The Best LED Grow Lights?

These may be the best LED grow lights currently available

The award-winning Kind LED K5 Series

the best LED grow lights for indoor growingThese LED grow lights were brought to our attention recently due to their winning the High Times STASH “Gear of the Year” awards two years running (2015 and 2016).

Not only that, but the previous set of Kind LED lights (the K3 series), won the award the year before (2014). So you could say that these LED grow lights have a good track record!

According to Chris Mund on prweb.com,

One may ask, what is the High Times STASH award and how does a company earn such an honor? STASH stands for Significant Technological Achievements in Secretive Horticulture. The award celebrates the advances made in the indoor cultivation community and honors outstanding performance for products throughout the industry. These include products in lighting, grow media, nutrients, and any accessory that will increase overall performance in cannabis cultivation. Kind LED grow lights has, yet again, risen above the competition (the company’s K3 Series light won Gear of the Year 2014) based on the innovative design, customer satisfaction and hard data supporting the performance of the lights.

What’s all the fuss about then?

 

Advantages of LED grow lights in general

More and more growers are using LED lights to replace HPS, and other, lighting. This is for several very good reasons:

  • LEDs use far less electricity to run than HPS (or any other) lights
  • LEDs are more efficient – per wattage of electricity, LED lights give more light per watt so you get a higher yield per watt
  • you don’t have to change the bulbs of LED lights – or very rarely…!
  • LED lights are cooler-running so generate less heat (so you’ve less need for fans etc.)

So what’s so special about Kind LED lights then, over other LED grow lighting?

Kind LED grow lights – pros

Well, Kind LED grow lights have a few special features.

Quality of light – “perfect 12 band colour spectrum”

The main advantage of Kind LED grow lights is that the quality of light is better than most other grow lights. The K5 series is a mixture of 3 and 5-watt diodes. And they have a “perfect 12-band spectrum” – i.e., 12 colours of LEDs in the light.

The spectrum is adjustable so you can change it to adapt to the different light stages of your plants to really optimise the growth rates and yield of your plants. For example, by dimming the red parts of the spectrum during the vegetative stage then turning the reds up to bring them to harvest. You can actually simulate the conditions of full sunlight autumn harvest.

Focused diodes

Each diode also has a “secondary optical lens”. This focuses the light from each diode so that it shines directly downward, rather than the beam spilling out to the sides. As such, the light penetrates deep into the plant canopy, intensifying the photosynthetically active radiation (PAR – the wavelengths of light your plants use for photosynthesis). This in turn facilitates rooting and maximises your yield.

 

By the way, this is all explained further – and better! – in this information video:

Energy efficiency

Kind LED grow lights run at 60% of the wattage of HPS lights. For example, the Kind LED XL1000 has the same footprint and yield as a 1000W HPS light. So it can be used as a direct replacement, but requiring far less electricity to run.

Also, Kind LEDs last for 50,000 hours. This is the equivalent of having them on for 12 hours a day, every day, for ten years. So not (m)any bulb changes!

Coolness

Kind LED lights are very cool-running, even for LEDs. The makers state categorically that you will not need ventilation or fans with Kind LED lighting. Obviously, this will also save you a lot of installation costs and of course the ongoing electrical expense of running the fans, etc.

Built-in timers

Another feature of the Kind LED K5 series is built-in timers, so that you can program the lights to turn themselves on and off. Other LED lights sometimes also have this feature.

However, the K5 series allows you particularly detailed control over the timing. You can program the lights to come on and off 8 times within a 24 hour period. You can also control the light spectrum. So you can even program in a ‘sunrise’ and ‘sunset’ with the infra-red part of the spectrum to wake the plant up and put to ‘to sleep’ naturalistically.

Remote-control

Finally, the K5 series of Kind LED grow lights are possibly the only ones on the market right now that have a remote-control. This might sound like an unnecessary gadget, but given that many folks’ grow spaces are tucked away in inconvenient corners and attics, being able to adjust the lights by remote-control is a handy feature! It also means you’re not having to clamber around your plants and touch them too much.

The remote-control gives you very fine-grained control over the brightness of the different lights, including full control over which parts of the colour spectrum you’re wanting to dim or ramp up (there’s a cool demo of this in the video above too).

You can do everything manually too, so no worries if you temporarily misplace your remote.

 

Kind LED grow lights – cons

They sounds really good, right? But there must be a downside. Well, pretty much the only con is the upfront cost of the Kind LED grow lights.

The K5 series is the top of the range. It has two sizes of light, the XL750 and the XL1000, suited for smaller and larger grow spaces respectively.

The XL750 will set you back around $1400 – about £1140 / €1320. The XL1000 costs about $1900 – about £1545 / €1790.

The K3 series lights are about half the price of this, ranging from $660 – $990 – about £540 / €620 – £800 / €930.

 

NOTE: At the time of writing (Spring, 2017) Supercloset.com has a sale with about 10% percent off all Kind LED grow lights.

Click here to browse the sale: Supercloset Kind LED grow light SALE

 

The K3 series have 3-watt diodes whereas the K5 series is 3- and 5-watt diodes. The K3 lights also don’t have the remote-control feature. However, they have everything else – the full 12-bandwidth light spectrum, the secondary optical lens, etc.

These 3 Watt Kind LED lights will match or outperform any other similar 3 watt setup that is seen often throughout the web, regardless of price or claims, GUARANTEED!

And they did win the “Gear of the Year” award in 2014.

Greater upfront costs versus cheaper running costs

So Kind LED lights will cost you a bit to buy. However, given that they use only 60% of the electricity of HPS lights, you don’t need to buy new bulbs, and you don’t need ventilation ducts and fans, then you will be saving $100s/£100s in running costs. Not to mention the fact that you’ll be getting higher yields from your existing grow space. So if you can make the initial outlay, and you’re planning on growing for the long-term, you’ll be laughing as time goes on.

Manufacturer’s guarantee and warranty

Keep in mind that, whichever Kind LED lighting you get, they’re all covered by a 3 year warranty. This means that if you have ANY problems with the lights, you’ll get them fixed for free.

You can also just try them out for three months without any financial risk since there’s a 90-day money-back guarantee. Basically, if you try them and just don’t like them, you can get your money back within 90 days of purchase.

All in all, this makes Kind LED grow lights very appealing.

Click here for more information and/or to order: Supercloset.com – Kind LED grow lights

Supercloset.com is US-based with a UK distribution centre. So whether you’re in North America or Europe, your shipping costs will be reasonable!

 

Best lighting for indoor cannabis growing

Grow lights for indoor marijuana growing have been changing lately due to technological developments in lighting and due to discoveries of how different light spectrums are used by cannabis plants.

Simply sticking a bright light over your plants for the duration of their grow and flowering cycles is longer seen as adequate. These days smart indoor marijuana growers will use different types of lights at different stages of the plants’ growth.

We’ll look at these newer grow lights for indoor marijuana in a minute. But to start, let’s take a look at the old standby lights that still many growers use – perhaps because its easier to use what you know than to contemplate change.

Though if you already know you want LEDs, scroll down a bit for information about these.

 

HIDs (High Intensity Discharge Lamps)

high pressure sodium grow lights hpsMost indoor marijuana growing gardens used to use High Intensity Discharge (HID) lamps. The two types most commonly used were Metal Halide (MH) which produce an abundance of light in the blue spectrum promoting plant growth.

The other kind are High Pressure Sodium (HPS) lamps which emit an orange-red glow triggering hormones in plants to increase flowering/budding.

The problem with HID lights is that they consume a lot of electricity for output, produce high operating temperatures, and produce a wider spectrum of light – much of which is not needed or used by the plants. In other words, HID lights are expensive to run, inefficient and a potential fire hazard.

That not to say that HID lights, if used properly won’t deliver great results. They most certainly will. But when you figure in the factors of cost and safety, the newly developed fluorescent grow lights as well as the most recent kid on the block, LED lights, have clear advantages.

 

Fluorescent lights (CFLs, Compact Fluorescent Lamps)

cfl lights indoor marijuana

125w cfl

High powered fluorescent lights are now specifically produced for indoor gardening. They are available in 2 types – Blue 6400K that emit the wavelength of light needed for plant/vegetative growth, and Red 2700K that emits the right wavelength of light for flowering growth.

To produce great crops of marijuana you’ll need both these minds of lights – more of the ‘blue’ wavelength for the first two months and then more ‘red’ when it comes to the flowering phase.

Unlike HID lights, no light falls outside of the needed spectrums which results in less waste and better growth for less power consumption.

With the development of CFL grow lights, HID lighting has been largely replaced.

 

LED (Light Emitting Diode) lights

best lighting for indoor cannabis growing

LED lights

The development of LED lights are increasingly being considered the best investment for indoor growing. This is partly because of their performance (in terms of versatility and efficiency) and also the huge saving in electricity running costs.

They’re also cooler, so you’ll have no worries about overheating your precious plants.

One of the main advantages of LED lights is the different colour spectra you can create with them. Since plants require different wavelengths (colours) of light at different stages of their growth, using good LED lights allows you to tailor the lighting to the growth stage of your plants in order to maximise your yield.

Some LED lights allow very fine-grained adjustment of the colour spectrum. Others have a more standard ratio of red and blue wavelengths (e.g., about 3 to 1), one which is considered good for all round plant growth.

Other advantages of LED grow lights

Other advantages of LED grow lights are the fact you’ll almost never have to replace a bulb since most of them last for 50,000 hours or more. This is roughly equivalent to having them on for 12 hours a day every day for ten years. So there’s a cost-saving right there.

The other advantage, as mentioned above, is that LED lights give out much less heat than any other lighting. With good quality LED lighting, you can even dispense with ventilation and fans (again, more cost-saving).

In summary, good LED lighting will save you a lot on running costs. And if you get the kind with an adjustable colour spectrum, you can really max out your yield. Thus getting bigger plants and greater yields for the same seeds and grow space.

 

If you’re thinking of using LEDs, do a bit more research to find the best ones for you,  bearing in mind that good quality LEDs are pretty pricey. On the other hand, they can give you the best results. For example, Kind LED lights have now won several awards for their excellent efficiency and performance – more information on them below.

 

So what is the best lighting for indoor cannabis growing?

If you have the money for the initial outlay, LED lights are generally the most efficient, the most effective, and the cheapest to run.

However, LEDs are the most expensive to buy. So if you don’t have the grand or so it might cost you, CFL lights are the next best choice. They’re the next most efficient to run, in terms of performance, electricity costs and bulb replacements. You can also do a limited bit of colour/spectrum targeting by using red and blue spectrum CFLs.

HID lights are the old standby for indoor growing gardens but due to the advancements in CFLs and LEDs, HIDs are now largely a thing of the past since the high power consumption, high heat generation and general inefficiency no longer makes them a viable option.

 

Conclusion

In short, if you’re the experimental type who likes to be on the cutting edge of technology, LED lights are the top choice – especially if you’ve got some extra coin to invest.

Otherwise you can’t go wrong with specially designed CFL grow lights. Power consumption and start-up costs are reasonable. Good performance is well documented.

Here are some links to top of the range award-winning LED lights, as well as a cheaper LED light, and some good quality CFL lights. Take your pick!

 

Selection of CFL grow lights on amazon.co.uk (UK)cfl grow light cannabis uk

click on the image to see specs, prices and availability

125-300W CFL grow lights, around £20 each

 

 

 

LED lighting for indoor cannabis growingCheap LED grow light – amazon.com (worldwide delivery)

Lighthouse Hydro BlackStar Flowering LED Grow Light, 135-watt, $179.95

(recommended by some growers as a good one to start with if you want to do a very small grow under LED lighting)

 

 

Expensive but award-winning LED grow lights – Supercloset.com (worldwide delivery)

best lighting for indoor cannabis growing - Kind LEDsKind LED lights, from $660 – $1895 (about £540 – £1550)

Fully adjustable 12-colour light spectrum, built-in timer, remote control (on some models)

Winner of High Times “Gear of the Year” awards several years running!

(Click on the picture for more information and/or to order.
Or click here to read our review: Best LED grow lights)

 

A few tips on using CFL grow lights

During the vegetative phase, the plants should be given 16 to 20 hours of light per 24 hours. (This is usually the first two months, depending on the strain.)

Some say you should grow your crop longer before inducing flowering as it results in a better more potent crop. But of course it depends to a degree on the strain. And opinions differ even among growers of the same strains.

The length of the periods of light should be reduced to no more that 12 hours every 24 hours when shifting to flowering period (which will usually last between 8 and 11 weeks depending on strain).

The plants will continue to grow in the flowering phase and can easily double, or even triple in size.

 

Using UVA and UVB lights for indoor cannabis growing

“The Dutchman” grower is experimenting with using UVA and UVB lights. He claims they are the best lighting for indoor cannabis growing if you want to increase the potency of your crop. For how to do this, watch the video here.

And to get the grow lights he recommends – 4 ft Zoo MedReptiSun 10.0 UVB/UVA Bulbs –  click here:

UVA-UVB lights by Zoo Med on amazon.com

UVA-UVB lights by Zoo Med on amazon.co.uk

 

Good luck with your grow!