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What are the best LED grow lights on the market in 2018? The top LEDs for indoor plants depend on how much you are willing to spend on an LED grow light and the features you want, among other several other important factors. The best least expensive LED grow light will not be the same as the best top-of-the-line LED grow light. Therefore, we've compiled a list of the best full-cycle LED grow lights under $250, $500, $1000, $1500, and $2000.
LED technology and the market demand for certain LED grow lights can evolve at a rapid pace. So, doing your research for the best LED grow lights will ensure the light you buy this year—in 2018—will still be a top fixture next year—in 2018.
You might be wondering: why spend a lot more on an LED grow light when you can get one for a lot less? The less expensive fixtures generally cover a small footprint and/or are of lesser quality. In addition, the difference between a $250 grow light and a $2000 LED grow light comes down to several other factors that need to be considered before making a purchase:
Using the factors above and 5 different price ranges, we've compiled the ultimate guide of the top 25 LED grow lights in 2018.
All prices are listed in USD.
The Johnson Grow Lights CX-1L is perfect for vegging in a 2x2 area or flowering in a 1.25x1.25 area. The small fixture measures 7" x 7" and uses a single Top-Bin Citizen CLU048 3000K COB LED. The full spectrum is heavy in red while providing enough blue light for tight internodal spacing and a lot of green light to increase photosynthesis rates in leaves and below the top of the canopy. The unit only draws 60W but will replace a 100W HPS.
The CX-1L is fitted with a large secondary lens which helps to increase intensity and penetration. A single cooling fan helps draw cool air over the heatsink to assist in preserving the longevity and efficiency of the LED.
Growers wanting to install several of these units can daisy chain up to 10 CX-1L's together.
This fixture is perfect for growing up many seedlings, several clones, vegging a couple plants, or flowering a single plant. At $149.00 and a 3-year warranty, you can't go wrong.
The Mars Hydro Reflector series has been a top-seller in the LED grow light market for many years. The fixture provides a great balance between price and intensity. There are 96 5-watt Epistar diodes on the Reflector 96 grow light. The diodes are surrounded by small reflectors to direct the light to your plants. The diodes, with the driver and fans, only draw 205W at the wall while covering about a 2x3 area for veg and a slightly smaller area for flower. The unit is designed to replace a 250W HID grow light.
Growers can switch between grow and bloom mode with a flip of two switches. Veg mode is heavy in the blues, while the flower mode activates the reds, needed for optimal flowering. The Reflector 96 measures 23" x 10".
Like most LED grow lights on the market, this light has a flexible driver and is rated at 85-265V. Furthermore, depending on your country, a North American, European, or Australian power cord/plug is included with the fixture. 2 year warranty.
The Mars Pro II series is Mars Hydros newest series and features the highest quality build and best reflector design.
The Mars Pro II Epistar 80 is ideal for vegging a 30" x 30" area (6.25 sq ft) or flowering an 18" x 18" area (2.25 sq ft). There are 16 modules on the front of the unit. Each module contains 5 different LEDs - typically 3 reds, a blue, and a white (to round out the spectrum and increase intensity and penetration). The reflector cup surrounding the diodes assists in directing the light downward instead of scattering the light to the sides.
As with the Mars Reflector Series, this unit (and series) features grow and bloom switches to help you save energy during veg. The unit only draws 81W with the grow switch on and 170W with both switches activated. The Epistar 80 only measures 11.4" x 11.4" and is ideal for smaller grows and tight spaces. Multiple cord options are available for select countries. 2-year warranty.
Viparspectra has been making quite the splash in the LED grow light market. The lights are very inexpensive and are good quality. For less than $200, this light allows you to veg a 4x4 or flower a 3x3 area.
The Viparspectra 600W draws around 276W at the wall and is designed to replace about a 600W HID grow light, although we would say the coverage area and HID replacement is a little bit of a stretch. A 400W HID replacement might be a little bit more accurate. Either way, it is a great deal!
This fixture contains separate grow and bloom switches which control the High-Intensity 5W Bridgelux/Epistar LED chips. The Viparspectra 600W is heavy in the blues, which is different than most other LED grow lights on the market. However, grower's reviews on have stated the excess blue has not been a hindrance in their experience and they have gotten great results.
The unit contains a flexible driver for 85-264V applications and comes with a 110V 3-prong power cord. 3-year warranty.
Not many grow lights on the market are passively-cooled/fanless COBs. The COB LEDs and cold-forged finned heatsinks are custom designed by Ursa. The in-house Flip Chip Opto COB chips are extremely efficient and allow a longer LED lifetime than standard COBs.
The Ursa Helios GT 100W fixture is available in 3000K, 4000K, or 5000K color temperatures. 3000K is best for a full-cycle grow while 4000K and 5000K would be best for vegging plants. 4000K and 5000K would also be ideal for leafy greens such as basil and lettuce.
The spectrum really is full-spectrum and includes UVA and NIR at the ends of the 400-700nm range.
A 60° tempered glass lens sits over the COB and assists in directing the light down toward your plants.
The Helios GT 100W draws around 100W at the wall and will replace a 200W HID. The unit weighs 5 lbs, measures 5.9" x 5.9", and will cover a 1.5x1.5 area for flower.
This fixture is ideal for small grow tents, closet grows, or using several of these to cover a larger area with an even footprint.
Ursa really designed something special here and for less than $250, you can't beat the intensity and fixture quality. 5-year warranty.
Lush Lighting has been around since nearly the beginning of the LED grow light boom. Many growers have used their grow lights and have built up trust in their fixtures.
The Lumenator 2X only draws 180W at the wall and covers a 2x2 area for flower or 3x3 area for veg. 90 High-Intensity 3W LED chips are surrounded by secondary lenses designed to increase the PPFD of the fixture. This translates to more intense light for your plants.
In addition, the Lush spectrum includes UV and NIR diodes to assist in photosynthesis.
The Lumenator 2X can be used in closets, discrete locations, or grows that are limited by ceiling height. A flexible 120-240V driver and 3 cooling fans can be found inside the unit.
The fixture weighs slightly over 7 lbs and measures 15.75"x 8.5". 3-year warranty. Free shipping to Canada.
The Unit Farm UFO-80 was released in Spring 2017 by a parent company with many years of LED grow light design, manufacturing, and sales experience. With only a 175W power draw at the wall, the fixture will veg a 4.6' x 5.2' area and flower a 2.4' x 2.9' area.
The fixture contains Cree and Osram high-output LED chips for ultimate reliability, intensity and increased efficiency. The diodes are surrounded by a unique reflector design.
Grow and flower switches can be found on the side of the unit. The Veg switch turns on the blues and whites, while the flower switch activates the reds, and together the switches provide the ideal spectrum and the intensity needed for flowering.
The Unit Farm UFO-80 is available in the USA, Canada, Europe, UK, and Australia—each light coming with its own country-appropriate plug. At under $400, the fixture is a great balance of quality (Cree and Osram LEDs,) coverage area and affordability. 3-year warranty.
The Black Diamond Perfect Sun Dwarf Star draws 230W and replaces a 400W HPS in a 3x3.5 area (10.5 sq ft).
Featuring High-Powered 3W (mostly) Bridgelux diodes covered by secondary lenses, this light penetrates up to 5' into the canopy!
The highly-efficient Perfect Sun Spectrum contains UV, IR, and green light to assist in photosynthesis and penetration. The green also helps naturalize the red and blue light and allows you to view your plant's true color.
The fixture contains a single spectrum which can be used for the vegetative and flowering stage of growth.
The Dwarf Star is only 19" x 11" and weighs 13 lbs.
Black Diamond grow lights are shipped 100% discretely from Oregon, USA. 3-year warranty.
The Pro II Cree series is Mars Hydro's flagship light. The Mars Hydro Pro II Cree 128 is an upgrade from the Epistar version of this light. The Cree diodes are more efficient and exude higher quality light and more PAR.
128 High-Intensity LEDs, rated at 100,000 hours allow vegging in a 2x4 area and flowering in a 2x3 area. The diodes are housed in a state-of-the-art reflector cup. The Cree 128 will replace a 600W MH for veg and a 400W HPS for flower. The sides of the unit are angled in to help increase PAR in the middle of the footprint and boost PAR on the edges of the footprint.
The unit is not daisy-chainable but contains grow and bloom switches to deliver the perfect spectrum during veg while saving energy, and high-intensity light during flower.
Two large cooling fans draw air into the unit, over the heatsinks, and out the sides, helping this fixture stay very cool which increases LED efficiency and lifetime.
The grow light is 23" x 13" and includes different plug types depending on if the unit is ordered in the USA or Canada, Europe, UK, or Australia. 2-year warranty.
The Viparspectra PAR1200 features onboard dimming of the Veg and Bloom channels. Dimming assists in energy savings and allows you to control the amount and quality of light that your plants are receiving during any and all stages of growth.
This fixture draws 549W at the wall and repalces a 1000W HPS. The veg footprint is 5x5 and the flower footprint is 4x4.
The Viparspectra PAR1200 features High-Intensity 5W Bridgelux chips and a full 12-band spectrum, including 12 IR diodes. Secondary optics surround the diodes to focus the light and increase the PAR.
The four cooling fans are housed on the bottom of the fixture making this unique compared to other fixtures, which contain the fans on the top of the unit. The exact reason for this design is not known, although it could be to draw the excess heat from the LEDs and move it out the upper sides and away from the plants.
The unit comes with two adjustable YoYo hangers and a 110V 3-prong power cord. 3-year warranty.
Black Dog LED released the PhytoMAX-2 series in early 2017. The PhytoMAX-2 series includes the following upgrades from the original PhytoMAX series:
The PhytoMAX-2 200 will replace a 400W with higher yeilds and better quality results while using half the electricity (210W draw at the wall).
The PhytoMAX-2 200 utilizes 84 Top-Bin 5W LEDs from industry leaders such as Cree and Osram, rated at 50,000 hours. The unit will cover up to a 3x3 for flower and veg a 3.75 x 3.75 area.
Black Dog's PhytoGenesis Spectrum can be used for both veg and flower, which helps reduce stalling associated with spectrum changes. The spectrum ranges from UVA to NIR and includes a decent amount of green to naturalize the light for easy viewing and to help incease photosynthesis under the canopy.
The unit weighs 14 lbs and measures 12" x 12".
This is by far the highest-quality fixture to veg and flower a small area from one of the top LED grow light companies in the world. PhytoMAX-2 grow lights come with ratchet hangers and an industry-leading 5-year warranty.
California Lightworks flagship grow light, the SolarSystem 550, is dominating grow rooms with its fully customizable spectrum, timing, dimming, and scheduling control.
The SS550 will replace a 600W HPS while only drawing 400W at the wall. Top-Bin High-Output Osram LEDs are enclosed behind plexiglass and emits a PPF of 620 umol/s. The SS550 will veg a 6x8 area or flower a 2x4 area.
The efficiency of the unit is 1.55 umol/j. Though this is not the most efficient grow light on the market, anything above 1.5 umol/j is considered very efficient.
The SS550 is 18.5" x 8" and weighs 13 lbs. The heatsink makes up most of the fixture's weight. Accessible cooling fans top off the fixture and draw air over the large aluminum heatsink block, creating an excellent heat dissipation system.
A separate controller is needed to dim the unit, customize the spectrum, and program your grow schedules. One controller can be used to control up to 1000 units in series. 5-year warranty.
The Mars Hydro Pro II Cree 256 is the big brother of the Cree 128. It is twice the size of the Cree 128 and sufficiently will cover a 4x4 area during veg and flower. The separate Veg and Bloom switches allow a power draw of only 490W (for veg) or 670W (both switches on).
The Cree 256 will replace an 800W HID grow light. The 256 High-Output Cree LEDs are rated at 100,000 hours, which is about 20 years on a 12/12 cycle.
The Pro II Cree series contains blue, some green, deep reds, and IR light. The spectrum is designed to target the plant's photosynthetic peaks without any wasted energy.
The aircraft-grade aluminum heatsinks and dual ball-bearing cooling fans keep the unit cool and LEDs running at high-efficiency.
The entire unit weighs 28 lbs and is 23" x 21". USA or Canada, European, UK, and Australian plug types are available. For less than $900, you can't beat this price for quality diodes. 2-year warranty.
The Lifted LED Town LED grow light will cover a 3x3 for flower while only consuming 381W at the wall. This light fixture is designed to replace a 600W HPS grow light.
The best feature of this light is the programming control (via WiFi through a smart phone app) which allows the grower to manipulate the light recipes depending on the strain or phase of growth.
The Town contains 9 Lumileds full-spectrum COBs (40W each) which are surrounded by smaller didoes to round out the spectrum. The spectrum also contains UV and IR light. The diodes are covered with secondary optics, designed to increase PAR. Large finned-heatsinks draw heat off of the diodes and into the surrounding air with the help of cooling fans.
The fixture is only 14" x 14" and weighs 24 lbs.
This is an underrated grow light considering its functionality, spectrum, and intensity. 3-year warranty.
Advanced LED Lights have been making LED grow lights since the end of the last decade. They have earned a great reputation, being able to back up their claims with their customer's success stories.
The XML 350 is the perfect grow light for covering a 4x4 area for flower and 4.5x4.5 area for veg, while only drawing 330W at the wall. The light is designed to replace a 600W HID.
High PAR is emitted from the 10 x 10W Cree XML chips and the 144 x 3W blue and white Bridgelux LEDs. The unit contains dimmable switches which control the 11 different wavelengths of LEDs, including UV and IR.
The XML 350 features large dual-heatsinks and four cooling fans. The daisy-chain feature allows the grower to connect up to 4 units in series.
This grow light measures 19.5" x 19.5" and weighs 18 lbs. 3-year warranty.
A breakthrough in LED grow light intensity, efficiency, and affordability! The HLG 550 replaces a 1000W HPS and only draws 510W at the wall. The fixture utilizes 1152 Top-Bin Samsung LM561C S6 LED's and emits a PPF of 1265 umol/s across four custom quantum boards (161 Lm/W). The PAR efficiency of the entire unit is a whopping 2.4 umol/j, making this one of the most efficient LED grow lights on the market as of June 2017!
The HLG 550 is designed to flower about a 4x5 area or veg a 6x6 area. The 3000K spectrum is ideal for full-cycle growth from veg to harvest.
The unit is passively-cooled and does not contain any cooling fans. The quantum boards sit on a thin anodized aluminum panel. The back of the panel contains a driver, dimmable down to 250W.
This fixture is available in two different version: no lenses or lenses installed. The no lens version is best for grow tents, contained areas with reflective surfaces, or large grows with no aisles. The version with the lenses is best for growing in elongated patterns with aisles in between the plants.
This is by far one of the best LED grow lights that will replace a 1000W HPS, considering the fixture's efficiency and price.
The unit measures 26" x 20" and has a 3-year warranty.
The G8-900 is the largest fixture G8LED makes and will cover a 6x4 area (24 sq ft) while only consuming 540W. The light is designed to replace more than a 1000W HPS and to penetrate up to 5 ft past the canopy.
The G8LED Veg/Flower spectrum ranges from 380nm to 780nm and includes UV, IR, and 6000K white chips for an added boost. The spectrum is ideal for clones all the way to harvest.
The 300 3-watt Bridgelux, Epistar, and/or Optotech chips are the perfect balance of penetrating power and low heat signature.
8 internal cooling fans draw the heat off of the heatsinks increase LED efficiency and lifetime.
Growers can use the G8LED 90W LED Red Flower Booster in line with the G8-900 to increase their flower size and density during the flowering cycle.
The unit weighs 24.8 lbs and measures 20.5" x 14.0".
G8LED is a 2016 High Times Best LED Grow Light Award Winner. They have been around since the start of the LED grow light boom and has been offering quality fixtures for home and commercial growers at a fair price point. 2-year warranty.
The Amare SolarEclpse SE450 features white-light technology via six powerful High-Intensity COB light-emitters. The CREE CXB3070 COB LEDs are housed in a patented reflector array and come with removable secondary optics. 60 supplemental 5W Cree diodes surround each COB. In the middle of the panel sits a fluorescent UVB bulb for the added boost to increase resin production.
Altogether, the unit only draws 450W and covers up to a 4x4 area for flower of 4.5x4.5 for veg. Amare states that this light is about equivalent to an 800W HID.
The COBs and supplemental diodes create the perfect spectrum with a CRI of 93. The large amount of green light in the spectrum helps to drive photosynthesis more efficiently than red and blue light and to penetrate the canopy. It also allows you to view your plants in a natural white light.
The quality of this LED grow light does not stop at the surface. The heat management system contains 4 premium high-CFM ball-bearing fans and proprietary copper-core heat-sinks.
The unit measures 21.6" x 21.6" and weighs 33 lbs. 5-year warranty.
Amare is doing everything right when it comes to LED grow light technology. We highly recommend this fixture for the beginner or advanced grower.
The T250 by Cirrus LED (formally Titan 3) is the Cadillac of LED grow lights. This fixture offers a fully-adjustable spectrum, dimming, and programming control via an app-based WiFi-enabled system. With a touch and slide of a few buttons you can adjust your light to meet your plant's or strains requirements.
The T250 boasts 18 proprietary MCOB with each module containing the wavelengths from UV to IR. The MCOB is housed inside a 120° reflector. The large amount of red light in the fixture helps drive photosynthesis most efficiently without any wasted energy. The spectrum can be customized and dimmed for seedling to harvest growth.
This light fixture will cover a 3x3 area for flower while only drawing 250W and will replace a 500-600W HID grow light.
The T250 is 19.6" x 15.1" and weighs 26 lbs.
Highly recommended for home or commercial growers. 5-year warranty.
The Kind LED K5 series has been one of the top LED grow lights on the market since 2014. Every year since then, these lights have won the High Times Stash Gear of the Year Award!
Why is the Kind LED K5 XL750 one of the best LED grow lights on the market? The fixture offers a customizable spectrum, dimming, and timing functions. The 8 programmable stages allow the grower to slowly wake up the plants and put them to sleep with varying spectrums and wavelengths throughout the day. All of this can be controlled via an external remote (free with purchase).
The 12-band spectrum includes UV, blues, greens, reds, and IR, making this light perfect for seedling to harvest growth.
The XL750 covers a 4x4 area for veg and a 3x3 to 4x4 for flower. By only drawing a maximum of 430W, the unit will replace a 750W HID grow light. This equates to a 40% energy savings. Even more power can be saved when the light is dimmed for seedlings and clones.
4 internal cooling fans and thick, heavy-duty, 2cm aluminum heatsinks keep the unit cool.
The fixture measures 23" x 17" and weighs 20 lbs. 3-year warranty.
The NextLight Mega LED grow light replaces a 1000W DE HPS while only drawing 650W. It boasts a 5x5 flower footprint and 7x7 veg footprint.
LED lifetime is rated at 100,000 hours, which is 20 years on a 12/12 cycle. The full-spectrum white Samsung diodes are heavy in blue and green. The fixture emits an amazing PPF of 1400 umol/s at an efficiency of 2.15 umol/j.
The entire grow light measures 37" x 37" and is passively-cooled. The wide form factor and thin profile allow the heat to dissipate without additional heatsinks or fans. It also helps create a more even footprint without any hotspots or low PAR readings.
The NextLight mega is daisy-chainable which allows you to cut down the number of cords you need to run to the power supply. The Mega is designed and manufactured in the USA.
The perfect fixture for or tents, grow rooms, or commercial grows. 5-year full warranty.
The SolarSystem 1100 is the larger sibling of California Lightworks flagship grow light, the SolarSystem 550. The SolarSystem 1100 features a fully customizable spectrum, timing, dimming, and scheduling control via a controller.
The SS1100 will replace a 1000W HPS while only drawing 800W at the wall. Top-Bin High-Output Osram LEDs are enclosed behind plexiglass and emits a PPF of 1284 umol/s. The SolarSystem 1100 will veg an 8x8 area or flower a 4x4 area with high intensity.
The SS1100 grow light measures 18" x 18" and weighs 26 lbs. The heatsink makes up most of the fixture's weight. Accessible cooling fans top off the fixture and draw air over the large aluminum heatsink block, creating an excellent heat dissipation system.
A separate controller is needed to dim the unit, customize the spectrum, and program your grow schedules. The red and deep red, white, and blue and deep blue channels can be controlled separately. One controller can be used to control up to 1000 units in series. 5-year warranty.
The Ursa Optilux 16 will replace a 1200W DE HID while only drawing 640W. The fixture produces an astounding PPFD of 1600 umol/m2/s at the center and 470 umol/m2/s at the ends of its 4x4 flower footprint.
The unit contains 16 x 200W proprietary COB arrays rated at 50,000 hours.
The Optilux 16 is available in full spectrum white and contains some UVA and IR, while being heavy in blue, green and red. Ursa LED designs and manufactures their own LED chips, so you can expect a high-quality product.
The unit is passively cooled via patented heatsinks. The Optilux 16 measures 23.6" x 23.6" and has a 5-year warranty.
The PhytoMAX-2 600 is the larger version of the PhytoMAX-2 200.
The PhytoMAX-2 600 will replace a SE 1000W with higher yields and better quality results while using half the electricity (630W draw at the wall).
The PhytoMAX-2 600 utilizes 252 Top-Bin High-Output 5W LEDs from industry leaders such as Cree and Osram, rated at 50,000 hours. The unit will cover up to a 5x5 for flower and veg a 6.5 x 6.5 area.
Black Dog's PhytoGenesis Spectrum can be used for both veg and flower, which helps reduce stalling associated with spectrum changes. The spectrum ranges from UVA to NIR and includes a fair amount of green to naturalize the light for easy viewing and to help increase photosynthesis under the canopy.
The unit weighs 32 lbs and is 18.75" x 18.75" in length and width.
Black Dog LED is one of the top LED grow light companies in the world and they are doing LED grow lights right. PhytoMAX-2 grow lights come with ratchet hangers and an industry-leading 5-year warranty.
The Amare SolarPro SP900 features white-light technology via four powerful High-Intensity CREE CXB3590 COB emitters. The COBs are housed in a patented reflector array and come with removable secondary optics. 5 supplemental 5W Cree diodes surround each COB. 150 additional 5W diodes sit in five clusters across the module for additional intensity.
Altogether, the unit will replace a 1000W DE Gavita while drawing 900W. The SP900 covers a 5x5 area for flower.
The COBs and supplemental diodes create the perfect spectrum with a CRI of 90. The large amount of green light in the spectrum helps to drive photosynthesis more efficiently than red and blue light and to penetrate the canopy. It also allows you to view your plants in a natural white light.
The quality of this LED grow light does not stop at the surface. The heat management system contains premium high-CFM ball-bearing fans and proprietary copper-core heat-sinks.
The COBs and supplemental diodes can be switched on and off independently to save energy and vary the spectrum for different growth phases.
The unit measures 24" x 24" and weighs 42 lbs. Also available in an air-cooled version. 5-year warranty.
Do you agree or disagree with these rating? What would you add to these lists? Link to your products below in the comments section (use links from LED Grow Lights Depot). Are you currently using one of these lights? Share your success with others.