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Best Color for Hydroponic Buckets: The Answer May Surprise You

Best Color for Hydroponic Buckets: The Answer May Surprise You

For years, growers, whether experienced or novice, have debated on the best color for hydroponic buckets. This has been a widely discussed topic.

What is the best color for hydroponic buckets? The colors thought to be the best for hydroponic buckets are black and white. However, the best color depends on factors such as what you’re growing and whether you’re growing inside or outside. Generally, white buckets are better for outdoor systems, and black are better for indoor setups.

As you’ll soon discover, the full and detailed answer to this crucial question will surprise you!

Best Color for Hydroponic Buckets

If you use buckets for hydroponics, knowing the best color for these reservoirs is crucial to the success of your growing operation.

It is often said that black is the only color worth using, though many pro growers disagree.

The truth is, the answer is a bit more complex than a single color being the best in all scenarios.

In the following sections, we thoroughly discuss the answers to the question of which color is best for hydroponic buckets.

Does Bucket Color Matter for Hydroponics?

Bucket color matters in most cases but not always.

There are more factors to consider than color when it comes to what makes the best buckets for hydroponics, such as what materials they are made from, how thick they are, if they have lids, how well you keep them cleaned, and more.

Black and white buckets are the most common and for good reason. White buckets are the most common and affordable to purchase, while black buckets cost a bit more.

That said, black buckets are better at preventing excess light from hitting the water inside and cultivating unwanted algae growth

But which one is right for you? Find out below!

When Using a Light-Colored Bucket Is Ideal

Light-colored buckets, such as white or gray, are best to use when you have a hydroponic system that runs hotter than others (such as outdoor systems).

The main reason for this is that these lighter-colored buckets allow the water and nutrient solution to remain much cooler than in dark buckets.

When Using a Black or Dark-Colored Bucket Is Ideal

Black and other dark-colored buckets are typically the most ideal for indoor hydroponics.

They prevent extra light from entering the sides of the reservoir, cut down on algae growth, and even look better than light colors that show more dirt and general wear and tear.

How To Block Light From Your Existing Hydroponic Bucket – 4 Ways

There are quite a few methods for blocking light from buckets that you’re already using for hydroponics rather than buying new buckets: 

Paint/Cover the Exterior

Painting or covering the outside of your hydroponic buckets is the fastest, easiest, and most common way to block light from entering through the sides of the reservoir.

Use a Liner

Placing a liner or trash bag inside of your existing hydroponic bucket is another quick, easy, and affordable method for blocking out light.

Doing so allows the plants to receive plenty of light up top while protecting their roots inside the bucket from unnecessary light exposure.

Paint the Inside

Painting the inside of your buckets is another way to block excess light from entering your existing hydroponic bucket.

Dark colors like black and blue work best for this purpose and intent.

Utilize Shade

Using an umbrella or tarp is a great way to protect outdoor hydroponic buckets from excess light. Simply place it in such a way that the plants get the light they need and the rest is blocked out.

Related Questions:

Are Black Buckets Light Proof?

Most buckets utilized in hydroponics are not completely light proof, including black ones. That said, black buckets do keep out more light than other colored buckets.

Do Black Buckets Hold More Heat?

Black buckets are known to block out more light than other colored buckets, but they also attract and hold more heat than other buckets as well.


The bottom line is that any color bucket will work for hydroponics. Although black ones are the most popular for all of the reasons we shared above, white buckets work well too.

The main thing to remember is that the color of your buckets is less important than other factors such as the size, shape, and the materials they consist of.