Best LED Grow Lights of 2017 – Reviews & Buying Guide

LED grow lights in actionAn LED grow light is an artificial light source which is used to encourage growth in plants (typically cannabis). They’re the powerhouse of your grow room. They will speed up weed growing process, and will give you the biggest yields ever seen.

The light spectrum provided by grow lights are intended to be similar to that of the sun and have various colors, temperatures, and level of intensity.

LED grow lights have advanced a great deal in recent years and are becoming very popular among both hobbyist and commercial growers. While they may be the most expensive of the various types of grow lights, the best LED grow lights have a number of distinct advantages which we’ll go through later in our buying guide. For example, LED grow lights produce little heat and save a lot of energy. Also, the lifespan of an LED grow light is very long and can last for several years. There are just so many benefits!

Top LED Grow Lights on the Market

MODELPRODUCT DIMENSIONS
ITEM WEIGHT
USER RATINGPRICE
ViparSpectra Reflector 600W
ViparSpectra Reflector-Series 600W
3 x 13 x 15 inches
12.1 pounds4.5/5
$$$$
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MarsHydro Mars300
MarsHydro Mars300
13 x 3 x 8 inches
6.6 pounds4.6/5
$$$
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ViparSpectra Reflector 1200W
ViparSpectra 1200W
5 x 22 x 23 inches
21.6 pounds4.4/5
$$$$$
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Galaxyhydro LED 300W
Galaxyhydro LED 300W
12 x 8 x 2 inches5.5 pounds
4.6/5
$$$
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TaoTronics TT-GL20
TaoTronics TT-GL20
6 x 5 x 5 inches0.5 pounds4.5/5
$
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If you’re thinking about investing in some LED grow lights and don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place. Here you’ll find a list of LED grow light reviews with the various pros and cons to help you decide which product is right for you. Be sure to read on beyond the reviews for our buying guide which provides you with a variety of tips. These will help you narrow down the options and also get the best out of your new indoor growing purchase.

1. ViparSpectra Reflector 600W – Our Top Pick

ViparSpectra Reflector-Series 600WBecause each plant is different in terms of the required natural light it needs to grow, the ViparSpectra Reflector-Series 600W is ideal. This is because it provides a full spectrum of light so it can be used on any plant, no matter which stage of growing it’s at. Mirror-like reflectors all across the diodes help provide plenty of coverage and density. 5 watt LED chips work together with the 300W reflector and provide light that is comparable to natural sunlight. Since these are LED grow lights, they don’t use a ridiculous amount of energy. They run at 600W while actually only consuming 276W. So you can save a lot of money on electricity costs by buying the best LED grow lights on the market. A further advantage of this is that it makes the cooling process easier and ensures that the LED lights live longer.

4.72-inch fans and aluminum cooling heat sinks ensure ideal conditions and the greatest possible efficiency. There aren’t many disadvantages to these grow lights. Perhaps the main issue is that they don’t offer the widest coverage. Overall the ViparSpectra Reflector-Series provides great power (warning: they’re exceptionally bright) for a very competitive price. It doesn’t get too hot in comparison to other grow lights and you can save energy in the long run. We’re quite confident you’ll like this product but if not, there is a 3-year warranty available.

Pros

  • Good power

  • Energy saving

  • 3-year warranty

  • Go-to pick for a lot of weed bloggers

Cons

  • Offers limited coverage


2. MarsHydro Mars300 – Best for the Money

MarsHydro Mars300The Mars300 delivers similar output to a 250W HPS bulb but only consumes 132W of power. Because it costs much less than an HID light, this product can save you a lot of money with your growing operation. That’s before you even get to the extensive power savings as you use it over time. With a coverage area of 1.5ft x 1.5ft, it’s ideal for a single plant or for supplementing existing grow lights on a larger grow. The blue, red and white diodes provide a full spectrum of light which covers all stages of plant growth.

The 5W LED chips used provide deeper canopy penetration but are quite hot which is why the Mars 300 has a large-diameter fan and large heat sinks. This helps dissipate the heat however the fan produces some 56 decibels which is a little louder than some of the competing products available. As you can see, there are several reasons why this is the best LED grow light for the money. Some disadvantages of this grow light are that it’s on the small side and perhaps lacking in power for the blooming stage. Also, there is no on/off switch which means plugging and unplugging it when needed which can be something of an inconvenience.

Pros

  • Great value

  • Fans work well

Cons

  • A little noisy

  • Quite small

  • No on/off switch


3. ViparSpectra Reflector 1200W – Pricey, High-end

ViparSpectra 1200WOne of the more powerful LED grow light options on the market, the ViparSpectra has a price to reflect it. It compares to traditional 1000W HPS while only consuming 524W. As such, there are some clear long-term savings to be made, despite the initial cost. The system provides a full spectrum of light which helps plants throughout the whole growing cycle. In fact, it even offers infrared light which helps with cell division. With so much power on offer, it’s important that the system is kept cool. The light tray has six separate cooling fans built into it which is very impressive. Furthermore, the product has aluminum heat sinks which also help reduce overall heat. In our opinion, the cooling system is without doubt one of the best features of the ViparSpectra 1200W.

A vegetative switch and a bloom switch allow you to alter the light that emanates from the unit which means that you have greater control over the growth of your plants. Some minor concerns about this product include the true wattage produced by the system. Some claim that it is less than the 1200W promised by the manufacturer. However, this can be argued with many of the LED grow lights on the market. Also, there is no on/off switch which seems a basic feature for what is a more expensive, high-end LED grow light.

Pros

  • Powerful lighting system

  • Element of control over lights

  • Impressive fan system

Cons

  • Doubts over true wattage

  • No on/off switch


4. Galaxyhydro LED 300W – Worth Mentioning

Galaxyhydro LED 300WDesigned for the indoor grower, the Galaxyhydro has high-powered LED lights that emit 9 bands. These include the blue and red spectra and UV and IR wavelengths. This is seen as the most useful spectrum and produces a higher PAR value which is best for both growth and yield. This is a small, compact device that doesn’t weigh much and is ideal for smaller plants. The EpiLED lighting offered is superior to that of normal LEDs and there is an excellent dimming feature which allows the user to have greater control and mimic the changing seasons. We think that this is a very good feature but it does lack a timer or an automatic option that some more expensive units have. Such features can offer convenience to the consumer.

Coming with two UL-approved cooling fans, this product has no problem keeping the temperature at the optimum level. However, some users have noted that the fans can be quite noisy which is something to keep in mind if sound level is an issue where you’re growing. However, the benefit of this is that the product is less likely to experience problems of overheating and should, therefore, live a longer life without any serious issues. In fact, the manufacturer claims a 50,000-hour lifespan on this 300W product.

Pros

  • Small and compact

  • Comes with a 2-year warranty

Cons

  • Noisy fans

  • No timer or automatic option on dimmer


5. TaoTronics TT-GL20 – Super Cheap

TaoTronics TT-GL20The TaoTronics TT-GL20 is the super cheap option for your indoor growing needs. 12 ultra-bright LEDs (3 blue & 9 red) help provide plants with an extra boost when needed. There are a number of advantages to this product, one of which is the lower power consumption which is just 12W (1W in each LED so it is evenly spread). It’s much less wasteful than HID lighting and the average lifespan of this product is said to be 50,000 hours. The low consumption isn’t too surprising given the small size. After all, it’s only 4.84” x 5.44” which makes it one of the smallest LED grow lights on the market.

These are the best grow lights for anyone with very small grows who doesn’t want their grow lights taking up too much space or producing too much heat. If you’re concerned about the environment, the TT-GL20 is a good option for you since it was designed with this in mind. The most obvious disadvantage of this grow light is the small coverage it provides which is interesting because it’s also one of its selling points! It’s really down to how much you’re growing. If it’s a small crop then an inexpensive LED grow light such as this could well do the job, particularly because it’s a very economical option that still produces impressive results.

Pros

  • Very cheap

  • Energy efficient

Cons

  • Small coverage


Factors to Consider When Buying LED Grow Lights

Why LED?

As you no doubt know by now, this guide is about LED grow lights. We’ve chosen to explore LED grow lights due to their many advantages which we’ll now take a look at!

  • Eco-friendly: Because LED lights are 100% recyclable, they’re much more eco-friendly than some other light sources. They are also up to 80% more efficient than traditional lighting. Finally, they don’t contain any toxic elements such as mercury.

  • Longer lifespan: The long lifespan of the LED light is one of its biggest advantages. Due to their high efficiency and low energy use, LED lights are capable of lasting up to 50,000 hours. This means less maintenance and costs for you!

  • Easy setup: They’re very easy to install and simply require hanging up and plugging in. An alternative such as an HPS/MH reflector is far more complicated in comparison.

  • Less heat: LED lights are known to produce far less heat in comparison to other lighting methods due to fewer watts being consumed. Less heat is beneficial to plants as it reduces the risk of them getting damaged.

  • Smaller: The small size of the LED light makes it very portable. LED lights are therefore easy to set up and can come in all sorts of sizes, making them very versatile. There are some great LED lights available for even the smallest of grows.

Any disadvantages? (Not many!)

  • Cost: LED grow lights tend to be much more expensive than HID or fluorescent lights. However this initial outlay can be recovered over time when saving on electricity bills! As the technology continues to develop, it should get cheaper.

The LED Light Spectrum: Explained

The LED grow light spectrum consists of red, white and blue. Each color has its own specific job and combining the three should lead to good results. Red encourages budding and flowering, white provides some additional visibility in the growing room and blue is great for vegetation growth. Some growers also experiment with ultraviolet light but this is by no means essential for most growing needs.

6 things to consider when choosing an LED grow light

It’s very interesting to know which are the best LED grow lights of 2017 but how do you choose between them? By considering the following 6 things, you should have a much better idea of which LED grow lights are best for you.

  1. Area to be covered

One of the most important things to consider is the size of the area that you want to cover with LED grow lights. A large area will rule out some of the smallest LED grow lights unless you’re planning on buying a lot of them. Likewise a very small area will make a large grow light unnecessary. Decide how many LED lights you will need and which will give you the best coverage based on their size and strength.

  1. Phase of growth

The phase of growth that you’re looking for the LED grow light to assist with may rule out some products. For a full growth cycle, choose a full-spectrum LED to assist in all stages of the plant’s growth. Full-spectrum grow lights are relatively new and mimic real sunlight. They have a number of advantages such as costing less to run and running cooler.

  1. Plant type

Linked to the growth phase is plant type. It’s important to find out if the plants you are growing need full sun or lower light conditions. In order to cover all bases, you can always take a look at dimmable LED lights. These tend to be more expensive but are very useful since they can mimic seasonal light changes. This offers you much more control.

  1. Budget

Budget obviously defines the quality and quantity of LED grow lights you can purchase. Those on a limited budget should, therefore, do plenty of research with regard to the aforementioned ‘area to be covered’ in order to ensure that you’re not buying more than you need. The more you’re willing to pay, the better the features you’ll find on the products.

  1. Heat

Light and heat are connected and thankfully LED lights do run much cooler than many other light sources. However the temperature of your grow room is very important. Full-spectrum LED lights don’t create too much of a problem with regard to heat but it’s still good to check that bigger units are fitted with fans to avoid overheating and damaging your plants.

  1. Warranty

While the most important thing is to find a high-quality product within your budget, a good warranty can be a major plus. In fact, it could prove to make all the difference when choosing between two similar products. If you’re looking to invest significant money in your LED grow lights, try to get a warranty of at least 2 years and make sure that the return process is clear. It should also be easy for you to make a return without having to pay to send the product halfway around the world!

Tips for getting the most out of your LED grow lights

Hopefully you will soon have some great LED grow lights. When this is the case, the following section will hopefully be of use to you! Take a look at our tips for getting the most out of your new purchase.

  • Watch the water consumption

Switching from HID fixtures to LEDs can result in overwatering. LED grow lights don’t generate the same kind of heat or Infrared light so they don’t dry out the soil and plants as much. For this reason it’s important to be observant and make sure you’re not overwatering your plants.

  • Mind the mounting height

You don’t want to mount your LED grow lights too high as this can reduce the intensity. However distancing the lights from your plant can provide greater coverage so it’s important to strike a balance. On the other hand, mounting your LEDs too low can cause damage to your plants over time. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendation and adjust as necessary from there are you start to see results.

  • Manage multiple units

Optics allow LED grow lights to create a targeted output. By implementing multiple units you can maximize the distribution across the canopy which could save a lot of money over time. This is particularly useful for larger plants which are in close proximity to each other and require more light in order to break through dense cover.

  • Learn light cycles

You can manipulate the life cycles of your plants by increasing and decreasing light. Flowering can be triggered by too much darkness as plants as this signals that autumn is approaching. To avoid this make sure you provide plants with plenty of light per day. 18 hours of light per day is the most popular choice for the vegetative stage.

  • Consider a reflector

Some LED grow lights are one directional and need a little help in dispersing light in those harder-to-reach areas. A reflector can help direct the light to the areas you need and maximize light efficiency.


Conclusion

Setting up an indoor growing room can be quite the investment so it’s great that you’re doing the necessary research. As you can see, there’s a lot to consider before you make your purchase. Plant types, grow size and cooling requirements are just some of the things to consider while you explore the various online products. But if you do the research you’ll find that your cannabis yields will be a lot bigger, and that the plants will grow a lot faster.

There are so many different types of LED growing lights from different brands. What’s more, these come in at all sorts of prices so it’s really down to how much you want to spend. On the one hand, you don’t need to break the bank in order to grow indoors. On the other hand, spending more should provide you with better quality LED grow lights.

With any luck, our reviews of LED grow lights and buying guide will go some way to helping you find some great LED grow lights. Happy cannabis-growing everyone!

Below is a lovely timelapse video showing the growth from a small seed to a big and beautiful plant.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 2 comments
Bryan Porter - July 20, 2017

Great guide. I bought the MarsHydro Mars300 1 week ago after reading your guide, and I am very satisfied with it so far. The price is decent, it feels like a quality product and it seems like my plants are liking it so far. I’m considering also buying a ViparSpectra Reflector 600W, but I have a friend who said that their customer support is not that good. What do you think about their customer support?

Reply
    Michael - July 22, 2017

    Glad to hear that we could help you out. Yeah, the ViparSpectra Reflector 600W is also a really good option. We’ve previously been in contact with ViparSpectra’s customer service and there were no problems at all. They were fast and supportive. We have however heard from some communities that their customer support can be very unreliable, but we never experienced that.

    Reply

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