There are many different kinds of lights out there, so it can be daunting to know where to begin. Here’s a guide to four basic types of grow lights on the market and the pros and cons of each.
How much does a grow light cost?
Aside from the price of the actual light, also take into account utilities—all lights will add to your electricity bill every month, but some more than others. High-intensity discharge lights—known as “HIDs”—may be cheaper to buy but can gobble up electricity, whereas LEDs are more efficient and kinder on your electricity bill but usually more expensive to buy.
Other considerations when choosing a cannabis grow light
Both types of HIDs are usually inexpensive to buy but will eat up electricity. HIDs throw off a lot of light and heat, which the plants need to bulk up and get potent. But, they run hot, contain heavy metals, and ballasts can fail.
Although this is just one example, this is pretty typical of LED grow lights in that they tend to bring out colors. This Eldorado plant was bloomed under two light sources, an HPS on one side and an LED on the other. Nothing scientific, no partitions, so there was light overlap. At harvest the color difference was surprising (see below) and after curing 2 select pieces from each side of the plant, the aromas are slightly different as well.
Instead of having dozens of small diodes, COB style LED grow lights typically only have a handful of huge COBs, each with strong lenses to direct the light down into the plant. These are rapidly gaining in popularity and are known for having deep penetration into the plant canopy.
The name “Quantum Board LED grow light” originated from Horticulture Lighting Group, though the term is now sometimes used for any LED in this style. They tend to have relatively low wattage diodes which are spread out over a large area on a board. These are becoming more popular lately, and seem to offer particularly good results for the amount of wattage used.
Breakdown of Different Electric Sky LED Models:
Advanced Platinum LED Grow Lights
pics by the very talented LED grower Laughing Buddha!
Grow Space: 2’x2′
A relatively new name on the scene, Advanced Platinum is selling professional LED grow lights for less money than many other LED lamps of the same quality. Despite the cheaper price tag, they have a wider light spectrum than most LEDs, which helps plants grow faster with fewer of the leaf problems and deficiencies than you see with LED models that only have red and blue diodes. They’re making a good name for themselves in the cannabis growing community because their LED models are getting really great results when it comes to both quality and yields.
Introduction: Are LEDs a Good Choice for Growing Cannabis?
Breakdown of Different ViparSpectra LED Models:
Today’s LED models are much better for growing cannabis than the ones available even a few years ago. Many modern lamps are full spectrum or “wideband” spectrum (instead of only red and blue light diodes, which product a bluish purple light and are sometimes called “blurples”). Full spectrum light is easier on the eyes and adding at least some amount of green light to blurples typically results in healthier growth. Other spectrum colors like red, far red, and infrared are important for the budding/flowering stage. LED manufacturers have developed specialized lenses to point light directly to the plants and increase penetration, resulting in bigger yields for the same amount of light compared to older models. There are also many different form factors, with everything from the casing to the size of the diodes varying from model to model.
There are a couple of things you absolutely need to consider before choosing the best LED grow light:
The 10 Best LED Grow Lights For 2020
These lights are made from China, but don’t let that fool you, they’re very powerful and work very well for any type of grow. The fans are extremely quiet. It’s recommended that during the flowering stage, you limit the use of this light to a 4×4 space in order to maximize for efficiency and light intensity. The design of this light allows for great light penetration and the set up is easy with minimal weight restrictions.
Runner Up: King Plus 1200W Double Chips
This light does have the switch so you can toggle between veg/bloom mode, making this one of the premier lights for compact spaces. It can also be used for medium-sized spaces, so it’s an extremely versatile. It has the full spectrum of blue, red, and white for the veg and flowering stages.