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What are COB LED Grow Lights?

There comes a time in every indoor grower’s life where they must choose the type of light they want to use on their cannabis plants. With so many different varieties and types available, the decision isn’t always an easy one. That may be changing however, with COB LED grow lights. With so many advantages over other types of marijuana grow lights, COBs are becoming known as one of the best types to use for indoor growers. Giving the most efficient and effective lighting, without having to work with big bulky structures and equipment.

What are COB LED grow lights?

COB LED grow lights are really just another type of LED light. A type of light that has become known for its ease of use, long life, and broad spectrum of light. COB stands for chip-on-board and while these types of lights include many different LEDs, they are smaller and all mounted onto a single substrate.

Small COB LED Grow Lights

COB LED grow lights are so small in fact, that they are about the size of a quarter. They are all installed by the manufacturer into one board, which is typically made of copper or ceramic. When lit, these lights appear to be more like a lighting panel, rather than several LEDs that are simply mounted together.

When COB LED grow lights are installed, a grower can have multiple lights focused on their plants, but with the ease of installing only one module. This is the mian difference between traditional LED lights and COB grow lights. But this is just one advantage these light setups have over other types of marijuana grow lights.

What are the advantages of using COB LED lights?

One of the biggest advantages of COB grow lights is that they are much more efficient than other types of marijuana grow lights. Including HPS, ceramic metal halide, and fluorescent lighting. The efficiency of these lights is measured in umol/j units,. This represents the amount of photosynthetically active protons produced by the lights. While COB LED grow lights produce 1.8 - 2.5 umol/j, other grow lights produce far less than this. Double-ended HPS lights will only produce 1.4 - 1.8 umol/j. While fluorescents will produce a measly 0.6 - 1.1 umol/j.

Perhaps due to their efficiency, COBs also have a much greater lifespan than any other type of marijuana grow lights. While they may cost a bit more initially, they will last for at least 30,000 hours. For those growing cannabis, that means a reduced need to replace lights. Or have them suddenly burn out when plants could possibly need it the most. This is vastly different than HPS lights, which only have a life expectancy of 10,000 hours.

cob led marijuana grow room lights

One of the reasons growers are starting to choose COBs may not be due to their efficiency or life expectancy at all. The fact is that COB grow lights provide a much broader spectrum of light. This is known as their High Color Rendering Index. This is usually over 80 and makes the objects under the light look much more realistic. While different manufacturers will come with different indexes, they’ll all typically offer chips with at least a 70 CRI Broad Spectrum.

There’s little doubt that cannabis plants also perform better under COBs. Other marijuana grow lights can create hot spots, because the light is coming from just one spot. This means that plants directly under the light can burn. While others placed further away from the light may not get the total amount of light they need. As COBs are really just multiple LEDs placed on a single unit, all plants can get the total amount of light they need. Without creating hot spots and instead, penetrating all the way down and through multiple plants.

Plants also likely won’t suffer from hot spots, which can burn and even destroy a plant, because they have very little infrared light. This is why certain lights, such as HPS lamps, become so hot, because they simply have more infrared light than other types, such as COBs.


While choosing grow lights can be difficult for a grower, COB grow lights are some of the best. There is just one light source to install and it has a broader spectrum than other types of marijuana grow lights. As they are more efficient and easier to use, they are also great for beginner growers. Without the need to worry about hot spots, it allows growers to focus on other elements of growing.

Although COBs may cost a bit more initially they are well worth the investment. Growers that have already started using them agree that they will be well worth it in the long run. And that’s good news for any grower!

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MSNL Team MSNL Team / 20th August 2018

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