Small scale indoor gardening has been going on since the early days of grow lamps. In the last few years it has become a very popular hobby for many people all around the world, and there are many reasons why people would want to bring their plants indoors.
In this article we will be comparing some of the best portable grow lights in various categories to help you choose which one is right for you. We will also discuss a little bit about how they work and what kind of benefits they can give you if utilized correctly. It’s important to note that this article isn’t perhaps as detailed as it should be, but hopefully by now you’ve realized that not everything can be 100% thorough – there are literally hundreds (perhaps thousands) of different products on the market.
But don’t worry, we’re confident that there’s plenty of information here to help you make an informed decision about buying grow lights for your particular situation. And if you’re still unsure about anything, just comment below and ask! We’ll try our best to respond as quickly as possible.
Grow Lights vs Sunlight
Before we get into all this, it might be a good idea to talk a little bit about sunlight and how much certain plants need. In general terms, indoor marijuana growers will want at least 100 watts worth of CFLs or around 25 watts worth of LED lights depending on the specific setup being used . But what does this mean really? Well a lot of people often compare a 400 watt HID lamp to around 1 year of natural sunlight. But how do we know if this math is correct? Well, for one it’s important to remember that the intensity of sunlight during summertime (when there are long hours of daylight) is greater than when winter arrives. So in summer a 400 watt HID lamp would be equivalent to at least 2 years worth of sunlight throughout the entire day! And even in winter, a 400 watt lamp could still never fully replace 3-4 years worth of natural sunlight – because daylight typically lasts much longer during the warmer months.
In fact, since it takes many plants much longer to reach maturity under grow lights, you can technically say that most plants need at least 12-16 months worth of light before they’re even ready to harvest. And depending on the actual wattage of your grow light, this could mean a lot more time spent under the lights than was previously thought. So as you can see, properly utilizing grow lights is not something that should be taken lightly and it’s important to remember that plants need roughly 100 watts worth of CFLs or 25 watts worth of LED lights in order to thrive .
Just remember that plants don’t know whether they’re being grown indoors or outside. They just want enough photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) which usually comes from sunlight . But PAR isn’t just about brightness, it also has to do with wavelength – so sunflower-shaped bulbs such as those found in traditional HID lamps aren’t necessarily as efficient as they would seem at first. This is why LED grow lights are becoming more popular with marijuana growers everywhere. Not only do they emit most of their radiation in wavelengths that are most commonly used by marijuana, but they also come very close to matching the brightness (intensity) of natural sunlight. That’s not to say HID lamps don’t have their place though…
Top Portable & Small Grow Lights
ACKE Full-Spectrum LED Grow Light
- FULL SPECTRUM LED GROW LIGHTS--Red 630nm and 660nm, Blue:460nm and White light 2700K. - Suitable for all stages of growth,Specially suitable for seedlings' growth.
- LOW HEAT OUTPUT--Don't worry even close the lamp to your tender flowers and do not burn them.
- WATERPROOF--NO more trouble for watering the flowers even turn on the plants light
- ANGLE ADJUSTABLE--firmly and rotatable bracket for easy adjusting the project angle
- EASY INSTALLATION:--US plug with switch and long cable for your easy and quick installation.Attached a screwdriver for easy projection angle adjustment.
AeroGarden Grow Light Panel
- Nurture your plants with light from the best angle; This versatile grow light can be hung from above or tilted on its stand ; it rotates 360 degrees
- Conveniently comes with both a stand and a hanging kit
- Easily start plants indoors : the panel and stand are the perfect size for seed starting trays
- The adjustable stand raises up with your plants as they grow
- The energy efficient 45 Watt LED costs less to operate and will last up to 30,000 hours
Hytekgro 2-Pack Grow Light
- [Classical Full Spectrum] Compact grow light that puts out the needed light, includes 163pcs (620-660nm)+58pcs blue leds(450-460nm) +4pcs white leds (6500k), which is ideal for all kinds of indoor plants seeding growing and flowering at all growth stages.
- [Easy Set-up] This led grow lights are lightweight and very easy to use with the upgraded hanging brackets, system can be built in perfect sturdy condition within one minute. Built in 59’’ power cord could really stand another two feet of length though and make your plants happy.
- [Low Heat] ABS plastic material molding hydroponic grow lights panel , excellent Heat control, runs cool and quiet, no harm to your plants. Square shape design maximizes the beam to cover 3ft by 3ft area of plants, recommended to hang at around 6-10 inches for seedling.
- [High Efficiency] Plants grow fuller with much stronger and straight stems with these led grow light bulb. Most of the seeds are germinated and sprouting in 2 weeks. Low power consumption save your electric bill, 2 pack design are value for the dollar.
- [Worry-Free Warranty] We offer 12 months warranty plus 30 days satisfaction or return guarantee for this grow light kit. Please contact us first if there’s any issue, we promise to response within 24 hours.
Aceple Small Grow Light
- Grow lights - Helps accelerate the growth of indoor plants, succulent plants, potted plants specially. Best for promoting the leaf, for blooming and fruit.
- Three ways to fix the clamp (Clip, Screw or Stick) - Easy to install at your home or office. ADJUSTABLE and FLEXIBLE GOOSENECK ARM - to position the light in any direction. Plug in and switch on/off - convenient and quick to serve your plants.
- Best for your tabletop plants - Energy saving, low heat and low power consumption but very effecient Red and Blue lighting. It provides you a special spectrum(including 460nm,630nm and 660nm wavelength), that Blue light is good for healthy leaves, and Red light is best for blooming and fruits.
- Smart desk lamp - 15.8 inches Gooseneck arm, Clamping range up to 2 inches and Cord length 59inches.
- RELIABLE CUSTOMER SERVICE: Respond within 24 hours, 30-day money refund guarantee, 1 year replacement warranty and lifetime support guarantee.
Hydrofarm Agrobrite Spiral Grow Light
- Produces 1800 lumens and will last an average of 10,000 hours
- Fits any light fixture with a medium base
- UL Listed
- 9 year Bulb life based on 3 hours per day
HID Grow Lights vs CFLs vs LEDs
So now you know how much light your plant needs and what kind of light it needs actually – but how does this affect which specific type of grow light (CFL, LED etc.) is best? Well there are tons of different factors that need to be taken into consideration when deciding between different types of grow lights, but the two main points you should consider are your budget and how much space is available to you.
Let’s start with CFLs as they tend to be the cheapest option for those on a tight budget. CFL grow lights work great if you don’t have space for a bigger setup, but keep in mind they do need to be kept around 12-18 inches away from your plants or they’ll burn them . They also come with different light spectra – most commonly they’re either daylight (62000K) or full-spectrum (27000K). The important thing to remember here is that marijuana prefers ‘blue’ wavelengths, so if possible it’s always best to go for the ‘daylight’ CFLs which emit more blue than red wavelengths.
If you do have a bit more space and want something brighter than CFLs, then an LED grow light is probably your best option. Most LED grow lights are designed with marijuana in mind and won’t burn your plants even when kept just 4-6 inches away from them . They also come with different spectra – most commonly they either emit primarily red wavelengths (630nm) or blue/red wavelengths (400nm). If you’re using MH/HPS bulbs for flowering, then it’s advised to go for the ‘blue’ LEDs as these help promote budding. But if you’re looking to do a full-cycle grow without switching out your bulb, then ‘red’ LEDs may be ideal as they also emit some green and yellow wavelengths that promote vegetative growth .
One of the most important things to consider as far as LED grow lights go is not just the type of bulb, but also the diodes it contains. The vast majority of LEDs only use a single diode, so they have one wavelength being emitted out of them which can be anywhere from 400nm-700nm depending on the color temperature. However there are a few companies who have gone a step further and created 3W or 5W LEDs that contain multiple diodes. Each individual diode emits a different wavelength – allowing you to create specific spectra where each part of it has been ‘tuned’ towards promoting specific stages in marijuana’s life-cycle.
What About MH/HPS Grow Lights So MH (Metal Halide) and HPS (High-Pressure Sodium) grow lights are extremely popular among marijuana growers today. They’re bright, efficient, cheap and come with a variety of spectra depending on the bulb you buy. So why wouldn’t you just use one of these instead of thinking about which LED to get? Well despite being the most common type in commercial greenhouses, there are several big downsides to using MH/HPS bulbs for growing weed indoors.
1 – They need to be kept around 2-3 feet away from your plants in order not to burn them . That’s fine if you have a huge space or are only growing one plant at a time , but it can quickly become problematic when you have a smaller grow room with multiple plants.
2 – MH/HPS bulbs lose a lot of their efficiency as they warm up. That means that if you don’t have an air-cooled hood then your lights will spend most of their time heating the air around them rather than actually giving off light . This is especially bad as MH/HPS bulbs can give off some pretty intense heat, which is why they need to be kept very far away from your plants in order not to burn them. If you want to know more about how weed reacts when it’s exposed to excessive heat, check out this blog post
The final big downside to MH/HPS bulbs is that they contain mercury and it’s extremely dangerous to break one . If you do break one, then it’s best to leave the room for 15 minutes or so and air it out before trying to clean up the mercury. Only attempt to vacuum it up when there is no risk of spilling any more mercury – if you don’t have a special type of vacuum with bags designed to contain chemicals, then this means you should probably wait at least 24 hours before attempting to clean it up .
If You Like Compact Grow Lights These smaller form-factor grow lights are not only easy on your wallet, but they’re also perfect for stealth grows even in small spaces . The fact that they emit very little heat makes them an ideal choice not only indoors in confined spaces, but also outdoors as long as you can find some shade to keep them in. Another advantage to a compact light is that they tend to have a more focused beam, so you won’t need to worry about your plants being burnt if you get the correct spectrum .
Whether your growing weed indoors or outdoors, there’s no better way to get high yields than with LED grow lights. They use less electricity and give off very little heat while keeping running costs low . If you’re looking for something that can compete with the power of an HID/MH combo then MH/HPS bulbs are what you should go for. However if space is at a premium and you want a stealthy grow light then LED panels work perfect even when hung from your ceiling .