How To Choose the Best LED Grow Lights: A Buyers Guide

LED grow lights are becoming more and more prevalent in both industrial grows and home grows. Their recent spike in popularity is likely due to their superior results and increased publicity in mainstream media. Many years ago it used to be the case that only big gardening companies could afford to run indoor growing operations, but with a fall in price and the introduction of smaller models they have become available to the general public.

Growing plants indoors can return a far greater yield than growing outdoors, mainly because of the constant light in the right spectrum, which the top rated grow lights will deliver. Starting your own indoor garden is going to require investment both in purchasing components and also the cost of running them. So it’s important that you pick the right lights for your grow and ones that are going to last for as long as possible. When you are working with bright LED lights it’s important that you wear good quality eye protection, this isn’t optional. Apollo Horticulture make a great pair which will protect you from all UV rays and will reduce eye strain.

ImageNameRatingPriceReview
Advanced Platinum Series P300 300wAdvanced Platinum Series P300 300w5.0$$$Review
Apollo Horticulture GL100LED 300W Full Spectrum Grow LightApollo Horticulture GL100LED 300W Full Spectrum Grow Light4.7$$$Review
Galaxyhydro 300W LED Grow LightGalaxyhydro 300W LED Grow Light4.7$$Review
Global Star Gs-G 300WGlobal Star Gs-G 300W4.6$$Review
SolarStorm California Light WorksSolarStorm California Light Works4.8$$$$Review
TaoTronics® LED Plant Grow LightTaoTronics® LED Plant Grow Light4.6$Review
Lvjing® High Power 120w Led Plant Grow Light PanelLvjing® High Power 120w Led Plant Grow Light Panel4.3$$Review
Alite Advanced LED Plant Grow Light for Hydroponic GardenAlite Advanced LED Plant Grow Light for Hydroponic Garden4.4$Review
HQRP 13.8W 225 LED Blue SpectrumHQRP 13.8W 225 LED Blue Spectrum3.9$Review
Click & Grow Smartpot LED Grow LightClick & Grow Smartpot LED Grow Light3.8$Review

What should you look for in grow lights?

With a huge array of products available on the market it can be hard to decipher what the differences are and which ones are the best LED grow lights for you.

Cooling Systems

Grow lights are designed to prove your plants with all the light they need, but as with all lights they produce a lot of heat. This heat if directed to your plants can harm them and inhibit their growth. Also, the hotter an LED is the faster it is going to break. Cheap grow lights are notorious for emitting a large amount of heat and for breaking quickly.

Instead, you should look for products that include heat sinks and fans that are used to absorb the heat instead of sending it out and then fans which cool the lights down. When you look at the packaging of grow lights you’ll often see that they are mounted on MCPCB’s, these are circuit boards that contain a solid metal core. These conduct far more heat than traditional circuit boards, preventing them from breaking under high temperatures. MCPCB’s are crucial.

Adjustable LED’s

Just like the radiation from the sun can differ, so should your grow lamps. A good led grow light will allow you to control the intensity of each of the different led colors. This allows you to simulate outdoors season changes and thus promote growth or inhibit it.

Some plants will require different spectrums of light, if you have the option to adjust the levels of each color of LED then you’ll be able to give your plants exactly what they want. An adjustable output is an important feature especially if you plan on using the grow lights more than once.

Constant-Current

The LED’s are powered by an intricate circuit board containing many different components. The board will take the AC power that comes from your house and convert it to DC power that will power the grow lights. It’s important that the DC current is constant regardless of the LED’s voltage or temperature. If you don’t pick a grow light with constant current then you should expect it to break far earlier than other models that do use constant current driver circuits.

Advanced Platinum Series P300 300w

PlatinumLED are one of the best companies in the indoor gardening world, with one of the most superior grow lights on the market. Their LED’s have the highest output per watt of any grow light, meaning a greater intensity for the same cost. With a complete 5 year warranty there is no reason not to try them out. You won’t be disappointed.

The P300 comes with a inbuilt vegetable/flower switch meaning that you can make quick adjustments to the output spectrum. As detailed above the heat sink and fan system is crucial to a good grow light. The P300 includes 2 super quiet fans and an aluminium heat sink that will prevent the system from overheating and causing damage. With this system you can be assured that your plants or flowers are getting exactly what they need.

This light had a huge spectrum, with 11 different lengths of light from 380nm all the way up to 760nm, practically ensuring that your plants get everything they need to grow as fast as possible. Platinum has for a long time been at the top of the market and this is another example where its products blow away the competition. This is one of the best grow lights out there right now! Find out more

Apollo Horticulture GL100LED 300W Full Spectrum Grow Light

Apollo is well known for producing good quality grow lights at reasonable prices and this grow light is definitely no exception! The grow light boasts a full light spectrum, meaning that your plants will get a large range of wavelengths. This will allow for optimal growth.

The GL100LED has an estimated lifespan of 50,000 hours meaning that you’ll get plenty of value from this light. When you order it you’ll find that the box includes stainless steel hanging clips so that you can hang the grow lights. You’ll also receive a 6’ power cord which is going to let you put the grow light as close as you’d like to your plants. The LED’s have a view angle of 120 degrees meaning that even that it will cope with even the widest plants and with a power draw of 170W it won’t be too expensive either! Apollo also sell a larger 600W grow light and a smaller 240W version. Find out more

Galaxyhydro 300W LED Grow Light

With a 2 year warranty Galaxyhydro is really standing behind their product. When you purchase the lamp you’ll find that the box also includes a steel rope hanger which is useful and something that other grow lights don’t include. This is obviously crucial to positioning your lamp in the right spot and will connect without problem.

This GH light is full spectrum and one of the cheapest grow lights on this list. For the price that you pay the amount of features is really impressive. In this price range a lot of the grow lamps are extremely poor and have very few features. Whilst it has less light bands than the more expensive model it still has a respectable 9 band setup meaning that you’ll still be giving your plants a good range of light wavelengths. This grow light is really bright so you might want to consider putting it in a grow tent of its own. Find out more

Global Star Gs-G 300W

This product is on the lower end of the price scale a real entry level light. Whilst it is cheap it’s likely produced in China and doesn’t have the same build quality as the other lights on this list. Despite that, it still has a good light range with a mixture of 12 band and a large radiation area. This light would be a better choice for beginners who aren’t sure that they want to invest large amount of money into an expensive light setup. Find out more

SolarStorm California Light Works

California Light Works are a highly recommended brand and are known for producing great products. This grow light is amazing and there’s no doubt that it’s one of the highest performing home lights on the market. The light itself has 2 LED compartments, which spreads the light out and gives it a much greater reach. Then there are also 2 supplemental fluorescent light tubes that emit UV-B which will improve your crop potency.

Heat management isn’t an issue despite the serious power that this kicks out; with a 92mm fan and an impressive heat sink you shouldn’t see a large increase in room temperature. The expected life span is between 50,000 and 80,000 hours meaning that it will last around 8 years. That’s impressive. Find out more

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