10 Best Grow Lamps | March 2017

10 Best Grow Lamps
Best Mid-Range
★★★★
Best High-End
★★★★★
Best Inexpensive
★★★
We spent 32 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. If you want to grow any kind of vegetables, flowers, or herbs indoors, you have to provide them with the right lighting to promote healthy photosynthesis. Our selection of lamps includes something for every horticultural need, including options for people in states that allow for legal marijuana cultivation. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best grow lamp on Amazon.
10
If you're cultivating an extraordinarily small plot, or perhaps just a single plant in an area that receives too little sunlight, the PPunson 10W Dual Head will provide you with just enough radiance. It is designed to comfortably fit on a desktop.
  • simple toggle switches
  • adjustable goosenecks
  • produces a bit too much heat
Brand PPUNSON
Model GROW10CLP
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0
9
The Vivosun 400 is great for stealth growing operations, as it features an ultra-quiet, slim-design ballast. It even has a lumen boost option to give your plants extra light during the flower cycle, so you can produce bigger harvests.
  • 3-year warranty
  • rope hangers have a 150lb capacity
  • vague instructional manual
Brand VIVOSUN
Model pending
Weight 14.2 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
8
The Quantum 1000 might not come from a well-known brand, but it's marked up at an affordable price, runs 15 percent cooler than other ballasts, and doesn't lose much lumen output over time. Plus, it has a great space-saving design.
  • 1000w digilux hps bulb
  • stable light production
  • higher-than-listed power draw
Brand Quantum
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
7
The iPower GLSetX 1000D H-Mac6 has an air-cooled hood that can be hooked up to vent fans, preventing heat buildup in your growing room. It comes with a pair of sturdy rope ratchet hangers that allow you to adjust its height with minimal effort.
  • accepts 120- and 240-volt power
  • ballast works with hps and mh bulbs
  • inside socket breaks easily
Brand iPower
Model GLSETX1000DHMAC6
Weight 27.3 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
6
The Apollo Horticulture GLK400GW19 is great budget option. It is a 400W system that is good for small plots, and it has a dimmable ballast that allows for a 50, 75, or 100 percent output, so you can even use it on sensitive clones.
  • gull wing reflector
  • 1- to 24-hour timer
  • metal-halide bulb dies quickly
Brand Apollo Horticulture
Model 400GW19-A
Weight 11.8 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0
5
The Viparspectra Reflector-Series 900W LED can compete with the majority of 1,000W HPS and MH bulbs while only consuming approximately 418 watts of electricity. Its large aluminum heat sinks work together with a strong set of fans to dissipate hot air effectively.
  • full-spectrum coverage
  • 3-year warranty
  • hanging kit included
Brand VIPARSPECTRA
Model R900
Weight 16.8 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0
4
The Virtual Sun VSD1000WDS includes both a metal-halide and a high pressure sodium bulb, so you have the right lighting for each growing cycle without having to spend any more money. The hood has large, 6-inch ports to allow for aftermarket fan installations.
  • digital dimmable ballast
  • adjustable hanger system
  • can operate on a timer
Brand Virtual Sun
Model VSD1000WDS
Weight 32.1 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
3
The California Light Works SolarStorm 440W is one of the most advanced and highly sought-after LED options on the market. In addition to a full light spectrum, it offers T8 UVB bulbs for increased yields and improved taste.
  • more powerful than a 600w hps
  • 6 x 6-foot coverage area
  • ideal for medium-sized plots
Brand California Light Works
Model CLW0300
Weight 15 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
2
With extra-large heat sinks and supremely quiet fans, the Kind LED K3 L450 lets you set up a garden just about anywhere. It uses an optimized current for its LED output, increasing penetration by up to 200 percent, saving you money and improving harvests.
  • precision drivers
  • barely affects temperature
  • makes plants grow extremely quickly
Brand Kind LED
Model L450
Weight 16.2 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0
1
The G8LED G8-900 gives off 900W in a full-range light spectrum, including UV and infrared. It provides your plants with everything they need for optimal growth through every stage of your process, so it can be used for vegetable and flower cycles.
  • stays cool to the touch
  • more efficient than standard bulbs
  • doesn't require an external ballast
Brand G8LED
Model G8-900
Weight 23.7 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

The Different Types Of Grow Lamps

Grow lamps come in four different types: high-intensity discharge, fluorescent, plasma, and LED. High-intensity discharge lights are the most commonly used type of grow light, as they are efficient and capable of providing intense light that most closely resembles the sun. HID bulbs are available in two types: metal halide and high pressure sodium. MH grow bulbs are designed to produce light in the cool blue and white spectrum, which is ideal for vegetative growth. HPS bulbs give off light in the warmer red and orange spectrum, which is ideal for blooming as it mimics the late summer sunlight and signals to the plants that winter is coming soon. For the best results, most indoor growers combine these two bulbs.

Fluorescent grow lamps are good for propagation and early vegetative growth. Unlike high powered MH bulbs, there is practically no chance of fluorescent bulbs burning sensitive seedlings or cuttings. Because they aren't very intense they must be placed relatively close to the leaves, otherwise it may result in spindly plants that are overly tall with very weak stems. The most popular fluorescent grow lamp is a T5 bulb, but some growers do try and use compact fluorescent bulbs. As with HID bulbs, fluorescent grow lamps are available in warm and cool spectrum.

Plasma and LED are the two newest types of grow lamps. Plasma bulbs, while still prohibitively expensive for the amateur grower, are more efficient that standard HID lights and can offer up to 50 percent savings on electricity costs. They also last longer with less lumen loss, and offer a full spectrum of light. This means it isn't necessary to switch bulbs when plants transition from vegetative growth to blooming. In addition to all of the other benefits, plasma lights produce notably less heat that standard HIDs, making them a good choice for those dealing with heat issues.

LED grow lights, are less expensive than plasma lights, but offer many of the same benefits. They can last through five or six growing cycles without any loss of intensity, unlike HIDs which need to be replaced after every two growing cycles. LEDs are also available with a full light spectrum, and many have the addition of UV and infrared light. The first few generations of LED grow lights didn't quite live up to the claims of manufacturers, but the more recent versions are proving to be extremely popular and capable of producing large yields.

Understanding A Plant's Lighting Needs

Understanding what kind of light should be used in each growing cycle is vital to maintaining healthy plants and producing large harvests indoors. The goal is to reproduce natural light as closely as possible. To do this, we must understand what the light is like during each growing season.

In the spring and summer time, when the sun is high up overhead, plants receive more of the bright blue and white light spectrum in the 400 to 500nm range. In the late summer and fall, the sun hangs lower in the sky and more light in the red and orange spectrum hits the earth, usually in the 600 to 700nm range.

Plants have evolved over time to use the available light to be most productive. When a plant is receiving a lot of blue and white spectrum, it knows that there is still a lot of time left in the growing season and therefore puts all of its energy into growing bigger, healthy leaves and bushing out as much as possible.

When a plant begins to receive more red and orange light, it knows that the growing season is coming to an end and winter will be arriving. This stimulates the plant to propagate by blooming and producing fruit or seeds to ensure survival. This is why grow lamps in the warmer light spectrum are used to promote flowering and fruiting.

The Importance Of Grow Room Ventilation

The importance of proper ventilation in a grow room cannot be overstated. Lack of ventilation can cause a number or problems ranging from stunted growth to the onset of plant diseases and more. If an indoor growing area is too humid, mold may start to grow on plants. It can also cause fruits to rot while still on the plant. With proper ventilation and humidity sensors, one can ensure their grow room is at the perfect humidity levels for their particular crop.

If humidity levels are too low, plants perspire too much water and not enough nutrients. This leaves concentrated nutrient levels in a plant, which can cause nutrient burn. To attain the right humidity levels, one must also understand the difference between humidity and relative humidity.

Heat is also very damaging to plants. A plant's biochemical functions are dependent on temperature. If a grow room's temperature falls outside of the optimal range for the particular type of plant being grown, photosynthesis can slow down or even stop completely. Overly hot temperatures can also burn plants causing their leaves to shrivel and turn brown.

Plants are also dependent on CO2 for healthy growth. As most people know, plants absorb CO2 and release oxygen during photosynthesis. If a grow room does not have ventilation, there will be a lack of available CO2 for plants. Proper ventilation allows a grower to control humidity, heat, and CO2 levels.



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Last updated on March 31, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel is a writer, actor, and director living in Los Angeles, CA. He spent a large portion of his 20s roaming the country in search of new experiences, taking on odd jobs in the strangest places, studying at incredible schools, and making art with empathy and curiosity.


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