Best LED Grow Lights Under $100

the best LED grow lights under $100

A few years ago, finding a decent LED grow light under $100 would have been impossible. Even $500 or $1000 was hard.

Don’t get me wrong: there were always tons of lights in this price range. The problem was that none of them were any good. Few would do much of anything and none were able to flower effectively.

These days, most lights under a hundred dollars are still worthless. But a few of the Chinese manufacturers have stepped up their game and are now making good quality lights. And their lower wattage light cost less than $100.

[Disclaimer: several of the lights on this page are often on sale for under $100, but their actual retail price is above $100. It is not guaranteed that their price will always be less than $100.]

We’ve researched the hundreds of lights in this range and found the ones that are actually worth getting. These 5 LED fixtures and one bulb are the best LEDs you’ll find under $100.

Summary of Recommendations

A lot of readers wrote in saying they didn’t want to read through all the reviews and just wanted me to tell them which light is best. That’s why I added this short section.

Best Light Overall

The best overall light in this price range is the Galaxy Hydro 300. It sells at a low price and has a larger coverage area than almost all competing lights. In terms of power, it matches or beats all similar lights.

Best Full-Spectrum White Light

The best all-white LED light in this price range is the Roleadro 300. It’s the only one that’s any good at this price, to be honest. Nothing else comes close when it comes to all-white LED plant lights.

 

Comparison Table

ModelSizeActual WattsHID EquivCoverageRating
King
Plus 600

Dimensions:
12.2" x 8.3" x 2.4"

Weight:
6 lbs.
120 watts250 watts2' by 2'8.8 / 10
TaoTronics 24w Bulb
Dimensions:
4.8" x 4.8" x 5.4"

Weight:
9.9 oz.
17 watts24 watts< 1' by 1'9.2 / 10
MarsHydro Mars 300
Dimensions:
5.4" x 10.8" x 15.9"

Weight:
7 lbs.
132 watts250 watts1.5' by 1.5'9.2 / 10
Roleadro 300 Watt
Dimensions:
14.6" x 11" x 2.4"

Weight:
5.5 lbs.
124 watts250 watts1.5' by 1.5'9.1 / 10
Galaxyhydro 300
Dimensions:
12.1 x 8.2 x 2.4 inches

Weight:
5.5 lbs.
135 watts250 watts2' by 2'9.4 / 10
MEIZHI 300 Watt
Dimensions:
4.8" x 4.8" x 5.4"

Weight:
9.9 oz.
130 watts250 watts1.5' by 1.5'9 / 10

 

The 6 Best LED Grow Lights Under $100

I will just sum up my findings briefly.

  • If you are looking for an LED bulb as supplemental lighting, nothing beats the TaoTronics.
  • If you want the most powerful LED chips (deeper canopy penetration) for your money, go with the King Plus.
  • If you prefer white light, the Roleadro 300 is by far the best full-spectrum white LED in this price range.
  • If none of the three above apply to you, get the Galaxy Hydro 300.

 

King Plus 600 Watt Full-Spectrum LED Grow Light with UV and IR

This 600 watt fixture is part of the King Plus Series, which consists of 5 panels, ranging from 600 watts to 1500 watts and a 600 watt UFO (head to Amazon for info on all lights in the series). The 600w version actually uses 120 watts and is supposedly equivalent to a 600 watt HID light. In actuality, we found this light to be more or less equivalent to all the 300 watt fixtures on this list.

The King Plus series are full spectrum lights that also include UV and IR diodes. Their spectrum of light is very similar to sunlight, which makes them ideal for every stage of plant growth. To me, this and the 10 watt chips (see below) are this light’s biggest strengths.

We found this light a bit under-powered (or over-labeled, depending on your viewpoint). It delivers a PAR value of 1712 umol in the center at 6 inches from the canopy. If you move it back to 12 inches, you get 836 umol, at 18 inches you get 430 umol and at 24 inches, you get 302 umol. These values are more or less the same as all the 300 watt lights listed on this page.

When you hang the light 2 feet above the canopy, King advertise a core coverage area of 3 by 3.4 feet, but the power drops off quite a bit around the outside. In the end, the usable coverage area is only slightly more than 2 by 2 feet. That’s for flowering. You can easily back the light off during vegging and get a coverage area of up to 4 by 4 feet.

The King Plus series uses high intensity 10 watt double LED chips, so you get much deeper canopy penetration and better efficiency than you do with standard 3 watt or 5 watt chips. The main drawback is heat, but the efficient cooling system takes care of that. The light has a thickened LED board (3.0 mm, versus the standard 1.6 mm), two fans and every LED has a resistance to keep them working separately.

>> Read owner reviews on Amazon

 

Features

  • Uses 120 watts — save over 60% on your electric bill over HID lights
  • Equivalent to a 600 watt HID system — in reality, it is closer to a 250 watt system
  • Full spectrum light — can be used during all stages of growth
  • 3 by 3.4 foot core coverage — you’ll find this is actually closer to 2×2 for flowering
  • 10w double chips — better penetration and more efficient
  • Runs on AC85-265V — will work in any country
  • Rated for 50,000 hours — 4-5 years with no bulb changes
  • Includes light, hanging hook and power cord — everything you need to start growing immediately

 

Summary

This is a great light at a very low cost. That said, calling it a 600 watt light is an exaggeration. It basically gives you the same performance as all the 300 watt lights on this page. The one big difference is the use of 10w double LED chips. They give you better penetration than 3w or 5w chips and the efficient cooling system does a good job of dealing with the increased heat output.

If you want 10 watt chips, this is the only light in this price range. If you want the best overall performance for under $100, this light and the 300 watt fixtures are more or less the same. Personally, I’d just go with whichever one is selling for the lowest price at the moment.

Click below to get more info and check the current price on Amazon.

 

 

TaoTronics 24 Watt LED Grow light Bulb

In addition to this 24 watt grow bulb, TaoTronics also make a 12 watt version and a 36 watt version. Obviously these bulbs are a bit different than the other lights on this list, but I thought it would make sense to include them anyway.

For one, they cost much less than the other lights, but they are also much less powerful. In fact, even the 36 watt one is not going to be strong enough to flower any plants on its own. But that is not their purpose anyway.

These bulbs are meant as supplemental lighting. You can use them in addition to natural daylight or to supplement an existing horticultural lighting system. You can screw them into any standard E26 light socket (the kind you already have all over your home), making them much more flexible and easier to use than regular LED fixtures.

All of the TaoTronics bulbs have 12 diodes. The 12w bulb uses 1w chips, the 24w bulb uses 2w chips and the 36w bulbs uses 3w chips. The 24w version has 2 blue LEDs with a 460 nm wavelength and 10 red LEDs, 3 at 660 nm and 7 at 630 nm. The 36w version is the same, while the 12w version has one more blue LED and one less 630 nm LED.

These bulbs have a lifespan of 50,000 hours. The use aircraft grade aluminum and a unique heat sink design to maximize heat dissipation. This keeps them running cool at all times, even after 24 hours of continuous use. TaoTronics bulbs come with a 12 month warranty plus 6 months extended after registration.

>> Read owner reviews on Amazon

 

Features

  • Uses 17 watts — save on power sonsumption over compact fluorescent bulbs
  • Equivalent to a 25 watt CFL bulb — but costs same to buy AND less to operate
  • 2 red bands and one blue band — can be used during all stages of growth
  • 2 by 2 foot core coverage — equivalent to HID or competing LEDs
  • 30° degree lenses — wider spread for larger coverage area
  • Runs on AC85-264V — will work in any country
  • Rated for 50,000 hours — 4-5 years with no bulb changes
  • Screws into any standard light socket — use it in any lamp you may already have
  • 12-month warranty — plus 6 months extended after registration

 

Summary

The TaoTronics LED grow bulbs are perfect for supplementing daylight or an existing lighting system. The screw into any standard light socket, consume very little electricity and give off virtually no heat. They also cost very little and come with a 12-month warranty, making this a risk-free purchase.

Click below to get more info and check the current price on Amazon.

 

 

MarsHydro Mars 300 LED Grow Light

Mars Hydro are well-known for making quality lights at very low prices and the Mars 300 is no exception. It is made with high-quality materials, like a plug with VDE and UL certification wires, an adopting isolated power supply and a heatproof tube, so there is no risk of catching fire. Everything is covered by a 1-year warranty and a 30-day return policy.

The Mars 300 contains a mix of red (620~630 nm and 650~660 nm), blue (450~475 nm) and white diodes to give you a full-spectrum light that works during any growth cycle. The ratio of red to blue to white is specially selected to provide only the light plants actually use. This maximizes plant growth and yields and minimizes power consumption and heat.

The Mars 300 uses 60 five-watt LEDs and consumes around 132 watts of power. It is about equivalent to a 250 watt HID lighting system. It covers a 2 foot by 2 foot area during vegging and a 1.5 foot by 1.5 foot area during the bloom cycle. The light has a lifespan of 50,000 to 100,000 hours and ships with a power cord and a steel hanging kit.

>>> Read owner reviews on Amazon

 

Features

  • 132 watt actual power draw — save on electricity over HID lighting
  • VDE and UL-certified plugs and wiring — safe and easy to maintain
  • Heat-proof tube — no fire risk
  • Runs on 85-265V — works in any country
  • 50,000-100,000 hour lifespan — up to 10 years without bulb changes
  • Full-spectrum light with blue, red and white diodes — great for all growth stages
  • Includes 1-year warranty and 30-day returns — if you do get a bad unit, you can get it replaced

 

Summary

If you’re looking for an inexpensive LED light for a small grow tent, the Mars 300 is an excellent choice. Mars Hydro’s biggest drawback has always been quality control, but now that they offer a 1-year warranty and they have opened warehouses and repair facilities in the US, this is no longer such a big issue. If you do get a faulty light, you can get it replaced much more quickly than before. And they are producing far fewer faulty lights than before, too.

Click below to get more info and check the current price on Amazon.

 

 

Roleadro 300 Watt Full Spectrum White LED Plant Light

Roleadro’s 2nd Generation 300 Watt Full-Spectrum White LED light has been redesigned with an improved spectrum. It uses warmer 3000K light that is even better for flowering. The light includes wavelengths from 420 nm to 780 nm, i.e. purple, blue, green, yellow and red light.

One big advantage of all-white LEDs is that each diode emits the full-spectrum. This makes for a much more uniform light than a fixture that has a blue diode here, a red diode there, etc. Overall, the light this fixture emits is very close to natural sunlight, so you know your plants will love it.

The 300w Roleadro this plant light has a mixture of 90 degree and 120 degree lenses. The 90 degree lenses focus their diodes’ light down onto the canopy for deeper penetration, while the 120 degree lenses spread their light out more for a larger coverage area. Overall, the coverage when flowering is around 1.5 by 1.5 feet and you can stretch it to 2 by 2. For vegging you can back the light off a bit and get a coverage area of 3 by 3 feet.

The light uses sixty 5w chips. 5 watt chips are more powerful and give you deeper penetration, but they also emit more heat. With 2 fans for cooling, this light is able to deal with that. It maintains a low working temperature which gives it a longer lifespan. It is rated for 50,000 to 100,000 hours of use. One negative: the fans are a bit noisy.

>>> Read owner reviews on Amazon

 

Features

  • Uses 124 watts — save over 50% on your electric bill over HID lights
  • Equivalent to a 250 watt HID system — but costs less to buy AND to operate
  • 3000K full spectrum white light — can be used during all stages of growth and especially good for flowering
  • 1.5 by 1.5 foot core coverage — can be stretched to 2 by 2 for bloom and 3 by 3 for veg
  • 90° and 120° lenses — perfect mix of deep penetration and larger coverage
  • Runs on AC85-265V — will work in any country
  • Rated for 50,000 to 100,000 hours — 4-10 years with no bulb changes
  • Includes light, hanging kit and power cord — everything you need to start growing immediately

 

Summary

Some people love white LEDs, others prefer fixtures with diodes in multiple colors. If you fall on the “white light” side of the fence. The Roleadro 300 is by far the best fixture available in this price range. Click below to get more info and check the current price on Amazon.

 

 

Galaxyhydro 300 Watt 9-Band LED Hydroponic Grow Light

As the name might suggest, the Galaxy Hydro 300 Watt 9-Band Indoor Grow Light emits 9 different wavelengths, for a full-spectrum light that works during any stage of plant growth and is especially well-suited for the flowering stage, which is a weakness of most LEDs in this price range.

The wavelengths and amount of each are: 78 diodes at 630 nm (red), 8 at 660 nm (dark red), 8 at 470 nm (blue), 2 at 450 nm  (dark blue), 1 at 430 nm (UV),  1 at 740 nm (IR) and 2 white diodes.

The white light ensures your plants still get some light in the green and yellow wavelengths, but only a little. They don’t use much. Mostly they want red light and blue light, but especially a lot of red for the all-important flowering stage. The UV and IR diodes further help increase bud quality during flowering.

This fixture has a Zener, which works as a capacitor and ensures that, should one diode fail, none of the others are affected. So if a diode goes out, the remaining diodes will continue to function normally.

Galaxy Hydro outfitted this light with 3 watt LEDs and a mix of 90 degree and 120 degree lenses. The 90 degree lenses focus the light into a tighter beam for deeper coverage, while the 120 degree lenses give you a wider beam for a better light spread. Using a mix of lenses gives you the best of both worlds.

This light uses 135 watts, but is equivalent to a 250 watt HID system. It gives you a coverage area of 2 by 2 feet during flowering and 3 by 3 feet during vegging. It has a rated lifespan of 50,000 hours. It is backed by a 2-year warranty and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

>>> Read owner reviews on Amazon

 

Features

  • Works on AC85/265V — use it anywhere in the world
  • 135w power draw — about 50% less electricity than HID
  • Contains UV and IR — for higher quality yields
  • Full-spectrum light with 9 bands — includes all the light your plants need and nothing more
  • 90° and 120° lenses — perfect mix of deep penetration and larger coverage
  • Has 50,000-hour lifespan — no more expensive bulb changes
  • Package includes grow light, power cord, and stainless steel rope hanger — everything you need to start growing immediately
  • 2-year warranty and 30-day returns — if something does go wrong, you’re covered

 

Summary

The Galaxy Hydro is a great light for any stage of growth, but with the high number of red diodes and the included UV and IR light, it is especially good at flowering. Since there are very few lights in this price range that can flower at all, this little 300 watt powerhouse is something special. Highly recommended for an small tent or indoor garden.

Click below to get more info and check the current price on Amazon.

 

 

MEIZHI 300 Watt LED Grow Light

The Meizhi 300 watt LED plant light uses sixty 5 watt Epistar chips. It has red light between 450 and 475 nm, blue light from 620 to 630 nm and 650 to 660 nm and 5500 to 6500K white light. This combines to give you the full spectrum of light in a ratio that is perfect for any stage of growth and that can actually flower a plant.

This light is equivalent to a 250 watt HID system, but only uses around 130 watts of power. Since a 250w HID system actually uses more than 250 watts (the ballast also consumes electricity), you save more than half on your electric bill. And that’s without considering the heat.

Two high-quality aluminum heat sinks and high-speed cooling fans keep the light running very cool. And surprisingly, the fans do not give off much noise (56 db). The light also has two isolated power supplies. The low working temperature and the dual power supplies combine to ensure a long lifespan of 50,000 to 100,000 hours.

The Meizhi 300 can cover an area of 1.5 by 1.5 for flowering. You’ll need to hang it 12 to 24 inches from the canopy. It gives you a PAR value of 300 umol at 18 inches height. If you measure the lumen, you get 5911.

The light ships with a power cord and a free hanging kit. If you are unhappy with it, you can return it for free within 30 days of purchase. You can get it repaired for free within 3 months. After that, you get free accessories, but have to pay for maintenance service for the first year.

>>> Read owner reviews on Amazon

 

Features

  • Uses 130 watts — save over 50% on your electric bill over HID lights
  • Equivalent to a 250 watt HID system — but costs less to buy AND to operate
  • Full spectrum light — can be used during all stages of growth
  • 1.5 by 1.5 foot bloom coverage — equivalent to HID or competing LEDs
  • 90° and 120° lenses — perfect mix of deep penetration and larger coverage
  • Runs on 110V or 220V — will work in any country
  • Rated for 50,000 to 100,000 hours — 4-10 years with no bulb changes
  • Includes light, hanging kit and power cord — everything you need to start growing immediately
  • 3-month warranty and 30-day returns — if something does go wrong, you’re covered

 

Summary

The Meizhi 300 is another great option in this price range, especially if you are going to use it for all grow cycles. The warranty is not as good as the other lights on this list, but other than that, it will give you the same type of performance. As mentioned previously, I’d check the current prices and if this light is priced the lowest, go for it. If the Galaxy Hydro or Mars Hydro are priced lower, get those.

Click below to get more info and check the current price on Amazon.

January 7, 2017

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