Cannabis Grow Lights

One of the first decisions you need to make about growing cannabis indoors is which grow lights you will use. The lights are the most expensive part of growing cannabis indoors. They are expensive to purchase and to operate. Selecting the best grow lights for your set-up can improve the efficiency of your grow and the quality and quantity that you harvest, while saving money and electricity. Here, we provide our honest grow light recommendations for the best LED grow lights for different budgets and grow sizes.

We have a complete Grow Light Guide to help you learn and navigate the world of horticultural lighting.

You may want to start getting into grow lights by reading our "Grow Light Metrics Primer". If you want to know how much light you need, be sure to read our article, “How Much Light (PPF) Do You Need for Indoor Cannabis”. Use our Grow Light Calculator to calculate the efficiency, coverage and harvest potential of different grow lights! And check out our Grow Light Field Test Reports and Reviews!

On this page, we give you our impartial grow light recommendations, which are informed by our experience testing and reviewing grow lights. I have tested fixtures in each product line that we recommend. The lights listed below are the fixtures that we would buy to use for ourselves. We consider numerous factors in making our recommendations including efficiency, cost, light distribution, component and build quality, and track record. We are confident that you will be happy with any of our recommended LED grow lights.

This is a rapidly developing market and we are monitoring it closely to bring you regular updates on the best grow lights on the market.

LED LIGHTS

LED grow lights have been popular with home growers because they produce less heat, are easier to set-up, and more convenient to operate. However, until recently, High-Intensity Discharge (HID) lights such as High-Pressure Sodium (HPS), Metal Halide (MH) and Ceramic Metal Halide (CMH) were the most efficient for both electricity and cost. Technological gains have allowed LEDs to surpass the efficiency of HID lighting. All of the fixtures that we recommend below are more efficient than HPS, MH or CMH grow Lights.

LED lights that are capable of outperforming HID lights have been available for several years now, but they have been very expensive. It is only within the last couple of years that models have become available that can out compete HID lights on both efficiency and cost. LED fixtures are now the clear choice for home growers.

There are quality LED fixtures available at an affordable price. However, the LED market is full of incomplete information and false claims. There are many discount LED lights that grossly exaggerate their efficiency and HID light equivalence. Without good information, it can be easy to end up with a low-quality light. Steer clear of the no-name brands that make fantastical claims. If you want the best LED grow light for your space and budget, then choose from among the brands and options below.

LED Grow Light Recommendations

2x2 Grow Lights

2x2 grow tents and other small spaces are perfect for starting sprouts and seedlings, vegging, or, for some growers, running a crop all the way to harvest. In a well run 2x2 space, you can harvest up to about 10oz. I recommend lights with at least 150-watts of power if you plan to use it for flowering. Smaller lights may suffice if your plan is a seedling or veg space.

Viparspectra XS-1500
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Use code DrMJCocoXS during checkout on AmazonThe Viparspectra XS Series use top end components and are well made. The XS-1500 is perfect for a 2x2 tent for full cycle grows. The continuously adjustable dimmer also makes it a great light for sprouts and seedlings.Viparspectra XS-1500 Test Report Page: See all the data, study the PAR maps, and read my complete review!

Viparspectra XS-1500 Key Data:

Coverage Harvest Potential Usable PPF µmol/s Usable PPE µmol/j Cost with Discount Cost Efficiency $/µmol
4.3 ft2 7.5oz 279.7 1.83 Check $0.45

Data from Coco for Cannabis Grow Light Testing by Dr MJ Coco

Viparspectra XS-1500 Key Data:

Coverage 4.3 ft2
Harvest Potential 7.5oz
Usable PPF (µmol/s) 279.7
Usable PPE (µmol/j) 1.83
Cost w/ Discount Check
Cost Efficiency $0.45

Data from Coco for Cannabis Grow Light Testing by Dr MJ Coco

4x2 Grow Lights

4x2 Grow Tents are a great size for many home growers. They are easy to work in with access to one 4-foot side, and they can produce more than enough for many growers. With a dialed in grow and one of the lights below, you can harvest over a pound each run from a 4x2.

Mars Hydro SP-3000
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The Mars Hydro SP-3000 is a powerhouse in a 4x2 tent. For the last two years, I have run one in my 4x2, and I get over a pound each run. I ran 2 of these lights in my first Grow Light Physics video. The SP-3000 uses top end Samsung and Osram diodes. It is a community favorite.Mars Hydro SP-3000 Test Report Page: See all the data, study the PAR maps, and read my complete review!

Mars Hydro SP-3000 Key Data:

Coverage Harvest Potential Usable PPF µmol/s Usable PPE µmol/j Cost with Discount Cost Efficiency $/µmol
9.7 ft2 16.9oz 630.3 2.12 $349.20 $0.55

Data from Coco for Cannabis Grow Light Testing by Dr MJ Coco

Mars Hydro SP-3000 Key Data:

Coverage 9.7 ft2
Harvest Potential 16.9oz
Usable PPF (µmol/s) 630.3
Usable PPE (µmol/j) 2.12
Cost w/ Discount $349.20
Cost Efficiency $0.55

Data from Coco for Cannabis Grow Light Testing by Dr MJ Coco

Atreum Hydra 3200
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The Atreum Hydra is a unique light that is especially designed for home growers in a 4x2 tent. Atreum is a leader in innovations to improve light distribution, and the Hydra 3200 is incredible. It features 4 LED bars that run the long way with algorithmically distributed diodes along the bars. Atreum uses LEDestar diodes which I review in my recent video, “The Science of Horticultural LEDs”.Atreum Hydro 3200 Test Report Page: See all the data, study the PAR and ePAR maps, and read my complete review!

Atreum Hydra 3200 Key Data:

Coverage Harvest Potential Usable ePPF µmol/s Usable ePPE µmol/j Cost with Discount Cost Efficiency $/µmol
10.5 ft2 18.4oz 685.3 2.17 $359.10 $0.52

Data from Coco for Cannabis Grow Light Testing by Dr MJ Coco

Atruem Hydra 3200 Key Data:

Coverage 10.5 ft2
Harvest Potential 18.4oz
Usable ePPF (µmol/s) 685.3
Usable ePPE (µmol/j) 2.17
Cost w/ Discount $359.10
Cost Efficiency $0.52

Data from Coco for Cannabis Grow Light Testing by Dr MJ Coco

3x3 Grow Lights

3x3 grow tents (9 sq ft) are slightly larger than 4x2 tents (8 sq ft). They are an easier shape to light up, but somewhat harder for accessibility. With a well run 3x3 tent and one of the lights below, you can get over a pound per harvest.

Mars Hydro FC-E3000
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The FC-E series from Mars Hydro is among the best values on the market. The FC-E3000 is the smallest fixture in the line, and it is perfect for a 3x3 grow tent. The FC-E series are adjustable LED bar fixtures that use Bridgelux diodes. Bridgelux diodes are highly efficient, and Mars Hydro puts a ton of them on the FC-E series lights. The result is a great price and excellent performance.Mars Hydro FC-E3000 Test Report Page: See all the data, study the PAR and ePAR maps, and read my complete review!

Mars Hydro FC-E3000 Key Data:

Coverage Harvest Potential Usable ePPF µmol/s Usable ePPE µmol/j Cost with Discount Cost Efficiency $/µmol
10.1 ft2 17.5oz 655.0 2.31 $242.50 $0.37

Data from Coco for Cannabis Grow Light Testing by Dr MJ Coco

Mars Hydro FC-E3000 Key Data:

Coverage 10.1 ft2
Harvest Potential 17.5oz
Usable ePPF (µmol/s) 655.0
Usable ePPE (µmol/j) 2.31
Cost w/ Discount $242.50
Cost Efficiency $0.37

Data from Coco for Cannabis Grow Light Testing by Dr MJ Coco

Medic Grow Mini Sun 320w
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Medic Grow lights are incredible deals. For a long time, they only offered much larger fixtures for 5x5 spaces and larger. In 2022, they introduced smaller lights like the Mini Sun. The 320-watt version is perfect for a 3x3 tent. It smothers the canopy in high density light and has some cool built-in features.

Medic Grow Mini Sun 320w Key Data:

Coverage Harvest Potential Usable ePPF µmol/s Usable ePPE µmol/j Cost with Discount Cost Efficiency $/µmol
10.4 ft2 18.1oz 674.2 2.12 $215.10 $0.32

Data from Coco for Cannabis Grow Light Testing by Dr MJ Coco

Medic Grow Mini Sun 320w Key Data:

Coverage 10.4 ft2
Harvest Potential 18.1oz
Usable ePPF (µmol/s) 674.2
Usable ePPE (µmol/j) 2.12
Cost w/ Discount $215.10
Cost Efficiency $0.32

Data from Coco for Cannabis Grow Light Testing by Dr MJ Coco

Viparspectra KS-3000
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Use code DrMJCocoKS during checkout on AmazonThe Viparspectra KS-3000 is the best 3x3 grow light in its class. It is a little larger than other 3x3 fixtures and has amazing distribution from corner to corner. The Viparspectra KS series use a good number of top end Samsung LM301h and Osram 660nm diodes. The KS-3000 is incredibly efficient, earning one of the highest photon efficacies I have measured in any light! All this and the price is also excellent.Viparspectra KS-3000 Test Report Page: See all the data, study the PAR and ePAR maps, and read my complete review!

Viparspectra KS-3000 Key Data:

Coverage Harvest Potential Usable ePPF µmol/s Usable ePPE µmol/j Cost with Discount Cost Efficiency $/µmol
11.2 ft2 19.6oz 731.1 2.45  Check $0.42

Data from Coco for Cannabis Grow Light Testing by Dr MJ Coco

Viparspectra KS-3000 Key Data:

Coverage 11.2 ft2
Harvest Potential 19.6oz
Usable ePPF (µmol/s) 731.1
Usable ePPE (µmol/j) 2.45
Cost w/ Discount Check
Cost Efficiency $0.42

Data from Coco for Cannabis Grow Light Testing by Dr MJ Coco

4x4 Grow Lights

4x4 grow tents are very popular for home growers. With a good light and a well-managed grow, you can harvest over 2 pounds per cycle!

Viparspectra KS-5000
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Use code DrMJCocoKS during checkout on AmazonThe Viparspectra KS-5000 is the best 4x4 grow light in its class. It is larger than other fixtures designed for a 4x4, which helps the distribution. Like the KS-3000, the KS-5000 features a good number of top end Samsung LM301h and Osram 660nm diodes. It has exceptional performance and an excellent price.Viparspectra KS-5000 Test Report Page: See all the data, study the PAR and ePAR maps, and read my complete review!

Viparspectra KS-5000 Key Data:

Coverage Harvest Potential Usable ePPF µmol/s Usable ePPE µmol/j Cost with Discount Cost Efficiency $/µmol
18.3 ft2 31.8oz 1186.7 2.43 Check $0.41

Data from Coco for Cannabis Grow Light Testing by Dr MJ Coco

Viparspectra KS-5000 Key Data:

Coverage 18.3ft2
Harvest Potential 31.8oz
Usable ePPF (µmol/s) 1186.7
Usable ePPE (µmol/j) 2.43
Cost w/ Discount Check
Cost Efficiency $0.41

Data from Coco for Cannabis Grow Light Testing by Dr MJ Coco

5x5 Grow Lights

5x5 grow tents are huge – 25 square feet! Access can be a challenge when you fill a 5x5 with flowering plants, but the harvest potential may be worth it. You can hit over 3 pounds per harvest if you get a full canopy in a 5x5 under one of the lights below.

Medic Grow Smart 8
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The Medic Grow Smart 8 is a great light at an excellent price. You can run it in a 4x4 at 60% or 80% power, and it will fill a 5x5 with optimal density light at 100%. They have an upgraded on-board timer, which makes running a Smart 8 very easy. Many growers in our community run this light, and the feedback is excellent.Medic Grow Smart 8 Test Report Page: See all the data, study the PAR and ePAR maps, and read my complete review!

Medic Grow Smart-8 Key Data:

Coverage Harvest Potential Usable ePPF µmol/s Usable ePPE µmol/j Cost with Discount Cost Efficiency $/µmol
26.8 ft2 46.7oz 1744.4 2.33 $566.10 $0.32

Data from Coco for Cannabis Grow Light Testing by Dr MJ Coco

Medic Grow Smart 8 Key Data:

Coverage 26.8ft2
Harvest Potential 46.7oz
Usable ePPF (µmol/s) 1744.4
Usable ePPE (µmol/j) 2.33
Cost w/ Discount $566.10
Cost Efficiency $0.32

Data from Coco for Cannabis Grow Light Testing by Dr MJ Coco

Mars Hydro FC-E8000
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The Mars Hydro FC-E8000 has almost 800 watts of power, and it can smother a 5x5 grow space. I published a video on the Best 5x5 grow lights, just before testing this one – The FC-8000 came out on top in that video, but I prefer the FC-E version. The FC-E8000 has excellent performance and an amazing price.Mars Hydro FC-E8000 Test Report Page: See all the data, study the PAR and ePAR maps, and read my complete review!

Mars Hydro FC-E8000 Key Data:

Coverage Harvest Potential Usable PPF µmol/s Usable PPE µmol/j Cost with Discount Cost Efficiency $/µmol
28.1 ft2 49oz 1829.7 2.34 $611.09 $0.33

Data from Coco for Cannabis Grow Light Testing by Dr MJ Coco

Mars Hydro FC-E8000 Key Data:

Coverage 28.1ft2
Harvest Potential 49oz
Usable PPF (µmol/s) 1829.7
Usable PPE (µmol/j) 2.34
Cost w/ Discount $611.09
Cost Efficiency $0.33

Data from Coco for Cannabis Grow Light Testing by Dr MJ Coco

Using Supplemental CO2

Most growers rely on ambient levels of carbon dioxide in a ventilated grow space. If you use exhaust to control temperature and humidity, then there is no good way to increase the concentration of carbon dioxide. However, growers who seal the space and control the climate with AC and dehumidification need to supplement the carbon dioxide. If you run elevated levels of carbon dioxide, then you can increase the density of the light.

Without supplemental carbon dioxide, I advise 1000 µmol/m2/s maximum PPFD and a 700 µmol/m2/s Average PPFD. All of the light recommendations above assume you are not running elevated levels of carbon dioxide.

With supplemental carbon dioxide (800-1500 PPM), you can increase the Maximum PPFD up to 1500 µmol/m2/s, which can be an Average PPFD as high as 1200 µmol/m2/s. To reach these levels of PPFD, you may need a more powerful fixture.

Medic Grow EZ-8
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At less than 30 cents per micromole, I think the Medic Grow EZ-8 is the best deal in horticultural lighting. I recommend these lights to commercial growers and all home growers who have enough space for them. If you have a sealed space with supplemental carbon dioxide, it is perfect for 20-25 square feet. Without supplemental carbon dioxide, it could cover over 30 square feet, but you’d want to hang it high to get good distribution.Medic Grow EZ-8 Test Report Page: See all the data, study the PAR and ePAR maps, and read my complete review!

Medic Grow EZ-8 Key Data:

Coverage for CO2 Grows Harvest Potential Usable PPF µmol/s Usable PPE µmol/j Cost with Discount Cost Efficiency $/µmol
22.3 ft2 56.6 2114.5 2.19 $611.10 $0.29

Data from Coco for Cannabis Grow Light Testing by Dr MJ Coco

Medic Grow EZ-8 Key Data:

Coverage for CO2 Grows
22.3ft2
Harvest Potential 56.6oz
Usable PPF (µmol/s) 2114.5
Usable PPE (µmol/j) 2.19
Cost w/ Discount $611.10
Cost Efficiency $0.29

Data from Coco for Cannabis Grow Light Testing by Dr MJ Coco

Photontek XT1000W CO2 PRO
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The Photontek XT1000w CO2 PRO is an excellent light. It has superior components and construction, and it is a joy to own. The XT1000w CO2 PRO is especially designed for delivering Ultra High-Density light to a 5x5 canopy.Photontek XT1000w CO2 PRO Test Report Page: See all the data, study the PAR and ePAR maps, and read my complete review!

Photontek XT1000w CO2 PRO Key Data:

Coverage Harvest Potential Usable PPF µmol/s Usable PPE µmol/j Cost with Discount Cost Efficiency $/µmol
25.6 ft2 65.1 2429.1 2.40 $1134.00 $0.47

Data from Coco for Cannabis Grow Light Testing by Dr MJ Coco

Photontek XT1000w CO2 PRO Key Data:

Coverage for CO2 Grows
25.6ft2
Harvest Potential 65.1oz
Usable PPF (µmol/s) 2429.1
Usable PPE (µmol/j) 2.40
Cost w/ Discount $1134.00
Cost Efficiency $0.47

Data from Coco for Cannabis Grow Light Testing by Dr MJ Coco

Larger Rooms – Grow Light Arrays

Do you have a larger space that you need to light? I would be happy to consider your space and may be able to get wholesale pricing on bulk orders. Reach out and set up a free consult with Dr MJ Coco!

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LIGHT ACCESSORIES

Light Hangers

It most grow tents, you need to hang a number of things from the top bars: lights, exhaust fan, carbon filter, bracing frame, etc.

6-Pack 1/8 Inch Ratchet Pulleys
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These ratchet pulley hangers are an excellent choice to hang your lights and other equipment.  They are particularly convenient for lights which must be raised and lowered during the course of the grow. These pulleys make it easy to set the lights exactly where you want them.

Digital Timers

You need a timer to control the lights and also potentially to control the exhaust and drip irrigation systems.

Digital Programmable Timer
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The Century digital timer linked in the US is what I use for my lights. These timers are digital, accurate, and have battery back-up. Unlike mechanical timers, you will be able to precisely control the timing of your lights. Battery back-up means that power outages will not cause the timer to stop and then get out of sync with the plants’ rhythm. It is perfect for lights, but there is a better timer for drip systems.

Digital Timer with one second intervals
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If you are looking for a timer for your automatic watering system, then this model is a better fit. It allows you to set watering intervals in one second increments, which allows fine-tuning an automatic watering system.

Power Switches

These are very handy to control the lights without messing with the timer or for turning other equipment on and off. 

Grounded Power Switches
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I use these for my grow lights and irrigation pump. I plug the timer into the power source, then the switch into the timer. Finally I plug the light or pump into the switch. This way, when I need to turn either one off, I do not have to mess with the timer at all, I just flip the switch.

Light Meters

Light meters are used to evaluate the light distribution in the grow space and to determine the best height to hang your light above the canopy. This is not a required tool. Many growers can do fine following general guidelines, but if you want to dial in your grow you need to be able to measure the light.

Lux Meter
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If you have HID lights or LEDs that produce a "near neutral", "warm", or "cool" balanced spectrum, then you can comfortably use LUX meters with acceptable reliability. The Dr. Meter Lux meter, which is pictured and linked, is a great value.

PAR Meter
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PAR stands for Photosynthetically Active Radiation. It is the amount of energy that the plants can actually use. This is the number you are really interested in when it comes to light. PAR meters can be used to measure any light source. They are the only option to measure monochomatic or "blurple" LED lights. However, PAR meters are much more expensive than LUX meters.

Bubble Levels

Magnetic Bubble Levels
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I  like to keep my LED lights perfectly level. When raising or lowering them I used to use a torpedo level and would move it around in different angles and fight to get the lights level. Then I got these little bubble levels . I leave two of them stuck to the top of each light. It makes keeping them perfectly level so much easier!

Clamp Light

If you are growing in a tent or a closet you need a light so you can work.

Clamp Light with Reflector
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I see a lot of "Blurple" pictures, which means growers are working and taking pictures under the horticultural grow lights. Grow lights provide harsh light to work under and "Blurple" is terrible light for pictures. Rather than working or taking pictures under the grow lights get a simple clamp light to use when you are working in the tent.

About Our Product Recommendations

At Coco for Cannabis, our mission is to help growers maximize the success of their cannabis crops by providing scientifically accurate information and sharing proven growing practices.

The products that we recommend are the actual products that we chose to purchase and use ourselves. In a few cases, we recommend products that we would buy if we needed them. We do not accept advertising and will not recommend any product that we would not buy for ourselves. We offer this guide as a resource to growers.

We may receive a referral when you purchase products through this page. This is the main revenue stream that keeps Coco for Cannabis up and running! When you click through our links and make purchases you are supporting our work! As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

Whether we receive a referral does not influence our recommendations. For example, when products are cheaper to buy locally, we’ll tell you that rather than just recommend a more expensive online option.

Disclaimer:

The information on cocoforcannabis.com should not be considered as financial, legal, or medical advice. You are responsible for knowing and following the local laws that pertain to cannabis cultivation, possession, and use. Decisions to grow cannabis should be made in consultation with a lawyer or qualified legal advisor. Decisions to use cannabis should be made in consultation with your doctor or medical professional.