Now that cannabis has been legalized in many states, hobby growers are getting more serious about producing their own medical grade marijuana at home. Make sure to follow all local laws in your area when purchasing growing equipment.
When first starting out, it makes sense to buy inexpensive equipment and start with a smaller grow room. When you get more comfortable with the growing process though, you will want to upgrade to a more permanent set up and get equipment such as lighting that will last for years to come. This list of the best LED grow lights under $500 is meant for mid-level growers, who are starting to get more serious and committed to growing great cannabis but may not have the space or time for a full commercial scale grow op.
1. Advanced Platinum Series P300
Advanced Platinum is a heavy hitting brand in LED grow lights. They have a great reputation for producing quality equipment that lasts a long time, produces high yields and is energy efficient. Their lights have the highest PAR/Lumen output of any LED grow light, with two to three times the intensity of other lights. This 300W light is perfect for mid level grows, with an 11-band spectrum, a primary 60 degree lens plus a 90 degree secondary focusing lens. These high quality lenses take the light intensity to the next level. This light is good for both vegetative and flowering states, it just takes the flip of a switch to move from one to the other. It also has two high speed, quiet cooling fans and upgraded aluminum heat sinks. The coverage is 4.5′ x 3.8′, and can be combined with multiple units for greater coverage. Advanced Platinum couples this awesome light with a five year warranty and 90 day no questions asked guarantee, so you know you are covered!
Price: $369 with free shipping
Watch a review of this unit here.
- 5 year warranty
- High PAR/Lumen output
- Upgraded heat sinks for more energy efficiency
- Fans may be loud in a small space
- Some reviewers claimed a lower band spectrum than advertised
- Some reviewers mentioned low quality metal casing
2. California Light Works Solar Flare 220w
The Solar Flare 220W grow light is a smart investment for a mid sized light, and comes highly reviewed among experienced cannabis growers. It comes with 44 upgraded “Super High Flux” 5 watt LED diodes, and California Light Works’ trademarked OptiGrow spectrum color coverage. OptiGrow spectrum is full cycle and will work effectively for both vegetative and flowering phases. The coverage area is 3′ x 3′ for vegetative and 2′ x 2′ for flowering plants. If your grow area is larger than this, it is incredibly easy to hook up multiple lights to the same power source. The light has a daisy chain compatible design that allows up to ten lights to be powered from the same plug, as well as use the same timer.
Price: $400 with free shipping
Watch a manufacturer’s video here.
- Easily upgradable and customizable
- Full cycle lighting
- Reasonably priced
- No warranty
- Some reviewers experienced burnt leaves
- No fan built in
3. Galaxyhydro LED Grow Lights
GalaxyHydro LED grow lights are professional quality for a very low price. Their lights come in sizes from 54W to 600W and can be daisy chained together for custom lighting. These lights are all very lightweight and easy to hang. They provide full spectrum lighting for all stages of plant growth. These lights use the latest technology available for highly efficient heat dissipation, reducing your need for fans. They have a 50,000 hour lifespan and come with a two year warranty as well. Each light has a lifespan of 50,000 hours and comes with a two year warranty and 30 day money back guarantee.
Price: $80 to $160 depending on size, with free shipping
Buy the GalaxyHydro 54W Light here, the 300W Light here or the 600W Light here.
Watch a review of GalaxyHydro LED lights here.
- Two year warranty
- Two internal fans
- Wide spectrum, good for vegetative and flowering
- Fans can be loud
- Does not come with hangers
- Some reviewers mentioned a lower output than advertised
4. Lighthouse Hydro BlackStar V2.0 Flowering LED Grow Light, 240-watt
According to the manufacturer’s website, the Blackstar Series is the highest selling LED grow light worldwide. They are certainly well reviewed and are known for constantly improving over the years, with 6 different variations total so far. Each redesign has improved power, reliability and efficiency of the lights. The most current model uses all aluminum surface mount boards, increasing reliability. This unit has been used by commercial growers and has produced yields comparable to traditional HID lighting. This unit has 80 LEDs that put out a 6 band spectrum and is rated at a 40,000 hour lifespan. It also comes with a 1 year warranty.
Price: $220 with free shipping
- Suitable for all stages of growth
- Comes with one year warranty
- Newly redesigned and efficient heatsink
- Not truly full spectrum
- Some reviewers mentioned low penetration
- Fans are loud
Find more Lighthouse Hydro BlackStar V2.0 Flowering LED Grow Light, 240-watt information and reviews here.
5. Apollo Horticulture GL-Series LED Grow Lights
Apollo is one of the best known hydroponic grow light manufacturers. Their lights come in many sizes, from 75 to 1200 watts and they are all under $500 a piece. Depending on the size of your grow op, one light may be enough or you may want to hook up a few in a daisy chain for a greater area of coverage. Smaller Apollo lights are UFO shaped, while larger models are rectangular. They all have built in fans, which run very quietly and efficiently. These lights are suitable for both vegetative and flowering growth stages, and they come with a two year warranty. All of the sizes available are: 180W, 300W, 400W, 600W, 700W
Price: $35 to $400 depending on size, with free shipping
Watch a review of the Apollo 180W UFO Light from video here.
- Built in fans for ventilation needed
- Many sizes available from 75W to 1200W
- Relatively inexpensive
- Not a true full spectrum
- Some reviewers had diodes burn out
- Some reviewers had items arrive damaged during shipping