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!

Below, we give you our unbiased grow light recommendations. The grow lights listed here 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 the lights that we recommend below.

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. Updated May 28, 2020


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 year or so 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.

Mars Hydro TS Series LED

The new Mars Hydro TS series really is a game changer. They deliver performance that until recently was only available on models that cost 4-5 times as much. The photon and cost efficiency of these lights forced us to reconsider everything about how we recommend grow lights. We no longer recommend HID lights to new growers because of these Mars TS series LEDs. They are an excellent value for money, and they are our top recommendation for most growers.

Mars Hydro TS1000
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Shop Direct from Use Discount Code: CCFC.We tested this fixture, see our complete field test report.The Mars Hydro TS1000 is a dimmable full spectrum LED Grow Light with a simple design and minimal components. The cost-efficient design offers growers an incredible light at an amazing price. We recommend it to cover a 2’ x 2’ area. In a standard 4’ x 4’ grow tent you could run up to 4 of these lights. One of the advantages is that you can start with one or two and add additional lights when your budget permits. Perfect for small spaces, the TS1000 has an ideal flowering distance of only 18” above the canopy.The TS1000 draws 150 watts and has a photon efficiency of 1.65µmol (usable PPF) per watt. That is an amazing photon efficiency for a light in this price range. It is one of the most cost-efficient LED grow light options that exist. Our harvest expectations for one of these lights is about 133-182 grams or 4.8-6.5 ounces.

Mars Hydro TSL2000
Shop Direct from Use Discount Code: CCFC. This is my (Dr Coco’s) new light! I now run two of these lights in my 4' x 4' tent. I am really happy with the set-up and the plants love the light!The TSL2000 is a dimmable full spectrum LED Grow Light, which offers all the same qualities as the TS1000, with more output and coverage. It is roughly equivalent to two of the TS1000 lights. It is marginally less efficient than the smaller unit, but it still easily beats almost all other models on the market.The TSL2000 draws 300 watts and it has an excellent photon efficiency of 1.61µmol (Usable PPF) per watt. The purchase cost efficiency is just over $0.50/µmol, which is among the leaders in the market. Our harvest expectations for one of these lights is 266-363 grams or 9.5-13 ounces.The TSL2000 is a rectangle designed to cover a 4’ x 2’ space. Two TSL2000s provide perfect coverage in a 4’ x 4’ tent. It has an ideal flowering distance of 18” above the canopy.

Mars Hydro TSW2000
Shop Direct from Use Discount Code: CCFC. The TSW2000 is very similar to the TSL2000. The difference is the shape. The TSW is a square designed to cover a 3’ x 3’ space. It is ideal for 3’ x 3’ tents and grow spaces. Like the TSL2000, It has an ideal flowering distance of 18” above the canopy.The TSW2000 draws 310 watts and it has an excellent photon efficiency of 1.61µmol per watt. The purchase cost efficiency is less than $0.50/µmol, which is among the leaders in the market. Our harvest expectations for one of these lights is 275-375 grams or 9.8-13.4 ounces.

HLG Quantum Boards

The Horticultural Lighting Group (HLG) was the first to adopt the simple “quantum board” concept. A quantum board is just a printed circuit board with a distribution of highly efficient LED diodes. The design is cost efficient and does not require complex or costly cooling solutions. There is some assembly required, but the simple design means that most home growers will have no trouble assembling it themselves. If you are interested in the quantum board concept, we recommend the original HLG quantum boards rather than generic clones. We suggest purchasing from the LED Grow Light Depot because their offer includes a dimmable driver, which makes it a complete system. If purchased elsewhere the driver is usually sold separately.

HLG 65 QB 120
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The HLG 65 QB 120 is an excellent full spectrum LED grow light with great efficiency and practicality. These are small units, that are perfect for small grows. One light will be adequate for a single plant and is perfect for a grower looking to start small. We recommend two of these units in a 2’ x 2’ tent. You can continue to add units as the grow space area increases. The QB 120 is particularly well suited to small spaces. It has an ideal flowering distance of only 10” above the canopy.Each unit draws only 65 watts, but they have an incredible photon efficiency of 2.18µmol per watt. The QB 120 has a purchase cost efficiency of about $0.70/µmol. They cost more to purchase initially but run more efficiently than the Mars Hydro TS series above. Our harvest expectations for one of these lights is 64-92 grams or 2.3-3.3 ounces.

Crecer Lighting

Crecer Lighting is a new company in the horticultural lighting market, but they offer some excellent products. They use quality components and have great build designs. They are also extremely competitive on price. If you are looking for a single high-powered LED for your grow tent, then the Crecer PanthrX may be the perfect light for you.

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The Crecer PanthrX is an impressive light at an excellent price. This is a large, full spectrum, dimmable LED fixture. One unit can easily cover a 4’ x 4’ grow area. The main drawback to this model is that the light requires a considerable distance above the canopy. It has an ideal flowering distance of 28”. It is also a reasonably heavy unit, tipping the scales at over 28lbs.The Stats on this light are impressive. It draws 600 watts from the wall with a photon efficiency of 1.82µmol Usable PPF per watt. The harvest potential of one of these lights is about 820 grams or 29 ounces. There are other lights that can match those numbers, but none of them can touch the Crecer PanthrX on cost efficiency. This light is a steal at only $0.64/µmol.


NextLight is a leader in the horticultural lighting market and they produce excellent models primarily for the commercial market. This is our top-end recommendation. If you are looking for cost efficiency, we recommend that you consider the Crecer PanthrX above. However, if you want the absolute best quality light for your home grow than the NextLight Mega may be the light for you.

NextLight Mega
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The Nextlight mega offers one of the best designs for personal small indoor grow environments. It is a single fixture that can illuminate up to a 5’ x 5’ area. The Mega has a very large surface area, which provides the best light uniformity and output capacity. It also allows the light to be closer to the plants, which saves precious growing space. The ideal flowering distance is only 22” above the canopy.The Mega draws 650 watts with a estimated photon efficiency of 1.86 µmol per watt. It has a cost efficiency of about $1.40 per µmol, which is considerably higher than the models we recommend above. However, the Mega is the highest quality light in terms of light distribution, components, and user satisfaction. Our benchmark harvest potential for one Mega is just over 2 pounds! This is a commercial grade fixture and it includes a 5-year warranty.


High Intensity Discharge (HID) Lights: Metal Halide (MH),  High-Pressure Sodium (HPS), & Ceramic Metal Halide (CMH)

HID lighting technology, has been around for years. However, in most markets, it is no longer the most energy or cost efficient choice. If you already have a HID set-up then it is worth replacing the bulbs and continuing to run your lights. However, if you are a new grower or if it is time to upgrade, we recommend choosing an LED grow light instead of HID. See our LED grow light recommendations above.

Metal Halide (MH) Bulbs

Metal Halide bulbs produce a light spectrum that is ideal for vegetative growth. However, it is not perfect for flowering. Most growers use an MH bulb for the first part of their grow and switch to an HPS bulb when the plants enter flowering.

Bulb manufacturers are not all the same. There are vast differences between bulb products which can cause noticeable differences. If you can only invest in one aspect of your HID lighting, then it should be the bulbs. I (Dr. Photon) would rather have an inexpensive reflector than an inexpensive bulb. 

Eye Hortilux Metal Halide Blue
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This is possibly the best bulb for vegetative growth. It is a premium bulb and will give great results for about 10,000 operating hours. We linked the 600 watt version, but it is also available in 1000 watts.

Sunmaster Metal Halide 600
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Although not as excellent as the Eye Hortilux bulbs these Sunmaster Metal Halide bulbs are a premium product and will do a great job for vegetative growth.

Sunmaster Metal Halide 1000
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These are our pics for Sunmaster 1000 watt MH bulbs in each market. These are excellent bulbs for the vegetative stage of growth.

High Pressure Sodium (HPS) Bulbs

High pressure sodium is the industry standard for flowering cannabis plants. These bulbs simply replace the MH bulb when the plants reach the flowering stage. The Quality of the HPS bulb that you select will go a long way towards determining the quality and yield of your harvest. This is one item where you want to invest in quality.

Eye Hortilux Super HPS
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Dr Photon uses and recommends Hortilux Bulbs. Hortilux has been the leading horticulture bulb manufacturer for years, due to their superior product quality and performance standards. They also come with a premium price. However, if you want the best performance out of your gas discharge system, we highly recommend Hortilux. Choose either the 600 or the 1000 watt Eye Hortilux Super HPS based on your needs.

Sunmaster HPS
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Sunmaster also makes great bulbs, but not quite on the level of the Eye Hortilux. Still if you are concerned with Budget and trying to get set-up, the Sunmaster bulbs provide a great option for a quality bulb at a good price. They are available in both 600 and 1000 watts.

Ceramic Metal Halide (CMH) Bulbs

Philips CMH Bulbs
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If you need a new CMH bulb or if you want to upgrade the bulb, we recommend Philips CMH bulbs.


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. I chose the best equivalent models in the UK and Canada. 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. We are looking for comparable products at reasonable prices in the UK and Canada.

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.


The information on 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.