Best LED Grow Lights on the Marketplace
Choosing the best light for your grow room depends on a few factors. You need a light powerful enough to cover the area where you grow, and that may vary depending on whether you have a dedicated space for seedlings and clones, or if your weed grows to maturity in one place.
Another factor is whether you want an all-purpose light, or if you plan to supplement it with other lamps for veg and flowering.
Finally, at least with LED grow lights you don’t have to worry about replacing bulbs, dealing with ballast, or running too hot. All those things were problems with HID HPS lights but they aren’t an issue with LEDs.
Let’s take a closer look at the best LED grow lights sorted by the area they cover. That will help you match a light with the size of your grow space.
How to choose the best grow light
Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind when choosing an LED grow light:
- The area you need to cover: The first thing that you should keep in mind is the area that needs to be covered. By knowing this, you can decide how many LED lights you will need, and which type of LEDs will provide you the best coverage. In order to cover more space, more lights can be placed adjacent to each other.
- The phases of the plant growth:If you need a full growth cycle, you can select a full-spectrum LED grow light to assist in all phases.
- Angle of the LED lens:Also look for the angle of dispersion within the LED bulbs. The greater angles mean more coverage while the lesser angles mean less dispersion and more direct light.
- Your budget: Factor in the features that are necessary for you and the amount of money you are willing to spend.
Why choose full-spectrum LED grow lights?
The reason is simple
Full spectrum LED grow lights are a relatively new product on the market and many growers are not all that familiar with these new lighting systems. Most people believe the giant fluorescent are the best grow lights to use over an indoor growing marijuana garden, but they aren’t. Full spectrum light systems are better because they mimic real sunlight.
- They encourage high yields
- They cost less to run over time
- They run cool and don’t need extra fans
- They don’t flicker or need ballast
- Their lamps don’t need replacing for 50,000 hours or more—that’s years of trouble-free service
Consider updating an outdated system to a full-spectrum LED panel today.
Some items you may need for your grow room kit
Some useful gadgets that will be helpful in your grow room:
- Grow Room Sunglasses
- Nutrients, Fertilizers for Cannabis
- Grow Tent
- A Complete Tool Kit for a Grow Room Owner
- Light Meter
- Thermometer and Hygrometer
Sunglasses? Yes, we’re serious. You wear them outside, right? Protect your peepers from UV rays indoors too when you’re running a full-spectrum LED light.
Nutrients, even plants need their vegetables and minerals. The nutrients you give them don’t just affect yield, they affect flavor. Don’t have poop-flavored pot. Choose your plants’ nutrients wisely.
Grow tent. Yes, it’s a good idea even if you’re already growing in a closet or enclosed space. It’s easier to control the climate for your weed with a tent. You can protect them from stray light sources when they are supposed to be in the dark and you protect yourself from their light when you’re supposed to be sleeping. Plus, it keeps humidity under control and smells, too.
Light meter. Maybe you think only advanced growers use them, but you can use one, too. Then when you’re advanced, you’ll already know how.
Thermometer and hygrometer. Of course you want to know the ambient conditions in your grow tent. We picked the most kick-ass model on the market to show you. It will last you for years.
Best LED Grow Lights for the Money
We ranked our list of LED grow lights based on the results they showed and features they offer.
Advanced Platinum Series P900 – Editor’s Choice
All of the Advanced Platinum Series from PlatinumLED grow lights use revolutionary full-spectrum technology to keep your grow room and plants cool while meeting all their light needs. The P900 offers their trademark “3x intensity” lights that offer three times the brightness that competing LED grow lights have.
The P900 has 12 bands of light wavelengths including infrared and ultraviolet, the parts you can’t see with the naked eye. This panel, and others like it in the Advanced Platinum lineup, is about as close to sunlight as you can get indoors. But this isn’t a one-trick pony. This panel is good for every stage of growing cannabis.
You can keep it low-key for sprouting by hitting the “Veg” switch, or kick up the intensity by flipping the switch for “Bloom.” The 90-degree angle of the LED focusing lenses sends the light down into the canopy of your plants. This encourages massive growth.
It can replace a 1000-watt HPS light at full intensity and still only use 515 watts of electricity. The average price of electricity in the US is around 12 cents per kilowatt-hour. Running a 1000-watt HPS costs you 12 cents every hour, plus what you’ll pay to cool it. But running the P900 gives the same or better light quality and intensity at half that price.
When the P900 is suspended at 18-inches above the plants, its core coverage reaches up to 3 by 5 feet. Its maximum coverage is 4 by 6 feet. You may be asking what those numbers really mean for you. At different stages of growth, you’ll be raising or lowering the light according to what your plants need. For sprouting, you can cover up to 4 by 6 feet. But at more intensive stages like flowering, you’ll cover less area because you need more intense light. An adult cannabis takes up at least 1 square foot of space in a 3-gallon pot, so the P900 can flower between 12 to a maximum of 24 at a time.
This definitely isn’t a budget light system. But we like that the P1200 LED drivers work anywhere in the world. They accept 110V or 220V input (or specifically, 85V to 260V. PlatinumLED offers one of the better warranties on the market, with a 90-day money-back guarantee and 5-year complete warranty.
Advanced Platinum Series P600
For the most advanced grow light we’ve ever used, consider the Advanced Platinum Series P600. This grow light is a hefty investment, but most growers will agree that premium results are worth a premium price tag. The build on this is durable and easy to set up. It’s one of the best LED grow lights to buy, if you have the money to invest in your crops. The core coverage area is about 2 feet by 5 feet, so you can hit the “Bloom” switch for about 5 to 10 plants, maximum.
The Advanced Platinum Series combines intense light and powerful fans so your plants don’t burn. The light is intense enough that you can physically see it penetrate the plants – an impressive feat. Further, these lights come with something completely unheard of: A 5-year warranty and exceptional customer service provided by the company directly. With the energy savings against an 800W HPS alone, this unit will pay for itself before the warranty runs out.
Advanced Platinum Series P300 – Perfect for 3′ by 2′ small grow tents
For those who love the P600 but don’t have quite that large of a budget or size of a grow tent, the Advanced Platinum Series P300 is a great runner-up. This is definitely a more affordable LED grow light that offers many of the same benefits as the P600, but at around half the price.
Its coverage is about 4.5 feet by 3.8 feet at an 18-inch height, perfect for compact grow areas, or when used in combination with additional lamps for larger areas. This light panel effectively replaces a 400W HPS light, while only actually using 180 watts of power – making it an energy efficient alternative to a traditional light. It’s just perfect for the small home grower. Just as the P600 represents the higher end of the market, this is still a serious piece of equipment–practically a steal for the amazing coverage you get.
This is a system that has a great high PAR per Lumen output of any other LED grow light panel I’ve seen. What does that mean? Well it means the panel gives off about 2 to 3 times the intensity of other grow lights.
More importantly, it has an 11 band spectrum that gives your marijuana plants the most nutritional value including those needed from UV and IR. The light chips are all 3W LEDs, and as I’ve mentioned before, the best 3-watt panels have an additional lens to focus the light a bit more. This panel comes with a 60-degree lens and secondary 90-degree focusing lens to give more intensity for plant growth.
The chips in this lamp are also replaceable and another reason for the slightly higher price tag. This means you can always keep that 400-watt output, even when a chip blows. Just order the one chip and replace it when it arrives from the manufacturer. With a 5-year guarantee, PlatinumLED offers security to their customers.
California Lightworks 440W LED Grow Light, ideal for a 3′ by 3′ grow tent
California Lightworks 440W LED Grow Light definitely falls under one of the more expensive lights on our list, but this is one situation where you get the results you pay for. This particular unit comes in a bright red color – a stark change from subtly-colored light panels from other manufacturers.
The light is a bit more intense than those with 3W chips, as this uses 5W LEDs instead – 88 of them. The optics are all jewel-quality glass focused at 90 degrees. Plus, it has two 15W UV-B tubes to enhance growth at the flowering stages. But this panel runs cool and quiet with its built-in fans, and it comes with a 3-year warranty.
G8LED 600 Watt MEGA LED Grow Light—named “2016 Best LED Grow Light” by HIGH TIMES Magazine
The G8LED 600 Watt MEGA LED Grow Light is well worth the price paid for the quality of what you get. High Times Magazine called this light a winner. It offers 8-band wavelength plus IR plus UV so it’s there to cover the entire growth cycle of your weed.
These lights stay cool even when they have been running for a full 24 hours. The company backs up their product with a two-year warranty serviced entirely by them, and they even reach out to their customers to ensure everything is going smoothly.
G8LED 450 Watt LED Grow Light
For small- to mid-size growers, you’ll need to get the most for your money. Since you don’t have the budget of the big-time growers, you don’t want to drop all your cash on a single light. This is where the G8LED 450 Watt LED Grow Light comes in. It’s still a bit on the expensive side, but it’s a great choice for one of your first upgrades.
This light covers all 8 bands of the visible light spectrum plus infrared, making it an effective panel to cover all your needs. Its big brother, the G8LED 600-Watt was named “Best LED Grow Light” by High Times.
MarsHydro Reflector 960 Watt LED Grow Light
The MarsHydro Reflector fits much better in a small square 4’ by 4’ grow tent than many of the rectangular panels we’ve reviewed. We noticed some slight singing when we used the “flower” setting, but there were no such problems with the “veg” setting – one of the perks of an adjustable spectrum. Those with other lights in consideration will probably prefer to use this one as a back-up light, but it definitely excels when compared to less expensive options.
VIPARSPECTRA Reflector-Series 300W
The VIPARSPECTRA 300 W has been pleasing a lot of customers because it hits the right balance of features for the money. It’s even been chosen a top pick in their “growing light fixtures” category. If you have a small grow tent, 2’ by 2’ or 3’ by 3’, this could be an ideal choice for you.
Apollo Horticulture GL60LED 180W
Apollo is one of the better manufacturers when it comes to LED grow lights, and this small LED grow panel makes an ideal option for a new small plant grower. It fits in a 2 by 2-foot space to cover up to three plants and uses only 90 watts of electricity.
This lamp is easy to hang as it’s lightweight and doesn’t require ballast. One of the features I like best about the Apollo is that you can hang this lamp closer to the plants than you can others because it runs cool. In fact, this is the lamp I like best for my marijuana seedlings because it covers four important wavelengths of the spectrum.
This lamp though small has an impressive life span of over 50,000 hours and the company does offer a 2-year warranty which is somewhat unusual for an inexpensively priced lamp. The lamp will work with all phases of growth including the flowering stage, although you may want to add a second lamp for that part.
Galaxy Hydro 300W
The Galaxy Hydro 300 Watt panel is one of the least expensive grow lights we reviewed. It’s a 9-band spectrum light with a seven to one ratio of red to blue LEDs plus UV and IR. It only covers 2′ by 3′ at most (for sprouting, not flowering) but it’s made to be daisy-chained. You can buy two or three of these for the same price of a larger light and link them together like Christmas lights to cover a larger space. GalaxyHydro offers a 2-year warranty with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Apollo Horticulture 400W LED Grow Light
We’re no strangers to Apollo Horticulture, so it should come as no surprise that we also reviewed their 400W LED Grow Light for our master list. This small light (roughly the face dimensions of a sheet of paper) gives off a substantial amount of light for its compact size. The panel gives off a wide spectrum of wavelengths, ensuring that every phase of your plant’s life is covered. This isn’t your inexpensive beginner’s light, but the price tag comes in well under the price of your average “commercial” system. If you need a high-performing device on a smaller budget, the Apollo Horticulture 300W is a spectacular choice.
Ledgle Grow Light 300W
While this is a relatively inexpensive full spectrum light, it’s got a lot of value for the money. For one, the LEDs are huge! They are 6-watts each and there are 50 of them, so this an intensely bright light that works especially well for dense plants. The panel covers up to 2 by 1.5 feet when the plants are flowering.
The customization options are similar to those on more expensive panels. They include two switches, one for veg, and one for flowering plants. The spectrum covers 11 bands including white light, UV, and IR. The two built-in cooling fans have a backup system to keep running even if one of their chips fails. Global Star offers a 1-year warranty that includes parts and service.
TaoTronics Hydroponic LED Grow Light
This light is tailored to those who are brand-new in their growing operation and need something that works for a small-scale grow room. If you only have a single plant, for example, why would you spend hundreds of dollars on a light for it? The TaoTronics Hydroponic LED Grow Light is perfect if you want to master your craft without a big initial investment. It probably won’t last for your long-term goals, it’s difficult to find a light that’s a better value.
ABI 12W PAR38 Flowering lamp (to assist in blooming)
Let’s say you want a bigger yield but you’re already stretching the light from your LED panel to the limit. Many growers supplement with an extra red light or two. They encourage better blooming. Since they’re also LED lamps, they last for years, so they are a cheap investment.
This 12-watt red light bulb from ABI is an inexpensive way to get more buds and flowers on your weed. It fits in a standard household lamp socket or you can plug it into an extension cord made for light bulbs. Don’t worry, it’s not hot like an incandescent red lamp, it runs very cool.
Spider Farmer Reflector R90 450W LED Grow Light from MEIZHI
Are you looking for a budget-priced LED grow light? What if I told you that the Spider Farmer from MEIZHI is both full-spectrum and dimmable, plus it’s priced to compete with better-known brands like VIPARSPECTRA and Mars Hydro? It has a good PAR rating of 540umols at a height of 18 inches and it can cover up to 3.5 by 2 feet.
Even better, the Spider Farmer 450W light has dual dimmer switches. Select the intensity you need for each stage of your plants’ growth. Choose Veg to sprout seedlings, then flip on Bloom to encourage flowering and big bud growth. This one light can replace any 450W HID HPS or MH light and still only consume 201 watts. Check out the full review to see all the details.
MEIZHI Reflector-Series R450 450W LED Grow Light
MEIZHI’s Reflector-Series R450 450W LED grow light is going head to head with brands like VIPASPECTRA and Mars Hydro. Its PAR rating of 779umol is amazing for this price point. Its ninety 5W LEDs cover the full spectrum needed for big healthy buds in your next harvest.
It can replace a 450W HID lamp and save you lots of money in the process because it only consumes 195W of electricity. Turn on the Grow switch for veg, then flip on Bloom for flowering. The panel can cover a 3.5 by 2ft space by itself, or you can daisy-chain it for larger grow tents. Check out the full review for all the details of this budget light with big possibilities.
LED Grow Lights Q&A
Here’s our FAQ about LED grow lights. If you’re new to growing, or just want to brush up, enjoy!
What is an LED Grow Light?
Let’s start with a little intro about LED grow lights.
- LED:that stands for “light emitting diode”
- Grow:it helps plants to grow best when they have been planted indoors
- Light:it provides light energy that will mimic the way the sunlight would have affected these plants when grown outdoors
It provides various wavelengths of visible and invisible light including UV and IR rays that can directly increase the growth and hence the yield of any plant grown under these lights.
How Do LED Grow Lights Work?
How can these tiny little lights can help your plants grow better when there is no sunlight?
Plants have a tendency to absorb more blue light than other colors like white or green; hence, the UV rays are best to induce vigorous plant growth, while the infrared rays are best catalysts for germination and blooming boost.
The wavelengths can be adjusted according to the requirements of your plants in the grow room. If you have plants to grow that are in their vegetative phase, using UV rays would increase the cell division when the plants absorb the rays. Due to the increase in cell division, the plants grow quickly and result in more yield.
In case you need to treat your plant during the flowering stage, the most effective LED lights are those which provide IR, or infrared, rays. These rays are readily absorbed by the buds and apex of the plant and this causes them to bloom quickly and heavily.
We would recommend an LED grow light that has a wide range of wavelength options available, so that you can adjust according to the effects that you need.
The amount of light, type of light emitted, types of plants being grown, Lumen per area, wavelength, and the height between plants and the light can all affect the growth of the plant being treated.
What Are the Benefits of Using LED Grow Lights?
Before the rise of LED grow lights, there were other similar methods in use. These include high-pressure sodium lamps and fluorescent bulbs. These methods were not at all favorable for small grow room owners who need to have a small, compact structure. These lights needed a lot of space to set all the equipment, due to the huge amount of heat being produced and the need to have a proper ventilation system to avoid heat build-up. This mess made that process out of reach for the small grow room owners.
LED lights take up a minimal amount of space, don’t contribute extra heat, don’t need their bulbs replaced, don’t have ballasts to manage, and use half the electricity to run.
- Compact and easy to install:These lights come in a very compact structure that is very easy to handle. You will not need any specific knowledge to get them installed. You can just have a proper place to hang them above the plants at the required distance.
- No need for separate ventilation set up:These lights don’t emit a lot of heat and there is no need to have a proper ventilation system. They can work without any huge ventilation setup and type of large fans.
- Can be installed adjacent to each other:As said earlier they have a compact design and most of them can be installed adjacent to each other in order to give more coverage.
- Variety and control:Their wavelengths can be adjusted easily and also the modes for vegetative and blooming phase can be chosen.
All these factors have made us great fans of these LED grow lights, because they give us great results with a lot less hassle and cost.
How Many Watts Do You Need?
In order to know the exact wattage you should have in your grow area, you should first calculate the area and the number of plants you will need to cover.
If we consider that 1 square foot has 1 plant potted in it, then, the recommended wattage is 25 watts per plant per square foot. If you have two plants in one sq. ft., then the recommended wattage per square ft. would be 50 watts and so on. So, if we consider our example discussed earlier, we have an LED grow light having a total wattage of 250 watts; it would be best for 8-10 plants to grow under it.
Well, we hope you’ve enjoyed this massive buyer’s guide to the best LED grow light for your plants. For more interesting reading, check out Big Buds Guide. Good luck and happy growing!