Cheap Grow Lights Pack a Punch: Top Picks under $100, $300, and $500

cheap grow lights

As a cannabis grower, if you’re interested in cheap grow lights there are great options to fit most every budget. We live in an exciting time when it comes to technology; tech is getting better every day. More condensed in size, ever-increasing in capabilities and quality, all while becoming more affordable. And that trend isn’t about to slow down!

The terms ‘cheap’ or ‘affordable’ are, of course, vague and undefined, so we’ve further divided the ones worth mentioning into echelons of the best lights for growing marijuana under $100 (Yes, there are some good ones!), under $300, and under $500.

Best Cheap Grow Lights Under $100

It won’t be a big surprise that a grow light at such an affordable price doesn’t necessarily have all of the bells and whistles.

What comes to mind?

The absence of an on/off switch on the unit, for example, or advanced features such as the ability to switch between the lighting sections that are specifically needed during the vegetative or flowering stage.

But really, with an entry-level grow light, who really wants to focus on what it doesn’t do? It makes more sense to see these little gems for what they are worth considering the very reasonable price tag. Here are two cheap grow lights worth considering.

grow lights under 100


Eliminate the need for a noisy fan with the MARS HYDRO Grow Light. It also uses less energy yet increases yields. The aluminum hood is reflective giving plants 20 percent more light as it dissipates heat. The 600 watts provide a full spectrum of light for all growth stages.

The MARS HYDRO’S dimensions are 14.02 x 12.2 x 1.42 inches. You’ll get 2 x 2 feet for the vegging stage and 1.5 x 1.5 feet for the blooming stage. A total of 225 LED lights have an input power of 150 watts.

Easily adjust the MARS HYDRO’S hanging height for the different stages of growth from cloning and seeding to flowering. Minimal heat means a longer life for your unit, and you’ll get a 3-year hassle-free warranty.

Where to find it?

On Amazon. Shipping: free for Prime subscribers

Tip: There are some great independent retailers that don’t charge an arm and a leg for shipping. They’re worth checking out – even for Prime subscribers – since their pricing of certain lights can be lower than on Amazon.

Dimgogo 1500W LED Grow Light

The Dimgogo 1500W Grow Light uses the latest technology to provide a full spectrum of light for the vegging and flowering stages of cannabis. It features 10-watt dual-chip LEDs for a total of 1500 watts to increase yields and the production of resin.

The full spectrum includes red, white, and blue IR to mimic the sunlight. It’s made of solid metal with surrounding side vents plus 2 top vents to provide a powerful cooling system. The fans run quietly and lights are cool to the touch.

The Dimgogo’s power consumption is about 268W. It comes with a free hanging hook, power cord, user manual, and 3-year warranty.

As for the coverage of one of these lights, the description states 6.4 x 6 square feet as the growing area when hung at 24 inches above the plants.

However, in the answered questions, the seller mentions an area of 5.5 x 5.5 square feet. In the reviews, someone pitches in saying they are successfully using two lights for a 6×12 feet growing space.

Where to find it?

On Amazon. Shipping: free for Prime subscribers

Viparspectra Timer Control Series VT300

Viparspectra Timer Control Series VT300 LED Grow Light

The Viparspectra VT300 has quite a few bells and whistles. It is part of the timer/dimmable series of lights, which tips you off to one of its crucial distinguishing factors: it has a built-in timer. scientifically engineered to keep the balance of the PAR output and coverage.

This cool feature allows you to turn the light on and off automatically. The dimmable function means you can control the VEG and BLOOM brightness individually.

The Viparspectra VT300 compares to traditional 250W HPS/MH while consuming only 135W. At 24″ height, it covers an area of 2.5×2.5 feet during the vegetative stage. During flowering, the footprint is 2×2’ feet coverage at 18”.

With revolutionary aluminum heat sinks (0.8” height) and quiet high-speed cooling fans, it runs 70% cooler than HID lights.

After the retailer’s return term expires, these lights are covered by a 3 years manufacturer’s warranty.

Where to find it?

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On Amazon. Shipping: free for Prime subscribers.

Tip: This Viparspectra 1000W grow light is down to US$ 99.99 instead of US$ 149.99. It even has a bloom and veg dimmer. With Amazon’s fluctuating prices, you never know how long they’ll last but at the time of writing it is under a hundred!

Best Cheap Grow Lights Under $300

The following lights are affordable and one step up from the very lowest price category. Being a bit larger and able to do a bit more, one of these may just be what you need as a smal-scale home grower.

grow lights under 300


Viparspectra 900W

A trusted name in the industry, VIPARSPECTRA is UL-certified, meeting rigorous tests for safety. Lighting is strengthened by fire-resistant reflectors. The full-color spectrum mimics natural sunlight to provide optimal lighting for cannabis plants from veg to flowering. The result is a higher yield at lower energy costs. Veg and bloom switches make changing light needs between stages a breeze.

The quality high-speed fans are super quiet while dissipating heat. The coverage area can be compared to 600w HPS/MH by using only 405 watts. The VIPARSPECTRA provides 4 x 4-foot vegetative coverage at a height of 32 inches and 3 x 3 feet at 24 inches high for flowering. The PAR (Photosynthetic Active Radiation) is increased by 50 percent thanks to the VIPARSPECTRA’s reflective design.

VIPARSPECTRA offers a 3-year no questions asked warranty and 30-day satisfaction guarantee.

Where to find it?

On Amazon. Shipping: free for Prime subscribers.

PlatinumLED Advanced Series P150

Get maximum yields while minimizing heat and power usage with the PlatinumLED advanced grow light. Platinum LED lights have the PAR output of all grow lights. Your plants will get 2-3 times the intensity of other types.

The 12-band spectrum ranges from the lowest level of UV to the upper IR (infrared) to give cannabis plants the exact spectrum needed for seedlings, veg, and bloom stages. The P150 gives as much growing power as a 250-watt HP grow light. Change from the veg to the bloom stage with an easy flip of a switch.

Additionally, 90-degree focus lenses reach under the canopy of the plant to help increase yields. Two whisper-quiet high-speed fans and high-quality aluminum provide maximum cooling.

The PlatinumLED comes with a 5-year warranty and a 90-day satisfaction guaranteed return policy.

Where to find it?

On Amazon. Shipping: free for Prime subscribers.

BESTVA DC Series 2000W LED Grow Light

The BESTVA DC LED Series is a full spectrum grow lamp perfect for greenhouse or hydroponic cannabis grows. It uses 200 10-watt dual-chip LEDs for more brightness and efficiency than 3w and 5w LEDs. Overall, it gives you 2000 watts of growing power. That’s as much as a 1400-watt HPS while using only 390 watts.

Use the BESTVA in a growing space of up to 7.8 x 7.5 feet at a height of 24 inches. You won’t need an extra ballast for stability and the unit can be controlled by a timer. Switches on the top side allow you to change from veg to bloom stage.

The cooling system uses a 3mm-thick aluminum plate radiator for good dissipation of heat. And with holes on the aluminum plate and glass, you can get your grow room temps down to 50-60 degrees F.

The BESTVA carries a 3-year warranty as well as a 90-day return policy if you aren’t satisfied with their product.

Where to find it?

On Amazon. Shipping: free for Prime subscribers

MARS HYDRO TS 1000W LED Grow Light

mars hydro ts 1000

If you want to increase yields dramatically while lowering power usage, the MARS HYDRO TS 1000W is a good choice. It’s suitable for larger grow rooms as well as commercial setups. Its rich full spectrum, high PAR, and lumens are suitable for all cannabis stages of growth.

The MARS HYDRO’s aluminum hood reflects 20 percent more light while dissipating heat. The reflection reduces light loss to walls and aisles meaning more energy for plants and fewer energy costs to you. The 342 LED chips can replace a 1000-watt HPS system and increase yields up to 80 percent more than with older LED lights.

This grow light uses the Mean Well power supply, one of the world’s leading switching power supply providers. The daisy chain and dimming function are easy to use. Its chipboards are moisture-resistant and help extend the life of the unit.

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The MARS HYDRO TS 1000W accommodates a 3 x 3-foot space for the veg stage and 2.5 x 2.5-foot for the flowering stage. It’s certified for safety and carries a 3-year warranty.

Where to find it?

On Amazon. Shipping: free for Prime subscribers.

Best Cheap Grow Lights Under $500

Coming up close on $500, we’re gravitating toward the outskirts of the cheap grow lights zone. However, given the amounts you won’t be spending on buds in a dispensary when growing your own, a light like the ones below is worth the investment.

Somewhere close to half a grand is still not expensive for the increase in yield that is to be harvested from some happy and thriving plants. And if you’re looking to spend said amount, these lights are serious contenders.

grow lights under 500

Wills Cree Cob 3000W LED Grow Light

Replace a 3000W HPS/MH with 600 watts with the CREE COBB Grow Light. It uses powerful Cree COBB chips to do so. Each chip produces 120 watts. This type of grow light also has high PPFD and 24399 lumens. Three switch modes include a veg channel for germination, a veg & bloom channel, and a bloom channel. Use the veg & bloom channel to solve growing problems such as small roots or yellowing leaves.

Many LED grow lights use only red and blue; this one includes white. It encourages plant photosynthesis including the production of chlorophyll, anthocyanins, and carotene. Cannabis growers will be pleased to harvest up to 30 percent earlier. The full spectrum simulates the sunlight. Solve the problem of less sunlight in winter in your greenhouse. Use it in a 5 x 5-foot growing space.

The Wills grow light has a friendly design and is easy to install. All the metal that comes in contact with your skin is treated to make the surface less reactive to chemicals. The metal shell is of good quality and made of high-grade aluminum alloy to dissipate heat efficiently. The cooling system is powerful yet quiet. Heat is transferred quickly from the lamp to the outside. This keeps the lights cool to extend the life of the unit.

The package includes a hanging kit, an adjustable rope, a thermometer/humidity gauge, a US power cord, and a 3-year guarantee.

Where to find it?

On Amazon. Shipping: free for Prime subscribers

Mars Hydro TS 3000W LED

mars hydro ts 3000

This is the big brother of the 1000W by the same name/brand, and worth a closer look considering the reputable brand name and rave reviews. But is the upgrade worth it? Check out these specs and judge for yourself.

For under $500, $480 to be exact, the 3000W covers an area of 5×5 ft during vegetation and 4×4 ft during flowering. It has 1016 LED’s and a power draw of 450 W.

This where I got real nerdy and started calculating exaclty how much more bang for your buck you get with one of the powerful 3000W lights versus two or three of the 1000W ones.

I compared the price, the power draw in wattage, the number of LED’s, spread, or footprint during vegetation, and during the flowering stage, and looked at these numbers in terms of ‘increase in percentage’.

Where to find it?

On Amazon. Shipping: free for Prime subscribers

What is “better”, one big light, or multiple smaller ones?

One or two smaller lights of the Mars Hydro series are a fair investment in terms of what they offer. The exact numbers are outlined further down.

In Favor of Smaller Lights

Three 1000W lights count for roughly the same wattage/power draw, and number of LED’s as one 3000W one. The coverage area or footprint of three 1000W light is allegedly a bit more than that of one 3000W light. Price-wise, the three combined cost a smidge less.

With multiple grow lights, there is the advantage of being able to move them around and play with different setups. Of course, for larger grow-ops, five or ten of the 3000W lights versus fifteen or thirty 1000W ones? That’s a no-brainer in favor of the first option as you probably don’t want to be juggling that many lamps.

The Power of one Bigger & Stronger Light

There is one other reason to get the 3000W instead of multiple smaller ones (such as three 1000W lights).

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While spending more moolah, you’re getting an appropriate equivalent of both more LED’s in number and a higher wattage.

Let’s call that “light power” (not an official term but I just made it up).

In the case of one Mars Hydro 1000W versus a 3000W light, the only area where the proportional increase is significantly less than 200% is the coverage/footprint.

However, when looking at three Mars Hydro 1000W lights versus one 3000W one, the single 3000W has a slightly smaller coverage area than the three together, while other specs are pretty much in proportionally tripled. So that tripled “light power” goes into a relatively smaller area.

If as a result, it is more concentrated, does that lead to larger plants and a higher yield? You’d think the more artificial sun plants are getting, the bigger and stronger they’ll grow… How such a potential increase in yield would relate to the price difference is a lot harder to plot out than merely the specs of each grow light.

If you have any input on this, please do share your findings with us in the comments!

Mars Hydro 1000W versus 3000W

power draw150W450W200%
number of LED’s3421016197%
coverage area (veg.)9 sq ft25 sq ft178%
coverage area (bloom)6.25 sq ft16 sq ft156%
priceUS$ 156US$ 480208%

Mars Hydro 1000W x2 versus 3000W

1000W x23000Wincrease
power draw300W450W50%
number of LED’s684101649%
coverage area (veg.)18 sq ft25 sq ft39%
coverage area (bloom)12.5 sq ft16 sq ft28%
priceUS$ 312US$ 48054%

Mars Hydro 1000W x3 versus 3000W

1000W x33000Wdecrease
power draw450W450W
number of LED’s102610160.1%
coverage area (veg.)27 sq ft25 sq ft7.4%
coverage area (bloom)18.75 sq ft16 sq ft14.7%
priceUS$ 468US$ 4802.5%

Affordable Grow Lights Can Grow Great Buds!

Humans are social creatures, naturally inclined to share and vent… The opinions of others can form a valuable treasure trove of information.

Reading reviews before buying is something most people do automatically these days. One of the important tips you may get from those who went ahead of you is, is whether a brand has decent customer service.

This goes for everything, but especially electronics. It’s nice to know that in the case of an issue, you’ll have somewhere to turn and not fall on deaf ears.

But in this particular scene, the experience of other customers here isn’t just useful, it’s also lots of fun to scope out their plants… Don’t tell me some of the awesome pictures posted by reviewers don’t make your eyes grow a little bigger at the prospect of what’s possible!

Conclusion & Editor’s Choice

The cheap grow lights singled out above all have excellent reviews, making it hard to choose.

A growing light from a less well-established name could absolutely be a hit. The Wills Cree Cob 3000W, for example. Most people are very happy with its performance, and if you’re comfortable with going through Amazon there isn’t much holding you back.

Both Mars Hydro and Viparspectra are the brands that stand out as being reputable and widely praised, so that’s where I would put my money right now.

I like that they own a big part of the market and are available through Amazon as well as many independent retailers, compared to certain other brands that only sell through Amazon. This makes it easy to shop around for the best option in terms of shipping costs, terms, and customer service.

Grow lights are a crucial piece of equipment for anyone who grows indoors – either because you have to due to the weather and climate, or by choice because of the level of control it gives you.

No one will argue that big hitters such as Black Dog are worth it for good reason. However, in the more affordable price range between one and five hundred, you can definitely find some gear that will take your upcoming harvest to the next level!

By Felis Cannabis

Hi, Felis Cannabis here. This little corner of the web is my scratch pole. The legalize movement is growing, but not fast enough for me to give up the incognito status just yet. ;-) Let's keep at it! We should have the right to use any plant we choose.