The 4 Best COB LED Grow Light To Buy In 2021

best cob led grow lights

If you are interested in indoor gardening, then perhaps you have been hearing more about COB LED grow lights lately. Though they may not currently be as popular as other LED lights on the market, this may simply be because a lot of people don’t realize the advantages of using COB LED grow lights for indoor plants. In this article, let’s explore some of the best COB LED grow light for your indoor plants.

But why? Why choose a COB LED grow light over the more traditional models like SMD LEDs? And if you do decide to invest in one, which is the best COB LED grow light for your type of indoor grow space?

We’ll help you answer these questions and more as we take a closer look at COB LED grow lights and give you our pick for the best ones on the market today.

COB LED grow lights not your thing? Then check out our list of the top purple LED grow lights or the best red LED grow lights.

What Are COB LED Grow Lights?

COB stands for “Chip-on-Board”, and in the case of grow lights, this means that each COB LED chip is installed onto an aluminum, copper, or ceramic substrate that has been directly attached to the circuit board (check out this website if you want to find out more about how they’re made).

The combination of multiple LED lights on a single board creates LED arrays that make it appear as if it is only a single light source, which is one of the main features that distinguishes COB LED grow lights from other LED lights.

Since they are built this way, COB LED grow lights cut down on the number of components necessary to make the light while also maximizing the number of LEDs you can have on the circuit board.

What Are the Advantages of Using a COB LED Grow Light?

There are multiple benefits to using a COB LED grow light over the more standard LED models that are currently on the market. The most common ones are often referred to as SMD (Surface Mounted Device) LED lights.

  • They are more energy-efficient. With COB LED grow lights, you can get more power per input watt.
  • They are high intensity. COBs can penetrate deeper beneath the canopy than other grow lights as they essentially function as if they are one big LED COB chip. This makes their light intensity stronger than any one diode.
  • They offer a great color spectrum for plants AND humans. COB LED lights can provide a range of color spectrums, including warm white and cool white. These kinds of spectrums are also great for humans, as you can grow an indoor plant in a light that is more similar to natural sunlight instead of a pink or purple glow. This makes it easier to detect any issues in the appearance of your plants.
  • They are compact. Since they use fewer components and the LED lights are packed closely together, a COB grow light can take up less room than other types while still providing the same kind of output.
  • They produce less heat. Having fewer components also contributes to the fact that COB LED grow lights tend to give off less heat than other lights. The heat is even further dissipated by the aluminum, copper, or ceramic substrate, as they can act as a heat transfer when combined with an external heat sink. This means that you don’t have to worry about heat damaging your plants.
  • They are more reliable. COB LED lights tend to have a lower failure rate than others because they produce less heat and require less welding as they are attached directly to the substrate.
  • They have a long lifespan. Though it does depend on the exact materials and build used by the manufacturer, COB lights tend to last anywhere from 30,000 – 60,000 hours.

What Are the Disadvantages of COB LED Grow Lights?

While there are plenty of benefits to using COB LED lights, there is only one main drawback: they are fixed spectrum. Unlike SMD LED lights, you can’t change the light spectrum mix, so there isn’t any room for adjustment and experimentation.

The Best COB LED Grow Light

If you are now convinced that COB LED grow lights are right for your indoor growing, then check out the details below for our pick of the best COB LED light plus some runners-up.

1. Phlizon CREE COB Series 1500W LED Grow Light

Our number one pick seems to agree with a lot of happy customers on Amazon, the Phlizon CREE COB Series 1500W LED Grow Light. This is an excellent grow light that uses high-quality 3000K and 6000K CREE COB options.

CREE COB LEDs are known for their power and stability and are probably the top brand on the market today. This CREE COB light also includes diodes to add the ideal amounts of red, blue, UV, IR, and white light to create a full spectrum of light suitable for all stages of plant growth.

This grow light has a core coverage area of about 3 x 3 feet when hung at a height of 2 feet, and a maximum coverage area of 3.5 x 3.5 feet. When hanging at this height, you can get a PPFD of 1127 µmol /m2/s, making it one of the most powerful grow lights out there when compared with similar products.

Best COB LED Grow Light: Cree grow light vegbloom modes.

A nice feature of this CREE COB light is the ability to switch lights on and off. It has a “veg and bloom” switch for the germination and flowering stage of plant growth, and then a “stronger” option when more light is required to help your plants reach their full potential. With the ability to turn lights on and off, it allows you to save both power and money.

These grow lights have been subject to a full 24 hours of quality and integrating sphere spectroscopic testing to ensure that each unit measures up to their standards. If customers do have any problems, they offer a 2-year warranty.

Pros:

  • Uses CREE COB technology
  • Spectrum suitable for all stages of plant growth
  • Switches to control LEDs
  • High PPFD when compared with similar products
  • 2-year warranty
  • 50,000-hour lifespan

Cons

  • Not waterproof
  • May be a little more expensive than similar options
  • Not daisy chain adaptable

2. AGLEX 2000W Grow Light

While it is similar to the Phlizon grow lights, the AGLEX 2000W COB LED grow light is a popular choice among growers of cannabis plants in particular as it is affordable and produces the ideal wavelength for growing plants.

The main thing that makes this a runner-up to the Phlizon light, however, is that instead of the preferred CREE COB LEDs, this light uses Bridgelux BXCD1734 COBs, which offer 3500K and 7000K COB LEDs. While they may not be more desirable than the CREE COB LEDs, they still provide a full-spectrum white light for plants.

It also comes with supplemental diodes that give off blue, red, UV, and IR light. This full light spectrum gives off a light intensity similar to that of the sun, making it a good choice for all stages of plant growth.

This COB LED grow light should be able to cover a 4 x 4-foot area for flowering while giving you about 1241 µmol /m2/s at a 24-inch hanging height. However, you may want to limit the area to about 3 x 3 feet for best results.

best COB LED grow light: AGLEX grow light in action

To further customize the light for ideal plant growth, this model also has bloom and veg switches. These switches can be turned on and off to help give your plants the right amount of power they need for the given growth stage.

The veg switch draws 230W for plant seedlings and germination, while the bloom switch draws an additional 178W. Once again, being able to turn these kinds of switches on and off as needed allows you to save power, which means you’re also saving money.

This model also comes with a large, quiet fan and heat sink that work together to ensure the light doesn’t get too hot. This is even more important when you consider that it is also daisy-chainable, meaning it allows you to easily connect it to other COB LED lights.

Individually, each light should cover about 5 x 5 feet, but if you need multiple lights to cover a larger area, you shouldn’t have to worry about it getting too hot and noisy in the room.

Pros:

  • Full-spectrum light with UV and IR
  • Switches allow you to change light intensity depending on the stage of plant growth
  • Quiet fan and heat sink help ensure your indoor garden area keeps quiet and relatively cool
  • Daisy chain capabilities
  • 3-year warranty
  • More affordable than similar options
  • 50,000-hour lifespan

Cons

  • Not waterproof
  • Doesn’t use CREE COB LEDs

3. Growstar 300W UFO Grow Light

If you are on a budget, consider trying the Growstar 300W UFO COB LED Grow Light. Though it is a bit small at only 10.6 x 10.6 x 2.6 inches and weighs about 4 pounds, this grow light still has a core coverage area of 2.5 x 2.5 feet hanging at a 2-foot height. It says it has a maximum coverage of 3 x 3 feet but will perform at its peak within the slightly smaller core coverage area. When hanging at this height, it has a PAR value of 260 µmol /m2/s.

Within its coverage area, this grow light will also be able to give out a consistent light source due to its 90 to 120-degree angle design. This allows it to have a wider lighting area while increasing brightness, giving you a great output. While the lights generally are bright, the company does warn that the UV and IR chips may look dim, but this is normal.

Growstar Cree Cob grow light

Like the previous grow light from Phlizon, this Growstar light also uses high-quality CREE COB chips. It provides a full light spectrum from 350 – 760nm, including UV and IR in addition to the 3000K CREE COBs, making it suitable for all stages of plant growth.

This Growstar light also comes with a built-in aluminum heatsink and even an aircraft-grade aluminum case, keeping the unit cool while also extending its service life. All of these COB lights pass inspection and a temperature test before leaving the factory so they should arrive in perfect condition, but if something does go wrong it comes with a 2-year warranty.

Pros:

  • Uses CREE COBs
  • Spectrum is suitable for all stages of plant growth
  • Large grow area for a small unit
  • 2-year warranty
  • Affordable
  • Produces little heat
  • 50,000-hour lifespan

Cons

  • Not waterproof
  • No switches for controlling LEDs
  • Can’t daisy chain to other lights

4. CFGROW CREE CXB3590 100W COB LED Grow Light

If you are looking for a grow light with a long lifespan, then check out the CFGROW CREE CXB3590 100W COB LED Grow Light. This light can last up to 100,000 hours, twice as long as any of the other options on our list.

Part of the reason for this lifespan is that while this COB light uses a big heat sink, it doesn’t use any kind of cooling fan. This means that there is one less thing for the grow light to run, saving you power. You also don’t have to worry about any kind of noisy fan.

This COB grow light provides a full spectrum of light, from about 380nm to 780nm, and should have good coverage for about a 3 x 3 to 4 x 4-foot garden. If you hang it at 24 inches above your plants, it will give off 289 µmol/m2/s.

CREE CXB3590 COB LED Grow Light product breakdown

One thing that sets this COB light apart from the others is that it is dimmable, meaning you can dim the light to make it suitable for all stages of plant growth. It also uses a 90-degree glass lens which focuses the light, increasing your yield by up to 40% while using the same kind of power.

Pros:

  • Uses CREE COBs
  • Dimmable
  • Provides full-spectrum light for plants
  • No noisy fan
  • Three-year warranty
  • 100,000-hour lifespan

Cons:

  • Expensive for a 100W COB grow light
  • Not daisy chainable
  • Not waterproof so not usable in grow tent

So, which do you think is the best COB LED grow light? Are you going to use a COB grow light or just stick with the regular grow lights? Share you thoughts in the comments below.

Blogger, Gardener | + posts

I'm Jad, a biologist, blogger, and experienced indoor gardener. I am knowledgeable in plant biology, particularly in plant cultivation and propagation. I founded HerbsWithin.com in 2019 to share my knowledge in indoor gardening with passionate home growers.

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