What Are The Best Cheap LED Grow Lights For Growing Cannabis?
First determine how large your growing space will be, because the best cheap LED grow light will vary based on the size of your growing space. For 2×2 to 3×3 feet, your best bet will be a cheap LED grow light from reliable brands like Mars Hydro, King Plus, or Viparspectra.
These cheap LED grow lights can be obtained for under 150 bucks, and usually cover about 2×2 to 3×3 feet each. If you’re on a budget and growing in larger than 2×2 feet of space, I have advice for that situation as well!
The Best Cheap Grow Lights For Larger Grow Spaces (3×3 feet and above):
The LED grow lights in my list below are great! But there’s one caveat – If you’re on a tight budget AND growing in a space larger than 3×3 feet, you should go with an HPS/MH grow light kit instead of an LED grow light.
What’s an HPS/MH grow light and why should I use one if I’m on a budget AND have a large grow space? HPS and MH stand for High Pressure Sodium and Metal Halide bulbs, an older technology used before LEDs came along.
These type of grow lights can be purchased for $120-140 and light up a 4×4 foot space really well. If you had to light up a 4×4 foot grow space with LEDs you’d be paying in the $400 to $600 range, so you can see why an HPS grow light would be your best cheap option for a larger grow space at one third of the cost of an LED.
The only downside to HPS/MH grow lights is they run a bit hotter and the technology is a bit older. But you can still dim them as needed and the wattage used is comparable to good LED grow lights for the same size grow spaces. You can find a 400 watt MH/HPS grow light kit here.
The Best Cheap Grow Lights For Seedlings
As long as your current grow light is dimmable and provides full spectrum light, that’s all you need to grow a seedling.
You’ll need to dim the light intensity to an appropriate level for the seedlings, but you can use the same grow light you use for adult plants. All the grow lights in the list below meet these requirements!
Check out my full post about the Best LED Grow Lights for Seedlings, Vegetative Growth, and Mother Plants.
What Specifications To Look For In The Best Cheap LED Grow Lights:
1. Light intensity:
The best cheap LED grow lights will provide a light intensity that’s enough to grow your plant from seedling to harvest. That means 20 to 40 moles of light per day.
In order to hit the 40 mole level for maximum yield, you want a grow light that emits between 600 uMols (for 18 hour veg) and 925 uMols (for 12 hour flowering) PPFD of light.
As long as you have sufficient light intensity, you don’t need to worry about wattage which is not an accurate indicator of performance when it comes to grow lights. You can read more on this topic here.
2. Good Spectrum:
The best cheap LED grow lights will have a balanced spectrum. Some of the worse performing lights have too much blue or too much red, which leaves you hanging for the Veg or Flowering stage of growth.
Spectrum isn’t a settled science yet, so some grow lights will vary slightly. But generally speaking your LED grow light should use a white spectrum or a balance of blue and red (purple looking). You can find that out by viewing the spectrum chart of each light.
3. Coverage Area:
The best cheap LED grow lights will cover the entire growing area for a good price. But you need to take coverage area claims on lower priced lights with a grain of salt.
Most lights in the “best cheap” category won’t cover beyond 2×2 feet sufficiently. If you need a larger space covered, consider multiple units, or check out my article the Best LED grow lights for 4×4 grow tents to find lights that cover a larger space.
List Of Best Cheap LED Grow Lights:
- AC Infinity Ionboard S22 (Budget Choice)
- Mars Hydro TS-1000 (Modern Bang for the Buck)
- King Plus 1200w (Budget Bare Bones)
- Phlizon 1500w COB (Strong Intensity and Full Spectrum Choice)
- Viparspectra P2000 (Modern and Vertical Grow Choice)
- Spider Farmer SF-1000 (Modern Bang For The Buck)
Keep reading for the full details of each light.
The AC Infinity IonBoard S22 is a cheap LED grow light that I’d recommend for a starter grow space.
AC Infinity is a reputable brand that has been producing arguably the best grow light fans available. Their fans are known for great quality that incorporates low noise technology at a price compares to other noisy grow light fans.
AC Infinity took that same product quality and translated it into a great low cost LED grow light – the IonBoard S22.
One of the best features of Ionboard grow lights is the true full spectrum. Even on an entry level grow light like this, AC Infinity managed to provide the same full spectrum you get on the more expensive LED grow lights.
You also get the essential infrared band, which helps plant formation and bud quality.
The light intensity (PPFD) for the AC Infinity IonBoard LED grow light is pretty good when compared to other LED grow lights. You know you’re getting good quality light because this cheap LED grow light uses high quality Samsung LEDs seen on more expensive grow light models.
The light only consumes 100 watts so the light won’t be the absolute strongest, but it’ll be good to flower one cannabis plant.
How does the IonBoard S22 compare to other best cheap grow lights?
The one downfall of this light is the small coverage area, but like I say, you really get what you pay for when it comes to grow lights. If your space is more than 2×2 feet, you’ll need to consider multiple units, or buying the larger size grow lights which cover larger areas.
Pros & Cons:
- High quality light from brand name LEDs.
- Full spectrum including Infrared.
- Strong product reviews
- Small coverage area of 2×2 feet.
- Wattage is in the lower range of 100 watts.
If you’re willing to pay a little bit more than the Bestva 600 watt model, the Mars Hydro TS-1000 provides you a more modern design, better spectrum, and slightly larger coverage area.
It’s definitely one of the best cheap LED grow lights for growing cannabis, and one of my most commonly recommended grow lights for 2×2 feet to 3×3 feet of space, depending on the circumstances.
Why is the TS-1000 one of the best cheap LED grow lights?
Compared to other grow lights on this list and elsewhere, the TS 1000 offers the most value. You’ll get 2×2 feet of light coverage, a white spectrum which is slightly better than purple spectrums, and you get a modern fanless quantum board design.
You’ll also get a dimmable ballast, although you won’t need to dim the TS 1000, as the highest intensity of about 500 uMol is exactly what’s needed for the vegetative phase, and wouldn’t require dimming during flowering either.
The TS Series grow lights are very bare bones. You’ll notice there are no cooling fans, but even more extreme is the lack of a power switch. The lights go on when you insert the power cord into your outlet, and vice versa.
Thankfully, Mars Hydro was kind enough to include a single outlet timer so you don’t need to manually unplug the grow light after each day’s light cycle.
How much can you yield with this light? Mars Hydro says you’ll get up to 1.5g/watt from the TS Series grow lights. Keep in mind there are a lot of factors that affect plant growth, so these are approximations.
In summary, this light is a serious competitor to $500 quantum board grow lights that cover the same amount of space as this light.
A few pet peeves about the Mars Hydro TS 1000:
There’s no on/off switch. Mars Hydro includes a timer that’ll shut the light off at your pre-set interval, but I’d personally still like a switch.
The Mars Hydro TS series spectrum doesn’t include infrared or ultraviolet light, which can have their respective benefits for growing cannabis. A few other models on this list include those spectrum, so decide if it’s a big deal for you.
Pros and Cons of Mars Hydro TS 1000 Watt Quantum Board Grow Light
- Possibly the best value for the money grow light.
- Good coverage in the segment.
- Energy efficiency that helps in long run.
- Modern design
- No Infrared Spectrum
- No On/Off switch (plug & timer only)
Other Mars Hydro TS 1000W Specifications
- Dimensions : 14.2 x 13.2 x 2.4 inches
- Weight : 3.75 lbs
- Spectrum: Spectrum: 660-665nm, 3200-4200Knm, 5200-6800Knm
- Actual Power Draw: 150W
- Coverage: 2’ X 2’
- Warranty: 3 Years warranty + 30 Days Money back if not satisfied.
Looking at all the features and capabilities the new Mars Hydro TS 1000 series has to offer, I consider it as one of the best cheap yet performance packed LED grow lights in the budget segment.
Decide if this is a good light for you. A lot of other growers have already given it a chance and seem pleased based on the Amazon review comments.
Just like the TS 1000, these bigger models provide great value for the respective price ranges and give other lights a serious run for their money!
The King Plus 1200 watt LED grow light is an old school LED choice. Old school simply means older technology, which is a benefit to your growing budget! Yes these “blurple” pink colored LED grow lights work perfectly and many frosty cannabis plants have been grown under them.
Don’t misunderstand the 1200 watt phrase in the name, this grow light won’t actually draw 1200 watts from your outlet, costing you a fortune in electricity. This cheap LED grow light will also be cheap on electricity – it only draws 165 watts from your outlet!
The 1200 watt model is equipped with 100 Dual Chip LEDs rated at 10 watts each. These LED spread a full spectrum light all over your grow space.
An underlying reason for utilizing dual chip LEDs is to produce more intense light which can balance PPFD and coverage in the most efficient way possible.
The red to blue light ratio is perfectly balanced, and this cheap grow light comes with a switch so you can switch LED colors between blue (for veg) and red (for flowering).
You also get infrared wavelengths in the spectrum which helps your plant develop thicker stems and bigger buds.
In the $100 price range, this LED grow light is a well performing bargain regardless of what you’re growing.
King Plus says this light covers 3×3 feet, but I’ve heard from growers who needed a second one to really get the coverage they needed. That’s not surprising for a grow light that costs approximately $100. I recommend using this grow light in a 2×2 foot space, or to grow one single plant.
New growers often get confused between LED watts and true wattage. This grow light has 1200 watts in the name, which is due to using sixty 10 watt chips. But the grow light only pulls 165 watts from your power outlet. So if you’re looking for stronger light consider getting an extra one.
As far as temperature management and heat dissipation are concerned, this grow light is equipped with multiple cooling fans that keep things well balanced inside one’s weed grow space. At 165 watts, don’t expect this cheap grow light to create much heat either!
In case you face any problems, or any failure occurs King Plus provides a generous 3 years of manufacturer’s warranty.
A good thing about King Plus is usually, they respond to their customers within 24 hours and guides them through the process concerning warranty claims.
That’s all for King Plus 600W LED Grow Light. Now let’s take a brief look at its benefits and drawbacks to make your decision-making process smooth.
Pros and Cons of King Plus 1200W LED Grow Light
- One of the best affordable LED grow lights on the market.
- Capable of providing marvelous light spectrum to the weed plants.
- Decent coverage area.
- Highly energy efficient that saves money in longer run.
- Sturdy build and attractive design.
- Long lifespan.
- Fabulous cooling abilities.
- Customer oriented support
- It’s not daisy chainable.
- Not waterproof.
King Plus 1200 Watt Specifications:
- Dimensions : 12.2” X 8.2” X 2.4”
- Weight : 6 lbs
- Spectrum : Full spectrum Along with Hint of IR
- Actual Power Draw : 650W
- Recommended Coverage : 2×2 Feet
- Voltage : 85V – 265V
- Lifespan : 50,000 Hours
- Warranty : 3 Years manufacturer’s warranty
Based on these specifications, King Plus 1200W is one of the best Cheap LED Grow Lights that works well for indoor cannabis growing.
Don’t take it from me, take it from verified owners’ reviews. With over 1,000 reviews and high average rating, I discovered they’re all saying things like “bang for your buck,” “highly recommend,” and “third grow with nice buds and no complaints.” How can you argue with that?
If you don’t find it fits your needs then no worries. Let’s move forward to another LED grow light that works like a charm.
One of the best cheap LED grow light choices on this list is the Phlizon COB LED series. Above is the 1500w COB but they’re also offered in much larger sizes.
If you’re willing to spend a little extra but still under $200 this model is for you. The COB LEDs and the special lenses covering the LEDs make this one of the strongest cheap LED grow lights for the price.
What is COB LED you ask? It’s an LED variant that packs multiple LEDs into one chip. The increased brightness from COB LEDs is noticeable and performs better in your grow space.
This is Phlizon’s entry level model for people searching for the best cheap LED grow light. Even though it’s not the most modern design, the performance and spectrum are still a very strong competitor with the more modern designs.
I’m including the Phlizon 1000w COB grow light due to the COB technology which is a key differentiator on entry level grow lights.
This grow light also features daisy chaining ability that lets you connect another grow light without the need of an extra socket in your power outlet. In case you want to expand grow space, this feature comes handy.
The shade of light in this grow panel is pinkish, and it covers all the essential bands of vital spectrum for your marijuana plants. Your plants will get everything they expect from nature.
This grow light includes infrared and ultraviolet wavelengths. For cannabis growers that means thick stems, denser buds, and higher THC.
It’s rare to see Ultraviolet included on modern grow lights these days, so when you add that to the strength of the COB LEDs on this grow light, it’s without a doubt one of the best cheap LED grow lights available.
Also, above all this spectrum is suitable for the entire growing cycle of your cannabis plants.
The strong light also gives this grow light a bit of a larger coverage area compared to the others. You’ll get 3×3 feet of coverage with the Phlizon 1500w COB.
However, as I always say, it’s up to you to increase or decrease this space by adjusting height. Just as a reminder, don’t forget to keep it a bit close during flowering to gain more resinous buds.
For customer convenience, they also provide 30 days money back guarantee along with 2 years satisfactory customer warranty.
Let’s take a quick look at the Pros and Cons of Phlizon 1500w COB LED Grow light.
Pros and Cons of Phlizon 1500W COB LED Grow Light
- An Affordable LED grow light that works.
- Full Spectrum Ability.
- Use of State of the art COB technology.
- More intense and focused light.
- Energy Efficient Lighting for Marijuana plants.
- Effective coverage area.
- Quite and Effective cooling.
- Customer satisfactory support.
- Lacks dual mode switching, although the light is sufficient for all growth cycles.
- Not waterproof
Phlizon 1500W COB LED Specifications:
- Dimensions : 16.5” X 9.4” X 3.1”
- Weight : 8.3 lbs
- Spectrum : Full spectrum
- Actual Power Draw : ~300W
- Coverage : 3’ X 3’
- Voltage : 85V – 265V
- Lifespan : 50000 Hours
- Warranty : 2 Years warranty + 30 Days Money back challenge
Looking at all these abilities and features of this 1500W COB LED grow light by Phlizon, it’s a sure thing that it has something great to offer its customers.
This is the recently released Viparspectra P2000 LED grow light. It has all the abilities to justify its place on the list of some of the cheapest LED grow lights on the market.
Viparspectra is a well-known manufacturer when it comes to grow lights. They’ve been around for several years and the Pro Series P2000 is the newest version of their long running LED grow light series.
I bought the smaller Viparspectra P1000 model for myself and use it regularly. The P2000 would be good for 2 cannabis plants.
Why is the Viparspectra P2000 one of the Best Cheap LED Grow Lights?
There are several reasons this is one of the best cheap LED grow lights. First, I think Viparspectra’s following of growers will speak for itself. Cannabis growers are constantly swearing by the buds Viparspectra produces.
Next is the modern white spectrum, the modern design, and the lower hang height during flowering, which makes this one of the best cheap LED grow lights for vertical growing!
Is the Viparspectra P2000 A Full Cycle Grow Light?
Yes it is. With peak intensity near 1000 micromoles under the center of the light, that’s enough to grow cannabis from seed through harvest. The spectrum is also sufficient and you can read that below.
What’s the Viparspectra P2000 Spectrum Like?
The spectrum is a white spectrum that contains the blue and red wavelengths necessary to grow cannabis through all phases. It contains 640-660nm (far red), 3000-3500K (red), and 6500-7500K (blue).
Power and Hang Height:
The Viparspectra P2000 pulls 150 watts from your outlet. The peak intensity is about 1000 micromoles at 12 inches hang height. That’s strong enough to make a good yield during flowering.
You’ll be able to dim the light easily with a turn knob, or simply raise the light higher, if you need less power.
For Seedlings: Hang the P2000 22 inches above your plants.
During Vegetative Phase or Autoflowers: Hang the P2000 16 inches above your plants.
During Flowering: Hang the P2000 12 inches above your plants.
The Viparspectra P2000 will cover a 2×3 foot space. Thats good for 1-2 plants. As a cheap LED grow light it offers a solid bang for the buck.
Pros and Cons of Viparspectra P2000 LED Grow Light
- An Affordable Grow Light known for performance.
- Extremely bright light.
- Full spectrum ability.
- Ability to cover a grow space of around 6 sq. ft
- Modern and efficient design.
- Little to no heat.
- Easily dim knob.
- No infrared light
Viparspectra P2000 Specifications:
- Dimensions : 11” X 20” X 3.2”
- Weight : 9 lbs
- Spectrum : White
- Actual Power Draw : 200 Watts
- Coverage : 2’ X 4’ – 3’ X 3’
- Warranty : 2 Years warranty + 30 Days Money back if not satisfied.
Based on my personal experience with this grow light, I would definitely recommend it as a cheap option for a small sized grow. The design is really nice and it performs like a light from a good company would perform.
The Spider Farmer SF-1000 is a newer model LED grow light. It uses similar components to the HLG quantum board grow lights. The value you’ll get with the Spider Farmer SF-1000 is hard to beat if you’re trying to light up a 2×2 foot grow space, or one cannabis plant.
The design of the SF-1000 is very simple. It’s a flat metal board with LEDs on one side and drivers on the opposite side. This light uses Samsung LM301B diodes and a Mean Well driver. Low power consumption of about 100 watts means the light doesn’t generate much heat. There are no fans on this grow light.
The light spectrum on the SF-1000 is made up of 660-665nm (red), 3000K (warm white for flowering), 5000K (cool white for vegging) and infrared (IR) 760nm. There’s only one light mode which works for all phases of growth.
My Spider Farmer Experience:
I bought and tested out the slightly larger SF-2000 model, which is ideal for a 2×4 foot grow space (2 cannabis plants). You can read about my experience on my full Spider Farmer blog post, or watch the videos I made below:
Overall after owning one of these grow lights I was quite impressed in terms of the value for performance provided. It’s definitely one of the best cheap LED grow lights currently on the market if you’re growing cannabis.
Pros and Cons of Spider Farmer SF-1000 LED Grow Light
- Cheap and Effective LED Grow Light.
- Optimal Spectrum ability.
- Updated Design.
- Great 2×2 foot coverage.
- Better Power efficiency.
- 3 year warranty
- Only covers 2x2ft (1 plant)
- Dimensions : 11.8 x 10.5 x 2.3 inches
- Weight : 5.5 lbs
- Spectrum : 3000K + 5000K + 660nm + IR
- Actual Power Draw : 100W
- Coverage : 2’ X 2’
- Warranty : 1 Year warranty + 30 Days Money back if not satisfied.
In addition to my own positive experience with these grow lights, there are hundreds of other positive reviews on Amazon and elsewhere. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed if you choose this newer model SF-1000 for your 2×2 foot grow space.
How do Cheap HPS grow lights compare to the Best Cheap LED grow lights?
You may have heard about HPS grow lights as well. They’re pretty inexpensive so if you’re in the market for a low cost grow light you may want to compare and contrast the two grow light types.
HPS grow lights perform better than the best cheap LED grow lights in terms of light intensity and even coverage area. The problem is they emit a lot of heat. So if you’re growing in a small enclosed space, HPS is definitely not the way to go in my opinion.
You’ll end up spending additional money buying fans and ducting for your grow tent which will ultimately make the project more expensive.
However, if you’re growing in an open space, an HPS light may be a strong competitor to the best cheap LED grow lights.
In terms of spectrum, the LED grow lights win. HPS lights will require changing bulbs for each phase of cannabis growth. In comparison, the best cheap LED grow lights emit spectrum that’s sufficient for all stages of plant growth.
If you’re interested in HPS lights – check out my article about them here.
The Bottom line for the Best Cheap LED Grow Lights:
When it comes to LED Grow lights, I always say you get what you pay for. But if you’re strapped for cash and you only plan to grow one plant, one of these above grow lights is probably your best bet.
Honorable mentions that weren’t mentioned above would be the Viparspectra VP series, Viparspectra Pro Series, and the Maxsisun grow lights. All affordable and good for growing one cannabis plant for the full life cycle.
What’s the best cheap LED grow light?
The best low cost grow lights are any grow light model that provides strong light intensity, a full color spectrum, and covers your entire grow area.
Are cheap LED grow lights good?
You get what you pay for when it comes to grow lights. However there are a few grow lights that offer good value for the low price.
How much do grow lights cost to operate?
There are so many factors that affect grow light operating cost. Check out my grow light cost calculator to figure it out.
How much coverage can I get from a cheap LED grow light?
Cheap LED grow lights are entry level and don’t offer too much for the low price. The best models I recommended above will cover between 2 square feet and 3 square feet.
Which cheap LED grow lights should I avoid?
Avoid the cheap grow lights that have these features: – Emit less than 400 uMol, – Cover a small space like 1 square foot, – Have an unbalanced spectrum with only red or only blue color. You generally won’t find a good grow light for less than $100.