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9 Best LED Grow Lights 2023

9 Best LED Grow Lights 2023

This review will cover 9 lights that have sky-high light outputs, spectacular spectrums, and will give you amazing high-quality yields. If you are a hobbyist or commercial grower, looking to start or switch to LED grow lights from your old system, you are in the right place!

At LED Grow Lights Depot, we often get asked what are the best lights on the market - typically for a 4x4 or 5x5 area. The short answer is: there are many great lights!

This will be the 7th year that we’ve created a Best LED Grow Lights list, reviewing several lights in the process to determine which lights would make the cut in the current years list.

In 2014, I founded LED Grow Lights Depot, so I have been in and around LED grow lights for over 9 years. LED Grow Lights Depot doesn’t represent just one brand, but actually 46 different brands. While this is not every single brand on the market, the companies we do represent are the most popular players, offering quality grow lighting.

Before I get into the list, I would like to mention a few things about how this list was put together. 

  1. The lights on this list include highly efficient and/or high light output lights with a good growing spectrum. Some are less expensive lights and provide an amazing bang for your buck. Don’t let the low prices scare you into thinking they are low quality fixtures.

  2. All lights are from well-known established brands with good 5-year warranties.

  3. The lights will cover a 4x4 to 5x5 area. Lights that cover a smaller area are not featured. However, several of the brands in this video, make lights for smaller grow areas, so I will briefly mention those when applicable.

  4. This list does not contain every good light on the market. There are only 9 included here. Just because I don't mention a particular light, it doesn’t mean it is a bad light.

  5. I have not been paid by any company on this list to promote their lights. I am here to give you my input based on my knowledge and experience of these brands or lights, their specs, performance, and customer feedback.

Let’s dive in to the lights now!

 

Grow Light Science PROGROW 1800

Best light for the price

The ProGrow 1800 is an upgrade to the former ProGrow 640. It is slightly more powerful and less expensive.

Expect a 673W power draw with a PPF of 1,821 PPF and PAR efficacy of 2.7 umol/J.  Top-bin Samsung full-spectrum whites and Ledestar 660nm deep reds are used in the PROGROW 1800.

The light is dimmable via the included manual RJ-12 dimmer (connect up to 3 units on one dimmer) or you can control the lights with Grow Light Science Command controller or most other 0-10V controllers on the market. 

The driver is remote-mountable with the optional DC driver extension cable.

This light is ideal for the hobbyist all the way to the commercial grower. 

And the price is just outstanding, coming in at $420. You might be wondering if there is a catch. Well really, there is not. For a commercial-grade, DLC listed fixture with a 5 year warranty, you can’t go wrong! Grow Light Science is based in the USA.

View the full review here.

 

Horticulture Lighting Group Scorpion Diablo

Best all-around fixture

The Scorpion Diablo was released late-2022 and is an update to the former Scorpion Diablo. The light draws a bit more power and contains reflectors around the Quantum Bards which increases the light hitting the canopy by 10%, according to HLG.

The Diablo still remains HLG's most powerful fixture at 2,121 umol/s and an efficacy of 2.97 umol/J, while drawing 715W. Expect intense 4x4 coverage or up to 5x5 coverage at full intensity.

HLG is a bit secretive about the exact diode composition in their lights, but I do know that they are using the latest LM301H full-spectrum EVO diodes, made by their horticulture partner, Samsung. They also use LM351H V2 660nm deep red diodes. HLG will always use the best diodes to achieve the highest light output and efficacy.

The fixture contains QB648 Quantum boards, with nearly 4000 diodes across the fixture. Quantum Boards provide a good mix of uniformity and vertical canopy penetration.

The Diablos use Inventronics drivers. When purchasing this light, you have the option of a manual dimmer w/ an RJ control box or the GrowFlux wireless controller. It is also compatible with the Telos Growcast controller

This light is designed and manufactured in the USA.

The Scorpion Diablo costs $1299. There is also another version of the Scorpion Diablo called Scorpion Diablo X, which I recommend for flowering only since this light contains a large bump in 660nm red. I also recommend checking out the lower priced Scorpion Rspec FR or HLG Blackbird.

For a full review of the Diablo, view this video.

 

Mammoth Lighting Mint 6-Bar

Best new light

Mammoth Mint 6 bar

The Mammoth Lighting Mint 6 bar hit the market late-2022.

The Mint series is a new line of Mammoth Fold-series lights using the Samsung LM301H EVO Mint diode. This diode peaks peaks at a 437nm, which is a shorter wavelength compared to a conventional diode, and has been shown to stimulate a plant’s secondary metabolites, suppresses microbial growth, and improve nutritional quality in edible plants (HLG also uses this diode in their Diablo boards).

The fixture also contains Samsung LM301B diodes and a nice blend of 660nm deep red and 730nm far red.

The Mint 6 bar draws 680W, emits a PPF of 2006, and has a PAR efficacy of 2.97. At this intensity, you can more than flower a 4x4 space.

Compared to the Scoprion Diablo, the Mint 6 bar puts out a bit less light and draws fewer watts at the same PAR efficacy.

The light is fully dimmable via the manual dimmer connected to the Inventronics driver or you can use the RJ connections for wired control. The driver is removable and can be mounted outside of the grow space.

There is also a more powerful version of the Mint 6 bar light, it is the Mint 8 bar. This fixture puts out 2613 umol/s of light and will cover a 5x5 area at really good intensity. CO2 is recommended when using the 8 bar in a 5x5 tent.

The Mint 6 bar is only $799, which is a steal given the high quality components and awesome specifications.

Check out the full review.

 

ThinkGrow Model-H Plus

Best controllable light

The ThinkGrow Model-H Plus is a more powerful upgrade to the Model-H.

This 720W fixture emits 2016 umol/s of light at 2.8 umol/J. Compare this to the Model-H which puts out 1700 umol/s of light (about a 15% difference).

3,368 SAMSUNG LM301B and SAMSUNG LH351H 660nm V3 diodes are spread across this nearly 5ft wide fixture. 

The light is dimmable via the onboard dimmer. Or you can use the Trolmaster HCS-2 or HCS-3 controller to gain access to the four spectrum channels of UV, White, Deep Red and Far Red. You can connect up to 256 lights on a single controller channel. 

The Trolmaster controllers are the central brain to Trolmaster and ThinkGrow products, so the Model-H Plus is a great lighting option if you are planning to connect other devices to the master controller.

Compare the Model-H Plus to the the Model-H which has an adjustable deep red channel. The other models, the Model-V and Model-W, have adjustable far red channels. 

The Model-H Plus retails at $1,499.

 

Kind LED X750

Best true full-spectrum light

The Kind LED X750 has a light output of 1814 umol/S, efficacy of 2.5 umol/J, and draws 725 watts. Expect excellent 4'x4' coverage with this fixture. 

The strongest feature of this light is the dual dimmable spectrum. One knob controls the main full spectrum spectrum and the other channel controls dhe Deep red, UV, and Far Red. 

There are not too many lights on the market with this feature and you don't need a central controller to gain access to the spectrum control, like you do for the ThinkGrow Model-H Plus. 

However, there are only two dimmable channels, compared to the Model-H Plus’ 4 channels.

Quality Osram and Philips diodes are used in the Kind LED X-series. The driver is removable on this light if you want to move it outside the grow area.

The light costs $995. If you have a smaller area, consider the X420, X330, or X220.

 

PhotonTek XT 1000W CO2 Pro LED

Most powerful fixture

PhotontTek xt1000W

The XT 1000W an absolute beast! It puts out 2,925 umol/S of light which is enough light to cover a 6'x6' area for flower, 5'x5' space if you are using CO2. 

This fixture draws a true 1000W from the wall with a PAR efficacy of 2.9 umol/J.

PhotonTek uses top-bin white Lumileds and 600nm deep red Osram diodes across 10 magnetic bars. That’s right! The bars are magnetic so if you ever need to to swap them out, it is a quick job.

The spectrum is ideal for veg and flower, but really excels in flower due to the high proportion of red. 

The light can be hooked up to the PhotonTek controller to control timing, dimming, and more, for up to 100 fixtures per controller. The driver is removable, but you need to purchase the driver extension cables separately in order to do that.

PhotonTek also makes a rectangular 1000W fixture, and less powerful lights to cover a 4'x4', 3'x3', and 2'x2'. You might consider those if the XT 1000W is too powerful for your home or commercial space.

The XT 1000W retails at $1700. 

 

Grower’s Choice ROI-E720

Longest running on our list

The ROI-E720 has been a marathon runner on our 'Best LED Grow Lights' lists. This is the 4th time is has been featured!

The light draws 780w from the wall at 120V and emits 1,870 umol/S of light at an efficacy of 2.6 umol/J. You can boost the light output up to 2,080 umol/S when using the optional Grower’s Choice controller, which will also allow scheduling, fine-tune dimming, and a sunrise/sunset feature. 

If you don’t need to use a controller, you can use the onboard dimmer to dim the fixture down from 100% to 75%, 50% and 25%. 

If you want to boost flower quality, you have the option to add the Grower’s Choice UV-R bars, that contain UV and far red, and can be attached directly the ROI-E720.

The ROI-E720 is $849. Also, check out the less expensive and slightly less powerful E680S, or the E420, or E200. Greenhouses and indoor rooms may consider the the GHS-730 or the TSL-800.

 

Mars Hydro FC-6500 Smart

Best light made by an overseas company

The Mars FC 8000 Smart draws 730w and puts out out 2,079 umol/S of light at 2.85 umol/J. Ideal for covering a real solid 4'x4' or a less intense 5'x5'.

There are 2,688 Samsung LM301B and and OSRAM 660nm diodes across 8 bars.

The FC-6500 Smart light is a small upgrade to the FC-6500. The only difference is that the light is Bluetooth or WiFi controllable through your smart phone or tablet with the Mars Hydro app.

The app allows you set the light intensity, set dimming programs, and control multiple lights in the same or different groups. You also have the option of manually dimming the light with the onboard dimmer and daisy chaining up to 30 lights with the included RJ cables.

This light retails at $759.99 and is DLC and ETL listed. You might also consider the larger FC-8000, or smaller FC-4800 and FC-3000. There is also the less expensive FC-E series which uses quality Bridgelux diodes.

 

Gavita Pro RS 2400e

Best commercial fixture

Gavita 2400e

The Gavita Pro RS 2400e is a step up from the Gavita Pro 1700e. The fixture emits 2400 umol/s of light with a PAR efficacy of an impressive 3.06 umol/J, while drawing 800W. Expect up to 3.2 umol/J when dimming down to 40 to 50%.

The 8-bar fixture emits a full-spectrum via custom made Gavita diodes and drivers. There is a large peak in blue and red. Studies show that the enhanced blue spectrum may intensify secondary metabolites, such as terpenes and cannabinoids.

The light is designed to cover a 5'x5' area without CO2 or a 4'x4' at quite high intensity. 

The 2400e can integrate with the Gavita EL3 controller for controlling multiple fixtures. The controller allows scheduling, dimming down to 10%, and a sunrise/sunset effect.

This light retails at $1399, which is really expensive, but you can often find it for less.

 

Summary

This list is not exhaustive, but gives you some fail proof options and a good place to start when looking for LED grow lights.

And to reiterate, just because I didn’t mention a brand or light, it doesn’t mean it’s not a great light. There really are a lot to chose from.

For example, ChilLED Tech makes high quality lights right here in the USA. There’s also Iluminar, who make a nice range of commercial grade fixtures, some with UV and IR. And AC Infinity lights are awesome, especially when integrated with their automated ecosystem.

If you are looking for something a little less expensive, check out the popular Chinese brands like Medic Grow or Spider Farmer. I recommend that you stay away from Alibaba, eBay, and often Amazon for cheap LED grow lights. You just cant trust the specs, performance, and warranty for some of these lights and knock-offs.

My philosophy: Rule #1: Buy a good light once, and you don’t have to worry. But, buy a cheap light…and refer to Rule #1!

Thanks for reading! Feel free to contact us with any questions or SHOP LED GROW LIGHTS.

 

-Erik

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