Best Platinum LED 2017
Buying Guide

Thanks to the legalization and regulation of growing Cannabis in the United States, indoor growing and hydroponics have begun to spark a lot of interest in the community of growers. Nowadays, the market of equipment for the effective growing of marijuana, as well as other types of vegetables and lettuces, is as big as it’s ever been. LED grow lights, especially, are becoming quite popular among the people in this trade, given that they’re very energy-efficient, as well as easy to use and install. Furthermore, when it comes to growing cannabis, a single LED light can be use for the full growing cycle of the plants.

The curious thing with LED lights is that these devices can produce more light per watt consumed than fluorescent or HID lighting ever could, while also producing less heat in the process. Since LED lights consume less wattage in order to provide light for your plants, they will also run cooler at all times, removing the need to compensate with extra ventilation to dissipate heat and saving you valuable money from lower energy bills. Furthermore, since these lights are usually cooler than other types of grow lamps, the risk of fire within the growing room, or burning your plants due to excessive heat is also lower than with HID lamps. Most LED lights come with small fans built-in and seldom require extra ventilation, except in special cases where the situation demands it. And if that wasn’t enough, LED lights don’t require ballasts for their mounting. In short, LED lights can help you save money, both in energy bills, as well as mounting and installation costs.

As many experienced growers can attest to, setting up a growing room can sometimes be a real pain in the neck, especially when you choose to use HID lighting as part of your setup. These types of lights are heavy, and the ballasts, in turn, require a considerable amount of support in order to hang. If that wasn’t enough, they also tend to dim as time goes by, and need be replaced every so often. LED growing lights, on the other hand, remain bright for years and save you lots of time and money in replacements.

Best Platinum LED 2017

Model

Lifespan

Weight

Advanced Platinum Series P300 300w 12-band LED Grow Light - DUAL VEG/FLOWER FULL SPECTRUM

Advanced Platinum Series P300

100,000 Hours

13 lbs

LED Grow Light bulb, Magicpro High Efficient Hydroponic Plant Grow Lights system for Garden Greenhouse and Hydroponic Aquatic

Magicpro High Efficient

50,000 Hours

0.8 lbs

VIPARSPECTRA Reflector-Series 300W LED Grow Light Full Spectrum for Indoor Plants Veg and Flower

VIPARSPECTRA Reflector-Series 300W

100,000 Hours

5.6 lbs

Marshydro Reflector 720W LED Grow Light for Hydroponic Indoor Garden and Greenhouse Full Spectrum Veg and Bloom Switches Added

Marshydro Reflector144

-

11 lbs

KINGBO Reflector 45W LED Plant Grow Light Panel Full Spectrum 225 LEDs 6-Band Includ UV IR with Switch for Indoor Plants Seeding & Growing & Flowering

KINGBO Reflector 45W

50,000 Hours

2.6 lbs


Right, now that we know exactly what type of LED light our growing operation requires, we can hop into our list of best picks of products in this category. Given the varying nature of the many different types of growing spaces, some of these products may not actually be suited to the requirements of your growing operation. However, we found that, for one reason or another, the products we listed below are able to offer you the very best results for their cost. If you decide to invest in any of the following items, you’ll receive a product that can provide more than enough performance for its price.

1. Advanced Platinum Series P300 - Best Platinum LED 2017

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We simply can’t create an article about LED growing lights without a PlatinumLED P300 review. The best part of PlatinumLED Grow Lights - the manufacturers of the P300 series of LED growing lights, as well as a wide variety of other types of similar products - is their patented combination of ultra-efficient drivers and top grade US-made diodes. The result is a lamp that can provide 100% usable light with less than 50% energy consumption than HPS or HID light fixtures.

Case in point, the P300 series of platinum LED lights is perfectly capable of replacing a 400w HPS grow light while consuming only 180 watts of actual power. Furthermore, this product can provide light in 12 different bands of the spectrum, going from ultraviolet to the upper infrared. The versatility of this light allows you to provide exactly the type of light that your plants require, making it suited for growing any and every type of crop. If that wasn’t enough, the P300 is also capable of providing adequate light for any plant in all stages of its development, including vegetative phase, as well as for flowering. For the former, the light can be configured to shine a gentle 93w of light in a 4.5 x 3.8 area. For the latter, the light can be switched to full 180-watt capacity to encourage flowering in all your crops.

The Advanced Platinum Series P300 comes with an awesome 5-year warranty, as well as a 90-day money back guarantee.


2. Magicpro High Efficient Hydroponic Plant Grow Lights

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This product -manufactured by Magicpro - offers a very reasonable amount of features, especially when considering that this LED growing light is very inexpensive. For this low price tag, you will receive a LED that is capable of providing precision lighting in dual-spectrum fashion. The red and blue LED bulbs are designed to encourage leafing and blooming, as well as vegetative growth, respectively. This LED light only uses 12W in order to provide light to a 2.6 square feet growing room. For this reason, it’s obviously meant for use in small growing operations, where the grower will most likely have to buy a several of these in order to provide light for more than a handful of plants.

These lights are perfect for the indoor growing of potted plants and are best used by setting the LED lamp directly on top of the plants.


3. VIPARSPECTRA Reflector-Series 300W

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The Reflector Series of Viparspectra LED growing light is designed to provide 250w of actual light while using only 134 watts of energy. This LED light is ideal for a 4 square feet growing room, and can be set at a maximum height of 24” away from the crops. This product is designed to provide light in the full spectrum, which is perfect for keeping the plants nourished in all the stages of its development, from vegetative, to blooming. This product has its own built-in 4.72” fans to dissipate heat buildup within the lamp itself, eliminating the need for the grower to provide extra ventilation solutions in order to dissipate heat within the growing space.

Viparspectra growing lights come with a 3-year warranty as well as a 30-day satisfaction or your money back guarantee.


4. MarsHydro Reflector144 Led Grow Light

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The creator of the Reflector144, MarsHydro, is a company with more than 7 years of experience in the industry of indoor growing, which is more than enough time for them to be an important contender when it comes to reliable growing products. This LED growing light is capable of replacing a 350W HPS/HID light fixture with only roughly half the actual wattage consumption. With this light alone you will be able to provide more than enough light for a 12 square foot growing room in both red and blue spectrums, which is ideal for encouraging blooming as well as vegetative growth, respectively.

The Reflector144 comes with a 2-year warranty, and a very reliable customer support service, which works 8 hours a day. The company also has a support service in California, for those that live in the area and require specialized assistance with their MarsHydro products.


5. KINGBO Reflector 45W LED Grow Light Panel

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We’re ending our list with a product that is both very affordable, as well as able to provide considerable light in a wide variety of spectrums, all while allowing you to save valuable money in energy bills. The Kingbo Reflector can be used as a substitute for a 100w HID or HPS light fixture, while only requiring 35W of energy in order to operate. Furthermore, this LED growing light can operate in a wide slew of light spectrums, including red light, blue light, ultraviolet light, infrared light, and white light, which allows it to provide nourishment to any plant in any stage of its development.

This light is both easy to install and simple to use. It comes with a hanger which allows it to be suspended above the crops. Due to the LED nature of the light, it can be set very closely to the crops without fear of burning or damaging them in any way, which in turn will allow them to absorb 100% of the emitted light.

This product comes with a 12-month warranty, as well as with a 30-day satisfaction or your money back guarantee.


Platinum LED Light Buying Guide

Before getting into our list of best LED growing lights, it’s important that you know a few facts that you need to keep in mind in order to make the very best purchase, suited for the growing operation you want to run. Before even getting to these facts, however, it’s important to know how to tell which LED lights are appropriate for you if you’re looking to upgrade from HPS or HID lights. This can be a bit confusing for newcomers, especially since the wattage displayed on the box of LED lights isn’t actually the wattage used by the light itself, but the wattage of the HPS or HID lights they are meant to replace. Consequently, a LED light that displays a ‘300W’ on the box means that it can be used to replace a 300W HID or HPS light, while actually consuming roughly half the wattage. As we’ve pointed out above numerous times, less wattage translates into less heat, which in turns helps you save money in the long run on power bills, as well as by removing the need to invest in an extensive ventilation system.

Now, in order to choose the very best LED grow lights for your operation, we need to keep in mind 3 very important factors:

Type Of Crops

The different brands of LED lights usually manufacture their products directed towards a certain type of crop. Regardless of this, an appropriate type of LED light should be able to take your crops from humble seedlings into formidable plants. Consequently, your choice of LED light plays a very important role in the success of your growing op.

Those that are looking to grow cannabis might want to take a look for lights from Apache Tech, California Lightworks, Illumitex, Lush Lighting, Mars Hydro, or Pro MAX Grow, among others.

Growers who want to focus on the indoor growing of a different variety of crops will want to browse the selection of Apache Tech, Cirrus LED, GE Lighting, Phillips, and TotalGrow, among others.

Size Of The Grow Space

Now, one of the most important factors when it comes to choosing a right LED light for your operation is the size and layout of your growing room, as this will play a vital role in the type, number, and intensity of LED lights you will require.

As a general rule of thumb, you’ll want your LED lights to provide around 32 watts of actual wattage per every square foot of your growing room, at least for the flowering of high-light plants, such as cannabis. For instance, if your grow space is about 4ft. x 4ft. you’d have 16 square feet of space to which you must provide 512 watts of light. In this case, you will need a 550W LED light fixture in order to provide enough light for all your cannabis crops to grow healthily. In their vegetative state, cannabis plants require around half as much light, so with the above lamp, you’d be set from the beginning to the final stage of their growth.

Cannabis is a plant that needs a lot of light in order to grow and bloom, which is why the lights they need often require a lot of wattage. Low-light plants such as herbs and lettuces, on the other hand, will require around 11-18 watts per square foot of growing room space. If you’re unsure about the amount of wattage you require, then it’s safer to purchase LED lights that can provide sufficient light for all types of plants. Since LED lights are cooler than HID and HPS setups, most growers can simply play it safe and get enough light for just about every crop, albeit at a higher cost than by purchasing the exact amount of light for the growing operation. If this is the case, then remember that you’ll need around 32 watts of actual wattage per square foot of growing room. For quick reference, please feel free to consult with the following chart in order to get an idea of the amount of wattage you’ll need to keep the plants in your growing room strong and healthy:

Grow Space

Wattage

2 Square Feet

64W

4 Square Feet

128W

8 Square Feet

256W

16 Square Feet

512W

32 Square Feet

1024W

64 Square Feet

2048W

Type Of LED Light

With the brands mentioned above, as well as with the formula we provided to let you know how much wattage you’ll need your LED lights to provide, you should now have an idea of which light fixture your growing room will need. However, on top of these two last factors, you’ll also need to consider the type of LED light that can provide the very best results for your growing operation.

For instance, if you’re looking to grow a crop from its seedling stage up until it blooms, then you should purchase a full cycle LED light. If on the other hand, you need lights for specific stages of the plant’s development, you might be inclined to purchase lights for either vegging or blooming.

LED lights designed for the growing and development of cannabis and other types of vegetables and plants come in many varieties, including single channel units, which feature simple on/off settings. 2 channel lights are LED fixtures that can provide different modes of lighting in one convenient package, such as vegging and blooming modes. More advanced models can offer programmable features, such as setting light schedules and customizing the spectrums in which the lights operate, as well as altering their intensities. The latter type of LED lights are, by far, the most advanced type in the industry and make the growing of different types of crops absolutely effortless, which is a big step in the right direction for completely automated growing.

Last, but not least, LED lights can also come in different shapes, which in turn can be suited for different type of growing room layouts. Among the different shapes of LED lights, we may find panels, bars, UFOs, and bulbs.​

LED Vs HPS: Is It Worth Making The Switch?

After the growing and recreational use of cannabis was legalized in the year 2012 - first in Washington and Colorado, followed by many other states - the industry of growers was flooded by an influx of businesses who were looking to turn a profit on the now legalized plants. The industry, however, has not gone unnoticed, especially when it comes to power usage. The cannabis growing industry is currently one of the biggest consumers of electricity in the United States, with an estimated total consumption of 1% of the country’s total output. The consumption comes mostly from the growing lights which are used to provide the plants with necessary sustenance so they can grow and bloom in a healthy manner.

For this reason, growers are constantly on the hunt for the best and most efficient growing lights in the market, and it’s a well-known fact that Light-Emitting Diode (LED) lights are the welcome reprieve that the industry has been needing for a long time. These lights come in basically all shapes and sizes and, while we know the more expensive models can actually be cheaper in the long run, do they really offer the same benefits when it comes to growing plants? Are the benefits perceived from the use of LED grow lights really worth the switch from High-Pressure Sodium (HPS) fixtures? Let’s take a closer look.

According to a study published in June 2014, the most efficient HPS light fixtures are identical to the most efficient LED fixtures, at least when it comes to efficiency itself. However, the initial capital cost by photon produced by LED lights is actually 5 to 10 times higher than with HPS lights. This means that, at the smallest of scales, LED lights are actually more expensive to upkeep than their HPS counterparts. In addition to this fact, it was also discovered that, when it comes to plant growing, light quality is a lot less important than light quantity. Sure, light quality can play certain roles, especially when it comes to some plants’ metabolic processes, but light quantity is much more important for plant photosynthesis, which is the most important factor in plant development.

If you’ve been browsing the market for the best platinum LED lights, you will find that the above statement goes directly against what most LED manufacturers claim that their product provides. Nevertheless, the study is quite clear in its results, in that the very best growing light in the cannabis business is the double-ended HPS fixtures, for various reasons.

LED lighting, however, is not without its fair share of benefits. Just like how precision irrigation can help improve water efficiency in any given growing op, precision lighting can also play a vital role in electrical efficiency, helping you save lots of money in the long run. For this reason, some growing operations can benefit more either from HPS fixtures, LED lights, or even a mix of the two.

The precision lighting obtained by LED lights make these devices ideal for growing ops that have highly spaced benches. On the other hand, growing ops that are more akin to a “sea of green leaves” will definitely benefit more from HPS fixtures, given that less light will be lost to the walls and floors. Furthermore, LED lights are much cooler to the touch compared to HPS fixtures and can be set right next to the plants without harming them, while allowing them to absorb 100% of the light emitted by these lamps. When working with both types of lights in tandem, LED lights can play a vital role in supplemental lighting, mostly thanks to their precision lighting, which lets them shine on plants that may not be receiving enough light from the primary source.

All in all, as research in lighting continues, the cost of LED lighting has become much more accessible for the small growers. Similarly, the initial cost per photon emitted is also decreasing, making these lights a hefty contender in the race for efficient lighting. Consequently, depending on the type of growing operation you want to run, you will need to study your options carefully and measure which type of lighting will benefit you best.

Keep in mind that, besides the type of lighting, the position of the growing benches within the growing room will also play a fundamental role in the amount of light that your plants will receive. Just like choosing the most efficient lighting method for the situation, a good layout can also help you save thousands in electrical bills at the end of the year.​


Platinum LED Light Wrap Up

There are quite a number of LED lights available for purchase on the market, all of which are designed to provide light to a wide variety of growing rooms. For this reason, choosing the best one for your growing operation can be a bit tricky, especially if you’re a newcomer to the business. However, with the information contained in this guide, you are now capable of assessing your own growing room and to choose the appropriate type of LED light to provide nourishment for your plants. Furthermore, if you choose to purchase any of the products listed above, you may rest assured that you will be receiving your money’s worth in a quality product.


All images sourced from Amazon.com
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Review Date
Reviewed Item
Advanced Platinum Series P300 300w 12-band LED Grow Light
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