Select Page

Best LED Grow Light for Your Indoor Gardening Project

In the world of horticulture, there’s always been one single source of light that’s best for plants: the sun. However, with the rise of hydroponic gardening and indoor gardening, in general, artificial lights have been acceptable substitutes, but the old solutions weren’t perfect. They either put out too much heat or cost too much to run. It’s a new gardening world today, though, now that high quality LED grow lights are on the market. The question is, which ones are worth your investment? That’s where an LED grow light guide like this one is going to come in handy for you.

LED Grow Light Comparison Chart

MODEL
DETAILS
TaoTronics Led Grow lights Bulb

Wattage: 12W
Input current: 300mA
Dimensions: 4.9 L x 5.1 H x 6.2 D inches
Weight: 8.5 oz.
Number of LEDs: 12 (1W each)
Lifespan: 50,000 hours
Warranty: 1 year
Roleadro Panel Grow Light Series

Wattage: 45W
Actual power: 25.2W
Dimensions: 13.4 L x 11.8 H x 1.6 D inches
Weight: 1.7 lbs.
Lifespan: 50,000 hours
Warranty: 1 year
VIPARSPECTRA Reflector-Series

Wattage: 300W
Actual power: 136W
Dimensions: 12.6 L x 7.9 H x 3 D inches
Weight: 5.6 lbs.
Lifespan: 100,000 hours
Warranty: 3 years
Supmovo LED Grow Light


Wattage: 600W
Actual power: ~110-120W
Dimensions: 12.2 L x 8.6 H x 2.3 D inches
Weight: 4.6 lbs.
Warranty: 2 years
MarsHydro 300W LED Grow Light

Wattage: 300W
Actual power: ~132W
Dimensions: 13 L x 7.9 H x 2.8 D inches
Weight: 5.58 lbs.
Lifespan: 50,000 hours
Warranty: 1 year

How Can LEDs Grow Anything?

If LED lights for growing are new to you, here’s a quick rundown of how they work. Plants need red light to help with photosynthesis. It’s this light waveband that encourages plants to grow long stems, big leaves, and it can help with germination and flowering.

Also important are blue lights. These help with stems and leaves, but if there’s too much blue light, it can inhibit the growth. Plants grown indoors need a bit of blue light, which also helps with the leaf thickness and the amount of chlorophyll the plant contains.

Greenlight is usually considered less important, but a little bit added to the necessary reds and blues can help with photosynthesis.

Finally, white light isn’t necessary. You can achieve a white light with a an RGB (red, green, blue) blend of lights, but test results have shown it isn’t needed. And because indoor plants don’t need much green, you’ll notice most LED lights for growing have a purplish glow to them.

The History

The testing of LEDs on plant growth started back in the 1980s at the University of Wisconsin. In fact, NASA funded the tests, and what they found is that LEDs offer the most desirable conditions for growing plants indoors. No ballast is required, so it’s much easier for anyone to grow plants, and it’s less expensive. You can choose the colors you need, which means you can provide a blend of red, blue, and green lights to your plants to give them what they need for photosynthesis. And, in comparison to other light sources, LEDs produce significantly less heat, so you can increase the intensity of the light by placing them closer to crops. Although NASA learned this about LEDs decades ago, the LED lights are just now becoming more popular, more affordable, and easier to procure.

What Can You Grow Using an LED Grow Light?

Most of the articles out there, you’ll find out LED lights have something to do with cannabis. What with all the changes to laws, plenty of people are going into business for themselves in the states where it’s legal to grow, sell, and consume, and they’re not taking any chances – they’re growing their weed indoors using good LED lights.

Beyond growing crops of weed, though, you can sprout seedlings for a salsa garden. You can grow pepper plants and tomatoes. Set up a bunch of herbs and give it some purple glow, and you’ll be cooking with fresh parsley, dill, sage, and thyme in no time. In fact, there’s a popular indoor gardening appliance out there that have been using LEDs to help you grow herbs and cherry tomatoes for years now. The only difference here is that you can buy as many LED lights for growing as you need and turn a whole extra room into an indoor garden. It’s a great alternative and a good bet for the money.

You may want to set timers for the lights, though, because you don’t want to keep the artificial sun on all day and night long. You have to give your plants some time to rest in the coolness and darkness.

Features to Look for in the Best LED Grow Light

When choosing an LED light for your plants’ growth, you want to choose those that are rated highly for low heat, high output, and low energy consumption. Brands don’t usually matter much here, but there are some features you can keep an eye out for to ensure you’re getting good LED lights.
 

Your computer has a heat sink. If you ever open it up, you’ll see a silver block there that’s meant to absorb the extra heat produced by everything going on inside the box. It’s necessary to prevent frying your boards. And like your computer, your LED light should include a heat sink to absorb any extra heat. These usually come standard on grow lights.

Most LED lights include fans to help keep things cool to prevent burning out anything. Some even cool using water, but those are rarer in the affordable models. You definitely want to buy one that includes fans.
The energy output is important because you want intense light to help your plants grow big, strong, and quickly, but you’re going to have a higher electricity bill no matter what. The good news is that LEDs are energy efficient, so it’s going to be less than any other lighting source (other than the sun, duh). Higher energy output shouldn’t scare you because it helps offset wattage loss. A grow light that consumes 600 watts sounds like it’s going to be pricey, but it outputs 6,000 lumens, making it worth it.

 

If anyone has ever told you to ignore the warranty, ignore them! A warranty on something like an LED light is important. These are tiny bulbs and they’re manufactured and shipped out quickly, so there’s a chance you could get a defective unit. It’s nice to know that a company has your back in case anything goes wrong. And the longer the warranty, the better. Make sure you aren’t buying any old LED lighting system. There are plenty of them out there meant for general use, and those won’t work for growing plants. So, choose carefully. The reviews below are only of LED lights – and they’re the best out there.

 

LED Grow Light Reviews

TaoTronics Led Grow lights Bulb, Grow Lights for Indoor Plants, Grow Lamp for Hydroponics Greenhouse Organic, Plant Lights ( E26 12w 3 Bands)

Quick Info

  • Wattage: 12W
  • Input current: 300mA
  • Dimensions: 4.9 L x 5.1 H x 6.2 D inches
  • Weight: 8.5 oz.
  • Number of LEDs: 12 (1W each)
  • Lifespan: 50,000 hours
  • Warranty: 1 year
Finding a small LED light is easier than you think. The TaoTronics LED light bulb that’s only 12 watts of power is one of the most convenient choices if you’re just looking to grow a couple pots of plants. Not only does it take up very little energy (it’s only 12w), it’s a standard E26 bulb, so it should fit in any desk lamp. You can make it even more versatile by screwing it into a gooseneck lamp, so you can adjust the LEDs height as your plants start stretching out and up. The trick to making this LED light work well for your plants is to make sure you keep it at the recommended height and leave it on for at least 14 hours if your plants aren’t getting any other sun. The optimal height is somewhere between 12 to 18 inches. If you keep your plants and bulb in a colder room, you may not see impressive growth and you should consider moving everything into a warmer room.

Pros

  • Fits in a desk lamp
  • Smaller than most
  • Doesn’t consume much energy

Cons

  • May be too small
  • Might not produce enough light
Z

Best Suited For

If you don’t have a whole room dedicated to growing rows and rows of crops, you may only need this tiny LED grow light.

Roleadro Panel Grow Light Series,45W LED Plant Grow Light with Red Blue Spectrum for Growing & Flowering

Quick Info

  • Wattage: 45W
  • Actual power: 25.2W
  • Dimensions: 13.4 L x 11.8 H x 1.6 D inches
  • Weight: 1.7 lbs.
  • Lifespan: 50,000 hours
  • Warranty: 1 year
Perhaps the best feature of this Roleadro panel light is that all the red and blue LEDs are housed in an aluminum panel that you can easily hang over your plants. The aluminum does a great job of dissipating the heat produced by the lights. The panel may be warm to the touch, but it isn’t going to burn you or anything. At only 45 watts, and only about 12 inches long, you aren’t going to provide enough “sunlight” for a huge indoor garden, but a smaller one will likely be happy under this LED light for growing. Most people report that seedlings and small plants, like herbs, did really well under this grow light. As one reviewer pointed out, this might be a good choice for a closet grower, but if you’re trying to cultivate crops of plants, you’re going to need several of these, or something more powerful and larger. Those who have had to deal with defective units were able to get replacements quickly and easily from the manufacturer, which is impressive.

Pros

  • Works well for small crops
  • Low heat output
  • Good for seedlings, sprouting

Cons

  • Not great for full gardens
Z

Best Suited For

As long as you aren’t expecting to grow rows of crops with this little guy, it could be a great choice for your small herb garden or microgreens.

VIPARSPECTRA Reflector-Series 300W LED Grow Light Full Spectrum for Indoor Plants Veg and Flower

Quick Info

  • Wattage: 300W
  • Actual power: 136W
  • Dimensions: 12.6 L x 7.9 H x 3 D inches
  • Weight: 5.6 lbs.
  • Lifespan: 100,000 hours
  • Warranty: 3 years
Indoor plants require a good blend of red and blue lights to grow up to their full potential, and this VIPAR SPECTRA reflector series LED light offers a good spectrum of light. The 300 watts that you get from this moderately-sized grow light panel can cover about a 2-foot-by-2-foot area with no problem. As good as this light is, it may have too much blue for your plant’s flowering cycle. Many users of this LED light prefer to use it during the first few stages of a plant’s life, and then switch to something with more red light to help with the blooms. The on-board fans keep the unit cool, which is helpful, even though LEDs don’t produce a ton of heat. Those fans, though, might be noisy, or at least louder than you may expect. Customer support is above par, so if you have any issues with your unit, don’t hesitate to contact them – and you have three years of protection with the long warranty.

Pros

  • Covers a large area
  • Lots of blue light for cuttings
  • Won’t blow up your electric bill
  • Long warranty

Cons

  • Fans are noisy
  • Not enough red for flowering
Z

Best Suited For

For sprouting seeds and getting cuttings going, this LED light for growing could be an excellent investment for your crops.

Supmovo LED Grow Light, 600W LED Grow Light Kits, Full Spectrum Grow Light with UV IR for Hydroponic Plant Veg Flower and Indoor plant

Quick Info

  • Wattage: 600W
  • Actual power: ~110-120W
  • Dimensions: 12.2 L x 8.6 H x 2.3 D inches
  • Weight: 4.6 lbs.
  • Warranty: 2 years
A powerful grow light needs more care by the manufacturer to increase heat dissipation to prevent burn outs. Luckily, Supmovo’s LED light that packs a powerful 600-watt punch includes two on-board fans to help keep things cool even while providing that intense full spectrum light that your plants crave. The fans aren’t particularly noisy, but they are noticeable. Perhaps the biggest issue with this light is that it often comes with diodes that remain lit even when the unit is turned off. This could present a problem because the fans turn off, and if the diodes that remain slightly lit could burn out prematurely. The good news is that customer support is responsive if you need to report a defective unit. You get a decent two-year warranty with this light.

Pros

  • Two fans on board
  • Includes IR function
  • Won’t blow up your electric bill

Cons

  • Fans are noticeable
  • Some diodes may stay lit
Z

Best Suited For

If you need a smaller, but powerful LED light, this could be a good fit for your indoor plants.

MarsHydro 300W LED Grow Light Full Spectrum for Hydroponic Indoor Plants Growing Veg and Flower

Quick Info

  • Wattage: 300W
  • Actual power: ~132W
  • Dimensions: 13 L x 7.9 H x 2.8 D inches
  • Weight: 5.58 lbs.
  • Lifespan: 50,000 hours
  • Warranty: 1 year

The MarsHydro 300-watt LED light offers a full spectrum of light that hydroponic and indoor gardens need to grow tall, bushy, and strong. The manufacturer claims this grow light is ideal for a 2-foot-by-2-foot space, but it may not cover that big of a space by itself. Plus, this little artificial sun is probably better for sprouting seeds or for young plants. You may notice a bit of stretching from your plants if you keep this light unit too high from your plants. Move it closer for better results, but then you risk the edges of leaves getting too much heat and possibly burning. It may be better to buy two and place them higher up. Many people reported this light getting too hot, despite the onboard fan to keep it cool. Customer support seems to respond quickly, but the short warranty might not inspire confidence in consumers.

Pros

  • Covers 2×2′ space
  • Good for young plants
  • Affordable

Cons

  • May not properly cover space it claims
  • Lots of defective units
Z

Best Suited For

If you’re looking for an LED light for growing with the full spectrum of light, this could be the best bet for you – but keep it on your younger plants.

The Bottom Line

Choosing the LED grow light that’s best for you really depends on what you need it for. A small bulb with low-wattage LEDs can be plenty for your little herb garden, but if you have a huge crop of cannabis, you might need something more powerful. Perhaps the best one of the bunch is the VIPARSPECTRA Reflector-Series 300W LED Grow Light Full Spectrum for Indoor Plants Veg and Flower.

The VIPAR SPECTRA offers a good balance of power and light to help indoor plants grow. It may not have enough red in it to help with flowering, but it is a good grow light to get smaller plants started. You can’t beat its three-year warranty, which helps protect your purchase in case of any defects. Plus, it’s an affordable option if you need to grow, well, anything, even in the winter.

About The Author

Candace Osmond

Award Winning Designer, Candace Osmond has been in the industry for over a decade. She studied Interior Decorating & Design and is also an accomplished writer and multi-published author. When she's not typing away from the comforts of her desk, Candace can be found travelling to warm destinations, tending to her garden, or enjoying the outdoor haven that is her backyard. Candace currently resides in the breathtaking Maritimes of Eastern Canada with her husband, two beautiful kids and one slobbery bulldog.

  • lewisfuneralhome says:

    Thanks Pooja- I’m loving it so far!!!

  • >