You’ll find award winners, bestsellers, budget options, supplemental lights, lights for small spaces or large grow rooms, as well as the lights most favored by our readers—in other words, the lights other growers like you are already using to get results. We’ve covered a lot of lights below. So for your convenience, we’ve selected our Top 10 recommendations for 2018.
You can get more information on how to get started growing cannabis indoors from our free e-book (get it in the subscription are just below of this section), and from our regular reviews of the best grow tents, best nutrients and other top tools and equipment for your growing operation.
WHAT MAKES THE BEST LED GROW LIGHT
FOR INDOORS GROWING SUCCESS?
Choosing the best light for your grow room depends on a few factors. You need a light powerful enough to cover the area where you grow, and that may vary depending on whether you have a dedicated space for seedlings and clones, or if your weed grows to maturity in one place.
Another factor is whether you want an all-purpose light, or if you plan to supplement it with other lamps for veg and flowering.
If you’re especially looking for low running costs or stealth growing, then LED grow lights are very much your friends.
Finally, at least with LED grow lights you don’t have to worry about replacing bulbs, dealing with ballast, or running too hot. All those things were problems with HID HPS lights but they aren’t an issue with LEDs.
Let’s take a closer look at the best LED grow lights—and to help you choose the right light for your grow space we’ll make sure to include details of coverage area. And if you want to check coverage areas at a glance, just take a look at the table above.
How to choose the best LED grow light
Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind when choosing an LED grow light to grow cannabis:
The area you need to cover: The first thing that you should keep in mind is the area that needs to be covered. By knowing this, you can decide how many LED lights you will need, and which type of LEDs will provide you the best coverage. In order to cover more space, more lights can be placed adjacent to each other.
The phases of the plant growth: If you need a full growth cycle, you can select a full-spectrum LED grow light to assist in all phases. Or many lights have switches and/or dimmers for each grow stage.
Angle of the LED lens: Also look for the angle of dispersion within the LED bulbs. The greater angles mean more coverage while the lesser angles mean less dispersion and more direct light.
Your budget: Factor in the features that are necessary for you and the amount of money you are willing to spend—both up front and on running costs. An LED grow light can be expensive up front, but can save you money long term thanks to the much lower running costs.
Why choose full-spectrum LED grow lights?
The reason is simple.
Full spectrum LED grow lights are a relatively new product on the market and many growers are not all that familiar with these new lighting systems. Most people believe the giant fluorescent lamps or HPS and Metal Halide lamps are the best grow lights to use over an indoor growing marijuana garden, but they aren’t. Full spectrum light systems have the advantage, because:
They mimic real sunlight
Encourage high yields
Can increase potency and flavor
Cost less to run over time
Run cool and don’t need extra fans
Don’t flicker or need ballast
Their lamps don’t need replacing for 50,000 hours or more—that’s years of trouble-free service
Sunglasses? Yes, we’re serious. You wear them outside, right? Protect your peepers from UV rays indoors too when you’re running a full-spectrum LED light. Remember, these lights are powerful!
Nutrients, even plants need their vegetables and minerals. The nutrients you give them don’t just affect yield, they affect flavor. Don’t have poop-flavored pot. Choose your plants’ nutrients wisely.
Grow tent. Yes, it’s a good idea even if you’re already growing in a closet or enclosed space. It’s easier to control the climate for your weed with a tent. You can protect them from stray light sources when they are supposed to be in the dark and you protect yourself from their light when you’re supposed to be sleeping. Plus, it keeps humidity under control and smells, too.
Light meter. Maybe you think only advanced growers use them, but you can use one, too. Then when you’re advanced, you’ll already know how.
Thermometer and hygrometer. Of course you want to know the ambient conditions in your grow tent. We picked the most kick-ass model on the market to show you. It will last you for years.
THE BEST LED GROW LIGHTS FOR THE MONEY:
EDITORS’ CHOICES FOR 2018
We selected our list of LED grow lights based on the results they showed and features they offer. We have also taken into account factors like customer reviews, industry awards and a close look at which lights have proven most popular with our readers. Finally, below our Top 10 Recommendations, you’ll find some great budget options too, some supplementary lights for flowering, and a selection of grow lights for small spaces.
How can these tiny little lights can help your plants grow better when there is no sunlight?
Plants have a tendency to absorb more blue light than other colors like white or green; hence, the UV rays are best to induce vigorous plant growth, while the infrared rays are best catalysts for germination and blooming boost.
The wavelengths can be adjusted according to the requirements of your plants in the grow room. If you have plants to grow that are in their vegetative phase, using UV rays would increase the cell division when the plants absorb the rays. Due to the increase in cell division, the plants grow quickly and result in more yield.
In case you need to treat your plant during the flowering stage, the most effective LED lights are those which provide IR, or infrared, rays. These rays are readily absorbed by the buds and apex of the plant and this causes them to bloom quickly and heavily.
We would recommend an LED grow light that has a wide range of wavelength options available, so that you can adjust according to the effects that you need.
The amount of light, type of light emitted, types of plants being grown, Lumen per area, wavelength, and the height between plants and the light can all affect the growth of the plant being treated.
What Are the Benefits of Using LED Grow Lights?Manuel Solis2018-10-05T20:49:13+00:00
Before the rise of LED grow lights, there were other similar methods in use. These include high-pressure sodium lamps and fluorescent bulbs. These methods were not at all favorable for small grow room owners who need to have a small, compact structure. These lights needed a lot of space to set all the equipment, due to the huge amount of heat being produced and the need to have a proper ventilation system to avoid heat build-up. This mess made that process out of reach for the small grow room owners.
LED lights take up a minimal amount of space, don’t contribute extra heat, don’t need their bulbs replaced, don’t have ballasts to manage, and use half the electricity to run.
Compact and easy to install:These lights come in a very compact structure that is very easy to handle. You will not need any specific knowledge to get them installed. You can just have a proper place to hang them above the plants at the required distance.
No need for separate ventilation set up:These lights don’t emit a lot of heat and there is no need to have a proper ventilation system. They can work without any huge ventilation setup and type of large fans.
Can be installed adjacent to each other:As said earlier they have a compact design and most of them can be installed adjacent to each other in order to give more coverage.
Variety and control:Their wavelengths can be adjusted easily and also the modes for vegetative and blooming phase can be chosen.
All these factors have made us great fans of these LED grow lights, because they give us great results with a lot less hassle and cost.
How Many Watts Do You Need?Manuel Solis2018-10-05T20:49:33+00:00
When it comes to LED grow lights, it’s not really about the wattage.
Firstly, wattage isn’t a measure of brightness or intensity. It’s just a measure of how much power is being drawn at the wall. Yes, if you compare two bulbs of different wattage but exactly the same technology, then the higher wattage will be the brighter bulb.
However, LEDs are much more efficient than HID lights, so an LED that draws the same power as an HID will generally be much brighter.
To complicate things further, there are various competing LED technologies.
And then there’s the matter of secondary optics to intensify brightness even further…
So How Do You Know If Your Plants Are Going To Be Getting Enough Light?Manuel Solis2018-10-05T20:51:05+00:00
So how do you know if your plants are going to be getting enough light?
Well, first it depends on which strain you’re growing. Different strains have different light requirements. So we recommend that you first pick a strain, then start looking at grow lights.
Once you know how much light your chosen strain will need, compare it with the PAR and coverage charts provided by grow light manufacturers. A reputable manufacturer should give you plenty of information about what size of grow area their lights can cover and at what heights, as well as the PAR values across the whole footprint. Naturally you’ll need a light that can supply at least as much PAR as your chosen strain needs, but for maximum yields the more PAR you can give your plants the better.
Well, we hope you’ve enjoyed this massive buyer’s guide to the best LED grow light for your plants. For some more reviews and interesting reading,
check out Big Buds Guide too. Good luck and happy growing!