Narrowing Down Your LED Grow Light Options in 9 Minutes

Image: Kind LED K3 Series


If you are new to the wonderful world of LED grow lights, you might be in a haze trying to figure out how to choose the most practical light for your grow. LED grow lighting is very different from a metal halide or a high pressure sodium setup in that LED fixtures vary drastically in shape, spectrum, and power. But fear not, this article will assist your LED grow light search --- saving you time, money, and assuring you the highest quality crop.

This 3 step guide will cover:

1) The nature of your grow

2) The size of your growing space

3) The types of LED grow lights available


Related: See what else you should consider before purchasing an LED grow light


1. What are you growing?

Before you decide on an LED grow light, you must consider your crop. All full-cycle, quality LED lights sold on the market will grow a plant from seedling to flower. But some lights are designed for specific types of grows. Lights branded for and proven to grow marijuana from seed to flower include Apache Tech, California Lightworks, G8LEDIllumitex, Kind LED, Lighthouse Hydro, Lush Lighting, Mars HydroPro MAX Grow, and Truth Lighting.

For crops grown commercially, Apache Tech, Illumitex, Lil’ Tomato Concepts, PARSource, Philips GreenPower, Pro MAX Grow, and TotalGrow manufacture excellent grow lighting for large scale operations, though they can also be used in smaller spaces for personal grows.

For the indoor gardener growing flowers, fruits, or vegetables, we recommend using Apache Tech, Eonstar, EvergrowG8LED, IllumitexKind LED, LED Lighting 4 LessLighthouse Hydro, LTCLush LightingPro MAX Grow, and Truth Lighting. The differences between these brands are found in the price, features, and quality of the lights.

Researchers in need of an LED grow light should consider Apache TechIllumitexPhilips GreenPower, PARSource, and TotalGrow.

2. What is the size of your grow space?

The size of your grow space will dictate the size and number of an LED units you purchase. A good rule-of-thumb for grow lights is 25 watts of actual power per square foot of growing space for high light plants. For example, if you measured your growing space to be 16 square feet, you would want to purchase a 400 watt panel (assuming the plants are congregated in a single area). Low light plants require about 16 watts per square foot of grow space.

If using many LED grow light panels for a larger grow, ensure that there is overlap in the light footprints. Doing so will allow all of your plants to receive the required light needed for superior growth. Therefore, more panels or larger panels are always a safe investment.

Below is a quick reference chart designed to help you determine the desired wattage based on your grow space. If you have a larger grow space, you can scale up from these numbers. Remember: 1 sq ft of grow space requires 25 watts of actual LED power.


Grow Space Wattage

2 sq ft (2x1)


4 sq ft (2x2)


6 sq ft (2x3)


9 sq ft (3x3)


12 sq ft (3x4)


16 sq ft (4x4)


20 sq ft (4x5)


25 sq ft (5x5)


30 sq ft (5x6)


36 sq ft (6x6)


40 sq ft (6x7)



Related: The best LED grow lights for 2015


3. Types of LED grow lights

By now, you should have an idea of what brand of LED grow lights would be best for your crop and how many watts are required for your grow space. Now, you will discover the different LED unit options available to you.

If you are growing marijuana from seedling to flower you will want to purchase a full cycle LED light. However, you may only need lights for vegging or blooming.

Lights designed for cannabis and vegetable growth/flowering have many different options including single channel lights (on or off); 2 channel lights that have a veg and bloom mode; and programmable lights, such as Kind LED and Mars Hydro that allow you to set light schedules, customize spectrums, and alter intensities. The programmable lights are by far the most advanced LED grow lights that will make for an almost effortless grow. It is safe to say that the LED grow light industry is moving in the direction of fully automated and wireless panels.

In addition, there are different shaped LED grow lights available, including panels, bars, UFOs, and bulbs. There are even LED tubes that will replace T8 fluorescent lights.


Image: Mars Pro Cree™ 256 by Mars Hydro - Customizable spectrum via remote control

Putting it all together

Now that you have a brand, wattage requirements, and type of LED grow light in mind, you can start your LED grow light search. For questions about choosing your light, feel free to contact LED Grow Lights Depot.

Shop All LED Grow Lights