Indoor growing has become a huge trend in 2021 because of the COVID crisis - check out our selection of the best LED grow lights in the US and Canada.
Growing cannabis is becoming a more openly discussed topic in all types of circles as it becomes a reality in more and more places around the world. One of the most important factors in growing cannabis is the lighting - plants require tons of light to produce the best buds. LED lights are a fan-favorite among indoor growers, but what are the best LED grow lights you can get in the US and Canada?
Here are 10 models from several different brands which top our list:
- Photontek X 600w PRO
- Spider Farmer SF7 000
- Spider Farmer SF 4000
- Think Grow Model W
- Spider Farmer SF 2000
- Mars Hydro TS 3000
- Spider Farmer SF 1000
- Mars Hydro FC 3000
- PhotonTek XT 1000w CO2
- Growers Choice ROI720
Our selection was made based on several different factors. You’ll agree that the best LED grow lights for a beginner may not be as good for someone who’s been in the business for years.
Whether you’re a beginner grower doing research on his first set of grow lights, or a very experienced grower looking to maximize his yields - there’s something in this list for you.
Best LED Grow Lights
Let’s start our countdown with the best all-around LED lights - something that the whole growing community can agree on. If we’re talking about the best all-around model, we’re talking about the Spider Farmer SF 7000 and the PhotonTek X 600W PRO.
Both of these could easily take the title of the “Best LED grow light”, but which one comes out on top when we compare them? Let’s take a closer look!
Best all-around LED lights
In each of the following categories, we have selected two of the most competitive models out there in our opinion. In the best all-around LED category, we’ve chosen the SF 7000 and the Photontek X 600w PRO. These two models have the most well-rounded features and will definitely improve your grow, so you won’t be making a mistake by getting either one of them.
PhotonTek X 600W PRO
Photontek X 600W PRO comes in as our best all-around LED light. However, the X 600W PRO isn’t to be written off just because of its price. It has a very good performance, and it consumes less power than the Spider Farmer SF 7000, which spends some 50W more.
The X 600W Pro is designed for both the vegetative and flowering phases, and this model also has the dimming option as well. Keep in mind that this model, along with most other PhotonTek models are quite sturdy and well built, so you won’t be regretting the extra money you’ll spend on it. You won’t have to deal with poor customer service, or any other issues which plague foreign companies and other less reputable brands.
Spider Farmer SF 7000
The Spider Farmer SF 7000 is one of the most popular LED grow lights, and with good reason. Many growers praise these lights for their wide spectrum, which you can see on the image below. The manufacturers achieve this by providing us with a healthy mix of warm white light, blue light, and some red light as well through it's 1716 LED pieces.
Aside from having a great light spectrum, the SF 7000 also offers several other helpful features such as the easily adjustable height, dimming lights, they have a layer of humidity-proof coating, and they operate at a lower heat than LED grow lights in this category.
If you don’t want to think twice about your lights performing well, check out this model as it truly might be the best all-around LED light out there. The SF 7000 is by far the most reputable model you can get for a reasonably low price.
Best 4x4 LED grow lights
If you’re looking for the best 4x4 LED grow lights, look no further than the SF 4000 and the ThinkGrow model W. Firstly - the trusty Spider Farmer brand is highly competitive in this category with its cheap, low-power use model.
There’s really no two ways about it, unless you’re looking for the Deep Red lights designed specifically for cannabis - in that case go with our second choice, the Model W.
Spider Farmer SF 4000
Spider Farmer SF 4000 is the little brother of the SF 7000 which we mentioned earlier. Just like the SF 7000, this model also has a setting to dim your lights. The wide spectrum of this grow light will help your plants grow better in each phase of its life cycle. As for the power usage, the SF 4000 consumes 450w, which is about 50% less than HPS and Blurple lights while producing bigger yields.
The SF 4000 is a great choice for both growers who already have a couple harvests under their belt or beginners who are ready to take their game to the next level and get major yields from their plants. The price tag is what makes SF 4000 the best 4x4 LED grow light out there, as it currently goes for only $539.99 US. That price, along with a wide spectrum of white and red lights make this model by far one of the most user-friendly LEDs in the market.
ThinkGrow Model W
The ThinkGrow Model W is a great choice as well, if you are not on a budget. The Model W has all the performances to make it the best 4x4 LED grow light on the market, however the price tag is not something to laugh at. Something very unique about this model is that it is capable of delivering deep red lights in the 600-800nm range to the crop.
Best budget LED lights
Onto the best budget LEDs - which LED grow light gets you the biggest bang for the smallest buck? Well, we’re gonna have to throw the Spider Farmer lights into the mix again. We will also be taking a look at the Mars Hydro TS 3000 which is definitely worth checking out.
Spider Farmer SF 2000
The Spider Farmer SF 2000 hits a really sweet spot in terms of the price and quality. It’s also a really good light for beginners who want to get a sense of what it’s like to grow with a 2x4 setup. So if you wanna start really small - the SF 2000 is a great choice.
Mars Hydro TS 3000
The Mars Hydro TS 3000 is another great choice if you’re looking to save up in the lights department. Just like Spider Farmer, the Mars LED lights are great Chinese-manufactured lights which have proven to be very good and reliable in the long term. The Mars Hydro TS 3000 model has an Average yield of 1.5g/W which is far better than most HPS lights, and other LEDs in the same category.
Best LED lights for beginners
Beginners, look no further than the same two brands we’ve just mentioned in the previous category - Mars Hydro and Spider Farmer. These trusty Chinese brands have proven to be a great fit for all those looking to step up their game. The SF 1000 and the TS 3000 are both great LEDs and they will teach you the basics of how to improve your yields with a small set of grow lights.
Spider Farmer SF 1000
The Spider Farmer SF 1000 is the perfect choice if you’re looking for a small light to cover just a couple plants, or maybe more than a few seedlings. Due to it’s great spectrum coverage it can be used for both purposes. It’s veg footprint is 3 x 3 ft, and the flowering footprint is 2 x 2 ft.
Mars Hydro FC 3000
While we’re on the topic of the best LED lights for beginners, how about the Mars Hydro FC 3000 - this one really hits the spot in our opinion. The FC 3000 has a bar LED design, holding the LEDs in 4 rows above your plants which focus the lights on a smaller area. According to many growers the bar design is optimal for a smaller grow, or even for a single plant.
The FC 3000 can yield up to 2.5 g/W, which is a lot better than most other lights in this category, and just this metric should be enough to support its higher price. Besides that, you can also improve your grow with the daisy-chain feature, which means you can connect up to 15 lights to be controlled through just one light.
Best LED lights for expert growers
Lastly, we’ve come to the hotly debated topic of what are the best LED lights for expert growers. There’s a lot of good choices out there, but we’ve chose one simple metric - the best LED for an expert grower is one that will give him the biggest yield. In our opinion, that’s the Photontek XT 1000w CO2 PRO. The Grower’s Choice ROI-E720 comes in at a close second, due to its great power usage stats.
PhotonTek XT 1000w CO2 PRO
The PhotonTek XT 1000w is arguably the best grow lights for expert growers at the moment. The “arguable” part is if their full capacity is being used for maximum results which is where the experts come into play.
If you are truly an expert grower, you’ll know that at one point the 1000w light intensity starts to bog down the plants, as they struggle to take in all the light due to a lack of CO2 in the growing environment. This can be fixed by supplementing the grow with carbon dioxide and controlling the environment with a grow tent and some CO2 controllers.
Growers choice ROI-E720
These are some of the fixtures we did not have the chance to review but are popular choices in the growing community.
Gavita pro 1700e
This is an all-time favourite among growers and pioneered the Bar LED design along with a few other companies. With a very reputable background in HID grow lights, Gavita has lived up to the expectations with this fixture. One particular feature of this light is the impressive amount of diodes. Although this does not necessarily improves the intensity, each diode is under-driven thus increases the life span of the overall system.
Thats certainly an underrated fixture in every way. A recent independent test ranked this fixture among the top performers in almost every category from efficiency to pricing and built quality. At this price it doesn't get much better.
Scynce LED Raging Kush 2.0
A fixture that can't leave you indifferent. This 650W LED not only boasts an impressive built quality but it also offers full control over the spectrum which makes it a favorite among craft growers.
With up to 475 watts of any spectrum between 2700k and 6500k (warm to cool), you control what type of white light gets delivered to your plants. The red/far-red channel provides 175 watts of energy that can be evenly split, shifted to either 660nm or 730nm, or completely turned off.
As we said before - best LED grow lights are a pretty wide topic of discussion. One set of light might be the best for one specific type of grow, or one grower, but might not be the same for someone else’s case. Seeing how it’s a very wide topic, why don’t you come and check out our very wide selection of LED grow lights!
Now, lets answer some of the most frequently asked questions about LEDs!
What is the most powerful LED grow light?
According to some industry experts, the most powerful LED grow light on the market is the Gavita Pro 1700e Gen 2 LED. However, we’d like to differ as we believe that the Photontek XT 1000w, when used with the proper CO2 supplements can really do magic for your plants.
If you don’t supplement the plants with CO2, they might start get light-burned to the high amounts of light this LED produces. Keep that in mind when making your choice and your plants will definitely appreciate it!
How do I choose the best LED grow light?
This one is totally up to you and your needs - however, many people don’t know what their needs really are. If you are just getting started, you have a couple plants, and you want to supplement them with a cheap light, you should probably go with one of the Spider Farmer models. The Spider Farmer LED lights are a highly reputable brand with a very good selection of cheap, yet very cost-effective lights.
On the other hand, if your needs are geared more towards a profession than a hobby, then we’d recommend looking into the PhotonTek and Thinkgrow models. These come at a little higher price initially, but offer a lot of great features and customization opportunities which will definitely maximize your yields and help your plants grow faster.
What is the best wattage for LED grow lights?
The best wattage for LED grow lights is 30-35watts per ft² which can be a little tricky to measure. So, to break it down - best wattage for 4x4 LED grow lights is around 500w, while the best wattage for a 5x5 LED grow light is around 700-800w. Anything over that and you risk exposing your plants to too much light.
What lights do professional growers use?
Professional growers use LED lights in most cases, unless they are trying to experiment and compare results to other types of lights such as HID and HPS. LED lights are by far the most cost-effective lights out there, while also showing good and even better results than its competitors. HPS lamps are deficient in blue light which is why most professional growers use a combination of both metal halide and HPS lights, or just one set of LED lights.
Many professional growers use the Growers Choice ROI-E720 as these LEDs pack a very powerful punch. Besides that, they cover the full spectrum of light and use comparably little power to other models in the same price range.
Will any LED light work as a grow light?
Yes, any LED light will work as a grow light, as long as you have a good sense of placement. If you place it too far away from the plants, then they won’t receive as much light as they would if the light source was closer to them. This will result in slower growth and smaller yields. You could also set up a couple individual bulbs, but it’s always best to simply buy a fixture and hang it at the height recommended by the manufacturer.
What are the best LED lights to grow cannabis?
The best LED lights to grow cannabis are most likely Spider Farmer LED lights. The SF line has models covering all your needs. If you’re an expert grower looking for very strong, yet cheap lights - check out the Spider Farmer SF7000. If you’re just looking to get your first light and cover a couple plants, then the SF 2000 will be the perfect LED for you to start with.