Many growers might wonder what exactly are full spectrum LED grow lights?
Full spectrum grow lights have the unique ability to mimic the sun’s natural UV ray production. For indoor gardeners, these lights are a must-have item to ensure successful plant growth.
The lighting is an excellent long-term investment that pays for itself with reduced energy consumption, prolific plant growth, and a bountiful harvest.
In this article, you'll learn about three of the best full spectrum LED grow light for indoor plant growth and how to choose which one is best for your unique needs.
Best Overall Full Spectrum Grow Light: BESTVA DC Series 2000W
My first choice for the best full spectrum grow light is the BESTVA Newest Version Dual-Chip 2000W LED Grow Light which creates the perfect balance of UV rays for plants from vegetative to flowering. The high lumens output of this light guarantees perfect coverage.
What Exactly are Full Spectrum Grow Lights?
You are probably questioning what sets full spectrum grow lights apart from other forms of lighting. Well, there are two types of light in the world: visible and ultraviolet light.
The visible light you can see and is made up of red, orange, green, yellow, blue, indigo, and violet lights. Many bulb manufacturers focus on creating lights that bestow visible light to make their customers happy, but the sun naturally produces light that you cannot see, which is known as ultraviolet light.
Even though an ultraviolet light is invisible to the naked eye, plants require it to flourish and grow.
Full spectrum increases lights harness the power of ultraviolet rays. Although they are invisible to the naked eye, unlike conventional lights, full spectrum grow lights are a necessity for any indoor grow room.
Reasons to Use Full Spectrum Lighting
Here are three things that you should know about full spectrum grow lights and why you should use them:
- Plants grown using full spectrum lights reach much larger sizes and are ready to harvest faster.
- The lights mimic the sun’s UV rays which not only reach plants easier but also are more readily absorbed by the foliage.
- Unlike other types of grow lights, full spectrum lighting supplies the same power as the sun.
The Main Drawback of Full Spectrum Grow Lights
The only significant drawback to using full spectrum grow lights is the initial investment is expensive when compared with other lighting options. Although it might be costlier, the lights still are the preferred choice by most indoor gardeners.
Control of the Indoor Growing Environment
With an indoor grow system, you control your growing environment, so you are never tied to the seasons.
You can maintain a growth cycle throughout the year with lights. Lighting lets you obtain a more bountiful harvest that often has great colors and flavors than outdoor growing.
Understanding Full Spectrum Lighting
The words ‘full spectrum’ refers to the grow light’s wavelength which is the color of light that a plant needs to photosynthesize successfully. Photosynthesis is the process that a plant uses to convert light into fuel for growth.
Plants are all different, so full spectrum lighting supplies wavelengths that range between 390 to 700 nano-moles.
The Light Spectra
There are two light spectra that you should familiarize yourself with:
- The Absorption Spectrum: A plant can easily absorb and use these light wavelengths.
- The Action Spectrum: This spectrum is extremely effective for a plant’s ability to photosynthesis and helps to drive the plant’s abilities.
A full spectrum grow light covers all the light spectra that a plant needs for growth. The lights can cover the absorption spectrum and control the ratio of wavelengths in the action spectrum. The rays produced are all the light that your plant needs to flourish.
One of the critical benefits of full spectrum lighting is that it produces only the types of light that your plants will use to grow and wastes no energy-generating useless forms of view, so you'll conserve money on your energy bill.
The Perfect Spectrum
Many growers want to obtain the ‘perfect’ spectrum of light wavelengths for their plants, but this notion does not exist.
A full spectrum light offers all the main bands of color in the PAR (photosynthetically active radiation) spectrum. These are the wavelengths between 390 to 700nm. However, the exact wavelength does differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. Also, the type of LED’s has an impact. Even the way that you set the light in your grow room will matter.
Some manufacturers also add infrared and ultraviolet wavelengths to their lighting. Also, some lights have been tailored for a full growth cycle, and others offer only during a plant’s vegetative growth or flowering state.
Things to Consider When Purchasing a Full Spectrum Light
There a few things that you should take into consideration before choosing full spectrum lighting.
Cost: Undoubtedly, full spectrum LED grow lights are an expensive investment. The setup cost is typically far higher than standard HPS or HID setups. However, over time, you'll save money because the efficiency of LEDs far exceeds HID lighting.
Also, the average lifespan of an HPS bulb is only about 10,000 hours, but the lifespan of an LED is about 50,000 hours. You'll be able to run LED lights for at least 15 years before you must change lights.
Size: HID and CFL lighting systems are bulky. However, full spectrum pictures are small and modular. They do not need reflectors or large ballasts which makes them a perfect choice for a small grow room or tent.
Heat: Grow lights increase the temperature in your grow room but full spectrum LED lights do not produce excessive heat. The lack of heat emitted by the lighting is ideal if you're growing in a warmer climate
The Three Best Full Spectrum Grow Lights 2018 Review
We reviewed 20 different grow lights available on the market as of October 2018 and gathered a list of the three best full spectrum LED grow lights which'll value your money. Each of these LED light renders superior UV rays to meet the growth needs of your plants.
BESTVA DC Series 2000W LED Grow Light Full Spectrum: for Hydroponic Indoor Plants Veg and Flower
The BESTVA Newest Version Dual-Chip 2000W LED Grow Light creates highly efficient full spectrum 380-780nm.
This light spectrum is ideal for plants during the vegetative and flower growth stages.
It has high lumens which produce high plant yields. Another reward of the BESTVA Newest Version Dual-Chip 2000W Full Spectrum LED Grow Light is that it provides truly little heat.
So you'll not have to worry about the lights overheating your grow room as you do with so many other lighting sources that are made by other manufacturers.
Undoubtedly, BESTVA Spectrum has worked hard to develop and design these lights to meet the careful and meticulous needs of indoor gardeners.
Each LED has been engineered to create the perfect balance of lumen and coverage so that all plants receive equal amounts of light and none suffer stunted growth or sun burning.
Facts And Figures
Drawbacks: These lights are designed only for indoor use and are not waterproof. They can also be extremely harmful and irritating if you look directly at the light. Does not need a fancy ballast. The light can be controlled with a handy and convenient controller.
The BESTVA 2000W LED Grow light features a three-year limited warranty that offers a full money back guarantee if returned within 30 days. If the light needs repair, then there is free shipping on parts for the first six months.
Undoubtedly, the BESTVU is an excellent light and well worth the price. The lights feature a dual-chip (10w) LEDs which are brighter and far more efficient than traditional 3W and 5W LEDs. These units have the highest PAR/LUMEN output per LED.
The lights have a powerful cooling fan system that runs quietly through holes on the aluminum panel which makes the heat convection run 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than other lights. The light compares to 14000-watt HPS but only consumes a cost-friendly 390 watts. You'll find this light perfect for 7.8 feet by 7.5-foot growing area with 24 inches of height.
Best Budget:VIPARSPECTRA 600W Full Spectrum LED Grow Light for Indoor Plants
The VIPARSPECTRA V600 LED Grow Light Is designed to supply excellent heat dissipation which makes it ideal for all veg and bloom growth cycles.
Undoubtedly, you can increase quality grow far bigger plants using this grow light. The light supports high PAR and great coverage.
You do not have to worry about the middle grow area receiving a high concentration of light which can stunt plants and cause sunburn.
Instead, the rays are all well dispersed across the canopy of the plants.
Unlike similar lighting, this one stays cool and runs quickly. It runs 70 percent cooler than HID lights. The daisy feature further helps growers who use multiple lights because they can all be hooked together, and you'll need fewer outlets.
Facts and Figures
- The light measure 15.3 inches by 12.8 inches by 3 inches.
- The VIPARSPECTRA V600 LED Grow Light is designed for all stages of growth and flowering. The vegetative coverage is 32 inches (3 feet by 3 feet), and flowering coverage is 22 inches (2.5 feet by 2.5 feet).
- Offer the highest PAR rating in the industry.
- Daisy chain capable so you can hook many lights together to conserve outlets.
- The lights average power draw is 269W±3%
- The lifespan is 100,000 hours.
- The light has IR (infrared) LEDs
- Offers a warranty that spans three years plus 30 days satisfaction or returns guarantee from the company.
California Lightworks SolarSystem 550: best full spectrum led grow light for the money
The Solar Storm System 550 is a LED-based grow light. It offers two distinct features that set it apart from other grow lights.
The lighting has 5-watt LED emitters to create 440 watts. There is an affixed switch to change the light spectrum from vegetative production to bloom production.
The switch is a beneficial feature that not only promotes lush growth but also saves power.
The Solar Storm 550 also has a supplemental UV-B mode which was created to encourage a higher harvest.
The UV-B bulbs can be turned on in the final weeks of a plant’s life cycle to increase yield.
Facts and Figures
- The California Lightworks Solar System 550 has 88 Super High Flux US which has been made with 5-Watt LED emitter diodes.
- Creates a uniform 3 foot by 3-foot core coverage area, so you never have to worry about wasted light.
- Draws only 400 watts.
- The system has two built-in 15 Watt UV-B T8 tubes that each have a separate switch for operation.
- Programmable spectrum control
- The light features photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) that quickly penetrates the plant’s canopy to deliver full light.
- Convenient modular design
- Offers both wireless or hardwired networking
- The product dimensions are 20 inches by 7 inches by 22 inches.
- A built-in battery pack that saves programming if the power should stop.
- Unlike many grow lights, this one is waterproof. Boasts a (65 IP rating for damp & wet conditions)
- Complete control over the red/deep red channel, natural white (view mode) channel, and blue/deep blue channels so you can tailor for your plant’s individual lighting needs.
- Features a five-year manufacturer’s warranty
- Automatic day/week/month customizable calendar programs
- Made in America
One of the main benefits of the California Lightworks Solar System 550 is the lights ability to penetrate even a lush canopy, so the plant does not feel the need to grow tall and lanky to reach the light source.
The main drawback to the California Lightworks Solar System 550 is that the control screen is extremely fragile. However, you can pair it with another controller if necessary.
Ideally, you should use the included brackets to mount the light’s controller in a safe location and then handle it with care.
Full Spectrum Lighting FAQ
Do I need full spectrum lights?
Full spectrum grow lighting is as close to natural sunlight as you can get without growing your plant outdoors. If you want your plants to flourish, your crop must've light to photosynthesis.
What Type Of Grow Lights Should I Purchase?
There are several types of grow lights, so you are wondering what kind to buy. The type you choose will depend on what you're developing and the amount of grow room space.
You can select from fluorescent light, LED lights, and HID lights (high-pressure sodium and metal halide). However, full spectrum LED lighting is considered the top-of-the-line choice.
Is full spectrum lighting worth it?
Yes, full spectrum lighting is initially expensive. However, the amount of money you save on energy consumption and bulb replacement is substantial.
Also, your plants will thank you. Undoubtedly, plants grow better under full spectrum lighting. From seedling to harvest, your plants will flourish.
Can you have a smaller grow room with full spectrum lighting?
Yes, full spectrum lighting requires far less space than other forms of grow lights because they produce extraordinarily little heat.
The reduced heat emissions mean plants can safely be placed close to the light source without worrying about the foliage sustaining damage.
Can you control the wavelength of the LEDs?
Yes, you can run LED lighting in your grow room 24 hours per day. You can also adjust the red wavelength on most full spectrum lights, so you can maximize the plant’s growth rate.
LED lighting allows you to harvest multiple plants in one season that are auto flowering to maximize harvest. Flowering times can be altered to gain optimum production.
You can turn off specific wavelengths with most full spectrum lights to tailor the light to your plant’s stage and needs. In many ways, LED lights are healthier than even sunlight for your plants.
Are plants grown under full spectrum lights healthier?
Yes, plants grown under full spectrum lights are healthier because they produce more UV rays and less heat or IR rays generated by other light sources. Other light sources often cause plants to burn and dry up.
You'll also need to use more water and energy to keep the plants growing. However, with LED grow lights the harmful wavelengths are extremely limited so your plants will need less water and power to grow. LED lights help to create healthier plants than other types of grow lights.
Are LED lights environmentally friendly?
Yes, LED lights are very ecologically friendly. The lights are 100 percent recyclable. Also, unlike HID lights, they do not contain mercury or other toxic substances.
If you want to be sure that your LED lights are environmentally friendly, then always make sure you purchase lights that are certified by RoHS.
Can LED lights cause you to go blind?
Unfortunately, LED lights do produce a certain blueness which can cause blindness in some individuals.
If you're sensitive to the blue light of LED lights, then you should wear grow room glasses that offer UV protection when working your grow room.
Is it true that full spectrum lights cannot be used in high heat?
LED grow lights do not function well in elevated temperatures. The increased warmth causes the diodes to fail, and the quality of light starts to fail.
If your grow room becomes too hot, then you should consider installing a fan system to keep the LED lights cool.
Do LED’s lose their colors as they age?
Yes, some LED diodes do change color as they age. Aging LEDs can start to produce altered colors. Failing colors is a widespread problem with cheaper LED chips. If you buy quality LED lighting, you should not have a problem.
Conclusion (My Thoughts)
Full spectrum lighting is the revolutionary future of all indoor gardening. The advantages of the lights far outweigh the negatives.
If you seek robust vegetative growth and an ample harvest, then you should invest in LED lighting. The three full spectrum lights reviewed in this article are all ideal for most grow rooms.
Based in Florida, Kimberly Sharpe has been a full-time web writer since 2006. She writes for numerous online sites and publications. Her clients include USA Today, Maximum Yield, The Toddle, Grandfolks, Wag, MORR Gear, SF Gate, Better Homes and Gardens, Nu Image Medical, Garden Guides, Medical Marijuana Inc., Matrix CBD, Sheba Medical Center, CBD Kratom, Hydrolife, Vargas Face & Skin Center, The Midland Group, Laser Skin & Vein Clinic, Upbeatbike, Trails.com, Hotels.com, Squamish Adventure, Lufthansa Airlines, Travelocity, Yahoo Wisdom, Whitefence, Daily Puppy, OpEdNews, eHow Home and Garden, eBay Australia, Bird Talk Magazine, Dog Fancy Magazine, Yard Care Gurus, 223 Labs, HCG Spot, Fixr.com, Paramount Plants & Gardens, FetchMyVet, Health Hub, True Potential Chiropractic Office, Super Closets (Grow Boxes, Grow Cabinets, and Hydroponics), Harlan Chiropractic, Big Bro Market (DIY, Building Materials, & Gardening), and Right Pet.