LED grow lights are still relatively new in cannabis growing, but they have been steadily gaining in popularity among weed growers. Their emerging success shouldn’t raise any eyebrows: LED grow lights are great for indoor hydroponic grows. They produce less heat, use less energy and offer better light quality.
An average quality LED grow light and some proper plant care from your side, can significantly increase your yields to about 1g per 2 Watts of power. Of course, this is largely dependent on the strain you will use for your crop, but it is a reliable average.
So, at 400W actual power draw (often companies do not list the actual power draw of their LED grow lights), would yield you about 200g or 7lbs on average.
As with every plant species on earth, marijuana plants photosynthesize their food. Depending on their development stage, different light spectrums trigger their growth. This is scientifically called photomorphogenesis and is the reason you need full-spectrum grow lights if you decide to use LED in your grow room.
In this article, we are going to look at some of the best and most affordable full spectrum LED grow lights you can find on the market right now.
Top 5 Full Spectrum LED Grow Lights
MarsHydro Reflector 480W
Apollo Horticulture 300W
California Lightworks SolarStorm 440W
Advanced Platinum Series P900
5 Best Full Spectrum LED Grow Lights for Hydroponic Cannabis
Full spectrum LEDs are a more sensible investment for your indoor weed grow because you don’t need to switch between light fixtures during plant vegetation and flowering. Also, if you are not growing big, you are better off getting average-power LEDs and spreading the light more evenly across your plants.
Like all plants, marijuana develops according to its environment rather than genetics alone. The plants react to different light spectrums/bands (measured in nanometers) and grow accordingly. For example, blue spectrum (420nm) triggers vegetative growth and the yellows, ambers, reds and far-red spectrum (730nm) stimulate pre-flowering and flowering development.
A full-spectrum grow light will use light wavelengths from 420 to 730nm, covering all the needs of your plant from start to finish. Essentially, these wavelengths mimic actual sunlight and in a way makes the marijuana plant sense a change of seasons. This happens because, in nature, a cannabis plant will start sprouting in the summer and flower in autumn.
However, indoor weed growing is different and allows for more experimentation. Before we go on with the reviews, let’s clarify that the power draw stated by the manufacturer is the amount of electricity that the unit pulls when working at full capacity. In real life, this will rarely happen, as most units will run at approximately 45-60% at any given time.
MarsHydro Reflector 480W
In the hydroponic growing world, Mars Hydro is a name associated with budget-friendly LED lights. On average, their products offer much more than their price would suggest, without sacrificing much in terms of quality.
The Reflector Series is among the best known LED grow light products that the company has ever produced for a good reason.
This model is comprised of 96x5W diodes, that in theory gives a 480W power draw, but in reality, the unit pulls about 200W.
Mars Hydro is sincere when it comes to the power intake of its fixture. Each chip has a unique reflector that mixes the emitting light and distributes it equally all over the canopy.
The spectrum of the Mars Hydro Reflector uses 10 bands of light (430-440nm, 450-475nm 620-630nm, 650-660nm) including white and infrared (730nm) range, which is invisible to the naked human eye.
The full spectrum of light will allow you to grow your plant from seedling, to the vegetative stage, to flowering, without breaking a sweat. From blue to red spectrum, this unit will provide all the necessary wavelengths for your indoor crop’s development and flowering. You can easily change the settings via a switch on the panel.
The package contains everything you might expect from a LED grow lights, like hangers, power cords but surprisingly, no manual. Normally, the absence of a manual wouldn’t be a big deal, but this is supposed to be a beginner-friendly fixture! Setup is a breeze and you won’t have any problems installing the lights, except from a slightly odd-placed power cord.
Heat management is adequate in this model. Even though LEDs run way cooler than traditional HPS/MH light systems, they still emit some heat, that is dissipated through a quiet fan. All in all, you will notice no considerable spikes in your power consumption when using this light.
Finally, we should point out that this fixture comes with a 2-year warranty and dedicated repair centers in the United Kingdom and Germany.
- 10 Bands for Indoor Plants Growth&Flower
- Spectrum of Light: 430-440nm, 450-475nm 620-630nm, 650-660nm, and white
- Real IR spectrum: 730nm (invisible to humans)
- LED Output Power: 96x5W
- Actual Power: Approximately 200W/110v;190W/220v
- Noise Level:59DB
- Coverage Area: 3.5’×2′(106cm×106cm)
- Flowering Coverage Area: 3’×1.5′(106cm×106cm)
- Product Size(L/W/H): 22.0”×10.4”×2.5”(56×47×6cm)
- W./G.W.: 10lbs(4.5kg) /12lbs (5.6kg)
- Amps: 110V/1.52A, 220V/0.772A
- Voltage(AC): 85-265V
- 2-year warranty
- Green painted casing.
- View Angle of leds: 90/120°Mixed
- Package Include: 1 piece Reflector 96×5 LED grow light/Power cord/Steel hanging kit
Dorm Grow is a well-known LED grow light manufacturer, based in the US. Their flagship model, GR8LED 600W MEGA LED, was awarded as Best LED Grow Light by the “High Times” magazine in 2016. Along with their trademark G8-9RR Flower Booster, a special supplemental light for flowering only, this model is a perfect all-rounder for a healthy grow.
Although the G8-600 is listed as a 600W unit, in reality, you are looking at about 400W of actual power. 200x3W LED chips made by BridgeLux, Epistar, and Optotech. These companies are reliable and well known in the US, and their products feature in many household items as well.
The G8-600 stands as a true replacement for a 1000W MH/HPS grow light, minus the heat emissions and power savings. The full spectrum offers all the necessary wavelengths for optimal plant growth from seedling to blooming, while the coverage is about 18sq.ft. at 24-36” from plant canopy.
The spectrum includes 8 bands of color, like blue and red wavelengths, as well as infrared, ultraviolet and white light. Bear in mind that UV lighting is not a standard and many LED grow lights on the market do not offer it. It is also extremely harmful to humans and it would be best not to experiment growing with it without taking all the necessary precautionary measures.
Dorm Grow offers a 2-year warranty to all its products, and we’ve noticed that they have an excellent customer support team, available to answer every question. After all, G8LED grow lights are an excellent choice for beginners and the guys at Dorm Grow know that!
- Actual Power Draw – 400W±5%
- LED Brands – BridgeLux, Epistar, Optotechcheck check check
- Chips – 200x3W Epistar, Optotech, and Bridgelux chips
- light penetrates up to 60″
- Light Spectrum – Full Spectrum
- Wavelengths – 8 Band Color Ratio
- Coverage Area – 18 sq. ft.
- Hang Distance – G8-600: 24-36 inches from plant canopy
- Input Voltage / Amperage 110 – 240V / 3.3 – 1.6Amp
- Dimensions – 20.5″x14″x3″ (44.5x28x7.6cm)
- Net Weight – 22.4 lbs
- Lifespan – 50,000 hours
- Return Policy – Available
Apollo Horticulture GL100LED 300W LED Grow Light
Apollo Horticulture doesn’t need any special introductions among seasoned growers. Their grow lights are a great choice for those who want to dabble in hydroponic marijuana growing but don’t want to spend a small fortune for LED grow light that will get the job done.
This particular model features 100x3W Epistar LED chips and a 6-band spectrum (excluding UV). You can operate it in two modes: Vegetative and Flowering. The vegetative growth mode uses a spectrum of 430-475nm, 620-630nm, 660nm, and White, while the flowering mode uses a spectrum of 430-475nm, 620-630nm, 660nm, 730nm (red) and White.
You might have noticed that the 730nm is the only difference between the two settings but this is what makes all the difference. This spectrum, when coupled with the 650-670nm wavelengths creates an effect that makes the rate of photosynthesis in plants soar!
It uses 100x3W Epistar chips, which are a solid choice for the money. You should expect this LED grow light to run at about 180W of actual power. However, Apollo Horticulture clearly state this fact on their product page.
Also, this fixture is very easy to install, since it doesn’t require ballasts and is more suitable for confined spaces. The coverage it offers is about 16sq.ft. on average and the grow lights work in temperatures from 0-131ºF.
In terms of heat management, the GL100LED is equipped with three quiet cooling fans and heat sinks that help dissipate the rising temperature from the running bulbs. The fans are not exactly whisper-quiet but they are not louder than a running PC.
- Wattage – 300W
- Chips – 100-3W
- Actual Power Draw – 170W
- Chips – 3W Epistar
- Dimensions – 15.75″ x 8.2″ x 2.5″check check check
- Coverage Area 4′ x 4′, 16 Square Feet
- Beam Angle – 120 Degrees
- Spectrum – 6 Band
- Phases of Growth – Vegetative and Flowering
- Vegetated Coverage Area – 6-7 ft²
- Flowering Coverage Area – 5-6 ft²
- Lifespan – 50,000 hours
- Working Temperature – 0 – 131 Degrees Fahrenheit
- Cooling – 3 Quiet Cooling Fans
- Power Cord – Included
- Hanging Kit – Stainless Steel
California Lightworks is yet another recognizable name in our list. Their products are aimed at the beginner to medium marijuana grower. SolarStorm440 is a full spectrum grow light that upgrades on the existing 400W model and offers a great solution to those who want a solid mid-range choice.
This full spectrum LED grow light is designed for all cannabis growth cycles. It has 144x3W LED chips that provide five bands of spectrum, from blue to red (450nm, 470nm, 620nm, 665nm), plus shades of white (430 to 700nm). The real game changer here though is the T8 fluorescent UV-B tubes, which offer a significant boost in flowering and potency!
The SolarStorm offers a vegetative coverage of 16sq.ft. for vegetative and 9sq.ft.for flowering stages. The two modes are controlled by a switch, while there is an extra button that enables the UV-B emission. We suggest you be extra careful around this light. Although it is indeed a helpful boost in flower potency, it is perhaps safer to know what you are doing.
In any case, California Lightworks are very proud of this exclusive. After all, no other LED grow light in the market covers the UVB spectrum. LED diodes are narrowband and focus their light in a narrow spectrum that is not easy to achieve.
The SolarStorm’s wide-range LED drivers are powered from 90VAC up to 277VAC, meaning they are compatible with all power sockets. The large heatsinks and 92mm fans ensure proper heat management for this LED grow light.
The SolarStorm 440 is a true replacement to any 600W HPS/MH grow light. Overall, it is a great light that will quickly pay off for itself in energy savings. A solid choice, but be careful around UV-B lighting. Some distributors offer protective glasses for free along with the package.
- Long-life LEDs that retain 90 percent luminosity after 50,000 hours
- Individual LED lensing to direct light to penetrate the plant canopy
- Four 90 percent efficient 90-277 VAC drivers
- Switchable dual spectrum to optimize for vegetative and flowering stages
- Two switchable 18″ T8 fluorescent bulbs that add UV-B spectrum
- Six bands of spectrum total
- Size – 15″ x 18″ x 5″ depth
- Weight – 18 lbs.
- Input voltage – 90 to 277 VAC
- Power consumption – 235W to 350W depending on spectrum selection
- Nominal coverage area – 3′ x 3′ up to 4′ x 4′ at 24″ height
- Spectrum – 5 bands of red, blue and 3100K white plus selectable UV-B supplied by 15W T8 bulbs
- PAR output at 18″ – 1,389 µmoles m-2 s-1
We saved the most powerful LED grow light for the end! Manufactured by PlatinumLED grow lights, this model and its other versions (at 150,300,450,600 and 1200 Watts) offer something for everybody! Their reviews and reputation are excellent, as are their products.
Let’s clear out right from the start that the actual wattage of this 900W LED grow light is approximately 560W. Still, they stand as a true replacement for a 1000W HPS/MH light, at a surprisingly low cost. PlatinumLED use 300x3W LED chips by BridgeLux and CREE, offering reliability and reducing the risk of unwanted flickering. The LED chips are rated for a 100,000-hour lifespan, meaning about 10 years!
The full spectrum of this LED grow light is where it excels. Offering a 12-band spectrum from UV to IR, this is arguably the most well-equipped light we have presented so far in this regard. Advanced Platinum LED also features two focusing lenses at 60 and 90 degrees. When combined, the lenses ensure that the light is distributed equally across and beneath the plant canopy.
The unit has a noticeable switch that modifies the intensity of light between plant development cycles. At the VEG setting, this LED grow light covers a 16sq.ft. area, and in the BLOOM setting you will get about 9sq.ft. of total coverage. While in vegetative mode, the red light bands are not so apparent, since marijuana plants don’t need it as much when growing.
The reason that coverage between vegetative and flowering phases is different is simple. Plants require less intense light when growing (but for more time). Therefore, you need to keep your lights a little bit higher, increasing the coverage. On the other hand, moving the lights closer reduces the focus on a smaller area.
When it comes to cooling systems, the P900 shines. By using 3W LED chips, that generally run cooler, PlatinumLED has eliminated the need for fans. Instead, heat is dissipated through aluminum heat sinks in the back of the unit. Practically, this means that the unit runs cooler, saves more energy and is far quieter than any LED grow light with fans.
The only real downside of this particular model is its size. At 35lbs. it is quite bulky and can not be easily installed by one person. If you are not sure what you are doing, consult a professional or call a friend. All parts are included in the package, so you might as well enjoy the process!
- Dimensions – 36″x12″x3″
- Weight – 35 lbs
- LED Quantity – 300x3w US made LEDs
- Lifespan – 100,000 Hours/8-10 years
- Power Draw – 279w Veg / 557w Bloom
- 90 Degree Secondary Focusing Lenses
- Voltage – AC85v-260v – All International Cords Available.
- Auto-Voltage Sensing and Adjusting Power Drivers.
- Max/Veg Coverage at 18″: 6′ x 4′
- Core/Bloom Coverage at 18″: 5′ x 3’/3.5′
- 1000w HPS Replacement
How to Pick the Perfect Full Spectrum LED Grow Light
You will not find this functionality in cheaper models. Dimmable LED grow lights give you the option of gradually increasing or decreasing the intensity of your LED lamps in order to mimic changing seasons.
Marijuana plants are “programmed” to grow in nature and as a result, their development is closely tied to the seasonal changes. LED grow lights for marijuana that feature a dimmer can save you power and help your indoor crop grow faster.
LED grow lights emit light and light produces heat. That’s simple physics. Although they run way cooler than HPS/MH lamps, they can still run into heat issues if you operate them at high intensity for prolonged periods.
Most cheap LED grow lights are fan-cooled, while mid-range models also feature a combination of fans with heat sinks that dissipate heat. Higher-end models tend to omit fans completely, as they rely exclusively on heat sinks for their heat management.
The huge plus with heat sinks is that they distribute the heat away from plants quickly before it can cause any problem. Also, fans tend to be a bit energy consuming and noisy (especially on the bigger panels). Bottom line, if you are going for a larger LED grow panel, go for a model with a heat sink.
Your budget is usually the most important factor when building an indoor hydroponics grow room. The most expensive grow light we have presented on this list is the Advanced Platinum P900. As we are quite budget-oriented, we only list the best value for money models in this list.
Here we have presented some of the best models you can find for the money, starting from as low as $100. Bear in mind that there are a lot of choices on the market, however, they can be much more expensive.
There was a time when your budget would dictate the quality of the LED grow lights you’d get. Thankfully, as LEDs become more and more popular, this is no longer the case. There are many companies out there who offer quality products at knockout prices.
All of the LED grow lights we listed above are full spectrum, meaning they emit every wavelength of light from deep blue to infrared. Some of them actually go even deeper, reaching UV and UV-B color bands, that are invisible to the human eye.
Not all LED grow lights are full spectrum though. Some are specialized for vegetation or flowering, but they are more suited to advanced growers.
Our Final Review for the Best Full Spectrum LED Grow Lights
We had a hard time picking a winner among these great and affordable LED grow lights. They are the best choice for the money and are ideal for beginner and more advanced growers alike. However, we have to pick a winner.
Our personal preference would be the G8LED-600W by Dorm Grow. While it is a tad more expensive than the others, its price is justified by the build quality and overall performance it offers to your plants. With UV lighting, a full spectrum and a 2-year warranty, this is one of the best investments you can make for your cannabis crop today.