As controlled use of cannabis has been legalized in many countries, the farming of cannabis is also booming. To meet the demands of this booming hobby, grow lights have also improved. If you are planning to get the best LED grow lights, you will have too many options to choose from.
With so many options, it’s obvious to get confused. To make your choice easier, we did all the research. We tested 27 different grow lights for 216 hours and consulted eight experts to help us sort out the 10 grow lights that work.
If you want to know more about our testing process, navigate to the section describing it. Besides, we have created a comprehensive buyer’s guide to help you make an informed decision.
Best LED Grow Lights
1.VIPARSPECTRA UL Certified Reflector Series V300 – Best For Indoor plants
Viparsectra is a popular brand that manufactures several cannabis-related products. This product scored amazing numbers during our tests. If you look at the design of the light, it is manufactured to provide maximum output without consuming more power.
If you compare it with 250 watts HPS/MH lights, it consumes only 130 watts. By using this light, you save a lot of money on your electricity bills.
There are 60 LEDs installed in the grow light. These LEDs are manufactured by reputed companies like Epileds and Bridgelux. The lifespan of these LEDs is also around 100,000 hours, which equals to 8-10 years with continuous use. That is what you want from the for herbs.
The light also provides a wide range of color spectrum along with ultraviolet and infrared red LEDs which help cannabis plants to remain healthy.
The only thing that we thought could have been better is the noise of the cooling fan. It was a little louder for our liking. But we believe it may be the issue with the unit we were testing.
Our experts also had a lot of good things to say about this model. They believe it is not only suitable for growing marijuana, but it can be used for growing tomato, basil, chilies, etc.
- Wide range of spectrum along with ultraviolet and IR lights.
- More efficient than most of the grow lights.
- 100,000 hours of continuous usage.
- High PAR output.
- Cooler LEDs.
- Spectrum was not adjustable.
When we researched the market, it was the most popular grow light in the marijuana community. And it did justice to its reputation during our tests.
2. VIPARSPECTRA Reflector-Series 450W – Best For Higher Coverage
Another Viparspectra grows light that works amazing. Much like the above mentioned Viparspectra grow light, it too scored great numbers during our tests. The only thing different with this model is the output and higher coverage area.
Our team agrees that the biggest plus of having this model means higher coverage. In veg mode, it covers an area of 2.5 x 2.5 feet at 24 inches of hanging distance, and in bloom mode, it covers 2 x 2 feet at 18 inches of hanging distance.
With such a high power LED, heat is a big issue. The light system needs a sound cooling system. It employs a new heat sink made out of aluminum, which effectively keeps the light system fresh.
It uses 90 LEDs to offer you a wide range of the color spectrum. Besides, it also provides you the infrared light and ultraviolet light for the optimum growth of the plant. Using veg mode or bloom mode, you can use the same view for the different stages of plant growth.
As far as the life span of the LEDs is concerned, the manufacturer claims that it can run continuously for 100,000 hours. That is what you expect from the top-notch grow lights. If you plan to use the number of VIPARSPECTRA Reflector-Series 450W, they work much better when arranged in series.
- Offers a complete range of the color spectrum.
- It also includes infrared and ultraviolet lights.
- Excellent cooling system.
- Long life span.
- Highly efficient.
- Not that we found.
If you are looking for the commercial grow lights that can be arranged together to offer a more significant coverage area, VIPARSPECTRA Reflector-Series 450W can do the job for you.
3. King Plus 1000w – Best For Budget Farm Setups
When you are looking to get the most value for your money, there are not many grow lights. During our tests, we found King Plus 1000 Watts gives us the results that a budget-friendly grow lights should give. King Plus has well researched and professional products.
It uses double chip LEDs, which is much more efficient than conventional lights. These LEDs use two diodes which are protected by Zener protector. It prevents the diodes from burning. Another thing we loved about this light is that if one of the LED malfunctions, the whole system still works. However, it is not the same as other lights where the entire system shuts down.
As far as energy consumption is concerned, it consumes only 185 watts to provide output light 1000 Watts. This is a huge money saver when compared to HPS or MH lights. The lighting system offers full-spectrum, hence can support all stages of growth. We observed that it could cover a 3 x 3 feet area.
Another thing we loved is the controlled timer that allows you to control the lighting set up for different stages of plant growth.
- Lighting can be controlled by a timer.
- Perfect for indoor use.
- Inexpensive compared to grow lights.
- The lighting area and the height are easily changeable.
- No UV light.
If you are looking for the grow lights for money, King Plus 1000 Watt offers everything that a good grow light must offer.
4. Advanced Platinum Series P300 – Best Under $500
The Advanced Platinum series another big brand known for its effective grow lights. When we looked at the P300, we realized that it is best suited for small cannabis or flower farms. As for the built quality, it is sturdy and comes with two necessary switches, veg and bloom mode.
As for the light it produces, it offers a 12-band spectrum, which makes sure the temperature is not so hot and stimulates the optimum growth of marijuana. Moreover, the light it produces is 100 percent usable that promotes maximum photosynthetic response.
If you look at the PAR per watt, it is among the highest for LED grow lights. Besides, the amount of energy it consumes is 180 Watt which can easily replace a conventional 400-watt HPS grow light.
During our tests, we measured the effective coverage area of the light. It is about 4.5 x 3.8 feet when light is hanging at 18 inches from the plants.
Other than that there are too many things to like about the product. We believe it could be one of the most efficient grow lights because of the fact that it has features like auto voltage sensing and auto-adjusting power drivers.
- Auto voltage sensing.
- UV and IR lights are included in the spectrum.
- Much higher brightness compared to other similar models.
- High PAR output.
- 90-day satisfactory guarantee.
- Expensive in comparison to similar products.
If you are looking for a lights with small coverage area and under 500, you can try your hands on this premium LED light.
5. VIPARSPECTRA Reflector Series 600V – Best For High Yield
Another Viparspectra product made it to our list of the LED grow lights. It is another full spectrum grow light. We wanted a grow light for the big indoor growers and this light is perfect for them.
When we were measuring the efficiency, it scored great marks. It consumes only 276 watts to provide the effect of 600 Watts HPS light. This is why many big indoor growers love this model of Viparspectra.
When we were testing with big marijuana flowers, we observed high yield. So, we believe it is the top grow lights for high times.
You think being high power light, it may require powerful cooling fans and we know powerful cooling fans can make some noise. But to our surprise the fans were silent. The cooling was well supported by aluminum heat sink.
As for the LEDs it uses, they have great life span. The manufacturers say it can run for 100,000 hours continuously. The statement is well supported by 3 years of warranty and 30 day return policy.
- Comes with dimmer switch for R,W and B colors.
- Controlled by timer.
- Promotes high yield.
- Highly energy efficient.
- Expensive compared to similar lights.
Based on our tests and evaluation, we can say that this lighting system is perfect for those growers who are looking to improve their yield.
6. Apollo Horticulture GL60LED – Best Under $ 200
Apollo Horticulture GL60LED is one of the most cheapest grow lights. If you are looking for small substitute for natural light, then this Apollo works fine. One thing that stood out when we looked at it for the first was its shape. It is circular compared to rectangular shapes of top lights.
Use of such small lights is necessary when you are looking to grow marijuana in a small confined area. Especially when you do not have enough headroom, you are forced to place the light much closer to the plant. In such cases, it is a perfect light.
The LED life span is around 50,000 hours. It is less than the lights we have tested but they are as effective as the top LED grow lights. The maximum coverage of this light is 2.5 x 2.5 feet when suspended at a height of 18 inches. However, if you lower the light, the coverage area will be reduced.
However, we feel that you will require additional exhaust fans if you are using this light as it doesn’t have its own cooling fans.
- Perfect for small working conditions.
- Highly energy efficient.
- Produces less heat compared to other lights.
- Easy to install.
- Highly efficient PAR
- Requires external exhaust fans.
If you are on a tight budget and have a small area to grow marijuana, you can test out Apollo Horticulture GL60LED. It is also good for those who are learning to grow marijuana.
7. MARS HYDRO Reflector 480W – Best For Flower And Vegetables
We wanted a light that supports the farming of different plants like vegetables, flowers, aquatic plants, etc. We asked our experts to name one grow light that they think is great for growing different plants. The name they suggested was Mars Hydro. The Mars Hydro has different versions but it was the 480W version that offered the most value for money.
It is designed in such a way that there is very little loss of light. It uses reflective sheets, which make sure that light is uniformly irradiate to the plants. Thus we believe it is perfect for almost any kind of vegetables and flowers.
During our test we ran the lighting system for 8 hours and measured the amount of heat dissipated towards the plants. It was very negligible. And internally there was no overheating due to the effective heat sink. We loved the cooling fans. They were very smooth and made very little noise. As for coverage area, it covers 3.5 x 2 ft which is perfect for any large room.
- Perfect for any kind of plants.
- Uniform light distribution.
- Very little heat dissipation.
- Cooling fans doesn’t make any noise.
- Light spectrum can be switched based on the stage of growth.
- Placing too close to the plant may burn them.
If you are planning to grow different types of plants using grow light, you can definitely try MARS HYDRO Reflector 480W. However, you might require more than two units to grow the item in largequantitiesy.
8. BESTVA DC Series 2000W- Best For Full Spectrum Light
Bestva is another popular manufacturer of grow lights. This Bestva variant is perfect for a bigger area. It has a coverage area of 7.8 x 7.5 ft and at a hanging distance of 24 inches from the plant. With huge coverage area, you can grow more.
We also observed that the plant grew up to an average of 1 inch with in 2 days of continuous use. It is a very good result compared to other lights we have measured.
It is full-spectrum grow light and hence supports all stages of growth. In addition, the dual-chip 10 watts LEDs provide much better brightness as compared to traditional 3 Watts and 5 watts LEDs.
When we measured the amount of energy it uses, it was 394 watts which you can compare to 1400 watts of HPS lighting system.
- Dual Chip 10 Watts LEDs.
- Coverage area is very large.
- Very good heat control.
- Good value for money.
- Highly energy efficient.
- No control for R, W and B lights.
If you are looking to cover your grow room with only one single light, BESTVA DC Series 2000W is really good option.
9. Phlizon Newest 1200W – Most Durable Reflector
Phlizon is another popular grow light that is actually very effective. When we looked at the light, it was little different than most of the lights we tested. Major difference was the absence of reflector.
Most of the grow lights are known to use a reflector to maximize the brightness or sometimes to just make them look beautiful. One thing that goes against the use of reflector is that it is non-heat resistant. If there is ashort circuit, at 80 degree Celsius there is a chance that reflector could melt.
As for the amount of energy it consumes, it consumes only 305 watts which is comparable to 800 watt HPS/MH. And the coverage area of it is around 3 x 3 ft when suspended at a height of 24 inches. Though we felt the coverage area is small, but the amount of light it offers and looking at the growth result you can hardly complain.
- Switches for veg and bloom mode.
- Silent cooling fan.
- Very good yield.
- Can be run for a long period.
- Coverage area could have been bigger.
If you are worried about reflector melting at a higher temperature and want something safe, you could easily go for Phlizon Newest 1200W LED Plant Grow Light.
10. HIGROW Optical Lens-Series 1000W – Best For UV/IR Ray
Most of the 1000 Watts are expensive. If you need something that doesn’t cost much that we would suggest getting Higrow Optical Lens series. We loved the way it is built. It uses a 90 degree optical lens that helps concentrate the light in much better way. Overall, it can reduce the light loss by 30 percent. It uses 200 LED lights that has 50,000 hours of life span.
It is full spectrum grow light including UV and IR to support all stages of growth. In addition, you can control the lights using veg and bloom mode during different stages.
We also loved the fact that it uses the least amount of energy to produce maximum output. It consumed only 410 watts to provide effect of 1000 watts HPS or MH lighting systems.
We tried this light for 4 x 4 ft area and we had to use two lights to provide uniform light for all the plants. The height we maintained for the light was 12 inches. We observed there was no burning.
- Highly energy efficient.
- Comes with both veg and bloom mode.
- Cheaper compared to similar grow lights.
- Reduces light loss.
- Requires more lights for small area.
If you are looking for 1000 watts lights but in budget, then we you can HIGROW Optical Lens-Series.
Buyer’s Guide- What To Consider?
Growth of a plant depends heavily on the right light. All the plants has specific requirements. And the light becomes an even bigger factor when growing plants indoor. This why buying the grow light for your plants is necessary.
There are several factors that you need to know while buying the LED grow light like spacing, spectrum, light control, energy consumption, budget, coverage area etc.
Let’s look at them one by one:
1. Coverage Area
When you grow plants outdoor, you don’t have to worry about the space. But growing plants indoor is a different ball game. In outdoor, you have the tsun which provide uniform light for all the plants where as indoor its your artificial light that has to do the job.
Artificial lights have their own capacity and coverage area. Hence, depending on the coverage area, you have to buy the lighting system.
When you are looking to buy a LED grow light, you have to be sure about the coverage area. You must know the coverage area in feet. Using a measure tape, measure the area of your small plantation.
If you know the area of plantation you will be able to choose the right to grow light. Most of the manufacturer offers the rough figure on the coverage area of the particular model. You can either get one light that covers the area or you can use the combination of one or two lights to cover the area.
Again, remember the manufacturers provide rough figures, so make sure you buy the light that has 20-30 percent more coverage area than you require. A good way to know more is to consult someone who has experience with the particular model.
There is a lot of science involved when it comes to the growth of a plant. If you want your plant to have dense leaves and flowers, the right amount of different spectrum of light plays a key part. The plant not only requires right amount of white, red and blue light but also requires the right amount of infrared and ultraviolet light. This requirement of different spectrums of light depends on the growth stage of the plant.
Hence, a light has to be powerful enough to ensure that offers a wide spectrum of light for maximum growth. The most of the lights we have discussed are full spectrum light which also include infrared and ultraviolet lights.
While buying the grow lights you have to make sure that light is full spectrum and includes IR and UV. In addition, to being a full spectrum, it also has switches for different modes of growth. Using these switches you can to right spectrum of light depending on the growth stage of the plant.
We also advice you to learn about the different growth stages of plant and how it is affected by a different spectrum of light. Simple google search will help you do that.
3. Light Control
As we discussed about how the LED grow lights must have switches that allow you to switch to the right spectrum of light according to different stages of growth, the control over the amount of light also plays key factor.
Plants don’t require a particular shade of light 24 x 7. If you see the sunlight, the intensity of light changes through out the day. It is necessary for the plant to complete the cycle of photosynthesis effectively.
While growing plants indoor, the control of the intensity of light has to be done by you. Hence, the LED grow lights need to have that control to allow the plants to complete the photosynthesis cycle.
Most of the LED grow lights have veg mode and bloom mode, that allow you to control the light. Some lights may even come with dimmer to effectively switch to the right intensity of the light.
This feature is completely dependent on the grower and the kind of plant he or she plans to grow. VIPARSPECTRA UL Certified Reflector Series V300 and VIPARSPECTRA Reflector Series 600V are two great lights that provide you much better control with the light.
4. Energy Consumption
Using traditional grow lights could take a toll on your utility bills. Grow lights are used continuously for days, hence you require highly energy-efficient grow lights. And LED lights provide that efficiency.
Even though LED lights are known for their efficiency, still they use a high amount of energy. For instance, if you are looking for an output equivalent to 1000 watts, the LED lights are known to use around 600 watts for energy. The energy of 600 watts is still high. In addition to lights, there are other parts like a cooling fan that uses energy.
So overall, you require a lighting system that uses minimum energy to provide the desired output. HIGROW Optical Lens-Series 1000W is one of the most efficient lights that we tested.
When you are looking for a grow light, make sure you know how much output you desire. Once you know that you can compare the different models, that offer you the desired output with minimum input.
Like light, the temperature of the environment for plants is also crucial. Too much high temperature kills the plant and too low temperature also kills the plants. You have to maintain the the right temperature for the maximum growth of the cannabis plant or any other plant.
Any grow lighting system will produce heat. If such light is placed too close to the plant, it can burn the flowers. So to control that heat, most of the top LED grow lights use cooling fans. There can be either 2-3 cooling fans on the top. In addition to cooling fans, some models also use side vents.
During our tests, most of the grow lights were able to control the heat. However, we observed that if 2-3 lighting systems are used in combination, then an additional exhaust fans are required.
Most of the fans on our list have cooling fans. We also advise you to buy a grow light that has a well designed cooling system. And if you plan to use several lights in combination, ensure that you have an additional cooling system like exhaust fans or air condition in place to combat high temperatures.
You have to admit the fact that, using LED grow light is expensive. You not only spend money when you purchase it, but you also pay an electricity bill for the energy it consumes.
If you are on a tight budget, you have to calculate the cost as well as the energy bill. If you have only small amount of plants, you can go for the small capacity LED lights like VIPARSPECTRA UL Certified Reflector Series V300 or Advanced Platinum Series P300. These lights are not so heavy on energy bills.
However, you require a lighting system with a bigger coverage area, the budget could be an issue. You not only require a right amount of light but also that are cost-effective. For bigger coverage areas, 1000 watts are necessary. King Plus 1000w LED Grow Light is one of the most budget-friendly options that you can look for. It is all about knowing your requirements. Once you know your requirement you are in a better position to understand how much you must spend to fulfill it. You will get all types of LED lights and in different price ranges.
How We Conducted The Tests?
There are so many grow lights available in the market that buying the right grow light is almost confusing. Our aim was to give the LED grow lights that not only work but are durable and energy-efficient. We also wanted to gives lights for every kind of user because we know not all need large capacity lights or the most expensive lights.
We gathered 27 different models that were popular among the indoor growers. Our team then designed several tests based on parameters like capacity, energy efficiency, durability, coverage area, effectiveness, cooling, etc. We scored all the models based on the testes which allowed us to know the capabilities of each model.
Though the test gave us a good understanding of the lights. We wanted to know the products way a user with experience of using the product has. we also call it hands-on experience. We asked our team to handle the lights and use it the way a user does. This way they were more familiar with the process like use and installation of the light.
In addition to these, we brought in 8 experts from the grow light industry. Their expertise gave their insight on the manufacturing and several unknown facts about the models. Their expertise also helped us to design the right tests for the models.
After looking at all the information on each model of grow lights our team score the models on efficiency, effectiveness, and ease of use. This way we were able to create a list of the top LED grow lights for different types of users. Here is the table that shows how each grow light scored for the different test parameters:
|HIGROW Optical Lens-Series 1000W||96.8||94.8||95.1||95.57||Check Price|
|Phlizon Newest 1200W||96.1||95.4||95.3||95.60||Check Price|
|BESTVA DC Series 2000W||96.8||94.6||95.4||95.60||Check Price|
|MARS HYDRO Reflector 480W||95.4||95.1||96.8||95.77||Check Price|
|Apollo Horticulture GL60LED||96.2||95.8||96.1||96.03||Check Price|
|VIPARSPECTRA PAR600 600W||95.8||95.4||98.2||96.47||Check Price|
|Advanced Platinum Series P300||96.2||96.4||96.8||96.47||Check Price|
|King Plus 1000w LED Grow Light||96.4||97.3||97.1||96.93||Check Price|
|VIPARSPECTRA Reflector-Series 450W||97.6||98.2||96.4||97.40||Check Price|
|VIPARSPECTRA Reflector Series V300||98.4||97.3||98.2||97.97||Check Price|
1. Why LED grow lights are better than traditional HPS or MH grow lights?
There are a lot of ways to provide light to plants. But as we mentioned again and again, for the best growth of the plan right lighting system is the key. Traditional HPS and MH were really effective but the issue with HPS and MH is they use a lot of energy. In the long run you may end paying bills that may even surpass the amount you paid to buy the lighting system.LED are modern daylights that use less energy to produce the same output that HPS or MH does. Most of the manufacturers provide the stats that compare the model to the equivalent to HPS or MH lights. This stats give you a good idea of how much energy you will save with the particular model.
However, to give you a general idea with LED grow lights you you save 70 percent of the energy compared to the equivalent traditional light.
2. Which light is better for small grow room?
If you have a small grow room that consists of 5-10 pots, then a 300 or 450 watts LED grow light is perfect. Such grow lights have coverage area around 2 x 2 feet. If the coverage area is bigger than that you require grow lights of 600 watts.
3. Which color is better for the growth of the plant?
Different colors are needed for the complete growth of the marijuana plant. For instance, blue is much suited for the vegetative stage of the plant and when you combine blue and red color, it is well suited for the flowering stage. Most of the LED grow lights come with both vegetative and flowering switch that automatically switch to the right color of the LED light.
4. How many grow lights are needed per foot?
During our tests, we found that a 32 watts light per foot at a height of 18-24 inches provide perfect light to plant. YOu can keep this number while buying the LED grow light.
Growing plants indoor require a lot of knowledge, hard work, and the right tool. The LED grow light is one of the most important tools among all. Hence, you must have the right knowledge about it before you go out and buy one. In this post, we have tried to provide the right and tested information on different variants of LED grow lights that actually work. With the knowledge provided by us, all you have to do is decide what do you want to plant, what is the size of your grow room, how many plants do you own and what are your plans to expand the room in future.
Based on your requirements, you have to decide how much you can spend. The requirement and budget will help you narrow down the models that suit you. If you want more information on the model you decide to choose, always contact the manufacturer before buying.
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