A primary challenge for supporting plants in space is to provide as much photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) as possible, while conserving electrical power. Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and microwave lamps are innovative artificial lighting technologies with several appealing features for supporting plant growth in controlled environments. Because of their rugged design, small mass and volume, and narrow spectral output, red and blue LEDs are particularly suited for outfitting plant growth hardware in spaceflight systems. The sulfur-microwave electrode-less high-intensity discharge (HID) produces a bright broad-spectrum visible light at a higher electrical conversion efficiency than conventional light sources. Experiments compared the performance and productivity of spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) grown under conventional lighting sources (high-pressure sodium and cool-white fluorescent lamps) with microwave lamps and various wavelengths of red LEDs. In terms of plant growth and development, experimental results showed that microwave lamps and LEDs were as effective in producing spinach biomass as conventional lamps.