One is spoilt for choice when it comes to buying quality LED grow lights in the US! Not only are there countless companies catering to all niches of the indoor-growing community, but there is also a large selection of decent, well-reviewed LED grow lights available on the most popular of retail sites, Amazon.com.
Reviews of LED Grow Lights in the US
NB: No Longer Available
Currently, this is one of the top choices for LED grow lights available on Amazon 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. The TaoTronics company itself is headquartered in California so you can rest assured that this is a quality company with a reputation to protect.
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So type in 'LED grow light' into Amazon.com and top of the list, unsurprisingly, is a TaoTronics light. If you have read our review page on LED grow lights in the UK then you know we are already a fan of their lights. In the US, the most popular TaoTronics light on Amazon is the TT-GL20, which is a small 12W bulb. Now, we are not a fan of such low-wattage LED lights when it comes to growing plants, but we suspect most folks who purchase the smaller lamps are not really trying to grow plants but are instead attempting to provide supplemental lighting to keep their existing house plants healthy, particularly during the winter months. If that's you, then you can hardly go wrong with this lamp. It fits into a standard E27 light socket and emits in the three main light wavelengths needed by plants: 660nm Red, 630nm Red, and 460nm blue. However, the cone of light it generates is relatively narrow so don't try to use it for more than one plant. In addition take care not to place the lamp too close as the cone of light is concentrated enough to damage the leaves. Its body is constructed so as to act as the heat sink to prolong the life of the LEDs and, due to its lower wattage, fans are not needed to keep the lamp cool as with larger LED grow lamps. Don't be put off by some of the rather broken english found in the description for the light. Although that is usually synonymous with products lacking in quality, in our experience, TaoTronics LED grow lamps are top notch. Why they don't just employ someone to write decent english is beyond us!
Apollo Horticulture is a Californian company with a strong reputation to protect but conveniently, they sell many of their lights on Amazon.com. They have several different sizes of light to choose from but they all tend to cater to the more serious indoor grower. They use a wide range of LED wavelengths in their lights covering key areas of the spectrum needed by plants but surprisingly, not all the lights incorporate the same LEDs as you might expect. The more powerful lights (180w and above) incorporate a different set of LED wavelengths than the smaller units, however, the actual areas of the light spectrum covered by each is pretty similar for both LED sets, with the exception of the white LEDs which are only incorporated into the larger lights but which are potentially unnecessary based on how white LEDs are constructed. The constituent LEDs for most of the lights are 3W affairs made by Epistar which is one of the major LED manufacturers, so you know you are getting a quality product. However, the larger panels (400W and above) use 5W LEDs (of unknown brand) which are thought to be less efficient. They will also run hotter which may have negative implications on their actual lifespan.
Another producer of great LED grow lights which are also available on Amazon.com are those from G8LED. These are the same lights that the US company Dorm Grow also markets in the UK that we have talked about on our UK page. The key difference that G8LED lights possess compared to many other LED grow lamps is their incorporation of true UV-B LEDs into their design. There is a lot of controversy surrounding the need for UV when it comes to plant growth and health, we personally fall in the camp of wanting some UV light in our grow lamp if possible, mainly because the science does not yet know the full role of UV light on plant health, and since plants evolved over millions of years in the presence of UV light from the sun, we would prefer to trust evolution rather than what we may or may not know yet. Certainly, the levels of UV light in G8LED lights are not detrimental to plant growth. Once again, as with other major players in the indoor growing space, G8LED offers a range of sizes of LED grow lights.
One thing to note is that G8LED also makes LED grow panels (that look identical) that contain a different LED set, which are specifically designed to promote flowering and fruit production while continuing to provide the other light needs of the plant. These so-called 'Bloom' lights achieve this by incorporating a much higher ratio of red wavelength LEDs within their design, taking the place of the standard G8LED panel when its time to flower. Although these Bloom LED grow panels have been shown to increase flowering/fruiting yields as well as speed up the whole flowering/'fruit'-production process, they are by no means essential, and if your budget can not incorporate getting both the standard light and the Bloom light, then just stick with the standard light and your plants will still perform adequately. Alternatively, G8LED also produces a completely red wavelength grow lamp, the 90W 'all-red' UFO (G8-90RR), which can also be used alongside the standard LED panel to provide that extra flowering induction.
See the UK reviews page for a review of the PlatinumLED Grow Lights