10 Best LED Grow Lights | March 2017

We spent 32 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. Get more impressive yields while saving money on your electricity bills with one of these LED grow lights. They can provide optimal lighting for growing and blooming for whatever it is that you are cultivating, be it vegetables, flowers, or – depending on the laws of your state or country – adult-oriented plants. Skip to the best led grow light on Amazon.
10 Best LED Grow Lights | March 2017


Overall Rank: 3
Best Mid-Range
★★★★
Overall Rank: 1
Best High-End
★★★★★
Overall Rank: 2
Best Inexpensive
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10
The KingLED King Plus is surprisingly affordable for a 1,600W LED, which may raise some eyebrows, as the actual wattage draw is much less, due in part to the use of double-chipped diodes. Its energy consumption is only 345-355 watts.
9
The Roleadro Galaxyhydro COB has 90-degree, high-reflective cups for a significant light gathering effect. It can easily be daisy-chained together with a slew of additional panels, so you can use it in large growing operations.
8
The Lighthouse Hydro BlackStar Chrome 270 offers a full-spectrum range including IR and UV for healthier plants and better blooming. It comes with a one-year, all-inclusive warranty, and has a 2' x 3' coverage area with deep canopy penetration.
7
The MarsHydro Reflector96 is a good choice for those wanting to test out LED growing on just three or four plants without shelling out big bucks in the process. The company has outstanding customer service if you have questions.
  • mixed view angle
  • sturdy construction
  • not a great choice for blooming
Brand Marshydro
Model LG-G21C96LED
Weight 12.2 pounds
6
The Apollo Horticulture GL80X5LED has 80 5W LEDs which create enough light to cover 3' x 3' of vegetative growth or 2.5' x 2.5' of flower growth. It can be placed very close to the canopy without burning leaves, making it ideal for small and low height grow rooms.
  • includes steel hanging clips
  • produces only minimal heat
  • cooling fan is noisy when running
Brand Apollo Horticulture
Model AH LED-P-100X3
Weight 10.3 pounds
5
Change between vegetable or flower options with the flip of a switch using the PlatinumLED Grow Lights Advanced Platinum P600. It has one of the highest PAR/lumen outputs per watt, giving you huge yields, and replacing up to an 800w HPS grow light.
  • cooling fans run quietly
  • aluminum heat sinks
  • doesn't provide wide light coverage
Brand PlatinumLED Grow Lights
Model P600
Weight 23 pounds
4
The Kind LED K5 XL 1000 is the top choice for many professional growers, and with good reason: it produces exceptionally large yields per watt. It also features digital spectrum control, so you can fine tune the light for every grow stage.
  • mix of 3w and 5w diodes
  • dimmable for sensitive clones
  • expensive for its coverage
Brand Kind LED
Model XL1000
Weight 38.2 pounds
3
The G8LED 450 has a 6-foot power cord to give you more placement options without having to run an extension. It also offers an 8-band wavelength ratio for optimal flowering, plus added IR and UV light. It remains cool to the touch while running.
  • engineered for the blooming stage
  • works on 110v to 240v power sources
  • rated for 50000 hours of use
Brand G8LED
Model G8-450BLOOM
Weight 16.4 pounds
2
It's rare to find an affordable LED panel strong enough to grow a plant with large yields, but the HHE 300 Full Spectrum somehow manages the job. It's not for multiple plants, but it's a good choice to try your hand at indoor growing.
  • lots of red and blue light
  • four cooling fans
  • pre-attached hanging holes
Brand HHE
Model H&PC-63809
Weight 8.4 pounds
1
The California Lightworks Solarstorm 880 is made using 176 5-watt diodes, each with high photosynthetic photon flux to penetrate deeper into the canopy. It also runs surprisingly cool to the touch for such a powerful mechanism.
  • uniform 4 x 4-foot coverage area
  • 2 built-in 15-watt uv-b t8 tubes
  • easily switches from grow to bloom
Brand California Light Works
Model CLW0400
Weight 39.2 pounds

Light Above All Else

If indoor horticulture fascinates you, then you're going to need a good alternative to help those beautiful flowers bloom inside your home or business. While fertile soil, plant food, plenty of water, and using the best seeds are definitely important, there's an additional component that can make or break your success in the garden and that's light.

Without light, your plants don't get the all the nourishment they need. Without access to an outdoor garden or lots of land around your property to cultivate one, you do the next best thing and move that garden right into your own home with the use of indoor grow lights.

While grow lights come in several different forms, they are all artificial electric light sources with a common goal of stimulating plant photosynthesis through the emission of an electromagnetic spectrum. Photosynthesis is the process by which plants convert light energy into chemical energy, which is then used to fuel growth activities. Fortunately for us and most life on Earth, the main waste product for plants during photosynthesis happens to be oxygen. Without light/photosynthesis, sustaining life would be very difficult. Grow lights provide either a light spectrum similar to that of the sun or a particular spectrum best suited for cultivating a unique species of plant, depending on what it is you actually want to grow.

Your main goal here is to mimic outdoor conditions as closely as possible with respect to what your plants would ordinarily experience in their natural outdoor environments to propagate. That said, you need versatility in your grow lights to deliver various colors, temperatures, and spectral outputs. Common types of grow lights include incandescent lamps, fluorescent lights, high-intensity discharge lamps (HIDs), and light-emitting diodes (LEDs).

What gives LED grow lights an edge over some of their competition is their versatility, efficiency, longevity, and friendliness to the environment among other things. Diodes also allow for specific wavelengths of light to be produced. This means that LED grow lights can cover a broad spectrum of colors that include the red, green, and blue parts that plants use to grow and flourish.

Finally, LED grow lights are not only used for industrial and home applications on Earth, but they also play a role in farming for a possible future with respect to hydroponics and sustaining plants in outer space. Does that mean we're ready to start terraforming Mars? Probably not, but it could be a first step in the right direction.

Let There Be Light

There are several things to consider when choosing an LED grow light, such as what you plan to grow, where you plan to grow it, and how much space you have. The good news is that LED grow lights offer you the freedom to make the best decision possible, regardless of what plants you intend to work with.

Plants and lights are generally placed within close proximity, which is ideal when working with limited space. You also want to be sure that the spectrum being represented will cover the plant surfaces and not just the surrounding areas. LED grow lights encourage propagation of your plants without sacrificing huge amounts of money or wasting electricity.

Many LED grow lights are designed to give you large yields per watt, while some feature built-in spectrum controls for fine-tuning the resulting light at each stage of the growing process. Adjustable spectrum controls are quite important when growing a variety of fruits/vegetables like tomatoes or cucumbers because there isn't a universally optimal light recipe for every plant. Required light intensity and total exposure time can and will vary for different plant species, so it's important to ask your seller for their recommendations when discussing your needs.

Choosing high-powered, brand-name LEDs gives you the confidence that your grow lights have been adequately tested and that they will stand up to the life expectancy needed to keep your plants alive and healthy.

With high power also comes heat. Go with LED grow lights equipped with the ability to disperse some of that heat to ensure the longevity of the LEDs themselves. Solutions for this include heat sinks and electric fans built into the LED light fixtures. While heat isn't necessarily detrimental to your plants, you don't want it to shorten the lifespan of your lights.

A Brief History Of Grow Lights

Grow lights for plants have a history of nearly 150 years, starting with Thomas Edison's invention of the incandescent filament lamp as early as 1879. Along the same parallel was open arc lighting, which made use of carbon rods as a popular form of street lighting in the late 1800s as well as for continued plant testing through the 1940s.

Enclosed and low-pressure gaseous discharge lamps were originally developed with mercury vapor in the late 1800s and were expanded around 1900 to include other elements such as sodium, neon, and argon. The use of phosphors in conjunction with the low-pressure mercury lamps further encouraged the development of fluorescent lamps in the 1930s. Compared to mercury lamps, fluorescent lamps had a broader spectrum, improved efficiency, and a longer operating life when compared to incandescent lamps.

The 1930s to 1960s saw further development of high-pressure mercury, metal halide, and sodium lamps that are still being used today to supplement naturally-lit greenhouses.

It wasn't until around 1990 that the LED grow lamp underwent its initial testing to eventually become a common means for plant propagation in today's horticulture industry.



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Last updated: 03/22/2017 | Authorship Information

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