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How to choose a LED grow light

Most hobby growers now find themselves kitting out their homes, garages or greenhouses with special equipment to help them provide their plants with everything they need to optimize growth and produce higher yields.

Which is why, we’re going to make it that little bit simpler for you: Rather than cross comparing different grow lights, we recommend that all growers – beginners and experts – choose LED grow lights. They’re great for producing high quality crops while being cost efficient at the same time.

How to choose the right grow light 


Input wattage

Input wattage can be confusing. In fact, a lot of people have felt a little disappointed when buying LED grow lights purely based on wattage. Rather than looking at a product title that boasts 3000 watts, you need to look at the efficiency of the light in the product specifications instead.

The higher the efficiency number, obviously, the better. As more of the input wattage is being translated into photons for your plants.

To understand the efficiency of the grow light, you’ll also need to consider the types of plants you’re wanting to grow, as well as the spectrum and spread of the light itself. So don’t just take the wattage as gospel, as you may be pretty unsatisfied with the results.


Plants need a combination of red, blue and white light for different stages of the grow cycle. Grow light manufacturers often claim their lights to be ‘full spectrum’, despite only using red and blue diodes. While this is fine for some areas of the growth cycle, you’ll still not be getting the most out of your plants. The easiest way to provide your plants with this is by using bright white light as this will automatically include a broader range of wavelengths that your plants can use to thrive.

As the industry continues to develop, there will certainly be more information available about specific plants and the types of light they work best with. However, for now, it’s much better to opt for white LEDs.


Manufacturers have a cheeky habit of overselling their coverage, as well as their wattage. Generally speaking, when asking ‘what are the best LED grow lights’, some will say they can provide the same levels of light to the plant directly below the bulbs, as those plants in the corner.

Rather than trying to find a zero-shadow-all-singing-all-dancing light, it’s better to focus on the placement of your plants within the grow space. As a rule, you should try to keep your plants away from the edges of the grow space anyway, to ensure they have access to as much light as possible.

Otherwise, you’ll find that the outer edges are prone to shadows and dim light.

Worse still, having plants too near to the sides of the grow tent could lead to mold and contamination. If you’ve ever camped in a tent in the Winter or Spring, you’ll know that in the morning, the sides of the tent can be pretty wet. In a grow tent, the exact same can happen and as your plants will likely be giving off some level of humidity or moisture, it’s best to keep them away from the sides.

So, what should you look for in an LED grow light? 

Can you use regular led lights for grow lights

Can any LED light be used as a grow light? Definitely not. Not all LEDs are created equal.

LEDs designed to be used for growing have been carefully designed and crafted to create a special blend of light spectrum that offers efficiency for your plants so that much less energy is wasted.

When trying to choose the right grow light for you, there are actually a huge number of things that need to be considered, with spectrum and intensity being a priority. We suggest asking yourself these three questions to help:

What are you growing?

The obvious first step to choosing any equipment for your grow space is to consider the type of plant you’re growing. Full spectrum LEDs will give your plants the light they need at any point in the growth cycle. But some lights are designed for specific plants in mind.

Where are you growing?

The next thing to consider is where your setup will be. For hobbyists, we typically recommend using a grow tent, or opting for one of our starter kits that has everything you might need for your first grow. Grow tents make it easier for you to control different aspects of your plant’s environment like temperature and light.

When shopping for grow lights, it’s good to aim for around 32 watts per square foot. Smaller plants like herbs and lettuces might only need around 18 watts per square foot, which is why choosing the type of plant you’re going to grow first is the best option.

What type of LED do you need? 

Full cycle LED lights are what we recommend for most grows, but if you only need light for the flowering phase, you could save yourself some money for opting for a different light.

As well as different spectrums, LED lighting can also come in panels, bars, bulbs and tube formats. But we’ll discuss this further in another post!

Hopefully this has shed a little light onto what to look for in a grow light, and what to watch out for. Our LED grow lights all have detailed product descriptions and technical specs, so you should be able to find something to suit your space. That said, we’re always here to offer help and advise!