Having the right grow lights in your set up can be one of the most crucial things you make sure of. Plants can grow just fine when you have all of the right nutrients going to them, have all of the most up to date hydroponic technology delivering them, and an airflow system that makes sure they are always cool and filled with oxygen, but without light none of that matters too much, or at all in fact. That is why LED grow lights are so important.

However, finding the best LED grow lights is not that simple, that’s why we’ve put together this chart — an all-inclusive guide to help you find the grow light that will fit your needs.

Top 5 LED Grow Lights For The Money

G8LED 450 Watt LED Grow Light with Optimal 8-Band plus IR & UV
  • Model: G8LED 450 Watt LED Grow Light with Optimal 8-Band plus IR & UV
  • Amazon rating:
  • Wattage: 450W
  • Lifespan: 50 000
  • Coverage Area: 12+ square feet
  • Stages: Veg & Flowering
  • Discount: 22%
  • You save: 179.01$
  • Free Shipping:
Apollo Horticulture GL60LED Full Spectrum Grow Light
  • Model: Apollo Horticulture GL60LED Full Spectrum Grow Light
  • Amazon rating:
  • Wattage: 180W
  • Lifespan: 50 000
  • Coverage Area: 5+ square feet
  • Stages: Veg & Flowering
  • Discount: 45%
  • You save: 90.25$
  • Free Shipping:
Apollo Horticulture Purple Sun COB Full Spectrum LED Grow Light
  • Model: Apollo Horticulture Purple Sun COB Full Spectrum LED Light
  • Amazon rating:
  • Wattage: 384W
  • Lifespan: 50 000
  • Coverage Area: 6+ square feet
  • Stages: Veg & Flowering
  • Discount: n/a
  • You save: n/a
  • Free Shipping:
Promotion TaoTronics® TT-GL14 80*3W 6 Bands Led Grow Light
  • Model: Promotion TaoTronics® TT-GL14 80*3W 6 Bands Led Light
  • Amazon rating:
  • Wattage: 240W
  • Lifespan: 50 000
  • Coverage Area: 6+ square feet
  • Stages: Veg & Flowering
  • Discount: 47%
  • You save: 141.11$
  • Free Shipping:
G8LED 600Watt LED Grow Light with Optimal 8-Band plus IR & UV
  • Model: G8LED 600Watt LED Grow Light with Optimal 8-Band plus IR & UV
  • Amazon rating:
  • Wattage: 600W
  • Lifespan: 50 000
  • Coverage Area: 18+ square feet
  • Stages: Veg & Flowering
  • Discount: 18%
  • You save: 199.01$
  • Free Shipping:

Why Is It So Important To Have The Best LED Grow Lights?

Having an LED grow light set up is important for a number of reasons. There are plenty of ways to get light to your plants, but how do you know that it is the most efficient way? How can you know that you aren’t actually overheating your plants in an attempt to pump more light into them and increase your output?

The fact remains that LED lights are the most efficient grow lights that are available on the market. To begin, LED grow lights conserve 75% more energy than traditional grow lights. By using less power, you will be spending less money keeping up with power bills and therefore have much more money leftover for enjoying the fruits of your labors, rather than spending the majority of it running the grow operation itself.

Important as well is that LED grow lights use specific wavelengths of light that are needed the most by your plants. Traditional grow lights blast your plants with light and as a result much of the light is wasted. LED grow lights, on the other hand, use only blue and red wavelengths to provide your plants with everything that they need without having to waste power and light on things that aren’t effective. There are LED grow lights that feature either both, or only one, which makes it possible to specialize and tailor your lighting to your plant’s needs.

LED grow lights are also much cooler in part due to the reduction of power consumption. The problem with many grow lights is the heat that they produce, which causes you to spend money on other parts of your grow operation as well. The hotter your grow room stays, the more air you will have to move through the room, and the more attention you will have to pay to the temperature at all times.

That also means that LED grow lights are much easier on the environment. With the attention being brought to environmental concerns, global warming, and the future of the world, it is easy to see why people would be likely to prefer a more environmentally conscious option. That is where LED grow lights succeed. The massive reduction in CO2 emissions, in addition to power consumption, means that the environment will be thankful. LED grow lights also don’t have to be disposed of in a particular manner like HPS lighting systems do. Grow lights containing mercury will have to be professionally disposed of in a way that requires special attention after a couple of years due to the shorter shelf life. LED grow lights have the ability to last a long time and then be thrown away after almost ten years of use without having to worry about harming the environment in the process.

The final thing that stands out about LED grow lights is the fact that they do not have to be replaced very often. Many grow lights that people use are replaced within a short amount of time because they wear out fairly quickly. In comparison, LED grow lights can last for over 50,000 hours, meaning they will have to be replaced after 7-8 years at the earliest. The cost can turn some people away from using them, but once the length of their life is taken into account it is easy to see how much money can actually be saved over time.

Growing With LEDs Video Demo

Check out this video guide for successful indoor growing with LED grow lights.

What Are The Advantages of LED Grow Lights Over HPS?

HPS lights are another of the more popular grow lighting systems that are currently used for indoor grows. HPS stands for High Pressure Sodium and these are lights that produce mostly yellow wavelength light and are much cheaper than many other grow lights such as LED Lights or T5 Grow Lights. There are plenty of problems with HPS lighting set ups, though.

HPS lighting systems are more efficient than lighting systems in the past, but they are still not the best. Using a combination of gases, a current is sent through and charges an arc tube made of aluminum oxide. That arc will create the light that is incredibly bright and incredibly powerful, but they do have setbacks that can cause problems for most growers.

HPS grow lights unfortunately produce a large amount of heat and they require a lot of power to run effectively. They can be great when under control, and don’t require a lot of up front money, but they can quickly cause problems as time goes on. The yellow light that they produce also isn’t very effective in either vegetative or flowering stages.

HPS grow lights also have the problem of being responsible for a large amount of CO2 emissions. With more and more people being conscious of their impact on the environment, this is an important factor that plays a large role in deciding which products to purchase. These lights will also have to be disposed of in a secure way, since they have mercury inside of them and can potentially be problematic for the environment, even after they are no longer running as part of a grow operation.

In comparison, LED lighting has the ability to not only eliminate the wasteful yellow light, but make use of more effective wavelengths that actually provide benefits to your plants. They also don’t have the energy problem that HPS lighting systems have, making them cheaper. They certainly cost much more than HPS grow lights at the start, but the savings over time can make a huge difference in your bottom line as you go from harvest to harvest.

What Are The Advantages of LED Over HID?

From the standpoint of looking at the initial costs of setting up a grow operation, HID lights, or High Intensity Discharge lights, are a very affordable option for people who grow plants indoors. Over time, though, that initial saving can be overcome by additional costs as you spend more on other costs.

HID lighting works by sending electrical currents through metal vapors, that charge the electrons and cause them to bump into each other, creating light. It takes a few seconds, but within half a minute they are at full output and then will have to cool completely if they are turned off before they can be turned back on. This can cause them to use a good deal of power, but many people still swear by their use in large part.

The reason many people turn to LED grow lights is because they are efficient in every way imaginable. LED grow lights are designed to emit only the right red and blue spectrum light that helps to encourage the flowering and vegetative growth that you rely on for productive harvests that don’t end up costing you a lot of money in expenses.

HID lights, on the other hand, fall short in those categories. The HID lights are very bright and very powerful, but they unfortunately produce a large amount of heat that has to be diffused by airflow systems and maintained at all times. That also means you will be forced to deal with the extra costs of running the lights themselves, which can grow incredibly expensive when they are being run on a daily basis. They will effectively grow plants at any stage of life, but it will come at a cost and they require a great deal of attention.

Grow Lights Characteristics Comparison Table

Type
Lifespan
Avg. Temperature
Distance From Plants
Efficiency
Cost
HID Grow Lights10,000 hours600 degrees F6” – 10”125 lumens per watt~$15 per bulb
HPS Grow Lights18,000 hours500 degrees F4” – 6”140 lumens per watt~$150 per bulb and ballast
LED Grow Lights50,000 hours70 degrees F10” – 16”25 lumens per watt~$200 per square foot panel
T8 Fluorescents25,000 hours100 degrees F2” – 4”90 lumens per watt$3 – $5 per bulb
T5 Fluorescent20,000 – 35,000 hours95 degrees F2” – 4”110 lumens per watt$5 – $10 per bulb

Before You Buy

Now that you know why LED grow lights are the most effective way of growing plants indoors, it is important to know what exactly you should be looking for in a model before purchasing it. Even though LED grow lights overall consume less power, provide more useful light, and give off less heat, there are still poor models that wouldn’t give you everything that you are looking for in a set up. By taking a look at a few things, though, you’ll be capable of having the best harvests ever and making sure you are saving money and able to truly enjoy the fruits of your labor.

  • Heavy Duty Construction. It should go without saying, but having heavy duty construction methods used in producing your LED grow lights is incredibly important. Without using the best metals and wiring possible, the lights will not perform as well and they may end up producing an added amount of heat that can cause problems not just for your plants, but for the lights themselves. When heat is not dissipated properly, it can be very dangerous. When you are dealing with the amount of heat and energy that is required to grow plants indoors, you can’t take any risks in handling it.
  • Red and Blue LEDs. In large part, plants rely on red and blue spectrum lighting in order to grow through the two stages of growth. HPS and HID lighting use the full spectrum of light and rely on blasting your plants with light in order to help them grow. A good LED system will use a combination of red and blue LED lights to provide the perfect blend to help in both vegetative and flowering growth.
  • High Quality Cooling System. Even though LED grow lights are generally much cooler than HID and HPS lighting systems, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay attention to the cooling system that your grow lights are using. A heat sink is responsible for taking the heat out of the LED and moving it away from the lighting system. A Metal-core printed circuit board is used, which is capable of handling extremely high temperatures, and that will be attached to a panel that features “fins” that will dissipate heat into the air and the more fins there are the more heat will be moved away from your plants.
  • Warranty. A warranty might not seem too important when LED grow lights have the long life that they possess, but that doesn’t mean you should take their word for it. When looking at a grow light, be sure to take a look at what kind of warranty they have in place. With the large initial investment that is required to setup an LED grow, you can’t take chances. A good warranty will cover part replacements and repairs for five years after purchase. This will protect you from having to pay out of pocket for any repairs that are necessary and you will save more money on these repairs compared to doing it yourself. The long term savings of LED grow lights are highly beneficial, but you have to be sure that you aren’t going to be dealing with extra costs after the purchase.

Reviews of the 3 Best LED Grow Lights:

G8LED 90 WATT All Red LED Grow Light

G8LED 90 WATT All Red LED Grow Light

The G8LED 90 Watt All Red LED is the result of G8LED and DormGrow teaming up to produce an LED grow light that offers the best results for flowering, without making any sacrifices.

According to the company, this light is the perfect addition to any existing grow, but a system of them works great during the flowering stage in particular due to the exclusive use of Red spectrum lighting, which is exactly what your indoor plants crave during this crucial time period.

In doing this, they have created a light that requires 90% less power than most traditional lights and can use all of the power that it does require to help your plants grow larger than ever. That small amount of electricity powers the fans and power utilities that will prevent you from having to use any expensive ballasts or venting systems to keep the room cool. This means you will be able to save a lot of money in long term expenses. Being rated at 50,000 hours also means that these are grow lights that are going to last for a very long time.

In order help people get over the initial speculation around switching to an LED grow, the company is offering a 90-day money back guarantee that covers any reason that a person might be unhappy with their purchase. If for any reason you are unhappy during that time you can simply return it at no charge to you. If you decide to keep it, though, you will be covered for three years in case you need to have anything repaired or need to replace the LED grow light altogether.

The only downsides to this particular LED grow light are the red lights that are used. This isn’t good for young plants that are still in vegetative growth stages, but once they reach a flowering stage this will be a great choice and a very worthwhile investment.

Apollo GL60LED Full Spectrum LED Grow Light

Apollo GL60LED Full Spectrum LED Grow Light

The Apollo GL60LED full spectrum LED grow light is one of the most recent offerings from Apollo Horticulture and is a great option for people who are making the switch to LED grow lights.

Apollo prides themselves on creating some of the easiest to install lights in the industry, while also making sure they don’t make any sacrifices with quality. After installing this LED grow light, it is easy to have the largest harvest ever thanks to the highly specialized LED lights that are used. The lights are capable of covering 5 square feet during the vegetative stage and 4 square feet during the flowering stage of growth in your grow room.

By using a combination of red and blue LEDs, this light is capable of providing high quality light in both stages of growth. In traditional grow operations, there is a lot of wasted light as your plants are blasted with light that is not only wasteful, but expensive as well.

Included with the Apollo GL60LED full spectrum LED grow light is a 2 year warranty that covers almost any thing that can happen. Having a grow light replaced or having repairs done are all covered under this warranty and helps make sure you aren’t paying out of pocket for anything that might happen after you purchase the grow light.

Promotion TaoTronics TT-GL14 LED Grow Light

Promotion TaoTronics TT-GL14 Led Grow Light

This LED grow light from Promotion TaoTronics is known as the TT-GL14LED and it is one of the highest quality LED grow lights on the market. For growing plants indoors, this light is responsible for some of the best grows in the business.

The full spectrum light from these LEDs can help to increase the yield at any point of the growing process. Both vegetative and flowering stages can benefit from the red and blue LED lights that are built into this system.

Important here are the 3 internal fans that help to dissipate all of the heat that is produced. LED grow lights aren’t known for creating a lot of heat, but the heat that is produced has to go somewhere. Fortunately, the fans are also cool and quiet without having to add any additional equipment to the lighting system.

What stands out about this LED grow light in particular is that it really lives up to the 90% energy reduction that LED systems claim. People have reported having to spend a very small amount of money running the LED lights and end up having much more money to spend on other things, while still enjoying all of the benefits of the increased yield.

In total, this LED grow light can cover 6 square feet of grow room space. It can replace an HPS grow light that is 800-100 watts, despite being just 80 watts itself. This kind of power is very important for indoor grows that rely on having powerful lighting in a small amount of space, without having to waste any light or heat.

Despite all of this, though, it is fairly affordable compared to most LED grow lights. LED systems have always had the problem of being expensive, but this isn’t a problem here. Reviews confirm that it is well worth trusting despite the low price point and there have been very few complaints from people using them for an extended period of time. They live up to the 50,000 hour life and are very reliable and efficient the entire time.

Making The Decision

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.

Robert Louis Stevenson

Deciding on an LED grow light is a very important choice that many people get wrong, but that doesn’t mean you will. The three that are listed here are all very great options for any indoor grow of almost any size. Knowing what to look for is the most important part and now you can make a decision for yourself. With the right LED grow light, you will be more than capable of producing larger harvests than ever and you will spend even less money doing it. LED grow lights consistently cost less to run, provide all the right kinds of light, and produce the least amount of heat. Making the switch to LED grow lights is something that very few growers will ever regret.