How to Choose the Best LED Lights for Cannabis

How to Choose the Best LED Lights for Cannabis

Many cannabis growers are switching to best LED grow lights for cannabis for the sake of increased efficiency, among other benefits. But choosing the best lights isn’t necessarily simple. There are lots of options out there, and some will help produce higher quality cannabis than others.

According to Anthony Domangue, Cannabis Cultivator and Social Media Coordinator at Fohse, older high-intensity discharge (HID) lighting systems made it easy to switch out bulbs and increase intensity — great for cannabis growth — but only while also increasing heat.

Now, with high efficiency LED grow lights developing, growers are able to use higher light intensities at cooler temperatures, resulting in improved cannabis yields than ever before. Choosing the best lights for your growth, then, directly impacts not only the health of your plants but also the potential of your entire facility.

How Lights Affect Cannabis Growth

According to Domangue, the top two critical factors that affect cannabis growth are genetics and light. “Light is such an integral part of the process,” he says. “It drives how fast or slow photosynthesis is happening. So whenever you’re dialing the lights upward or downward, you’re […] controlling the speed at which the car is driving.”

In Domangue’s experience, higher light intensity enables plants to take up moisture faster and absorb higher concentrations of nutrients. Recent studies have also shown that higher light intensity correlates with a linear increase in both yield and terpene potency. 

Additionally, lighting affects the grow space itself. Leaf temperature plays a huge role in photosynthesis, and the old HID lighting systems produced a lot of ambient heat. As a result, AC systems had to work on overdrive to compensate for the extra heat, producing more energy waste. 

With LED lights, however, the other systems don’t have to work as hard to control the environment. While Domangue notes that increased photosynthesis may require additional dehumidification to supplement, overall, the best LED lights for cannabis place less strain on the facility’s infrastructure and utilities. 


The FOHSE A3i 1500W Fixture the best LED Light for Cannabis
Happy plants under the FOHSE A3i 1500W Fixture

Qualities of the Best LED Lights for Cannabis

When it comes to actually choosing the best LED lights for cannabis growth, there are several important features to consider. According to Domangue, these include:

  • Power output and intensity. Cannabis plants require different amounts of light throughout their lifecycle, so it’s important to have the right level of power for your plants’ current stage of growth. 
  • Ceiling height. Certain light fixtures must be hung at a specific distance from the plants. The height of your facility ceiling will determine whether you can maintain that distance or whether you need to purchase light fixtures that can hang closer to the plants. 
  • Spectrum. The color spectrum of lights can either help or harm your cannabis plants. Domangue recommends choosing either balanced spectrum fixtures or fixtures with spectral tunability so you can adjust the spectrum according to the plants’ growth stages. 
  • Efficiency. One of the main reasons people switch to LED lights in the first place is for the sake of efficiency, but even some LED lights aren’t as efficient as others. For the best LED lights for cannabis, Domangue suggests choosing ones that are as close to 3.0 photosynthetic photon efficacy as possible.
  • Integration. Not all LED lights can integrate with third-party controllers. Choosing LED lights that are compatible with the controller you already have can save you from having to buy a new, expensive controller right away.
  • Durability. You’ll want to choose lights that are long-lasting, are reliable, and have high IP ratings (which indicate the fixture’s ability to protect against things like dust or bugs and to withstand water or water pressure).

In general, LED lights are much better than HID lights, but not all LED lights perform the same. Make sure that the LED lights you choose for your grow are the best ones for your specific needs. 

Choosing the Right Lights for Your Grow

The best LED lights for cannabis depend heavily on your specific facility and desired outcomes. As expert Domangue explains, “Certain LEDs are specifically designed for particular applications.” Therefore, Fohse categorizes their high-efficiency LED grow lights based on their intended use and environment.

For facilities with high ceilings, Fohse’s flagship 1500w A3i delivers maximum power and can be mounted at a distance without sacrificing intensity, ensuring uniform light distribution throughout the growth space. Conversely, low-ceiling setups are better suited for the F1V series, functioning as vertical rack lights that can be positioned just a foot above the plants.

Greenhouse growers can optimize their operations with either the 1200w O6i, the most potent Fohse greenhouse light in terms of its IP rating, or the 320w Pleiades, a smaller supplemental fixture designed to minimize canopy shadows.

Finally, home growers have two primary options: the budget-friendly fixed-spectrum Pisces (available in 700w and 900w models) or the more feature-rich 640w Aries, offering spectral tunability and the ability to adjust its light bars for targeted illumination.


Only the Best LED Lights for Cannabis Growth

The lighting you choose for your cultivation facility impacts the final product in many important ways, so you can’t afford to settle for lights that are “good enough.” To produce top-quality cannabis, you need top-quality LED lights. 


Contact us today to get a custom grow design or lighting plan.

Do you want to learn more? Check out this blog on: 7 Tips for Using High Intensity LEDs