How To Choose The Best LED Grow Light For Your Hydroponic Garden

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LED grow lights are becoming the go-to for hobby hydroponic gardeners and for good reason. LED grow lights are overall more efficient and have a longer lifespan. There are now so many different grow lights to choose from. Here’s how to choose the right LED grow light for your hydroponic garden.


How Many LED Grow Lights Do I Need?

One of the biggest questions is how many lights you will I need for my hydroponic garden. That’s going to depend on how many plants your growing and the size of your grow space.

When searching for LED grow lights for your hobby hydroponic garden, you’ll notice they are grouped by wattage. LED grow lights typically range between 300 to 4000 watts, the greater the watts the larger the grow area. In the past the rule of thumb was typically about 40w per plant your growing, but things work a little differently with these new LED grow lights. The types of LEDs used, the driver and the shape of the grow light will affect the coverage area.

Instead of trying to calculate what you need before hand, I would recommend just going off which each light manufacturer recommends per that specific grow light. The coverage area should be listed in the product description. Keep in mind that the coverage area of your LED grow light slight decreases during the plants flowering and fruiting stages. 

Getting one light that covers your whole coverage area isn’t always the best idea. I suggest at least having 2 lights to make sure You plants are receiving more light on all their sides.

The Different Types LED Grow Lights

Box LED Grow Lights

I call these box LED grow lights because of their enclosure. They have an active heat sink which uses a fan to push heat away from your grow light. The fan causes this type of led grow light to be the noisiest.

Of the three types of LED grow lights on the list, box LED grow lights are the cheapest. Cheapest doesn’t meant that they don’t work, in fact they work really well.

Some Typical Advantages of Box LED Lights

Ability To Add Additional Grow Lights

If you plan on using multiple grow lights in your hydroponic garden then I would suggest purchasing lights with a daisy chain feature.

Daisy-chaining allows you to connect multiple lights together using the power cord. This reduces the number of outlets needed for grow lights, freeing them up for other system parts. You can only connect a few together at a time, make sure to check the manufacturer’s recommendations as to how many they recommend.

Veg And Bloom Switch

Almost all LED grow lights are full-spectrum, meaning they will produce light needed for all stages of plant growth. Where some LED grow lights may differ though is how they offer that light.

Some grow lights have 1 switch turning the light on and off. Smaller lights are typically 1 switch. Larger lights usually have two switches. Two switch LED grow lights typically have 1 veg switch and 1 bloom switch.

Some Typical Disadvantages of Box LED Lights

Panel LED Grow Lights

bright white led grow light

Panel LED grow lights are the next step up in the grow light scale. These grow lights use a passive heat sink, usually made up of aluminum and radiates the heat away from your grow light. Since there is no fan, panel LED grow lights don’t make any noise.

Some Typical Advantages of Box LED Lights

Some Typical Disadvantages of Box LED Lights


Bar LED Grow Lights

Bar LED grow lights are the newest type of grow light on the scene.

Some Typical Advantages of Box LED Lights

Some Typical Disadvantages of Box LED Lights


What To Look For When Purchasing An LED Grow Light


When shopping for LED grow lights for your hydroponic system you’re going to find prices across the board. While the budget grow lights may not be 100% perfect for growing nop notch quality plants, for most hobby hydroponic gardeners they can work. At the same time you do get what you pay for.

Be sure to check for any sales or coupons. My purchasing my last grow light it was actually cheaper to get the more expensive grow light because there was a $30 off coupon on Amazon.

Warranty And Quality Guarantee

Most manufacturers offer some sort of warranty or guarantee. When looking at warranties it’s good to note what’s covered in addition to how long the warranty lasts.

Check the Reviews

Before making the final decision I always check the reviews. There are a few things to consider when checking the reviews of items you’re considering for your hydroponic garden.

  • Make look at how many reviews a product has. The more reviews, the more accurate of a conclusion you can probably make by looking at them as a whole.
  • Bad reviews don’t necessarily mean a bad product. Sometimes after reading a negative review, it leads me to believe that the experience was more user error.
  • Make sure to check out the pictures people include in their reviews. In addition to the light itself, check out how their garden looks. Keep in mind if something looks off it can be due to something other than the light, but a healthy-looking garden is always a good sign.

In Conclusion

Grow lights are one of the most important parts to a indoor hydroponic garden. LED grow lights are the best option for hobby hydroponic gardeners and there are so many options to choose from. Make sure to use the steps suggested above and do your research before purchasing LEd grow lights for your hydroponic garden!

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