That’s where the Chinese knock-offs come into play.
The best of them like Spider Farmer, cost quite a bit less. But they’re still imported and that drives up the cost.
If you go right to the source, you can find the same lights for even less. That means shopping on the Chinese website Alibaba.
Isn’t that risky?
Yes. There are hundreds of sellers. And most are not trustworthy.
How do you know which you can trust?
The truth is you don’t. You have to rely on others. And if you’ve done any reading on grow forums, etc. you’ll probably have come across the name Kingbrite.
The full name is Shenzhen Kingbrite Lighting Co and they have built a reputation as a trustworthy Chinese supplier on Alibaba.
They make every type of quantum board LED grow light you can imagine and their prices are lower than you will find anywhere else. More importantly, they have a track record of actually delivering quality lights.
Let’s take a closer look.
Kingbrite LED Grow Lights: Comparison Table
Sometimes Alibaba suffers from extremely high user volume and their pages may not load. If you click on one of the buttons below and end up seeing an error message, wait 10 seconds or so and try again. It almost always works after a brief pause.
Kingbrite has far too many products to list them all here. To see their entire selection, do the following:
- Head to Alibaba
- Type Kingbrite into the search bar and change the dropdown next to the bar from ‘products’ to ‘suppliers’.
The table above contains only the most popular options from Kingbrite. It includes each size of light with 3000K white diodes, plus Epistar 660 nm red, UV and IR.
Each size light is also available with different color temperatures of white diodes (like 3500K, 4000K, etc.) and in versions that have only white light, or white light plus red diodes (but no UV and IR).
They also have more expensive versions that use CREE 660nm red diodes, instead of Epistar.
There are also a ton of kits you can build yourself and hundreds of spare components, like drivers or COBs or anything else.
You can buy everything you need to build your own lights completely from scratch. But the savings really aren’t worth it.
The best deals are the pre-built lights in this table, or the variations thereof.
Kingbrite V3 480W Samsung LM301H Review
This review focuses on the best-selling Kingbrite fixture the 480W Samsung LM301H quantum board fixture with Epistar 660 nm, UV and IR. It is basically the same as the HLG 600 V2 RSpec, except it also contains IR and UV. That said, Kingbrite also has versions without the UV and IR.
Everything written here about this light goes for all the other Kingbrite lights as well, apart from the individual specifications, of course.
- Uses 480 watts — save 40 to 50% on your electric bill over HID lights
- Equivalent to a 800 watt HID system — but costs less to buy AND to operate
- Ideal spectrum for plants — 3000K, 3500K or 4000K white light, plus 660 nm red and UV and IR; the perfect light for all stages of growth, with peaks on red and blue and a lot of light in every other color
- Highly efficient — great output from a low power usage (220 lumen/watt)
- 4 by 4 foot core coverage — 5 by 5 max coverage
- Meanwell driver — high quality dimmable driver
- Rated for 50,000+ hours — 4+ years with no bulb changes
- 1 year warranty — on the light; plus a 5 year warranty on the driver
The strongest points of the Kingbrite series are that you get quantum board LED grow lights at a much lower price and that they have far more options than any other brand, in terms of sizes and light spectrum.
Kingbrite sell quantum LED lights for a lower price than any brands you can find on Amazon. Far lower. You will have to pay for shipping to your country, but the costs are reasonable and even with the shipping added in, the lights are still the cheapest.
There are other sellers on Alibaba that sell similar lights for less. It’s usually only slightly less, so it’s probably not worth it to save that money.
The reason Kingbrite is better is that there are a lot of people on grow forums who have successfully bought their lights and had them shipped to the US, Canada and Europe. In other words: they have a track record of being reputable, which other sellers do not necessarily have.
As mentioned above, Kingbrite have a much larger selection of lights than any other brand that sell quantum fixtures. They have fixtures ranging from 65 watts to 600 watts. Whether you have a small grow space or a huge grow tent, they have fixtures to fill it with the light your plants need.
For each wattage, they offer versions with white light only, with white light and deep red (660 nm) diodes, and with white light, deep red, IR and UV. You can choose the color temperature of the white light (3000K, 3500K or 4000K) and you have the option of going with Epistar deep red, UV and IR diodes, or CREE XPE diodes. Naturally, CREE costs far more.
Kingbrite also offer a bunch of DIY kits and they sell all the parts separately, so you can build your own light without using a kit. You can save even more money this way, but the savings are not that big to be honest. The ready-made lights already sell for such a low price that it probably would not be worth it to DIY, unless that is something you enjoy or you have more time than money.
The light we are reviewing here uses quantum boards with Samsung LM301H white diodes and Epistar 660 nm (deep red), UV and IR diodes. You can choose between 3000K, 3500K or 4000K of the color temperature of the white light.
If you are using the light for all stages of growth, go with the 3500K or the 3000K. 3000K is best during bloom, but weakest for vegging. 4000K is best for vegging, but weakest for bloom. 3500K is a good compromise.
Nevertheless, I’d go with 3000K for full cycle. It might be the weakest during vegging, but it still does just fine. And the additional red spectrum light during bloom will help boost yields. To me, that is more important.
If you checkout Kingbrite’s entire selection (you can find their store by typing ‘Kingbrite’ in the Alibaba search bar at the top and changing it from ‘products’ to ‘suppliers’), you will notice many similar lights.
They need to whittle this selection down, because many are exactly the same. But there are also some that are different. You will see versions that do not have UV and IR and others that do not have the deep red either.
These are options you don’t really get with other brands. Most do not have UV and many do not have IR or even the deep red. The best choice is the one reviewed here that includes all three.
The other option you have is going with CREE XPE diodes, instead of Epistar, for the deep red, IR and UV light. CREE LEDs are much higher quality. They last longer and are more efficient, though the difference is not that huge. And they also cost a lot more. Since you are choosing Kingbrite because you want to save money, it probably does not make sense to splurge on CREE chips.
Coverage And Output
The biggest advantage of the quantum board style fixtures is the coverage, which is a function of their size. Where other types of fixtures generally have light emanating outward from the central fixture, quantum boards are much larger, so the light goes more directly downward.
Having a bunch of smaller diodes spread out over a much larger surface area, means the light can reach the canopy more quickly across a larger surface area. The end result is a more even light spread across the entire coverage area.
Take a look at the PPFD footprint for the Kingbrite 480W Epistar version with red, UV and IR across a 4 by 4 foot area at 20 inches and 40 inches from the plants.
Most lights might give you a much higher PPFD in the middle, but it drops off considerably toward the edges. That’s great for the plant directly beneath the light, but not so great for any other plants you might have.
The more even spread of the quantum board lights ensures that plants in the corners of the coverage area still get enough light to flower. Flowering plants need at least 100 umol/m²/s.
Another advantage are the quality components. The light we’re looking at here uses a Meanwell driver, which is the best int he industry. It also uses Samsung quantum boards.
The Epistar diodes are great, but not the best. As mentioned, you can get a version that uses CREE diodes, for an additional cost.
The Kingbrite fixtures ship with 4 adjustable ratchet hangers, which is a nice touch. Many brands give you hanging brackets, but no rope ratchets. And you really want adjustable ratchet hangers. They make it so much easier to raise or lower the fixture, which you will have to do a lot as the plants grow.
One more advantage is the heat output. The smaller diodes spread out over a larger area means that passive cooling is enough. There is no need for loud fans. The fan noise in any grow room with other types of LED grow lights is pretty loud. Fans also tend to be the first component to break.
But don’t expect the light to be cool. These are powerful lights and they do emit a lot of heat. You will want to ventilate your grow space (this is something you want to do anyway, of course). But they emit less heat than the HID equivalent. Generally, it is about 30% less.
The biggest disadvantage is that these lights come directly from China. They are only available on Alibaba, which means you have to use this website to place your order. The site has versions in many languages, so this is not difficult, but it’s not as easy as Amazon either.
Moreover, you will need to wait longer for the light to arrive from china. This usually takes 2-3 weeks. And if anything goes wrong with your light, it will take much longer to get it repaired or replaced. When the light arrives, you will have to do some minor assembly, like screwing the driver to the board and connecting it to the LEDs.
If you don’t want to deal with all of this, you’ll need to pay more and get a different brand from Amazon. Our rundown of the best LED grow lights will help you find the right light among the choices on Amazon. If includes several quantum style lights.
Continuing the same theme, the other major disadvantage is a shorter warranty. Whereas most brands on Amazon give you at least 3 years, Kingbrite only provides a one year warranty. Meanwell does guarantee their drivers for 5 years, though.
There is also no stated return policy, though customers on grow forums report that Kingbrite was good to deal with in cases where there were issues. I am not sure if they would allow you to return a light if you no longer want it, however. They said yes when I asked, but I never actually attempted to make a return.
Kingbrite LED Grow Lights: Final Verdict
The Kingbrite Quantum Board LED Grow Light is a great alternative for those who want to get the best possible light for the lowest possible price.
You have a ton of options to choose from, including lights that are basically exactly the same as the hugely popular fixtures from HLG, but for a fraction of the price.
In the past few years, they have also expanded to offer the bar type of lights. These give you a more even light spread and are the types of lights that are most popular currently (2022).
The components used in all lights are good quality, the spectrum is perfect for plants (especially the one with the added deep red, UV and IR) and the lights are highly efficient to run. They deliver incredible output for a low power usage.
The only drawback is that they are only available on Alibaba. You have to order them directly from China. This ads some risk and is also a bit more work than simply buying from Amazon. But if you don’t mind that you are getting one of the best bargains you’ll ever find.
And Kingbrite is easily the best of the Alibaba suppliers. The only other one worth considering is Meijiu, but they have a smaller selection and there are some reports of issues with their customer service. Read our Meijiu review for more.
We took some points off because you have to buy direct from China, but the low cost and great track record still result is a high rating of 4.4 out of 5.