Need help choosing the best LED grow light for your indoor grow? Use this complete guide to help narrow down your LED grow light options. More importantly, this list only highlights the LED grow light specifications that really matter when determining performance, fixture quality, and yields. Enjoy!
Learn about the best LED grow lights before you make the decision to invest in your indoor grow.
LEDs are regarded as some of the best indoor grow lights on the market. But there are so many out there it can be tough to weed out the cheap, unreliable brands and models from the quality ones. And with the high price of some grow lights, it's crucial that you do your research before purchasing.
Paramount Seed Farms has taken the liberty to vet out some excellent LED grow lights to save you some time and energy in finding the best led grow light for your grow. We have experienced with over 90 different LED grow lights whether it be testing ourselves, visiting grows, or word-of-mouth from other trusted growers here in Michigan, you will find a condensed list based on a fed different criteria below:
Best Full Spectrum LED Grow Lights
Full-spectrum LED grow lights provide proper light spectrum to get your plants from seed to harvest without the need to change bulbs or change lighting fixtures. The best LED grow lights available on the market will be full spectrum. Below are Paramount Seed Farms pics for the best full spectrum led grow lights based on overall efficacy.
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Best Commercial LED Grow Lights
Maximize your facility's efficiency and start running one of the best commercial LED grow lights listed below. ETL and UL certified, these LEDs are ready to take your grow to the next level.
Make the switch from HPS to a ChilLED and increase your yields & profits 30 - 70+% without the extra heat, power costs or cooling requirements. ChilLED grow lights offer market-leading efficiency combined with adjustable Yield Max spectrum tuning for unmatched performance. Highest build & component quality - never sacrificed for profits. ChilLED grow lights are built to last. Retrofit into your environment with ease. Hands down, ChilLED lights are one of the most versatile LED grow light brands on the market.
The Model-H is designed specifically for high PPFD cultivation practices in vertical farming. Full Spectrum design covers each critical phase of growth from vegetative to flowering. The spectral tuning capability allows growers to experiment with spectrum recipes. Hailed as the most efficient and highest yielding LED grow light on the market.
The new HLG Scorpion Diablo Commercial Indoor Horticulture LED grow light is designed to replace 1000 watt HID. Each HLG Scorpion uses 6 x QB 648 Quantum Boards for an even light spread at just 12" from the canopy. The QB 648 was exclusively designed for HLG by Samsung using their latest LM301H and Deep Red LED 660nm. This unit is dimmable, with wattage output from 130 to 650 watts.
The Gavita Pro 1700e LED grow light can be used in commercial grows (horizontal and vertical), greenhouses, home grows (rooms and tents) or in climate rooms. Coming in at an incredible 2.6 umol/J and a light output of 1700 umol/s the Pro 1700 LED provides high-intensity full spectrum light over its entire 4' x 4' to 5' x 5' flowering footprint. The wide 8-bar form factor helps to provide even coverage across your canopy. This fixture is passively cooled and is built with high-quality Philips Advance LED Drivers for optimum performance.
One of the most powerful LED grow lights in its class with a standard PPF of 1870-1924 umol/m2/s for professional cultivators who demand ultimate light output. The ROI-E720 was engineered with greater dimensions to provide more versatility and better canopy coverage, especially to the outer edges of 4’x4’ cultivation areas. The ROI-E720 is IP65 water-resistant rated, UL8800 certified, and Horti DLC certified for energy efficiency rebate eligibility. With unbeatable safety, reliability, savings, and performance, the ROI-E720 is unquestionably the right choice for cultivators who demand only the best.
The Scynce LED Dragon Alpha just changed the rules of the game. Never before has a grower had so much control. No matter what style or strain, the Alpha can morph into exactly what’s needed and deliver every time! A light is nothing more than a tool of the trade and should be able to be mastered and manipulated by the best growers to enhance their garden.
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Best LED Grow Lights for Grow Tents
Eliminate the biggest pain point when it comes to growing in a tent, eliminate the heat but still achieve respectable yields. These LED grow lights for grow tents will help you achieve great yields in your grow tent and keep your bills down at the same time.
The new HLG Scorpion RSPEC Commercial Indoor Horticulture LED grow light is designed to replace 1000 watt HID. Each HLG Scorpion uses 6 x QB 288 Quantum Boards for an even light spread at just 12" from the canopy. The QB 288 uses Samsung's latest LM301H and Deep Red LED 660nm. This unit is dimmable, with wattage output from ~120 to 600 watts.
The Horticulture Lighting Group HLG 600 V2 R-Spec LED light will replace a 1000W HID while only drawing 600 watts at the wall and exuding the light output of 1,522 umol/s! Each HLG 600 V2 R-Spec lamp uses 4 custom-designed high-efficiency white light quantum boards. The HLG 600 Rspec features a slightly larger heatsink and a 600W driver to give you 18% more output for more coverage and bigger yields, compared to the HLG 550 Rspec.
An inspired collaboration between two of the most respected lighting companies in the horticulture industry. TSL Horti Tech and Grower’s Choice have joined forces with years of innovative experience to create this high performance and cost-effective lighting solution for commercial and home horticulture.
Designed to be affordable and effective, the HLG 550 V2 Eco provides amazing value making it one of the best LED grow lights for a grow tent. Choose between 3000K or 4000K spectrum and dial in your grow tent whether you are running a full cycle or only a single stage.
The Enlite Ceres 520W dimmable, full-spectrum LED grow light covers a 3' x 3' to 4' x 4' space for flowering or full-cycle grows. It is designed for a top-lighting solution for indoor cultivation which brings higher crop yields and better crop quality. It features a folding and slim profile design that is quick and easy to install.
Best-Selling Samsung LM301B LEDs- 2070 x Samsung LM301B and Osram 660nm LED chips. These chips are higher quality and more efficient than other LEDs. Upgraded Full Spectrum White- The spectrum is beneficial for plants at all stages - from veg to bloom. Large Yield & Increased Crop Quality- Expect up to a 50% higher yield and higher quality compared with the old blurple lights and/or HPS lights. Turn an average yield up to 2.5 g/W. Daisy Chain Dimming Functionality- The new model has a dimmer knob added which makes dimming more convenient. Up to 15 lights can be daisy-chained and controlled through just one light.
Full spectrum LED grow light suited for all plants through all stages of growing. Achieve high-quality yields with more efficiency than traditional HID lighting. The biggest advantage of these LED grow lights is the ability to daisy chain up to 20 lights!
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Best LED Grow Lights on Amazon
Before you buy an LED, you should make sure it’s the right light for your grow room. We have an entire post on how to select grow lights that can help you compare different lighting technologies so you can choose the right one. Before we get started with our list of the best LED grow lights, we need to cover some basic information on this technology.
What are LED Grow Lights?
LED stands for light-emitting diodes. LED grow lights have come down in price significantly and home growers everywhere are starting to make the switch to solely using them as their lighting option.
These lighting systems produce extremely low heat, come ready to plug-and-play, and can produce high yields with incredible energy efficiency
HIDs require a reflector and ballast, LED grow lights do not. They can last for decades, whereas HID bulbs will often need to be replaced every couple of years. But, one of the main reasons LED grow lights are regarded as the best is due to the spectrum they produce.
Types of LED grow lights
LED grow lights are available in different forms, so let’s look at the pros and cons of each so you can find the right LED light for you:
LED Grow Light Panels
Panels are the most common type of LED grow light and most of our list will consist of LED panels.
They include heatsinks for removing heat, a driver (think of it as a ballast), and often come with a warranty.
When you think of LED grow lights, you are more than likely thinking of an LED panel, as these are the only type of LED really suitable for full state growth.
- Full spectrum with switches for both the vegetative and flowering stage - can be combined
- Comes ready to plug right into a standard house outlet
- Incredibly long lifespan - the bulbs typically last for decades.
- Most expensive type of LED grow light
LED Grow Light Bars
Many growers add LED bars as an easy way to expand their lighting footprint or change up their light spectrum. LED Bars are a single row of diodes that come in different spectrums.
You typically wouldn't use an LED bar to grow a plant from seed to harvest. Instead, think of these as supplemental lighting to a main light source (maybe HID).
- Can replace T5 fixtures for increased PAR and less energy consumption
- Some units come plug-and-play and can work with a standard 120V house outlet
- Usually only one spectrum with no switching options
- Can usually only be used for supplementing, and multiple bars will need to be purchased if using as sole light type
LED Grow Light Bulbs
An LED grow light bulb is exactly what it sounds like - a single LED bulb. Similar to LED bars, you wouldn't usually use one of these to grow plants through flower.
But, they can be a great way to grow small leafy greens or start plants with a full spectrum. You can quickly replace all old CFL bulbs with LED bulbs, which will give you all the added benefits of LED grow lights.
- Work in a standard light socket
- Great for mixing and matching to create your preferred spectrum
- Multiple bulbs required
- A reflective hood may be required
What makes the best LED grow light?
The best LED grow lights all have a few things in common - uniform spectrum, light intensity, efficiency, high-quality components, and safety and reliability.
The best LED grow lights have a uniform spectrum., So if you have 4 plants under your light, they all get the same spectrum.
We’ve already touched on the spectrum a bit, but it’s important to reiterate that the best spectrum consists of not just red and blue light, but also infrared (IR) and Ultraviolet (UV).
Full spectrum LEDs allow you to grow from seed to harvest with the same light, as opposed to having to replace bulbs or use different grow lights for veg and flower.
Is the spectrum constructed of single-wavelength ‘mono’ diodes, full-spectrum white diodes, COBs, or combinations of these? Do you prefer one over the other?
- Spectrums constructed of targeted single-wavelength diodes are becoming less common since they are not as energetically efficient, have lower PPFD, lack canopy penetration, and plants can appear purple underneath them. This is more common with budget lights.
- White light full-spectrums (white diodes or COBs) commonly range from 3000K to 4000K. 3000K is best for flower, 3500K is best for full-cycle, and 4000K is best for veg. Less common.
- Enhanced white light spectrums (base of white light enhanced with UV, blue, red, and/or far-red diodes) are a good option since they provide all of the useful wavelengths that plants absorb and utilize. 3500K with added 660nm red is a popular spectrum. Increasingly common and ideal.
Is the spectrum sufficient for your plant’s growth stage?
- Increased blue = ideal for veg (4000K white light spectrum)
- Increased red = ideal for flower (3000K or 3500K white light spectrum)
- Does the fixture offer spectrum tuning between the growth and flower stage? While not entirely necessary, this can help save energy while delivering an ideal spectrum during veg and flower.
The more light your LED actually gives off, the bigger your yields (for the most part). So, the best LED grow lights need to be incredibly powerful.
What is the PPF of the fixture? Is this a sufficient amount of light considering the wattage draw and efficacy?
~1700-2400 umol/s per 5’x5’+ area
~1300-1700 umol/s per 4’x4’ to 5’x5’ area
~600-1300 umol/s per 3’x3’ to 4’x4’ area
~300-600 umol/s per 2’x2’ to 3’x3’ area
Is there a PAR map available of the fixture? Are the PPFD readings sufficient for your stage of growing? How uniform are the readings across the footprint (spotlight vs even footprint)?
- Can you calculate the average PPFD using the PAR chart? Average PPFD = Sum of PPFD readings/number of PPFD readings.
- Is the average PPFD sufficient for your plant’s stages of growth? Veg: 300-600 umol/m2/s, Flower: 600-1000 umol/m2/s or more.
In general, LED grow lights are very efficient. But, the best LED grow lights will maximize your efficiency. Most importantly, they operate at a high level, produce higher power, and maintain a low cost to run.
How many watts does the fixture draw from the wall? To determine this, view the fixture specifications. Be aware that the number in the title or name of the light likely doesn’t represent actual wattage. It may be a model number, total LED wattage, or an HPS wattage equivalent.
Consider about 35 watts per square foot of growing space for planning purposes. 30 watts to 44 watts is a common range. More efficient fixtures may use fewer watts per square foot. Higher intensities per square foot are possible with more efficient fixtures and a higher overall wattage draw. Wattage does not equate to light output so do not use the wattage draw to determine how ‘powerful’ a fixture might be.
What is the receptacle voltage for your light? Most home circuits in the USA are 120V. Some growers use 240V. Commercial growers typically use 240V or higher. Many other areas in the world (inc. Europe, UK, AU) use 240V. Ensure the light you select is rated for your voltage application. Most LED grow lights have a flexible driver rated from 110V-277V.
What is the efficacy of the fixture in umol/j? This is the amount of light the fixture exudes per watt. If it is not reported, you can estimate using this equation: PPF/wattage draw. Does efficacy matter to you? If so, look for fixtures above ~2.4 umol/j (Fixtures are up to 2.8 to 2.9 umol/J in 2020). If not, at least know how much light (PPF or average PPFD) you are getting for the wattage being drawn from the wall by the fixture. Less expensive, budget lights, are typically very inefficient since they use inferior parts. Knowing the cost per photon ($/PPF) can help you decide which is the best light for your budget. Everyone wants the most light for their dollar, but it is not always attainable.
Given the cost of LED grow lights, they need to be seen as an investment. Obviously, your investment needs to last you a long time for it to show a return.
Therefore, the best LED grow lights are reliable and durable, standing the test of time.
All of the lights we will be listing are from the most reputable brands and include some sort of warranty. This will give you peace of mind when you purchase, knowing you are protected.
What brand of diodes does the fixture use? Higher quality diodes last longer and are more efficient (more light/watt). CREE, Samsung, Osram, Lumiled, and Bridgelux are brands that commonly used high-quality chips. Epistar and Epiled are mid to low-quality chips, in comparison.
What brand of driver or drivers power the LEDs? Mean Well and Inventronics make high-quality drivers but there are other good ones too. Low-quality drivers in most budget lights fail quickly.
Safety and Reliability
Do you require any particular certifications or markings (UL/ETL/CSA/CE, etc)? Most home growers do not need to consider these special certifications. However, commercial growers in the USA must use lights that are UL listed or ETL certified if they are to be in compliance with their state’s electrical regulations. If you are in the European Union or Canada, you might require a fixture with a CE mark and a CSA mark, respectively.
How long is the warranty? LED grow light warranties can range from 1 year to a 'lifetime'. Most companies offer a 3-year warranty. however, 5-year warranties are also very common. Fixtures with longer warranties are generally more expensive. Know the manufacturer's warranty policy beforehand in case something happens to your fixture.
There you have it, Paramount's best LED grow lights. Which one will you choose to go in your grow room? We're certain that one or more of the grow lights will fit perfectly in your room and bring you more affordable high-quality yields for years to come.
Last update on 2021-04-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API