Best LED Grow Lights For Your Indoor Gardening

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Lighting is crucial in keeping indoor plants healthy and happy. However, growing plants indoors can be even more challenging if your house doesn't receive enough sunlight. Fortunately, the best LED grow lights offer a solution to this problem!

There are many advantages to using LED grow lights, such as energy efficiency, environmental friendliness, and their ability to produce full-spectrum light. They're considered one of the best indoor lighting options, provided you choose the right one for your plants.

Speaking of which, we did some research and found top LED grow lights that are worth checking out. First up is the GE BR30 LED Grow Light for Indoor Plants, which boasts outstanding ratings and provides warm, optimal illumination for plants. Our second option, the EZORKAS Grow Light, caught our attention for its automatic timer, rotatable arms, and dimmable lighting. Next, we have the SPIDER FARMER SF-2000, which offers broad coverage of up to 3 x 4 feet.

Selecting your best LED grow light for indoor gardening can be daunting, but we hope our top picks below will guide you in the right direction. Keep reading for these and more tips on what to look for when buying indoor grow lights!

1. GE BR30 LED Grow Light For Indoor Plants

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We tried the GE BR30 LED Grow Light and were impressed with the results. The full-spectrum bulb provides high-quality lighting, encouraging indoor gardens to flourish all year round. The LED technology used in this light produces soft and warm illumination, making it stand out from other harsh grow lights on the market.

What we loved the most about this LED grow light was its longevity. It can last up to 25,000 hours - about five years of use and only uses 9 watts of energy. This makes the LED light eco-friendly and cost-effective for growing plants indoors.

Image Credits: gelighting.com

We tested this grow light on a range of plants, including herbs, peppers, cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, and flowers, and it worked exceptionally well for all of them. The perfect red and blue light ratio facilitated photosynthesis, resulting in healthy and vibrant growth. With a high output Photosynthesis Photon Flux (PPF) of 16 micromoles/second, this grow light bulb is a perfect option if you want an ideal atmosphere for your crops.

The only downside we found with the GE BR30 LED Grow Light was that it might not be suitable for plants that require intense light; best to use it on low-light indoor plants! Still, we highly recommend the light for its soft and warm illumination, eco-friendly energy consumption, and optimal light spectrum. It is an excellent investment for any indoor gardening enthusiast!

Pros:

  • Quite affordable
  • High PPF output
  • Energy efficient
  • Long life span
  • Quick and easy to install
  • Perfect for beginners
  • Suitable for flowering and fruit production

Cons:

  • It may hinder growth for plants that require intense light

2. EZORKAS 9 Dimmable Levels Grow Light

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EZORKAS 9 Dimmable Levels Grow Light with 3 Modes...
  • Auto turn on and off timing function
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Ezorkas LED grow light is one of our top picks because of its amazing features. To start with, we found the automatic timer function a game-changer! You can easily set it at different times of the day, and it has three time intervals, making it effortless to customize your growing schedule.

The 360-degree rotatable arms were another impressive feature, allowing us to easily adjust the brightness and distance from the light to the plants. With nine dimmable levels, three switch modes, three spectrum modes, and nine intensity levels, this grow light is versatile enough to cater to different stages of the growing process.

Image Credits: bestreviewsreviews.com

The blue and red light spectrum it emits made quite a difference in the health of our plants, and we loved the convenience of the USB connector and sturdy clip when using and securing the light in place. We guarantee you'll love this grow light's energy efficiency. It has 48 LED chips, providing enough nourishment for different types of plants, including succulents, cannabis plants, green chilies, tomatoes, and more.

But while we loved the Ezorkas LED grow light's amazing features and versatility, we found that customer support was lacking. Reaching the customer service team was challenging, making resolving any issues or concerns a hassle.

Pros:

  • Automatic on and off function
  • USB powered
  • Powerful clip
  • Adjustable light intensities in response to the specific plant needs
  • Great for each stage of the plant's development
  • Easy to use
  • Reasonably priced

Cons:

  • Poor customer support

3. SPIDER FARMER SF-2000 2x4 Ft Coverage

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As indoor gardening enthusiasts, we understand the importance of lighting for optimal plant development, and this grow light delivered! Having used various LED-based appliances from Spider Farmer, we can confidently say that this grow light is a reliable option for indoor gardening.

What stood out most for us was its coverage area. It provides a 2 x 4 feet flowering coverage area and a 3 x 4 feet vegetative coverage area, which is fantastic for growing multiple plants.

Image Credits: spider-farmer.com

Then, with a power capacity of 200 watts, this grow light is a good value for money. The Samsung-manufactured LEDs in these panels are of high quality, and the grow light consumes around 50% less power than other LED lights. The dimming knob was another great feature we used to adjust the light intensity, making it suitable for most indoor plants and vegetables. Plus, with a three-year warranty period, we found these LED lights highly reliable.

Overall, this light is a must-have for indoor gardeners of all levels. The only dealbreaker we found is the price; while it is a great investment for avid indoor gardeners, beginners may find it expensive.

Pros:

  • Low consumption of power
  • High-Quality yields
  • Great for all growing stages, from the seeding stage to the flowering stage to the fruiting
  • Offers value for money
  • Adjustable light intensity
  • It covers a wide area of the grow room

Cons:

  • Some parts may easily break or bend if handled correctly.

4. MARS HYDRO TS 1000W 3x3ft

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We were blown away by the MARS HYDRO TS 1000W LED's power and efficiency, which we dare say, is perfect for large plantations. Its white SMD LEDs produce the highest lumen output, resulting in a higher yield than other grow lights.

When buying a grow light, you want to guarantee power reliability - this MARS HYDRO boasts a power capacity of 1000 watts. The light features 343 LEDs that consume only 150 watts of power, which is over 50% less consumption than other LED lights. Being from a reputable brand, MARS HYDRO, makes things all the better.

Image Credits: mars-hydro.com

This grow light's PPFD of 743 μmol/m2/s at a distance of 18 inches ensures it provides a full spectrum of white light, which promotes plant growth at every stage. Plus, since it doesn't have a fan, it runs quietly while regulating its temperature internally.

Onto the last point, and an important consideration for all grow lights - the coverage. The last thing you need is a grow light that can't illuminate all your plants, so a large coverage is always welcome. The grow light's coverage area of up to 3 x 3 ft was ideal for our indoor garden, and the 2-year warranty added to the grow light's appeal. These lights have high illumination concentration, ensuring most of the energy they produce is absorbed by the plants, leading to an exceptional yield!

That said, we noticed that the controlling functions were limited. This can be frustrating for indoor gardeners who want to customize the lighting to their plant's specific needs.

Pros:

  • A great power capacity
  • A wide coverage area
  • Temperature is regulated
  • Not noisy
  • Durable
  • It offers a high yield

Cons:

  • The controlling functions are limited

5. Phlizon Upgraded 600W LED Plant Grow Light

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The Phlizon Upgraded 600W LED Plant Grow Light with SMD LEDs is an excellent choice for small indoor gardens.

We were impressed by its comprehensive light spectrum and double cooling fans, which make it efficient and energy-saving compared to other lamps. The veg and bloom switch buttons allowed us to use different LEDs for each stage of the plant growth cycle.

Image Credits: phlizonstore.com

Its compact size and 2x2ft coverage area make it ideal for apartment balconies, small kitchens, or any other small indoor space. Additionally, the full spectrum of blue, red, IR, UV, and white LEDs promotes healthy plant growth, making it a great grow light for beginners or seasoned indoor gardeners.

However, we noticed that the fan can be a bit noisy. Although it's not particularly loud, it can be noticeable, especially in quiet environments.

Pros:

  • Comprehensive light spectrum
  • Double cooling fans
  • Veg and bloom switch buttons
  • Energy-saving and efficient
  • Suitable for small indoor spaces

Cons:

  • Fan noise can be noticeable

What to Consider Before Buying An LED Grow Light

What To Consider Before Buying An LED Grow Light

Image Credits: modernfarmer.com

These are important features to consider to make the best purchasing decision:

1. Light Spectrum

What Is The Best Grow Light Spectrum?

Image Credits: migrolight.com

Some LED lights produce only some color frequencies. However, we need a full spectrum LED because we’re trying to replicate the natural sunlight, which features all the colors. Full-spectrum LED lights produce all the colors necessary for every stage of the growing process.

Some of the light spectrum colors include;

  • Red Light – It is essential for the latter stages and the buds to flower.

  • Blue light – Helps in the earliest stages and is the first color your plants can absorb.

  • Purple light – Used the same as the blue light; however, it’s not as effective as the blue light.

  • White light – You can use this alone, which is effective for every growing stage. They have all colors and are therefore considered as full spectrum.

The best LED grow lights should also have a uniform spectrum, such that if you have five plants under one light, they all get the same spectrum.

2. Size/Coverage Area

Grow Light Coverage

Image credits: homesteadandchill.com

When considering the size of your grow light, think about the number of plants you plan to grow and if you want something portable. You also want to evaluate the space you have for placing it.

LED lights’ coverage area is the area where the light can illuminate at once. For optimum results, the surface area of the plantation unit must be smaller than or equal to the coverage area of the LED grow light.

If some parts of the plants are outside the illuminated area, it might cause non-uniform growth. You can also install lenses to either decrease or increase the coverage area of your LED grow light.

With all these things in mind, you’ll easily find the size of a grow light that perfectly matches your needs.

3. Power

Grow Light Power

Image Credits: kickstarter.com

Manufacturers have different metrics to measure the power of lights, so it can be a little bit difficult to compare the LED grow lights. Most of the time, the brightness of LED lights is measured in lumens.

However, to measure the light intensity in terms of light that can be absorbed, scientists use photosynthetic photon flux (PPF), measured in μmol/second, or photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD), measured in μmol/m2/s.

PPF indicates the number of photons emitted per second, while the PPFD indicates the density of light distributed per square meter per second. The higher the PPF and PPFD, the more effective the light should be.

It is important to note that bulb wattage is not a good indicator of a powerful LED. To know how powerful light is, look for its actual power draw or actual power consumption, commonly measured in watts.

4. Type of Grow Light

Grow Light Design

Image Credits: thespruce.com

There are different types of grow lights to consider, depending on the plants you have, the amount of natural light, or the location of the plants. These types include;

  • Light Bulbs-It consists of a single light bulb and is excellent for growing small leafy greens with a full spectrum.

  • Light Bars- These are a single row of LED diodes that come in different spectrums and supplement a main light source.

  • Light Panels- These are the most common and suitable for a full state of growth.

5. Heat Output

Grow Light Heat Output

Image Credits: gaardenerspath.com

Using a grow light that emits a lot of heat can damage your plants. Most LED lights give off very little heat relative, but some may produce a lot of heat. Finding a grow light with a built-in cooling system to regulate the temperature is vital. Some have aluminum heat sinks, while others have fans.

6. Reliability

Grow Light Reliability

Image Credits: mountaincrestgardens.com

The price of some of these LED grow lights is a significant investment, so you want to guarantee they last you for a long time. To determine the reliability of a grow light, check the warranty and the reviews from other buyers.

Furthermore, some grow light types may require more effort than others regarding installation. Also, some, especially the ones with fans, make some noise, which should also be considered before purchasing.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs) On LED Grow Lights

I. What is the best LED grow light?

Our best LED grow light is the GE BR30. It is not only a reputable model but also has great features such as a full-spectrum bulb, a high output, and warm light to nourish plants all year.

II. What type of LED is best for growing plants?

The best type of LED for growing plants is a full-spectrum LED. It provides the optimal light wavelengths for all stages of plant growth, including blue light for vegetative growth and red light for flowering and fruiting. You want to choose a grow light with a high Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density (PPFD) and a color temperature between 5000K and 6500K.

III. What lights do professional growers use?

The most widely used lights for growing vegetables and flowers are the Metal Halide HIDs and High-Pressure Sodium (HPS). However, fluorescents and LEDs are now replacing these two lights because they are efficient and economical.

Any full-spectrum light should be a good choice for growing plants. This is because they provide all the rays of light required for plants to thrive fully.

IV. What is the best wattage for your LED grow light?

The wattage required to grow plants differs from one plant to another. For example, plants that require high amounts of light, like tomatoes, need around 40 watts per square foot to flourish.

For plants that require low light and small leafy plants, like lettuce, you only need about 20-30 watts per square foot.

Also, the wattage of different LED grow lights will determine how many plants can be used under them. For example, with a 450-watt LED light, you can only grow a maximum of nine plants.

V. What is the best lighting for indoor growing?

The best lighting for indoor growing depends on your plants’ growth stage. During the vegetative stage, plants require cooler white or blue spectrum lighting, while warmer red or orange spectrum lighting is needed during the flowering stage.

Generally, full-spectrum LED grow lights are ideal for indoor growing since they provide a range of color temperatures that cater to different stages of plant growth. The optimal color temperature for indoor growing is between 4000K to 6500K during the vegetative stage and 2700K to 3000K during the flowering stage.

VI. What is the best color light for plant growth?

A blue and red spectrum lighting is best for plant growth. Blue light is essential during the vegetative stage since it promotes root growth and helps develop healthy leaves and stems. Red light is crucial during the flowering stage since it promotes flowering, fruiting, and overall plant growth. Full-spectrum LED grow lights that provide a range of color temperatures are ideal for indoor plant growth since they provide both blue and red spectrum lighting.

On the other hand, the worst color light for plant growth is green light since it is the color plants reflect the most. All plants absorb light in the blue and red spectrum, but they reflect light in the green spectrum, which means that green light is not as useful for plant growth.

VII. How long should a plant be under a grow light?

The duration that a plant should be under a grow light depends on the stage of growth, the type of plant, and the intensity of the light.

Generally, plants need 12 to 18 hours of light daily in their vegetative stage and 12 hours of light daily during the flowering stage. However, some plants may require longer or shorter periods of light, so it is essential to understand the specific needs of the plants you are growing.

It is also necessary to consider the light’s intensity; some plants may require more or less light than others. Too much light can cause stress or damage the plant, while too little can hinder growth and development. It is most suitable to start with a shorter duration of light and gradually increase the duration as the plants grow and adjust to the light. Keeping a consistent light schedule is also essential for the plant’s health and growth.

VIII. How far should LED grow lights be from plants?

The distance also depends on the plant type, the growth stage, and the light intensity.

Generally, LED grow lights should be placed between 12 to 36 inches away from the plants during the vegetative stage of growth and 6 to 18 inches away during the flowering stage.

If your plant requires more light, you can place the LED grow light closer, while you should place plants requiring less light further away. You should also monitor the temperature around your plants as LED grow lights can generate heat that can stress or damage your plants if they are too close.

If your plants get too much light, they may show signs of heat stress, such as wilting or brown spots on the leaves. On the other hand, if your plants don’t get adequate light, they may have stunted growth or become leggy. Therefore, finding the right balance between the distance and intensity of the light is crucial to ensure your plants’ optimal growth and health.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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