Last updated: April 8, 2021
There is no underestimating the importance of the right grow lights to help you produce the juiciest, most potent buds, along with the highest yields possible. When looking for the right lights for your grow, you’ll need to consider your power needs, space requirements, and most importantly, budget.
The cannabis market has exploded in the last few years, with the grow light market accounting for $3.05 billion in 2018. This means tons of grow light innovation, more available options, and so much bud. There can be no doubt that the cannabis industry is here to stay, so you’ll need the best lights possible in order to get your slice of the pie. So, how do you wade through the ever-expanding and often confusing waters of grow light options?
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! We’ve distilled the massive array of available lights down into a concise list to help you choose the best lights for the grower on a budget. We’ll take a look at the 10 best budget-friendly lights and help you decide which one will give you the best bud for your buck.
|Best Overall||King Plus LED Grow Light||
|Phlizon LED Plant Grow Light||
|Premium Choice||Hydroplanet T5 Fluorescent Grow Lights||
|BESTVA ELITE SAMSUM Series COB LED Grow Light||
|BLOOMSPECT B1000 LED Grow Lights||
The cost of top-brand LED lights can be expensive. These days, HIDs are the go-to lights for growers on a budget because LEDs are usually just too far out of price range. The King Plus changes all this, offering a great LED that is both effective and affordable. It’s a grow light that can compete with popular HID options and has the added benefits of low energy consumption and low heat output.
The King Plus offers full-spectrum LED lighting. This means your precious plants get the full spectrum of light from seedling all the way through to flower, simulating the natural light that Mother Nature would provide. Not only that, but it also offers a unique veg/bloom switch. Switching it to the “veg” setting gives you only the blue and white LED color spectrums, perfect for sensitive seedlings. The “bloom” option gives you the red and white color spectrums for growing your plants nice and big before flowering. When they are ready for flowering, crank the setting to both, and you’ll get the perfect light spectrums for big bud production.
The King Plus has a rated lifespan of 50,000 hours, which is the equivalent of roughly six years of growing. That’s why for the price, it’s the best light investment that you could make for your grow room.
The Phlizon LED boasts a 600-watt output, which will give you the equivalent of around 100 watts on an HID light. Like the King Plus, it is full spectrum and has a convenient veg/bloom switch to hone your grow stages. A two-year warranty gives you peace of mind should anything go wrong.
Being a full-spectrum LED, it will save you money on electricity usage and generate far less heat than an HID. It has a fireproof PC cover, and its lifespan is rated at 50,000 hours.
The low price makes this light an easy point of entry for beginner growers and budget-conscious growers. However, it’s low power output rating means that for bigger grows or flowering plants, it’s a less than ideal choice.
While LEDs are taking the indoor cannabis market by storm, they are still a fairly expensive option compared to the more widely used HIDs. Therefore, fluorescent lights remain a strong consideration for growers on a budget. Hydroplanet is a well-known and trusted player in the grow light market, and its T5 fluorescents still have a firm place among growers.
The Hydroplanet T5s consist of four 24-watt 6500k bulbs, aluminum reflectors, and a plug-and-play ballast. While these lights produce far more heat than LEDs, you can conveniently switch off two bulbs to lower the heat down if needed. This is also convenient for switching between different stages, like the vegetative phase or the flower phase.
T5s do have a reputation among growers for their lack of UV rays, which make them problematic for flowering. When it comes to resin production, lack of UV coming can leave your plants a bit wanting. Also, these lights do emit a fair amount of heat, so be careful not to fry your seedlings!
Coming in at 600 watts, the Bestva Elite series lights have many things going for them. They share many of the features of the other LEDs discussed here, like full-spectrum capabilities and veg/bloom switches. It boasts only a 130-watt consumption, while pumping out a 300-400 watt HPS equivalent.
Its solid metal casing gives it a long-lasting feel and quality. Bestva is well known for its hassle-free and trustworthy warranties. With a three-year warranty and 90-day money-back guarantee, you can rest well knowing that Bestva has got your back.
Some users have reported low yields when using this light. But yield depends on many factors other than lights, including soil mix, humidity, and nutrients.
The Bloomspect B1000 is well suited to smaller grows like tents or cupboard grows. It only consumes about 180 watts of energy, making it an efficient and money-saving light. It can do what a 400-watt HPS can do, while consuming a fraction of the power. Its high-speed cooling fan and multiple vent holes will leave you sleeping easy, knowing that it won’t overheat and cause malfunction or even possible fire hazards.
Like the aforementioned LEDs, it has separate switches for growing stages and an option to boost your buds’ resin production during flowering. The 50,000-hour lifespan rating will keep you growing juicy bud for a good few years.
Users have reported warranty problems, so light failure may not result in a replacement or even a repair. Many growers have also experienced fan failures and low yields.
This full-spectrum 600 watt LED will give you a comparable HPS output of only 100 watts. This is a real drawback when compared to the similarly priced options on this list. For high-yield flowering, you ideally want around a 300-400 watt output.
However, for sprouting seedlings and smaller grows, its low-power usage makes it a perfectly viable option. It’s fan-less design also makes it lightweight and quieter than many other models out there. Great customer support also gives you peace of mind should anything go wrong.
Parafactworks claims that its LEDs run cool enough to touch. This is a huge plus when growing in a small room or tent, where overheating can swiftly become problematic. It also boasts a whopping 700,000-hour lifespan, although this is doubtful. It’s safer to expect around 50,000 and be pleasantly surprised if it goes beyond that. Its 1,000-watt output will give you the HPS equivalent of 400 watts, while its power consumption comes in at a utility bill-friendly 115 watts. With features like full-spectrum and low heat output, these lights are a decent buy for the money.
Users boast unmatched customer service and a three-year warranty. That said, many users also speak of unreliability and defective electronics. But its higher output is suitable for both vegetative growth and flowering, making it good for indoors.
Coming in at only 300 watts, this LED probably won’t give you enough power output to flower your plants effectively. However, where it lacks in power, it makes up for in unique design and features. Your plants will definitely look cool with a lit-up UFO hovering over them!
It also boasts both UV and IR, so you’re still getting the light spectrums that your plants need for optimal growth. In a small grow tent, a pair of these will work well. It also has a 90- to 180-degree shine angle for wider light distribution, adjustable to suit your needs. It’s known among growers for its CREE and Bridgelux high output LEDs, which are some of the most durable LEDs in the grow light industry.
Users claim a low heat output, another plus for small grows, which need the least extra heat possible. It’s a full-spectrum light, so you can be sure that your plants will grow to their full potential.
The Vander LED has a 2,000-watt power output rating, which is a great deal of power for the price. But as the adage goes, when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. These lights seem to be notorious for fan issues. Users also complain of high heat output with this light, so make sure you have an efficient ventilation system, especially when using it for seedlings and young plants.
Unlike some of the other lights in a similar price bracket, there are no separate settings for veg/bloom growth states. This is disappointing, as this feature has become a useful standard on grow lights. Other features like having an on/off switch and being waterproof are disappointingly lacking.
The Greengo LED is a 900-watt light that offers most of the features of the other lights on this list, for a fraction of the cost. But this low cost comes with low quality, underscored by a plethora of negative user reviews. Also, the warranty seems notorious for not being honored.
The LEDs are often reported to last for only a few months before blowing out one by one, followed closely by the fan.
That said, it’s an affordable light, perfect for those who want to tip their toe into the indoor grow world. There are reports from users who have had little or no issues with this light, so if you’re on a tight budget, it may be worth the risk.
There are several important aspects to consider when deciding on a grow light. Because your lights are like the “sun” to your plants, they are one of the most important purchases you’ll make. They will affect your yields, bud quality, and power consumption. The choice that you ultimately make will need to take into account the following factors.
You’ll need to weigh up light cost vs. yield, as well as the cost of production vs. yield. If you are using a power-hungry light, like HIDs, your big juicy buds will cost more to produce in the long term. LED lights in particular will dramatically lower your energy consumption and thus, your running electricity costs.
LED lights are the new standard for indoor grows. They save power and are usually full spectrum. Full-spectrum lights live up to their name by giving your plants the complete range of light they need for optimum growth, imitating the spectrum that the sun would give. They give the full range of light spectrums from red, blue, infrared, and violet in order to help your plants grow optimally and ensure maximum yield.
They are generally a more expensive light, though their wide use is driving the price down slowly but surely, as our list above demonstrates. There are good quality yet affordable LEDs available to new and budget-conscious growers.
When buying lights, you also need to take into account your grow room size. Most budget lights will not give you a wide area of light spread. More plants need more light, and you’ll need to decide if you want a few high-output lights or several smaller lights.
Another consideration is heat output. LEDs typically pump out far less heat than their HID counterparts and so do not require much extra cooling. While lights like HIDs can save you money initially, in the long run, you’ll need extra fans and vents for cooling. Added to this is the fact that LEDs have a far longer lifespan than any other lights currently available.
LEDs do run the risk of burning your plants if placed too close, so they are more suited for bigger grow spaces. They can be used for smaller grows if you have enough height available above your plants.
For growers seeking a budget-friendly light option or for new growers looking to dip their toe into the indoor growing world, our first choice would be the King Plus LED. This light will give you a full-spectrum, powerful yet energy-efficient grow light that won’t break the bank. Its veg and bloom options and long lifespan will give you all you need to grow juicy, resin-packed bud for years to come.
Choosing the right light can be an unnerving experience due to the huge number of available power options, sizes, and prices. Hopefully, we’ve made it easier and less confusing to get you the best bud for your buck.
Featured Image Credit By: MARS HYDRO TS, amazon
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