand (and many US brands) follows this naming convention that is best referred to as “lying”, but ABI does not. I like that.
Either way, the ABI bulb is more powerful than this one, though they do not provide any actual output data, unfortunately.
HiGrow does provide some data, which states that their blue bulb gives you 1046 lumen of light. It uses 18 all-blue 2w Bridgelux/Epileds diodes with a wavelength of 450 to 460 nm. 90° lenses focus the light downward into a more intense beam.
Like the ABI bulb, this one also screws into any standard E26/E27 light socket. Unlike that bulb, this one does not have a fan, but uses 0603 aluminum heat sinks. They work well, but without the fan, this bulb can’t quite generate the same type of power as a fan would allow.
This bulb is made from lower quality components than the ABI bulb (plus it’s assembled in China), so you can expect a bit of a higher failure rate (i.e. your chances of getting a bad bulb are slightly higher), which is another big reason I prefer the ABI bulb. That said, HiGrow give do you a 1 year warranty and a 30 day money back guarantee.
- Screws into any standard E26/E27 light socket
- Rated lifespan of 50,000 hours
- 1 year warranty and 30 day money back guarantee
- Lower power than the ABI option
- Lower quality components than the ABI bulb
Best Budget Blue LED: Miracle LED 100 Watt Starter Bulb
The Miracle LED Grow Lite Growth Starter bulb is a bit different from the other lights on this list. It looks exactly like a standard incandescent lightbulb.
Naturally, it screws into any standard socket (just like the two LED bulbs above). Where it differs is the price. Those bulbs are cheap. This one costs even less.
Miracle LED claim this bulb can replace a 100 w bulb while only consuming 9 watts. I’m not sure what they mean by 100w, but I’m guessing it must be a 100w incandescent bulb and not fluorescent.
As you can probably imagine, a light that only uses 9 watts is not super powerful. That said, the Amazon listing says it emits 1900 umol.
Honestly, that is ridiculous. They don’t say what height that was measured at, but no matter how close you get to this bulb, no good PAR meter is going to read 1900. That figure is nowhere to be found on the Miracle’s own site, so I have no idea where the Amazon seller pulled that from.
Bottom line: this bulb is fairly dim and easily the least powerful on this list.
Due to the lower output, I doubt this light would be very effective as a seed starter, despite the claims. It could work for a couple of seeds in the same pot directly below the light, but not for a substantial amount of seeds. For that, the first light on this list is much better suited. And it really doesn’t cost too much more.
That light also has a better spectrum, thanks to the white diodes. This Miracle LED light emits only one wavelength: 475 nm, which is blue.
Miracle LED provide a one year warranty. Since the bulb is so cheap, you could get a bunch of them (ideally some blue, some white, some red) and use them in combination. Added up, they could be effective, similar to how you’d use a number of CFL bulbs to grow a single plant.
- Low price
- Low power usage
- Extremely lightweight
- Runs cool
- Low output
- Less power than the fixtures above
- Only a 1 year warranty (to be expected, though, given the low price)