August 18, 2022

LED in Pomona, CA

LED Grow Lights

LED grow lights are relatively new to the cannabis growing scene, but they have become extremely popular over the last few years with their ability to produce excellent yields while staying cool and using a practical amount of electricity. With a high quality LED grow light and an average-to-good grow, you can expect yields of about 0.5 to 1g/watt.

The final yield depends a lot on strain and grow skill, as well as the quality of the lamp itself, but that's a good rule of thumb for most models. For example, a 200W LED (200W true power draw, not an "equivalent" wattage) would produce around 100-200 grams on average, or 3.5 to 7 ounces.

Today's LED models are much better for growing cannabis than the ones available even a few years back. Many modern lamps are full spectrum or "wideband" spectrum (instead of just red and blue light diodes, which produce a bluish purple light and are sometimes called "blurples"). Full spectrum light is easier on the eyes and including at least some amount of green light to blurples generally results in healthier growth. Other spectrum colors like red, far red, and infrared are important for the budding/flowering stage. LED producers have designed customized lenses to point light directly to the plants and improve penetration, resulting in greater yields for the same amount of light compared to older models. There are also several form elements, with everything from the casing to the size of the diodes differing from model to model.

3 Key Kinds of LED Grow Lights

There are 3 main kinds of LEDs that are most often used for growing cannabis. Each kind of model has its pros and cons, so there isn't yet a "best" LED type. Some are better for some situations than others.

1. Spread Style

Many smaller LEDs are spread out over a large space. Examples of this design include Quantum Boards, Rack and "Spider style" LED grow lights.

Quantum Board

The name "Quantum Board LED grow light" emerged from Horticulture Lighting Group, though the term is currently occasionally used for any LED in this style. They tend to have relatively low wattage diodes which are spread out over a large area on a board. These are becoming more popular recently, and appear to give particularly good outcomes for the amount of wattage used.

Spider LED

The "spider style" LEDs are similar to Quantum Boards because the individual diodes are spread out and have a tendency to be on the smaller side, yet they are set on a panel with "arms" like a spider instead of a solid board. One popular example is the SPYDRx line of LED lights. These generally have an incredibly high cost, but cultivators that use them swear they get better results than any other type of LED grow light.

2. Traditional Panel

The conventional panel LEDs have small to medium wattage diodes and the lamps tend to be more compact. The majority of LED grow lights offered today are in this style. They are sort of halfway between a Quantum Board and a COB Style light, with a mix of components from both.

3. COB Style

These grow lights use large COB (Chip on Board) LED "bulbs". Each COB is very bright and intense because they have multiple LED chips in a small area. COBs generate more powerful light than other kinds of LEDs, and each COB utilizes a significant amount of electricity.

Rather than having dozens of small diodes, COB style LED grow lights usually only have a handful of large COBs, each with strong lenses to direct the light down into the plant. These are quickly growing in popularity and are known for having deep penetration into the plant canopy.


It's also typical to see LED grow lights that only have one COB per lamp. These make it easy to spread your light over a grow space, one lamp at a time. Occasionally referred to as "AutoCOBs". Some LED grow lights have a single COB LED. Several units can be spread out as needed.

Each COB has its own spectrum, so you can create a tailored spectrum for your plants by merging several AutoCOBs with each other. They are very configurable if you have an unusually shaped grow space, or want to be able to accommodate different plants of different sizes at the same time.Some COB LED grow lights can be plugged into normal light sockets.

Choose LED Grow Lights If:

  • You would like to use the most innovative indoor cannabis grow lights with a customized spectrum of light
  • You are willing to do some research to identify the ideal LED grow light for your space
  • You have some extra money to spend on your first setup (a lot of the best LED grow lights have a high initial cost).
  • You don't want to deal with an exhaust system or ducting, and would prefer to just hang your grow light over your marijuana plants and let the lights cool themselves.
  • Quality (potency, odor, trichome development) and ease of use are important to you.

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