Welcome, fellow plantsman! I assume your quest to find the best LED grow lights for weed and other indoor plants brought you to this part of the web. I assure you, by the time you are done reading the 10 short, unbiased, to-the-point LED grow light reviews below, you will have developed more than enough functional knowledge about the many different options at your disposal and which product is particularly suitable for your needs.
But before that, let’s take a step back and revisit some of the basics so everyone reading this, including those with no prior experience of handling these lights, are on the same page.
Table of Contents
- 1 What are LED Grow Lights?
- 2 Types of LED Grow Lights
- 3 How to Select the Best LED Grow Lights
- 4 Best LED Grow Lights
- 4.1 1. GalaxyHydro LED Grow Light 300W Review
- 4.2 2. Advanced LED Lights Diamond Series XML 350 Review
- 4.3 3. ViparSpectra Reflector-Series 600W Review
- 4.4 4. G8-450 LED Grow Light Review
- 4.5 5. Roleadro Full Spectrum 2nd Generation Series 300w Plants LED Grow Light Review
- 4.6 6. California Lightworks 440W LED Grow Light Review
- 4.7 7. King Plus Double Chip LED Grow Lights Review
- 4.8 8. HIGROW Optical Lens-Series 1000W Full Spectrum LED Grow Light Review
- 4.9 9. Mars Hydro Reflector Series LED Grow Lights Review
- 4.10 10. Global Star G02 300W Review
- 5 What are Full Spectrum LED Grow Lights?
- 6 Benefits of using Full Spectrum LED Grow Lights
- 7 5 Essential Grow Room Kit Items
- 8 Conclusion
What are LED Grow Lights?
LED grow lights, sometimes also referred to as LED plant lights or grow indoor lights, are electric LED lights designed to emit an electromagnetic spectrum appropriate for photosynthesis of plants. In other words, this is the kind of light that mimics the Sun’s role in helping out plants to prepare food, stay alive, and grow in an indoor setup with insufficient or no direct access to natural sunlight.
Particularly popular in the cannabis growing scene, LED grow lights have turned out to be immensely popular over the past few years for their ability to produce impressive yields. In addition, they also stay cooler compared to other types of grow lights and do not consume nearly as much energy.
The role of these LED plant lights, however, is not confined to only growing cannabis indoors. There is a wide range of these products, most of them suitable for all kinds of vegetable growth/flowering.
Types of LED Grow Lights
LED Grow lights designed for growing weed and other types of vegetables and flowers indoors come in many varieties including:
- Single channel lights (with ‘On’ and ‘Off ‘modes)
- 2-channel lights that allow you to choose from ‘Veg’ and ‘Bloom’ modes
- Programmable lights that let you set light schedules, change intensities and improvise the spectrums.
As you can figure, the programmable lights are thus far the most sophisticated LED grow lights out there. In addition, you can also choose from many different shapes including bars, UFOs, panels, tubes, and bulbs
How to Select the Best LED Grow Lights
Not just first-time buyers, even experienced users often face great difficulties while choosing the best LED grow lights for their plants. I personally feel that the best way to go about the purchase is to ensure that the product you choose meets the following criteria:
1. Choose Indoor Plant Lights with Low Heat Output
You benefit on two important fronts by choosing LED plant lights with heat output:
- Because lights with low heat output do not make the surrounding environment too hot, the plantation space need a lot less cooling than spaces where cheap LED grow lights with high heat output are used.
- Low heat LED grow lights tend to last a lot more than lights with high heat output as the former tend to fade and burn out much slower.
2. Easy installation
Remember, senseless complications do not stand for superior technology or sophistication!
- Avoid products that are unnecessarily complicated and pick those that can be easily installed.
- Make sure that the indoor plant lights you choose for your indoor cannabis and other vegetables/flowers can be easily adjusted for your preferred heights, color, and intensity.
3. Check out electricity output and consumption
Considering that your grow lights for indoor plants will remain on for at least 10-11 hours a day, it is important that you pay heed to their electricity output and efficiency. On a personal note, this is one aspect that I value the most and you should too.
Spend 5 minutes extra reading the detailed product description to save yourself from future inconvenience and fatter electricity bills. Always check the total output of your LED Grow lights – the options can go up to as much as 1,000-watt, but never buy anything lower than 300-watt. Note that the higher the output, the lesser the wattage loss.
4. Availability of space is an important factor
Availability of space is another critical factor you must consider while purchasing new indoor plant lights. That’s because the amount of space you use for plantation is directly correlated to the number of lights you need. You can strike the perfect balance between the two by implementing the following:
- First accurately measure the size of your garden.
- Next find out the lighting area size of the lamp you are buying to determine the exact number you will require to properly light the entire garden.
- The general guideline I personally use is that low-light plants such as lettuce require between 11 to 18 watts per square foot while high-light plants such as tomatoes require around 32 watts per square foot. For medicinal cannabis, the minimum wattage per square foot is around 28 to 30 watts while the optimal range is between 50 and 80-watt.
5. Brand: Look for Established Record of Success
- While I am not saying that newer brands are not as good as the older ones, it makes perfect sense for most first-time buyers to buy products that already have an established track record.
- For durability, try and pick one of the reputed brands with good user reviews rather than those unreliable cheap lights with fake claims.
Now that you are familiar with the key parameters to refer to while buy lights for your indoor plants, let’s proceed to the LED grow light reviews section featuring 10 of the best selling products in the market today.
Best LED Grow Lights
1. GalaxyHydro LED Grow Light 300W Review
- High quality 100pcs 3W Epileds chips
- Spectrum range includes 430nm, 450nm-470nm, 620nm-630nm, 740nm, white
- Power output: 300-watt
- Two cooling fans per unit
- Effective UV and IR
- Germination Stage: 48-56 inch, 16-18 hrs.
- Vegetative Stage: 40-48 inch, 12-16 hrs.
- Flowering Stage: 24-40 inch, 10-12 hrs.
For the uninitiated, GalaxyHydro has been a brand with some standing in the LED grow lights market for awhile now. They indeed have some classy products to show off and are known for an excellent customer service setup.
Most of their indoor plant lights come with full spectrum range useful for vegetative and flowering stages of growth, the GH 300W being no exception in that trend. It is lightweight and extremely easy to install. You can even daisy chain it together if you are looking to expand the size of your grow op.
The heat dissipation is highly efficient too (courtesy multiple built-in small fans). The product is extremely durable with a life span of 50,000 hours. In the case of unexpected malfunction, GalaxyHydro also offers a 2-year warranty period in addition to the 30-day money back guarantee.
The 300W light is the most popular GalaxyHydro product for growing cannabis (best seller on Amazon). Apart from that, the company also produces a 600W variant for larger grows.
- Durability (50,000 hours) backed by 2-year warranty and 30-day money back guarantee
- Auto timer that allows easy scheduling
- Arguably the brightest 300W grow light you can find
- Best seller on Amazon
- Efficient cooling
- Consumes only 135W electricity while delivering luminosity equivalent to 250/400 watt HPS/MH
- Indoor use only, not built for outdoor use
- You can’t turn it off manually without using the timer
2. Advanced LED Lights Diamond Series XML 350 Review
- Most advanced 10W CREE single-chip LEDs
- 11+ high PAR wavelengths
- Computer-generated LED collimator lenses that minimize waste of light
- Ability to switch the spectrum output for cloning, flowering, and vegetative stages.
- Multi-fan cooling system with side vent and 2x larger heat sinks
The DS XML 350 from Advanced LED Light is as much a popular choice in the indoor cannabis growing scene as it is among indoor garden enthusiasts. This moderately priced LED grow light comes with three-year replaceable warranty and 90-day money back guarantee.
Weighing approximately 14 lbs, the XML 350 operates on an input voltage of 110 to 240 VAC and consumes 330W of power. The nominal coverage area is roughly 4.5 x 4.5 square feet. As for the spectrum range, the lamp offers full coverage of red and blue PAR areas. You can also adjust the intensity and spectrum to accurately match the growth stage. The spectrum adjusting buttons are particularly useful as no extra lighting is required to switch in between flowering and vegetable modes.
The XML 350 carries both 3W and 10W CREE single-chip LEDs, providing the highest luminosity for the least amount of electricity. (Worth noting, this Diamond series lamp guarantees as much luminosity as a 600W HPS lamp.)
Judging by its specs and overall performance, the Advanced LED Light DS XML 350 is definitely one of the most spectral and energy efficient affordable LED grow lights out there. And that’s true for all growth stages.
- 11-band adjustable spectrum coverage suitable for all kinds of plants
- Decent maximum and core coverage
- Sophisticated CREE LED technology with 3W and 10W lights
- No wastage of light at grow bed edges
- 90-day risk-free trial and 3-year warranty
- The 10W can potentially burn at low heights if adequate precaution is not taken
3. ViparSpectra Reflector-Series 600W Review
Key specs/ features
- Max High-Intensity 5Watt Bridgelux/Epileds LED Chips
- 90-degree LED angle
- Core Coverage of 3x3ft from a height of 24”
- Max coverage of 4x4ft from a height of 24”
- Luminosity equivalent to 600-watt HPS
- Aluminum cooling heat sinks and high speed quite cooling fans
I have been personally using ViparSpectra 600W for awhile now and can confidently say that it is as good for veggies and flowers as it is for cannabis plants. At 14.9 x 14.9 x 2.71 inches, the lamp flaunts a sleek design and carries a power cord measuring at respectable 5.5-feet.
Now, obviously, most of us do not care much about the design as much we care about the coverage area. Even on that front, the RS 600W offers a pretty satisfactory result with a maximum coverage of 4.7 x 4.7 feet and core coverage of 3.7 x 3.7 feet.
The LEDs are angled at 90-degree and their positions are such that the light spreads evenly across the surface. Like the DS XML 350, the Viparspectra RS 600W also supports one-push switching between veg and bloom modes. It feeds on an input voltage of AC100-240 volt whereas the average power consumption stands at 276W.
Also, because the RS 600W is a full spectrum LED grow light, it supports the growth of pretty much any plant you might choose.
- Extremely bright with good coverage
- Runs much cooler than HID lights
- Average electricity consumption is only 276-watt
- Supports growth of all types of plants including veggies, flowers, and cannabis
- Adjustable spectrum and intensity
- Can be controlled with a timer
- Extremely bright, needs eye protection while looking directly at the lamp
- Not water proof, for indoor use only
4. G8-450 LED Grow Light Review
- Optimal 8-Band Wavelength Ratio, as well as real Infrared (IR) and Ultraviolet (UV)
- 450W power output
- Adjustable spectrum and intensity to support vegetative and flowering growth
- 4 x 3-feet intense coverage
- High-quality and durable 3W chips
Dorm Grow, the company behind the G8-450 LED grow light, is known for their quality and customer service. And it’s not just me, you can find a lot of knowledgeable folks out there who appreciate the high-quality construction used in Dorm Grow lights, including of course the G8-450.
Weighing around 18 pounds, the G8-450 comes with a heavy-duty body with a lifespan of 50,000 hours. That roughly amounts to nearly 10-years of growing plants indoors.
If you compare the G8-450 with a HID system, you will see it offers luminosity equivalent to any 800W HID. On paper, the light effectively covers an area spanning 12 square foot although you get a little less than that in reality.
The product lets you choose between 8 bands of the color spectrum to ensure the right kind of light for the right stages of growth. Operating at an input voltage of 110V-240V, the light ensures penetration up to 5-feet past the plant canopy. Hanging wires are included in the shipping and the power cord is available for orders from the US, UK, EU, and Australia. (Check Amazon listing for availability in your area.)
- Durable with 50,000 hours of expected lifespan and comes with 2-year warranty
- Bright enough to replace an 800W HPS system
- Energy efficiency
- Easy availability and installation
- Very effective for small grows
- Offers full spectrum
- Excellent build and customer service
- The coverage area is comparatively smaller than many competitors
5. Roleadro Full Spectrum 2nd Generation Series 300w Plants LED Grow Light Review
- 5W x 60pcs
- Offers full spectrum
- 300W power output
- LED angle: 90=degree and 120-degree
- Nominal coverage: 6,200 square inch(3.2 square meter) per light
- Input voltage: AC85~265
This 300W Roleadro grow light for indoor plants consists of as many as sixty 5-watt LED chips. Widely counted among the best LED grow lights for weed, the product comes with full-spectrum lighting.
The Roleadro 2nd gen 300W light promises a lifespan of 50,000 to 100,000 hours (most of its competitors promise up to 50,000 hours). It produces 5000 lumens and can cover as much as 3.9 square meters per light — or so does the company claim. I think that figure is slightly inflated, but that’s a common issue with all these brands. Considering that it’s a light measured at 11 x 14-inch, I recommend that you use it to cover an area of 3 x 3 meters.
The product comes equipped with two fans for cooling and brings you a steel hanging kit. One drawback I can see is the absence of the ability to daisy chain it. If you are specifically looking for something to daisy chain, Roleadro has a 600W model of this product with that feature.
Much like the rest of the other grow lights for indoor plants above, the Roleadro Full Spectrum 2nd Generation Series 300w plants light also comes with a warranty period of two years.
- Efficient cooling
- Full spectrum
- Energy efficient
- Comes with steel hanging kit
- No option to manually adjust the power or different sections of the LEDs
- Cannot be daisy-chained
6. California Lightworks 440W LED Grow Light Review
- Eighty-eight 5W LEDs
- Two 15W UV-B tubes
- Dual fans for optimal cooling
- Core coverage of 3.5 x 3.5 square feet
- 440W output power
- Weight: 15 pounds
This is definitely one of the most expensive LED grow lights listed in this article. However, judging by its performance, you probably won’t mind the few extra bucks spent on it. With a solid build that looks and feel sleek and way sturdier than most of its competitors, the CL 440W comes equipped with 88 5W chips rather than the standard 3W variety.
The optics are made of jewel quality glasses focused at a right angle. In addition, it also carries a couple of 15W UV-B tubes to boost growth during flowering stages. With the powerful built-in fans inside, the panel operates at a moderately low temperature and with negligible noise.
The core coverage range is approximate 3 x 3 feet while the maximum coverage can go as high as 3.5 x 3.5 square feet or so.
Note that the product’s unique supplemental UV-B mode ensures harvest with comparatively a much higher potency, which is key to any plantsman trying to grow cannabis in an indoor setup. For the uninitiated, the UV lights are normally activated during the final few weeks near the so-called “finishing” phase.
- Sturdy build, sleek design
- Efficient cooling
- 5W LEDs
- 15W UV-B tubes for better “finishing” phase
- Full spectrum
- Comparatively expensive
- Coverage could have been better
7. King Plus Double Chip LED Grow Lights Review
- Two 5w LED chips per LED light, making the output brighter and more balanced
- Cooling ensured by internal fans and strategically placed holes
- Full spectrum
- UV and IR bands
- Average core coverage: 2.9 x 2.9 sq feet to 3.2 x 3.2 sq feet
King Plus LED grow lights are claimed to come equipped with a new innovative class of LED technology that ensures a balanced and brighter output for all your plants without consuming excess electricity. Their double LED chips carry two 5W LEDs chips, providing a net output of 10W per LED. Needless to say, this is way brighter and more efficient compared to those individual 3W, 5W, or 6W LEDs found in most LED plant lights.
Also, King Plus products bring you a full spectrum comprising blue, red, yellow, white, UV, and IR lights. This is possibly the closest you can get to natural sunlight in this price range. The heat dissipation is taken care of by the built-in fans, as well as the holes across the LED board and the cover glass.
These products are covered by a three-year warranty in addition to a guaranteed 24-hour customer service response.
Plant grow lights by King Plus come in 4 different variants with output: 600W, 800W, 1000W, and 1200W.
- Decent coverage
- Full spectrum + IR + UV (also helpful in killing off certain harmful microbes)
- Two 5W LED chips per LED means brighter than most competitors
- One big fan and other standard measures for quicker heat dissipation
- Thicker case, ventilated glass cover
- 4 different variants to choose from based on your requirements
- Can be a little too pricey for some of us
- Daisy-chaining multiple units is not an option
- Because too bright, it can potentially harm plants if hung too close to the plants
8. HIGROW Optical Lens-Series 1000W Full Spectrum LED Grow Light Review
- 200 5-watt LEDs
- LED Lens: 90°
- Input Voltage: AC100-240V
- Core Coverage at 24″ Height 4x3ft
- Max Coverage at 24″ Height 5x4ft
How about an epic 1000-watt indoor plant lamp with a pretty formidable coverage and build quality? Sounds good? Well, the HIGROW OL-Series 1000W is just that kind of a product that any serious plantsman with an indoor /grow tent setup cannot just overlook. I know because I have been using it for awhile now and let me make it absolutely clear that this moderately popular HIGROW product is so far my most favorite LED grow light in higher-output sect.
Place it 24-inch above your plants and you are set to get a 5 x 4 feet cover area with 4 x 3 feet of core coverage. The product comes equipped with 200 5-watt LEDs along with heat sinks and three fans.
As you know, efficient cooling is of the utmost importance for any high-output LED. The HIGROW Optical Lens-Series 1000W doesn’t disappoint at all on that front.
The lamp offers a 12-band full spectrum encompassing the entire lots of wavelength in between 380mm and 760mm. Of course, including UV and IR.
The strategically placed optical lens helps the light output to reach the bases and sides of the plants in the grow area, paving the way in for more efficient photosynthesis. The built-in veg/bloom mode selector is another big advantage. This feature allows you to manually control the light intensity and spectrum as per your requirements.
- Powerful and bright LEDs
- Comparatively larger coverage
- Ability to manually switch between veg and bloom modes
- 12-band full spectrum
- 3 fans and heat sinks ensure much faster cooling
- Like with any other high-output LED grow light, you have to be extra careful ensuring that the light doesn’t end up too close to the plant (or it will cause permanent damage).
- While the lamp is energy efficient, it still consumes comparatively more electricity compared to many of the smaller products mentioned in this list.
9. Mars Hydro Reflector Series LED Grow Lights Review
- Special reflectors around each LED for brighter light and more coverage
- Coverage: up to 4’×4′(Veg)
- Coverage: Up to 3.5’×3.5′(Bloom)
- Full spectrum
The Mars Hydro Reflector LED grow light series is a lot different from any other product in this list. All the lights in this series are named based on the total number of LEDs in them and their true wattage (and not based on their HID equivalent).
Mars Hydro is a relatively well-known manufacturer of indoor plant lights with over 7 years of experience in the market.
The reflector series flaunts a unique design of compact reflectors around each individual LED. This setup ensures a much higher PAR output compared to regular LED lights (without using nearly as many bulbs). That, in turn, ensures a far lower consumption of electricity, leading to more energy savings.
Each light comes with its own full spectrum including red, blue and white wavelengths. This helps your plants in both their vegetative and flowering stages of growth.
The Mars Hydro Reflector series gives you 4 options to choose from:
- 48 LEDs at 102W (equivalent to 150W HID)
- 96 LEDs at 207W (equivalent to 250W HPS)
- 144 LEDs at 317W (equivalent to 350W HPS)
- 192 LEDs at 410W (equivalent to 450W HPS)
- Modular lights that can be used in any combination
- High-quality LEDs
- Compact reflectors ensures brighter light and more coverage
- Less LEDs needed for the same luminosity, meaning less energy consumption
- Full spectrum
- No UV and IR light
- Warranty period of only 90 days
- More expensive than some competitors
10. Global Star G02 300W Review
- Fifty 6W LEDs
- LED angle: 120-degree
- Crystal plus lenses for even distribution of light
- 2 ultra-quiet fans
- Coverage area of 6 to 10 sq feet (4 to 6 sq feet for plants requiring intense lighting)
Despite being relatively low-cost, Global Star G02 300W is a full spectrum LED grow light with a lot of value for the money. These LEDs are indeed much larger in form factor compared to many of its counterparts from rival brands. You get 50 of 6W LEDs in each unit which, as you might have guessed, gives an intense light suitable for the densest of plants.
The panel can cover up to 2 x 1.5 feet when the plants are in the flowering stage of growth. The coverage can be made higher during the vegetative stage of growth.
The customization options you get with the Global Star G02 300W are by and large the same as those you get in more expensive LED grow lights. There are two modes to choose from – one for veg while the other is for flowering plants.
The spectrum covers 11 bands including UV, IR, and white light. The built-in cooling fans come with a sophisticated backup system that keeps them running even if one of the chips malfunctions. Like most Global Star indoor plant lights, the GS G02 300W also offers a 1-year warranty on parts and service.
- Intensely bright light, suitable for dense plants
- Two modes to choose from – veg and flowering
- Efficient cooling with additional fail-safe measures
- Full spectrum with 11 bands including UV and IR
- Coverage could have been better
- Possibility of plants being damaged if hung up too close
What are Full Spectrum LED Grow Lights?
First of all, full spectrum is not actually a purely scientific term. It’s more of a generalized way of describing the properties of a light source – in our case, LED plant lights.
In essence, the term full spectrum LED grow lights refer to products that radiate light in all bands of the visible electromagnetic spectrum (read: light spectrum). That stands for light within the wavelength range of 390nm to 700nm. Beyond that, the average human eye cannot detect light (e.g. infrared or X-ray).
So, when you hear the phrase full spectrum LED grow bulb, it essentially means that a bulb that emulates the balanced full-spectrum of natural light (e.g. sunlight).
Yellow – 580nm
Orange – 610nm
Red – 630nm
Deep red – 660nm
Blue – 460nm
Royal blue – 430nm
UV – 410nm
Infrared (IR) – 730nm
White – 14,000K
Those experienced with indoor plants for a long time would know that full spectrum LED grow lights in most cases lead to healthier crops and better yields. Without delving into the nitty-gritty, it suffices to state that while red and blue are predominantly the “active photosynthesis” part of the spectrum, they are simply not enough for the overall well being of most plants.
You see, traditional LED arrays only emit the spectrums that activate after the photorespiration period. This is why the traditional grow lights including the two-banded LED grow lights (with red and blue wavelengths) more often than not finish cycles with immature plants and low yields. This is because by providing plants with only limited spectrums, you are basically making them stuck in a perpetual “chill” mode. In some cases, you may notice healthy looking plants, but their yields are almost never up to the mark.
This is why the full spectrum indoor plant lights built using the latest LED technologies are most useful for growing a wide variety of plants including flowers, veggies, and cannabis.
Benefits of using Full Spectrum LED Grow Lights
The benefits are manifold, the technical details of which are beyond the scope of this article. However, simply put, the primary benefits of using full spectrum LED grow lights can be surmised in the following:
- High yields compared to plants grown using traditional indoor plant lights.
- They don’t dissipate much heat. Therefore, no external cooling arrangements are necessary.
- They never flicker and don’t require ballast.
- Their lifespan is about 50,000 hours, which basically translates into years of trouble-free service.
- Their electricity consumption is comparatively much less, helping you save on electricity.
5 Essential Grow Room Kit Items
In addition to the best LED grow lights, there are a number of items as well that you need to have in your grow room kit for safety and maximum efficiency. These include:
1. Sunglasses: It may sound a little odd to some of you with no prior experience in a grow room, but sunglasses are important if you want to keep your eyes safe from the bright full-spectrum LED lights with UV rays. It hardly needs any explanation, though! I mean it’s basically the same as wearing your sunglasses outside to protect your eyes on a bright sunny day.
2. Grow tent: Even if you are currently used to grow your plants in an enclosed space such as a closet, you should try and upgrade to a grow tent whenever possible. With grow tents, it’s a lot easier to control the climate for your plants. In addition to keeping smells and humidity under control, grow tents also protect your cannabis and other plants from stray light when they need to be in the dark. Also, they protect you from the bright grow light when you are supposed to be sleeping.
3. Nutrients: Plants need their fair share of minerals and other nutrients for staying alive and healthy. Note that the nutrients you provide them with also impact their flavor in addition to influencing the yield. Don’t let your plants starve and produce poor yields with not-so-good flavor. Always use the right nutrients in the right amounts.
4. Thermometer and hygrometer: Both these are must-haves in your grow room kit simply because they will give you adequate information about the ambient conditions in your grow tent and any changes necessary.
5. Light meter: It may not be as important as a hygrometer or a grow tent, but having a light meter in your tool kit will help you optimize your plants for the best yields by providing them with just the right amount of light.
I hope the LED grow light reviews above will help you zero in on the indoor plant lights best suited for your medical marijuana, vegetable, and other plants. Keep in mind that this is just a brief rundown of the most important aspects associated with getting started with your own indoor garden. I will be sharing more of my experiences with indoor plantation and the best tool kits your money can buy.
So, stay tuned and feel free to bookmark this page for easier access to best LED Grow Lights.