Top brand LED grow lights are insanely expensive.
So how is it possible that a light like the 1000 watt King Plus sells for a fraction of the price?
It must not be any good, right?
While it is true that this light can’t match the top brands, it still does surprisingly well. If you take the price into consideration, it may actually be a better value.
This is great news. It means it is now possible to grow with LED light without spending a fortune.
In fact, a light like this actually costs less than the equivalent HID system.
In addition to a lower purchase price, it also costs less to operate, using far less power and generating far less heat.
King Plus actually make 4 lights at different wattages. There’s the 1000 watt light reviewed here, plus a 2000 watt, a 3000 watt and a 4000 watt version.
We are only reviewing the 1000 watt version, but they are all basically the same. Everything we write here, apart from a few differences, goes for all 4 lights.
The differences between the four lights are shown in the following table.
KingLED Grow Lights Compared
King Plus 1000 Watt Grow Light Review
- Uses 110 watts — save about 50% on your electric bill over HID lights
- Equivalent to a 200 watt HID system — but costs less to buy AND to operate
- Full spectrum light — can be used during all stages of growth
- 2 by 2 foot core coverage — equivalent to 200w HID
- Samsung LM301B LEDs — highly efficient: 2.8 umol/j
- Runs on AC85-265V — will work in any country
- Rated for 50,000 hours — 4-5 years with no bulb changes
- 3-year warranty — and 90 day free returns
The King Plus series of grow lights was redesigned to use Samsung LM301B LEDs. This has made them much more efficient, delivering 2.8 umol per joule.
The PAR value in the center at 6 inches from the canopy is 1560 umol/m²/s. The core coverage area is 2 by 2 feet.
The fixture used to have double 5 watt chips, which meant a high heat output. More powerful diodes naturally emit far more heat than smaller ones. In order to use them effectively, the light fixture must have an efficient cooling system that can handle the increased heat output.
King Plus uses a thickened LED board (3 mm compared to 1.6 mm for other brands) with holes in it to help heat dissipation.
In addition to the vents in the board the fixture has two fans and glass form convection, all of which combined to effectively handle the heat generated by the powerful chips.
Now that the 5w chips have been replaced with weaker ones, all the heat dissipation technology allows the light to run at a cooler temperature than most. This increases the lifespan of the diodes.
But it does not mean that the light emits less heat. It deals with heat effectively, but it still emits that heat into the grow space. It runs much cooler than HID lights, but it emits the same amount of heat as other equivalent LED grow lights.
But switching to Samsung diodes is not the only change. The biggest change is in the color spectrum. Previously, KingLED outfitted these lights with primarily red and blue diodes for the infamous “blurple” spectrum.
The new spectrum consists primarily of white diodes, with additional red and blue ones. The exact breakdown of the color spectrum is as follow: 3000k warm white light, 5000k neutral white light, 460nm blue light, and 660nm deep red light.
This gives you a great mix of light that is the exact spectrum plants need.
It is a spectrum that will work for every stage of plant growth. You can switch between veg and bloom. Veg uses the cooler white plus blue diodes and bloom uses the warmer white and red ones.
Personally, I would use both switches and run all diodes at the same time, especially during flowering.
All King Plus fixtures ship with a power cord (available for US, UK, EU, AU, JP) and hangers. They also come with a 3-year manufacturers warranty, so you can get your light repaired or replaced if anything goes wrong. You can return it for free within 90 days.
The big, glaring disadvantage of this light is the false advertising. The manufacturer calls this a 1000 watt light, which implies that it is equivalent to a 1000 watt HID system, like some of the top-brand 1000 watt lights.
While only the best 1000 watt LED lights are actually equivalent, this one doesn’t even come close. It is basically equivalent to a 200 watt HID light.
I hate when manufacturers use misleading names for their lights, but I suppose I can understand the reasoning. So many of the lower-cost (and even many of the big brands, like Kind LED), misrepresent what their lights are actually capable of and if you don’t, people will mistakenly believe your light is not as good.
If you can look past that, you’re still getting a great light, as long as you are aware of its actual capabilities.
It simply is not going to replace a 1000 watt HID light or come close to the top 1000 watt LEDs on the market. It is a 200 watt equivalent light. But as a 200 watt light, it’s a good one that sells for a very good price.
KingLED 1000 Watt Review: Summary
Should you get this light?
That depends. It is not going to come close to matching a real 1000 watt LED plant light. But it costs so little that you could get many of these for the price of one top-brand light.
Let’s look at an example.
Say you want to light a 10 by 10 foot area. Some of the best lights on the market are the Black Dog Phytomax-2 line of lights.
Their 600 watt fixture (equivalent to 1000 watts HID, because they label their lights accurately) costs $1899 and covers a 5 by 5 foot area, so you’d need 4 of them to cover 10 by 10.
Total cost to light the space with Black Dog lights: 4 x 1899 = $7596
If you went with this King Plus 1000 watt horticultural light, you’d need 17 lights to cover that area, but let’s just say 18 to be extra sure we have enough light.
Each light usually sells for under $100 (though it can cost more, at times).
Total cost to light the space with King lights: 18 x 100 = $1800
As you can see, although you need far more lights, you still come out way ahead in terms of expense. That said, a Black Dog light is obviously constructed better, so the chances of getting a defective light are lower.
Those chances aren’t high with King Plus either, but definitely higher than Black Dog. Yes, King give you a 3 year warranty and you can return any defective fixture, but you still lose time.
Whether the cost savings are worth the potential loss of time, no matter how small the chance of it actually happening, is something you will have to decide for yourself. Personally, I tend to always go with the lower cost option, especially if there is a warranty.
After reviewing the Kings Plus 1000 watt LED, I can definitely recommend it and all other lights in the series. But not as a 1000 watt light (or the wattages the others are being advertised as; see the table above for the actual equivalent wattages).
As long as we agree to consider it a 200 watt equivalent light, it is a great value and I give it a overall rating of 4.6 out of 5. It should come as no surprise that King lights made all of my best LED grow light lists: the best overall, the best sub-$100 and the best 2000w.