Best Full Spectrum LED Grow Lights in 2022 [Review]

tomato seedlings - best LED grow lights

Maybe you’re just starting out on your first indoor gardening adventure or maybe you’re a seasoned veteran looking to change or improve your growing system. Lights will be one of the most important investments you make.

Let’s talk about some key factors that might influence your purchasing decision and then we’ll show you our review of the best full spectrum LED grow lights for 2022.

What Are Full Spectrum LED Grow Lights?


First things first, if you’re new to indoor gardening, you’ll want to know exactly what you’re looking for. Full spectrum LED (light-emitting diode) lighting aims to mimic natural sunlight, producing, as the name implies, the full spectrum of light plants require for optimal growth.

This full spectrum is produced in two ways. One is by coating blue LEDs with a mixture of different colored phosphors. Phosphors convert the blue light’s wavelength into a wider range of wavelengths that ultimately look like white light (like sunlight does). The second is to combine red, green and blue diodes in such a ratio and pattern that the light appears white to the human eye.

Full spectrum LED lights are a relatively new technology. High intensity discharge (HID) and compact fluorescent (CFL) lighting have been the standard for indoor growing but none of these lighting systems replicate daylight in the way LEDs can. As LED technology improves, they’re more and more becoming a viable option for growing and maintaining healthy plants.

Pros and Cons of Using Full Spectrum LED Grow Lights


seedlings - best LED grow lights

Pros


Spectrum

Perhaps the biggest advantage to using full spectrum LED grow lights is right there in the name. Since they consistently put out the entire spectrum of light that plants need throughout their growing cycle, you won’t have to change the lights.

Return on Investment

While LED lights cost more than other lights, they last longer. The average lifespan for an LED light is about 50,000 hours, miles ahead of HID lights, which last an average of 24,000 hours and CFL, which last about 8000 hours. You’ll pay more up front but you’ll ultimately get more light and need to replace your bulbs less with an LED system.

Energy Efficiency

There’s no real comparison between LED lights and other types of grow lights. LEDs use about 75% less energy than other kinds of lights, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. If conserving energy or saving money on utilities is high up on your priority list, LED is really the way to go.

Heat

Heat is much easier to control in your growing space with full spectrum LED lights. They generate much less heat than other kinds of bulbs, which can make them ideal if you’re growing in a small location or in a region with warmer outdoor temperatures.

Size

LED lighting systems are generally less bulky than other kinds of systems. HID lighting requires separate ballasts and reflectors, not to mention vents to manage excess heat. In smaller spaces, LEDs let growers maximize the room they have by allowing them to place plants closer to the lights themselves.

Cons


Cost

LED grow lights are more expensive than other kinds of lights like fluorescents or HID. The initial cost for setting up an LED system can be prohibitive.

Power

HID lights are much more powerful than LEDs. They’re able to generate a light intensity that encourages plant growth in a way LEDs can’t match. If you’re growing a high number of large plants, HIDs might still be the way to go because their light can penetrate foliage further than LEDs can.

Blue Light Exposure

Prolonged exposure to blue light, while necessary for plants to grow, is harmful to humans. It can damage your retinas, so working in your growing space will require you to be careful and to wear grow room glasses. You only have one set of eyes!

Best Full Spectrum LED Grow Lights Review


There are a lot of lighting choices on the market. We’ve put our favourites into categories arranged by wattage, starting from small lights all the way up to professional-level setups. And we’ve included a new favourite at the top, since it’s just come on the market.

Best New Grow Light


BESTVA Dimmable BP1000 LED Grow Light

Easy to use and versatile, BESTVA’s BP1000 Grow Light offers bright light and great coverage coupled with a slim design and great energy efficiency.

Features & Benefits

  • Samsung LM281B+ diodes
  • 340 LEDs
  • 0-100% dimming system
  • 13.7 x 11.8 x 2.9 inches
  • 8.33 pounds

Pros

  • Energy efficient
  • Very simple to use
  • 3 years after-sales service

Cons

  • Product is heavy

BESTVA Dimmable BP1000 LED Grow Light

Rating: 9.5/10

Editorial Review

BESTVA’s grow light is a fantastic option for a small grower. It’s more or less just plug and play—it comes with its own hanging rig and was simple to set up. The quality is good and it seems built to last. What really stands out about this light is how easy it is to control light intensity. The dimmer was smooth to operate and adjusted brilliantly. The size allowed for good coverage of seedlings and the light was very effective on the zinnias we grew and at pre-sprouting dahlia tubers.

This grow light only consumes 105w, making it highly energy-efficient, which we always appreciate. There’s a multi-light connection and an option for uniform dimming, which we did not use, but which would be great for larger operations.

One thing to note is that growers will have to come up with their own ways to raise and lower the light if they want. Another is that this is a heavy light. We hung it from heavy plastic shelving and had some concerns that the shelving might not hold, but it did. For us, the weight just indicated that the light is sturdy, but it’s something to take into consideration.

What Others Are Saying

Other people loved this light, too. Reviews of the light are consistently positive, with people praising both its look and its performance. They tend to comment on the quality of the manufacturing, as well as the sturdiness of the mounting design. The effectiveness of the heat sink and the light’s quiet operation come up a lot in comments, as well. People generally felt their plants were happy with this light, with many folks being surprised by how effective and efficient it was for the price.

More than a few folks mentioned that the light was more useful for the veg phase than the flowering phase. A few felt it wasn’t bright enough and that they weren’t getting the coverage they expected. A few others reported issues with the light getting hot, but bad reviews seem to be the exception.

Best LED Grow Lamp


VOGEK Grow Light

The VOGEK Grow Light is a tri-head, 72W gooseneck lamp with a desk clip. It features a timer, variable modes and settings and 144 LEDs.

Features & Benefits

  • 72W
  • 144 LEDs
  • 14.2 x 5.8 x 3.4 inches
  • 2.2 lbs

Pros

  • Auto on/off timer
  • 3 switch modes
  • 10 brightness settings

Cons

  • Cost is higher than other products in this range
  • Cord is short
  • Users found the clip too weak
vogek grow light - best full spectrum led grow lights review 2020

VOGEK Grow Light

Rating: 8.5/10

Editorial Review

For people trying to keep desk plants or small indoor herb gardens healthy, the VOGEK Grow Light has a lot of benefits. This lamp offers full spectrum light from 380 to 800nm. It’s user-friendly and very customizable. Each of the three heads can be turned on or off independently and you can set the brightness level anywhere from 10 to 100%. When extended, the adjustable lamp arms reach almost 20 inches and can be turned to put light in the direction you need it.

Its automatic timer can be set for 3, 6 or 12 hours. The lamp can be set to run automatically at the same time every day, although you do need to set it up that way first by turning the lamp on when you want it to start every day and setting the timer for the amount of time you’d like it to run.

What Others Are Saying

Reviewers loved how bright this lamp was and how easy it was to set up and use. Generally speaking, people were impressed by the coverage the lamp was able to provide and by how well it dispersed light. They often found that this light made a difference in their plants’ growth and health in a very short amount of time.

Users did, however, find the clip to be a problem. They had difficulty getting it to hold and found that it lost its grip when the arms were extended. The length of the cord was frequently lamented – most people found it too short for their needs. Some reported also having issues with the arms staying where they were put, but those issues weren’t a problem across the board.

Best Light Strip


Sondiko Grow Light

This dimmable light strip from Sondiko offers 3 spectral modes and an automatic on/off timer. It features 40 LEDs and a compact size for countertop or shelf-based set-ups.

Features & Benefits

  • 10W
  • 40 LEDs
  • 15.3 x 0.6 x 0.3 inches
  • 6.1 oz

Pros

  • Automatic on/off timer
  • 4 dimmable levels
  • 3 spectral modes

Cons

  • Power charger runs hot
  • Cables and timer sometimes unreliable
sondiko grow light - best full spectrum led grow lights review 2020

Sondiko Grow Light

Rating: 8/10

Editorial Review

The Sondiko Grow Light offers light from 420 to 800nm. Its size makes it a solid choice for plants that need a little supplementary light. It includes magnets and 3M adhesive pads for mounting, perfect for shelf-based or countertop set-ups. The company recommends placing plants between 10 and 70cm away from the light strip.

This is also a fairly versatile light strip. The brightness level can be set at 25, 50, 75 and 100%. You can switch between its 3 spectrums (red, blue and full spectrum) depending on the growth stage of your plants. Like the VOGEK lamp, the Sondiko light strip can be set up to turn on and off at the same time every day.

What Others Are Saying

People who bought this product were very attracted to the price and the setting options. They found the settings to be easy to use and generally reported success with their growing. Reviewers also praised the sleek design of this product, noting that when the light was off, it wasn’t a noticeable addition to their living space.

The biggest complaint users had was with the power source. Many users cautioned that the USB charger gets very hot. Others had problems with the charger and the cable shorting out. Those who experienced this issue recommended not relying on the light for weekends away. Many found that the timer became inefficient over time. Finally, lots of users found the mounting options ineffective and needed to DIY a solution.

Best Single 100W Bulb


MILYN LED Grow Light Bulb

 A single 100W light bulb that fits in a standard socket, the MILYN LED Grow Light Bulb provides warm full spectrum light that’s easy on the eyes and healthy for your plants.

Features & Benefits

  • 100W
  • 150 LEDs
  • 4.7 x 4.7 x 4.7 inches
  • 12.8 oz

Pros

  • Warm light
  • Energy efficient
  • Easy installation (fits a standard E26 socket)

Cons

  • Limited versatility

Some users found the bulb too bright

Milyn grow light 100W bulb - best LED grow lights

MILYN LED Grow Light Bulb

Rating: 9/10

Editorial Review

MILYN’s LED bulb gives off light ranging from 380 to 800 nm. It’s energy efficient, drawing about 20W of power. The bulb’s design provides even coverage for plants and its aluminum finned heat sink dissipates heat well. The design is literally as simple as screwing in a lightbulb, which limits the versatility of this product but does make it one of the easiest to use.

The company recommends keeping plants 40 inches away from the lamp while starting them and 20 inches away in veg state and while they’re blooming. For those who have a few plants they want to focus on or a small area they want to illuminate, this light offers a cost-effective option that’s sun-like and offers a warm colour temperature.

What Others Are Saying

Users reported better light coverage and brightness than they expected. They almost universally found it highly effective and felt their plants were healthier and happier after a short time. Most found it easy on the eyes. People also praised the light’s lower temperature, which allowed them to better control heat in small grow tents.

Those looking for options in a lighting set up needed to find workarounds with this bulb. Some reviewers rigged up diy timers or used Google Home to put the light on a timer. A few reviewers found the light too bright to be comfortable in a high traffic area and recommended using it only in grow tents or areas where people don’t spend much time in.

Best 300W Grow Lights


Advanced Platinum Series P300

This easy to set up, easy to use 300W fixture features technologies like secondary focusing lenses and high-speed fans for a quieter, more intense light.

Features & Benefits

  • 300W
  • 3W LEDs
  • 19 x 8.5 x 3 inches
  • 12.8 lbs.

Pros

  • Energy efficient
  • Separate veg and bloom options
  • 5-year warranty

Cons

  • Spotty customer service
  • Some found it too intense
Advanced Platinum P300 - best LED grow lights

Advanced Platinum Series P300

Rating: 9/10

Editorial Review

This light covers a larger space (4.5 x 3.8-foot space in veg, although many reviewers note that actual coverage is less). The P300 also features 90 degree secondary focusing lenses for better light penetration. The technology upgrades on these lights are geared more towards functionality than aesthetics or customization so don’t look for features like dimmers here.

The light is easy to set up and the hanging fixtures are durable. It’s a very straightforward light to operate. Upgraded aluminum heat sinks and high-speed fans work to dissipate heat effectively. Compared with other models, the light runs very cool. The fans are quieter than many older models, which makes for a more pleasant growing environment for the human caretakers.

What Others Are Saying

Many growers comment that with lights, you get what you pay for. The P300 is more expensive than other brands, but most reviewers feel the quality is worth it. They thought the fans were quiet and efficient and the light more than adequate for their needs. Most users reported excellent growth and were very positive about their plants’ performances with this light.

Uneven light coverage was the most common issue users found with this light. Some reported that they didn’t get the coverage they were expecting and others that the plants under the centre of the light were getting burned. People also sometimes experienced sections of the light burning out, which they were not unduly troubled by except when customer service was less than helpful.

Best 600W Grow Lights


ViparSpectra UL Certified 600W

This 600W grow light is a solid, basic system geared towards small growers. It’s easy to use, reasonably quiet, energy-efficient and optimized for balanced light.

Features & Benefits

  • 600W
  • 120 5W Epiled/Bridgelux LEDs
  • 15.3 x 12.8 x 3 inches
  • 11.6 lbs.

Pros

  • UL Certified
  • Daisy chain features
  • 2-year warranty

Cons

  • Some found it less useful for flowering stages

Editorial Review

ViparSpectra’s 600W grow lights are powerful enough and offer enough coverage to be a nice option for small growers. At the 32” height recommended for starting and for veg states, the light offers a 3 x 3-foot footprint. In the flowering stage, when the recommended height is 22”, coverage is about 2.5 x 2.5 feet. Those with larger tents could easily link multiple units together – they’re lightweight, the set-up is simple and the units are easy to manually adjust.

Aluminum heat sinks and high-speed fans dissipate heat, while fire-resistant reflectors balance the light output and increase PAR. Given the risks of growing in small areas, it’s nice to see a company really put some attention onto safety. There aren’t a lot of bells and whistles with this product but many growers wouldn’t find that to be a downside.

What Others Are Saying

Reviewers were very happy with the quality of this product. They felt comfortable with the brand and with knowing this light had been UL certified. The fan was reported to work well and to be reasonably quiet. People almost universally found this light to be powerful, effective and easy to use. They felt it provided good value for their money and that their plants performed well with it, especially in the veg state.

Although most growers recommended this light for veg stages, some users found the red-light settings too low for flowering. Those who encountered this issue often added a smaller light with a stronger red spectrum and felt they’d had good results. Some reviewers had tried this light after using HPS lights and didn’t feel it compared well with HPS.

Best 1000W Grow Lights


TOLYS 1000W LED Plant Grow Light

 Easy to set up and cost-effective, this 1000W grow light is a solid option for new or small growers. It offers some useful extras, as well as a high light output.

Features & Benefits

  • 1000W
  • 100 Dual-chip (10W) LEDs
  • 16.61 x 9.61 x 4.49 inches
  • 5.24 lbs.

Pros

  • Programmable timer
  • Competitive price
  • Comes with a 30-day money back guarantee and a 2-year warranty

Cons

  • Some reports of parts missing on arrival
  • Timer menu is difficult

Editorial Review

The TOLYS 1000W LED Plant Grow Light has a footprint of 4 ft. sq. for seedlings and vegetative growth (at 24”) and 3 ft. sq. for flowering and fruiting (at 18”). Its high light output gives it great coverage and penetrating ability. It offers white light at 6500K, 630-660 nm red light and 460nm blue, in addition to 18 full spectrum LEDs. 

The automatic timer allows you to set up to 10 different on/off programs per week. The timer can be a bit much to wade through if you’re used to a simpler light, but the customizability is a real bonus for some growers. It’s a very cool light and comes with nice extras, like a hydrometer.

What Others Are Saying

Reviewers found this light to be a real value. They were generally happy with the light output. People reported that the unit was intuitive to set up and to use, although almost everyone found the navigation menu on the timer confusing. People especially appreciated the simple pulley system for ceiling mounts. They liked the sturdiness of the light’s construction and often praised how cool and quiet it runs.

The most common complaint, aside from the timer, was that units arrived with accessories missing. Some reviewers wished that the intensity of the light was adjustable. Others found the light less than dependable and had issues with mechanical failure. On the whole, though, reviewers found its performance reasonable for the price.

Best 2000W Grow Lights


Phlizon CREE Cob Series

This powerful 2000W light offers strong penetration, a large footprint and good value for the money. It’s energy efficient and works especially well during later growth stages.

Features & Benefits

  • 2000W
  • CREE COB LEDs
  • 21.3 x 12.2 x 3.1 inches
  • 15.54 lbs.

Pros

  • Strong light
  • Energy efficient
  • 2-year warranty

Cons

  • Light footprint less even around the edges
  • Customer service is hit and miss

Editorial Review

Phlizon’s CREE COB series offers a wide range of light for growers, including 3000K, 6500K, UV and IR. New growers who purchase this product should note this because some of the lights (i.e. the UV and IR lights, which, of course, we can’t see) will appear not to be working. It’s a very strong light and some care should be taken to stay within the manufacturer’s recommended distances from plants, especially when they’re young.

The light footprint from this product is quite large, maxing out at 49” x 49”. It’s also fairly bulky once it’s all set up, so growers should be aware that some of the height of their growing area will get taken up by this unit. Larger growers might be interested in this light as an alternative to higher-end brands – it costs much less but features much of the same cutting-edge technology of those products.

What Others Are Saying

Reviewers generally thought this unit was a good value for the money. They reported that the product was good quality and performed well over time. For most users, the intensity of the light was a big plus and they appreciated the power they got out of the light, considering what power it actually draws. Users also appreciated the little extras like protective eyewear.

Some users found that the light gave off a lot of heat. Others found that the light coverage wasn’t as even as they’d hoped and that the edges of their growing spaces weren’t faring as well as the plants in the centre. Many people advised against this light for starting seedlings but did recommend it for later growing stages.

Best 3000W Grow Lights


Mars Hydro TS 3000W

The Mars Hydro TS 3000W grow light features 2 waterproof Mean Well drivers, a low-profile design and a sun-like colour temperature. It’s high-tech while still being user-friendly.

Features & Benefits

  • 3000W
  • 1016 LEDs
  • 25.3 x 22.8 x 2.7 inches
  • 11.3 lbs.

Pros

  • Dimmable
  • Waterproof drivers
  • Auto-sensing power supply

Cons

  • Weak hanging mechanisms

Editorial Review

This is a grow light for serious large-scale growers. It covers a 5 x 5-foot area for veg stages and a 4 x 4-foot area for flowering. Its design is sleek and low-profile so it doesn’t take up a lot of overhead space. It’s also lightweight and easy to set up. Without a fan this light does run hot, so it’s not recommended in smaller spaces.

The light is bright and the light spectrum includes IR. Although it doesn’t have a lot of extra features, it does contain quality components and compares well with other, more expensive grow lights. Unlike many larger LED lighting systems, the Mars Hydro TS has a warm, sun-like colour temperature, making it easier on growers’ eyes.

What Others Are Saying

Reviewers almost universally commented on how well-built and sturdy this light is. They really liked the lightweight design and frequently commented on the quality of the product. Generally, growers found this light easy to use and to adjust to their plants’ needs. They also appreciated not having a noisy fan to contend with.

Many noted that the hanging apparatus was either weak or came missing components. Most rigged up a solution on their own and didn’t feel this detracted from the functionality of the light but they did warn others to check the box for missing parts and to be prepared to have to fortify the hanger. Some people also didn’t love the placement of the dimmer.

Bottom Line


Mars Hydro TS 3000W

For quality, effectiveness and durability, our top pick is the Mars Hydro TS 3000W. In addition to being energy efficient and providing great coverage and an ideal light spectrum, the Mars Hydro TS 3000W is also well-built and has the customer service to back it up.

Feature image: Elena Mozhilo; Image 1: Francesco Gallorotti

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