- 0.1 Buying Guide & Top picks
- 0.2 Best LED Grow Lights 2017
- 0.3 How to choose the best model for your needs?
- 0.4 What are the main factors to consider while purchasing LED plant lights?
- 0.5 What are the reasons for choosing a full spectrum model?
- 0.6 Helpful gadgets for indoor plant growing
- 0.7 Overview of top LED grow lights that you can buy within your budget
- 0.8 PlatinumLED Series P900 (Advanced) – Editor’s pick
- 0.9 P600 Platinum series (Advanced)
- 0.10 P300 Platinum series (Advanced) – ideal for a 3 by 2 ft grow tent
- 0.11 California Lightworks LED grow light (440 W)
- 0.12 G8LED Mega LED (900 Watt) – “Best LED Grow Light 2017”
- 0.13 Mars Hydro Reflector LED Grow Light 144 (298 Watts)
- 0.14 VIPARSPECTRA PAR600 600W 12-band LED Light Full Spectrum for Indoor Plants Veg and Flower
- 0.15 Apollo Horticulture GL140X5LED Full Spectrum 700W LED Plant Light
- 0.16 TaoTronics Hydroponic LED Grow Light Bulb
- 0.17 ABI 25W Deep Red 660nm LED Light Bulb Bloom Booster for Flowering
- 0.18 Spider Farmer R90 Dimmable Series 450W Led Grow Light
- 0.19 MEIZHI R450 Reflector-Series 450W LED Grow Light Full Spectrum
- 1 Common Questions and Answers
Buying Guide & Top picks
If you are planning to purchase a brand new LED light to take care of lighting at your indoor garden and boost photosynthesis of your plants to the new heights, then you are at the right place.
Welcome to the GrowStarter.net’s comprehensive led grow light buying guide. We have also included some advice how to choose the best plant light and provided short reviews of some of the best grow lights in the market. You will surely find the most suitable model for your indoor plants from the products listed below. You will also find links to more in depth reviews of all models.
Best LED Grow Lights 2017
Below is list of plant lights reviewed on this page.
How to choose the best model for your needs?
Choosing the best from the never ending list of different models can be quite an exhausting task. You should consider some of the factors that will outline the benefits and suitability of different models. Let’s take a look on the most important features of these products.
The first and foremost thing to be considered is the space that lights need to cover. Such requirements can vary from one plant to ten plants and bigger plantations, or even gardens that cover the whole room. The physical size of the LED bulb or panel is the one factor, and another is how many Watts LED-chips generate in total.
Furthermore, for instance, for clones and seedlings, dedicated areas require light exposure while light should not aid the growth of weeds around the plant. Therefore you might want to use smaller bulb while growing clones/seedlings and switch to panel type light source at the later stage. If your model has a switch, for veg & blooming stages, then you could use it and adjust the height of the light.
Another important factor is whether you need an all-in-one lighting solution or just some extra light, as sometimes additional lighting may be a good idea to give some boost for photosynthesis. If you are looking for adding just some extra light, then light bulbs might be the best solution. For complete lighting solution, full spectrum grow lights are the best choice.
What it comes to actual LED bulbs and panels, generally there are no issues with the working of the product because of all the usual problems such as overheating and damages due to ballast are all simply eliminated by the use of LED-chips. Furthermore, the most effective models include passive and active cooling elements such as powerful fans inside the casing. Therefore lights are somewhat maintenance free, and manufacturers give quite long guarantees, sometimes up to two to five years!
LED based lights are modern, and the most efficient way to take care of all light needs of growing any plants indoors. They are also perfect for grow tents and whole rooms. Actually, if you are going to be serious about growing some plants, you will need either whole room-sized garden or growing tent to get a good harvest. But that is an another story, let’s go at the first deep into the secrets of powerful grow lights.
What are the main factors to consider while purchasing LED plant lights?
The main factors to consider are:
- The area that needs to be covered: As mentioned earlier, the primary thing that needs to be taken care of is the area that the light source covers. Only by knowing the exact dimensions of light case/bulb/panel, you can decide the type and the number of lights that are needed. So by choosing the right number and arranging lights adjacent to each other, you can easily provide enough light for any size of the indoor garden. However, most beginners start just with a one or maximum with just a few plants, and model such as VIPARSPECTRA PAR600 should be more than enough to take care of all needs.
- The phases of plant growth require a bit different lighting. Because of that lights with mode switches are the best.
- The angle of dispersion of lights: The angle of dispersion would decide the area a particular bulb or panel is capable of covering.
- Finally, the budget. How much you are willing to invest in lightning? It’s good to remember that generally, any LED-chip based light pays itself back within a year compared to saved electricity and saved replacement costs. Investing a bit more in the latest technology not only gives your plants the best light, but also guarantees good results and saves money in the long run.
What are the reasons for choosing a full spectrum model?
The reason for this is simple. A full spectrum grow lights are relatively new products in the market. It is not a surprise that some are still unaware of them. Many people do in fact purchase lights without knowing anything about light’s spectrum, and how important it is for plant growth.
Old style fluorescent lights might look like a good choice for indoor plant growing. However, this is a common misconception, as these lights are used to mimic the effect of sunlight in indoor gardens, but most of those lack some of the important wavelengths that are needed at different stages of growth. Full spectrum grow lights deliver all the required wavelengths of light for best photosynthesis, growth, and blossom.
Other benefits of LED plant lights include:
- The running costs are less
- The give high productivity and yield
- They do not heat up too much
- No flickering or similar issues
- Guaranteed usage for about 50,000 hours and more
- LED-chips are very reliable, and quite much maintenance free
Helpful gadgets for indoor plant growing
Some of the useful items for indoor gardening are:
- Sunglasses with UV-protection. These should be used always in grow rooms. Glasses will protect your eyes of harmful UV rays. Remember, that full spectrum lights emit also wavelengths that are invisible to human eye, and could cause eye damage without protective glasses.
- Light meter for light measurement. It allows determining that your plants are getting the perfect amount of light. Too little light causes growth problems, but also too much of light can be harmful to plants.
- Hygrometer. It is an instrument for measuring the humidity of the air. If you want to maximize well being of your indoor plants, you surely need to know humidity of the air – and adjust it if needed.
- Thermometer. Temperature is also important thing if you wish to maximize growth potential. Too cold or too hot environment causes serious problems for plants.
- Growing tent. Grow tents can keep your plants safe and sound throughout its entire growth process. It helps to control various factors related to plant growth such as temperature, humidity, and lights. Of course, tents are not beautiful, but they could provide an optimal environment for plants to grow.
- Fertilizers and Nutrients. Both are essential for healthy growth. Plants need minerals and proteins etc. The nutrients that help growth process also have an indirect effect on the taste and/or flavor.
- All in one kits. These are quite handy packages if you are a beginner, and you don’t have any of these gadgets yet. Purchasing all in one kit gives you everything you need.
Overview of top LED grow lights that you can buy within your budget
This is a list of the best LED grow lights available in the market. They are ranked according to the features they provide. Read through to find out the best one for your budget and needs. Generally, all models listed here are high quality and good choices. You need just how much you want to spend, how big your garden is going to be, and if you want all features – such as mode switches.
PlatinumLED Series P900 (Advanced) – Editor’s pick
This product can be considered the best option we have thus far. This PlatinumLED‘s Advanced series use futuristic full spectrum technology keeping your plants in the right light as well as temperature levels. The LED-chips used are capable of delivering light intensities that are almost thrice of ordinary LED-components.
The 12 distinct bands of lighting from P900 including those invisible to our naked eyes combined with the revolutionary lighting technologies can almost produce the same effects as sunlight. The other plus point is that they can be used throughout the growth process and properly aids each phase. So, you don’t need multiple lights for each phase.
There are different modes of functioning namely, the ‘veg’ as well as ‘bloom’, which offer low to high-intensity light for needed at the different stages of plant growth. The plant growth is somewhat boosted by the 90-degree dispersion angle of the beams offering great focus.
The amount of light P900 provides is comparable to a 1000 Watt HPS lighting, while consuming only half the power. With a kilowatt hour of energy costing 12 cents in the United States, a person living there can save a lot by using this product instead of ordinary plant lights. At half the electricity bill, you get similar or even better end results.
When hung at a height of 18 inches or so, the area illuminated is a rectangle with dimensions 3 by 5 ft. The maximum area procurable would come close to 24 ft. But why have these different area specs? Well because during the plant growth process, you may have to lower or raise the position of the light according to the plant growth. While raising the position of the light, more area is covered while the intensity is lowered. So a right balance of intensity and coverage area is required depending on the growth phase and the plant concerned.
Although this product cannot be considered as a budget product, it surely shows true value for the money. This product is also universal i.e. it works anywhere on the globe and with different standard voltage inputs. It comes with one of the best warranty, which covers five years. There is no question, the PlatinumLED brand offers great products and good value for money.
P600 Platinum series (Advanced)
This can be referred to as one of the most advanced of grow lights one can purchase from the present markets. Grow lights are usually quite expensive and most customers do have an opinion that a quality product with a premium cost is not a waste of money. The product is not at all hard on other aspects. It can be easily installed and set up. The area coverable is about 2 by 5 ft which can house about 5 to 10 plants maximum in the bloom mode.
The advanced tech and suitable fans incorporated offers the right temperature and conditions for optimum plant growth. The very intense lighting is impressive and offers the best results. The 5-year warranty and direct service from the manufacturer during this period is a huge plus point. With an impressive efficiency and plenty of savings, you would make up the money you have paid through this product through these savings procured over the years.
P300 Platinum series (Advanced) – ideal for a 3 by 2 ft grow tent
For those who are a bit tight on the budget or is not willing to spend too much on lights, this might be the one you are looking for. This is thus a budget-oriented product that offers almost the same benefits as that of high-end products.
The area it can cover is about 4.5 by 3.8 ft when hung at a height of 18 inches. This offers the ideal lighting conditions for growing many plant species. When this lighting system is combining with the additional lighting of some sort, the results obtained are quite a nice.
Offering the same benefits as 400 Watts of HPS lighting, while consuming only 180 watts from the supply is a huge advantage. The efficiency and subsequent savings make it an ideal choice for small scale growers. This is thus a serious product offering great functionalities like high coverage area, full spectrum lighting. High intensity and much more, all at a moderate price tag.
On top of all this, the different bands (11) of wavelengths of light produced by these LEDs can provide all essential lighting what is required for plant growth. The 3 watts rated LEDs in combination with the additional lens or panels for focusing the beam induce better plant growth. There are two lenses: one is a 60-degree lens and the other a 90 degree one each working towards focusing the beam in the perfect angle possible.
Even though this product comes with a higher price tag than most other products in its range, it is well worth of the money being paid due to its features. For example, there are replaceable chips in the lighting lamps. So even if a chip of the product fails, the same required power output can be produced after a quick replacement of this chip.
California Lightworks LED grow light (440 W)
This is among the most expensive model you can find out there, manufactured by California Lightworks. However, it definitely is well worth money. This is a unique product mainly due to its appearance and color (bright red) which is unlike all those common dull shades.
It uses 5 W LEDs and thereby offers quite an intense beam of lighting which is far better than most other products. The optics are quality enforced and angled at 90 degrees. The 15 Watt UV tube also does a good job in enhancing the growth of the plants in its flowering phase. The panel is fitted with fans and subsequent cooling is produced as a result. The warranty is not as expected as it spans only 3 years when compared to the 5-year warranty provided on many mid range products. However, the model has been quite long time for sale, and it has been reliable in use without too many problems.
G8LED Mega LED (900 Watt) – “Best LED Grow Light 2017”
This product was named the best grow light by the High Times Magazine in 2016. So you can buy this product confidently as it offers true value for the money. The 8 band wavelength in addition to UV and IR takes the plant through all growth phases smoothly. The product gives no issues like heating even when run through the day. The company offers great support to its customers along with a 2 year warranty period.
Mars Hydro Reflector LED Grow Light 144 (298 Watts)
This reflector grow light is a cost-effective light which has coverage of 4×4 (122cm x 122 cm) area which is better in terms than other panels compared. It has got a lifespan of 50000 hours. This model is used mainly as backup light which when considered with other lights. When it comes to low-cost options this reflector model definitely comes into the option. When reviewed the flower setting has got a small signing issue, but when compared with the veg setting there occurred no problems. This also has a wide covering angle of 90-120 degrees.
VIPARSPECTRA PAR600 600W 12-band LED Light Full Spectrum for Indoor Plants Veg and Flower
The VIPARSPECTRA reflector series is scientifically engineered to have the correct balanced features for your money spent on this product. This has been the best pick by the consumers in its category. It has different coverage of 2×2 or 3×3 which is a good choice for smaller grow tents. It also has an optimal full spectrum which provides veg and flower stages with every other thing desired in the natural sunlight.
Apollo Horticulture GL140X5LED Full Spectrum 700W LED Plant Light
When looking into the best quality and product and better manufacturers, Apollo is a good choice. This model is a good option when it comes to the growth of the plant. You can expect precise coverage, steady growth for the plant and a reduction in the electricity bills. It has coverage of 2×2 areas which helps in reaching at least 3 plants and only uses a small amount of electricity which is 90 watts.
This is lightweight in nature and can easily be hanged and also it doesn’t need ballast. A good feature of this product is that the lamp can be hanged more closely towards the plants which the other products don’t offer because this model runs cool. This also has an important feature that it has coverage of four spectrums of a different wavelength that helps in the growth of the certain seedlings.
This model has an amazing feature of a good life span which has over 50,000 hours. This is less-expensively priced and the company offers a great warranty of 2 years.However, sometimes there is a requirement of another lamp which helps in the flowering stage and working on other stages.
TaoTronics Hydroponic LED Grow Light Bulb
For a smaller grow area why would anyone need an expensive or large area covering device? If you have only a single plant with you the best option is an inexpensive light that covers a smaller area. Therefore, the TaoTronics buld is best suited for this purpose which also includes the low investment. It won’t have long lasting properties if you plan on having long term plans. For this range, it is very hard to find any other option as this is the only best-suited option.
ABI 25W Deep Red 660nm LED Light Bulb Bloom Booster for Flowering
If you are in need of a larger yield than before and are planning to produce larger yield but you are using the LED Panel to extend the reach, then this device comes in hand. Many users who are in need of a larger yield use some extra red lights which help in the better blooming of the plants. Since these devices are having LED light systems, they have got a larger lifetime and this investment is a less expensive investment.
This model from ABI has got red lights which are of 12 watts which help in producing more buds in the plant. This device is suited with the standard socket in your homes and can also be used with an extension cord. As like incandescent bulbs it does not turn as hot as those. This device runs cool and does not get overheated.
Spider Farmer R90 Dimmable Series 450W Led Grow Light
If you are looking for a low priced budget LED ight, this is the best choice. This Spider farmer R90 model comes from the well-known manufacturer MEIZHI. It has a dimmable and full-spectrum wavelength of light. The pricing of this model is adjusted to compete against the leading brands such as Mar Hydro and VIPARSPECTRA. The device holds a great PAR rating which is 540 umols which at a height of 18 inches can cover an area of 3.5×2 feet.
There are available 300W, 450W and 600W versions of R90. We have reviewed 450 Watts model, which features more than a single dimmer switch. You can even select the intensity needed for the plant’s growth in each of its stage. The Veg setting is selected for sprouting the seedlings, and then the flip on the Bloom is done for encouraging the flowering and the growth of the bud. The 450 Watts HID, MH or HPS light produces a large light beam, but it still consumes only 200 Watts of power.
MEIZHI R450 Reflector-Series 450W LED Grow Light Full Spectrum
This product competes against brands such as Mars Hydro and VIPASPECTRA. The PAR rating is 779 umol for this device which is a good for the price point. It has 90 LED lights of 5 Watts each which covers a wide spectral range.
This can be used as a replacement for a 450 Watts HID Lamp and also is a money saver as it only consumes an electricity of 195 Watts. Turning on veg setting is for growth, flipping on the boom helps in flowering. The device’s panel has a coverage of 3.5×2 feet and this can also be daisy-chained for a larger area coverage purpose.
Common Questions and Answers
What are LED Grow Lights?
LED grow lights are basically plant lights that use LED-chips (Light-Emitting Diodes) to produce light. These are more energy-efficient than older types of lights.
These are called “Grow Lights” because of the wavelength of light these models produces is optimal for different plant growth stages. The spectrum includes invisible and visible wavelengths, including the IR and UV rays, which directly helps in the growth of the plants. This provides energy indoor plants the same way the sunlight gives to plants growing outdoors.
What is full spectrum light and what makes it so good for plant growth?
Plants require different wavelengths of light at the different stages of growth.
When the plants are in the veg phase, the usage of UV rays helps in the increase of cell division with the absorption of these rays. Due to this, the plant growth is quicker and it also results in a larger yield.
The Infrared rays helps in the stage of flowering increasing blooming.
It is recommended to purchase the model with a broader wavelength that has a wider spectrum, so adjustments can be done at the different growth stages.
All so called full spectrum lights are good for that purposes, if there are switches, you can use to adjust emitted light.
The types of the plants which are grown, the light emitted the amount, wavelength, area coverage, light and height affects the growth of plant.
What are the benefits of LED plant lights?
Earlier several other methods were used for the growth purpose such as fluorescent bulbs and high pressured sodium lamps. These systems were difficult as these produced a large amount of heat, which caused problems especially in smaller spaces. Furthermore, those earlier models consumed much more energy, which was costly.
LED based lights doesn’t produce a large amount of heat, furthermore those doesn’t need replacement for bulbs and are also much more efficient as these models uses less electricity – keeping continuous costs much lower.
Below we have listed a few more benefits of LED based lights:
- Easy install and compact. These have a compact structure, which makes them easy to handle. No extra knowledge is required for the installation. You can even hang these near the plants for better growth purpose – without danger of burning your plants.
- Separate ventilation is not required. These models produce much löess heat, and in most cases no separate ventilation is required for cooling purpose.
- Installation in adjacent is done. For having a wider coverage area these can be installed in an adjacent manner.
- Variety wavelengths and different controls. The wavelength can be adjusted as the requirement and different modes are also present for different purposes such as blooming, flowering etc.
In short, LED based plant lights have revolutionized indoor gardening, and made the growth of the plants more efficient and low cost with better results and yield.
How many Watts are needed?
It is important to have the right amount of light. Not too much, and not too little. The correct wattage required in the grow area is calculated from the total plants, and area that you have to cover. Let’s take a few practical examples.
- If we have one plant planted in one square foot, then the wattage recommended is 25 Watts/ plant/ Sq. foot. If two plants are there in 1 Sq. ft., the wattage need to be increased to 50 Watts. That means, for example, if the total wattage is 250 Watts, you can put from 8 to 10 plants on that area.
- If you are going to grow only a one plant, then just get one 25W light, or for example TaoTronics 36W LED Bulb.
- If you are going to grow ten pants, then 250W should be fine. In a such case Mars Hydro Reflector 144 is a perfect choice.
From where to buy LED plant lights?
It is probably easiest to buy these products online. There are multiple stores selling high quality products. Most of them deliver world wide. Be sure to check out our top notch LED Grow Light Products. We offer always reasonable prices, and free delivery around the world!
Other trustworthy places to buy are for example Amazon, search for LED grow lights at Amazon. Of course manufacturer’s own e-commerce sites are also good places to buy these products.
If you wish to compare some of these models side by side, go to the Best LED Grow Lights Reviews page, and choose “compare” for all products you wish to compare and click “start comparison” at the bottom of the screen. Now you can view selected models side by side with some of their features listed, including current prices.
Hopefully this buying guide was helpful. Please read also our full reviews of the plant lights mentioned in this buying guide to get even better understanding about what is the best LED grow light for your purposes. If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to post them below. Happy growing, let your plants flourish!