Best LED Grow Lights Of 2021
When you make the decision to invest in your indoor grow, you'll definitely want to learn about the best LED grow lights.
LEDs are regarded as some of the best indoor grow lights on the market, but there are so many out there that it can be tough to weed out the cheap, unreliable brands and models from the legitimate ones.
And with the price of some of these grow lights, it's crucial that you do your research before purchasing.
Before you buy an LED, you should make sure its the right light for your grow.
Before we get started with our list of the best LED grow lights, we need to cover some basic information on this technology.
What are LED Grow Lights?
LED stands for light-emitting diodes. LED grow lights have rapidly come down in price and home growers everywhere are starting to make the switch to solely using them as their lighting option.
These lighting systems produce extremely low heat, come ready to plug-and-play, and can produce high yields with incredible energy efficiency.
Whereas HIDs require a reflector and ballast for operation, LED lights do not. They can last for decades, whereas HID bulbs will often need to be replaced every couple of years. But, one of the main reasons LED grow lights are regarded as the best is due to the spectrum they produce.
Different types of LED grow lights
LED grow lights are available in different forms, so let’s look at the pros and cons of each so you can find the right LED light for you:
LED Grow Light Panels
Panels are the most common type of LED grow light and most of our list will consist of LED panels.
They include heatsinks for removing heat, a driver (think of it as a ballast), and often come with a warranty.
When you think of LED grow lights, you are more than likely thinking of an LED panel, as these are the only type of LED really suitable for full state growth.
- Full spectrum with switches for both the vegetative and flowering stage - can be combined
- Comes ready to plug right into a standard house outlet
- Incredibly long lifespan - the bulbs typically last for decades.
- Most expensive type of LED grow light
LED Grow Light Bars
Many growers add LED bars as an easy way to expand their lighting footprint or change up their light spectrum. LED Bars are a single row of diodes that come in different spectrums.
You typically wouldn't use an LED bar to grow a plant from seed to harvest. Instead, think of these as supplemental lighting to a main light source (maybe HID).
- Can replace T5 fixtures for increase PAR and less energy consumption
- Some units come plug-and-play and can work with a standard 120V house outlet
- Usually only one spectrum with no switching options
- Can usually only be used for supplementing, and multiple bars will need to be purchased if using as sole light type
LED Grow Light Bulbs
An LED grow light bulb is exactly what it sounds like - a single LED bulb. Similar to LED bars, you wouldn't want to use one of these to grow plants through flower (usually).
But, they can be a great way to grow small leafy greens or start plants with a full spectrum. You can quickly replace all your old CFL bulbs with LED bulb, which will give you all the added benefits of LED grow lights.
- They will fit into a standard light socket
- Great for mixing and matching for creating your preferred spectrum
- Multiple bulbs required
- A reflective hood may be require
What makes the best LED grow light?
The best LED grow lights have a few things in common - a uniform spectrum, efficiency, high-power, and reliability/durability.
The best LED grow lights have a uniform spectrum, so if you have 4 plants under your light, they all get the same spectrum.
We already touched on spectrum a bit, but its important to reiterate that the best spectrum consists of not just red and blue light, but also infrared (IR) and Ultraviolet (UV).
Full spectrum LEDs allow you to grow from seed to harvest with the same light, as opposed to having to replace bulbs or use different grow lights for veg/flower.
The more light your LED actually gives off, the bigger yields you’ll get (for the most part). So, the best LED grow lights need to be incredibly powerful.
In general, LED grow lights are very efficient. But, the best LED grow lights tend to also be the most efficient. Operating at a high level, producing high power, and maintaining a low cost to run is very important.
Given the cost of LED grow lights, they need to be seen as an investment. Obviously, your investment needs to last you a long time for it to show a return.
Therefore, the best LED grow lights are reliable and durable, standing the test of time.
All of the lights we will be listing are from the most reputable brands and include some sort of warranty. This will give you peace of mind when you purchase, knowing you are protected.
Most Efficient LED Grow Lights
LED grow lights are incredibly efficient in general, but what is the most efficient LED grow light?
This was a tough choice as well, because smaller LED grow lights tend to run more efficiently than larger ones, so the playing field is not entirely level.
Even still, there is a newer LED light that operates at an INSANE efficiency, and once we thought it through was the obvious choice.
Gavita Pro 1700e Gen 2 LED Grow Light
Gavita took the industry by storm with their 1650e LED, and quickly made improvements upon it to come out with the Gavita Pro 1700e Gen 2 LED.
We have an entire review of the Gavita Pro 1700e Gen 2 LED if you want a deep dive on why this is truly the best LED available. But, we'll cover some of the main points below.
We're calling it the most efficient LED, so let's talk about the specifics. Gavita set out to solve a huge problem in the commercial growing industry with this light - efficiency at scale.
Because commercial facilities employ large numbers of grow lights, energy costs stack up fast. That's why its important the LEDs used in these facilities are as efficient as possible.
The Gen 2 Gavita Pro operates at an insane efficiency of 2.6 µmol s-1 per watt. It is dimmable up to 50% when paired with the Gavita Master Controller, further increasing this efficiency. Despite also being incredibly powerful, it still costs just $27.91 per month in electricity.
This is an amazing LED grow light, and as you'll see towards the end of this article, efficiency isn't the only thing it wins in.
Best Cheap Commercial LED Grow Lights
At just under $1,300, the Gavita Pro LED isn't a feasible option for all commercial growers.
If you are a small commercial grow on a budget, we don't want you to feel like you need to shell out that much for a quality, commercial light.
We have a ton of awesome cheaper commercial grow lights that we wholeheartedly endorse, but one in particular comes to mind.
Growers Choice ROI-E680 LED Grow Light
One of the most popular LED grow lights on our website right now is the Growers Choice ROI-E680 LED Grow Light.
If you are looking to save a little bit of money and the price tag of the Gavita scares you away, but you still understand that your grow room is an investment - this is the LED for you.
This light covers a veg space of 6' x 6', and a flower footprint of 5' x 5'. It pulls 680w from the wall, and will cost no more than $30 a month. It comes with a 3-year warranty.
From a power standpoint, this light does not fail to impress. It puts out a whopping 1700 umol/s, and is capable of doing this at a total system efficacy of 2.5 umol/J.
It comes with many of the certifications the Gavita does, including IP65 water resistance and ETL certification.
You can pair this fixture with the Grower's Choice Master Controller to achieve all kinds of control. You get access to different settings for different phases of plant growth, dimming options, sunrise/sunset, etc. You can control up to 100 fixtures per zone when daisy-chained!