Best Grow Light For Beginners in 2020

A close-up look to the best grow light for beginners: Roleadro 75W

Interested in buying a grow light in order to make your indoor herbs thrive? If you are unlucky enough to live in a country with few hours of sunlight or your house does not have good south faced window this is a need more than a choice. However, the market is flooded with a massive number of grow lights of different prices and features making extremely hard to pick one. 

Although there is not one lamp fits all needs if a friend of mine, starting indoor gardening with a few potted herbs, is running to the shop and would ask me to suggest him a model I would go for the Roleadro 75W with Red Blue light (check here the price in Amazon).

Many are the reasons for this choice, and although the price is important, it is not the only reason. Let’s dive in!

LED Technology for Low Electricity Bill

This lamp adopts LED technology. This is by far the most efficient that exist in the market as you can also read (if you want more detail) in a previous article I wrote on the subject. Hence, a significant advantage will be on your electricity bill.

This lamp provides massive savings on your electricity bill compared to another grow light technology (around 50% compared to a fluorescent or 25% compared to a high-pressure sodium lamp) as also discussed in one of my previous article.

LED Technology For A Boosted Growth

Plants evolved for millions of years by producing food through light. Hence it is not surprising that they can selectively use it. More precisely, if the light the plant receive can be decomposed in the rainbow colors (as explained better in this article) any plant use mainly red and blue light. The red component is used for flowering while blue light for the vegetative state. Both are an important component for the healthy growth of your herb.

The Roleadro 75W is equipped with an interesting 169 single LEDs, some of them (52) producing blue light while others (117) red light as shown in the picture below. Even in the unlucky case, few LED goes off, this will affect only very marginally the effectiveness of your lamp, while in case of fluorescent of high pressure you have only one bulb. If it gets damaged you lose your lamp.

This also explains better while the LED light is so efficient, they can specifically produce only the colour that your herb needs, without focusing too much on the other components.

Here you can notice the adapter (the white box at the bottom) and a bit of the hanger (below the grow light)

It Will Last For Many Years

This lamp presents lifespan of 50.000 hours that, assuming usage of 12 hours/daily this implies more than a decade of light! This is in line with a higher spec lamp (in the range of $50-100) although you need to know that the top ones have a lifespan of 100,000 hours. 

Moreover, as this was not sufficient, the manufacturer provides a 30 months warranty on such a product, making such relatively cheap purchase even more secure in the remote case you do not like the product.

Large Coverage Area and Very Light-Weight

You can very similar grow light from the same manufacturer of lower size. However, I do recommend a (wattage) of 75W because it has an interesting coverage area (this indeed depends on the wattage) of around 1 to 2m2 (depending on the light requirement of your herb, in general low, so for herbs we are close to 2m2 surface) if installed at around 0.3-1m from the canopy. Such coverage area will allow you to grow a significant amount of potted herbs!

Normally, grow light of such size (a square of 27cm or 11 inches) is equipped with noisy and heavy fans making the whole lamp heavier and bulky. This is not the case for such grow light that presents a passive aluminum system to dissipate heat.

This means a lower electricity bill due to the absence of fan, a reduce noise, very light (less than a kilogram) less part that can get broken and so more durable. Indeed, a broken fan, for a grow light equipped with it, can make the entire light unusable (even if the lights are OK) because the heat can damage the internal circuitry and the source of light (in this case the LEDs) itself.

This lamp is meant to be hanged on top of your herbs. However, this is not a problem as provided with the hanger hook. What you need to provide is support for such a hook. Here plays your creativity. Some, a bit more into gardening, might place within a tend (equipped with such hook). Other DIY (that I used at the beginning) might be using two chairs, and between them place a small plastic tube horizontally from which you can hang your grow light.

The back of the grow light, important for dissipation and the hanger hook

You can look for any type of support in your house as this grow light is very light-weight so it is unlikely to do damage. The only solution I do not recommend is to glue the back of the grow light on a surface. Some people did it but the back of the lamp gets a bit hot as designed to dissipate heat. So such solution will prevent an effective dissipation to take place potentially damaging/reducing the lifespan of the grow light.

Other People Tried It and They Are Satisfied

Around the web, I also read very good things about this grow lamp. A whopping 700+ positive review (4+ stars) in the USA Amazon is definitely a sign of a great product. Indeed, grow lights are not devices that everyone buys or is interested to. Indeed, most of the grow light, if not for few exceptions as this one, have only a dozen, up to a hundred reviews, definitely not 700+.

Price: What You Are Looking First

At the moment this light has a price of around $30 (£20 in the UK) that is the equivalent of around 10 Starbucks coffee! Although $30 dollars might sound a lot for a “lamp” do not forget that is a concentrate of technology and similar lamp, with the same spec, might easily cost 40-50% more.

a price of around 10 Starbucks coffee

Moreover, more expensive devices (that at this stage you do not need) can cost easily $170-200. So grow light, in general, are relatively expensive devices in general and find a pearl like this one for less than $30 is definitely a yes from my side.

You Need Also to Know The Cons

Nothing is perfect, and although I like this grow light, it is my job to write a neutral review detailing also less positive aspects. However, I want to stress the point that these to me are very secondary aspects, and I will explain to you why so to guide even better your choice for a grow light.

Lifespan: the highest quality LED lights can reach a lifespan of 100,000 hours while this one has “only” 50,000. However, I want to remember that this is not a problem as you do not need those expensive pieces of equipment for one simple reason.

You are starting out on indoor gardening with grow light and very likely, once you get used to and increase your knowledge on the topic you might probably want to scale up or go for a more sophisticated buy. Hence, no point in the over-complicated (and overspending) model. Moreover, 10+ years is a very respectable lifespan.

Timer: This lamp does not come with an incorporated timer. However, this is not at all an issue. Indeed, if you do not want to manually turn ON/OFF the light daily, for a timer.

There are many in the markets and the majority are good enough for such a simple task. However, this one Amazon) is pretty good, durable, provides a finer tuning (you can change the ON time in an interval of 1 hour rather than 3 as many other timers) and it also is equipped with an easy to read display.

Further Reading

Your Indoor Herbs