Have you ever wondered if it’s possible to have an all-year-round tomato farming and harvesting without having to go into the expensive greenhouse tomato farming?
It is very possible.
Aside from the fact that you are going to be enjoying your very own tomatoes all year, you are also going to be reducing the cost of running your regular greenhouse tomato farming.
Whether you are just a regular hobby gardener or you are looking at going at a larger scale with your tomato growing, you can simply tap into the many advantages of growing tomatoes indoors under LED lights.
Essentially, as a beginner who is looking towards a very bountiful harvest but doesn’t really have the landmass required for large-scale farming, you can rely on the benefits of using LED lights to grow your tomatoes indoor.
Many LED lights offer you the basic properties needed in growing healthy tomatoes, properties florescent or other lights such as incandescent light won’t give you because they don’t have the blend of colors needed to grow perfect indoors tomatoes.
Getting the perfect LED light you need for the best result as far as using LED light to grow tomatoes indoor is not easy.
There is a lot of products in the market today that it takes only an expert to know which is the best and most suitable for this kind of cultivation.
But because we understand that this might be a really tedious task for a beginner that is why we have taken time to provide you with the fundamental and step-by-step guide needed in helping you get the best LED lights on the market.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. If you shop through the links on YardThyme, we may earn an affiliate's commission from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you. For more information, read full disclosure here.
- A Quick Guide to Growing Tomatoes Indoors
- Top 5 Best LED Grow Lights for Tomatoes in 2021
A Quick Guide to Growing Tomatoes Indoors
Growing tomatoes indoors isn’t magic, it is a process that starts with planting the right seed. This is the most fundamental of all the steps you need to learn as a beginner when trying to figure out how to grow tomatoes indoors.
You need to choose the right tomato seeds for the best result. The implication of this is best said using the saying ‘you shall reap what you sow’. Hence, bad seeds wouldn’t give you the best of tomatoes no matter how perfect the lighting condition is.
For this step, it is essential to understand that tomatoes can be categorized as determinate and indeterminate.
Determinate tomatoes are the type that grow to a particular height and produce just one set of fruits after which they stop to grow while the indeterminate tomatoes are the type that operate almost like a vine.
It continues to blossom and grows in due seasons and this is the type that is most recommended for indoor tomato growing.
As a beginner, you should understand the importance of early pruning. When you prune your tomato plants early, you expose the plant to immunity to some plant exhausting diseases. It is normal for a beginner to ask a question like, ‘when do I prune my tomato plants?’.
And the answer is simple.
Once you see the leaves and stems that are usually below the first flower turning yellow, then it is time to prune.
Also, new suckers would do more damage than good to your plants because they are capable of depriving your tomatoes of the required plant sugar and as such, remove them as well as any yellow leaves that may spring up.
Tomatoes come in a lot of varieties which include: Amish Paste, Early Girl, Big Boy, Green Zebra, Yellow Pear and many more.
But in choosing the type of the variety of tomato you wish to grow, you should have all of these in mind:
- How long it takes the variety to grow;
- What other things your tomatoes might be used for after harvest;
- The size of the variety you are interested in and whether letting it sprawl of constructing a stalk for it would be the best technique in growing it.
The second factor you need to consider when growing tomatoes indoor is the location. Growing tomatoes indoors isn’t a problem; the problem is creating the right growing condition for it.
Tomatoes need the right soil for proper growth and as such, the condition of the location or space you want to grow your tomatoes in must be warm and low in acidity and must have an adequate drainage system.
Tomatoes are a very delicate plant and as such, they may not survive or they may experience stunted growth if they are exposed to too cold or too hot temperature. For a steady temperature for indoor tomatoes cultivation using LED light would be the greatest idea for a preferable result.
For efficient fruit production, nothing less than eight to nine hours of daily illumination is needed for the tomato plants. And they might not receive this light indoors unless there is an adequate illumination system of which LED light remains the best of them all.
When using the LED light for the required illumination, it is essential to keep the temperature within the range of 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit during the germination stages and 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit during the growth stages.
Using the best LED lights we are going to reveal shortly would help you in monitoring as well as keeping track of the number of hours required for perfect illumination.
For instance, you can expose your tomato plant between the third to the fifth week to about twelve hours of LED light after which you can increase it to about sixteen hours of daily light especially during the period between sixth to ninth week.
By the end of the ninth week, you can then reduce the hours of illumination to between eight to ten hours of daily illuminations.
Benefits of Growing Tomatoes Indoors with LED Lights
LED (Light-emitting Diodes) lights which have been around since decades back but are mostly used as indicator lights are now more preferable in mimicking the sun rays instead of the energy-consuming counterparts such as HID lights, HPS lights, and even fluorescent lights because of the following benefits:
- LED lights do not consume so much energy the way high-pressure sodium lights would and as such, it is less expensive.
- With the exposure of the tomato plants to appropriate hours of illumination and to the color of spectrum needed, you are certainly going to experience an enhanced tomato quality as well as an increase in its normal yield.
- Because you are solely in charge of the degree of temperature you expose your farm to as well as the hours of illumination needed, your farm would experience all-year-round cultivation.
Potential Difficulties in Growing Tomatoes with LED Lights
When considering the best LED light, most people use the prices in determining which is best. To some people, this is the best criterion, but that also means buying the most expensive LED lights.
We’re here to say that the highest price does not always ensure you’re getting the greatest LED lights out there.
In helping to deceive the masses to some extent, some of these LED grow lights for tomatoes have gone the extra length in specifying the number of watts their products discharge and it is almost the case that those extra dollars are usually for the higher watts mentioned.
It is, however, important that the watts most of these brands specify are not often what the output of the lights is. Hence, when settling for a good LED grow light, make sure you go through the product description.
It is also important you go for very good and reputable LED brands. Here’s our full article on the very best LED grow lights out there.
Also, since you are going to be using your LED lights for nothing less than an average of ten hours in a day, it is important to not settle for a reputable brand whose LED light offers a powerful full-spectrum LED light system and that is capable of discharging nothing less than 300 watts.
There is also the need to pay more attention to the amount of heat the LED light produces.
The amount of heat output determines how well protected your plant would be in the long run and how durable the product.
Aside from the amount of heat a light produces, you should also make sure you don’t settle for an LED light with a Semiconductor Chip of less than 3 watts. Semiconductor chips are the cores of LED lights that help in converting electricity to light and anything less than 3 watts might not be able to provide sufficient light in the long run.
Some of the difficulties you might be faced with as far as using LED light in growing your tomatoes indoors is concerned with the need to constantly monitor the efficiency of the light system.
As an LED light ages, they tend to change colors into colors that might not help in helping your plant yield to its maximum capacity. That is why it is important to go for reputable products with a longer lifespan.
Top 5 Best LED Grow Lights for Tomatoes in 2021
After searching through the numerous brands that we have in the market today, below is the list of the best grow light for tomatoes that we can vouch for:
Advanced LED Lights – Full Spectrum LED Grow Light
This brand is one of the brands that has all of the components of their lights made in the United States and have passed all the necessary quality compliance regulations.
With over seven years of experience in the field of LED light making, they definitely know what it means to offer quality especially with their products having a very high light intensity as well as a well-patented finned heat sink.
They also leave you with the option of choosing from ranges of fourteen colors that have been tested to meet proven results especially with their new series of grow light called ‘Diamond Series’.
- The Advance LED lights have very low heat output with 3W LED in wavelength designed in an ultraviolet radiance that helps you reduce energy consumption.
- Just like every great product, it is relatively expensive especially when you are on a low budget.
Black Dog LED PhytoMAX 600 Watt LED Grow Light
With an expected lifespan of about 70,000 hours, one cannot rate this USA made product anything less than an excellent product.
Black Dog LED offers a good dimensional lighting experience that comes with more than 250 LEDs with an actual wattage of 630 watts.
When it comes to spectrum color lighting, Black Dog has got you covered with a range of thirteen LED colors all with ultraviolet of IR features.
- The light is designed to provide maximum light distribution in order to enhance efficiency.
- The heat generation is also very low as compared with other products.
- Also, it is very affordable judging from the sizes of their models and the spaces they cover.
- Since Black Dog LED light comes in a variety of models, some of their larger fixtures such as PhytoMAX-2 1000 is capable of emitting heat, especially when used in smaller spaces.
Roleadro LED Grow Light
This brand has come to change the game of LED grow lights by bringing so many advantages to the table for a very affordable price that it is almost a sin to say cheap lights don’t offer much.
This light comes with a full spectrum light that emits all the necessary light spectrums at once; a perfect imitation of sunlight.
With its 3000k color temperature, your plants almost feel as though they are tapping from natural sunshine. It has a very high-quality semiconductor chip of 5 watts that guarantee perfect illumination.
- For a very affordable light, this product offers a lifespan of about 70,000-100,000 hours of illumination to ensure simulative photosynthesis.
- The light provided is suitable for all growth stages, from the germination stage to the fruit-bearing stage.
- The cooling system might get a bit noisy even though it works perfectly.
- The entire lighting does not cover more than four square meters and as such, it might not be idle for larger growing space.
Bestva 2000w Double Chip LED Grow Light
For a beginner that is looking at starting really big but doesn’t really have the means to get very expensive LED lights for indoor farming purposes, this product here might be one of the very best options to pick.
Tomatoes as earlier mentioned are really delicate plants especially during their germination stage so you cannot simply afford to get it wrong as a beginner when trying to go into a large scale tomato farming using LED lights.
However, Bestva 2000W Double Chip LED Grow light offers you a lighting system that comes with adequate canopy penetration which allows your plants to get exposed to healthy growth during their early stages.
- It has a very effective energy saving mechanism.
- It also comes in a full light spectrum.
- It emits a lot of heat and when used in a small space, there might be a need to install an additional cooling system which in the long run, increases the general cost.
Heliospectra LX601-C LED Grow Lights
Many commercial tomato growers around the world that practice indoor farming with LED lights around the world favor this brand.
And the only reason why it is being rated fifth is that of the benefits which other brands have over it.
For example, it is very expensive, one of the most expensive of all of these LED light systems.
- It is what a 21st century LED grow light should look like as it includes some Wi-Fi connection system used in monitoring and controlling the general light system all by the use of a remote.
- Provides a good run for its money as it answers every question about its ability.
- They do not have ultraviolet properties as well as Infrared features
- Generally very expensive.
You can never miss a thing in having an indoor farm of your own when you follow the step-by-step guide as provided in this article.
Enough of you trying to see tomato growing as something too stressful, expensive or time-consuming especially when it has to do with using LED grow lights for tomatoes.
The truth is you can never know unless you try.
You just have to start acting NOW!
The process is simple; it starts with the right seed. With the right seed, you can never get it wrong as every other thing is just secondary.