Categories
BLOG

led lights for growing marijuana

Which LED Grow Lights Work for Cannabis?

October 31, 2020 – LED grow light technology has been improving rapidly especially in the last 1-2 years. Although just about any LED grow light (even the worst ones) can grow good weed, some newer models developed specifically for cannabis are getting better yields, density, and plant growth rates than older and generic models. We are currently doing extensive testing between different LED grow lights to determine which are the “best”. Every grow light on this page gets great results (just look at the pictures to see what to expect) but I’d like to specifically point out certain LEDs where the newest models are beating expectations.

If you’re not sure which LED company to use, I highly recommend…

More detailed information coming soon!

Table of Contents

Introduction – LEDs on average yield 0.5 to 1g/watt (of actual power draw

  • Spread Style (Ex: Quantum Board, Rack, or Spider)
  • Traditional Panel
  • COB Style

Trusted LED Grow Light Companies for Growing Cannabis – These LED models have been tested and shown to work well for growing actual live marijuana plants

More About Growing with LEDs

Introduction: Are LEDs a Good Choice for Growing Cannabis?

LED grow lights are relatively new to the cannabis growing scene, but they have become wildly popular over the last few years with their ability to produce great yields while staying cool and using a reasonable amount of electricity.

Yields! With a quality LED grow light and an average-to-good grow, you can expect yields of about 0.5 to 1g/watt.

The final yield depends a lot on strain and grow skill, as well as the quality of the lamp itself, but that’s a good rule of thumb for most models. For example, a 200W LED (200W true power draw, not an “equivalent” wattage) would yield about 100-200 grams on average, or 3.5 to 7 ounces.

Today’s LED models are much better for growing cannabis than the ones available even a few years ago. Many modern lamps are full spectrum or “wideband” spectrum (instead of only red and blue light diodes, which product a bluish purple light and are sometimes called “blurples”). Full spectrum light is easier on the eyes and adding at least some amount of green light to blurples typically results in healthier growth. Other spectrum colors like red, far red, and infrared are important for the budding/flowering stage. LED manufacturers have developed specialized lenses to point light directly to the plants and increase penetration, resulting in bigger yields for the same amount of light compared to older models. There are also many different form factors, with everything from the casing to the size of the diodes varying from model to model.

Modern LED grow lights can produce impressive results. These cannabis plants were grown completely under LED grow lights from seed to harvest!

Pic by Joe “Nunyabiz” Nunya, an avid LED grower who uses ViparSpectra LEDs

3 Main Types of LED Grow Lights

There are 3 main types of LEDs that are most commonly used for growing cannabis. Each type of model has its pros and cons, so there isn’t yet a “best” LED type. Some are better for some situations than other.

1.) Spread Style

Many smaller LEDs are spread out over a large area. Examples of this style include Quantum Boards, Rack and “Spider style” LED grow lights.

Quantum Board

The name “Quantum Board LED grow light” originated from Horticulture Lighting Group, though the term is now sometimes used for any LED in this style. They tend to have relatively low wattage diodes which are spread out over a large area on a board. These are becoming more popular lately, and seem to offer particularly good results for the amount of wattage used.

Spider LED

The “spider style” LEDs are similar to Quantum Boards in that the individual diodes are spread out and tend to be on the smaller side, but they are set on a panel with “arms” like a spider as opposed to a solid board. One very popular example is the SPYDRx line of LED lights. These typically have an extremely high price, but growers who use them swear they get better results than any other type of LED grow light.

2.) Traditional Panel

The standard panel LEDs have small to medium wattage diodes and the lamps tend to be more compact. Most LED grow lights available today are in this style. They are sort of halfway between a Quantum Board and a COB Style light, with a mix of features from both.

I’m also seeing lots of new “hybrid” LED grow lights appearing, that contain a mix of big and little LEDs, and unique form factors that mix and match between all the styles.

3.) COB Style

These grow lights use huge COB (Chip on Board) LED “bulbs”. Each COB is incredibly bright and intense because they contain multiple LED chips in a small area. COBs produce more intense light than other types of LEDs, and each COB uses a significant amount of electricity. Cree is most popular brand of COBs.

Instead of having dozens of small diodes, COB style LED grow lights typically only have a handful of huge COBs, each with strong lenses to direct the light down into the plant. These are rapidly gaining in popularity and are known for having deep penetration into the plant canopy.

AutoCOBs

It’s also common to see LED grow lights that only have one COB per lamp. These make it easy to spread out your light over a grow area, one lamp at a time. Sometimes known as “AutoCOBs”.

Some LED grow lights have a single COB LED. Multiple units can be spread out as needed.

Each COB has its own spectrum, so you can create a custom spectrum for your plants by combining multiple AutoCOBs together. They are very configurable if you have an unusually shaped grow space, or want to be able to accommodate different plants of different sizes at the same time.

Some COB LED grow lights can be plugged into regular light sockets

Now that you have a basic understanding of the different types of LEDs, lets talk about using them for growing cannabis.

LEDs are often compared to HPS grow lights and each type of grow light has pros and cons for cannabis growers. Here’s the quick summary to help you decide whether LEDs are a good fit for you, and you can also read more deeply into the differences between LED and HPS here.

Choose LED grow lights if…

You want to use the most cutting-edge indoor cannabis grow lights with a customized spectrum of light

You are willing to do some research to determine the best LED grow light for your space (this article will help guide you)

You have some extra money to spend on your initial setup (some of the best LED grow lights have a high initial cost)

Quality (potency, smell, trichome development) and ease of use are important to you

Which LED grow light brands can be trusted?

This is a very short list, and is not in any way meant to be comprehensive. There are hundreds if not thousands of brands of LED grow lights, and a lot of them are great, but I’m only listing brands that I personally know for certain will work well for growing cannabis. These LED grow lights have actually been tested and given the seal of approval by real cannabis growers.

Get breakdowns of their best models for growing cannabis:

ViparSpectra LED Grow Lights

In our growing forum, many members have experimented with different grow lights for growing cannabis. Over the last few months, it has become apparent that one of the most popular brands for LED grow lights is an emerging company known as “ViparSpectra.”

I hadn’t heard of them until relatively recently (it seemingly started becoming very popular around late 2016 or early 2017).

Since growers are getting such great results with these lights, and they come at surprisingly reasonable prices for LED grow lights, I knew I needed to highlight this company as our most recommended LED grow light!

Example of a Cannabis Cola Grown Under ViparSpectra LED Grow Lights from Seed to Harvest – Buds Are Dense, High Quality and Potent

I will be adding moe pictures of real cannabis plants growing under these lights soon, to help you know what to expect. Keep checking back!

Breakdown of Different ViparSpectra LED Models:

Here is a breakdown of their different models. This list doesn’t include all their models, just the ones that seem to be performing the best. We omitted a few that just don’t seem as good as the others for some reason (as one example, the pro version of the 1200W seems to be getting some bad reviews based on its light footprint, despite the fact that all the other models in the series perform very well).

Recommended ViparSpectra Models:

  • “450W” – 200W actual wattage
  • “450W” (pro series) – 210W actual wattage pic by Joe “Nunyabiz” Nunya, an avid LED grower who uses ViparSpectra LED

The following marijuana plants were grown under Vipar Spectra LED grow lights

Cola produced by ViparSpectra LEDs

    Price: $120

Grow Space: 2.5×2.5’ coverage at 24” (suitable for vegetative stage) and 2×2’ coverage at 18” (suitable for flowering stage)

Actual Power Consumption: 200W

How Far to Keep from Plants: 24″ is the recommended starting distance from the plants.

Average Yields: 3.5-4+ ounces – keep in mind that the strain (genetics) and any plant training you do makes a huge difference in your final yields

ViparSpectra PAR450 (Dimmable, Pro Series)

    Price: $180

Grow Space: 2.5×2.5’ coverage at 32” (suitable for vegetative stage) and 2×2’ coverage at 24” (suitable for flowering stage)

Actual Power Consumption: 202W

How Far to Keep from Plants: 32″ is the recommended starting distance from the plants.

Average Yields: 3.5-5+ ounces – keep in mind that the strain (genetics) and any plant training you do makes a huge difference in your final yields.

Examples of buds grown under the ViparSpectra PAR 450 by “M”

    Price: $230

Grow Space: 2.5×2.5’ coverage at 34” (suitable for vegetative stage) and 2×2’ coverage at 26” (suitable for flowering stage)

Actual Power Consumption: 274W

How Far to Keep from Plants: 34″ is the recommended starting distance from the plants.

Average Yields: 4.5-6+ ounces – keep in mind that the strain (genetics) and any plant training you do makes a huge difference in your final yields.

This cola was produced under a ViparSpectra PAR600 LED grow light

These marijuana plants were grown under a ViparSpectra 600

ViparSpectra PAR700 (Dimmable, Pro Series)

    Price: $300

Grow Space: 2.5×2.5’ coverage at 36” (suitable for vegetative stage) and 2×2’ coverage at 28” (suitable for flowering stage)

Actual Power Consumption: 328W

How Far to Keep from Plants: 36″ is the recommended starting distance from the plants.

Average Yields: 5.5-8+ ounces – keep in mind that the strain (genetics) and any plant training you do makes a huge difference in your final yields. Some growers are getting even better yields with this light, it seems to be performing very well in tests.

    Price: $340

Grow Space: 4.5×4.5’ coverage at 32” (suitable for vegetative stage) and 3.5×3.5’ coverage at 24” (suitable for flowering stage)

Actual Power Consumption: 520W

How Far to Keep from Plants: 32″ is the recommended starting distance from the plants.

Average Yields: 9-14+ ounces – keep in mind that the strain (genetics) and any plant training you do makes a huge difference in your final yields.

Horticulture Lighting Group (HLG) LED Grow Lights

HLG first coined the term “Quantum Board” for an LED grow light with the diodes spread out over a large area (on a board). The board style LED grow lights have become very popular almost as soon as they appeared on the scene. Growers are reporting results that may beat even other LED grow lights when it comes to the amount of yield for the electricity used. I was impressed when I tried one myself. It’s probably too early to call it the winner just yet, but it’s undeniable these are some of the best LED grow lights available today!

Breakdown of Most Popular HLG LED Models:

HLG 65 V2 Quantum Board (all versions work well from seed to harvest)

    Price: $99

Grow Space: 2′ x 2′

Actual Power Consumption: 65W

How Far to Keep from Plants: 10-12″ away

Average Yields: 2-3+ ounces – keep in mind that the strain (genetics) and any plant training you do will make a huge difference in your final yields.

Here’s a Pineapple Chunk plant I’m growing under the HLG 65 (4000k version) right now. Look how big the buds are at only week 5 of flowering!

HLG 100 V2 Quantum Board (3000k version recommended from seed to harvest)

    Price: $149

Grow Space: 2’x2′

Actual Power Consumption: 95W

How Far to Keep from Plants: 12-14″ away

Average Yields: 3.5-5+ ounces – keep in mind that the strain (genetics) and any plant training you do will make a huge difference in your final yields. This LED model has performed better than most others I’ve tried so far.

Here are some plants I grew under the HLG 100 (3000k version)

    Price: $450

Grow Space: Up to 4′ x 4′ in the vegetative stage. It’s listed to cover between 2.5′ x 2.5′ to 3′ x 3′ in the flowering stage, but the rectangular shape actually makes it perfect for a 2’x4′ grow tent.

Actual Power Consumption: 270W at full power, and can be dimmed down to 90W for younger plants

How Far to Keep from Plants: 20-28″ for the vegetative stage. 18-20″ away in the flowering stage.

Average Yields: 8-16+ ounces – keep in mind that the strain (genetics) and any plant training you do will make a huge difference in your final yields. This LED model has performed better than most others I’ve tried so far.

I grew these cannabis plants under an HLG 300 V2 R-Spec LED grow light (view the grow journal). The 300L is the same light but longer (where the “L” comes from) to improve light coverage and they also added a spiffy red border.

Cannabis plants grown by depthchargeseeds under an HLG 300 Quantum Board LED grow light (check out their Instagram profile!)

HLG 550 Quantum Board (R-Spec spectrum recommended)

Price: $850

Grow Space: Up to 6′ x 6′ in the vegetative stage. Between 4′ x 4′ to 4.5′ x 4.5′ in the flowering stage.

Actual Power Consumption: 500W at full power, and can be dimmed down to 200W for younger plants

How Far to Keep from Plants: 20-28″ for the vegetative stage. 18-20″ away in the flowering stage.

Average Yields: 10-20+ ounces – keep in mind that the strain (genetics) and any plant training you do makes a huge difference in your final yields

Example of cannabis plants grown under the HLG550 LED Grow Light

Cannabis plants grown by cannabichiro under a HLG 550 LED grow light (check out their Instagram profile for more!) Cannabis plant in DWC grown by rumplenuggrower under a HLG 550 LED grow light (check out their Instagram profile for more!)

Electric Sky LED grow lights (The Green Sunshine Company)

This company makes “Quantum Board” or “Spread Style” LED grow lights. Normally I only recommend products that can be found consistently on Amazon.com, and sometimes these ones are available there, but typically you need to order directly from their website. However, I still included them on this list because the results are impressive. This particular company goes above and beyond as far as customer service and gives you detailed instructions on how to use their LEDs to get the best yields and results. The company supports cannabis growers and will answer questions about plants. They are constantly testing their lights and the results show it. As a result, I highly recommend this company for anyone looking for a high-quality LED.

Our plants growing under two Electric Sky 300 LED grow lights

Breakdown of Different Electric Sky LED Models:

    Price: $420

Grow Space: Between 1.5’x3′ to 2’x4′ grow space

Actual Power Consumption: 180W

How Far to Keep from Plants: 12-18″ away from tops of plants

Average Yields: 3-7+ ounces – keep in mind that the strain (genetics) and any plant training you do makes a huge difference in your final yields

ES180 found on Amazon (sometimes) or order directly The Green Sunshine Company website

    Price: $700

Grow Space: Up to 3’x5′ in the vegetative stage, 2’x4′ in the flowering stage

Actual Power Consumption: 300W at full power, dimmable

How Far to Keep from Plants: 36” away in vegetative stage, 18″ away in flowering

Average Yields: 5-11+ ounces – keep in mind that the strain (genetics) and any plant training you do makes a huge difference in your final yields

ES300 found on Amazon (sometimes) or order directly The Green Sunshine Company website

Picture of ES300 when turned on (unique spectrum is efficient for plant growth)

Six plants in a 4’x4′ grow tent, grown under two ES300 lamps

Here are those same plants at week 6 of flowering under the ES300 LEDs

Advanced Platinum LED Grow Lights

A relatively new name on the scene, Advanced Platinum is selling professional LED grow lights for less money than many other LED lamps of the same quality. Despite the cheaper price tag, they have a wider light spectrum than most LEDs, which helps plants grow faster with fewer of the leaf problems and deficiencies than you see with LED models that only have red and blue diodes. They’re making a good name for themselves in the cannabis growing community because their LED models are getting really great results when it comes to both quality and yields.

This company is known for great customer service and a 5-year warranty on all their lights.

Breakdown of Different Advanced Platinum LED Models:

    Price: $370

Grow Space: 2’x2.5′ or 2.5’x3′

Actual Power Consumption: 93W in veg, 185W in flowering (this model has a separate vegetative and flowering mode)

How Far to Keep from Plants: 24-38″ is the standard starting distance for the vegetative stage. You can move it to 18-20″ away in the flowering stage, or possibly even a few inches closer for light-loving strains.

Average Yields: 3+ ounces – keep in mind that the strain (genetics) and any plant training you do makes a huge difference in your final yields

    Price: $540

Grow Space: 2’x3′ or 3’x3.5′

Actual Power Consumption: 137W in veg, 255W in flowering (this model has a separate vegetative and flowering mode)

How Far to Keep from Plants: 24-38″ is the standard starting distance for the vegetative stage. You can move it to 18-20″ away in the flowering stage, or possibly even a few inches closer for light-loving strains.

Average Yields: 4+ ounces – keep in mind that the strain (genetics) and any plant training you do makes a huge difference in your final yields

    Price: $660

Grow Space: 3’x4′ or 3’x5′

Actual Power Consumption: 184W in veg, 368W in flowering (this model has a separate vegetative and flowering mode)

How Far to Keep from Plants: 24-38″ is the standard starting distance for the vegetative stage. You can move it to 18-20″ away in the flowering stage, or possibly even a few inches closer for light-loving strains.

Average Yields: 6+ ounces – keep in mind that the strain (genetics) and any plant training you do makes a huge difference in your final yields

Kind LED Grow Lights

Kind LED panels have recently been becoming very popular on the cannabis growing scene and seem to be getting great results especially when it comes to yields. However, they are definitely pricey even for LEDs, so that is a big consideration!

Breakdown of Different Kind LED Models:

While Kind LEDs offer several additional models of LED grow lights, because of the price tag on these lamps I’m only listing the ones I’ve seen used by actual cannabis growers, though I’m sure the other ones are likely just as good. That being said, the following models have been proven to work really well for growing cannabis!

Grow Space: 2.5’x3.5’’

Actual Power Consumption: 270W

How Far to Keep from Plants: The manufacturers of this Kind LED grow light recommend that the lamp be kept at least 36″ from the tops of your plants for the best results. This model is very, very powerful and keeping it too close will give your plants light burn!

Average Yields: 4+ ounces – keep in mind that the strain (genetics) and any plant training you do makes a huge difference in your final yields

Cannabis plants grown under the L450 Kind LED grow light

    Price: $600

Grow Space: 3’x4′

Actual Power Consumption: 320W

How Far to Keep from Plants: The manufacturers of this Kind LED grow light recommend that the lamp be kept at least 36″ from the tops of your plants for the best results. This model is very, very powerful and keeping it too close will give your plants light burn!

Average Yields: 5+ ounces – keep in mind that the strain (genetics) and any plant training you do makes a huge difference in your final yields

Cannabis plants grown under the L600 Kind LED grow light

pics by the very talented LED grower Laughing Buddha!

Are there other LED grow lights that work for growing cannabis?

There are certainly more LED grow lights out there which will probably work great for growing marijuana! But so far these are the only ones I’ve seen getting good results after being extensively tested on real, live cannabis plants. If you’ve got an LED grow light and would like to share information and pics about your cannabis grow (including final yields!), we’d love to hear from you!

As more LED grow lights appear on the market, we are testing LEDs and looking for other cannabis LED testers so we can share our knowledge!

You might be interested in…

LEDs vs Other Popular Cannabis Grow Lights

LEDs vs CFLs

LEDs get better yields for the same amount of electricity than CFLs. This is because LEDs are more electrically efficient (produce more light for the same amount of electricity)

Unlike CFLs, LEDs don’t need to be adjusted almost daily

LEDs give off less heat than a CFL setup with the same amount of electricity, and LEDs also come with additional cooling options like heatsinks and sometimes even built-in fans, which pushes all the heat up and away from the plants, making it easier for growers to maintain comfortable temperatures.

  • LEDs need to be kept much further away from plants than CFLs, which means that CFLs are better suited to short grow spaces without a lot of available height. LED grow lights generally need to be kept 12-18+” away from the tops of plants, while CFLs can be kept just a few inches away.
  • LEDs vs MH/HPS

    I’ve seen many growers choose to mix LEDs with their HPS bulbs. In fact, combining MH/HPS with a quality LED panel may be a great way to improve the quality of your harvested buds. There are lots of growers who claim that LEDs increase potency and density, as well as bring out the natural smell/taste of your strain. On the flip side, some growers believe that HPS tends to produce “prettier” buds.

    If you’re most concerned with improving your yields/watt, skip the LEDs and get an HPS grow light for your flowering stage. Although LEDs are catching up and there are some really great LEDs out there that get comparable results, HPS still tends to give you bigger yields when it comes to how much electricity is being used.

    LEDs can get pretty pricey, though not all brands! In fact, some great brands are actually some of the cheapest!

    Several growers believe LEDs produce higher quality buds (more trichomes, higher potency, and bring out the natural taste and smell of buds). They also tend to bring out colors.

    LED grow lights come with built-in cooling systems and heat sinks which vent air up and away from plants. This can make it so that you can hang the LED grow light in your tent and not necessarily need an exhaust system to control the temperature

    LEDs are plug-and-play which means you can plug them directly into a wall without a ballast

    What’s the difference between buds grown under LED grow lights compared to buds grown under an HPS grow light? Do the buds look/taste/smell different?

    Although this is just one example, this is pretty typical of LED grow lights in that they tend to bring out colors. This Eldorado plant was bloomed under two light sources, an HPS on one side and an LED on the other. Nothing scientific, no partitions, so there was light overlap. At harvest the color difference was surprising (see below) and after curing 2 select pieces from each side of the plant, the aromas are slightly different as well.

    View video of this Eldorado plant by Endive
    (check out Endive’s website)

    LED grow lights are a great choice for growers who are dealing with hot HPS lights and want to change to something that’s going to run cooler. Although LED grow lights do produce heat, the smaller models might not bring up the temperature of your grow space.

    Even the more powerful models of LED grow lights that produce a lot of heat still have built-in cooling systems to help prevent the heat from beaming directly down onto your plants.

    How to Use LED Grow Lights for Growing Cannabis

    With LED grow lights, you will generally get better results with many smaller LED panels, as opposed to a few big LED panels. For example, you will often get better results with 2 x 125W LEDs (total 250W) than you would with a single LED model that produces 250W. This is because more panels often make it easier for you to spread the light to where it’s needed.

    When it comes to growing cannabis, LED models with 3W chipsets (each individual bulb is 3W) seem to get some of the best yields/watt of all LED models without a lot of worry about light-burning your plants.

    With LEDs, always look at the “actual power draw” or “actual power consumption” which is the amount of electricity the LED panel actually pulls from the wall. When comparing different LED grow lights, this is the closest you get to a side-by-side comparison.

    Generally, your goal with LED panels should be 50-60 watts per square foot of grow space to get the best results.

    The most important thing to remember about choosing LED grow lights….

    Do Your Research!

    How to Avoid Problems with LEDs

    The most important thing to learn about your new LED grow light is the proper distance to keep it from your growing cannabis plants. The recommended distance varies greatly from LED model to model, but getting it right will make a huge positive difference in your results! So many growers unintentionally hurt their plants by keeping their LED grow light too close.

    Best Way to Avoid Problems with LED grow lights: Keep them the right distance away!

    If kept too close, LEDs may cause cannabis leaves to look discolored similar to a nutrient deficiency, even if nutrient levels are fine.

    This is especially common in the flowering/budding phase, especially towards the end of flowering when the same leaves have been directly under the LED for months. Discolored leaves don’t necessarily mean you’ve done anything wrong, especially if the LED grow light is being kept far enough away, but if you’re noticing it particularly near the lights, it’s a good indication it might be light burn. Most modern LED grow lights need to be kept at least 12-18″ away to prevent light burn.

    These leaf symptoms are caused by light burn (grow light too close), not a nutrient deficiency

    In addition to discolored leaves, too much light can also “bleach” the tops of buds

    There’s no “set” distance LED lights should be from the tops of your plants, but a good rule of thumb is 12-18+ inches.

    Each model is different based on the size of its bulbs and the lenses used to reflect light down. It’s important to ask the manufacturer how far to keep LEDs from your plants. Smaller LEDs with 1W chips almost always need to be kept at least 12″ away. However, most LEDs with 3W chips or bigger need to be kept 18″ away or more to get the best results and prevent light burn. Check with the manufacturer to figure out the right distance for your particular model of LED grow light. How can there be too much light if the heat is under control?

    If just the tops of your plants are showing symptoms, chances are that your LED lights are too close.

    Notice how the leaves closest to the light have turned completely yellow, while the leaves further down from the light are still green and healthy

    This plant was green and healthy through the vegetative stage under an LED grow light, but the leaves started dying soon after flowering started. It ended up that the LED was too close.

    These plants seem apparently healthy, but the top leaves keep getting lighter and lighter because the LED grow light was too close. If you don’t realize it’s light burn, the symptoms are inexplicable!

    LED grow lights need to be used properly to get the results, but if you know what to expect they pay you back with built-in cooling that allows a grower to hang their lights directly over their plants without worrying about fans, ducting or ballasts. They are easy on the electricity bill and don’t cause a lot of heat problems.

    Additionally, buds grown under LEDs are known for producing colorful, sticky, strong and smelly buds! And isn’t producing quality buds the reason we do it all?

    Learn how much heat, electricity and yields to expect with LED grow lights, and learn which LED companies test their lights on real cannabis plants!

    Best Led Grow Lights For Growing Marijuana

    We reviewed hundreds of LED grow lights available on the market as of Nov 2020 and created a simple list to help you pick the best LED lamp for your cannabis grow. Each lamp was evaluated across a variety of factors: cost, wattage, yield, durability, spectrum and more, and these lights are truly the best options out there.

    Have a question about a specific grow light? Ask us in the comments!

    We compiled a list of the best LED grow lights on the market for the year of 2020 (the cheat sheet table is below with price ranges). Keep in mind, price can fluctuate depending on the manufacturer so we will try to update the prices as frequently as possible. Please refer to the product links in each of the sections to get the most up to date pricing information on Amazon.

    Pro-tip: for best results, consider pairing one of these full spectrum LED grow lights with one of our most recommended grow tents.

    Best Full Spectrum Led Grow Light Reviews

    • 1 Led Grow Lights: Quick Product Comparison Chart
    • 2 Things to consider before buying
    • 3 Reviews of the Best LED Grow Lights
      • 3.1 Editor’s Choice: BESTVA 3000W DC Series
      • 3.2 Runner Up: King Plus 1200W Double Chips
      • 3.3 Advanced Platinum Series P300 300W – Good For Beginners
      • 3.4 Morsen 2400W Full Spectrum Panel – Highest Wattage
      • 3.5 Apollo Horticulture GL60LED 300W – Most Trusted Brand
      • 3.6 Galaxyhydro 1000W – Low Budget Choice
      • 3.7 California Lightworks SolarSystem 550W – Best Spectrum
      • 3.8 Marshydro Reflector 720W – Most Versatile
      • 3.9 G8LED 900W MEGA LED – Best Longevity
      • 3.10 VIPARSPECTRA Reflector-Series 450W – Best ROI For Small Grows
    • 4 Frequently Asked Questions
      • 4.1 How many watts per plant for LED Grow Lights?
      • 4.2 How far should LED Grow Lights be from plants?
      • 4.3 What are the pros and cons of LED Grow Lights vs. HPS?
    • 5 Comparable Models
      • 5.1 California Lightworks Solarstorm 440
      • 5.2 Advanced Platinum Series P300
      • 5.3 Morsen 2400W Full Spectrum Panel
      • 5.4 GoGrow V3 Master Grower 630W
      • 5.5 Apollo Horticulture GL60LED 300W
      • 5.6 Galaxyhydro 1000W
      • 5.7 King Plus 1200W Double Chips
      • 5.8 BESTVA 3000W Double Chips
      • 5.9 MARS HYDRO Reflector 1000W
      • 5.10 G8LED 900W MEGA LED
      • 5.11 VIPARSPECTRA Reflector-Series 600W
    • 6 Photos of the lights in action
    • 7 Video: Led Grow Lights Review

    The 10 Best LED Grow Lights For 2020

    Picture Model HID- Equivalent Wattage Price Range Coverage Area Life Span

    Things to consider before buying

    There are a couple of things you absolutely need to consider before choosing the best LED grow light:

    1) Spacing: You absolutely need to ensure that you have an idea of the amount of space you want to cover with your LED lights. Each light has a maximum range of space that it can cover, and it’ll be important to understand the measurements of your grow space down to the centimeter. If you currently do not know what that is, you should find out now. After that is done, make sure you read reviews and feedback from others on the actual space that the LED light can cover (sometimes, products are not as advertised. shocking, I know).

    2) Brand/Budget/Price: This will be important as the higher-quality lights typically yield the best results. If you are a beginner, you will likely want to start with a lower priced option to get your feet feet wet. If you are more experienced, it never hurts to go with the quality, higher-priced option. In addition, brand and quality of the light is very important. A good brand that has raving customer reviews, is almost always, a sure bet.

    3) Spectrum: A full spectrum LED grow light will go a long way in terms of helping your plant growth. You’ll need red & blue spectrums, but also infrared and ultraviolet, depending on the stage. It’s important to have a powerful light, with different wave lengths to ensure maximum growth. The full spectrum yields are a bit newer to the industry, but they are certainly making headway to any good growers catalog. They run cool and don’t need any additional fans, they cost less overtime given the electrical savings, and the durability is second to none. It is highly recommended to purchase a full spectrum LED grow light. Most LED lights have a range of colors being emitted (full light spectrum) – the best lights offer the full range, including UV light.

    4) Electrical Usage: Your LED lights will need to have durability and great electrical efficiency as well. A good LED light should be operating for at least 10-12 hours a day. When researching a good LED light, you’ll need to thoroughly understand what the total output is (1000w, 400w, 300w etc). The higher you go, the more powerful and more likely leads to less electrical usage (and more cost effective for you).

    5) Light Control: Depending on the stage, you’ll want to ensure that your plants receive the proper amount of lighting (down to the exact hour). See a breakdown of the phases below for growing LED lights:

    • Seedling Phase: 16 hours on, 8 hours off
    • Vegetative Phase: 18 hours on, 6 hours off
    • Flowering Phase: 12 hours on, 12 hours off

    It’s extremely important that light cycles are followed to a tee as it can severely alter the growth and potency of your plants.

    What else could you possibly need? Bonus:

    Grow Tent: It’s definitely easier to grow when you have an enclosed environment that protects from outside forces and sunlight. You can also control the temperature a lot easier in a confined space. You may think that every grow tent is the exact same. wrong. There are different brands out there that have a higher quality tent with more openings (to provide easier access) as well as poles that are more durable. All of this matters, my recommendation for grow tent is this Apollo Horticulture Tent. This is the cream of the crop when it comes to tents. When we used this tent, we didn’t see any light come through. It’s easily accessible with access in the back and the front.

    Reviews Of The Best LED Grow Lights on the Market in 2020

    Editor’s Choice: BESTVA 3000W

    Out of the hundreds of lights we’ve reviewed, the BESTVA 3000W definitely hits the sweet spot in terms of most bang for your buck. This light is priced modestly and runs very cool. It works great in different sized tents and the light spread is second to none.

    These lights are made from China, but don’t let that fool you, they’re very powerful and work very well for any type of grow. The fans are extremely quiet. It’s recommended that during the flowering stage, you limit the use of this light to a 4×4 space in order to maximize for efficiency and light intensity. The design of this light allows for great light penetration and the set up is easy with minimal weight restrictions.

    The new and improved Double Chips Series model features a veg/flower switch, so it’s better than some of the cheaper LED grow lights on the market. This LED grow light definitely shined during the flowering stage, the results that we saw were incredible. We were extremely impressed with this grow light, especially with the brightness (our plants were thriving).

    Average Amazon Review: 4.8 stars

    # of Amazon Reviews: 1,660 +

    Runner Up: King Plus 1200W Double Chips

    These lights have great design and also have high PAR value across your canopy. King Plus is a relatively new player in the market, but they have come out swinging with this light. Featuring 10W Double Chips, which are brighter more efficient than traditional 3W and 5W LEDs, this lamp is scientifically engineered to keep the balance of the PAR & lumen output and coverage. It gives BESTVA a run for it’s money, beating it on $ / watt, but keep in mind you typically get what you pay for and you can expect the BESTVA to last longer.

    Great for grow tents, a room, and greenhouses. This is also a great product for you if you want something that’s easy to install as it comes with everything you need (hangers, cords, carabiners).

    Customers rave about how fast the plants grow and how potent they become. This light produces very high PAR at a very low wattage. Great for energy consumption and for the price, this light gets the job done.

    Average Amazon Review: 4.6 stars

    # of Amazon Reviews: 1,797+

    Advanced Platinum Series P300 300W – Good For Beginners

    For those who love the P600 but don’t have quite that large of a budget or size of a grow tent, the Advanced Platinum Series P300 is a great runner-up. This is definitely a more affordable LED grow light that offers many of the same benefits as the P600, but at around half the price.

    Its coverage is about 4.5 feet by 3.8 feet at an 18-inch height, perfect for compact grow areas, or when used in combination with additional lamps for larger areas. This light panel effectively replaces a 400W HPS light, while only actually using 180 watts of power – making it an energy efficient alternative to a traditional light. It’s just perfect for the small home grower. Just as the P600 represents the higher end of the market, this is still a serious piece of equipment–practically a steal for the amazing coverage you get.

    This is a system that has a great high PAR per Lumen output of any other LED grow light panel I’ve seen. What does that mean? Well it means the panel gives off about 2 to 3 times the intensity of other grow lights.

    More importantly, it has an 11 band spectrum that gives your marijuana plants the most nutritional value including those needed from UV and IR. The light chips are all 3W LEDs, and as I’ve mentioned before, the best 3-watt panels have an additional lens to focus the light a bit more. This panel comes with a 60-degree lens and secondary 90-degree focusing lens to give more intensity for plant growth.

    The chips in this lamp are also replaceable and another reason for the slightly higher price tag. This means you can always keep that 400-watt output, even when a chip blows. Just order the one chip and replace it when it arrives from the manufacturer. With a 5-year guarantee, PlatinumLED offers security to their customers.

    Average Amazon Review: 4.3 stars

    # of Amazon Reviews: 412+

    Morsen 2400W Full Spectrum Panel – Highest Wattage

    Morsen is a top brand and you are looking for top quality. These lights typically run bigger and more powerful than most other LEDs. These lights have low energy consumption and really run great no matter what stage of plant growth you are in.

    It’s a very high quality product and trusted brand for a very good price (especially when you compare to more expensive options out there like California Lightworks). Can be used in house garden, pot culture, sowing, a greenhouse + more. This particular product comes with a free power cord and free hanging hook. The lifespan for this light is particularly long and runs >50,000 hours and you should be good to go with the 3 year warranty in case anything breaks. This is a very safe option as it is also 3x to 5x the efficiency than HID & HPS lights.

    Average Amazon Review: 4.1 stars

    # of Amazon Reviews: 120+

    Apollo Horticulture GL60LED 180W – Most Trusted Brand

    Everyone knows the Apollo brand. This LED light produces very little heat because of the compactness of the product.

    The Apollo brands are typically lighter in weight and this light is easier to mount inside grow tents in particular. The price is very good for someone that isn’t looking to spend much but is looking for a recognized brand and quality.

    This particular product has been known to provide great light no matter what stage you are in (veg or flower). The Apollo light will have enough lumens to do whatever your plant needs to do with little to no heat and easy installation steps for you to follow. Plants respond well and these lights consume less power with great durability.

    When we tested this product ourselves, we did notice that the fan did error on the hot side (despite the fact that it has fans). This light does have a lifespan of

    50,000 hours, but does lack a power switch – which can be an annoyance to some growers. What we have noticed is that this particular light is great for medium sized, simple set up.

    Average Amazon Review: 4.0 stars

    # of Amazon Reviews: 554+

    Galaxyhydro 1000W – Low Budget Choice

    The first thing comes to mind for this product is the price. For what it costs, you’re getting a great product that has high output and is durable.The intensity of the light is great especially considering it is very power efficient with great spectrum on the light. The fans on this light also help keep the temperature down dramatically and is great for a beginner indoor grower who wants to test a light at an affordable price.

    The recommended height to plant distance is around 12”-50” depending on the growing stages. The item is light at around 5 pounds and is extremely bright given the size. This light may not speed up the growing pace for your plants like some of the more expensive options, but it’s perfectly serviceable.

    Despite the fact that this light doesn’t offer the full spectrum setup, it is still great for growth (especially if you are a beginner doing a basic set up). You’ll need to purchase basic accessories that typically don’t come with the cheaper LED lights (timer).

    Average Amazon Review: 4.4 stars

    # of Amazon Reviews: 1,114+

    California Lightworks SolarSystem 550W – Best Spectrum

    California Lightworks 550W LED Grow Light definitely falls under one of the more expensive lights on our list, but this is one situation where you get the results you pay for. This particular unit comes in a bright red color – a stark change from subtly-colored light panels from other manufacturers.

    The light is a bit more intense than those with 3W chips, as this uses 5W LEDs instead – 110 of them. The optics are all jewel-quality glass focused at 90 degrees. In addition, it has two 15W UV-B tubes to enhance growth at the flowering stages. This panel runs cool and quiet with its built-in fans, and it comes with a 3-year warranty. California Lightworks is always a very well-recognized brand in the LED community, so you can’t go wrong here.

    Average Amazon Review: 4.0 stars

    # of Amazon Reviews: 11+

    Marshydro Reflector 1000W – Most Versatile

    This light does not get loud nor does it get loud. When we tried this light, it exceeded our expectations, especially for an “inexpensive” light.

    The brand has been around for a while hence why they are able to make the installation easy for just about everyone (they’ve been in business for over 7 years and are a well-known brand in the industry). This light was definitely one of the more energy efficient compared to some of the other lights that we tested (especially the cheaper ones). We used ours in a 3×3 canopy and it worked great as the light was able to penetrate all open space.

    This light does have the switch so you can toggle between veg/bloom mode, making this one of the premier lights for compact spaces. It can also be used for medium-sized spaces, so it’s an extremely versatile. It has the full spectrum of blue, red, and white for the veg and flowering stages.

    Average Amazon Review: 4.6 stars

    # of Amazon Reviews: 583+

    G8LED 900W MEGA LED – Best Longevity

    This is a very highly lauded grow light with some of the best longevity we have seen in the LED category. G8LED has had many iterations and has been producing LED grow lights for 8 years. Many bloggers and review sites describe this light as the cream of the crop, and it has been awarded some high accolades by major publications.

    These lights are for both vegetative growth and flowering and provide intense lighting for 24 square feet of canopy. The light emits low heat and requires low electricity usage. If you want to graduate from a beginner set up to a professional production, this is the perfect light for you.

    You may think it is a high price tag, but the money you save through electricity costs and the durability of this light will get you a long way.

    Oh and by the way? High Times rated this the best LED light of 2016.

    Average Amazon Review: 4.5 stars

    # of Amazon Reviews: 51+

    VIPARSPECTRA Reflector-Series 450W – Best ROI For Small Grows

    This is great bang for your buck. One of the lowest priced option of the bunch and great energy savings. With only 269 watts pulled from the outlet, the light is able to still give high PAR value (equivalent to a 600W HPS/MH) which will allow for very valuable savings after a few months, so you should be able to get your $ back soon.

    These lights deliver 12 bands including 2 IR and 2 UV through optical lens to maximize the PAR per watt. The VIPARSPECTRA lights are great for the veg cycle and you should see results quickly with the brightness of the light. The lights themselves are very powerful, but don’t give off the same kind of heat as some of the other more expensive brands/lights on this list.

    Average Amazon Review: 4.5 stars

    # of Amazon Reviews: 1,681+

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How many watts per plant for LED Grow Lights?

    The amount of watts per plant will depend on how you pack your and train your plants, determining how many square feet each plant takes up. As a rule, you’ll get the best yields with about 35 watts per square foot for LED, and 45 watts per square foot for HIDs. Keep in mind, this is that actual wattage pulled from the wall, which for led grow lights is usually a lot less than what the light is labeled. For example, an LED light that is labeled as 300W will typically pull only about 180W from the wall. Below is quick guide as a rule of thumb.

    Watts per plant for growing with LEDs:
    Plant Size HID-Equivalent Watts Per Plant
    1 sq ft 35 W
    2 sq ft 70 W
    4 sq ft 140 W

    How far should LED Grow Lights be from plants?

    While LED lights don’t run as hot as HIDs, they still put out a very high intensity of light which is great for yields but can also cause light burn for your plants if you’re not careful. To avoid light burn you want to make sure your grow light fixtures are far enough above the top of your plants’ canopy.

    LED grow light distance from plant:

    LED grow lights of different power ratings will perform best at different distances. Lower-powered lights such as a 250 watt LED grow light should be kept 12-24 inches above the top of the canopy. Mid-range lights such as a 600 watt or 900 watt LED grow light should be 14-36 inches from the top of your plants. High-powered lights such as a 1500 watt, 2000 watt or 3000 watt LED grow light should be raised to 24-36 above the canopy. Follow the chart below as a general rule of thumb. If in doubt, always keep LEDs further away.

    LED grow light distance chart:
    LED Wattage HID-Equivalent Wattage Distance from top of canopy
    250 W 150 W 12 – 24 inches
    450 W 270 W 14 – 30 inches
    600 W 360 W 14 – 36 inches
    900 W 540 W 16 – 36 inches
    1500 W + 1000 W + 24 – 36 inches

    What are the pros and cons of LED Grow Lights vs. HPS?

    There’s a lot of debate among growers about whether HID lights (HPS and Metal Halide) are better or worse than LEDs. The truth is, one isn’t holistically better than the other, it just depends on your needs and priorities for your grow. Take a look at the comparison table below to help you understand what type of lighting is best for your grow.

    Comparison of LED Grow Lights vs. HPS:
    LED Grow Lights HPS Grow Lights
    More energy efficient. LED grow lights can produce as much as twice the light output for the same power consumption. Less energy efficient. HPS lights consume more energy than LEDs to produce the same light output.
    Longer lifespan. LED bulbs last longer than HIDs meaning you have to replace them less often. Shorter lifespan. HPS lights diminish in intensity faster than LEDS, and need bulbs replaced every 12 – 18 months.
    Low heat output. LEDs run colder than HPS and require less ventilation maintain healthy grow room temp. High heat output. HPS lights run hot and often require additional ventilation to maintain healthy grow room temp.
    Good for closet or beginner grows. LEDs typically come as compact, all-in-one fixtures, making them better for small spaces and closet or tent grows. Good for large or professional grows. HPS lights provide high-intensity/high-yields and versatility to swap out bulbs with MH to change spectrum between veg and flowering.
    Higher up-front cost. LEDs typically cost more up-front, but save money in the long run due to longer lifespan and lower energy consumption. Lower up-front cost. HPS lights are typically cheaper watt-for-watt, but this gap in cost has been closing.
    Harder to shop for. The quality and specs of LEDs vary highly across manufacturers, requiring more research when you shop. Easier to comparison shop. HPS lights have been around longer and are more standardized across manufacturers.

    Comparable Models

    For each light we reviewed above, there’s several comparable models from the same manufacturer that scale up or down in terms of wattage. If you like one of those lights, but the wattage on the one we reviewed just isn’t quite right for your grow, check the reference list below to see if there’s a model that better fits your needs.

    We reviewed the best LED grow lights on the market as of November 2020 and created a simple list to help you pick the best LED lamp for your grow. Editor's choice: BESTVA 2000W Reflector Series; Runner up: King Plus 1200W Dual Chips. 3rd Place: Advanced Platinum Series P300 300W 12-Band. 4th Place: Morsen 2400W.