If you’ve recently decided to try your hand at indoor cannabis farming, setting yourself up for success is imperative; after all, you want to produce the highest quality yields as you possibly can. In order to achieve that goal, investing in the right tools and equipment is an absolute must.
While there are several supplies that you’re going to want to put on the list of things you’ll need, lighting is arguably the most important. After all, every plant, no matter the species, needs light in order to grow, and cannabis is no different. Typically, with outdoor grown cannabis, that light would come from the sun; however, if you’re growing indoors, you obviously aren’t going to be able to access the sunlight, which means you’re going to need to invest in artificial grow lights.
While there are several different kinds of grow lights, there’s one type that today’s cannabis growers seem to love the most: LED.
You may be thinking to yourself, so what, LEDs yeah they’re everywhere now, what’s the big deal? Why are they beneficial for cannabis? What factors should you consider when you’re shopping for LED cannabis grow lights? To find the answers to these questions and more – as well as a comprehensive list of some of the best grow lights currently on the market – keep on reading.
What Are LED Grow Lights?
An LED (short for light-emitting diode) grow light is a type of artificial light that is used to mimic the sunlight, thus improving the growth of plants that are grown indoors. Many light arrays on the market today also allow for customization of spectrums.
This means with LED grow setups cultivators can turn up the blue light during the vegetative cycle and then switch to a more red-dominant spectrum during blooming for maximum flower development. Spectrum modulation is much tougher to control with compact fluorescent lights (CFL) and high pressure sodium lights (HPS).
Additionally, LED lights are highly energy-efficient, which can pay huge financial dividends with larger grow operations. The light waves that most LED grow lights emit are primarily blue and red in color, and it is those same light waves that allow the plants that are positioned underneath them to grow.
The blue light in particular helps to improve the process of photosynthesis, which stimulates stronger roots (which is why blue is more commonly used during vegetative stages where establishing a healthy root base is critical).
Red light on the other hand tends to respond to the Phyotochromes, which are responsible for the leafy growth of the plant which is helpful during the flowering stage where the plants are putting all their energy into juicy bud/trichome production. LED grow lights can be all red, all blue, or can produce light waves in both colors at varying intensities.
How Do LED Grow Lights Work?
LED grow lights work differently than fluorescent lights, as they use two different types of semiconductors. These semiconductors include:
- Holes, which have a positive charge
- Electrons, which produce a negative charge
When combined, these two semiconductors produce their own spectrum of light, which serves as an excellent alternative to natural sunlight, and can help to support the health of indoor plants, allowing them to grow faster and healthier.
Other types of lights use lead, mercury, or filament to generate light; however, LED grow lights are different in that they use semiconductor chips to produce the light spectrum they generate. This, in turn, makes LED lights more energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly; plus, they last longer than other types of grow lights.
Why Use Full-Spectrum LED Grow Lights for Your Cannabis?
Different types of LED grow lights generate different types of wavelengths, and the types of wavelengths they produce depend on the light’s spectrum pattern. Different types of light wavelengths produce different stages of plant growth; as such, when choosing a grow light for your cannabis, you’re going to want to check the spectrum it produces in order to select an option that generates the type of growth stimulation you desire for your plants; for instance, LED lights would be ideal for vegetation growth may not be idea to promote the development of flowers.
Full spectrum LED grow lights are different than traditional LED grow lights. Why? Because instead of stimulating a particular stage of plant growth, they stimulate a variety of stages, based on the needs of the plants.
In other words, a full spectrum LED light can support the needs of your cannabis plants throughout every stage of growth; from the moment you put them into the ground until their buds are ready to be cut. That’s because full spectrum LED lights emit all of the wavelengths of light that the sun emits. Of all the different types of synthetic lights, LED mimics natural sunlight the closest.
A lot of plants need more than just blue and red light; in order to grow properly, they also need all other colors of visible light. Cannabis is one of those plants, and as such, if you’re growing indoors in tent for example and you want to ensure your plants will produce the best yields possible, you’ll want to nourish them with full spectrum grow lights.
What are the Benefits of Using LED Grow Lights for Cannabis
So, what are the benefits of using LED lights to grow cannabis indoors? Here’s a look at some of the most notable advantages that this type of lighting provides:
- Affordable. LED grow lights don’t require as much energy and heat, yet they can produce more usable light, which means that they are way more affordable than other types of grow lights.
- Environmentally friendly. Unlike other types of grow lights, LEDs are free of noxious substances and gases, like lead and mercury, which means that they are a lot more environmentally friendly. They’re recyclable, too, which is important to us as the more eco-friendly cannabis innovations the better for the movement.
- Increased life expectancy. Since LED lights utilize lower levels of temperature to generate heat, they last a whole lot longer than other kinds of grow lamps. Because they operate at such low temperatures, they’re specifically designed to last for up to 102,000 hours, which is really quite impressive. As such, they’re much more durable and longer lasting than other types of grow lights.
- Efficiency. When it comes to converting energy into usable light, LEDs can’t be beat. They can turn 40 to 60 percent more usable light than conventional lights, and their heat output is impressively low. With conventional grow lights, however, most of the energy they produce is given off as heat, making them only about 20 to 40 percent efficient. Since LED lights turn most of the power they use into usable light, they are much more efficient.
- Reduced heat output. Conventional grow lights, such as HID bulbs, generate high temperatures, which can damage the plants underneath them; especially delicate plants, like cannabis. With LED lights, on the other hand, very rarely do they emit high wavelengths, so they produce much less heat. The lower heat production is much better for cannabis plants, as it won’t damage their delicate leaves and buds. If you need heat you can better control it with a dedicated indoor grow tent heater.
- Better yields. While the above-mentioned benefits are certainly great, there’s one benefit of using LED grow lights for cannabis that stands above the rest: they produce better yields. Full spectrum LED lights, in particular, help to speed up a plant’s growth process, as they provide the plants with all visible wavelengths of light to support all phases of growth. In other words, the light that LEDs generate most closely resembles natural sunlight, which means that they’ll will not only improve the output of your crops, but they’ll also increase the quality of your buds.
Factors to Consider When Purchasing LED Grow Lights
So, now that you know what LED grow lights are and the benefits they provide, it’s easy to see why so many indoor cannabis cultivators opt to use them. If you’ve decided that you would like to use them for your setup, too, you’re going to want to make sure that you select the highest quality lights.
Finding LED grow lights isn’t a problem, as there are so many different options to choose; what is hard is trying to weed through all of the different options and decide which one will best suit your particular needs. So, how do you do that? By taking some key factors into consideration before you make your final selection.
Here’s a look at some of the most important factors to consider that will help you choose the right LED grow lights for beautiful, abundant, sticky, aromatic, and potent plants.
- Heat output. One of the most important factors to consider is the heat output of the lights. If the location you’re going to be growing in is tight on space and the light runs hot, you could end up killing the plants.
- PAR values. All plants – including cannabis plants – use a particular light range that is known as Photosyntehtically Active Radiation (PAR) for photosynthesis. The PAR values of the lamps involve the electromagnetic wavelengths that range from 400 and 700 nanometers. LED grow lights generate a great deal of light at different wavelengths, and the plants may not absorb all of those wavelengths, and they’ll reflect the light that they don’t use. In short, PAR refers to the amount of light that the LED lamps produce that the plants can use. The PAR value of an LED grow light indicates the effectivity of the lamps. The amount of micromoles of light per square meter per second is used to measure the PAR value. The higher the intensity of the PAR value, the more effective the grow light will be.
- The shape of the lights. You’ll also want to consider the shape of the lights. LED grow lights come in a variety of shapes, including bulbs, panels, bars, and saucers. Different styles are better for different needs, so make sure you do some research before you make your decision to determine which shape would be the most suitable for your grow space.
- The number of lights. Typically, cannabis homegrowers need just one or two lights, as in most states, the amount you’re legally permitted to grow is between 6 and 12 plants, and one or two lights should do the job for that amount. If you intend on growing more plants, however, you may need more LED lights, as you want to make sure that all of your buds receive the light they need to thrive. Likewise, if you provide your plants with too much light, you’ll end up doing them more harm than good.
- Programmability. Some LED grow lights are programmable, a feature that can come in really handy, as you can just set it and forget it; however, that doesn’t mean that programmable lights are for everyone. Before you start shopping, make sure you decide whether or not programmable LED lights would work best for you.
- The price. Last but certainly not least, you’re going to want to consider the price of the lamps. The price of LED grow lamps can vary significantly, so make sure that you set a budget before you start shopping so you can avoid spending more than you can comfortably afford.
The Best LED Grow Lamps for Cannabis Cultivation
Now that you know you want to use LED grow lights and you know what factors to consider so you can select the lights that will best suit your needs, you’re ready to start shopping. There’s just one problem, though; there really are so many LED grow lamps on the market, which can really make trying to figure out which option to choose a bit of a daunting task.
In an effort to help you on your quest for finding the best LED grow lamps for your cannabis cultivation needs, we’ve taken the liberty of doing the research for you. Our team read through the product descriptions and customer reviews of dozens of different grow lights on some of the biggest grow communities online. We also asked a few oldtimer budtenders that had experience growing their own cannabis (for personal use of course) what they recommended.
Based on our findings, we’ve narrowed down the options to what we believe are the best LED grow lights for cannabis currently available on the market. We tried to keep a balance of some of the more popular brands like Mars Hyrdo with some more value-oriented brands because hey, not everyone has a huge budget and nor should you need one to grow your own cannabis, they call it “weed” for a reason yeah?
So, without further ado, here’s a look at our top picks for the best LED grow lamps for cannabis.
Feel Show LED Grow Lights for Indoor Plants
- 🌻🌱🌵Upgrade Plant Light for Indoor Plants--Stable tripod (extendable from 15in to 60in) with functional lights and 360-degree flexible gooseneck, solved the...
- 🌻🌱🌵Great Efficiency Full Spectrum--FEEL SHOW 4-head plant lights provide 3 supplemental light modes: 1--Red(660nm)+Blue(460nm): promote photosynthesis, rooting,...
First on our list of the best LED grow lamps is this option of Feel Show LED Grow lights. These bar-shaped LED grow lights are securely attached to a tripod stand, which makes it easy to position and adjust the height of the lamps. They stand tall on a 360 degree flexible gooseneck, which makes set-up a breeze, as you can adjust their position as the plants grow, and they provide a significantly wider coverage area than clip-style grow lights, which means that they will thoroughly nourish your cannabis plants with the light that they need to thrive.
Since this LED grow lamp is full spectrum, it will provide your cannabis with all of the light that they need throughout all stages of growth. With three supplemental light modes, including red (600 nm), blue (460 nm), as well as red, blue, and white (380 nm to 780 nm), they really will help to support healthy, robust plans.
The grow lamp features both a line-in controller. There are 10 dimmable levels, and four independent controls, as well as an auto on auto on/off setting that can be programmed on a 4 hour, 8 hours, and 12 hour timer. A total of 80 high-quality LED beads will shine the brightness of the equivalent of 80 watts of a fluorescent lamp, yet only consumes about 15 watts of electricity.
Rounding out the awesome features is the scientifically supported heat dissipation design, which includes an aviation-grade sink and a durable aluminum shell, which will protect the bulbs of the lamp so that they won’t get too hot, reducing the right of light loss and extended the life of the beads to more than 50,000 hours; yet they won’t burn the plants!
- Full spectrum LED light supports all stages of plant growth
- Bead-style lamps
- Stable and extendable tripod stand that can be extended from 15 inches to 60 inches
- Super energy efficient
- Dual controls, including both line-in and RF
- Supports 3 light modes
- 10 dimmable levels
- 4 lights are independently controlled
- Heat dissipation design
- Backed by a 24 month warranty and a 90 day return/refund guarantee
- Affordably priced
- Some users said that the stand was a bit flimsy
- It’s undoubtably for smaller operations, more suited for micro grows and we wouldn’t recommend this model for anything exceeding a standard 2×4 closet grow operation.
Vander 2000 Watt LED Grow Light for Indoor Plants
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Next on our list of the best indoor LED grow lights is this option from Vander, which generates an impressive 2,000 Watts of full spectrum light. The lamp is designed to suspend from the ceiling, and is constructed of durable, high-grade metal, and is secure by four premium-quality, super-strength chains.
The lamps emit universal blue, red, IR, UV, and white light, so it can support your cannabis plants at all stages of growth. Instead of traditional lamps, if feature dual chip 10 watt LED lights, which are bigger, better, and more efficient, yet consume just 110 watts of power, so it’s affordable to run and is environmentally-friendly.
This LED grow lamp is daisy chain compatible, allowing for less cords, as you can connect it with other LED grow lights to maximize coverage. It comes complete with a power cable, which serves dual purposes, as it can either be plugged into a standard outlet or right into the daisy chain outlet of another lamp.
Unlike other types of LED grow lights, which use spotlight reflectors to enhance the aesthetic appeal, but aren’t heat-resistant, this lamp features high-speed heat dissipating fans that cool the light down, thus preventing it from overheating. It can run safely for up to 18 hours a day without making any noise. Backed by 3 years of protection and a 30 day money back guarantee, you can have confidence knowing that if anything goes wrong or you aren’t satisfied, you can request a new lamp or a refund.
- Full spectrum design offers universal blue, red, IR, UV, and white light
- Dual chip lights use 10 watts of power, yet are bigger, more powerful, and more efficient
- Daisy chain compatible, so fewer cords are needed
- Features a heat-resistant design, including heat dissipating fans that cool down the lamp thus ensuring safe operation for up to 18 hours per day
- Modular in nature, can always buy more as you expand your grow operation
- Backed by 3 years of protection and a 30 day money back guarantee
- It is a bit on the pricy side, especially if you need more than one
- No projection/motor functionality for directing light, although admittedly those features are in a much pricier category of smart lights.
Juhefa LED Grow Lights
- Full Spectrum Growth Lights - equipped with 75 High-power LED chips: 47Red/19Blue/3UV/3IR/3White. NOTE:The UV & IR LEDs are particularly DIM, but it is normal. PANEL...
- Highly Efficient LED Lamp - as for LED power draw this seedling light is highly efficient. Estimately monthly cost roughly $3 in electricity (12 hours a day). It is a...
If you’re on a budget and you’re looking for affordably priced grow lights, but don’t want to sacrifice quality, than the Juhefa LED grow lights may be the perfect choice for you. A full spectrum grow light, this lamp is equipped with 75 high power LED chips, including 47 red, 19 blue, 3 UV, 3 IR, and 3 white, so it will support your cannabis plants at all stages of growth. Measuring 12.2 inches by 4.7 inches by 1.2 inches, a single lamp is ideal for small indoor setups, or you can use several lamps to support larger setups.
This adjustable hanging light is very easy to assemble and install. It also features reliable heat dissipation and durability, as its constructed of high-grade ABS material. It will cost you about $3 per month in electricity to power this lamp (based on 12 hours of usage a day), so the lamp itself is affordable, and it’s affordable to operate.
For your peace of mind, it’s backed by a 12 month warranty and a 30 day money back guarantee. If, for any reason, you are not satisfied, contact the manufacturer within 30 days of purchase and you will receive a no-questions-asked refund.
- Equipped with 75 high-power LED chips
- Produced full spectrum light, including red, blue, UV, IR, and white light
- Easy to set up and install
- Constructed of durable, heat-dissipating material
- Affordably priced and affordable to operate
- Backed by a 12 year warranty and a 30 day money back guarantee
- Some users said that they felt like the design was a bit flimsy
- Made in China, which yeah is everything these days, but we prefer to recommend USA-made whenever possible.
Mars Hydro SP3000 LED Grow Lights
- ADVANCED YET ECONOMICAL: MARS HYDRO SP3000 led grow light adopts 960Pcs Samsung LM301B diodes, gets max yield up to 2.5g/w and higher light outputs of 1136μmol/s yet...
- FULL SPECTRUM FOR ALL STAGES: Precisely utilizes a combination of all colors in full-cycle growth, this growing lamp provides plants with mimic natural sunlight to...
If you budget isn’t a concern and you’re looking for a state-of-the-art, super high-quality full spectrum LED grow lamp, the Mars Hydro SP3000 is a great option to consider. This lamp is outfitted with Samsung lights, a Mean Well driver, and a dimmable box; plus, it only uses about 300 watts of power, so it’s highly efficient and while the initial price may be a bit exorbitant, it affordable to power over the life of the lamp. Optimized to cover 2 feet by 5 feet of coverage for vegetables and 2 feet by 4 feet for flowers, this lamp is ideal for medium to large setups.
Thanks to the full spectrum coverage, this LED grow light will support your cannabis plants throughout all stages of growth, allowing you to enjoy more robust yields. A dimming daisy chain allows for easy installation, and a dimming knob makes it easy to control the brightness.
The SP3000 is constructed of super durable materials to ensure it will last for a long time and deliver reliable coverage for our plants. Backed by a 3 year warrant, if anything goes wrong with the lamp within that timeframe, simply contact the manufacturer and they’ll set things right.
- Outfitted with Samsung lights
- Features a Mean Well driver
- Outfitted with a dimmable light box that is easy to control
- Consumes just 300 watts of power, so it’s highly efficient and saves a great deal of energy
- Optimized to cover up to 2 feet by 5 feet of vegetable coverage and 2 feet by 4 feet of flowering coverage
- Dimming daisy chain design
- Easy to operate
- Backed by a 3 year warranty
- The price is quite exorbitant, but with these type of features this is “professional grade”
- Quite long and narrow, great for permanent large indoor grow spaces but would be a bit overkill for 5×5 style self-contained grow tents.
VIPARSPECTRA 300 Watt LED Grow Light with Daisy Chain
- 【Optimal Spectrum】The secret to VIPARSPECTRA’s success is optimal full spectrum lighting which provides plants in all stages from veg to flower with everything they...
- 【Daisy chain Design】 Daisy chain feature assists growers to connect multiple lights together with fewer outlets. No additional cords is needed, just simply plug in...
Another great choice for your indoor cannabis growing needs is the VIPARSPECTRA 300 Watt LED Grow Light with Daisy Chain. Because it produces full spectrum light, it closely mimics the natural sunlight and will support your plants at all stages of growth, allowing bigger buds and better yields, yet still conserving energy costs.
Vipar Spectra’s daisy chain feature allows you to connect several lights together with fewer cords and outlets; just plug the included power cord into the outlet of the second light in order to create a connection for multiple units. Constructed of durable materials, including a fire-resistant iron housing, and upgraded aluminum cooling, as well as quite high speed cooling fans, you can have peace of mind knowing that this growing lamp is safe to use and that it will last a long time.
This full spectrum LED grow lamp is comparable to a standard 250 watt HPS/MH, yet it only uses 130 watts of power, so it’s environmentally and economically friendly. Backed by a 3 year local warranty and a 30 day money back guarantee, if you opt to purchase the VIPARSPECTRA grow lamp and anything goes wrong, just contact the manufacturer to address the issue.
- Full spectrum light supports plants through all stages of growth
- Daisy chain feature allows you to connect several lights together with fewer outlets and cords
- Iron housing is durable and fire-resistant
- Upgraded aluminum cooling for improved heat dissipation
- Advanced high speed quiet fans for even better heat dissipation
- Comparable to a standard 250 watt HPS/MH lamp, yet only uses 130 watts of power
- Backed by a worry-free 3 year warranty and a 30 day money back guarantee
- A few users noted that the bulbs blew out faster than they expected
- Built to a price point, which is a compromise you’ll have to make if on a super tight budget
BESTVA Dimmable Pro 1000 LED Grow Light Built-In Samsung LM301H Diodes and MeanWell Driver Full Spectrum Grow Lamp
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Next up on our list of the best LED grow lamps is the BESTVA Dimmable Pro. It features an impressive 1,000 LED grow lights that emit full spectrum coverage, so it will support your plants from veg to flowering, allowing for greater, more abundant yields.
The coverage size of 6 feet by 6 feet is quite impressive, and it can successfully shine light on plants that are 18 inches below. You can also adjust the height and brightness of the lamp to the needs of your plants in order to support optimal growth.
Outfitted with the most advanced LED technology, which includes Samsung LM301H diodes, this lamp is super energy efficient, with just 2.9 umol/J, and it produces more usable light per watt and offers a better canopy of penetration than other lamps.
The full spectrum lighting consists of 3000K warm white, 5000K white, 600 nm deep red, and 730 nm IR lights, so your plants will love growing under this lamp. A Mean Well driver achieves high PAR output and increases the lifespan of the lamp. It also features high-quality safety features, so you can have peace of mind knowing that you’ll be nourishing your plants safely.
- Features 224 PCS Samsung LED lights
- Offers full-spectrum wavelength for optimal yields
- Super energy efficient
- A Mean Well driver provides greater energy efficiency
- High safety performance ensures safe operation
- Affordable operation
- Easy to install and operate
- Some users said that the lamp was damaged when they received it, can’t know whether that was shipping or manufacturer
- Less flexibility when it comes to how much red vs blue light spectrum you want compared to other options
MARS Hydro FC-E4800 LED Grow Light
- PROFESSIONAL SMART GROW SYSTEM:MARS HYDRO FC-E4800 Smart grow light with 2646pcs BridgeLux Diodes, market-leading 2.8 µmol/J PPE,Max 2.5g yield/watt, 480 Watt with...
- REMOTE CONTROL AND OTA DATA TRABSFER:Built-in removable bars interval & dimmability enable the exact dynamic PPFD control over each of plant growing stages, Mobile access...
Rounding out our list of the best LED grow lights is this option from MARS Hydro. Their FC-E4800 LED grow light features an impressive 2646 pieces of BridgeLux Diodes, which produce an industry-leading 2.8 umol J pPP, and a max 2.5 g yield/watt. Built-in removable bars are evenly spaced and can be adjusted.
The FC-E4800 can also be dimmed in order to allow for the precise dynamic PPFD control on each growing stage of the plants. A daisy chain can connect up to 20 lights without additional cords and outlets. The daisy chain is IP65 waterproof for improved safety, and the master light is easy to control.
A detachable power supply can be connected remotely on the side of a grow tent, rack, or on an adjacent wall, allowing you to keep heat buildup in your grow space to a minimum. The aluminum heatsink and 6 slim profile passive cooled bars generate less heat and reduce electricity consumption by up to 50 percent. It’s also backed by a 3 year warranty and a 100 percent satisfaction solutions guarantee.
- Full spectrum light covers all stages of plant growth
- Features 3464 pieces of BridgeLux diodes and industry-leading 2.8 umol/J PPE, max 2.5 g yield/watt
- Puts out an impressive amount of light but consumes significantly less energy than similar styles of grow lamps
- Daisy chain feature allows you to connect up to 20 additional lamps
- Dimmable design and IPS65 waterproof
- Runs cool for safe operation
- Easy to install
- Backed by a 3 year warranty
- The price is kind of high for hobbyists
Herb CEO Summary
If you’re planning on growing cannabis plants indoors and you want to ensure the highest quality yields as possible, any of the full spectrum LED grow lamps on our list would most certainly do the trick. Powerful, efficient, reliable, and environmentally friendly, each lamp is well-designed and will be sure to help you grow robust crops.
Just like with grow tents, fans, nutrients, etc what you need depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. We don’t recommend buying a $79 dollar Amazon LED light designed for growing basil plants if you’re goal is to produce commercial-sized yields for your business.
Likewise, you don’t need a giant $500 Mars Hydro for your apartment closet grow containing just one plant. When it comes to light and cannabis, more is definitely NOT always better. So much of successful cultivation is about striking a perfect balance and striving towards harmony with growing inputs.
The lights on this list are also just a small sampling of what is available out there, we excluded a large amount of 100%-commercial grade options just because this guide was designed for the hobbyist/home grower and not necessarily the industrial players out there. Don’t worry though we’re working for a guide for you folks too!
Last update on 2023-05-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API