There are lots of good commercial grow lights on the market, but it can be challenging to compare them when there are so many factors to consider. Not sure what those factors are? Read about what makes a good horticultural light.
Evaluating Commercial Grow Lights: The Criteria
Here, commercial 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)
- 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.
Before presenting the entire list, here are two lights that scored the highest:
Highest Light Intensity per Dollar: Fluence VYPR 2p LED
Out of our list of commercial grow lights, Fluence’s VYPR 2p scored the highest for PPF (brightness of the light) per dollar (USD). Within the VYPR series, we have the 2p and the 2x which mainly differ in their wattage (and thus, light intensity). Both lights are bars, making them good choices for overhead lighting, but also in-canopy lighting (either in a horizontal or vertical orientation). While this light is good value, it’s also very flexible in its application. All Fluence lights appear to have roughly the same spectrum, which is high in blue, yellow, and orange wavelengths. This is a typical LED spectrum seen in many “full-spectrum” lights.
Highest Light Intensity per Joule: Fluence SPYDR 2i LED
Out of our list of commercial grow lights, Fluence’s SPYDR 2i scored the highest for PPF (brightness of the light) per Joule (electrical efficiency). Fluence redesigned the SPYDR series in Aug 2018 and consists of the SPYDR 2i, 2p, and 2x. Among these, the 2i provides the greatest light intensity and efficacy. Like other Fluence lights, the spectrum has high levels of blue, yellow, and orange wavelengths. All of Fluence’s lights use LED technology, making them highly energy efficient.
Commercial Grow Light Comparison
Click on the table headers to sort from highest to lowest. Use the search bar to find a specific light.
- Data was missing for some lights.
- 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.
- 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.
- For the most up-to-date information, refer to the manufacturer’s website.
- Don’t see your light here? See an error? Send me a message and I’ll add or correct the information.