Best LED grow lights of 2018 – find your best grow lights
How to choose the best led grow lights?
Millions of people around the world had always found it difficult to grow cannabis because of strict regulations and lack of supplies, but now that it’s legal in many countries, it’s not such a big deal to grow some tasty bud even in your closet. Of course, it’s better to set up a grow room/tent to encourage great yields, and with so many lights available for just a single click of your mouse, it’s now easier than ever.
Earlier, cannabis growers didn’t have many options when it came to Grow lights, so they preferred HID/MH lights that produced great yields; however, the biggest problem was the power consumption that spiked electricity bills enormously. It was becoming increasingly evident that it’s indeed a costly affair to grow your own medicine.
Thankfully, LED Grow lights were introduced in the market and although they were very expensive in the beginning, they now cost the same as HID lights, and some are even cheaper! If you’re growing indoors, it’s essential to purchase the best out there because if you skimp on this most important factor, you’ll simply be throwing away your hard-earned money.
It’s not difficult to choose the best LED grow light that comes with many features, but it’s not so easy either. With so many manufacturers flooding the market, it’s a tad tough for customers to sift through all the information. It ultimately becomes a guessing game albeit an expensive one, especially if you’re not careful.
But hey, don’t worry, because this detailed article will put your doubts to rest. After researching most of the grow lights and customer reviews, we are confident that this extensive review will help you get that grow light that’s simply perfect for you.
Choosing Best LED Grow lights depend on many factors including the power consumption, price, spectrum, wattage, coverage area, and grow room space, but that’s not all. You’ll also have to consider the durability because the goal is to purchase something that lasts for at least a decade.
In simple words, you need a grow light that can replace sunshine, and although you’ll find other types of grow lights, the biggest advantage with LEDs is that you won’t have to worry about replacing the bulbs, additional ballasts and power consumption while growing cannabis plants.
So, join us and let’s take a look at why these best LED grow lights surpass the others in the market. By considering several factors, you’ll know why Grow lights make your gardening adventures even more exciting!
Best price/value wattage
6' x 5.5'
6 x 4’
4 x 4’
5 x 5’
5 x 5’
5 x 5’
4 x 5’
5.7' x 5.4'
3.5 x 5.2’
Why go for LEDs?
There’s so much hype on LED Grow lights. Almost every cannabis grower wants to know why it’s the next big thing, and we’ll tell you why. As you probably already know, most cannabis growers used HID lights but when they failed to be sustainable, LED Grow lights gained more attention. Also, LED lights have several advantages.
Not only are they inexpensive, but they also draw very less power. HID lights are powerful and give you a good yield, but the LEDs ruling the industry today are known to produce greater yields and many growers are satisfied with their choices. Also, LED lights perform for at least 50,000 hours and some of them last for a minimum 100,000 hours even when the lights are on for large periods of time.
Keep in mind that cannabis plants need the grow lights to operate for at least 18 hours per day and some growers even keep them running for 24 hours! Obviously, you need Grow lights that can withstand the pressure, and if you choose a good grow light that’s perfectly balanced with many features, it’s worth your every penny.
When talking about LED Grow lights, please note that we will only talk about full spectrum lights here. Full spectrum lights are perfect because they are engineered to provide all the colors needed by the plants and since it saves so much power, you can consider replacing your old LED/HID equipment at any point of time.
Main factors to consider looking for the best LED grow lights
With so many options in the industry today, purchasing grow lights can be very confusing, especially for beginners. Not every cannabis grower follows the exact same practices, and growing space matters too. Also, should you purchase one single unit with a higher wattage or go for two fixtures to help disperse the light? And, what about power consumption? What about the coverage area?
Well, we get it. We know that you have many questions, and we’ll address them first here. Let’s consider a few important elements when picking LED Grow lights.
- Power consumption – The biggest advantage with LED Grow lights is that they consume very less power when compared to other lights like HID/MH lights; however, some LED lights perform better than the others in this area. The lesser power the light draws, the lesser your electricity bill and vice versa. So, why not save more when you have the opportunity?
- Coverage area – The coverage area determines the number of lights you need to ensure that your plants grow perfectly. For example, if you have a big grow room and purchase only one fixture that fails to cover the entire area, you’re simply wasting money. You can’t skimp when it comes to Grow lights because plants need light more than anything else.
- Plant growth – Cannabis plants are not finicky and will adapt very quickly to the environment, but you need to keep an eye on the vegetative and reproductive stages to make sure that you get the yields you want. Yes, you don’t have to worry about the stages of growth if growing outdoors, but growing indoors is a different ball game and since cannabis plants need more light during the flowering stage, the type of LED you own matters a lot.
- Price – The price is perhaps the first thing you look at when purchasing anything. Growing cannabis wasn’t easy as it meant high maintenance, and LED Grow lights were very expensive earlier, but now that they are inexpensive, you don’t have to worry anymore. Having said that, some LED Grow lights are more expensive than the others because of their high quality. Also, they last longer, which means that you’ll save money in the long run.
- Spectrum – Most LED Grow lights performed well, but as the “full spectrum” feature became famous, almost all LED lights are now available with a complete spectrum to help the plants grow to their maximum potential. Full spectrum lights are perfect because they almost mimic sunshine and that in turn encourages high yields. Additionally, they don’t cost too much and come with added cooling facilities to keep the lights running for a long time.
Without much ado, let’s get into the details of why these LED Grow lights deserve to be in the top 10 according to our research…
Best LED grow lights - our 10 picks
Based on thousands of customer reviews and research, we can confidently say that the Advanced Platinum P-Series lights are the best out there today. It simply beats other grow lights because you can watch the difference in your plants within a matter of days. Priced at around 350 $ for a 300W light, it may seem expensive, but if you’re a serious cannabis grower, you’ll realize pretty soon that it’s one of the best investments you can make.
As always, quality and results matter, so many growers don’t mind paying the hefty price. The equipment is light and you can set it up in a jiffy. Also, the lights are so bright that they provide at least 2-3 times more intensity compared to other lights. The 12-band spectrum is complete with Infrared and UV light and you can also manually control the spectrum if you want to save more power during the vegging stage.
The Advanced Platinum LED Grow lights are available in different wattages including 150w, 300w, 450w, 600w, 900w and 1200w. With such a huge range, you can select anything depending on the size of your grow room. All the lights consume very less power.
For instance, the P300 draws only 180w of power, but it offers light that’s 100% usable by the plants and the lights are tuned perfectly to create the highest photosynthetic response. Platinum LED Grow lights are worth your money because the series offers the highest PAR/LUMEN output compared to any LED light!
The P300, for example, can replace a 400w HPS light and cover a 3.8 x 4.5 ft space easily. The lights are intensified further, thanks to the 90-degree focusing lens that maximizes the light penetration deep into the canopy. Also, these grow lights are equipped with 3w chips that are manufactured in the USA.
3W chips generally emit very less heat compared to other LEDs and that’s exactly why you’ll never struggle with your plants burning due to too much heat even though these lights are powerful and intense. This light has innumerable advantages but what makes it the best in our book is the 5-year warranty, fabulous customer service, and 90-day money back policy. In other words, you’d have made back your money even before the warranty runs out!
- Expensive when compared to other LEDs
The first thing you notice when you look at a G8LED Grow light is the way it’s built. Even if you purchase a simple 240w light, you’ll see that it’s compact and simply perfect for stealth grows. You’re lucky if you reside in a location that legally allows cannabis plantation, but for others, stealth grows are the only option.
Many cannabis growers worry about their safety and prying neighbors more than anything else, and if you’re one of them, the G8LED Grow lights are tailored just for you. They are available in different wattages including 90w, 240w, 450w, 600w and 900w, so you can choose anything whether you’re growing in a small closet or a big commercial setup.
Almost all the customer reviews claim that the lights are too powerful to handle. In fact, some customers are so pleased with the product that they don’t mind shelling some extra money to get premium results. What’s more, G8LED was named the best LED Grow light in 2016 by High Times magazine, and that’s not a small feat!
Engineered specifically to deliver the perfect spectrum, these lights contain 8 bands including the UV and IR light. The IR lights aren’t visible to the naked eye, so don’t fret if you can’t see them when switching on the lights!
Most LEDs fall short when it comes to heat because it’s very difficult to engineer a product that remains cool even after running for 24 hours every day without a break. Cannabis plants demand a lot of light especially in the flowering stage because that’s when all the action begins, and G8LED lights beat their competition right away because the lights are cool even after you leave them on for long periods of time.
There are many LEDs on the market today, but there’s much demand only for the bigger lights because most manufacturers don’t supply small lights anymore. However, G8LED have lights available even in the 90w range because they understand that even growers with limited space can utilize their closets to grow their own medicine at home.
Marshydro has been manufacturing LED Grow lights for the past eight years and they have been very successful with their venture. The most attractive feature about Marshydro is the price because it’s definitely cheaper than most LEDs out there. Available in four different wattages including 240w, 480w, 720 and 960w, these Grow lights have something to offer to everyone.
While the 240w costs only about 120 $, the 960w light is priced only at around $320. making it a perfect choice for growers who can’t afford to spend too much on grow lights. Also, the manufacturer has been in business for several years thus leading to a loyal customer base. Most customer reviews sing praises for these lights, and rightly so because Marshydro lights are genuinely too good to be true.
Designed to create the most effective spectrum, Marshydro lights offer everything your plants need both during the vegging and flowering/blooming stages. They also come with switches that allow you to manually control the power consumption during any stage of plant growth.
For example, if you purchase a 240w Marshydro Reflector and don’t want to use all that power, you can use the Veg switch to reduce and save power. As you probably already know, cannabis plants don’t need too much light during the vegging stage and this mechanism gives you the opportunity to save more money.
The lights are available with powerful fans that keep the temperature inside the grow room cool even after long periods of usage, but unlike other LEDs equipment, the fans are quiet and do their job just fine. These lights come with 5w Epistar chips that are considered the best in the industry. Also, Marshydro lights are designed to be compact and small, but you will certainly be surprised by the intensity of the light.
Marshydro has released several lights, but the Reflector series has garnered the most attention simply because of the results it delivers. It’s named the Reflector series because a series of compact reflectors surround each and every individual LED to ensure a very high PAR output. In other words, you’ll save more power since this product doesn’t require many LEDs to produce a good output.
Check prices on other wattage models
When it comes to Grow lights, Apollo Horticulture has definitely created a loyal customer base, thanks to the range of lights it offers. Apollo has a series of lights starting from GL25LED 75w that only pulls 50w of electricity! They are so compact and well designed that it’s perfect for small closet grows. Even the GL60LED 180w consumes only 109w actual power and can be used to grow any plant in small grow rooms.
The biggest advantage of Apollo Horticulture Grow lights is that it offers a huge range of lights including 400w, 600w, 700w, 900w and 1200w. While the small lights are circular in shape, the bigger ones are rectangular and suits bigger grow tents or rooms. The lights also have a daisy chain feature that’s desired by most growers to hang multiple fixtures together so that the light is dispersed uniformly.
Apollo Horticulture lights contain a full spectrum that suits plants in any stage of growth. This means that you don’t have to worry about switching the lights when the plants are transitioning from the vegging to the flowering stage. Just set it up and forget about it! Another attractive feature is the price because the biggest 1200w light costs only around 600 $!
Apollo Horticulture lights come with separate modes for vegging and flowering stages. The difference between the two modes is that it includes the 720 nm spectrum, which is considered perfect to increase the growth in plants. The lights are designed keeping this effect – known as the Emerson or Mars effect – in mind and that’s what makes Apollo lights so special.
Additionally, the light equipment contains three fans that run continuously to reduce the heat emitted by the LEDs. Growers don’t need additional ballasts or fans to keep the grow room cool as the lights work perfectly fine even when the temperature ranges from 0 to 131 °F. Heat issues should never be ignored, and we recommend that you install at least one fan no matter what grow light you choose to reduce potential hazards.
Other available wattages
5. Viparspectra Reflector Series Full Spectrum LED Grow Lights Review (Awesome design and reputation)
If you’re looking for a grow light that provides a good balance of great features and budget, Viparspectra may be the one for you. Viparspectra has released several models, but their Reflector Series has been the most popular by far. It has several lights in different wattages including 300w, 450w, 600w, and 900w.
While the Viparspectra Reflector 300w costs only about 80 $, the 900w costs near to 300 $, making it worth your investment. Don’t be fooled by the prices, though! These lights pack a punch with all the features offered by top LED companies, and since the manufacturer also offers a 3-year warranty plus 90-day money back policy, it’s simply a no-brainer.
Many customers have reported that they bought the lights only for testing purposes since there isn’t a lot of information from cannabis growers, but they have been pleasantly surprised. With different modes of vegging and flowering phases, you have the opportunity to save more power as the plants continue their cycle.
Viparspectra lights have been designed to deliver the best PAR output and the coverage of 3x3’ during the vegging/vegetative stage is pretty impressive. A 600w light can replace a 600w HPS, but it draws only 269w! Additionally, the full spectrum leaves no stone unturned to ensure that your plants get all the light they need.
Although these lights are powerful, they are equipped with cooling heat sinks made of aluminum to keep your grow room cool. Powerful but quiet fans add more assistance to keep the temperature in check even if you run a light for 24 hours every day. Remember to hang the lights at a distance of at least 24-32 inches to prevent leaf burn.
6. Viparspectra Dimmable Series PAR LED Grow Lights Review (Innovative)
Viparspectra has released quite a few models including the Reflector series, Timer Control series, and the Dimmable PAR series. The Dimmable PAR series is a tad expensive when compared to the other models, but since it has additional features, the price is justified. The biggest advantage of the Viparspectra Dimmable PAR series is that it allows the user to adjust the white, red and blue dimmers individually to control the spectrum.
So, why is the dimmable feature an advantage? Well, first off, you’re in complete control of how your plants grow. When the plants are in the vegetative stage, you can switch on only the blue and white colors and use the red color during the flowering stage. As a result, you save more power and more money.
Countless customer reviews make it apparent that the customers are mighty pleased with this product. Although many growers use all the colors during both the vegetative and flowering cycle, the dimmable feature certainly gives an edge to people who understand how to manage the spectrum. After all, a well-balanced spectrum is essential for plants to grow to their maximum potential and Viparspectra understands this.
Also, Viparspectra lights are designed specifically to deliver a good balance of the PAR/LUMEN output. Not many manufacturers give importance to the PAR but Viparspectra obviously differs in this respect. The coverage is also excellent when compared to other grow lights. For instance, a Viparspectra PAR700 Dimmable light can easily cover a 5x4’ grow tent at a height of about 24”.
The PAR700 can also replace a 600w HPS light while pulling only 326w and you save more money! The company offers a 3-year warranty plus a 30-day return guarantee to ensure that their customers are happy. Based on reviews, it is evident that the customer service is also top class since a few customers have reported that the manufacturer has replaced damaged lights within just a few days notice.
Although there are many LED Grow light manufacturing companies making headlines today, Meizhi has managed to carve a space for itself in this niche. They released the Reflector Series but they upgraded it with even better features to suit the customers. Today, Meizhi has gained quite a lot of reputation, thanks to its Grow lights that offer all the features offered by branded LEDs at a cheaper price.
Meizhi Reflector series has a range of lights including 300w, 450w, 600w, 900w and 1200w. The best feature of these lights is the PAR rating of 779umol that’s considered the best for this price range. For example, the 300w light costs only near 80 $ while the 1200w light costsed around 380 $! It’s incredible once you realize that the price for a 1200w light costs the same you’d pay for a top-branded LED light.
Generally, the common notion is that anything cheap isn’t worth your while; however, Meizhi lights seem to be an exception. The lights are inexpensive, yes, but they offer almost every feature offered by other companies and it’s simply perfect for beginners who don’t have a lot of money to grow cannabis. Many customers also claim that they bought these lights to serve as replacements if their main LEDs broke down, but Meizhi Grow lights have performed so exceptionally well that they aren’t viewed only as replacements anymore.
The Grow lights contain 5w LEDs that emit quite a lot of heat, but the cooling system is engineered in such a way that the lights remain cool even if you run them for long periods of time. It also consumes very less power. For example, a 450w Meizhi Reflector draws only 195w, and if you want to save more power, you can use the separate modes available to switch from the vegetative to flowering stage. The lights also have a daisy chain feature that allows you to connect multiple fixtures together.
Check other models by the links
8. BESTVA LED Full Spectrum Grow Lights Review (New Budget Light worth a look; Low power consumption)
If you’re looking for a grow light that’s cheap, has all the features, and lasts for a long time, look no further than BESTVA. The manufacturer is relatively unknown and new and you probably won’t see many reviews on these lights, but they are so incredible that you simply can’t miss it.
The company has released quite a few models including the Reflector Series, Double Chip series and the Smart Series to ensure that their range of lights fits the requirements of as many customers as possible. While the Reflector series is newly upgraded with a full spectrum to specifically suit cannabis plants, the Smart series comes with a timer control, remote control and dimmers to control the spectrum.
The Double Chip series provides twice the coverage than any other traditional HPS or Reflector LEDs. BESTVA has quite a few lights that are designed for perfection, but what’s amazing is the power consumption. For instance, a 600w Reflector light can replace a 400w HPS light, and it consumes only 132w! Also, you simply can’t beat the price because the 600w light costs almost 100 $
If you’re a grower who understands the importance of PAR, you can simply go for the Double Chip series that offers the best PAR/LUMEN output. The manufacturer claims that the dual-chip technology makes the lights more intense and bright compared to regular LEDs.
Remember that 10w LEDs emit more heat than 3w or 5w chips, but since the equipment comes with a powerful cooling system, you really need not worry. The lights also have holes on the panels made of aluminum and the company assures that these lights run cooler than most LEDs in the market.
BESTVA also offers a 3-year warranty along with a 30-day money return guarantee and since the lights offer twice the coverage than other lights, it’s really worth your investment. Even the BESTVA DC 1500w costs close to 180 $ while drawing only 280w! If you’re a beginner who can’t afford other expensive brands, BESTVA certainly has a range of lights to appeal to you.
LED Grow lights have progressed a lot with respect to technology ever since they were introduced. Manufacturers now develop their lights using innovative technologies that can provide everything a plant ever needs. Similarly, King LED has also used a new type of technology that involves two 5w LEDs instead of the regular 3w chips. Therefore, with 10w Double Chips, the lights are much stronger and brighter than your regular LEDs.
The Double Chips technology greatly influences the light output and coverage where a 1200w King Plus LED can cover a 3.5x5.2’ grow tent during the flowering stage easily. They run for more than 50,000 hours, which means that you’ll never have to worry about replacing the lights for a long time. The manufacturer offers a 3-year warranty that makes these lights worth your time.
In addition, the 10w chips work very efficiently. They do release more heat than other LEDs, though, but since King Plus Double Chips Full Spectrum Grow lights have a powerful cooling system with aluminum heat sinks and large fans running continuously to dissipate heat, you can rest assured that you won’t face any problems related to heat. To reduce the heat further, even the cover glass and LED board contain holes.
King Plus Grow Lights are available with a full spectrum that contains all colors including red, white, blue and yellow. UV and IR light complement the full spectrum and help to disinfect the plants. In other words, the lights are almost as good as sunshine and based on customer reviews the plants love all the attention.
California Lightworks Solarstorm LEDs seem to be a favorite among many customers since the lights are way too bright. These 440w lights are available in 2, 4 and 8-packs and growers can choose anything that suits them. Basically, these lights contain 88 high flux LEDs that are manufactured in the USA.
Along with many other features, the California Lightworks Solarstorm also contains UV-B T8 tubes that are available with separate switches. This feature allows the grower to manually control the spectrum by reducing the power consumed during the vegetative stage. Since the plants need more light during the blooming stage, you can use all the power and let the light do its job.
Now, as you already know, the light spectrum plays an important role when you’re growing plants indoors, and California Lightworks Solarstorm comes with a 5-band PAR spectrum that contains all the colors necessary to help the plants thrive.
One 440w light can cover a 3x3’ grow room without wasting light. Also, the lights are even more powerful thanks to its PPF – Photo-synthetic photon flux – that maximizes light penetration into the canopy. As a result, the plants are stronger with more light and you’ll be amazed at the amount of resin produced.
The California Lightworks Solarstorm lights are comparatively expensive than other lights; however, you’ll not be disappointed because the output is also better than other lights. If you’re one of those growers who doesn’t mind paying a premium price to get premium results, California Lightworks Solarstorm may just be the light for you.
Other wattage of this light
Pros and cons of LED grow lights
For years, cannabis growers preferred growing cannabis with HPS/HID/MH lights since there weren’t too many options available. However, many growers have been slowly switching to LEDs ever since they were introduced. Having said that, HPS lights also have a few advantages and some growers even claim that they are unbeatable when it comes to flowering.
The biggest advantage LEDs have over HPS lights is that they produce very little heat. HPS lights are powerful, yes, but they emit so much heat that growers need additional ballasts and fans to keep the temperature optimal. Cannabis plants also need heat but once the temperature shoots above 35 ℃, you’ll see the plants wilting and struggling to stay alive.
For this reason, LEDs are gaining more popularity than ever. Previously, growers who made the transition from HPS lights to LEDs weren’t too happy with the output because LEDs failed to deliver the same results as HPS lights. Granted that they emitted less heat, but the yield produced by HPS lights beat the LEDs any day.
However, with time, technology has improved to such an extent that LEDs are producing as much yield as HPS lights now. Also, HPS lights were inexpensive compared to LEDs when they were released in the market. This turned many buyers away as it didn’t make sense to increase the price of an already expensive experiment.
LEDs didn’t attract many customers since it seemed like they were too many disadvantages but the manufacturers reduced the prices to make them more appealing to consumers. As a result, LEDs now cost as much as HID lights and some are even cheaper as you’ve seen in this review.
Apart from all these features, the biggest advantage of owning an LED light is that it takes very little power. HID lights are notorious for increasing the electricity bills and they are certainly not an option for someone trying to grow cannabis stealthily. In other words, HPS lights turn out to be more expensive in the long term simply because of the power they consume. Additionally, growers need to replace HPS lights constantly as they burn out very easily.
On the other hand, LEDs don’t have the issue of replacements as they run for a long time (50,000-100,000 hours) even if they perform continuously without a break. To manage the competition, manufacturers offer a 3-year warranty to ensure that the consumers are happy.
At the end of the day, it’s obvious that LEDs beat HPS lights by a mile, and cannabis growers can now grow their medicine at home without having to burn too much money.
Our conclusion on best LED grow light
Now that you know both the pros and cons of LED lights over HPS or other grow lights, you can make an educated decision as to whether it’s wise to switch over to LED lights. To put it simply, LEDs don’t require a lot of maintenance and you can set them up and forget about it. It may seem daunting to switch to LEDs at first, but based on our experience and research, we recommend that you take the plunge and see the results yourself.
LED lights such as Advanced Platinum and other mentioned in this review may seem expensive compared to HPS lights; however, they are certainly worth your time and investment without a doubt.