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Best LED Grow Lights – Professional Hydroponic Buyers Guide
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Best LED Hydroponic Lights For Optimum Growing Conditions & Our Top 7 Picks
Light is an important factor when starting seeds indoors. Fortunately, LED grow lights can provide seedlings with all the light they need for healthy growth. The LED technology has become popular for indoor growing because it mimics sun rays and it doesn't create so much heat that may kill the plant. In addition, it is more energy efficient than any other artificial light sources for indoor growing.
The task here is finding the best LED grow lights, which is why we have created this review. We guide you through the features to evaluate when shopping and provide recommendations of the best grow lights in the market today.
Below is the winner of our 'Best Pick', the KINGBO Dual 600W Full Spectrum Grow Light which we think is the best choice for both beginners and those who are more experienced in hydroponics growing looking for a affordable, but efficient full spectrum grow light.
You might also be interested in the best indoor grow tents, we also reviewed them here which included some complete kits which includes everything you need if just starting out. You can read there review here (opens in new window)
Our top 7 LED grow lights that are included in our review are listed below
- 1KINGBO 600W Dual Optical Lens-Series LED Grow Light - OUR BEST PICK
- 2Advanced Platinum Series 300W - P300 - 12-band LED Grow Light - Ultimate winner in performance
- 3KINGBO 300W Dual Optical Lens-Series LED Grow Light
- 4Roleadro 300W Full Spectrum Led Grow Light - Best inexpensive grow light
- 5Roleadro 45W Led Grow Light
- 6Amzdeal 10W LED Plant Grow Light
- 7RINBO 12W Plant Grow Light
LED Grow Lights Buying Guide
Here are the things you need to consider when choosing the best LED hydroponic grow lights:
This is a major distinguishing characteristic of various LED lights. It determines the amount of energy given by the grow lights at maximum output. Everyone has their own wattage requirements as you will have to choose depending on the types and number of plants that you want to grow. Grow lights wattage can range from as little as 100W to 1000W or even lower or higher respectively. Generally, the higher the wattage, the more powerful the light and cost effective electrical usage.
The coverage here means the total area that the LED grow lights can reach. So you need to know the size of the area you wish to light first before you go out shopping. This will help you know the type of LED grow lights that will offer optimum coverage and probably how many of them you need.
Best Budget Pick
Best inexpensive grow light for indoor growing
This is a powerful light that offers a good combination of red and blue LEDs to foster both vegetative and flowering growth. It has the best cooling fans, which are quiet and UL approved. In addition, it is well-built and offers excellent value for money.
Consider full-spectrum LED grow lights for your seeds to thrive in a near-natural way. Full-spectrum LED lights produce a balance of warm and cool light that replicates the sun's spectrum. This is what will make indoor growing a success. Another impressive advantage of full-spectrum LED lights is that they can run for 50,000 hours or more with no need for replacement, therefore, guaranteeing years of hassle-free service.
Most plants require 14-18 hours of light each day for optimum growth. They also need a rest period of about 6 hours of darkness. To ensure that you control these two crucial periods, consider LED grow lights that feature an automatic timer as this is very useful and saves you manually turning lights on and off.
Ultimate winner in performance
The Platinum P300 model offers the highest PAR output per watt, selectable Veg/Flower switches and has the best LED lifespan in the market; 100,000 hours. It is a great choice for large coverage and it comes with an industry-leading 5-year warranty. Serious growers will struggle get anything better than this.
This is measured in hours and it shows how long the LED lights should last. LED lights usually start to reduce in intensity after some time and this period can vary from one unit to another. Therefore, look for grow lights that have been said to provide some significant durability so you can grow your plants for extended periods.
Best flexible grow light for beginners
This is a nice unit for a wide range of small applications. It's very portable and so can be used at home or office. Some outstanding features include 3-mode timer function, 5 brightness modes, and USB interface. If you have a small grow area, the RINBO 12W is an amazing choice and is perfect if you grow plants in a office or room with no windows.
LED Grow Lights Reviews
With the above buying considerations in mind, it's time to look at the best LED grow lights. The list includes inexpensive, mid-range and premium LED lights. We just want to ensure that one can get a decent grow light no matter their budget. With models ranging from as little as £25 to over £200 you should be the perfect model for you.
KINGBO 600W Dual Optical Lens-Series LED Grow Light Review
OUR BEST PICK
Quick overview: This 600W grow light offers full light spectrum including UV and IR lights, which are essential throughout the veg and flower stages. Furthermore, it features 2 switches for Veg and Flower lights to ensure that plants benefit from appropriate lighting.
The KINGBO 600W Full Spectrum Dual Optical Lens-Series LED Grow Light is an upgrade of the KINGBO 300W model in terms of power. That makes it ideal for a 3 x 3' growing area when hung at 24'' in height and it can work for up to a 4 x 4' area. On top of its good coverage is a Full-spectrum light ranging from 380nm to 740nm with vital spectrum UV and IR available to feed plants throughout the grow and flower stages.
For convenient usage, KINGBO features an adjustable Veg/Bloom switch that allow users to select the ideal light for every growing stage. The unit comprises of 120 LEDs of 5W each and giving more than 3W PAR. KINGBO designed the LED lens to emit light at an angle of 90 degrees on the inside and 120 degrees on the outside, which effectively increases light output and reduces light loss. It also increases the coverage and provide allowance for housing more plants. In addition, each LED features zener protection that ensures that if one goes out, the others will still be working.
Conventional HPS grow lights had the problem of overheating but that won't happen with this LED grow light. It features aluminium cooling heat sinks that help maintain a good temperature throughout the day, even when left to work 24 hours. The heat dissipation system is actually nice due to an integrated fan that runs silently. Many people hate devices that make noise in the house for obvious reasons, so this one is a good choice for indoor use.
The package here includes 1 KB-M600 LED Grow Light, 1 hanging kit, 1 user manual, and 1 x 1.8m power cord (UK standard). The hanging kit comes in handy for securing the lighting unit 24'' above the plants. Note that this light should never be used outdoors because it's not waterproof. Another thing to avoid is looking directly at the LED light when it's on. It's extremely bright and can cause temporary blindness so be sure to stay safe. The rated input voltage is AC100-240V while the LED lifespan is 50,000 hours.
There's a 30-day guarantee offered on the product just in case you are not pleased within the first few days. The product is also covered by a 3 year warranty so you can always contact the manufacturer in case of future problems which is great for reassurance.
Thoughts and recommendations
This LED grow light is not Amazon's choice for no good reason. In fact, it has been tried and tested by a number of indoor growers and no one has reported any hiccup so far. It works like the manufacturer says. You just have to hang it at the right height like it's recommended, switch to the right spectrum and that's it. Wear sunglasses if you have to look at the light, otherwise, restrain from doing it.
The power rating is good, the LED lifespan, supplied accessories are very useful, and the warranty is better than most at 3 years.
After much consideration we decided we highly recommend the KINGBO Dual Optical Lens-Series 600W LED Grow Light for a fairly large indoor growing areas om terms of growing tent sizes and we think it would be the best choice overall for both beginners who want to get serious about there growing and professionals alike.
Advanced Platinum Series 300W -P300 12-band LED Grow Light Review
Quick Overview: This LED grow light is amazing in terms of performance. It offers the best spectrum and PAR values in the market while being energy-efficient. There are individual controls for both veg and flower cycles and a 5-year warranty gives enough confidence to buy the unit and know your investment is safe.
Offering 300 watts of power, the Advanced Platinum Series P300 Grow Light is among the most powerful grow lights in the market. This unit boasts the highest PAR per watt compared to other LED grow lights plus its 12-band spectrum is also top of the class.
This model is an effective replacement of conventional 400W HPS grow lights because it emits 100% usable light for optimum photosynthetic response. That is unlike traditional HPS that only give 40% usable light due to picking in the wrong wavelengths. This usually results in a lot of power consumption and excess heat production.
One of the best features of this grow light is the dual switch that enables users to adjust the lights as plants grow and change. There's a VEG switch for activating an excellent mixture of LEDs for vegetative plants and a FLOWER switch for flowering buds. You can as well make use of both switches during the flowering stage because more LEDs will maximise PAR value, which is important in that stage.
Furthermore, when both switches are turned on, the unit only consumes an average of 180 watts. The VEG cycle alone draws about 98 watts of power, making this unit quite energy-efficient. Add that to the 100,000-hour lifespan and you'll realise that the P300 can save you a lot in the long-term whilst keeping your electrical bills on the minimum at the same time.
Just like the name suggests, the P300 contains 100 LEDs of 3W each but these are above average LEDs. Each bulb features 90 Degree Secondary Focusing Lenses, which allow emission of usable light-waves for plants whilst using less power.
When it comes to light spectrum, the Advanced Platinum Series P300 features both Infrared and UV light. The two play a crucial role in plant's growth and they are not usually present in cheap LED grow lights. Infrared waves especially speed up growth and increase yields. UV waves are crucial for for budding plants since they promote production of trichomes and ultimately increase potency.
While spectrum determines the quality of light, PAR is another important factor which determines the quantity of light being given off for plants to consume. Seedlings usually thrive under low PAR values, about 200-400, and need more as they grow. Flowering plants need higher PAR ranging from 600-900. The P300 gives more than 1000 PAR at the centre point and we advise not placing plants directly under the centre point to avoid them getting burnt. Flank plants to the side since PAR decreases as you move from the centre point.
The manufacturer says the coverage area is 140cm x 115cm for both vegetating and flowering plants. To sum up, the Advanced Platinum Series P300 comes with a warranty of 5 years plus a 90-day money back guarantee.
Thoughts and recommendtions
The PlatinumLED Series P300 12-band LED Grow Light is really magnificent and would make a great investment for many indoor growers. Whether you are dealing with a particular plant or a variety, the P300 will help nurture them everyday. The market-leading 12-band spectrum and PAR output make the P300 ideal for those who want a healthy diet for their plants.
The only thing that will bother some people is the noise that comes from the fans. Otherwise, the Platinum LED Series P300 Grow Light is worth every penny on performance and would be a great choice for professionals and those who only want the best to get the best results.
KINGBO 300W Dual Optical Lens-Series LED Grow Light Review
Quick Overview: This provides Full-spectrum 12-band light along with UV and IR, which support plants in all stages of growth. Additionally, it gives you ability to customize light according to the stage of your plants, thanks to the featured intuitive Veg and Bloom switches.
The KINGBO Dual Optical Lens-Series 300W LED Grow Light is a powerful light designed to use during the veg and blooming stages. It features Full-spectrum 12-band ranging from 380nm to 720nm including UV and IR spectrums, which are great for supporting plant growth at all stages. Along the same line, you are able to match the ideal light to growth stage via a selectable switch that adjusts between Veg and Bloom.
A major impressive thing is this light is the dual optical lens featuring 90 degrees on the inside and 120 degrees on the outside. The design ensures increased light output, minimizes light loss, improves PAR output and maximizes yields. There are 60 pieces of LEDs and each of them has 5 watts of power. The lights are a mixture of reds and blues and these are known to provide the best quality light for growing plants. Each LED has a zener to protect it from high voltage plus if one bulb goes out, the others will still work.
This grow light can effectively replace a traditional 250W HPS/MH whilst drawing only 120 watts. The manufacturer recommends it for a growing area of 2.5 x 2.5' and placed at a height of 24 inches. The maximum coverage should be 3 x 3'. Supplied with this light is a hanging kit to help you place the light appropriately.
The KINGBO Dual Optical Lens-Series 300W benefits from great heat dissipation thanks to its upgraded 0603 aluminium cooling heat sinks. The device can run literally run for 24 hours without overheating. You will also like its quiet fan that runs to cool the unit. The lifespan is 50,000 hours and that provides good value for your money. One thing you will notice is that the UV and IR diodes usually appear dim but that's how they're made to look. However, the LED bulbs are extremely bright, so never gaze directly at them when the grow light is on.
If you are not satisfied with this light, you can return it within 60 days from the date of original purchase. It also comes with a worry-free 3-year warranty for full peace of mind.
Thoughts and recommendations
The KINGBO 300W Dual Optical Lens-Series LED Grow Light has an excellent build and it works brilliantly and is a great alternative to our 'Best Pick' for those looking for a smaller model with all the same great features and reliability.
The supplied hanging kit is more than capable of securing the light in place plus the plug and cable are good quality too. Full-spectrum light including UV and IR are all essential for different growth stages and that's a major advantage of this light over many others in the same price range.
Furthermore, the featured Veg and Bloom switches are so effective. So far there are no complaints concerning this product and so you can buy with confidence if it fits your grow area requirements.
If you like this model and want to compare it to a similar model within the same price bracket the nest model reviewed below is another great option worth considering
Roleadro 300W Led Grow Light Review
Quick Overview: This powerful 300W unit provides plants with enough light and creates ideal temperatures for optimum growth all year round. With a lifespan of 50,000 hours, you are sure make the most yields out of your investment. The model is additionally pretty affordable and a great alternative to the model reviewed above.
The Roleadro Led Grow Light 300W COB Full Spectrum Light Grow is a solid competitor in the market of LED grow lights. It features a red light (600-700nm) that gives most to the plant photosynthesis, which is the process that leads to plant growth. The 300W LED offers 12 to 18 hours of lighting and provides enough nutrients for indoor growing plants. Plants also benefit from ideal growing temperatures of 26°C to 28°C - under this grow light.
This unit has been designed to offer a wide and sufficient Red Blue light spectrum, which is in the ratio of 8:1. This creates the perfect combination to help in vegetative and flowering growth respectively. Note that the suggested working time for seedlings is 14-18 hours, vegetative stage 14-18 hours and flowering stage 10-12 hours. The recommended working height is 0.5-2 metres and coverage shouldn't exceed 4 sq.m.
To guarantee higher lumen and PAR value, this unit provides 120 degree lens which also increases canopy penetration by up to 20%. There are 100 pcs Epileds LED that make up the powerful unit whilst 45 ml high-quality chip makes light penetration stronger and thus keeping energy loss at minimum. Also featured on this model are two UL approved silent cooling fans plus aluminium heat sinks to promote heat dissipation and extended lifespan.
Roleadro claims that this product has been tested and updated over a hundred times and, therefore, users can trust it which we agree with. In fact, the model is CE/RoHS certified for safety and reliability which is important as there are lots of cheap alternatives we simply would not trust. Another impressive fact is the lifespan of this LED, which is 50,000 hours. In addition, the manufacturer offers 2 years warranty on this model plus lifetime consultation service.
Thoughts and recommendations
The Roleadro 300W Led Grow Light has been praised for excellent performance in vegetative and flowering stages. It is such a powerful unit that delivers 300W and emitting bright red/blue light that plants love.
The cooling system of this unit also scores high marks and it's long-term value is something to appreciate. However, some people don't like the noise that comes from the fans in the cooling system.
All in all, this is a wonderful unit that can be used on all stages of plant growth and it comes at an amazing price. Its a great alternative to the KINGBO Dual Optical Lens-Series 300W LED Grow Light but it has 2 years warranty where as KINGBO come with 3 years.
Roleadro 45W Led Grow Light Review
Quick Overview: Offering 45 watts of power, this grow light is a perfect choice for small spaces or new growers. It provides good PAR for seedlings and veg stage.
The Roleadro 45W Led Grow Light 169 Leds with Red Blue Light for Indoor Plant Growing Hydronics is perfect for single-seed starters because it offers just the right amount of power. New growers won't need expensive,high output grow lights so this 45W unit ticks the right boxes.
There are 169 LEDs fitted into a cone-shaped recess in the plating and each recess is specially designed to increase the light's coverage so that every plant is flooded with essential light. In addition, the panel features 60 degree reflector cups that ensure all the light goes into use.
Roleadro designed the unit with an aluminium plating to help with heat dissipation, so you won't have to worry about overheating your space or even worse, burning your crucial plants. Rated to consume 25.5 watts, it's true to say that this unit will not spike your electricity bills.
One impressive feature of this 45W LED grow light is that it has the right blend of red and blue LEDs in the ratio of 2.25:1 respectively, which makes it good for vegetative growth. This grow light also needs to be close to the plants for increased effectiveness. The recommended height is 0.3m. At this height, the grow light will cover 30cm x 30cm space, which should be sufficient for single-seed grow in their vegetative stage.
Worth mentioning is that Roleadro gives a 1-year warranty plus 30-day money-back guarantee for this product which is must less than some other models but the price is also the fraction of the cost too.
Thoughts and recommendations
Again, this grow light is great for beginner growers and an excellent value for the power it offers. Actually, you can buy 10 of these for less than the cost of our best LED grow lights.
Keep in mind that you will need to purchase a more powerful grow light as the plant grows if you are serious about growing. This one can only serve during the earlier stages of growth for most people. That is one of its downsides plus the fact that it can only be effective in small spaces.
Overall, if you are a new grower, have limited space or on a shoestring budget, the Roleadro 45W Led Grow Light is the best deal you can get.
RINBO 12W Plant Grow Light Review
Quick Overview: This budget grow light has some amazing features that you may not even find in some high-end LED lights. These include 3 modes timer, 5 brightness levels, adjustable body and easy clip design. It is portable and can be used in different applications and is perfect for placing over seedling such as chillies and tomatoes on a windowsill to stop plants stretching for the light and becoming leggy.
The RINBO 12W Plant grow lights stands out from the crowd because it packs some amazing features that make it very convenient to use. First, it has a timer function designed with user 3 modes. You can set the grow light to run for 3 hours, 6 hours or 12 hours and it will automatically turn off once a particular set schedule is complete. It's so easy to use and enables you to manage the grow lights the way you want.
Another feature of this grow light that promotes flexible use is a dimming button. It lets you adjust the brightness of the LED light in 5 different levels; 20%, 40%, 60%, 80% and 100%. This kind of adjustment makes it suitable for every growth stage of your plants. In addition, the dual-lamp design of this unit makes it possible to cover a larger area.
The device itself is very compact. It is supplied with a UK adapter plus a unique USB interface. The USB just plugs into the power plug and lets you provide energy for more plants. As a matter of fact, the grow light can draw power from your computer, power bank or other USB-enabled devices.
In addition, the RINBO 12W has a flexible goose-neck and clip design that allows you to adjust the grow light to any direction and the distance between the light and plants. It also has a strong metal clip for easy clipping of the light without any extra hardware. It makes for a great light to use at home or office.
This light has a total of 36 LEDs; 24 red wavelengths 660nm and 12 blue wavelengths 460nm. The red light is crucial for seed germination and root development whilst the blue light helps in formation of chlorophyll. This model is also said to be energy-efficient so it won't spike your electricity bill.
The build features aluminium material that is effective when it comes to heat dissipation. Last but not least, the RINBO 12W light is estimated to last for 50,000 hours. Be sure to keep the lamp about 70cm from the plant for best results.
Thoughts and recommendations
This is an amazing grow light at a great price and is great for those who want a grow light to place over seedling on a windowsill as it gives you the ability to give your seedling more light in winter when the days are short, it also helps stop seedling getting to leggy.
It's compact, lightweight and portable, so you can use it wherever your plants are though indoor only. The ability to alter the LED brightness and lighting time is a plus and actually something you don't find even in the some other expensive models.
Basically, the kind of flexibility brought by this light is its major selling point. If you also want something that you can use in more than one grow area, then the RINBO 12W grow light fits the bill.
Amzdeal 10W LED Plant Grow Light Review
Quick Overview: If you are an avid indoor grower, this grow light is perfect for germination stage, though it's advertised to do more. A little installation is required but it's an easy job because it comes with the necessary accessories.
The Amzdeal 10W LED Plant Grow Light is another decent grow light on the lower price end and it's suitable for all stages of growth including flowering and fruiting. It can be used in various growing practices including in home gardens, greenhouses and hydroponics. The ideal grow area to use this light is anywhere from 1.5 sq.m to 2 sq.m, while the recommended lighting distance is 1.5m.
In fact, the grow light comes with necessary accessories for hanging it in place. These include a strong hook, 4 x ropes, 4 x screws, and 4 x nuts. Setting up the light is a breeze because everything is straightforward. A screwdriver and pliers will be useful.
There are 225 good quality LEDs in this grow light; 165 red and 60 blue, making a spectrum ratio of 2.75:1 (red:blue). The grow light is said to be very efficient since it feeds plants with 90% of its energy, which is far better than conventional nano-lamps. It actually saves 50 - 90% in energy use compared with fluorescent tubes and incandescent bulbs.
The light casing is made from ABS aluminium material that not only gives the body an excellent appearance but also creates heat sink effect. This, in turn, helps prolong the service life of the LED grow light.
There are a few precautions to using the Amzdeal 10W LED Grow Light. One, you should avoid touching the lamp as with all lamps when its on because it becomes hot to touch. Second, avoid using the light in wet places because it's not waterproof. Note that the working temperature is 20 to 40 degrees C. Stay safe and enjoy your yields.
Thoughts and recommendations
This grow light is said to be suitable for all growth stages but in reality it's only found to be effective during the early stages. It is no surprise though because the light is only 10W, which may not be powerful enough to promote flowering.
We suggest you pick this for germination only and invest upwards as your plants grow.
As it stands, the Amzdeal 10W is ideal an excellent alternative to traditional nano-lamps and would be perfect for germination seedling of plants like tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers early on the season.
Our Final Conclusion
LED grow lights have become popular with indoor growers and they are slowly replacing conventional HPS light bulbs and fluorescent tubes. As it usually happens with new inventions, every indoor grower wants to know the best grow lights before they even decide to buy it. The confusion can be there especially now that people are getting to know LED grow lights. We believe we have narrowed down the options for you through this grow lights review.
As you have seen, grow lights come in different styles, they can vary in features and prices too. In our opinion, the best LED grow lights should cater for all growth stages, from germination to flowering, so that you'll never have to look for other alternatives in future. It's better to buy once for all, which is why the lifespan also matters.
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