Plants & Growing

The UK’s Best LED Grow Lights For Growing Plants Indoors

LED grow lights over plants growing

LED Grow Lights represent a ‘quantum’ leap for indoor gardeners. The next best thing to sunlight, LED Grow Lights outdo other grow lights on most criteria, they generate negligible heat, and produce light at optimal spectra. Also, their electrical consumption’s recurring cost is very low.

LED Grow Lights bring together the best of all worlds. Until recently, expert gardeners preferred High-Pressure Sodium (HPS) bulbs and Metal Halide (MH) bulbs for different growing needs; as well, fluorescent lights and even incandescent bulbs were used in jerry-rigged mix-and-match grow lights. No more. With LED Grow Lights, what was acquired knowledge and intelligent estimation, has become an exact science.

Plants need and make use of blue light and red light from the visible light spectrum, and these are precisely the types of wavelengths LED Grow Lights produce in the main. Red-spectrum light is essential for seedlings, the vegetating phase, and young growing plants, and it also assists in root and bulb development. Red-spectrum light is necessary for plants to produce chlorophyll and it stimulates lush blooming, flowering and fruiting. Furthermore, many kits allow you to choose one or the other sub-spectrum or both. Better quality LED Grow Lights also incorporate a couple of diodes of ultra-violet and infra-red light, besides white light. UV light is valuable to plants as it is involved in improving disease resistance.

Apart from a plant’s growth phases and seasonal cycles requiring or making use of particular spectra of light, different families of plants have differing light preferences which you should be aware of. For example, tomato, chilli, and most orchids require much more light and brighter light than do spider plant, dieffenbachia, and most ferns.

LED Grow Light kits are integrated in a single compact unit so instead of the outdated and superseded mix-and-match approach, it’s plug-and-play. Other advantages are that they produce negligible heat so you need have no worries of heat damage to seedlings or delicate plants. Unlike other types of lights, LEDs consume very little power so you need have no worries on another score – your electricity bill! In all truth, a high-end LED Grow Light is the next best thing to natural sunlight.

Our #1 Top Pick
Spider Farmer LED Grow Light Dimmable SF-1000 Grow Lights Compatible with Samsung LM301B Diodes &...
Lifespan
≥50,000 hours
Dimensions
36 x 32.7 x 11.5 cm
Weight
2Kg
Price
£209.99
Value Pick
Grow Lights for Indoor Plants, Garpsen Newest 80 LEDs Full Spectrum Led Plant Grow Light, 10 Dimming...
Lifespan
N/A
Dimensions
34.9 x 14 x 7.8 cm
Weight
0.98Kg
Price
£32.99
Also Consider...
Phlizon 600W LED Plant Grow Light,with Thermometer Humidity Monitor,with Adjustable Rope,Full...
Lifespan
≥50,000 hours
Dimensions
40 x 6 x 17 cm
Weight
2.2Kg
Price
£84.99

Last update on 2020-10-29 / Affiliate links / Images / Pricing from Amazon Product Advertising API

Underneath we run through five fairly different but well-reputed LED Grow Lights that you may appreciate – and which your indoor plants will appreciate even more.

Best Pick: Spider Farmer Grow Light SF-1000

Slim sturdy LED Grow Light has unusually well-balanced light with excellent PPFD but what counts most is that plants show their love for Spider Farmer’s kit.

Spider Farmer’s LED Grow Light has top-quality Samsung LM301B LEDs and a MEAN WELL driver. The SF1000 has a maximum ‘yield wattage’ or effective wattage of 100 watts. 

Sister models are also available in 60, 200, and 400 ‘yield watts.’

At 100 watts, this Grow Light’s PPFD is rated at 2.7 µmol/J but is actually 1.98 µmol/J. 

However, its PAR intensity map is nothing to shout about as it is not very even or well-graduated.

Unlike several other brands, Spider Farmer includes not only blue and red spectra lights but also white light for a closer approximation to sunlight. Its near full-spectrum light comprises of white, blue, red (660-665 nanometres), and infra-red. The white light has a colour temperature at 3000 and 5000 Kelvin. (3000 K is very close to the ‘white’ light of a tungsten bulb; 5000 K is at the pivot of ‘cool white’ light.)

Unlike other LED Grow Lights, Spider Farmer’s kit produces an exceptionally well-balanced light approximating natural light with the advantage that you can see your plants in their true colours rather than bathed in purple hues.

The recommended footprints are 90 x 90 centimetres for vegetating phase and 60 x 60 centimetres for flowering. As far as these specs go, Spider Farmer fully delivers and if anything, it is being modest.

Even the 100-watt SF1000 is strong and bright enough for you to want to dial down the brightness if you have only one or two plants, or if the plant is but a seedling and the distance is short. Unfortunately, the engineering design is sub-par as the dimmer cannot be adjusted by hand and requires a screwdriver, on top of which it is inaccessible behind the driver.

It has no fan so there is no fan noise – it runs perfectly silently. What it has is an aluminium heat sink. However, it can get a little hot, and how hot it gets depends on your room’s ambient temperature. (However, if it does run hotter than you would like, separate aluminium heat sinks are cheap and effective.)

This waterproof Grow Light has a slim profile, is really sturdy, and manifests excellent build quality.

In sum, Spider Farmer LED Grow Light SF1000 produces exceptional brightness and balance of light. What it does or doesn’t do is not something any review can adequately convey; what counts is how your plants end up responding. And plants respond by going, going, going . . . gangbusters!

It measures 36 x 33 centimetres. It does not require any assembly. A hanging kit and a flexible measuring tape are included.

Spider Farmer provides a three-year ‘local warranty’ meaning ‘after-service’ at the ‘local maintenance centre.’

Pros

  • One of the very best Grow Lights with respect to spectrum, light balance, and colour temperature.
  • Slim, silent, and waterproof, it has outstanding build quality.
  • If plants could vote, most likely Spider Farmer’s Lights would be elected President.

Cons

  • Its footprint as shown on PAR intensity maps is not even or well-graduated.
  • Though it has a dimmer, adjusting it is a right royal pain.
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Value Pick: Garpsen Grow Lights For Indoor Plants

Garpsen’s LED Grow Light is very cheap in price but valuable in giving entry-level gardeners a simple, effective, and portable kit with useful features.

Garpsen’s 40-watt LED Grow Light comprises of four slender aluminium-encased LED columns set on highly-adjustable and flexible goosenecks. Each goosneck is 38 centimetres and is bendable through 360 degrees.

Adjusting a light column’s angle and distance is quick and easy as the gooseneck can be quickly bent and manipulated, and retains its shape and position. Each 10-watt light column has 20 LEDs of which 7 are blue light and 13 are red light of, respectively, 400-470 nanometres and 630-660 nanometres. The light spectrum is undoubtedly narrow and limited.

A multi-press button on a small control box lets you choose between ‘Blue,’ ‘Red,’ and ‘Mixed’ light modes. The control box has another multi-press button to control the brightness from 10% to 100% in ten steps. It also has a Timer button with three settings: 3, 9, and 12 hours. Choosing one of these settings results in the lights turning on automatically for that duration every 24 hours. 

All four LED columns are mounted on a holder with a good-quality clamp which can be secured to the edge of a table or shelf. It need not be clamped upright; it can be clamped upside-down as suitable for your needs. A side benefit of the clamp-and-gooseneck is that it allows you to position the lights so as to stimulate directional growth if you wish.

Garpsen’s Grow Light is a highly manipulable, portable and movable kit ideally suited for cramped spaces. It also makes for quick and easy installations. It is a perfect starter kit and is excellent for an entry-level growing setup. Note that this Grow Light is not waterproof.

Though it is good for blooming and flowering, this kit really does the business for germination and seedlings, and is also very good for vegetables and succulents. Do not be misled by the cheap price and the unusual design – Garpsen’s LED Grow Light is very effective in its own niche.

A 1.5 metre power cord and a USB adaptor are included. It can be powered off – besides mains power outlets – most any 5-volt USB port such as those used by tablets and mobiles.

It comes with an appealing little gardening set consisting of a small spade, shovel, and rake.

Notwithstanding slightly overblown marketing material, Garpsen’ LED Grow Light is more than simply functional, has its own strong points, and, at the price, is a no-brainer value deal.

Garpsen provides a one-year warranty and a 30-day money-back guarantee. This is a KINGBO brand and KINGBO’s after-sales support is outstanding. 

Pros

  • Absolutely ideal for cramped spaces and where portability and adjustability are of importance.
  • Some useful features such as brightness control, auto-timer, and USB-sourced power.
  • Undeniable value for money.

Cons

  • Narrow, limited light spectrum (in keeping with the low price).
  • Modest coverage area.
  • Entry-level kit not suitable for serious or hobbyist indoor gardeners.
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Phlizon 600W Plant Grow Light

Phlizon’s LED Grow Lights even at 600 rated watts is perfect for the early growth phase, has a very good spectrum, is well kitted-out, and is great value.

Phlizon’s 600-watt LED Grow Light boasts a very good light spectrum. It has 60 LEDs which break down into 2 white with a colour temperature of 6500 Kelvin, 1 ultra-violet at 380-390 nanometres, 17 blue at 460 nanometres, 38 red at 630-660 nanometres, and 2 infra-red at 740 nanometres.  

Sister models at 900 and 1200 watts are also available.

Though this Grow Light is rated at 600 watts its consumption and actual wattage is 108 watts, as the literature mentions. It is technically a 600-watt kit because each of its 60 LED bulbs is rated at 10 watts. It is meant to produce light equivalent to 400-watt High-Pressure Sodium bulbs or Metal Halide bulbs.

At 600 watts (and not 108 watts), its PPFD is rated at 255.7 µmol/m²/second at 45 centimetres.

It has a ‘Veg’ switch and ‘Bloom’ switch. The former controls the white, UV, and blue LEDs while the latter controls the white (also), red, and IR LEDs. Of course, both can be kept switched on at the same time. 

Phlizon 600-watter has a rated core coverage of ‘1.5 x 1.5 to 2 x 2 feet’ and this spec is on the money: it really does fit the bill for an area of 50 x 50 centimetres. A single kit is just right for a small area with a couple of trays in which to bring up seedlings to young plant phase.

Equipped with two cooling fans, this unit produces some heat which may well suit cool or cold interiors. These LED Grow Lights do not have a reflector for safety reasons related to heat-resistance and the possibility of melting or burning. It has no dimming/brightness control.

Although Phlizon’s 600-watter and its bigger siblings are positioned as Grow Lights for plants’ full growing phases – witness the ‘Veg’ and ‘Bloom’ switches – in truth, this light is best for the early growth phase. It does have an impressive spectrum. For multiple mature plants, you need one of the more powerful models or buy two or three of these and daisy chain them. 

It has dimensions of 40 x 17 x 6 centimetres. 

Well kitted-out, Phlizon’s Lights come with a temperature and humidity digital panel, steel wire, carabiners, cord-pulley-ratchet-carabiner combo, and mains cord so you’re ready to rig things up without having to buy anything separately. The mains cord is quite short so the only thing you may need is an extension.

All said, this kit is a very good value for money.

Phlizon provides a two-year warranty and a 30-day money back guarantee.

Pros

  • Has a very good light spectrum.
  • Exceptionally well kitted-out with digital panel and hanging accessories.
  • Even at only 600 rated watts it delivers the goods and is great for the early growth phase.

Cons

  • Power cord is too short.
  • Not suitable for encouraging lush blooming.
  • No dimming/brightness control.
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Olafus 300W LED Plant Grow Light

Olafus’s sturdy and robust LED Light has an outstanding light spectrum with a very good PPFD ideal for germination and vegetating at an attractive price. 

Olafus 300-watt LED Grow Lights consist of 80 LEDs set in a rectangular die-cast aluminium casing. The breakdown of the LEDs is 17 white, 2 ultra-violet, 13 blue, 46 red, and 2 infra-red. The addition of white light LEDs improves the light balance of this kit; as a result, it has a better spectrum more closely approximating natural light as compared to other LED Grow Lights in its class.

Though this Grow Light is spec’d at 300 watts its consumption and actual wattage is 60 watts, as the literature mentions. It is technically a 300-watt kit because it is rated to produce light equivalent to 300-watt High-Pressure Sodium bulbs or Metal Halide bulbs. 

It has separate ‘Veg’ and ‘Bloom’ switches. The UV and blue of the former switch aids in the germination and seedling stage while the reds turned on by the latter promote flowering and fruiting in the mature stage.

This kit throws light at a broad 120-degree coverage angle. At 60 watts, its PPFD at a distance of 30 centimetres is 565 µmol/m2/second.

Olafus’s LED Grow Light is extremely effective with a pronounced improvement readily observable in the germination and vegetating phase for which one of these 300-watters is perfect for three small plants, and even for two good-sized growing plants.

It has two vented cooling fans inside the casing. They are virtually silent and so much so that you can run this Grow Light through the night without bothering anyone in any adjoining room. It has no dimmer or brightness control.

Several of these Lights can be daisy-chained so as to draw power from only one outlet.

Olafus’s Grow Light is solid and robust, with a well-formed and -finished metal casing. The build quality is excellent. It measures 30 x 15 x 5.5 centimetres.

It comes with very basic hanging equipment comprising steel cords and pothooks. The power cord has a generous length of 2 metres.

At the price, this very fine LED Grow Light is a good value for money.

Olafus provides five years ‘of quality service.’

Pros

  • Extremely good light spectrum closer to natural light than other competing LED Grow Lights.
  • For its wattage, very good PPFD and coverage.
  • Robust, sturdy, and of excellent build quality.

Cons

  • Actual wattage of only 60.
  • No dimmer or brightness control.
  • The supplied hanging materials are simple and basic.
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KINGBO LED 600W Grow Light

Boasting serious brightness and a very good spectrum, KINGBO’s LED Grow Light has excellent PAR-mapped distribution, and promotes blooming and flowering. 

KINGBO’s 600-watt LED Grow Light has an effective wattage or ‘yield wattage’ of 120 watts, its input power. It is technically rated at 600 watts because this Grow Light comprises of 60 dual chip 10-watt LEDs. It is meant to put out as much light as 450-watt High-Pressure Sodium bulbs or Metal Halide bulbs and it is indeed impressively bright.

Sister models in 1000, 1500, and 2000 watts are also available.

The inexpensive 600-watt kit’s 60 LEDs are made up of 2 white at 3000 Kelvin, 2 white at 6500 Kelvin, 1 ultra-violet at 410 nanometres, 2 blue at 430 nanometres, 8 blue at 460 nanometres, 4 red at 610 nanometres, 10 red at 630 nanometres, 30 red at 660 nanometres, and 1 infra-red at 730 nanometres. The combination of these wavelengths make for a very good spectrum.

Its core coverage at 60 centimetres is rated at 90 x 90 centimetres, and is actually so in practice. It has outstanding, uniformly-graduated light distribution; that is, a balanced and well-graduated PAR intensity map.

KINGBO’s kit is not waterproof. It has an aluminium heat sink plus a high-speed fan. It is not silent but is fairly quiet and the heat sink and fan keep heat emission extremely low to negligible. It has no dimmer or brightness control.

These Grow Lights can be daisy-chained off a single power point up to a maximum of 1000 watts (rated power).

KINGBO’s 600-watt LED Grow Light is made of strong materials and its build quality is impressive. It measures 32 x 22 x 6 centimetres.

It is a good ‘all-rounder’ for a plant’s life-cycle from germination through blooming but it seems to be just ideal for the middle and late growth stage of all types of plants, and particularly so for blooming and flowering. 

This Grow Light comes with a hanging kit consisting of an adjustable cord with carabiners and pulley ratchet, and a steel cable with more carabiners. The power cord is 1.8 metres. An unexpected bonus is the first-class booklet; it is not only clear and well-presented, it has quite a lot of interesting and relevant information.

KINGBO provides a three-year warranty and a 30-day money back guarantee. Their after-sales support is outstanding.

Pros

  • Impressive light distribution as manifested by even and well-graduated PAR map.
  • Very bright and powerful lights with an equally good light spectrum.
  • Excellent hanging kit and impressive booklet.

Cons

  • Actual wattage is only 120.
  • No dimmer or brightness control.
  • It is not waterproof.
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How To Hang LED Grow Lights

Unlike other kinds of grow lights, most LED Grow Lights can be hung fairly closely above plants because these lights emit next to no heat and, therefore, do not cause heat damage to plants like other grow lights do. That said, hang the lights at the vertical distance specified by the manufacturer, which will depend on the overall output of the light. A good distance is 45 centimetres but no closer than 30.

LED Grow Lights can be hung in myriad ways from a grow tent frame’s upper bars. However, it is wise to keep the system simple, safe, and adjustable. Possibly the best suspension design is one that is adjustable so that as a seedling grows you can raise the Grow Light or if you remove a mature plant and swap in a tray with seeds, you can lower the Light. 

To do so use two heavy-duty cords that are threaded through separate pulley ratchets and have carabiners at the ends. Hook each carabiner into an eye or loop on the upper surface of the LED Grow Light and loop the cord over and around and fasten it to a sidebar on the frame, preferably with another carabiner. Then use the pulley ratchets to raise and lower the LED Grow Light.

Do LED Grow Lights Use A Lot Of Electricity?

Actually LED Grow Lights use very little electricity. In the past, even low-watt incandescent lights were used as grow lights, being hung at some distance from indoor plants because of the heat they generate. Although metal halide bulbs and high-pressure sodium bulbs do not consume as much power as incandescent bulbs, they still consume more power than LED lights. Indeed, lumen for lumen LED lights on the average use a touch less electricity than even low-consumption fluorescent lights. Finally, compared to traditional non-LED grow bulbs, LED Grow Lights are a little more energy efficient; they convert about 80 percent of power into light.

Are LED Grow Lights Safe For Pets?

The light of LED Grow Lights is safe for pets, especially as pets have enough sense not to stare at them! Of course, if a lively young cat manages to jump on LED Grow Lights, she could hurt herself; however, the light they produce is harmless to pets.

About the author

Kersasp 'Kersie' Shekhdar

Kersie learnt the basics of gardening as a toddler, courtesy of his grandfather. In his youth he was an active gardener with a preference for flowering plants. He is a professional and vocational writer and his freelance projects have spanned various kinds of writing.

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