All green plants require light to perform photosynthesis through the chlorophyll present in their leaves. What we didn’t pay attention to was the ‘light’ part of this fact. I’m sure almost all of you must be under the pretense that to carry out photosynthesis, sunlight is required. I’m not using that statement simply because it’s a fact, but it is only partially correct. Instead of sunlight, if one uses a special type of light source- one with higher intensities than the ones we are used to, plants can survive in that too.
Plants vary widely in terms of how much light they need to survive and if you are intending to use these special light sources (known as ‘grow lights’ by the way) as a substitute of sunlight for the plants you are growing indoors, and are a little tight on your budget, then your best bet is to opt for relatively lightweight brands that offer grow lights at really inexpensive prices.
On a side note, if you are a weed lover and love to grow your own cannabis, then it is obvious that you cannot just farm or grow it out in the open for the cops to just walk in and arrest you. If you have to grow cannabis yourself, be a little discreet about it. But doing so in your room shall remove sunlight as a component for its growth, but fear not, for grow lights are there for the rescue and the best part is that you don’t have to shell out ridiculous amounts to get a grow light that can ensure the best growth for your cannabis. There are a lot of cheap options in the market that can make this a reality. By cheap here, do not deduce that the light is cheap just in its price. It simply means that they offer the best value for money for otherwise there are lights as cheap as $20 but they certainly won’t be doing anything for your cannabis and to aid you in buying the best cheap grow light, we have compiled a list of some of the most worthy choices that will give you guaranteed results.
Best Budget Led Grow Lights Under $100
#1 VIPARSPECTRA REFLECTOR SERIES V300 300W
The VIPARSPECTRA Reflector-Series 300W LED Grow Light is one of the most popular and excellent choices for an inexpensive grow light out there. Its 300W LED light is more than sufficient for a beginner to grow their plants at really cost-effective electricity bills. Its light covers all the spectrums of light ranging between UV and IR and most importantly, the VIPARSPECTRA is the only light in its price bracket to feature a daisy-chain system that fundamentally increases your coverage area without the need for extra power outlets.
- Quality materials used in the body
- Powerful light
- Power efficient
- Output focused in all directions, thus eradicating hotspots
- Not waterproof
- Light is not dimmable making it unsuitable for plants in the blooming phase
- No automatic timer
For all beginner level purposes, the VIPARSPECTRA is an excellent choice in almost all regards. It is amazing and surprising how power efficient this light is and that becomes even better when you look at its price. For an entry-level asking price, the VIPARSPECTRA impresses us a lot. If you have a growing area of approximately 3ft x 3ft, then hands down, this is one of the best and cheap grow lights that allow for good growth of your cannabis.
#2 PHLIZON NEWEST 600W 600W (10W LEDS 60PCS)
This particular light by Phlizon is an absolute beast when you compare its performance when pitted against its price. This full-spectrum light comes attached with a thermometer and a humidity monitor as complementary accessories. One of the best parts about this light is its dual-mode switch to account for the best growth of your marijuana seeds in all of its growth phases. The grow light gives an output in all spectrums of light between pure UV and IR but leans a little towards the red side when used under the visible light spectrum.
- Value for money
- Dual-switch to support independent growth cycles
- Highly energy sufficient
- Cooling abilities are also noteworthy
- Not waterproof
- The cooling fans are a bit noisy
If you have a small growing area of saying almost 2ft x 2ft, then you cannot ask for a more power-packed grow light than the Phlizon Newest, particularly for its asking price. It offers more than enough value than one could ask for from a cheap (value-wise) grow light for people with a tight budget rope to walk on.
#3 ROLEADRO GALAXYHYDRO SERIES 1000W
Roleadro manages to maintain its quality and standard as a grow light manufacturer with the introduction of the successor of the Galaxyhydro series. The lower-rated 300W light is quite economical for its users and the 600W variant left an impressive mark in the market and the latest 1000W variant is continuing the legacy. Talking of the light spectrum, the Galaxyhydro covers all light bands for your plants including UV and IR. The ratio of the red bands, however, is slightly more as compared to the blue bands which may seem like an imbalance, but nevertheless, the Galaxyhydro works perfectly to boost and sustain the growth of your plants. Coverage wise, the Galaxyhydro equipped with 100 LED’s of 10W each can very easily cover an area spanning 6ft x 6ft.
- Daisy-chaining enabled
- Extreme bright lights
- Sturdy and durable
- Energy and power-efficient
- Included Zener diode for safety
- No automatic timer
- No dual-mode switch
- Coverage area could have been a bit higher
Looking at its performance, the Galaxyhydro 1000W variant is something we would surely recommend. Though it is a little on the expensive side of price tags, the same is completely justified, all thanks to its ton of features.
#4 GIIXER 1000W LED GROW LIGHT
The Giixer 1000W grow light is one of its kind in terms of energy efficiency. Even with a 1000W watt output, the Giixer only draws near about just 110W of electricity, making it the Giixer’s biggest selling point. Other than that, it comes equipped with the standard features such as a complete spectrum of light bands that include UV and IR rays to provide the best growth for your plants. A dual-mode switch to alternate between vegetative growth and blooming phase of the plants ensures that the Giixer always provides the right type of light needed at the right point of time. The coverage area with this light is also not an issue for the Giixer is more than capable enough to cover areas as big as 5ft x 5ft.
- Quality materials used in the construction making the light sturdy and durable
- Dual-mode switch
- Power efficient
- Big, bright, and efficient lights
- Included Zener diode to ensure the safety of the components of the light.
- The cooling fan is quite noisy.
- The coverage area is not uniform, leading to hot spots being created.
Overall, the Giixer is a pretty decent choice for a grow light if you have a large area of your cannabis that has to be grown indoors. The price is pretty fair, the performance is above average if not excellent, but what makes it a worthy choice is its energy efficiency. No light comes close to matching the efficiency that the Giixer has to offer.
#5 1200W LED GROW LIGHT, WAKYME
This is probably the most durable and efficient light on our list. With a service life spanning well over a hundred thousand hours, the WAKYME is an innovation in itself. Instead of using reflectors, the WAKYME makes use of double chip SMD LED’s which allow for more light and more heat to be passed on to the plants as compared to what is delivered through reflectors. Another innovative concept implemented in the WAKYME is that instead of having a single diode to control and protect the whole circuit, the WAKYME has Zener diodes for every single LED. Implementation of this concept increases the lifetime of the grow light significantly because in the former design, if a sudden splurge of electricity occurs, even with a Zener diode, chances are that the circuit gets damaged. But in the latter design implemented in the WAKYME, since every LED has a separate diode to protect it, the chance of some lights sustaining the damage is still there.
As far as the light spectrum is concerned, the WAKYME has the standard bands included in it (visible, UV, and IR). A dual-mode switch ensures that the growth of your plants is ensured in the best manner possible in all phases of its growth. The double chip SMD provides uniform illumination all over, all the while ensuring maximum yield and minimum power consumption in a maximum area of 4ft x 4ft.
- Long service life
- Innovative design
- The fans are extremely cool and quiet in their operation
- Dual-mode switch
- Energy efficient
- Sturdy and durable
- Included diodes in every LED to ensure safety at an individual level
- Even with a 1200W output, the WAKYME can only cover an area of 3ft x 3ft
- The power consumption is a little on the higher side (~250W)
The WAKYME has several impressive features under its hood- features that allow it to throw some impressive figures and stats for its output. The performance, however, could have been improved by a lot, particularly when you look at the 1200W figure, but for the price, it is asking and for the performance it delivers, there are no complaints.
WHAT PURPOSE DO LED GROW LIGHTS SOLVE
Grow lights as the name suggest solve light problems. But problems for whom? The answer is to plant. There are a lot of people who like horticulture and love to grow some plants indoors, but often sunlight proves to become a hindrance. Either your room does not have enough windows or open space to allow for light to penetrate into the room or maybe the intensity of the light is too low for the plants to sustain in it.
Enter grow lights. Grow lights are nothing but artificial lights that can be used as a substitute for sunlight, thus aiding proper growth of your indoor plants. These lights are of various types- HID (High-Intensity Discharge), HPS (High-Pressure Sodium Vapor), LPS (Low-Pressure Sodium Vapor), arc lights, etc. The latest trend in this industry, however, is LED grow lights. LED lights are extremely energy efficient making them economical for indoor growers to grow what they want without burning a hole in their pockets. Instead of burning a filament, LED lights to pass a stream of light through semiconductors to give their output. In indoor growing environments, LED lights are the best and quite frankly the sole means of lighting because the light emitted by all other types of light sources cannot be focused on a particular point. LED grow lights, however, can focus their stream directly over the plants, ensuring that none is lost due to dispersion.
Instead of just solving your growing problems, LED lights also solve a lot of your bill problems as well. Where bulbs and tube lights burn through your money both in terms of the electricity consumed as well as the cost of replacing them with a new one, LED lights are there for the long haul. A quality LED light can last you for as long as 100,000 hours, which is almost eleven years of continuous use without any overhead cost. The electricity consumed by LED lights is also exponentially less than traditional lighting methods. Granted that grow lights cannot be used for much else than offering a substitute for sunlight to your plants, they are still bright and luminescent enough to light a dark room and allow for some work to take place. So in a way, they can also be used as basic light bulbs in your room. Other than this, LED lights solve and have the following advantages over other light sources-
- Compared to other grow lights such as HID, HPS, LPS, LED lights are devoid of toxic elements such as Mercury.
- The spectrums available in LED grow lights are vast. Apart from visible light, LED lights are also equipped with light bands of the UV and the IR spectrum that allow for good photosynthesis that subsequently helps your plants (especially cannabis) to grow faster.
- The nature of the heat given out by LED lights is perfect- completely balanced, (just as Thanos would have liked). If we give plants the light that they desire, they grow perfectly, but if we give them too much heat, we run the risk of letting the leaves burn. LED lights in that regard are perfect. They give out just the right amount of heat at all times and are also equipped with self-cooling systems. Some grow lights are equipped with a dual-mode switch that allows you to alternate between lights that are precisely calculated and designed to allow for the best vegetation growth and the best blooming of your plants.
OUR PROCEDURE TO SELECT THE BEST AND CHEAP LIGHTS UNDER $100
The previous list of 5 grow lights was curated by keeping the following factors in mind that even you as a customer should always look for before making an informed decision to maximize the yield of your crops-
- BCM (Build and construction material)
Granted that LED lights are virtually free of cost if you compare their price and the time for which they last but what good are they if they don’t last long owing to their weak structural integrity? Durability is the first and foremost thing that you should look for as there should be a body that stays intact for as long as your lights stay active.
- Electricity output and consumption
Lights operate for hours on a stretch that can shoot up your electricity bills. Always check the marked output wattage and the units that the grow light consumes to make it economical for you and even more, for your pocket.
- Low heat output
This is the most important thing to look for in grow lights for the amount of heat dissipated defines the protection and durability of your plants. The light is always in close proximity to your plants and thus, if the heat amount is too much, there is always a risk of the leaves getting burnt and also the light getting damaged quickly. So always look for grow lights having low heat dissipation.
- Know what you will be growing
All plants differ from each other in terms of their growing conditions. Some need high amounts of light, some need less, and some need moderate amounts and different types of lights have different wavelengths and so address a particular type of plant only. So before you buy a grow light, first know what exactly you shall be growing.
- Growing space
The space available with you for growing your plants is yet another vital factor to address before starting horticulture and then you need to decide the best grow light to suit your needs. For example, a high rated light is not suitable for a small growing space, low rated light makes no sense in a large or decent space.
As a general thumb rule, 32 watts of power is enough to account for 1 square foot of area for high-light plants and almost 18 watts of power should suffice for 1 square foot of area for low-light plants.
- Ease of use
Some lamps and grow lights need to be fine-tuned before they can be used, some lamps need to be repositioned all the time depending on the growth stage of the plant, the wavelength and intensity of some need to adjust all the time. Fine-tuning all these aspects need a lot of effort and time. As such, always look for a light that is ready to use as soon as it is unpacked.
Without a warranty, nothing can be trusted in the world and even more so, it is the biggest mistake in the world to go for something without a warranty. LED lights last for 8 years very easily under normal usage and so you should always look for a warranty that runs for a minimum of 7 years. Most manufacturers also offer free returns depending on their terms and conditions.
Apart from ensuring that the aforementioned factors were all present in our reviewed grow lights, we also took an extra step and went another step just for you to ensure that you only get the best of the lot at dirt-cheap prices, which is why the 5 lights reviewed are the top and most cheap (again, value-wise) lights that you as a customer can get your hands all the while keeping your budget in mind.
We reviewed over 10 products, studied them vigorously, compared all of them with each other, took the pain and effort to go through 100 reviews of every single product spanning different sites and platforms, analyzed and segregated the reviews to identify if any of them were fake or not (and if they were, they were removed from our consideration and analysis), and finally analyzed them to decide which ones were the best performers for their price.