Best LED Grow Lights 2018 | Our Top Pick and Buyer’s Guides

With the legalization of cannabis, the quest for the best LED grow light is in top gear now more ever before. Sure, LED grow lights may be a somewhat new phenomenon but the buzz around them is fast creating confusion over which model is worth purchasing.

If you’re caught up in the bewilderment or can’t simply tell which the best grow lights are, fret not. We have done a side by side comparison of the most in-demand lights, carefully analyzed what makes each piece different and compiled an all-inclusive list with a sole aim of helping you make a well-versed decision before you spend your cash.

Whether you’re an experienced marijuana grower looking to upgrade from your current unit or a beginner with a limited budget, we’ve got you covered. Later, we’ll tell you about the most important considerations to make when choosing an LED light so that you don’t commit the common mistakes most people do, more so if you’re a first-timer. In other words, this is your one-stop shop for anything and everything to do with LED grow lights even for those seeking to shift from HID lighting.

. …and now, without further ado, here is a rundown of the top grow light LEDs.

1. G8LED 900 Watt MEGA LED Veg/Flower Grow Light

A product of the renowned G8LED, this light features 8-band wavelength ratio, real infrared, and ultraviolet technologies making it one of the most energy efficient units on the market. It doesn’t overheat. In fact, you can touch it even after twenty hours of continuous lighting.

Features

Performance You Can Rely On

This light has undergone through rigorous testing to guarantee solid reliability and consistency. The best part is that its makers keep revamping the design and capability to meet the ever-changing demands of indoor growing. Of course, the up-to-the-minute technology further works to improve your plant’s growth quality and by extension, higher yields.

Easy to Install

One of the fundamental reasons you’d want to shift from HID lighting to G8LED is the convenience this light brings to the forth. Its installation is a breeze. You don’t need use ballast to have it in place. All you need to do is to plug it and start to grow!

One-time Fitting

Mounting this light, as stated is super easy. It may also catch your attention to know that once you’ve set it in place you don’t have to dismount. Yes! This light will last your plant’s entire grow cycle. It is enough to cover an area of 24 square value feet with a PAR (Photosynthetically Active Radiation) value of 1540 umoles at 16 inches. It can penetrate up to sixty inches past your plant’s canopy

Note – you may consider using this light alongside 90W red flower boosters during flowering to maximize your yield.

Pros
  • Iconic output
  • Saves you big on electricity bills
  • Covers a relatively big area
  • Long lasting
  • Ideal for scrog tent
Cons
  • Somewhat expensive.

2. Advanced Platinum Series P600 600w

Can’t afford the G8LED MEGA LED Veg/Flower Grow Light? Not a problem! This one by PlatinumLED is an equally good option. The only thing you need to note is that it has an output of 600W as opposed to G8LED’s 900 watts. We take a closer scrutiny of this unit and what it has to offer.

Features

Broad Spectrum

While this light has a subtle output of 600 watts, it boasts one of the highest PAR per watt when compared side to side with other grow lights in its category. It offers a complete 12 band spectrum to make sure that you get the best possible yield without spending too much on power.

Greater Efficiency

The Platinum Series P600 also expends lesser heat in comparison to most models. It promises the same results as the traditional 800w HPS grow light while only using a reasonable 368 watts of power. The ripple effect is that your plants get 100% reusable light that is ideally suited to facilitate optimal photosynthetic response.

Flexibility

The Platinum Series P600 stands out as one of the best LED lights due to its adaptability. In other words, you can scale it to virtually any size grow area. Its long yet remarkably narrow dimensions enable the versatility. Other than that, despite its lack of size, this grow light can penetrate to the depths of up to four feet over your plant’s canopy, thus providing maximum reach.

Selectable Veg and Bloom Light

This light allows you to switch from Veg to Flower light spectrums and back at the press of a button. This unique function assures better performance of your plants during various growth stages from seedling to flowering and harvest. That way, you won’t need any supplemental lighting as this unit has got you covered throughout the growth process.

Pros
  • Top-notch quality
  • Maximum efficiency
  • Affordable
  • Amazingly powerful
Cons
  • The bulb system could make do with some improvement.

3. California Lightworks Solarstorm 440-watt LED with UVB

Growers who’ve used this unit say it is cooler than the vapor light which make it an excellent pick for vegetative growth. Due to its ability to spread the light evenly, your plants will grow at the right rate and won’t stretch towards the source of light. Plus, the outer casing is sturdy and durable.

Features

High Power

The Lightworks Solarstorm comes with 88 high power LED light emitters. These place its total nominal power at 440 watts. With such an output, this light can cover a grow room measuring three square feet. You may choose to get a two, four or eight pack if you have a bigger tent. Naturally, the more the units, the higher the amount you’ll spend.

High Photo-synthetic Photon Flux

By now, you must have known that an LED grow light ability to penetrate into your plant’s canopy is essential. In fact, that’s what makes the difference between a poor and bumper harvest. Well, this unit’s capability to infiltrate your plant’s canopy is stellar, which means better crop and yields.

Jewel Glass Primary Optics

The Solarstorm has unique glass optics that ensures the level and amount of light remains constant during each phase of growth. The optics also produces a continuous light intensity whether you’ve set your unit in Veg or Bloom mode. The package even comes with UVB bulbs that are indeed useful during the last few weeks of growth when you want to develop higher potency and harvest.

Pros
  • Three lighting modes to maximize yields
  • Does not overheat even with hours of use
  • Great value for money
  • Delivers results quick
  • Versatile – you can use it for various plants other than marijuana
Cons
  • Does not come with ratchet hangers.

4. King Plus 2000W Double Chips LED Grow Light

For a grow light with 2000 watts of output, this unit by King Plus is ridiculously affordable. It has a compact design too, further allowing you to hang it in your grow room with relative ease. Make no mistake about it though – this light may be within reach if you have budget constraints but that does not make it any less effective as high-end competitors. Here’s what you get.

Features

10 Watts Double Chips

Despite its compacted size, the King Plus is remarkably bright thanks to the integrated double chips. Apart from the brightness, these chips make this light more efficient in comparison to conventional 3 watts and 5 watts LEDs. You may also want to know that it uses an innovative technology that maintains a perfect balance between PAR/Lumen output and coverage. The result is months of reliable service.

Energy Saving

This is an ideal grow light if you’re wary of spending too much on electricity bills. It uses about 380 watts of power every hour. Put differently; it will save you more money than an MH or HPS lamp. You must, however, use it with a universal plug and play socket that expends 85 to 265 volts of power.

Full Spectrum

The King Plus has “every light” that your plants need to thrive. It provides yellow, blue, red, white, UV and IR, which mimic the rays of the sun. With such a broad spectrum it can grow all kinds of indoor flowers and veggies at all development stages.

Pros
  • Built-in cooling system for efficient heat dispersion
  • Lifespan of up to 50, 000 hours
  • Design backed by professional research
  • Incredibly bright
Cons
  • May not work very well for a large grow room.

5. VIPARSPECTRA 1200W LED Grow Light Full Spectrum

Even though we will look at it in greater detail, it is essential to mention that reading what previous users have to say about a specific light is an integral part of the purchasing process. The more the positive feedback a light has the better. The VIPARSPECTRA is a top rated and efficient model if what users have to say about it anything to by. Here’s an in-depth overview.

Features

Longer Lighting Capability

If you thought that the King Plus’s 50,000 hours lifespan is impressive, the VIPARSPECTRA’s output will astound you. This lamp offers a mind-boggling 100, 000 hours of lighting. Now, that’s double the longevity of the King Plus. The performance makes it a perfect fit if you’re in pursuit of the best LED grow light to last more than one growth cycle.

Ultra Powerful

How well an LED grow light performs ultimately determines the quality and quantity of your harvest. And that cuts across the board, whether you’re producing cannabis or tomatoes. The VIPARSPECTRA ranks high with the best performing lights on the market. Its output compares to the traditional 1000 watts HPS/MH while consuming a mere 524 watts.

Brilliant Heat Dissipation

The VIPARSPECTRA doesn’t disappoint when it comes to ensuring that your plants get enough amount of heat. It features high, advanced fans to support quiet operation while spreading the heat evenly within your grow room. And just you may know, this light will give the best results when used for a vegetative coverage of 4.5×4.5’ at 32” and 3.5×3.5’ for flowering coverage at 24”.

Pros
  • Usable for all growth stages
  • Comes with a hanging kit
  • Easy to switch from veg to bloom light
  • Pocket friendly
Cons
  • Manual does not indicate the bands of wavelengths produced by each light.

6. Marshydro Reflector 960W LED Grow Light Full Spectrum

The Marshydro Reflector had to appear in our top LED lights compilation – after all, it has found its way into thousands of indoor grow tents across the globe. It offers an efficient spectrum, backed by up to eight years of research. Growers say it outperforms MH, HPS, and CHM fluorescent and induction consistently in wattage tests. And that’s not all there is to this light.

Features

Notable Intensity

The Marshydro Reflector comes with high-intensity Epistar 5W LED chips. These allow it to deliver optimal light intensity, with the correct PAR required to support your plant’s growth and development. Indeed, such specs, by extension, mean higher yield per coverage area. And speaking for coverage, this one will work for a 4’×4′ for vegetation and up to 3.5’×3.5′ for bloom.

Unique Design

The Marshydro Reflector is unmistakably noticeable. It sports a one of a kind housing with a special reflector. While the design is appealing to the eye, it is the very reason that this light is highly efficient. The glass ensures high light penetration and full spectrum at all growth stages. Other than that, the reflector reduces the amount of light lost, thereby making the entire unit more dynamic.

ETL Certified

You need to be sure that your grow light is safe to use before buying. This one meets the safety standards set by ETL, VDE, and UL. That way, you can plug and install without the risk of short-circuiting. It also runs sixty percent cooler than HID lights, thus preventing plant damage or other problems related to poor garden practices.

Pros
  • No need to use bulb or ballasts
  • Efficient cooling system for increased longevity
  • Energy saving
  • Solid and stable
Cons
  • Canopy penetration not the best
  • Unit relatively heavy

7. G8LED 450 Watt LED Veg/Flower Grow Light

Judging by what it has to offer, this is undoubtedly a brilliant option for a medium budget. The G8LED 450 undertakes to help you match (or even exceed) the yields of high-pressure sodium (HPS) bulbs at a much lower cost. Due to its simple design, this light is an excellent choice for a beginner. We tell you more about its most outstanding highlights.

Features

All-inclusive Build

As stated, the G8LED 450 has the no-frills design to thank for its edge over competitors. Think in the line of a “set and go” light. You don’t have to switch between vegetation and flower modes, meaning that your unit will provide lighting throughout the entire growth period. Even then, the manufacturer suggests that you leave your lights at maximum capacity to get the best results.

Super High Yields

You expect that the best LED grow light should give you a bountiful harvest. Well, that’s what you get with the G8LED 450 only that this time the quality will be higher. The efficiency of this light makes it a great pick for a cannabis grower where the quality of your plant determines that of the final product. Nonetheless, ensure that the coverage is 3feet x 4feet for Veg and 3feet x 4feet (92cm x 122cm) for flowering.

Optimal 8-band Ratio

The G8LED 450 automatically controls the amount of light it emits at every growth stage thanks to the patented 8-band ratio system. It maximizes the use of eight wavelengths to give your plants the optimal ability to grow. And, by maintaining a constant level of wavelengths throughout the growth period, this light also ensures that no energy goes to waste on non-photosynthesis colors.

Pros
  • Award-winning performance
  • Superb canopy penetration
  • Cool operation
  • Ample veg and flowering coverage
Cons
  • Could make do with more than 50,000 lighting hours

8. King Plus 1000w LED Grow Light Double Chips Full Spectrum

Who says that you have to spend absurd amounts of money to get the best led grow lights? Not King Plus! An excellent choice for frugal shopper, this unit is adequate for small grow rooms. You may also get it if you’re experimenting with new plants with the aim of upgrading later on. And it doesn’t fall short on capabilities.

Features

Complete Spectrum

One of the primary gripes among indoor growers is the inability of the unit that they’re using to provide their plants with all the lights they require. Well, that shouldn’t be a problem with the King Plus 1000w. It offers an entire spectrum of colors including blue and red, two of the most essential lights during the bloom and vegetative stages. This unit also comes with UV and IR bulbs to help grow the plants without disinfecting them.

Legendary Heat Dissipation

There’s every chance that you’re going to deal with intense heat in your grow room created by your lighting apparatus. The King Plus 1000w ensures that your grow room stays as cool as possible. It generates 90% less heat because of the innovative LED bulbs it uses. The manufacturers claim that this light will reduce the heat by 10% to 15%.

Sizeable Coverage

The King Plus 1000w may be inexpensive but offers pretty decent coverage nonetheless. It will cover an area of about 3.4 x 3.8 feet. Sure, the coverage is small (depending on your growing needs). However, you may look at this way – a few of these lights are enough for a decent operation more so if you have limited finances.

Pros
  • Long life bulbs
  • Minimal power consumption
  • A good light for starters
Cons
  • Bulbs are known to flicker
  • Low watt output

9. Advanced Platinum Series P300 300w 12-band LED Grow Light

Platinum makes a return in our best grow light rundown, this time with the Series P300. One of the superior models in its category, it promises to ensure that your plants thrive in all aspects since the early growth phase. It has a height of 18” and a coverage area of with 4.5ft x 3.8ft. This could very well be the light to go for if you want to replace your 400 watts HPS.

Features

Bright Light

The Advanced Platinum Series P300 not only provides a full spectrum of light to your plants but actually delivers it. It runs on a 12 band spectrum which generates an assortment of lights necessary for your plant’s growth. Its makers say that this light offers one of the most efficient and complete spectral output on the market and we couldn’t agree more!

Absolute Light Control

Sure, the Advanced Platinum Series P300 may provide the array of lights your plants need to grow, but it also allows you to control the illumination. The “switch and grow” system enables you to manage the specific type of light your plants are getting at various growth stages. That way, you can play a crucial role in determining the amount and quality of the harvest.

A Perfect Blend of Power and Versatility

When we say that the Platinum Series P300 is powerful enough to replace your 400 watts HPS grow light we mean it in every sense of the word. It will supply your indoor plants with light that’s perfectly tuned for optimal photosynthetic response using only 180 watts of power. Regarding versatility, you can use this light in multiple situations ranging from close grows too large full-scale operations.

Pros
  • Complete light spectrum
  • High quality LED lights
  • Zener protection against surges
  • 100,000 hours of consistent lighting
Cons
  • Some users find it noisy

10. VIPARSPECTRA PAR600 600W 12-band LED Grow Light

The VIPARSPECTRA PAR600 packs, well, six hundred watts of output, making it an excellent option for small to medium rooms. As you’d expect, it provides a full spectrum of light so you can bet that it will cover your plants at all growth stages. What’s more? Keep reading;

Features

Six Degrees of Cooling

The VIPARSPECTRA PAR600 doesn’t overheat. It comes with innovative six segregated fans to keep the light tray cool throughout use. And because this unit pumps out 600 watts of light, the extra cooling power indeed comes in handy, especially when you have to use your unit for an extended period.

Economical

While this light is an equivalent of the 600 watts HPS, it only consumes 285 watts! How about that! In essence, the economic operation means that you’ll have a lot more money to put into your pocket. With that kind of output, this light can cover a 3 by 3 feet growing area with a height of 24 inches. Even then make sure that you don’t go beyond 4 by 4 feet.

Complete Package

The VIPARSPECTRA PAR600 comes with everything you’d want to start using it right out of the box. Other than the lighting system, you also get hanging wire to suspend it over your plants and a considerable long cord for increased maneuverability. In other words, you don’t have to purchase any accessories to start using this light.

Pros
  • Competitive coverage
  • Easy to operate
  • Maximum control over the light spectrum
  • 100,000 hours of light
Cons
  • Inconsistent wattage

How to Choose the Right LED Grow Light 2018

When you’re in pursuit of an LED grow light, you need to make a couple of considerations before you settle for a specific model. In the end, you want a system that will help you get the best yield with optimal quality. With that mind, with tell you the essentials of buying a grow light.

Durability

At the very least, the ideal LED grow light should last the three growth phases of your plants. You should, therefore, check the hours of lighting the model you indeed to purchase can provide. Standard lights offer a minimum of 50,000 of lighting while others go beyond the 100,000 hours mark. You ought to know that the more durable your light is, the less the interference with your plant’s growth cycle.

Light Spectrum

Whenever possible, do not spend your money on a grow light that doesn’t offer a full spectrum. You see, the primary reason you’re getting an indoor grow light is to create the right environment for your plants to thrive. You want to produce the same quality of light as the sun. How else are you going to do so if the unit that you’re using doesn’t provide a full spectrum of light? Put differently; ensure that you get a model that allows your plants to photosynthesize optimally.

Power Consumption

You don’t have to spend a lot of money on your electricity bill if you’re using the correct LED lighting system. Check to see if the model that you’re eyeing can save you some money. All the units we’ve reviewed above are energy efficient, so you’re sorted on that front. Plus you can always read the product’s description to verify if your prospective light is indeed energy efficient.

The Size of Your Grow Room

This is perhaps one of the most important considerations to make when buying an LED grow light. You have to be sure that the lighting system can meet the demands of your grow room regarding output. The last thing that you want in your grow tent is a system that can barely provide enough light for your plants. You need to make sure that it offers excellent canopy penetration.

The Type of Plants You’re Growing

One LED light will work perfectly for specific plants and perform dismally for others. Some plants, for instance, will require varying wavelengths at different stages of growth. You’re better off therefore, with a unit that’s flexible enough to ensure your plants get the best light depending on the growth stage. Some of the models we’ve reviewed above allow you to attune the wavelength at growth vegetative and bloom stages.

High-Quality Semiconductor Chip

For starters, a semiconductor chip works by converting electricity to light. It also plays an integral role in determining the wavelength. We recommend that you go for a grow light that comes with at least three watts. Anything less than this won’t be enough to provide enough lighting for high yields.

User Feedback

You should seek to know the user-experience before you spend your money on any LED grow light. It helps in two ways – if you’re a beginner and never owned a grow light before, you’ll have a rough idea of how it is like to use the unit. As a seasoned grower, reviews will help you compare between different models and their output. Either way, you’re better off choosing a highly rated lighting system with lots of positive reviews.

Lastly but certainly not least; you should consider the price. You can only buy what you can afford. If you have the money to spend, you may choose a high-end model but if you don’t, go for an affordable grow light as long as it meets your needs (and those of your plants).

Popular LED Grow Light Brands

The best LED grow lights, by default, are from the most sought-after brands. Yes, some manufacturers have perfected the art of the game, and their grow lights stand out from the rest. Here are the most popular LED grow light brands based on the number of users and reputation in the industry.

PlatinumLED Grow Lights

It is very easy to see why growers love PlatinumLED and swear by it! If the specs of their grow lights are anything to go by, then they make one of the most potent units one the market. The company says that they’re all about churning out LEDs with unrivaled PAR. In other words, it’s all about performance in PlatinumLED’s world.

And do you know what a high PAR means? Well, it translates to optimal growing power for the energy that your lighting system is using. That way, you not only save some bucks but get the maximum yields with your plants.

Apollo Horticulture

If you’ve been doing indoor growing for some time, then you must be familiar with Apollo Horticulture. The company has been around for a while making top-notch HID lighting. In the last decade, they’ve ventured into LED grow lights and have not disappointed.

Their lights come with innovative features geared towards helping you have a sustainable garden. Most of their in-demand models don’t require ballast for installation. In fact, if you’re looking for an easy to mount grow light, Apollo Horticulture could be the to-go-to brand. Another trait that has placed this brand a cut above its competition is the affordability and impressive lifespan.

KingLED

KingLED lights promise to give you more than everyday lighting. Now, that’s a strong statement that would make any indoor grower interested. This brand’s units feature a full spectrum band of light and are a hit among growers of plants such as tomatoes and cannabis.

Customers say that KingLED grow lights are consistent regarding illumination and wavelengths. Their lighting systems emit wavelengths in the ranges of 380 to 779 nm. The company scores well on customer service too and won’t hesitate to replace your light if it’s defective. With such flexibility and first-class products, KingLED will be around for long.

VIPARSPECTRA

VIPARSPECTRA, on its official website, emphasizes its commitment to provide its customers with quality grow lights that offer the best value. The brand thrives on affordability, making it a popular choice among those with a tight budget and beginners.

VIPARSPECTRA grow lights are also one of the easiest to use. Most use the “plug and play” system. The company also invites its customer to share their thought on the changes that would make their products better. Of course, this inclusivity approach is what makes customers feel part and parcel of their brand.

Hydrofarm

Hydrofarm has been around for more than three decades, making various appliances to for indoor growing. Their grow lights boast innovative features to allow hours of hassle-free growing. It is the brand’s zeal to keep up with the latest indoor growing technology that has made it popular among growers.

According to their official website, Hydrofarm wants to eliminate mediocre tools that don’t offer any value to users. And, a look at their LED grow lights functionality is all you need to know that this company means business and that it is a brand to reckon.

Conclusion

LED grow lights have revolutionized indoor growing. Nonetheless, the best LED grow light ought to do more than provide a broad spectrum of your plants or save you money that would have otherwise gone to paying electricity bills. In fact, it is more about helping you get the best possible yields from your plants.

That said, results and value should guide your hunt for a stellar grow light. And yes, we know it is easier said than done, but with our guide above, you can rest easy, knowing that you will get a combination of both.

We hope that you’ll find the info provided here helpful toward your goal of taking your indoor growing experience a notch higher. Also, we promise to keep a keen eye on the dynamic LED grow lights market and keep our list updated accordingly. In short, we will strive to make this a resource center for everything you want to know about LED grow lights and the entire indoor growing practice.

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About the Author: Justin Taylor

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