Since we at LEDgrowLightsHQ are located in the UK, which is the first port of call for ourselves as well as many of you, we are going to focus on a review of the best LED grow lights that are available from UK suppliers. For simplicity's sake, we will try to prioritise reviews of single LED grow light fixtures (i.e. UFOs and small panels) but the comparisons can be extrapolated relatively easily to multi-light/larger fixtures. Unsurprisingly there are some features that are common to most of them, so we will try to focus mostly on the differences.
When purchasing LED plant lights, one of the key specifications to take into account is the range of light wavelengths that an LED grow light emits at. Plants use specific wavelengths of light to grow and so ensuring that your LED grow light of choice covers the full spectrum of light wavelengths required by plants is best for growing success.
However, as the science of plant biology has not yet been completely deciphered, it is often not totally clear what the exact wavelengths of light and in what proportions they should be incorporated into an LED grow light for the best plant growth. Add to that, different species of plants will have evolved to use slightly different ranges of light wavelength can make for an often confusing picture.
Fortunately, there are some essential light wavelengths that are known to be required in all full spectrum LED grow lights, mainly found within the blue and red parts of the light spectrum, which we go into more detail about in our article on photosynthetic and photomorphogenic pigments found in plants. These are also shown in the table below alongside the range of light wavelengths that various LED grow lights available in the UK are capable of producing. For a more in-depth discussion on light spectrum wavelength and LED growing lights, and whether they are any good, check out our article on what we currently know about LED grow lights.
Reviews of LED Grow Lights in the UK
ViparSpectra LED Grow Lights Review
Update March 2021:
We earlier reviewed ViparSpectra's first line of LED grow lights sold in the UK - the Reflector Series - which can be seen further down the page. Then last month, ViparSpectra sent us the P600 Pro Series light to test out and review which can also be found below. Today, we are looking at the very latest that ViparSpectra has to offer, their XS Series line of LED grow lights, and the company has kindly provided us with the XS1000 light to look at.
ViparSpectra XS Series LED grow lights
Like the ViparSpectra Pro Series LED grow lights of 2020, the 2021 XS Series lights come in several different sizes as shown in the table that follows. In the UK, the XS Series units are available through Amazon as well as directly from ViparSpectra's own website.
The XS Series lights are very similar to the previous year's Pro Series lights in shape and build but do sport a few upgrades. Like the Pro Series, the XS Series employs the same fanless design that has proven so successful at ensuring silent operation and for keeping electricity bills to a minimum. As with the Pro Series, the XS Series lights incorporate a high-quality heatsink that dissipates waste heat from the LEDs very efficiently, making a cooling fan unnecessary.
Once again, like the Pro Series lights, the XS series lights have a layer of silicone over the surface on which the LED SMDs are mounted, making them and the unit more water resistant.
The XS Series lights also contain a similar set of LED bulb types as the Pro Series, including the possession of two types of white LEDs that produce light skewed to either end of the visible light spectrum, namely the blue or red wavelengths. Like the Pro Series, the XS Series lights also incorporate supporting LEDs that enhance the red and the far red light coming from the fixture ensuring that the lights promote sufficient flowering and fruiting in plants.
As for the changes made to the XS Series lineup that differentiate it from the Pro Series lights, these are summarised in the table below:
Main differences between the XS Series and the Pro Series
|Year of release|
|LED bulb manufacturer|
|LED driver manufacturer|
As one can see, the differences between the two model types mainly have to do with the pedigree of the components used in the lights. In the Pro Series lights, the LED bulbs come from San'an Optoelectronics, a large Chinese company relatively unknown outside of China. In contrast, the latest XS Series lights use LEDs produced by Samsung, a massive reputable conglomerate that just about everybody has heard of. Similarly, the LED drivers on the Pro Series lights are produced by Shenzhen Sosen Electronics Ltd., once again a relatively unheard of company, while the LED drivers on the XS Series lights come from the better-known Taiwanese company, MEAN WELL Enterprises Co. Ltd.. Components from all of these companies are of good quality, but in general, we prefer to buy products containing more reputable components as they often tend to last longer.
Other minor differences between the XS Series and Pro Series include a slightly wider range of dimming available on the XS Series lights allowing for even greater reduction in light brightness, something that is useful for more sensitive plants. Another obvious difference between the two series is the color of the light housing which clearly differentiates the two models (Silver for XS Series and green for Pro Series lights) but serves little other purpose.
ViparSpectra XS Series XS1000
As with most LED grow lights, the XS1000 arrived securely packaged in a simple discreet brown box. Like the Pro 600 Series, the light came with a power cable and hangling clips, but also included a pair of ratchet hangers that are useful for easy light height adjustment above the plant canopy.
Testing of the XS1000 with a spectrometer confirmed the light emission spectrum advertised by the company. Peaks at both the blue and red end of the light spectrum as well as visible light emitted across the full spectrum were observed (see graph below). These peaks mainly correspond to the light emitted from the two types of white LEDs used in the light.
As with the Pro Series lights, additional red LEDs supplement the red light portion of the visible light spectrum emitted from the light. Focusing the spectrometer specifically on these LEDs confirmed their emission wavelengths to be 651nm and 721nm (shown in the graph below) representing the red and far-red light produced by the LED grow light.
Overall, the XS1000 and the XS Series lights in general are very similar in struture and operation to the Pro Series lights, with the main exception being that more reputable components are used in the XS Series units. Both types of LED grow lights are very well-built and operate very well. If you already own a Pro Series light, then upgrading to an XS Series fixture is, in our opinion, unnecessary as their level of function is so similar. However, if you are in the market for a ViparSpectra LED grow light, then the XS Series lights are most definitely our preferred choice.
ViparSpectra Pro Series LED grow lights
Like the ViparSpectra Reflector Series before it, the Pro Series lights come in several different sizes (shown in the table below) to suit increasingly larger grow set-ups. In the UK, not all of the lights are available through Amazon yet. However, all sizes of light can be purchased directly from ViparSpectra through its website, with stock dispatched from warehouses in the UK, ensuring speedy delivery.
Unlike the Reflector line, the Pro Series employs the latest fanless technology where the LEDs' heat is dissipated via the heatsink alone, without the need for a fan. This makes the light silent in operation and more energy efficient. With the new Pro Series, the company has also abandoned the ability to control colour spectrum, instead, focusing on providing a full-spectrum light that works across all stages of the plant life cycle.
The Pro Series lights employ two types of white LEDs, each of which is tuned to either the red side or the blue side of the light colour spectrum, not unlike the use of different colour temperature CFL tubes in older LED grow lighting technology. In addition, ViparSpectra has supplemented these white LEDs with 660nm and 730nm wavelength LEDs to enhance further the red and far-red bands of the light spectrum. This is especially important for flowering and fruiting plant processes.
ViparSpectra Pro Series P600
The ViparSpectra Pro Series P600 LED grow light the company sent us arrived well-packaged in a discreet box. The accessories that came with it included the power cable, hanging clips, and the product literature.
We tested the ViparSpectra P600 with our spectrometer and found the light emission profile correlated well with the one provided by the company (the differences were explainable by the spectrometer set-up as well as where on the LED light the spectrometer was pointed at). As expected, the light from the P600 showed major peaks at the blue and red ends of the colour spectrum but also emitted light from across the whole of the visible light spectrum (see graph below). This part of the emission profile corresponded mostly to the two types of white LEDs incorporated into the light.
Moving the spectrometer's focus across the light fixture's surface also picked up peaks at 654nm and 721nm (shown in the graph below) which correlated well with the emission wavelengths of the supplementary red and far-red LEDs that are also present on the light.
Like most other modern LED grow lights, the Pro Series lights use surface-mount or SMD LEDs. These are supplied by the San'an Optoelectronics company, which is a large Chinese manufacturer of LED components. Although not a well-known LED brand outside of China, the company is well-established and respected, so much so that it is in the running for the provision of LEDs to Apple for their latest line of laptops in 2021.
When powered on, the Pro Series P600 is particularly bright, so ViparSpectra has included a dimmer switch to control overall light intensity down to a minimum level of 15%. This is especially important for young and fragile plants where lower light intensities are required for optimal plant growth and to avoid leaf damage.
The dimmer switch itself is a high-quality component and has an exceptionally satisfying feel to operating it. Indeed, the overall build quality of the light is outstanding. Alongside the first-rate dimmer switch, the whole unit makes use of a solid metal construction, giving the grow light a high-quality feel to it. The light also has an excellent, high surface area, and solidly-built heatsink that works well to dissipate the waste heat from the light. Although the Pro Series lights are not waterproof, the light's underside is water-resistant, having been sprayed with a thin layer of transparent silicone, giving the undersurface an almost rubberised feel to it (see picture below).
The Pro Series P600 comes with a good-size six-foot power cable. This, however, may not be long enough for every grow set-up, but the light can always be used on an extension cord if need be. Some larger Pro Series lights have longer cables, for instance, the P4000 comes with a 10 ft power cord.
The power for the Pro Series lights can not be daisy-chained as is possible with some versions of the Reflector Series lights. This is by no means a deal-breaker but, for those with larger grow rooms, this can make it more difficult to run multiple lights without running into power cable mayhem!
In use, the Pro Series lights have so far been found to produce excellent results with tomato and chilli plants, as well as succulents, so there is little doubt that the Pro Series lights will work well with just about any plant.
Overall, the ViparSpectra Pro LED grow lights are excellent grow lights for just about any home set up, and the larger lights would even suit professional growers. The fanless design is clearly the way forward with LED grow lights, as there is little issue with noise, and energy expenditure is reduced from lights that do not need to turn an electric motor. We are especially impressed with the build quality of these lights, as the design has been well-thought-out and the components used are clearly of a high calibre. Taken together, we have no hesitation in recommending these lights for all UK growers with indoor plants.
Mars Hydro LED Grow Lights Review
The Mars Hydro brand belongs to a Chinese manufacturer called LG-LED Solutions Ltd based in Shenzhen. But don't be put off by thoughts of long-distance shipping, Mars Hydro has had the foresight to place stock in the UK (and Europe), which avoids the unpredictability of international travel, and delivery times are the same as with any other UK-based product. The company itself sells a range of LED grow lights in a variety of sizes, meaning that they are committed to producing grow lights that are effective, and the reviews of their products suggest they do indeed work as desired.
Update July 2020: LED grow light technology is constantly advancing so it is probably no surprise that Mars Hydro have now discontinued their original 'Mars Hydro' lights as well as their 'Mars II' and 'ECO' models, our old reviews of which are shown (greyed-out) lower down the page.
Today, the latest designs from Mars Hydro are its TS and SP series lights, which have clearly been designed with the regular indoor gardening consumer in mind. We personally received one of their TS series lights, the TS 1000, for review, which comes in discreet packaging and also includes YoYo-type ratchet hangers, an RJ11 cable (explained below), and a power cord with a UK-format plug.
On the Mars Hydro lights of today, gone are the traditional LED bulbs of yesteryear, replaced by LED surface-mount devices (SMDs) or chips that are more efficient and reliable. The individual LEDs are still made predominately by the reputable Epistar company (the exception being the SP 3000 which has LEDs made by the equally-reputable Samsung and Osram), which means you are buying quality components. However, moving to SMDs generally means having less control over the specific wavelengths of light that are emitted from the grow light fixture. Similar to other brands of grow lights that have made the switch to SMDs, Mars Hydro LED grow lights now emit over the majority of the visible light spectrum. As well as the peaks at the red and blue ends of the light spectrum, which have been well established for their important roles in plant growth, these types of grow lights also emit yellow and green wavelengths where there is more debate as to how beneficial (or not) these wavenlengths are to the plant growth life cycle. We tested the light emission spectrum of the TS 1000 using our own spectrometer and found the light emission profile correlated well with the one provided by the company (with any small differences attributable to differences in spectrometer set up as well as where on the LED light the spectrometer was pointed at). As expected, the light from the TS 1000 showed major peaks at the blue and red wavelengths and also emitted light from across the whole of the visible light spectrum.
Moving the focus of the spectrometer across the surface of the light fixture also picked up the peak at 730nm (shown in the graph below) which correlated with the emission wavelength of the infrared LEDs that are also present on the light.
Control of light intensity
One unusual feature of the Mars Hydro TS and SP series lights (except for the smallest models, the TS 600 and SP 150) which makes them stand out from other brands of grow light is that LED lights are dimmable, providing greater control over the overall intensity of the grow lighting. This ability to turn down the lighting when needed can be useful when rearing very young plants or overly sensitive ones, which can be damaged by too heavy a concentration of light. The dimmable feature also means that the Mars Hydro lights can be used by just about anyone, not just indoor gardening enthusiasts, but even by non-green-fingered folk with the odd indoor plant that needs some extra lighting. Testing of the TS 1000's dimming feature worked fine and could be dimmed right down to less than 25% of maximum output if need be.
For more dedicated indoor gardeners who use multiple lights at a time, the dimmable feature can also be ‘daisy-chained’ using RJ11 ('telephone'-type) cables so that one unit can act as the master control for other lights that are connected to it. This ‘daisy-chaining’ dimming feature should not be confused with the ability to daisy-chain the power system of the light fixtures so that multiple grow lights can be powered off a single power socket. Daisy-chaining the power system would arguably have been a more useful feature to have and we would have preferred to see this kind of daisy-chaining ability on the lights rather than the dimmable one.
Another unusual feature of the latest Mars Hydro grow lights is the option to physically remove the LED controller and driver boxes from off the top of the lights and position them in a more accessible location. Grow lighting is usually controlled through the action of a automatic timer, so how useful this is will depend on an individual’s setup. However, this can be useful if you are making use of the dimmable feature of the lights so that the control of the intensity of the light or lights can be done from a single controller that is conveniently positioned.
The build quality of the Mars Hydro TS 1000 light we received was very good and the device was nicely put togther. But by far the most notable positive with Mars Hydro TS and SP lights is that they are fan-less, which means they are noise-less. This is especially important for home indoor gardeners who often have their growing spaces within earshot of their living spaces. Part of the reason that the lights can now be fan-less is the more efficient LED SMD technology.
What residual heat is given off from the lights is dealt with by an integrated heat sink which the LEDs are mounted on, as well as the aluminium reflector which has an ‘orange peel’ design to increase its surface area from which heat can be dissipated from. It should be noted however that the reflector gets quite hot - not so hot that it can't be touched but hot enough to be uncomfortable if held on to for any length of time.
Not having the fans and the associated motors and electronics also means that the Mars Hydro LED grow lights are very lightweight which makes handling them a pleasure.
Overall, we think the new Mars Hydro lights are an excellent option for the home user and we are especially fond of the noise-less design as well as, albeit to a lesser extent, the light intensity control. We have not yet had the time to test how well the lights perform when it comes to actual plant growth, but based on competitor lights with similar light emission spectra, we suspect that plant growth under these Mars Hydro lights will be excellent and reports from growers do seem to confirm this.
KINGBO LED Grow Lights Review
KINGBO LED grow lights are another brand of led grow light aimed at the regular consumer. KINGBO lights are designed and manufactured by the China-based Shenzhen Guangpushang Network Technology Company, which makes a few different lines of LED grow lights under the KINGBO brand.
KINGBO Dual Optical Lens series
One of their first and most established KINGBO series of LED grow lights is the ‘Dual Optical Lens’ range which the company has been selling to consumers for a couple of years now, and which currently consists of three members: a 300W light (KB-M300), a 600W light (KB-M600), and a 900W light (KB-M900). The key selling point with this series is the use of dual optical lenses over the LED bulbs used in the lights. The advantage of these dual lenses is that they focus more of the stray particles of light, that might normally be lost to the sides of the grow area, downwards towards the plant canopy increasing efficiency. These lights also make use of reputable 5W Bridgelux or EPILEDS bulbs which, like other consumer LED grow lights on the market, are set to run at a lower power level than their full 5W rating in order to minimise overheating and maximise lifespan. The LED bulbs included in the light series cover a wide range of light wavelengths extending from the near-UV part of the light spectrum right up to its far-red region. The specific wavelengths (or colour temperatures (K)) of the LED bulbs used are as follows:
From this list, one can see that the KINGBO dual lens series emit light in the blue (400-495nm), green (495-570nm), yellow (570-590nm), red (620-710nm), and far-red (710-850nm) regions of the light spectrum. The lights also include some white LEDs (with colour temperatures of 3000K and 4500K), which are most likely there to ensure that any visible light wavelengths less well-established as being important for plant growth are not missed (and also possibly for aesthetic reasons too).
Interestingly, although the marketing material for these dual optical lens series LED grow lights indicates that they cover the UV part of the light spectrum as well, no actual LED bulbs included in the lights target the sub-400nm wavelength range. Indeed, looking at the emission spectrum for the series confirms that there is very little, if any, true UV light (less than 400nm) emitted, so in this regard the company has got its advertising slightly wrong.
Features of the KINGBO Dual Optical Lens Series
One nice feature on the KINGBO Dual Optical Lens series is the presence of separate bloom and vegetative settings that can stimulate different stages of the plant life cycle as required, providing greater control to the indoor gardener. Build-wise, the KINGBO dual lens series lights also display excellent build quality, while delivery of the lights occurs in well-packaged boxes using discreet packaging.
As with most LED grow lights, the dual lens series lights do produce some waste heat but nothing over the top and are much cooler than more traditional forms of plant grow lighting. The KINGBO lights are also super bright, so much so that it is advisable to use protective eyewear if staying in the same environment as the lights for any extended period of time. The high light output also means that one has to pay particular attention to the distance at which these LED grow lights are hung above the plant canopy. This is to ensure that leaf burn or other light-induced plant damage is avoided particularly when using them on the more vulnerable greenery such as seedlings.
A final major advantage of the KINGBO lights and the KINGBO brand in general that is worth mentioning is the high level of customer service one gets from the company when dealing with any issues surrounding their products. The customer service team is highly responsive and this is one of the major reasons why their review ratings are so high.
Of course, no consumer LED grow light is ideal for all circumstances, and the KINGBO Dual Optical Lens series lacks the ability to daisy chain between individual lights so that one light can provide power to a neighbouring unit when several are used together in a single growing space. Not having a daisy-chaining feature means that separate power sockets are needed for each and every light used in a grow area, and this can become inconvenient in a hurry especially in larger growing spaces. Finally it should be noted that the cooling fans on the KINGBO dual lens series LED grow lights are not as ‘whisper-quiet’ as advertised, however, they are not overly noisy either and are barely audible from outside an enclosed grow tent or growing area.
Overall, the KINGBO Dual Optical Lens series are some very good LED grow lights to own but bearing in mind a couple of minor shortcomings.
KINGBO Dual Optical Lens Series LED Grow Lights in the UK
GN Telos LED Grow Lights Review
Another LED grow light recently made available for sale to the UK consumer that should be considered when looking to buy a grow light is the Telos range of LED grow lights designed and manufactured by the UK company, GN (formerly known as Grow Northern).
The GN Telos grow lights have a number of unique advantages over competitor products. First of all, they are manufactured in the UK itself, unlike many other competitor lights which are often manufactured in the Far East. Consequently one can rest totally assured that the lights are built to the highest possible standard when it comes to quality and safety. Indeed, GN has spared no expense with regards to the quality of the components used in their LED grow lights, where they have used top-flight LED bulbs manufactured by the world-renowned LED company, Cree, as well as electrical components all of which are sourced from reputable companies.
The Telos LED grow lights are also designed to be waterproof and dust-proof up to an IP rating of IP66, and the outer components of the lights have been selected for their UV and corrosion-resistance. This means that the Telos lights are very robust and can not only be used indoors for higher humidity grow rooms but can also be used outdoors as supplemental LED grow lighting in UK greenhouses where electrical fixtures have to be UV-resistant and waterproof.
However, by far the most important advantage that Telos lights have over other grow lights designed for the UK consumer is that Telos LED grow lights are fanless and have no moving parts, instead incorporating a large heat sink that keeps the LED bulbs cool via passive convection. This means that the Telos lights are not only less power-hungry but they are also some of the quietest consumer LED growing lights in the UK since the vast majority of the noise generated in other lights is usually due to the operation of internal fans. Fan noise is often a major obstacle for indoor gardeners since quite often grow rooms and the associated equipment used within them are situated very close to or within living spaces, so having a grow light that makes practically no noise is a major positive.
Since the Telos lights have no moving parts, it also means that they are super reliable and long-lasting. In fact, almost everything about the design of the Telos lights has been optimised for longevity, for instance, the individual LED bulbs in Telos lights are run at a significantly lower power then their maximum power rating, thereby extending their rated lifespan to 85,000 hours (approximately equivalent to 10 years). Another example of long term thinking is in the Telos light’s upgradable design where they have made use of pressure seals and twist lock attachments instead of permanently sealing and bonding components together. This allows for future upgrade of individual parts of the LED grow lights with more advanced components that have not even yet been designed.
The Telos lights favour the use of white LEDs which make up three-quarters of the bulbs used in the lights. Due to the quality of these Cree bulb-based LED grow lights, one can rest assured that the white light covers the full spectrum of wavelengths needed by plants for growth, however, the lamps will also include some wavelengths of light that have been suggested to be inhibitory for plant growth, although this represents a minor disadvantage considering all the positives one gets with these lights. The remaining bulbs used in the lights emit in the red part of the light spectrum at a wavelength of 660nm, incorporated to maximise the flowering and fruiting stages of the plant life cycle.
Price-wise, the GN Telos range of plant grow lights are not cheap especially when compared to other consumer LED grow lights for sale in the UK. However, if you are a serious long-term grower, going for a higher quality light that should last a very long time may well be worth spending the extra cash.
Overall, the GN Telos range of LED grow lights, with their silent fanless design, Cree bulb pedigree, and high-quality UK manufacturing are one of the best choices for the indoor gardener and his plants, and potentially represent the next iteration in the evolution of consumer LED grow lighting in the UK.
|Veg. Coverage||Bloom Coverage||Power Consum.||No. of |
|GN Telos 6||3.6 x 3.6 ft||2.6 x 2.6 ft||180W||72||XP-G3 / XP-EHE Cree|
|GN Telos 8||4.3 x 4.3 ft||3.0 x 3.0 ft||240W||96||XP-G3 / XP-EHE Cree|
|GN Telos 10||4.9 x 4.9 ft||3.3 x 3.3 ft||300W||120||XP-G3 / XP-EHE Cree|
Hipargero LED Grow Lights Review
Another relative newcomer to the UK LED grow light market is the Hipargero brand. The Hipargero series of LED grow lights represent part of a growing trend of consumer LED plant lights incorporating multi-colour spectrum COB (chip-on-board) LEDs instead of single wavelength LEDs as their main source of light output. In the case of the Hipargero lights, they do still incorporate some single wavelength SMD LEDs in order to enhance some parts of the light spectrum but the COBs remain the main source of light. One of Hipargero’s most popular lights in the UK, the 450W HG450 LED grow light consists of four 100W COB LEDs plus 10 red SMD LEDs. Literature accompanying the HG450 indicates that the light emits in a wide range of light wavelengths ranging from 410nm to 730nm with light coming from 1200K (red wavelengths), 3000K (orange wavelengths), and 5000K (light blue wavelengths) COBs supplemented by ten 660nm (red) LEDs. We tested the HG450 with a spectrometer and confirmed that the light does indeed cover, for the most part, the broad range of wavelengths it claims to cover.
The HG450 has only a simple on / off switch and does not provide any facility to tailor light output for vegetative or bloom growing conditions. The light is pleasingly bright and has a more natural whitish/pinkish look to it compared to other LED grow lights however, one does worry that some of the wavelengths emitted from the multi-colour spectrum COBs that make the light pleasant for us humans to look at may not be optimal for what plants require...although this topic is hotly debated!
The light itself is smaller than it looks in the advertised pictures but it does appear to be a well-built device with a body made from aluminium and plastic which has a high-grade feel to it. The whole unit is cooled by two fans which take in cool air from the rear of the unit and expel the warm exhaust air from vents located at either end. The light runs relatively cool with the body remaining just warm to the touch, however the front transparent screen does heat up quite noticeably although it is still cool enough to touch without burning yourself. Some users have suggested removing the front panel in order to enhance cooling and prolong the life of the LEDs, which may not be a bad idea, however one would then have to be very careful when handling the light not to inadvertently touch the LEDs especially when the light is on. The HG450 as a whole consumes about 200W of power, while noise-wise, the the unit is relatively quiet and is almost inaudible when placed within a closed grow tent. Recommended hanging heights for the HG450 are 60cm above plants for vegetative growth in a 90cm x 90cm area or 45cm high for flowering induction over an area of 60cm x 60cm, both of which seem reasonable given the strength of the light.
For the neighbour-shy, the light comes in a discreet brown box with a small label attached to the outside indicating the contents, and this box itself is then enclosed within an Amazon box which gives no outward indication of its contents. Inside, you get the LED light itself, together with metal hanging hooks as well as an undocumented bonus rope ratchet hanger (see pic) to facilitate the raising and lowering of the light. The HG450 also comes with a power cord fitted with a UK plug when bought in the UK.
Hipargero has favoured the use of quality brand-name components inside their grow lights with the COB LEDs on the HG450 sourced from epiLED and the 5W SMD LEDs obtained from Cree, both of which are very reputable companies and making some of the highest quality components in the LED space. Hipargero itself is a Chinese entity that is selling its LED grow lights in the UK via Amazon’s FBA program which sees products stored and distributed from UK warehouses.
Overall, the Hipargero HG450 LED grow light is an excellent little light that makes a big impression based on build quality and light output, and from what we have seen so far, we would recommend using one for a small grow area.
The Hipargero LED Grow Lights
TaoTronics - TT-GL05
No Longer Available
Currently, this is one of the top choices for LED grow lights available on Amazon in the UK that is reasonably priced for the average consumer. The TT-GL05 light is sturdily-constructed and uses 35 red (630nm), 5 blue (460nm) and 5 orange (615nm) LEDs, and it is designed to cover an area of 2 feet x 2 feet (60cm x 60cm) but you can double that area if you are using it within an internally-reflective enclosure such as a grow tent. In fact, a light-sealed enclosure may be necessary for some people as it is very bright to the point of potentially being bothersome if used within an open living space. It has 3 fans inside its structure to keep it cool which may sound a lot for a UFO light, but cool-running LEDs means they will last longer. It runs at about 30oC even in an enclosed space. The fans run continuously, but are reasonably quiet that they will barely be heard if the unit is used within a grow tent or similar. Because of the predominance of red LEDs, this light works better for the flowering part of a plant’s life-cycle rather than for its vegetative growth phase placing a limit on plant height but it can still be used for some decent early growth. To see how well the TaoTronics TT-GL05 performs with a variety of plants, see the Grow Diaries page.
Although most people have used this particular model for extended periods of time (even a couple of years) without any issues, as with any technology, there are always some bad individuals within the group. However, the positive reviews available on this LED grow light indicate this happens only occasionally and the Amazon seller (Sunvalleytek-UK) is very responsive in getting things sorted out while the light remains under warranty (and one can always fall back on that great Amazon safety net). Therefore, it is important to use the light as much as possible relatively early on so that you can reduce the chance that any defective units go unnoticed before the warranty period is up.
The TaoTronics company itself is headquartered in California so you can rest assured that this is a quality company with a reputation to protect. In fact, their LED plant lights are quite popular in the US particularly for the home ‘indoor garden’. They sell several other LED grow light models, but they are not all available yet in the UK. TaoTronics also makes several other types of unrelated technology products (that are available in the UK) including LED lighting for other domestic uses, some of which we have personally used like their LED Desk Lamp, which is well designed and operates flawlessly, and their LED grow lights are similarly decent bits of kit which will do what they are supposed to.
Update: TaoTronics has informed us that, due to lacklustre sales of the TT-GL05, they are no longer selling it ...now that's really a shame!
Kessil - H150 Red & Blue
Now these high-end LED grow lights are for the professional or commercial user and they have a price tag to match. Kessil itself is a US company based in San Francisco but the lights are available to us in the UK through Amazon - H150 Kessil Red and the H150 Kessil Blue. The lights are equivalent in light intensity to a 150W high pressure sodium (HPS) LED grow light but are very specialist in nature providing only one wavelength, so they are really just there to cater to a specific need of the plant and can not be used alone without any other sources of light. For instance the H150 Red Kessil light or 'bloom booster' is introduced specifically to enhance flowering. These are very reputable industrial LED grow lights, with some pretty fancy technology behind them, so you can expect them to last quite a long time and to do pretty much what they say on the tin:
"Growth and flowering boosters - Kessil H150 is an innovative range of high intensity blue and red LED grow lights that boost the results you get during vegetative growth and flowering. They work by supplementing the colour spectrum of your traditional HID and CFL lighting. Based on knowledge and technology used in the defence and military industry, Kessil LED grow lights are scientifically proven to improve plant development. Using the patented Dense Matrix LED™ platform, H150 effectively delivers penetrating and spectrum specific light directly onto targeted plants."