If you were to follow your passion for indoor gardening, you’d need three out of three basic things. Water, air, and warmth. Your hydroponic system will do well to handle the water, and the air is already in the air. That leaves warmth. And what better way of supplementing warmth than investing in your very own set of LED lights.
LED lights work by providing the optimal wavelength of light that is needed by plants for growth. Since they are more synthetic or artificial in nature, you are able to manipulate their schedule and the timing of their lighting in such a way that you can yield the most flowering or vegetative growth. For best results, you can do this with respect to the stage that your plants are on. So whether it is flowers, vegetables or cannabis, a hydroponic system with LED lights would be the best alternative.
The many options out there today can be overwhelming. Not just any LED lights you pick at a store can cut it. These lights vary in design, heat production, spectrum, and longevity. Well, to help you make a wiser choice, we have rounded up the best LED grow lights out there today.
Top 10 LED Grow Lights Of 2020 Reviewed
1. King Plus 600w Double Chips Led Grow LightLed Grow Light For Herbs
The King Plus 1200W LED Grow Light features 10W Double Chips – a new LED technology that ensures your lights are brighter but consume less energy. The lights have a lifespan of more than 50,000 hours. The lights provide a full spectrum of white, yellow, blue, red, IR, and UV light. The King Plus also features holes in the cover glass plus small fans for better heat dissipation. All the lights have a three-year warranty. The lights ensure your plants get very lush and bushy during the vegetative stage.
However, it seems to be not as effective during the flowering stage. And the coverage area isn’t as large as advertised. The fans are also a bit louder than we’d like.
- Excellent growth during the vegetative stage
- Great heat dissipation
- 3-year warranty
- Smaller coverage than advertised
- Not as good during the flowering stage (more of supplemental)
- Fans are a bit loud
2. Galaxyhydro Series 300WLed Grow Light For Weed
GalaxyHydro is a brand well known for producing grow lights that provide the full spectrum necessary for plants at any growth stage so you can grow any plants at any season and shorten their growth cycle as well as increase your yield.
Their lights are easy to install, lightweight, and each bulb comes with a two-year warranty. Not only that, but you also get a 30-day money-back guarantee. Moreover, there are multiple cooling fans and heat sinks built in to create incredibly efficient heat dissipation. The lights have a lifespan of 50,000 hours.
However, it can be a bit too bright for some which may cause your neighbors to come looking. Plus, there’s no on/off switch. You’ll have to use a timer or just unplug the light whenever you don’t want to use it.
- Two-year warranty
- Excellent customer service
- Efficient heat dissipation
- Indoor use only
- No on/off switch
- A bit too bright for rooms with windows
3. VIPARSPECTRA Reflector-Series LED Grow LightLed Grow Light For Small Space
ViparSpectra’s Reflector Series is a top-quality growth light that provides the optimal full spectrum needed for the various stages of growth. It features advanced high-speed fans and upgraded aluminum cooling heatsinks to create efficient heat dissipation.
But what we really love about these lights is the fact that you get an on/off switch for two sets of lights; you can turn on one set of LEDs that are appropriate for the vegetative stage and then turn on the other set once the plants reach the flowering growth stage.
- 3-year warranty
- Comes with all the necessary hanging equipment
- Vegetative and bloom settings
- Some report issues with the fan (noise)
- Some issues with durability (a few reports of dying out within months after purchase)
- Small light coverage
4. Apollo Horticulture GL80X5LED LED Grow LightLed Grow Light For A 4×4 Tent
The Apollo Horticulture GL80X5LED Full Spectrum 400W LED Grow Light is a full spectrum LED light with a power draw of 195W, a lifespan of 50,000 hours, and coverage of 3×3 feet. It features two fans for heat dissipation which isn’t much since it tends to run a bit hotter than some of our other picks. It also has 80 5-watt LED chips and comes with a hanging kit.
The manufacturer offers a 2-year warranty which is pretty much the norm for most LED grow lights. This light is a good choice if you have small to medium-sized plots. And you can’t go wrong with a trusted brand like Apollo. However, keep in mind that there isn’t an on/off switch so you will definitely have to use a timer.
- Trusted brand
- Full-spectrum lighting design
- Comes with a hanging kit
- Tends to run hot
- Not for large-sized plots
- No on/off switch
5. BESTVA DC Series LED Grow LightLed Grow Light For Budding
This 1000W grow light features dual-chip LEDs (10W) which makes it a more efficient choice compared to the usual 3W and 5W LEDs. It has a full spectrum lighting design, a cooling fan system, and a 3-year warranty. Plus, you also get a 30-day satisfaction guarantee. The light comes with a hanging kit and is recommended for a 5.1′ x 4.7′ growing area at 24″ height.
The light definitely delivers, especially during the flowering stage. We’re very impressed with the build as well considering this was made in China. Even better, it comes with an on/off switch though it could use a veg/flower switch too. However, it can be a bit too bright on the eyes and the fans aren’t really quiet.
- Affordable 1000W option
- 3-year warranty
- On/off switch
- A bit too bright on the eyes
- Noisy fans
- No veg/flower switch
6. MARS HYDRO Reflector Full Spectrum Grow LightsLed Grow Light For A 4×4 Tent
Mars Hydro is a trusted brand that has been in the grow LED light industry for more than 7 years. This 720W LED light features a unique compact design with a coverage of up to 2.5’×4.5′ during the vegetative stage and up to 2’×4′ during the flowering stage.
It is a full spectrum light with high-intensity Epistar 5W LED chips and growth/bloom switches. There are fans for heat dissipation but it only turns on when the veg switch is on. The coverage is very impressive and the light itself is quite bright.
- Very bright
- Impressive coverage
- Growth and bloom switches
- Fans only turn on when veg switch is turned on
- Can’t be daisy-chained
- Does not come with instructions (for those that need it)
7. Roleadro 2nd Generation Series 300wLed Grow Light For Hydroponics
This is a full spectrum white LED grow light which is the perfect choice for those who wish to mimic natural sunlight as much as possible. It features 60 5-watt LEDs with a minimum lifespan of over 50,000 hours. It has a coverage of 3.9 square meters, a power draw of 124W, and a two-year warranty.
We like the fact that this is a pretty affordable option for those who are just starting their grow light journey or those with a limited budget. The build is pretty solid and the fans plus are great at dissipating heat.
However, there have been some complaints about the noise. This particular model does not have an on/off switch and can’t be daisy-chained.
- Excellent customer service
- Pure white light
- Noisy fan
- No on/off switch
- Can’t be daisy-chained
8. Morsen Led Grow Light Full Spectrum Panel LampLed Grow Light For A 4×4 Tent
If you need some really high powered lights for your larger than average to grow room, then Morsen’s got you covered. This light is 1500W but Morsen also offers other sizes starting with 1000W up to 3000W. The 1500W makes use of 10W double LEDs, with a power draw of 270W and a lifespan of over 50,000 hours.
It has a full spectrum light design, a 3-year warranty, and comes with a power cord as well as a hanging hook. For the amount of coverage and brightness offered by this light, the price is one of the lowest we’ve seen compared to others in this category.
However, it can’t be daisy-chained. The product is made in China and there have been a few complaints about durability.
- Very affordable
- Large coverage
- 3-year warranty
- Some reports of the lights dying out several months after purchase
- Made in China
- Can’t be daisy-chained
9. Advanced Platinum Series P300 12-band LED Grow LightLed Grow Light For A 4×4 Tent
Yes, this is a very expensive 300W LED grow light but it’s definitely worth the money. It has a high PAR per Lumen output with its intensity around 2-3 times higher compared to other LED grow lights. This LED light has a 12-band full spectrum lighting design with two switches for vegetative and bloom stages.
It also features 2 high-speed fans plus upgraded aluminum cooling heat sinks for effective heat dissipation. It has a coverage of 4.5ft x 3.8ft at an 18″ height. And it comes with a 5-year warranty plus a 90-day ‘satisfaction or returns’ guarantee, the best we’ve seen so far. The plants seem to love this light and owners haven’t had any complaints regarding durability so far.
However, you need to know that this is not true full-spectrum light. Also, the fans aren’t as whisper quiet as advertised. Also, you may need to add more reflective surfaces so your plants get full coverage, particularly those on the sides.
- 5-year warranty + 90-day satisfaction guarantee
- Veg/bloom switches
- USA-made LEDs
- Noisy fan
- Incredibly expensive
- Not true full spectrum
10. Giixer 1000W LED Grow LightBest Dual Switch Hydroponic Grow Light)
Giixer is a brand that has been making its mark on the industry of grow lights for some time now. This unit from Giixer features high quality new dual-chip technology that would make other 1000 watt glow lamps look like torches. The Giixer glow light is brighter, bigger, and relatively more efficient, yet only consumes 110 watts of power. Grow light enthusiasts would tell you how important low energy consuming lights are and how much they contribute to both saving costs and improving the growing environment of your plant. You get all this when you acquire the Giixer.
This grows light is double-switch in nature, with a veg and bloom option button. The veg switch is both blue LED and white LED; it’s suitable for seeding or using in plants in their young vegetative state. Bloom switch, on the other hand, is white led and red led which is suitable for blooming and flowering. The Giixer supports up to 50000 hours of use, which means it lasts much longer than other grow lights which would typically support up to 20000 hours.
With the Giixer, you get a full spectrum of lights, including white, red, yellow, blue and so on. This comes about as a simulation to sunlight which offers what the plants would need at different stages of growth.
- Covers a sufficient amount of space
- Good pricing
- Has a wide spectrum of light
- Some users claim the light brightness falls short of expectation
- Lacks a timer function
- Fans are a bit light
Choosing the Best LED Grow Lights – The Ultimate Buying Guide
Indoor gardening comes with so many benefits. If you want to go this route, there’s one thing that you absolutely have to have – LED grow lights. Not only do these provide your plants with the light it needs to grow, but these lights also run cooler, use less electricity, and produce higher yields. As an added bonus, LED lights to last a great deal longer.
However, there are quite a number of brands and products to choose from so it can get pretty tricky to find the one that suits your needs perfectly. The right LED grow light for you will depend on several factors. To help you pick your GROW light, we created this short guide so you’re armed with enough information to make the best choice.
What Wattage do You need?
Wattage measures how much energy is produced by the LED grow light at maximum capacity. The wattage provided by the manufacturer lets you know how powerful the light is and will help you calculate how many you’ll need to ensure your plant gets all the light it needs. Now, the amount of wattage you need will depend on the type of plant you have.
If you’re growing high-light flowering plants such as tomatoes, your light must produce 32 watts per square foot of grow space. For herbs, salad leaves, and other low-light plants, you will need 10 to 20 watts per square foot of grow space. If you’re growing marijuana, it is recommended that you have no less than 25 watts per square foot of grow space. Higher wattage means larger yields.
To find out how much wattage you need, here’s a sample calculation: If are growing marijuana, one plant takes up 4 square feet (2×2), then you need at least 100 watts for that plant alone (4 square feet x 25 watts per square feet = 100 watts). If you have 4 plants, then you’ll need 400 watts. If you have the money for it, you can go up to 600 watts for a better yield. Take note that LED diodes do not run at full power because it shortens their lifespan. Expect a LED chip to run at 60% of the full power stated by the manufacturer.
What Coverage do You need?
This depends entirely on your grow space and preferred set up. The amount of coverage your light provides will depend on how near/far it is from the top of the lights. Obviously, the farther back your light is, the more area it covers. However, the farther your light is, the lesser the penetration and PAR output. Because coverage can vary depending on the distance of the lights from the plants, you can’t really use the value given by the manufacturer.
What you can do is to find out the exact measurement of your grow space so you know how much needs to be covered and read up on reviews and feedback from other users to see how much coverage they got from a particular brand and model.
Take note that the maximum coverage you’ll get from the most powerful LED grow lights are around 4×4 or 5×5 feet.
Full-spectrum or Broad-spectrum?
In almost all situations, a full spectrum LED grow light is your best bet if you need a main light. For a supplemental light, you can opt for something that has a specific color spectrum. The reason for we recommend a full spectrum light is because it closely mimics natural sunlight, providing the plants with all the light that they need during vegetative and flowering stages of growth, including infrared light and near-ultraviolet light. You may have noticed that some of our picks are broad-spectrum lights, lacking the inclusion of UV rays. The theory is that equatorial strains of marijuana that are exposed to UV light have a much higher potency.
But if you’re not planning on growing weed, there is no research as of yet that proves that UV light is beneficial to plant growth. Also, it is more expensive to include UV light compared to the other colors, which is why some manufacturers don’t include it. For general purposes, broad-spectrum light is still a very effective option, more efficient than HID (High-Intensity Discharge) and HPS (High-Pressure Sodium) lights.
What is PAR?
PAR is short for Photosynthetically Active Radiation which is the measurement of the amount of usable light (for photosynthesis) that is produced by the grow light. Lumens is an entirely different thing; this is the measurement of how much light is visible to our eyes. Obviously, PAR is an important value to take note of.
However, you shouldn’t take the manufacturer’s claim at face value. This is because PAR would differ in the location of the plant. Plants near the center of the grow space, right underneath the light, would have a high PAR value. Those on the edges of the coverage area might not have the same value, probably lesser than what is stated. The best LED grow lights have a PAR value that is spread evenly across your grow space.
If you’re not sure about the distribution of the quantity of usable light produced by your light, then you need to consider rotating the plants out from time to time so that all of them are exposed to the same amount of PAR.
Some other things to Consider?
Naturally, your lights shouldn’t stay on 24/7. You want to mimic natural sunlight after all. However, not all grow LED lights come with an on/off switch. You’ll need to consider getting a timer if you don’t mind missing this feature.
Another thing you should consider is the veg/bloom switch. Yes, full-spectrum light is best since it mimics natural sunlight. However, only specific colors work best during a particular growth stage. For example, blue light promotes vegetative growth while red light promotes blooming/flowering. Some LED grow lights have a switch that allows you to turn on the color that will promote a certain growth stage, whether it’s vegetative or blooming.
Another thing you might want to think about is the capability of a certain grow light to be daisy-chained. What this basically means is that you can connect multiple units together. LED grow lights with this capability is more versatile as it allows you to use it for a variety of different set-ups and grow spaces. Also, the ability to daisy-chain multiple units means that there will be fewer cords for you to tangle with and better airflow, especially if you’re in a tight space.
Price and Warranty
These two don’t really go hand in hand but they are two important topics that we feel should be a top priority when it comes to choosing a LED grow light. Price should definitely not be your most important consideration when picking out the LED grow light for your plants. Compared to HIDs and fluorescents, LED lights are pretty expensive. Of course, some are cheaper than others but that doesn’t really mean poor quality. What we do recommend is that you don’t go all out if you’re simply looking for a supplemental light or you only have a plant or two to take care of.
However, some of the brands that offer a higher price come with a better warranty so you may also want to think about that. The length of most warranties is 2 to 3 years. Some offer a 30-day satisfaction guarantee along with the warranty. Others offer a longer warranty – 5 years – but it comes with a price tag to match. Typically, a 2-year warranty is good enough especially if the manufacturer is known for excellent customer service as most of the brands we’ve picked are.
When you finally pick the LED to grow light for your plants, keep in mind that this isn’t the end of your journey. You may need to experiment with your set up, possibly look for a supplemental light or install reflective walls. The point is, you never really know how good the LED grow light will be until you’ve seen the yield with your very own eyes.