If you are in the search for LED grow lights, we think you’ll enjoy this article as we will shed some light on the best LED grow lights on the market here.
What Should you know about LED Grow Lights?
If you are just starting to grow or have been growing for a while, then you have most likely heard about grow lights.
These are essential for the growth of your plants if you are growing indoors or in a greenhouse as they imitate sunlight to provide your plants with light that is necessary for photosynthesis. Through photosynthesis, your plant will be able to make its own food to grow in a healthy fashion.
Even though most growers these days mainly use fluorescent lights as they are accustomed to these kinds of environments, and the fact that they aren’t that expensive to get.
Sure, fluorescent lights are suitable for any conditions and aren’t that hard to get, but there is a better alternative if you are willing to invest a bit more upfront.
By using LED Grow lights, you’ll be able to use the grow lights for a long time without replacing the bulb, use energy more efficiently, and most importantly, encourage more yields due to the strength of the light and the spectrum of the waves of the LED.
If you are preparing to buy LED grow lights, you might want to figure out which the best LED grow lights are, so that you can make a good decision.
We thought it was hard in the beginning to understand all the terms and what to look for, so we put together this guide of the best LED grow lights with all of our accumulated knowledge doing research for it ourselves so that you can pick LED grow lights with ease.
Do LED Lights Work for Growing Cannabis?
Yes, they work even better than fluorescent lights. This is because fluorescent lights are a bit dimmer and are limited to the strength and intensity of their brightness, causing them to be limited in what it can support in terms of the plants. With LED lights, you’ll be able to adjust the intensity of the brightness to match whatever you are growing which will permit you to grow whatever you want.
Factors to consider when choosing the LED Grow Light
Before we get into checking out the LED grow lights reviews, there are several factors that you will need to be aware of. Sure the LED grow lights reviewed will provide you with a starting point…
…But what do you do when you come across products that are not on the list? Do you freak out? Of course not.
To know if you are looking for the best and right LED grow lights for your needs, below are some of the factors to bear in mind.
Area to cover
The very first thing that you will need to consider is the area that the grow LED light will need to cover.
When you calculate the area you are working with, you will best determine just how many LED lights that your grow space will require.
Additionally, knowing the area you are working with will also help you determine the type of LEDs you will work with for ample coverage.
If you are looking to cover a larger space you will need to place the LED grow lights next to each other.
The phase of your plant growth – Spectrum
It is imperative that you consider the phase of growth of your weed. This is important as it will help you in choosing the right and best spectrum level for your plants.
While in different growth stages, marijuana like other plants needs different light inputs.
For the vegetative phase, weed benefits from the blue spectrum while during the flowering stage/phase, the red spectrum will work wonders for your weed.
While there are some LED grow lights that provide specific lights for the specific growth phases, recent technology has made it possible for manufacturers to provide LED grow lights with frequency bands that can be tuned and altered to suit the growth phase.
Such LED grow lights assists in all stages and feature dimmers or switchers for the various stages.
LED Lens Angle
The angle at which the LED light bulbs disperse the lights is also important to consider.
It may seem like a negligible issue but it makes a difference in the efficiency of your LED grow lights.
Think of it this way, the larger the angles, the wider the coverage and the narrower the angles the lesser dispersion and the higher the direct light.
Budget, budget, budget. It cannot be stressed enough.
At times it feels like it is the only factor that matters to most, professionals and amateurs alike. While most people will consider the price of a unit to determine whether it is a great fit for them or not, you should work slightly different.
Rather than considering the cost of the product alone, also consider the quality and value of the product. The brand (a major determinant of the costs) is also an important consideration.
With LED grow lights, the cost will also affect the features available…
…But aside from that, note that there are two types of costs, the upfront (one-time) costs, and the running costs.
While an LED grow light may seem expensive at the start, it just might end up saving you cash in the long run courtesy of reduced running costs.
So before you make that all-important purchase and investment, bring out your calculator and do the math carefully considering all features that are important to your indoor marijuana growth.
Before you make a purchase of an LED light, you need to consider the brand name (manufacturer). The brand you choose should be reputable and should be one that is trusted to provide quality products.
LED light brands are different. And they are not all equal.
The reviews below will guide you in some of the best brands and LED lights available.
It is impossible to speak of brands without touching on the quality of LED lights. Different grow lights have different qualities.
There are those that can last for 10 years and more depending on their maintenance and those that only last for a couple of months.
Only get products that meet the industry standards.
Why Choose Full Spectrum LED Grow Lights?
These are the recent craze in the LED grow light industry. But in all honesty, some manufacturing companies only use the phrase as a marketing gimmick. Nothing about their LED grow lights are full spectrum.
So what are full-spectrum LED grow lights?
Simply put, the term means that the product produces a continuous and broad light across a variety of PAR ranges.
It could be all or just a couple of the ranges.
That said, it is important to remember that the phrase ‘Full Spectrum’ is in no way an industry or legal certification standard.
Also, the term is only reliable as the brand company (the manufacturer of the LED grow lights).
That said, why is this new technology making such ripples?
Why is everyone interested?
Well, in many ways than one, they are better than the fluorescent lamps as they are designed to mimic rays from the sun.
In addition to this, below are some more benefits of Full spectrum LED grow light:
- Have been recorded to encourage high yields
- Increase the flavor and potency of your plants
- In comparison to fluorescent grow lights have reduced running costs
- They are designed to be cool and are not bulky with extra fans
- They are constructed to be long-lasting. Most tend to last for about 50,000 hours or more which means a long period without worry of the lights breaking down.
- They are designed to be safe and environmentally friendly, probably more than fluorescent lights are
Top 10 Best LED Grow Lights for Cannabis:
1. Advanced Platinum Series P900 900w 12-band LED Grow Light
If you don’t want to read any of the other reviews, and want to simply go with the LED grow lights, then we highly recommend this product.
As it reaches 2-3x intensity compared to other lights, you will get that much more growth.
This is because your plant will have more sunlight to work with when it is going through photosynthesis. It also comes with a 12-band full spectrum to provide you with the light of all spectral output.
Since different spectrums provide different benefits for your plant, it is best to have all the spectrums as your plant can feed on whatever it needs to grow well.
If you are wondering about whether you’ll need another light or not for the vegetative phase and the flowering phase, then worry no more, as the P900 comes with a switch that will allow you to switch between these two phases.
This will prevent you from spending any more money on other grow lights in addition to not having to replace your bulbs after every few weeks.
Overall, if you have a 6ft x 4.5ft of growing space and a height of 18”, this is the best LED grow light for you. Although it is a bit on the expensive side, it is worth the money.
2. California Lightworks Solarstorm 440-watt LED with UVB
If you are looking to save a little bit of money, then the California Lightworks Solarstorm is the next best choice. In addition to the powerful UV-B lights that can be turned on during the blooming phase to add an extra few inches of growth, this LED has a 5-Watt LED emitter that can help add a few inches as well. As it has a 90-degree angle, it can direct light onto all parts of your plant, making sure every inch is covered in light.
It features a 3×3 coverage area, meaning that all parts of your growing area will be covered. This will ensure that there is no space where light is being wasted to make sure that the money you are spending on electricity is well used. It also comes with PFF (photosynthetic photon flux) to help penetrate the leaves of your plants to guide the light to the roots and stems. Overall, we love this LED light as it provides consistent growth and is a bit cheaper than the product above.
3. G8LED 600-Watt MEGA LED Grow Light with Optimal 8-Band plus Infrared (IR) and Ultraviolet (UV-B)
Like the first product we reviewed, this product also features an 8-Band Wavelength Ratio with G8LED technology which means that the wavelengths that this LED grow light produces go all the way from UV lights to IR lights. This will make sure that your plant grows efficiently and as healthy as possible. It also doesn’t produce that much heat which is important as temperature plays a huge role when growing marijuana and you don’t want things such as lights affecting the temperature variable.
The G8LED comes with two modes: vegetative mode and flower mode. By using these modes, your LED light will switch brightness to provide your plant with healthy amounts of light during its vegetative phase and provide lots of light during the flowering phase to make sure your plant grows as much as possible. This light also has penetrating lights of up to 60 inches so that your stems and leaves hiding under the canopy can also receive light equally as well. Overall, this product is a bit on the expensive side but is made up through its powerful light emission as well as the overall quality of the build.
4. Advanced Platinum Series P600 600w 12-band LED Grow Light
If you aren’t interested in dishing out a ton of money for the P900, then the P600 is the next best LED grow lights. This is because all the great features of the P900 comes with the P600 including the superior full 12-band spectrum that will allow you to grow your plants using a complete spectral output as well as having an x2-3 light intensity that you will see compared to other lights. Having more intensity will allow your plants to bloom a lot faster and taller during its flowering phase, which is essential if you want a good harvest.
This product comes with an 800w replacement so if you ever need to replace your LED, then you have the replacement to work with. Alongside its high intensity, it has a wide 6ft x 4ft coverage alongside a height of 18” which is great if you are growing more than one group of marijuana. Lastly, the switch feature is available for this product as well that can allow you to switch between the vegetative mode and the flowering mode so that you won’t have to get another light for either of the two phases. As the light cycle change is crucial for the development of your plants, this feature will save you lots of time and money. Overall, for the price tag, this product is very well worth it as the quality of the build of this LED grow light is amazing and the features that come with it are equally as amazing. If you are looking to save some money and think the P900 is perfect for you, then we highly recommend that you get the P600.
5. Advanced Platinum Series P300 300w 12-band LED Grow Light
Known as one of the best cheap LED grow light, it is the number one choice for small growers. As it comes with advanced spectrum outputs, 12-band spectrum, your plant will be getting both the lows and the highs of light. It is important to note that it is a platinum LED light which means that you will get x2-3 more intensity when it comes to brightness with this product compared to others. Alongside these great features, you also get a heatsink with quiet fans so that your growing area can stay quiet and low key.
It also comes with a 400w replacement and comes with a 5-year warranty which shows us that this company believes in their products and knows that its quality can support the price of this product. The price is very affordable and if you are into growing, then this investment is necessary for healthy growth of your plants. If you want to use LED lights for growing, then going for a much cheaper option may not be the smartest idea, as going too cheap means the quality will decrease and your plants may not grow as well. Overall, this LED light is amazing for the price it comes at and we highly recommend it if you are looking for cheap, but quality LED grow lights.
6. Apollo Horticulture GL60LED Full Spectrum 180W LED Grow Light for Plant Growing
If you really don’t have that much to invest in a quality, LED light, then this is another option for a cheap LED light. Although it isn’t recommended to go below $200 for LED lights, there are some exceptions like this one where the quality exceeds the price due to many factors. One reason is that it has a decent coverage area of 2.5’ x 2.5’ and is an LED UFO. An LED UFO is when the LED has a shape like a UFO; a circle. If you are growing in a location that is small, then investing inexpensive LED lights like the ones reviewed above may not be necessary.
This product only contains a 6-band spectrum which isn’t the highest, but you can still endure with it if you are on a tight budget. Although it may slightly affect your growth rate, it should not affect it too much. The price of this product is very affordable. If you are going out and purchasing seeds, you shouldn’t have a problem purchasing this light. It comes with a lifespan of 50,000 hours which is a lot compared to the several thousand that other types of lights come with. Overall, if you are on a tight budget and/or are growing a small amount, then this product is recommended for you.
7. Roleadro 300w LED Grow Light Galaxyhydro Series Full Spectrum Grow Lamp
This product is also an exception when it comes to LED lights that are cheap but okay to use because this light can compete well with other lights on the market that are x2-3 more expensive. As it comes with several spectrum options and is 300W, you won’t be far behind with light intensity. The cool part about this LED light is that it utilizes a special cooling system that will help your light not heat up, even when it has been on for several hours or even days. This will ensure that the temperature inside your growing room doesn’t change due to your light and affect the growth of your plants.
This light also comes with a feature that makes the light use a low amount of energy making it great for those that are worried about electricity usage. Other LED lights may use more than 300 watts, but this product only consumes only 140 watts. It also comes with 150% canopy penetration to help guide the light towards the stems and leaves that may be hiding under the leaves on top. This will help increase the rate of growth of your plant, as photosynthesis will occur more throughout your plant. Overall, this light is cheap, affordable, and everything you’ll need for your first harvest. It is small, handy, and best of all, has all the features that you’ll need.
8. Mars hydro Reflector 960W LED Grow Light Full Spectrum for Hydroponic Indoor Garden and Greenhouse Veg
If you are okay with flexing out your budget a bit more to get a light that has decent quality and has all the features you’ll need for a healthy harvest, then this product is worth considering. It consumes a bit more watts than the previous product of around 388 watts, but it is a lot more efficient when it comes to electricity usage. It covers a lot more space, 4’x4’, and comes with a hanging kit so that you can attach this LED light on the top of your grow room without any hassle.
It has a unique design to allow more reflection throughout the light making the intensity of the light a lot brighter. This will ensure that enough light gets to your plants and that your plants grow in a healthy fashion. It also comes with a switch to go from vegetative mode to flowering mode so that you won’t have to configure another setup for these two phases of growth. Overall, if you are looking to spend a bit more money than the average, cheap consumer, then this one is highly recommended as it has features and quality that are well worth the price.
9. VIPARSPECTRA Dimmable Reflector-Series 300W LED Grow Light
This is another affordable LED light, targeted towards the ones that cannot afford to spend too much on a LED light. If you can’t afford to get any of the premium ones above, don’t worry as this one can still grow your plants well, but just comes at the cost of quality and intensity. The unique feature about this product is that it automatically balances the PAR/Lumen output to ensure that your harvest will be even and not just one part of your growing room has more light to work with compared to a different part where there is less light. There is an option to switch between the two phases if that is a feature that you require.
Compared to other products, this light consumes a fairly low number of watts (137 watts) which will help save money on your electric bill. You can grow in an area as big as 2.5’x2.5’ and a height of 24” which isn’t that bad. This space will be enough if you are just beginning as a grower as you shouldn’t be growing too big of a harvest in the first place if you are just starting out and are looking for an affordable LED light. Overall, we believe that the price for this product is more than fair and if you are looking for an affordable light with features such as PAR/Lumen output balancing and switching between the two phases, then this one is worth considering.
10. G8LED 450-Watt LED Grow Light with Optimal 8-Band plus Infrared (IR) and Ultraviolet (UV) – 3-Watt Chips – All in One for Veg and Flower
Winner of multiple awards and generations of revisions, this product is the one average priced LED light that we can recommend. It is a full-spectrum LED grow light and we consider it one of the top LED grow lights in this list due to its great customer service and the features that make this light amazing to use. One feature that we loved was that it comes with automatic cooling that will make the light cool to the touch, even after days of use! This will help prevent you from getting a ballast to get started growing with this light.
Compared to other lights, this one performs especially well when it comes to growth and yields due to the intensity of the light this product emits. This may be because of the 8-band wavelength ratio or the quality that has gone to make this product. The company that is behind this product believes so much in it that they are even offering a 2-year warranty, something that you should look out for in products. It also comes with two modes: one for the vegetative phase and one for the flowering phase. It can penetrate up to 60 inches to guide the light to reach the deepest roots and can operate in 110V-240V. Overall, this product is the one for you if you want to go with the light that has won several awards and comes with features to help enhance the growth of your plant as well as increase the yields during your harvesting phase.
LED Grow Lights Q&A
Indoor weed farming is a relatively new thing. LED grow lights are even newer. It is as such only expected that people would have questions regarding the process and the LED grow lights. In this section, we seek to explain (to help you learn or brush up on the knowledge you already have). Since we already looked at what LED grow lights are, and you obviously are aware of their existence and use, we shall skip the explanations and go right to the adult part.
How Do the LED Grow Lights Work?
Having an understanding of what these lights do not mean that you know how they work. Actually, for most people, it is mind-boggling how such tiny lights can be crucial to the growth of weed indoors when they were taught in high school that sunlight is a necessary condition for the growth of any plant.
While it is true sunlight is necessary for plant growth, there is a bit that you need to understand as well. Plants do not absorb all the light from the sun. They absorb blue light rays more in comparison to other colors like green and white. As such, these UV rays are best to induce effective plant growth. The infrared rays, on the other hand, prove to be great as a catalyst for plant germination as well as giving them a booming blast.
With LED grow lights, unlike with natural sunlight, the wavelengths of the light can be adjusted to meet the needs of the plants in your grow room. As earlier pointed out, marijuana in different growth phases has different light needs. As such, if your weed is in the vegetative growth phase, using the UV rays should help to increase the plants’ cell division as the plant absorbs these rays. As a result, the weed will grow exponentially and provide a greater yield.
While in the flowering stage, IR LED grow lights are by far the most effective. The infrared rays are absorbed fast by the flower buds as well as the leaf apexes. This causes the plants to bloom heavily and fast.
As you begin your indoor weed farming, it is advisable that you start with LED grow lights that have a wide range of wavelengths. This will help you set your needs accordingly and yield great results with little effort and worry.
Even as you purchase the best LED grow light to bear in mind that the type of light produced by the lights, the amount of light, the lumen per area, height and wavelength between the light and plants will greatly affect the weed growth. Research widely and understand all these elements and how to use them to your advantage.
Benefits of the LED Grow Lights
LED grow lights and indoor farming gained traction with farmers at different times. Indoor farming has been around longer compared to LED grow lights. And farmers somehow used to get significant yield. Before the creation of LED grow light, most indoor weed farmers used fluorescent bulbs and high-pressure sodium lamps. While they got the job done, they were not exactly favorable for farmers with small grow rooms – those who need to have a compact and small structure. These lights are huge and thus require a lot of space to be set up. In addition, since they emit a lot of heat, farmers need to set up intricate and bulky ventilation systems to keep their weed from burning up. It is these shortcomings that caused small-scale farmers to shy away from indoor weed farming.
But these challenges saw the rise of LED grow lights. It is, as they say, necessity is the mother of invention. LED lights take up minimal space and do not emit a lot of heat. Additionally, they do not need to have their bulbs replaced and do not have ballasts to be managed. It is also worth noting that they use almost half the electricity that fluorescent bulbs use. Below are the additional benefits of LED lights.
Easy to install and compact
These lights have been designed to be compact. Their size makes them easy to control and easy to handle. The installation process does not require one to have specific skills or knowledge. All you need is to have a great place to hang the plants and be sure to adhere to the right plant to light distance.
Does not need a separate ventilation system
These lights are designed to emit very little heat. As such, they work perfectly devoid of the large ventilation systems and fans.
Multiple LED grow lights can be installed next to each other.
Given their compact nature and the fact that they emit very little heat, most can be installed side to side. This helps to improve the overall grow area coverage.
Control and variety
When you get a unit that allows the adjustment of wavelengths, you will have more control over the results and yield you get. The blooming and vegetative phases can thus be provided with just the right light color.
Long story short, LED grow lights are heaven-sent. They allow you to play ‘God’ in your grow area. Using these lights means you will experience less hassle, spend less and have impeccable results.
How Many Watts Are Needed?
Unlike fluorescent lights, LED grow lights are not all about the wattage. Wait, wait, what is the wattage? Simply put, it is the measure of the amount of power that is drawn out from the main socket. It is not a measure of the brightness or intensity of the lights. Yes, it is true that when you compare two bulbs that are designed using the same technology, the bulb with a higher wattage rating will be brighter. But this is not always the case when working with different lighting technologies.
Speaking of lighting technologies, LED lights tend to be more efficient compared to HID lights. As such, even with the same wattage, LED grow lights will be brighter than HID lights.
Now lets us complicate things even further. LED technologies are different. There are some that make use of secondary optics in a bid to increase the brightness of a grow light all the more. So with all this, how can you be sure that your weed plants will be getting the right amount of light?
First, the amount of light your weed needs is dependent on the strain of weed you grow. Different weed strains have different light needs. As such, before you even pick your LED grow lights, you should first settle on the strain and then start choosing the best grow lights for your specific strain.
With the train settled on, proceed to compare the value of light requirements with the coverage charts and the PAR provided by manufacturers of grow lights. Reputable manufacturers should provide a lot of information on the size of the grow areas their lights are designed to cover and the optimum height. They also will provide PAR values. Naturally, you will just need an LED grow light that will supply at the very least, as much PAR as the strain of weed you will grow need. For great results, the higher the PAR value the better the results will be.
PAR stands for Photosynthetically Active Radiation. It is the wavelength of the lights that the plants can use during photosynthesis. The higher the wavelength, the better your weed will grow. Now PAR can be measured in two different ways; PPFD and PPF.
PPF stands for Photosynthetic Photon Flux. This refers to the number of photons of the unable light that is emitted. It is measured in micromoles per second.
PPFD, on the other hand, stands for Photosynthetic Flux Density. This is even more critical as it specifies the PAR emitted by the grow light as well as the amount of light that will fall on the plant. The measurements are in micromoles per square meter per second.
While there are some manufacturers that will only provide you with the PPF others will provide you with measurements from the center of the light’s footprint. Whichever you are provided with, be keen that you get what you need. Always ensure that you check on the PAR values on the entire footprint as well as at varying heights.
Ultimately, the best LED grow light is the one that fits your needs and the specific requirements of your grow room. If you don’t know the size of your growing area or the height, then we recommend that you go measure those to find the perfect LED light for you. Don’t worry too much about the price, unless you absolutely cannot spend any more, as LED lights tend to pay itself off over time due to its efficiency with energy usage and due to its potential to provide higher yields.
Ivan is a professional cannabis journalist. He has his work featured on websites like Cannabisradar, Leafly, Hightimes and few others.
When he is not writing or discussing about cannabis, he likes to drive & spend time with his wife & kids.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Should you know about LED Grow Lights?
- 2 Factors to consider when choosing the LED Grow Light
- 3 Why Choose Full Spectrum LED Grow Lights?
- 4 Top 10 Best LED Grow Lights for Cannabis:
- 4.1 1. Advanced Platinum Series P900 900w 12-band LED Grow Light
- 4.2 2. California Lightworks Solarstorm 440-watt LED with UVB
- 4.3 3. G8LED 600-Watt MEGA LED Grow Light with Optimal 8-Band plus Infrared (IR) and Ultraviolet (UV-B)
- 4.4 4. Advanced Platinum Series P600 600w 12-band LED Grow Light
- 4.5 5. Advanced Platinum Series P300 300w 12-band LED Grow Light
- 4.6 6. Apollo Horticulture GL60LED Full Spectrum 180W LED Grow Light for Plant Growing
- 4.7 7. Roleadro 300w LED Grow Light Galaxyhydro Series Full Spectrum Grow Lamp
- 4.8 8. Mars hydro Reflector 960W LED Grow Light Full Spectrum for Hydroponic Indoor Garden and Greenhouse Veg
- 4.9 9. VIPARSPECTRA Dimmable Reflector-Series 300W LED Grow Light
- 4.10 10. G8LED 450-Watt LED Grow Light with Optimal 8-Band plus Infrared (IR) and Ultraviolet (UV) – 3-Watt Chips – All in One for Veg and Flower
- 5 LED Grow Lights Q&A