I started this website because I really believed and hoped LED lights could grow plants, but the first few I tried were disasters. I know why LED grow lights have a bad reputation–it isn't that they can't work, there's just a lot of marketing hype, misinformation and poorly-designed lights out there that give them all a bad name.
I became interested in LEDs after getting fed up with the burning and heat issues I was having with HID lighting. LED lights seemed like they should be the answer, so I tried a few and was very disappointed with the results. I started doing research about LED plant lights, tried a couple more and finally found that at least some LED plant grow lights really do work as a sole source of lighting– they can grow better than any HID I've ever used! I figured my research might be useful to others, but to avoid all of the flaming that can happen by just posting on forums, I put a huge spreadsheet on this (formerly very humble) website. That was 2012; a lot has changed since then.
Searching on Google for LED grow lights, many of the top search results are sites like plantozoid.com, which offers several different lists of the “best LED grow lights of 2015” or the “best LED grow light reviews of 2015”. Each list has different results, no real substance, and no real explanation or comparison of how these supposed “best” choices were made. There is a lot of generic information about LED lights and even how to compare them, but none of it is actually applied to the featured lights or companies! It seems pretty obvious these placements are all just paid advertisements, and it motivates me to keep this site updated.
It seems like my original giant 2012 spreadsheet was hard to digest all at once, and it's much, much larger now, so I've tried to make it a little more user friendly by breaking it down into separate categories.
While I haven't grown with all of the lights compared on this site, I have tried out quite a few and learned a lot more since the first version of this site– I even got burned by one of the lights I recommended in the 2012 version based on the specs, so I have a better idea of what to look for now.
I've been shocked at the amount of feedback I've received on this site over the years; thanks to everyone that's emailed me! Keep the comments coming!