When it comes to buying LED grow lights, having several options could be confusing at times. Similarly, the LED market proves there are many available indoor grow light alternatives.
Yet, not all LEDs are built in the same way so you have to examine which are full spectrum LED grow lights. Remember, your plants need quality and the appropriate quantity of light.
Indoor gardening means lack of UV rays and heat needed for growth. When daylight hours are limited, your growth rate becomes slower, leading to low plant yields as well.
Full spectrum grow lights have the unique ability to mimic the sun’s natural UV ray production. If you want to ensure successful plant growth, you definitely should own these lights. No doubt, the lights can give you the extra boost to grow indoor plants at any time of the year and in any climate.
For indoor gardeners, the lighting is an excellent long-term investment that pays for itself with reduced energy consumption, prolific plant growth, and a bountiful harvest.
So to help you make the best choice, I've listed everything you must know before purchasing what you think is the best full spectrum lights for growing indoor.
Here you will find basic information, tips, energy-saving details, and reviews about the seven best LED grow lights on the market for the year of 2019 for your indoor growing setup.
Best Overall Full Spectrum Grow Light: BESTVA DC Series 2000W
My first choice for the best Full Spectrum White Led 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.
7 of the best Full Spectrum LED Grow Lights to buy in 2019
Doesn't have time to read this entire review, we've simplified everything for you. Here I’ve put together this handy table to make it easier and faster to to determine what is the Best full spectrum grow light for your space, efficiency and budget.
7 of the best LED grow lights we've review in this post. The models selected are:
Best Overall: Viparspectra Reflector-Series
Best value LED Grow Light: BESTVA DC Series
Best Full Spectrum Led Grow Light: California Lightworks SolarSystem 550
Best 600w LED Grow Light: MarsHydro Mars Updated Series
Best Build Quality: King Plus Full Spectrum LED
Best 1000w Led Grow Light: Roleadro 2nd Generation Series
Best For Indoor Plants: Apollo Horticulture GL60
What Exactly Are Full Spectrum Grow Lights?
You are probably wondering 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 is made up of red, orange, green, yellow, blue, indigo, and violet lights. Many bulb manufacturers focus on manufacturing lights that give visible light to make their customers happy, but the sun naturally emits light that you cannot see, which is known as ultraviolet light.
Although they are invisible to the naked eye, unlike conventional lights, full spectrum grow lights are a necessity for any indoor grow room.
Are Full Spectrum LED Lights Good For Plants?
In my fruitful years of indoor gardening, I've found that the best full spectrum grow light for me is the BESTVA Dual-Chip 2000W LED Grow Light because it creates the perfect balance of UV rays for plants from vegetative to flowering. Moreover, the high lumens output of this light guarantees perfect coverage.Since I'm all for trying out new equipment to have several options, I've also discovered that the Apollo Horticulture GL60LED is another smart choice because its lights are suitable to all phases of plant growth.
While these two provided the light I wanted, it may not produce the same results to you due to the different environment of your indoor grow area or types of plants.
This is why growers still have to know other full spectrum lights for indoor plant growth.
In the following parts, we'll look into the reasons why full spectrum lighting is essential for indoor plant growth, what factors you should consider before buying, and the best LED grow lights that expert indoor growers have tested.
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.
What Exactly Are Full Spectrum LED Grow Lights?
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 thatrange 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
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.
How to Measure the Range of Wavelengths and Light’s Intensity
This is a vital factor in buying a LED grow light.Most people think that it's all about watts per square foot or lumens.In reality, it involves PAR, PPFD, and to a lesser extent, PPFD or watt ratio.
Photosynthetically Active Radiation or PAR is the range for all the different colors or wavelengths of light that plants use for photosynthesis.
Your LED light should have all the different wavelengths or colors of light that make up PAR to ensure optimal plant growth.
Essentially, your full spectrum lights should have blue colors for the vegetative process and red/orange wavelengths for the flowering stage.
The right light will largely produce light that your plants will surely use for photosynthesis. As a result, little to no electricity goes to waste.
On the other hand, PPFD or Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density is one of the most critical metrics indoor growers should know.
It is a measurement of light intensity, and says how many light photons that fall within the PAR-range hit a given square meter per second.
Keep in mind that PPFD values in the red or wavelengths have the most effect on your yields in the flowering stage of your indoor plants.
LED Grow Light Buyer's Guide - How to Choose the Best LED Grow Light for your Plants
There are a few things that you should take into consideration before choosing full spectrum lighting.You should take note of the following factors because some full spectrum lights can be used to certain growth stages while others can be used at any stage.
The potential size of the growing space
First and foremost, you must identify the size of your indoor growing space because it determines the size and amount of full spectrum lights you need.
As a general rule, indoor growers use about 11 to 18 watts per square foot when growing low-light plants while high-light plants commonly require 32 watts of power per square foot.
Quality of light
When rating a LED light, you must be aware of the range and ratio of different colors or wavelengths of light, as well as your light's efficiency and intensity.
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.
Watts Per Surface Area
Basically, it's advisable to get a full spectrum light for indoor plant growth that can produce a minimum of 50 watts per square foot.
For instance, a 2.5x2.5 ft space should at least have a 400W LED grow light while a 4x4 ft space must have a 900W LED grow light.My 5x5 ft indoor growth space is being covered by a 1600W LED grow light.
Do LED Grow Lights Get Hot?
Grow lights increase the temperature in your grow room, but full spectrum LED lights do not emit excessive heat.
The lack of heat emitted by the lighting is ideal if your grow space is located in a warmer climate.
Meanwhile, a full spectrum light with higher heat output would burn out more quickly and will need to be replaced sooner.Well-balanced low heat output LEDs emit less energy and have aluminum heat sinks.
Electricity Consumption and Output
Your full spectrum lights will have to run for at least 10-12 hours on a daily basis, which then results in higher electricity bills.
The key is to check how many units is the total output of the light. Personally, I don't settle for anything less than 300 watts since there are models that could go as high as 1000 watts.
Consequently, a higher output helps compensate for any wattage loss.
LED light accessories
Normally, full spectrum lights for indoor plant growth come with a hanging kit. If there's none, you'll have to manually turn on and off your lights.
So to save you the hassle, I suggest buying sturdy rope ratchets or a Honeywell Timer.
Is the cost of a LED Grow light worth the reward?
Undoubtedly, full spectrum LED grow lights are an expensive investment. The setup cost is typically far higher than standard HPS or HID setups.
Yet, over time, you will 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 will be able to run LED lights for at least 15 years before you must change lights.
This is why the Roleadro 1000W LED grow light also worked for me because it can run for up to 100,000 hours.
The 7 Best LED Grow Lights (Full Spectrum) 2019 Review
We reviewed 20 different grow lights available on the market as of May 2019 and gathered a list of the 7 of the 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.
Best Overall LED Grow Light: VIPARSPECTRA Reflector-Series 600W LED Grow Light Full Spectrum
The VIPARSPECTRA V600 LED Grow Light is designed to supply excellent heat dissipation, which makes it ideal for all vegetative and bloom growth cycles.
Facts and Figures
- Product Dimension: 15.3 x 12.8 x 3 inches
- Item Weight: 11.6 lbs
- Rated Power: 600 watts
- Voltage: 120V
- Average power draw: is 269W±3%
- Lifespan: 100,000 hours
- Warranty: 3 years plus 30 days satisfaction or returns guarantee from the company
- LED Bulbs: (120pcs) High Intensity 5W Epiled/Bridgelux LEDs
- Light has IR (infrared) LEDs
- Reflector design that increases PAR output by 50%
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.
The VIPARSPECTRA V600 LED Grow Light is designed for all stages of growth and flowering. The vegetative coverage is 32 inches (3x3 feet) while flowering coverage is 22 inches (2.5x2.5 feet).
Unlike similar lighting, this one stays cool and runs quickly. It runs 70% cooler than HID lights. The daisy feature further helps indoor growers who use multiple lights because they can all be hooked together, and you will need fewer outlets.
One of The VIPARSPECTRA V600 LED Grow Light's disadvantages is that it is not equipped with a timer, but it can be controlled by one.
Unlike other grow lights, this item is extremely bright when turned on. Be careful because the extreme brightness may be too intense for young plants.
Don't worry, VIPARSPECTRA V600 LED Grow Light still has an advanced cooling system that is suitable for heat dissipation.
Besides, its optimal full spectrum provides plants with everything they desire in the natural sunlight, which is more important.
Check Viparspectra 600W LED Full Spectrum Grow Light Price on Amazon
BEST VALUE LED grow Light: BESTVA DC Series 2000W LED Grow Light Full Spectrum
If you want a highly efficient full spectrum light of 380-780nm, then I recommend you go for BESTVA Newest Version Dual-Chip 2000W LED Grow Light.
This full spectrum light is ideal for plants during the vegetative and flower growth stages.
Another benefit of the BESTVA Newest Version Dual-Chip 2000W LED Grow Light is that it provides truly little heat, so you will 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.
Unquestionably, BESTVA Spectrum has worked hard to develop and design these lights to meet the careful and meticulous needs for indoor plant growth.
Each LED has been engineered to produce the perfect balance of lumen and coverage so that all plants receive equal amounts of light and none suffer stunted growth or sun burning.
I like full spectrum lights that have a powerful cooling fan system, and this unit 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 will find this light perfect for a 7.
8x7.5-foot growing area with 24 inches of height. Take note, it will ensure indoor plant growth for up to 100,000 hours.
A little reminder, these full spectrum 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.
In addition, it does not need a fancy ballast since 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.
I assure you, the BESTVA is an excellent light for indoor plant growth 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.
Check BESTVA 2000W Grow Light Current Price On Amazon
What I'm about to share are distinct features that set California Lightworks 550 apart from other grow lights. The Solar Storm System 550 is a LED-based grow light. It offers 88 Super High Flux US and 5-watt LED emitters to create 440 watts.
Here’s what I like best about California Lightworks 550: this model has an attached switch to change the light spectrum from vegetative production to bloom production, which is a beneficial feature that not only promotes lush growth, but also saves power.
This full spectrum light for indoor plant growth features a photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) that quickly penetrates the plant’s canopy to deliver full light even if you have 3x3 core coverage area. It even has a 90-degree jewel quality glass.
The Solar Storm 550 also features a supplemental UV-B mode that encourages a higher harvest. The UV-B bulbs can be turned on in the final weeks of a plant’s life cycle to increase yield.
Another impressive feature is that it has a built-in battery pack that saves programming if the power should stop. This one is also waterproof unlike other LED grow lights.
Moreover, California Lightworks Solar System 550 has 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.
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.
Best 600w LED grow Light: MarsHydro Mars Updated Led Grow Light
The Mars Hydro 300W LED grow light focuses on utilizing superior 12-band full spectrum with IR to obtain maximum photosynthesis response.
It comes with a reflective frame design, which ensures light uniform and intensity for growing plants and maximum absorption scale for chlorophyll, which greatly affect plant photosynthesis.
What's excellent about this model is that it is easy to install and adjust. It replaced the traditional vitreous board with the newest PC material, which highly decreases the weight of light compared with traditional grow lights.
Furthermore, you won't need extra ballast. It also has a wide variety of spectra: 400-410nm, 440-450nm, 450-460nm, 630-635nm, 650-660nm, and 730-740nm.
Another benefit of this full spectrum light is its upgraded power switch and daisy chain function. Hence, the unit provides easier and more convenient growing operation and management of indoor plants.
Nevertheless, Mars Hydro LED Grow Light works best for beginners, especially if they are into seedlings.
BEST BUILD QUALITY: King Plus 600W Full Spectrum LED Grow Light
King Plus 600W grow light has full spectrum for vegetative and flowering stages: 410nm, 430-440nm, 450-475nm, 620-630nm, and 650-670nm.
With this power, you can have the most comprehensive spectrum to provide the needed light that is similar to the sunlight.
King Plus also made some chip upgrades, with the new dual chips 10W LEDs brighter than the traditional 3W and 5W.
The dual chips were also scientifically engineered to maintain the balance of the PAR Output and Coverage.
I suggest using this model if you have a coverage area of about 3x3 ft; although the height and lighting area are changeable due to different environments and plants.
I operate the light for about 12 to 14 hours during the vegetative stage, 9 to 12 during the flowering stage, and 7 to 8 during the fruiting stage.
As for my experience, it also works great on seedlings because it only produces minimal heat. In addition, I keep a 2 to 3.5 ft distance above the plants
King Plus 600W grow light also has an efficient cooling system because of its two high-speed quiet fans and upgraded aluminum heat sinks.
Thus, the feature keeps the lights quiet, cool, and work longer.
On the flipside, it doesn't create the same effect to a 5x5 growing area and there is no spot to daisy chain two lights together.
Nonetheless, King Plus 600W grow light is energy saving compared to traditional 600 Watt HPS/MH lamp.It can also function at a working environment of 45% to 90% relative humidity.
Best 1000w Led Grow light: Roleadro LED Grow Light 2nd Generation Series
Roleadro's efforts have paid off after manufacturing a better spectrum light for growing and flowering plants.
The 1000W grow lights emit full spectrum light instead of a single spectrum. This ensures your plants receive even illumination under this grow light.
Strikingly, this light can be used from germination to fruit stage. The full spectrum effectively promotes the synthesis of sugar for plants than the traditional red and blue growing lights.
My favorite thing about this is that the model has also applied the LED bead and zener design rather than a reflector to make sure the lights will work even if some of the LEDs fail to function.
The combination of 90 and 120-degree lenses maximize the light coverage
Moreover, Roleadro 1000W LED grow lights include upgraded aluminum cooling heat sinks and advanced high-speed quiet fans that are useful for easy heat dissipation.
This is for indoor growers who want lights that have a less light loss, the lowest working temperature, and longer lifespan.
The model can provide much needed light to a 2x2 space during flowering and a 3x3 indoor grow space during vegetative state. It's actually perfect for beginners or those who only want a small grow.
Again, not all spectrum lights are perfect.
Still, Roleadro 1000W LED grow lights are one of the most affordable full spectrum lights on the market.
It even comes with a double power cord used for power and daisy chain. As a result, two or more 1000W LED grow lights can be connected together with the standard included power cord.
Being able to save power is an enticing factor for me. This can be your best indoor grow light because of its ability to expand the extent of light coverage while saving energy, time, and money at the same time.
Best For Indoor Plants: Apollo Horticulture GL60LED 180W LED Grow Light
This innovation from Apollo Horticulture comes with an easy to install LED grow lights, which emit considerably less heat and do not require ballasts.
As a result, Apollo Horticulture LEDs can be placed closer to the plant canopy, which is significant for healthy plant growth.
From what I've observed, Apollo Horticulture LED grow lights use just a fraction of the electricity than other types of grow lights.
Yet, they radiate minimal heat at about three-foot radius, which should not scorch your plants. The lights are also designed to withstand grow room temperatures of up to 131 degrees Fahrenheit.
This full spectrum light for indoor plant growth also comes with a stainless steel hanging kit, which is protected against corrosive effects arising from the moisture generated by the plant’s transpiration process.
Moreover, the hanging kit enables the lights to function in a wide humidity range of 0-95%.
What I especially love about this low power grow light is that it can cover a five square feet area of plants at the vegetative stage and serve a four square feet area of flowering plants. The LED view angle can also be adjusted up to 120 degrees.
Be prepared to face the setback that the lights are very bright compared to others, which means it has the tendency to impact plant growth indirectly.
Unfortunately, there is no proper sink for heat escape since there's no separate duct.
Still, Apollo Horticulture LED grow lights are suitable for all phases of plant growth and flowering.
In addition, Apollo Horticulture's lights do not give dangerous UV rays because of the different light spectra that are ideal for plant growth: 460nm, 610nm, 630nm, and 730nm.
Note that ultraviolet light is lower on the spectrum, 10-400nm.
Generally, products made by Apollo Horticulture remain cool even when operating continuously, which is helpful for small grow rooms capable of accommodating only one grow light.
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.
What Type Of Grow Lights Should I Purchase?
There are several types of grow lights, so you are wondering what kind to buy.
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.
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?
LED lighting allows indoor growers to harvest multiple plants in one season that are auto-flowering to maximize harvest.
I normally turn off specific wavelengths with most full spectrum lights to modify the light to my plant’s stage and needs.
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.
I suggest installing a fan system to keep the full spectrum lights cool if your indoor grow space becomes too hot.
Do LEDs lose their colors as they age?
Yes, some LED diodes do change color as they age.
You shouldn’t encounter any problems if you buy quality full spectrum lights for indoor plant growth.
Full spectrum lighting is the revolutionary future of all indoor gardening.
If you seek robust vegetative growth and an ample harvest, then you should invest in the best full spectrum lights for indoor plant growth.
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 seven LED grow lights reviewed in this article have all been proven to be ideal for most indoor grow spaces.
Just consider your indoor garden’s growing environments so you can optimize the capacity of your spectrum lights and maximize plant yields.
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.