There are lots of good grow lights on the market, but it can be challenging to do a comparison when there are so many factors to consider. Not sure what those factors are? Read about what makes a good horticultural light.

The Evaluation

Here, popular grow lights will be compared based on five key metrics. These metrics were chosen because they are easily measured, correspond to plant growth and productivity, take cost into account, and are comparable across different types of lighting technology. The chosen metrics are:

 

  • Light Intensity (aka Photosynthetic Photon Flux; PPF)
  • Initial Fixture Cost (USD, does not take into account long-term costs, like bulb changes)
  • Watts
  • PPF/Dollar (Brightness per dollar)
  • PPF/Joules (Electrical efficiency)
  • Qualitative notes on spectrum composition. Blue and red light have been shown to be most important for plant growth and production.

Grow Light Comparison

Click on the table headers to sort from highest to lowest. Use the search bar to find a specific light.

Notes:

  1. Data was missing for some lights.
  2. Some lights have modifications that can increase the cost of the light. In these cases, I chose the cheapest version available. Price is based on a single-light purchase and does not take bulk pricing into consideration.
  3. This table does not take into account lifetime cost of a light. Generally, LED lights have a longer lifetime than MH and HPS lamps. As a result, MH and HPS lamps have ongoing costs which often make them more expensive than LEDs in the long-term.
  4. For the most up-to-date information, refer to the manufacturer’s website.
  5. Don’t see your light here? See an error? Send me a message and I’ll add or correct the information.