Lately I have been vegging cannabis with cheap LED aquarium lighting. The lights I use are from LightTimeTunnel and cost about $90. They are also available from Galaxy Hydro and they are the exact same lights but usually cost about $10 more for some reason.
If you want a grow light with a built in timer and a remote you might consider the VIPARSPECTRA Timer Control 165W LED Aquarium Light. It is more expensive but I think the quality of the light and the 90 degree optics make it a bit better and give a little more par too.
Before I go into more detail on these LED aquarium lights I thought you might want to first see the kind of results they produce. Bear in mind that I grow OG and OG hybrids which are quite stretchy so these are not short squatty indicas. I would guess these plants would be as much as 3 times taller under fluoros.
Some Results Vegging Cannabis Under Aquarium LEDS
What You Should Know About LED Grow Lights
First you should know that I own 3 of the 165w LightTimeTunnel lights and 2 of the Viparspectra timer lights.
I feel it’s important to clarify what I mean by cheap. Cheap refers only to price. These lights are not cheaply made and do the same job as name brand leds costing 2 or 3 times as much. I have had no problems with any of these lights and have some for well over a year.
There are many cheap LED grow lights that offer an all around spectrum and some do offer a separate veg and bloom spectrum. My experience has been that even in veg mode they have too much red in them which leads to needlessly taller, stretchier plants. That is why I veg with aquarium LEDS with predominantly white and blue lights.
You should be aware that white light is not pure white. That is how it appears but it is actually a mix of the full spectrum.
Also the optics make these lights more intense and because of that they can lightburn plants even though they give off little heat.
Finally because these lights are not in a reflector like a traditional HPS they have much less spread. So you will get much better coverage with a few smaller wattage LEDs than one big one.
Many smaller growers, myself included, have height limits and yet want the yield a longer veg time can produce. If that’s you aquarium LED lighting can be a great tool to control plant height.
I should mention I only use these lights for vegging cannabis. They are white and blue with very little red so I don’t think they would be very good for flowering, but then I’ve been wrong before.
I have a small 2×4 tent I use for veg, seedlings and clones and I have 2 of these hanging in there because one only covers about 2 square feet.