One of the most important considerations, when beginning to grow marijuana, is which grow lights are the best for your purposes. There are literally hundreds of different products on the market, however, some are much better than others. So, it’s important to take time to research for the best and least expensive grow lights for your purposes.
Keep in mind that the light you select determines your energy costs, your initial investment, your overall plant growth and how you set up your grow space. For those who don’t know where to begin, below is a review of the most common grow light types available. So, keep reading to learn about some of the leading indoor grow lights for weed that are available for purchase.
Types of Grow Lights for Weed
Before looking at the leading grow light options on the market today, it’s important to consider which grow light type is best to invest in. There are three major options that most growers rely on today, LED, HID and CMH. While each option works well and all of them can be used for your next grow, there are pros and cons of each. Below is an overview of the key features of each light and what you can expect from them.
LED (Light Emitting Diode)
- Bulbs must be replaced every 50,000 to 100,000 hours
- Most energy efficient
- Produce little heat
- Good for short grow spaces
- Limited canopy penetration
- Produce smaller and less professional looking buds
- More expensive upfront
HID (High-Intensity Discharge)
- Intense light
- Produces healthy plants
- Most affordable option
- Bulbs must be replaced every 2,000 hours
- Least efficient option
- Requires swapping bulbs throughout grow cycle
- Produces lots of heat
CMH (Ceramic Metal Halide)
- Bulbs must be replaced every 10,000 to 20,000 hours
- Bright and intense light
- Grows healthiest plants indoors
- Good canopy penetration
- Grows plants similar in size to HID lights
- Works well in tall spaces
- More efficient than HID lights
- Must swap between two types of bulbs throughout the cycle
- More costly than HIDs
- Bulbs wear out faster than LED arrays
- Less efficient than LED arrays
CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp)
CFLs are largely considered as a poor choice for growing marijuana today. CFL grow lights for weed are priced similarly to LEDs and produce inferior results. Growers looking for an efficient grow bulb that lasts for many cycles will be better served investing in a quality LED array and should steer clear of CFLs.
A Quick Recap
Again, LED lights are some of the most expensive but longest-lasting products on the market. They are weaker and produce smaller plants, but also put out less heat and are the best option for compact grow spaces.
HID light setups are the most affordable, especially for large-scale indoor grows. But, the lights are hot and inefficient. In fact, it takes more time to cool the space and run the lights than with the other options. Not only that, but you also replace bulbs far more frequently.
CMH or ceramic metal halide bulbs are a good middle ground option. They offer light that’s as intense as HID arrays, but use less energy and last longer. They are more expensive than HIDs but are more affordable than LEDs. However, if you want the healthiest plants with less energy and cooling concerns, CMH bulbs are the way to go.
No matter which of these options you choose you’ll enjoy excellent growing results if you use the lights properly along with all the other elements of your grow.
As a novice, or small-scale grower looking for the right lights to grow indoor weed with just a few plants, the key is to get a quality light that isn’t going to overwhelm the space. You may do this easily with LED light arrays, but it’s also possible with HID and CMH alternatives if in the proper position to protect your plants. Below are our recommendations for small-scale grows 4’x4’ in space or smaller.
Our LED Recommendation
- Veg/ bloom switch
- Full-spectrum light design
- Built-in cooling fans
- Upgradeable aluminum radiators
The King Plus 1000w LED grow light is one of our favorite inexpensive LED grow lights for weed production in small-scale environments. This light is rated at an impressive 1000 watts, but it’s advisable to use it in a space that’s around 3’x3’ or 4’x4’ for the best results. The light is affordable and can be used all throughout your plant’s growth cycle making it a simple and easy solution for novice growers.
We love the basic veg and bloom switch on this light that immediately changes the light color to meet your plant’s needs during the vegetative and flowering stages of the growth cycle. This light also packs in an effective cooling setup with powerful fans and upgradeable aluminum radiators to keep the lights running at cool temperatures for more efficient operation.
Our HID Recommendation
- Dimmable to 50% and 75% power output
- Includes a single 2100K bulb
- Comes with a set of 8ft ratchet clip hanger ropes for mounting
- 19-inch wing reflector
For a reliable old-fashioned HID setup, you can’t do better than the iPower 400-watt HPS digital grow light kit. This light is low-powered enough for use in setups between 3’x3’ and 4’x4’ in size, but still produces healthy plants and offers excellent canopy penetration.
The light kit comes with the necessary rope hangers to get this light into place at the top of your room, and it comes with a decent 2100K bulb to use to get things going. It also includes a reflector that helps maintain the intensity of the light while distributing it over the most effective growing area for a small room or tent grow operation.
The most important thing to remember when using this iPower light is that you must lift it away from your plants to avoid burning them. Also, adequate ventilation is necessary to keep the space from getting too hot because the light puts out a lot of heat.
Other than those considerations this grow light is a solid entry-level option for small-scale growing and it’s simple to use.
Our CMH Recommendation
- 120v and 240v ballast included
- Highly reflective hood built-in
- Covers 9 square feet of vegetative growth
- Covers 6 square feet during the flowering cycle
- Offers reliable full-spectrum light for flowering and vegetation
The Vivosun 315W ceramic metal halide grow light kit is a powerful tool for tent or small room grow setups and it leads to healthy and full plants when used properly. The light attaches to either 120v or 240v outlets easily thanks to the included adapter. It is designed for use in 3×3 grow areas, but many users have reported success using this light in spaces up to 4×4 in size without a problem.
This Vivosun light comes with an impressive reflector that gives you full control over the footprint of the light. It also comes loaded with a high-quality full-spectrum light bulb that’s rated at 10,000 hours or more of operation. This potent little light will give you the intensity of an HID light without all the heat or energy consumption.
Our only issue with this kit is that it doesn’t include any sort of rope hanging system, so you will have to invest in mounts, ropes, and clamps yourself to get this kit into position and to be able to adjust the light throughout the growth cycle of your plants. If you’re searching for the best lights to grow weed indoors, this little kit is one of our all-time favorites for small operations.
Mid to Large Grows
Our LED Recommendation
- Veg and bloom switch
- Reliable cooling fans
- Good for 7’x7’ to 8’x8’ grow areas
- Low heat output
- 100,000-hour lifespan
- Built with an aluminum radiator
The VestVA DC Series 2000W and 3000W grow lights are both excellent options for mid to large grow operations indoors. If you’re searching for inexpensive LED grow lights for weed, these are some of the most cost-effective options that you can purchase. One of these lights is good for between 7’ and 8’ squared worth of space and they offer a full spectrum of light for all the different growth cycles.
Each of these grow lights is rated for up to 100,000 hours of operation making them a long-term investment for interested growers. The lights easily switch between vegetation and bloom settings depending on the growth cycle that you’re on, making it convenient to configure these lights. Each of the two light types is attached to a different switch, but it’s possible to run both sets of built-in lights at the same time when plants need even more light for growth.
This light array comes with a pair of fans for effective air circulation and aluminum heatsinks to pull heat away from the fixture. All the features built into this light make it an effective performer for mid-sized to large grow operations. Power requirements are so low for this light setup that you can easily hook up multiple lights for larger grows without significant energy or heat concerns.
Our HID Recommendation
- 1,000-watt fixture output
- Includes 6,000K Metal Halide bulb
- Comes with 2,100k HPS bulb
- Comes with a programmable timer
- Light hangers included
- Reflective hood included
This 1,000 watt unit from iPower is one of our favorite low-cost options for larger grow operations. It offers excellent light output and it’s dimmable so you can tailor the intensity of the setup depending on your space and the growth cycle of your plants. This makes it easy to turn the intensity down for the vegetative state and up it for flowering when more light is desirable.
This kit offers a great value to new growers because it’s affordable while offering the power for a mid-sized room grow. The kit comes with the dimmable digital ballast, two different grow bulbs, a mechanical timer, and a reflective hood along with hangers to get it all into position.
By investing in this product you can get your new grow room started or upgrade an existing space for efficient growing without a huge initial investment. The one downside of this light is that there’s no built-in ventilation and you’ll need to work out ventilation to keep the temperature down because it gets very hot during operation.
Our CMH Recommendation
- 630w ceramic metal halide grow bulb
- Works on 120v and 240v setups
- 5’ power cord included
- Covers a 5’x5’ grow space
- Includes hanging ropes with clips
- Doesn’t include any grow bulbs
For buyers interested in investing a bit more money for a reliable CMH ballast kit, the setup by VIVOSUN is one of our favorites. The kit offers a total of 630W of metal halide light output, which should be more than enough for a 5’x5’ grow space. The one major downside of the kit is that it’s costly and doesn’t include either of the two 315 watt MH bulbs that are necessary. Therefore, when you factor in the cost of the bulbs, it’s one of our most costly recommendations.
With that said, once you invest in this grow light housing, you’ll enjoy a reliable light output that leads to excellent plant growth. The kit also includes a set of ropes and clips to mount the light, along with a flexible 16.5’ power cord for easy positioning of the light.
Growers that make use of this kit remark about its durability and the quality of components including the impressively reflective VEGA aluminum hood. Overall this light is one of the best lights to grow weed indoors if you want to use a CMH setup as your light source. It offers full spectrum coverage and should work for many years with the right bulbs installed.
Although each of the above kits offer the lights to grow indoor weed successfully, the kit you choose should be determined by the space you’re growing in and how much ventilation you want to install. The best LED grow lights for weed might not give you the results that a similar HID or CMH product does but it is easier to set up than the other products. Consider the benefits of each light type, take a look through our recommended products and then choose the indoor weed to grow lights that best meet your needs.
Intrinsic Hemp does not sell any marijuana (THC) products. This article is provided for informational purposes only. View our full line of quality hemp-derived CBD products here.
Due to FDA Regulations, we recommend that you do your own research on CBD products. We also suggest that you read the reviews on our website, where our customers record their real-world results of using our products.