LED light issues with plants

I have some pepper plants (pictured) and some sunflowers (not pictured) that appear to be bleached out while growing under an LED light. The picture below looks a little weird because of the LED wave length and the camera (I suppose), but to the naked eye the majority of the leaves look a normal green color, but those plants in the upper right look faded, bleached and pale yellow.

All seeds are about the same age, and the light/soil/water/nutrients/etc are all identical.

Anyone know what’s going on here? Is the light too close to the plants and this variety of pepper is more sensitive than the rest?


what type led you using? looks like too much red diodes. need a balance of red/ blue or blue only for growth and blue / red for fruiting. my led has switches to go from growing to fruiting. how far is it from the plants and what is the actual wattage out of the wall that it uses? should say somewhere on the unit. could you take a pic with regular white light instead? will make it easier to see whats really going on.

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Thanks Steve!

When I posted info about these lights in the past someone on here said they were for growing marijuana (!!). I didn’t understand what that meant because I figured all plants needed basically the same things, especially when you’re just starting seedlings.

Anyhow, here’s the label on the light and a shot of the plants under only fluorescent light.

I know all the plants look pretty much normal in these pics, but the ones in question look mostly pale yellow to the naked eye.

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I just took the try outside to try to get a more accurate picture, but everything looks normal in the photos! But in real life those leaves are mostly yellow. Hummmm

i dont think its light burn unless the light is closer than 16in. that wattage shouldnt hurt anything unless its real close. may be too much moisture or lack of N. yeah most those lights are for growing weed but if used correctly can grow some real nice veggies. i keep my 600w led about 3ft away from new seedlings and let them grow up to within 16in. before i need to move them up. peppers and tomatoes can just about grow into the light before bleaching occurs but thats because by then theyre mature and have adjusted to the strong light. also to keep fungus/ rot from being a issue put a small ocillating fan on low blowing over the tops of your plants. if you pots stay saturated for too long after watering, root rot will kill them. ask me how i know. :wink: peppers and tomatoes are the 1st to suffer from this.


Thanks Steve!!

You may be onto something with the overwatering. I bottom water and I probably don’t let the plants dry out enough between waterings which probably means the roots are always wet. I’ll let them dry out and water from the top. I do have fans going.

Back to light choice, what kind do you have or what kind should I get? The last time I looked (a few years ago) I couldn’t find any good, independent information on lights.

Thanks again!

i have a 2 viparspectra reflector series in 600w i got off amazon. there are better, more pricey ones out there but for what i use them for, it does the job. covers a 4’ x 6ft area.

I thought white/blue light was to help vegetative (green) growth, and red/yellow was for inducing flowering. I use white (6500K) T8 lights for my seed starts.


youre correct. my lights have a veg setting thats blue/ white and a bloom switch thats mostly red with some blue. i rarely run the bloom just growing my seedlings but do for about a week before bringing them outside to harden them off.

We use lots of LED lights in the greenhouse set to red/purple, to help encourage flowering of the tomato plants. I’m pretty sure they are multi-color lights, so maybe they start the plants with white lights.

Thanks Gents!

Is there a go-to website or resource for LED lights/indoor growing? I just start my veggies inside so I don’t need the whole growing season info, but I’ve always been fairly lost when it comes to the LED lights…T8? is that the eighth Terminator movie??? :wink:


I have a small LED planter and most of the lights are white.

Yes exactly what you want to use. You know they make LED tubes to fit T-8’s now. I have T-5’s, they make LED tubes for them too. I do like the T-5 lights, they work very well. I have 4 bulb fixtures, two of them. On the LED tubes they make 2 types, one for use with ballast and another for use if you bypass ballast. I replaced one of my ballasts already, but if another goes, I will by-pass and use the LED tubes. It’s very cool I can use the same fixtures, since they are all set up already.


This is what I use with a 23 watt daylight CFL.


A clever design for a small amount of plants.

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I have 12 of them in varying sizes.


@Bart I think if your plants seem to be growing okay they will be fine. I have some strange lightening/yellowing of leaves sometimes under the LEDs, particularly among peppers. The LED, except some of the newer high priced units seem to lack some parts of the spectrum and different types seem to react differently. For instance, I don’t have much UV in my current LEDs and the tomato rootstocks have issues with that since they are developed from some wild species.

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I’m using weed lights and weed fertilizer to grow what I Iike to joke to my family is “kiweed”… a bunch of seedling kiwi plants. The weed growing community is putting about 10x more effort into this and they seem to know what they are doing. I’m a bit worried the lights or fert. might not be as good for kiwis but so far they look happy (as do my peppers and tomatoes). Do make sure you read the minimum distances of the LED lights, they need to be a lot further away. I think mine need to be 24” above the plants.


Never underestimate some motivated stoners!!!

Scott - where have you been finding info on lights/fert/weed growing?!?!? :wink: Is there a favorite site or two that you reference?

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I’m growing some tropical plants,using a 450 watt Viparspectra.After reading a little about using those kind of lamps,a number of people say ,to leave both veg and flower on all the time,so that’s what is happening with mine.Unsure about seedlings though.

Not really, I just search and click on random things. I also read the Amazon reviews and click on what other things people buying one thing are buying.

The sellers of this stuff clearly know their market … my “plant light” came with no mention of weed growing but had some very large stoner decals with their logo on it: