The onset of the LED technology revolutionized lighting trends across all light applications. You wouldn’t believe an LED light could help improve the health of your indoor plants. Grow lights do just that. LED grow lights are lights that are designed to foster and promote the growth and development of garden plants. The best LED grow lights come in a myriad of colors. Whether it’s that nice garden you want to launch or it’s that vigor you want to add to your existing garden, LED grow lights always be up to the task. The LED technology has continued to evolve since its inception. Today we have different types of LED grow lights that are designed for specific purposes.

Owing to the many types of LED grow lights available and their countless applications, getting the best LED grow light might prove to be a daunting task. There are a lot of factors to be taken into consideration before settling on a particular one. Your intended use of the light comes first among these factors. That might sound worrying! Right? Worry less! We got you covered. Below is a careful review of the best LED grow lights. This review will help you next time you want to add some glow to your plants.

Best LED Grow Lights 2018

NamePricePower Draw (watts)Wavelength BandsCoverage Height (inches)
Advanced LED Grow Light-Diamond Series XML 350 With 10W CREE XML LEDsCheck Price3301118
VIPARSPECTRA Reflector-Series 300W LED Grow Light Full SpectrumCheck Price1361124
VIPARSPECTRA Reflector-Series 600W LED Grow Light Full SpectrumCheck Price2961124
Tao Tronics LED Grow Lights Bulb, Grow Lights for Indoor PlantsCheck Price2438
Roleadro LED Grow Light, Galaxyhydro Series 300W Indoor Plant Grow Lights Full SpectrumCheck Price3001118
VIPARSPECTRA Reflector-Series 450W LED Grow Light Full SpectrumCheck Price4501124
Galaxyhydro 600W LED Plant Grow Light Full SpectrumCheck Price6001118
MARS HYDRO Reflector LED Grow Light Full Spectrum 720WCheck Price7201112
Apollo Horticulture GL80X5LED Full Spectrum 400W LEDCheck Price4001124
G8LED 900 Watt MEGA LED Veg/Flower Grow Light 3 Watt ChipsCheck Price900818
Ledgle Led Grow Light 300W Full Spectrum UV IR Plant Grow LampCheck Price3001118

1) Advanced LED Light-Diamond Series XML 350 Best LED Grow Light

best led grow lightThis advanced full-spectrum LED grow light is your perfect match if you are into gardening. The LED’s are equipped with the XMI collimator lens that delivers a high precision degree (90 degrees). This precision allows optimum coverage. Whether you have a small indoor garden of flowers or veggies, this LED light will grow over them brightly to enhance their process of generating nutrients. The aesthetic appearance of this LED grow light is amazing. The front is well-designed with diamond-shaped vents that allow smooth airflow. It comes equipped with a dust filter and a heat sink to keep the heat at a minimum.

Core Features

  • The XMD 350 is a full spectrum LED grow light. It has all 11 wavelengths of the color spectrum. You can, therefore, adjust the colors according to your preferences.
  • It has a Daisy-chain feature that allows the use of multiple lights to achieve the desired coverage.
  • It has uniquely designed diamond-shaped air vents.
  • Its dimensions are 19.5″L x 19.5″W x 3″H, and it weighs 18lbs, making it less bulky.
  • It has a power draw of 330watts, a power output of 532watts and uses an input voltage of 85-265v.

Pros

  • High power output with low power draw. This means it consumes less electrical power and has a consequential high-performance output.
  • Optimized coverage. It can illuminate large areas; you, therefore, need not have many of them in one place.
  • The color-select feature. Possibly one of its most interesting features; you are not stuck with one color output. The freedom to change colors every now and then makes them amazing.
  • It comes with a 3-year warranty. You are therefore assured of durability.

Cons

  • It produces the blue-wavelength. The XMD 350 has all wavelengths of the light spectrum. It, therefore, implies that it produces more blue-wavelength than others. Harvard University researchers have expressed their concerns before about the potential hazards of being exposed to blue-wavelength especially after sunset.

Opinion

The XMD comes with some very exclusive features. The Diamond design makes it extremely attractive. The Grow light has optimum coverage to ensure your plants receive maximum illumination. Taking into consideration its low power consumption, high performance, low heat dissipation, and durability, I’d say it is a perfect LED grow light for indoor plants.

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2) VIPARSPECTRA Reflector – Series 300W LED Grow Light Full Spectrum

led grow lightThe Viparspectra-series is also an impressive full spectrum LED grow light. It shares most features with the advanced XMD 350. It is also ideal for indoor gardening. Veggies, flowers and all kinds of indoor plants, at various stages of growth, will rejoice under the illumination of the Viparspectra-series. It features a well-designed heat dissipation system, high power output, and excellent coverage. It distinguishes itself with its reflector style. The reflector style couples well with the beautiful bulb lenses to double the light intensity. Its aesthetic appearance is sleek. It has a very high brightness that keeps the plants brightened up too.

Core Features

  • It features dimensions of 12.6×7.9×3 inches and a weight of 5.7lbs. It is therefore portable.
  • It comes with 60 pieces of high-intensity 5W LED bulbs. This makes it extremely bright.
  • Optimum coverage of 90 degrees.
  • Full spectrum, with a choice of having the bulbs in a different color at the same time.
  • It has a power draw of 136w and an input voltage of 100-240v.

Pros

  • Extremely bright. This works in favor of the plants. You are likely to observe intensified growth with this light.
  • Optimum coverage. You do not have to worry that some parts of your plants are not getting illumination.
  • Suitable for plants at all stages of growth. You, therefore, do not have to change the light at any stage of your plant’s growth.
  • A long lifespan, Averages a lifespan of 100000 hrs. That is an impressive duration for an LED light.
  • It has the Daisy-chain feature that enables the use of multiple lights at the same time.
  • It’s a full spectrum LED grow light gives you an unlimited choice of colors.
  • It the best LED grow light for vegetables.

Cons

  • The high light intensity could be harmful to your eyes, do not look directly into it.
  • Suitable for use indoors only. Cannot be used in an outdoor garden.
  • The fan can be noisy, especially when the gadget starts wearing out.

Opinion

Well, the XMD is far more superior than the Viparspectar-300w, and you are likely to experience a bit more downside issues with the Viparspectra-300W as it gets old. The high light-intensity can also burn plants if not properly controlled. A lot of focus was put to outstretch the performance of this LED grow light, without putting into consideration the consequential effects. Still, a good light though, especially if you are on a compressed budget.

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3) VIPARSPECTRA Reflector-Series 600W LED Grow Light Full Spectrum 

best led grow lightsThis LED grows light is the second of the Viparspectra reflector series. It is more the same of the one discussed above, but this one is bigger and with more power dissipation. It delivers an impressive 600W. It is ideal for a big indoor garden. If you have an expensive indoor garden that you want to boost with an LED grow light, the 600W Viparspectra is the right light for you. It delivers double the coverage delivered by the 300W light. It is designed to avoid having to buy two lights of 300w.

Core Features

Most of the Viparspectra-600w are similar to those of the 300w. The 600W appears to be a size extension of the 300W. The features include:

  • Its dimensions are 15×12.6×3 inches with a weight of 9.8lbs. Still portable but a bit bulky.
  • It draws an average power of 269W.
  • It has the Daisy chain feature. As big as it is, you can still add some more lights on it.
  • Comes with 120 high intensity LED bulbs.

Pros

Just like with the features, the advantages that come with the Viparspectra-600W are similar to those of the 300W. However, this grows light has a large coverage area since it is twice as big as the 300W. Some additional merits include

  • Suitable for a large garden
  • The light is controllable by a timer.

Cons

Just like the 300W light, this light has the following cons;

  • It can easily damage your eyes if you stare directly into it.
  • Its fan can be noisy.
  • It is only usable indoors; it is not waterproof.

Opinion

Most of its features are similar to those of the 300W. This grow light is similar to two combined 300W lights. It is ideal for a bigger garden. This is more appropriate than having two lights that you need to join. Still with the Daisy chain feature you can handle and even larger space with two of them. The grow light works perfectly for all kinds of indoor plants. It is therefore still a great fit for some looking for a less costly and durable LED Grow Light.

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4) TaoTronics LED Grow Lights Bulb, best Grow Lights for Indoor Plants

led grow lightsThe TaoTronics LED grow light is distinctively designed in appearance and performance. It is a bit smaller than the other, so it is ideal for a mini-garden. However, the kinds of plants you could use this grow light on is unlimited. From bananas to lemons, with the TaoTronics glow light, you have amazing freedom of choice. It features an attractive aesthetic appearance and is designed to be fitted on a wall just like a normal bulb. It is still a full spectrum grow light.

Core Features

  • Designed to produce three bands off. These are; 660nm, 630nm, 460nm.
  • It features a 60-degree beam angle.
  • It comes in a standard bulb-socket design.

Pros

  • The three bands promote the process of photosynthesis hence healthier plants. The 660nm and 630nm bands promote health flower production and development hence healthier and juicer fruits.
  • The standard bulb-socket design means you do not have to incur more costs buying a socket.
  • The glow light has a perfect heat sink that ensures efficient heat dissipation. This increases the lifespan of the grow light.
  • The light has very low power consumption.

Cons

  • The 60-degree beam angle may not be able to illuminate all parts of the garden. You might be required to have a number of them.
  • Suitable for plants only at an early growth stage. It won’t be very effective with plants with a height more than 50cm.

Opinion

As I had mentioned earlier, these grow lights are designed distinctively depending on the intended use. The TaoTronics LED grow light is specifically designed for mini gardens. The fact that it can handle numerous crops is impressive. The features are perfect for anyone seeking to add some life and color to their small garden. The uniqueness of this light warrants its appearance in a list of the best LED grow lights.

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5) Roleadro LED Grow Light, Galaxyhydro Series 300W Best Indoor Plant Grow Lights

best led grow light for the moneyThe Roleadro LED grow light pays its focus on how much light can be absorbed by the plants rather than the wattage. The 300W light is of a unique and attractive design aesthetically. It features the signature full-spectrum. It works well with myriads of plants. You can use it with both Hydroponic and soil plants. It seeks to strike the right balance between PAR and the light intensity.

Core Features

  • It features a full light spectrum.
  • It has a 120 degrees lens design.
  • Its dimensions are 12.1 x 8.2 x 2.4 inches, and it weighs 5.95lbs.
  • It produces IR and UV light which are beneficial to the plants.

Pros

  • The impressive 120 degrees lens will leave you less worried about its coverage.
  • The full light spectrum gives you wide range of colors to choose from.
  • It has good heat dissipation mechanisms that ensure it lasts longer.
  • It has the highest PAR for a 300W grow light.
  • It has low power consumption

Cons

  • It can be very noisy.

Opinion

In the 300W category, the Roleadro LED grow light has the highest PAR. It is not as bright as others, but it seeks to ensure that all the light is absorbed by the plants. Though it can be a bit noisy, I think this is a fantastic grow light when it comes to the welfare of the plants. This grow light could be the real deal compared to what we have seen before.

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6) VIPARSPECTRA Reflector-Series 450W LED Grow Light Full Spectrum

best led grow lightThe Viparspectra reflector series – 450W is a middle ground between its siblings the 300W and 600W. It features most of the already mentioned Viparspectra features. It also seeks to strike a balance between PAR and coverage. Its illumination is extremely bright. It is suitable for growing and flowering plants. It has the signature full-spectrum and the reflector style. It is ideal for a garden of 2.5×2.5’.

Core Features

  • It has a power draw of 200W.
  • It has an input voltage of 100 -240 v.
  • It has 90 pieces of high intensity LED bulbs.
  • Its dimensions are 15.8×8.4×2.4 inches and a weight of 6.4lbs.

Pros

  • High-intensity illumination that pushes light to the plants for absorption.
  • A great balance between PAR and coverage.
  • It stays very quiet and cool at the same time.
  • It has the Daisy chain feature that comes in handy if you want to handle a larger garden.

Cons

  • The high-light intensity could be harmful to your eyes.
  • It is not suitable for young plants.
  • It can only be used indoors.

Opinion

The Viparspectra reflector series-450W is just like its siblings. It is different in size. Therefore, it could handle a larger garden than the 300W but can handle a garden as large as the 600W can. The other features are identical. This series of LED grow lights is ideal for plants in all development stages. The grow light, has an impressive PAR. So, if your garden is already past the young stage and you want the plants to grow with vigor, this could be your ideal grow light.

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7) Galaxyhydro 600W Best LED Plant Grow Light

best led grow lightsThe Galaxyhydro 600W is a grow light with very distinctive features. Its development is based on professional research on light spectrums and plants. It comes with 200 pieces of 3W LEDs. It is appropriate for plants within a height of 11.8 and 78.7 inches. It has an attractive aesthetic appearance.The Galaxyhydro not only works great for your plants, but it will also add a bit of warmth, which is beneficial to the plants. The IR rays are known to bring in some warmth.

Core Features

  • It comes with 200 pieces of 3w LEDs.
  • It produces UV and IR radiations.
  • It has the Daisy Chain feature.
  • It has mixed angles of coverage. Both 90 and 120 degrees.
  • It has two high-speed cooling fans.

Pros

  • It is effective in large gardens.
  • The UV and IR radiations are very good for plants.
  • The mixed angle of coverage design ensures optimum coverage.
  • It has high power dissipation. This makes the plants respond quickly to illumination
  • Stays cool hence lasts longer.

Cons

  • The high-speed fans could be noisy.
  • A bit intense, which is not a bad thing but requires close attention so that it does not damage the crops.
  • Not suitable for young plants.

Opinion

This light is specifically designed for huge gardens and greenhouses. The high-intensity is for large crops. The noisy part could be annoying so you might need to consider your circumstances well. However, its ideal use involves large gardens which in most cases will be outdoors. Therefore, the noise issues might not be that much of a problem.

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8) MARS HYDRO Reflector LED Grow Light 720W

best led grow light for the moneyAs the name suggests, the Mars Hydro-reflector grow light is specifically designed for hydroponic plants. This light delivers intense illumination for these plants to thrive. Most of the times hydroponic plants will be indoor, and they might not be to get as much light as necessary. It is ideal for small spaces. It has a high output and a well-designed reflector style. The reflector style aids it in illumination and coverage. It works well for both vegetative and flowering stages.

Core Features

  • It features 144 pcs of high-intensity LEDs.
  • It has dimensions of 33*10*3, and it weighs 14.73lbs.
  • It has a power draw of 298W.
  • It features 5w LEDs.

Pros

  • It has high-intensity illumination which works well for the plants.
  • The full spectrum allows high penetration into the plants.
  • It has IR light which is beneficial to the plants and adds warmth to space.
  • The reflective design ensured no loss of illumination.
  • It is specially designed for hydroponic plants.

Cons

  • It is not suitable for soil plants.
  • It is not suitable for young plants.
  • The high-intensity could damage your eyes.
  • It consumes more power as compared to other grow lights.

Opinion

This light is designed specifically for hydroponic plants. Therefore, there is not much to it regarding comparison with others. If you are an enthusiast of hydroponic plants, then this is the best LED grow light for you. This is not probably the best LED grow light for the money if you cultivate soil plants. The illumination intensity is strong, but the power consumption is a bit high. It, therefore, depends on personal preferences when it comes to deciding whether to acquire this grow light. However, it is a strong grow light specially designed by professionals to deliver good results on hydroponic plants. This light can easily make it to a collection of best LED grow lights due to its purpose-specific design.

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9) Apollo Horticulture GL80X5LED Full Spectrum 400W

best led grow lightApollo Horticulture GL80X5LED is a grow light designed for intensive horticulture practices. This is not your usual indoor garden grow light.  It is a bit bulky and is meant for growing and flowering plants. This is a light ideal for horticulture farmers. It can be easily mounted on greenhouses and plant canopies to illuminate over them. It comes with a strong illumination and an impressive 120-degree angle of coverage. It can deliver high-intensity light across large areas.

Core Features

  • It features dimensions of 13.2″ x 13.2″ x 3.75″ and a weight of 15lbs. That is a bit bulky.
  • It comes with 80 5W LEDs. This provides a very strong illumination.
  • It has a 120-degree coverage angle. This works well to ensure no illumination is lost and most if not all parts of the plants receive illumination.
  • It features the full signature spectrum of light wavelengths.

Pros

  • It is suitable for large-scale cultivations.
  • It works well for both soil and hydroponic plants.
  • The strong illumination is good for plants. They respond quickly to the illumination.
  • The hawk-eyed 120-degree coverage angle reaches almost all parts of the coverage area.

Cons

  • The strong illumination is not appropriate for young plants. You, therefore, have to change lights for the plants that continue to mature.
  • The power consumption of this grow light a bit high.

Opinion

This grow light is a perfect match for large-scale cultivators. Yes, it does have a bit of shortcomings, but it is a necessary component in large-scale horticulture farming. It is easily mountable on a greenhouse. It will deliver the much-needed strong illumination though at a cost, payable through high electricity bills. It maximizes on coverage as a result of its high angle of coverage.

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10) G8LED 900-Watt MEGA LED Veg/Flower Grow Light

best led grow lightsThis is another light that applies to large-scale cultivations. The G8LED 900-Watt MEGA LED is in a league of its own. The award-winning grow light has proven itself in numerous applications. It is ideal for growth, vegetative and flowering stages of a plant. This grow light delivers high-intensity illumination with its many LEDs. It also performs well concerning PAR. It has IR and UV radiations which are a plus as far as the plants are concerned.

Core Features

  • It has a power draw of 450w.
  • It has a PAR value of 1540 umol.
  • Its dimensions are 21*14*3 inches and a weight of 22lbs. This is rather bulky.
  • It features eight bands of wavelength.
  • It produces IR and UV radiation.

Pros

  • The 8 wavelength bands ensure less wastage of energy through colors which are not needed.
  • The high PAR value ensures optimum absorption of illumination by the plants.
  • The IR and UV radiation are a perfect recipe for growing and flowering plants.
  • It is suitable for extensive cultivations.
  • It has high-illumination that is good for plant growth.

Cons

  • The high radiation is harmful to young plants. This means you have to change light at different stages of plant development.
  • It has high power consumption.

Opinion

The G8LED 900-Watt MEGA LED is a big grow light. It is strong and can equally handle large projects. This grow light is for extensive farmers. It has been proven to be effective and won numerous awards. The high PAR and intensity of illumination are great promoters of plant development. It may consume more energy, but that should be a small price to pay for the effect it will have on your crops. This is more of a business asset than something you buy to amuse yourself.

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11) Ledgle Led Grow Light 300W Full Spectrum

best led grow lightThe Ledgle Led Grow Light 300W is quite a powerful glow light for its size. The full spectrum has an amazing design and comes equipped with 6w LEDs. It is suitable for both indoor and outdoor gardening. It delivers very strong illumination, and it is suitable for almost all types of plants. The light has an effective temperature control system. It has moderate coverage, but it is effective for plants in different stages of development.

Core Features

  • It comes with 6w LEDs.
  • It has 11 bands of wavelength.
  • It is equipped with two quiet fans.
  • It produces IR and UV radiation.
  • It has a switch-bloom spectrum which is used to adjust it according to the stage of development of the plants.
  • Its dimensions are 11.88″ x 6.68″ x 2.6″.

Pros

  • It has a strong illumination which is good for growth and flowering stages.
  • It can be used both indoors and outdoors.
  • It is applicable in numerous stages of plant development
  • The 11 bands of wavelength reduce energy wastage by unneeded wavelengths
  • It is a Well-designed heat dissipation system.

Cons.

  • The strong illimitation may not be suitable for young plants.
  • The 6W LED means it consumes more power.

Opinion

This grow light appears, designed to incorporate all aspects of grow lights. It, therefore, does not have a particular strength or weakness that is exclusive to it. This light is suitable for anyone looking for a bit of everything but is tight on the budget. It is the best-LED glow light for the money.

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Conclusion

In conclusion, getting the best LED grow light will ultimately depend on you. You have to carefully examine your situation to be able to make an informed decision. The following are some of the factors you will need to consider before settling on a particular grow light.

  • Intended Use

As it is evident from the review, these grow lights are designed for specific applications you, therefore, need to carefully examine your intended use and compare it with the features of the grow light to determine whether it is applicable. This includes determining whether you want to use it for a small garden or large-scale cultivation and many other different factors.

  • Plant stage

We have mentioned that different grow lights work differently for plants at various stages of development. Before making a purchase, make sure to determine the stage at which your plants are, so that you can get the appropriate grow light.

  • Budget

You can only buy that which you can afford. While the grow lights have widely differing prices. In as much as you desire to get the best, you can only have it if it’s within your budget. Do not compromise quality for the price. Always go for the best if you can afford it. Consequently, do not buy an overpriced grow light while you can get one with same features at a lower price.

I reckon that it would probably be difficult to keep in mind every detail of this review. Therefore, below is a simplified comparison table that can help you easily compare the mentioned glow lights and come up with a conclusion. It includes the product, its core features, and the price.

NameCore FeaturesPrice
Advanced LED Grow Light-Diamond Series XML 350 With 10W CREE XML LEDs
  • The light has all 11 wavelengths

  • It has the daisy chain feature

  • The light is equipped with diamond-shapes air vents

  • It has a power draw of 330 watts

  • Check Price
    VIPARSPECTRA Reflector-Series 300W LED Grow Light Full Spectrum
  • The light has a power draw of 136w

  • It features the full spectrum

  • The LEDs are very bright

  • It has optimized coverage

  • Check Price
    VIPARSPECTRA Reflector-Series 600W LED Grow Light Full Spectrum
  • The light has 296w in power draw

  • It comes with the daisy-chain feature

  • The light has 120 high intensity of LED bulbs

  • Check Price
    Tao Tronics LED Grow Lights Bulb, Grow Lights for Indoor Plants
  • The light has three bands

  • It comes with a 60-degree beam angle

  • The light has a standard bulb-socket design

  • Check Price
    Roleadro LED Grow Light, Galaxyhydro Series 300W Indoor Plant Grow Lights Full Spectrum
  • The light produces IR and UV radiation

  • The lens is 120 degrees angled

  • The light is full spectrum

  • Check Price
    VIPARSPECTRA Reflector-Series 450W LED Grow Light Full Spectrum
  • The light has a power draw of 220w

  • The light comes with 90 pieces of LED bulbs

  • Check Price
    Galaxyhydro 600W LED Plant Grow Light Full Spectrum
  • The light has 200 3-watt LED lights

  • It also produces IR and UV radiation

  • The light is equipped with the daisy chain feature

  • The light has cooling fans

  • Check Price
    MARS HYDRO Reflector LED Grow Light Full Spectrum 720W
  • The light is equipped with 144 pcs of high-intensity LED bulbs

  • The light has a power draw of 298 watts

  • The lights are 5 watts

  • Check Price
    Apollo Horticulture GL80X5LED Full Spectrum 400W LED
  • The light comes with 80 pieces of 5 w LED lights

  • The lights enable 120-degree coverage

  • The light has a full spectrum of light

  • Check Price
    G8LED 900 Watt MEGA LED Veg/Flower Grow Light 3 Watt Chips
  • The light has a power draw of 450 watts

  • The light has eight bands of wavelength

  • The light produces IR and UV radiation

  • The PAR value is 1540 umol

  • Check Price
    Ledgle Led Grow Light 300W Full Spectrum UV IR Plant Grow Lamp
  • The light features 6 w LED lights

  • The light has 11 bands of wavelength

  • The light comes with two fans

  • The light produces IR and UV and  radiations

  • Check Price

    Best LED Grow Lights 2018 – Buyer’s Guide (DEEP INSIGHT)

    Among the notable improvements in agriculture that have revolutionized the old traditional farming techniques, includes the use of grow lights for crop production. Top of the list includes the LED lights. These fixtures offer an environmentally friendly way of practicing agriculture with minimal effort.

    Best LED Grow LightsLight-emitting Diodes (LED) technology has been in use for some decades especially in the growth of vegetables. Their application in most cases accompanies other artificial light sources like the HID and fluorescent. When used independently, LEDs are suitable for indoor growing .these fixtures are also convenient to use in greenhouses and other agricultural production techniques like hydroponics. This is because of their vast benefits to both the plants and the farmer. The benefits include:

    • The fixtures are energy and power efficient thus saving on the operation costs
    • They are durable thus usable for longer periods of up to 100,000 hours, unlike the ordinary artificial lights.
    • Easily adjustable wavelength
    • Faster growth stimulation of the crops

    Types of LED grow lights and how to select the best model

    Technology continues to simplify agriculture with the use of different types of grow lights. The most common type of LED grows lamps is the Full Spectrum. This fixture light imitates the real sunlight by comprising the set of wavelength the sunrays have hence offering plants access to a similar light output as the sun.

    Other LEDs include the vegetative and flowering LEDs depending on the type of light spectrum they emit. Despite this, most LED light brands in the market are full spectrum. Thus, the process of selecting the best LED grow light becomes more cumbersome. When it comes to choosing an LED fixture for your plants, therefore, among the factors you should consider are your coverage area, plant growth phases and budget.

    Coverage area: Your coverage area dictates the type and number of grow lights to install. Where you have a bigger area, you need to go for grow lights with a big coverage. Placing more lights adjacently will also cover a large area sufficiently.  LED lens angle also affects the coverage, hence where your coverage area is large; consider bulbs with bigger angles to ensure the maximum light coverage of your plants.

    Budget: Your budget is another key determinant in selecting a grow light. If you consider making a high investment in the initial costs of your grow light, chances are that the future expenses will be fewer due to a quality lamp.

    The type of plant you are growing: plants have significant differences in the type of wavelength they utilize for growth and wattages. Thus, they will require differently powered LEDs to boost growth. Flowers, for instance, will not reach optimal growth levels at the same wavelength as tomatoes or cannabis.

    Plant growth phase: Full spectrums LED grow fixtures are suitable to take your plants through all the growth stages. Alternatively, if you want to plant your crops in two cycles, consider LEDs with either the red or the blue spectrums for the vegetative and flowering phase.

    Special Features that we need to consider when purchasing LED lights

    LED lights feature special product features, which as a smart buyer, you should consider before making your purchase decision. They include:

    Cooling systems: Where your lights are on for longer periods, they will get hot, necessitating cooling. For this reason, purchasing LED fixtures with a high-quality cooling kit will ensure your lamps serve you longer periods. The cooling kit helps in preventing the LED fixture from radiating the heat to the plants. This, in turn, ensures your crops do not burn.

    Spectrum: LED fixtures feature the full, clone, vegetative an bloom spectrums. The full spectrum carries your seedlings through all its growth stages starting from the seedling or clone to harvesting. Purchasing the full spectrum fixtures, therefore, comes with an added advantage if you are a professional grower. Vegetative fixtures, on the other hand, feature blue spectrums useful during the vegetative stage while the bloom fixtures have a red spectrum suitable during the flowering stage. For this reason, when making your purchase, check the specifications to confirm whether the fixture you are buying suits your plant needs at their vegetative or flowering stages. To save up, in the long run, consider LED fixtures that have an adjustable output spectrum to enable you to match the spectrums with your plant’s growth stages.

    Electronic current circuit/driver: This drive, at the right current and voltage levels converts AC power to direct current. Therefore, to ensure that your LED fixture functions appropriately, ensure that the current electronic driver is constant. Being constant, this driver will promote the constant supply of current, regulating it accordingly depending on the temperature fluctuations.

    Metal core printed circuit board (MCPB) mounted fixtures: purchasing LEDs that embrace the MCPB mounting technology guarantees you efficient operation at high power levels.

    Chip: LED fixtures comprise a semiconductor chip. This chip partly converts electricity to light. It also affects the wavelength to some extent. Thus, to ensure your grow light’s proper functionality. Consider purchasing one having a 3 watts chip or more.

    Budget: As a smart buyer, you have a budget for your LED. When designing your budget, you should note that by setting aside more money for your LED fixture, you stand higher chances of getting a quality LED. Some LED fixtures despite their small sizes will cost more. These variations however come about due to quality differences.

    Lenses versus reflectors: LED fixtures with lenses concentrate light more efficiently on the grow space unlike those with reflectors hence convenient for smaller grow spaces.

    Brand: the brand reputation when it comes to LEDs is an important specification to consider. Selecting brands from reputable companies that have stayed in the market for many years is not only a safe way of making your buying decision but also saves you on the extra product research costs.

    Technical specifications

    Just like other lighting systems, grow lights feature technical specifications that dictate their output and performance. As a smart buyer, you need to understand the technical specifications to establish how efficient the light you purchase is. Among the technical specifications, including the wattage, warranty, light output and PAR.

    Wattage: When it comes to the growth and health of the crops you have, consider 32watts lighting per square foot on the lower end as a thumb rule. The LED fixture wattage you select however will be subject to the type of crop you have planted, the area size and their growth phase. Different plants require different wattage. Cannabis, for instance, requires wattage of 64 while the green leafy vegetables require wattages as low as 32. Once you establish the specific wattage for your crop, establish the exact area covered by these crops in square feet, and then multiply by the wattage to get the total wattages you need to install for your indoor garden.

    Warranty: Since LEDs last for a decade, most manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty. For this reason, consider buying only those lights with lifelong warranties for high quality, performance and cost efficiency.

    Light output: LED fixtures receive praise for their low heat emission rates. The amount of light output is in terms of the Photosynthetic Photon Flux (PPF). The PPF shows the how much of the used light is emitted by the crops. Another light output element you need to consider is the Photosynthetic Flux Density (PPFD), which shows how much of the PAR your grow light falls on your plants. This feature is important as it will help you in knowing how evenly your fixture distributes the light to the plants. With higher light intensities, you expect more yields. However, ensure that this increase is not above 1500 umol/m2/s.

    As part of the light output, you should also consider the color blends your grow light emits. An ideal grow light will feature over six wavelengths to promote maximum crop growth.

    PAR: Photosynthetically Active Radiation, abbreviated PAR is the wavelength range from 400 to 700 nanometers. It shows how much light each watt of electricity emits.  An efficient LED will release more light per watt hence less consumption. This feature is vital in the process of photosynthesis thus as a smart buyer; you should focus more on this than the wattage. As a rule, the higher the PAR range, the better for your crops. This is because a higher range means the plants can manufacture their food efficiently under the light hence faster growth. However, despite this provision, it is important that you do not exceed the PAR value of the sun for your crops. The sun has a PAR between 1200 and 1400 micromoles. Thus, for your grow lights to be similarly effective in promoting plant growth, consider a PAR value between 800 and 1400 micromoles. Slightly higher or lower PARs will result in stunted growth, as the plants will not be able to make their food.

    Choosing the best LED grow lights

    Selecting a grow light involves getting the best LED grow light for the money. Moreover, this will call upon you to review some of the leading brands in the market to match your needs in terms of the coverage area, efficiency in operation and crop maturity requirements. Below are the top three LEDs products whose features we will explore to enable you to meet your purchase needs efficiently.

    Full spectrum lights for high yields: If you want to grow your indoor vegetation from the cloning to the flowering cycle, then the Diamond Series XML 350, unlike the VIPARSPECTRA brands is the best choice for you. Despite both brands being full spectrum, Diamond Series XML features quality 10w CREE XML LEDs, Bridgelux blue and white LEDs in its model, making it the best quality LED for high yields. These features, combined with its over 11 wavelengths color output make the light ideal for all phases of plant growth. Moreover, these colors are easy to select with its color select dimmable switches to match the plant stage of growth.

    Heat and electricity consumption efficiency: LEDs feature a low heat emission unlike other traditional grow lights. However, for maximum heat regulation, Diamond Series XML tops the list. This grow light has a heat output that is 50% less than other LED models, courtesy of the Dual Heat Sink. Therefore, you do not need air conditioners when using this light, saving up on costs in the long run. If your grow space is small, then the VIPARSPECTRA Reflector series 300W LED is ideal. This grow light features aluminum made cooling sinks and high speed but quiet fans for heat regulation.

    Regarding electricity consumption, Diamond series XML is ideal for larger grow spaces for its coverage area of 4.5’ x 4.5’, with 4’ x 4’ core space. However, if your grow space is small, go for the VIPARSPECTRA Reflector Series 600W LED. This light has consumption of 269 watts and is perfect for a 3×3’ and 2.5×2.5’ vegetative and flowering coverage at 32” and 22” respectively. Alternatively, you can buy the VIPARSPECTRA Reflector Series  300W LED with a consumption of 136 watts, perfect for  2×2’ and 1.5×1,5’  vegetative and flowering coverage at  24” and 18” respectively.

    PAR output and coverage balance: if you want to strike a balance in the PAR output to ensure that all your plants get enough photosynthetic light and grow to maturity, all at a uniform rate, then the VIPARSPECTRA Reflector series 300W LED and 600 LED should top in your priority list. These grow lights have a scientifically engineered design that allows for the even distribution of lumen output eliminating the likelihood of your crops getting sunburns and stunted growths. Additionally, if you want to improve the quality and size of your flowers, then the VIPARPECTRA brands should be your choice.

    FAQS about LED grow lights

    Do LED lights promote crop growth?

    Yes, LEDs generate their lights in the two spectrums: the green and blue which promote plant growth. In addition, their PAR feature stimulates the plants to manufacture their food through photosynthesis resulting in growth. LED lamps also reduce the heat emissions to acceptable levels, preventing the crops from dying due to heat stress.

    Can LED fixtures damage my crops?

    No, unlike the HID systems, LEDs are grow lights, hence stimulate faster crop growth rather than damage. With the limited heat emissions courtesy of the heat sinks feature, these lamps maintain the indoor temperatures at optimum levels thus stimulating a faster growth.

    What safe distance should I maintain between my plant canopy and LED?

    An 18 inch is appropriate for the flower spectrum LEDs and about 24 inches for the vegetative spectrum LEDs. Despite this, different LED brands will come with different specifications. Thus, checking the manufacturers manual is important.

    Can I use HID and LED together to grow my crops?

    Most people prefer to use these lights at different plant growth stages. However, this is not appropriate. Where you do vegetative growth with HID, then shift the flowering bit to the LED, your crops will experience shock, delaying the flowering process. In extreme cases, this delay may result in substantial losses especially where your crop stands are for commercial purposes.

    What are the benefits of replacing HPS with LEDs watt for watt?

    In real life scenario, plants that grow under the shade take longer times to mature. Similarly, if your indoor plants do not gain access to sufficient light, the growth process slows down. Unlike HPS, LEDs feature a higher light output per watt. Thus, replacing HPS for LED is similar to exposing light deprived plants to the sun. The increased wattage LEDs have not only contributed to energy efficiency but also increase the light output for the plants promoting faster growth.

    How do LEDs compare to HID lighting?

    LEDs require up to 50% less power to operate compared to the HIDs. Hence, when compared to the HIDs, at the same power level, LEDs produce more light output than HIDs.

    Do LEDs require a ballast to operate?

    HID lights require a ballast to generate high voltages that are necessary for starting the electric arc. LEDs, on the other hand, embrace a different functionality hence do not need the ballast. Instead, these grow lights employ a direct current for their power conversion.

    What is the importance of a beam angle in LEDs?

    Each diode on LEDs has a lens that aids in focusing the light from the emitter. The primary lens creates an angle between 30 to 180 degrees of the light cone. This angle, called the beam angle is important in determining the light intensity that reaches the plants.

    Finally, as depicted in the above buying guide, it is evident that LEDs offer an ultimate solution in agricultural production. This is especially the case for green leafy vegetables and tomatoes, which have a low tolerance to heat and cold. With an LED light unit, plants can, therefore, thrive during the off and on seasons. Thus as a smart buyer and farmer, to ensure you settle for the best led grow light for the money, consider employing the above guide in your purchase decision. If even after review you cannot find an ideal grow light, liaise with your dealer for further recommendations.

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