LED Grow Lights
We review all the best LED Grow Lights for 2016 and 2017 >>> From full spectrum LED down to the cheaper models. Just a couple of years ago the thought of growing weed under LED lighting would have been laughable. However, recent advances in LED grow light technology have led to more and more growers seeing success and LED lighting sources are fast growing in popularity. Like anything, improvements make leaps and bounds very quickly and these days LEDs are used in all kinds of lighting in your home, office and car including successful marijuana grows.
We are here to tell you that growing marijuana with LEDs works. The best models offer results better than HIDs together with huge electrical, management and heat savings. A number of our members in the HTG forum have shifted to growing under LED and are not going back to the old ways of burning electricity with HIDs.
What LED Grow Lights are available?
2017 Best Reviewed Grow Lights
|200 Watts||Growy 254 features a carefully selected LED sequence enriched in 520-540nm and 595-615nm wavelength to suit perfectly the needs of plants on the chlorophyll “A” and “B”.|
|250 Watts||The MAX1200 features 768 custom-made diodes that will last for more than 50,000 hours if the LED lights are on 57% of the time.|
|585 Watts||312 High Power LEDs; 60,000-hour lifespan (10+ years if LED lights are on 57% of the time).|
|760 Watts||Multiple; for vegetative growth and flowering. According to Truth Lighting themselves, M16 was “designed between 380nm – 840nm.|
|12 Watts||E27 models use a suitable spectrum of red and blue to assist the plants regardless of their growth phase.|
2016 Reviewed Grow Lights
|800 W||Full Cycle Phyto-Genesis Spectrum Full Spectrum from 375-735 nm
Includes UV and Near IR
|Vegetative: 235 W
Flower: 320 W
Bloom + UVB T8 Bulbs: 350 W
440 nm Deep Blue, 470 nm Blue, 620 nm Red, 665 nm Deep Red, 3100 K Warm White, 285-315 nm UVB
|G8LED 450: 280 W
G8LED 900:540 W
Optimal 8-band spectrum IR and UV light
475nm Blue, 440nm Violet, 610 nm Orange, 630 nm Red, 660 nm Deep Red, 380 nm Ultraviolet, 740 nm Infrared, 3000K White
|Vegetative: 93 W
Flowering: 180 W
|12 Overlapping Color Bands Closely Matching PAR Spectrum|
|252 W||Continuous Full Spectrum 420-750 nm|
|650 W||12 Bandwidth Spectrum
Dimmable from 350-740 nm
Surexi F3 Spectrum
400-499 nm Blue 11%, 500-599 nm Green 7.7%, 600-699 nm Red 81%, 700-780 nm Deep Red 0.3%
|Coming Soon||Coming Soon|
|340 W||410 nm Deep Blue, 440 nm Deep Blue, 450-475 nm Blue, 620-630 Red, 650-670 nm Deep Red, White, 730 nm IR|
|252 W||Adjustable Spectrum and Intensity|
Nearly all LED Grow Lights are produced in China even if they are designed in the USA. If nothing else the component are made in China. This is the broad concept though of the market.
Cheap – Poor spectrum, LEDs and build quality
UFO type LEDs from many online sources and of course eBay. They may quote all kinds of huge Watts or ‘full spectrum’ but when you see big red and big blue LEDs in a cheap looking plastic housing you know this is the bottom end of the market. You will not be getting top shelf LEDs and results / yield will be drastically affected. We just don’t recommend these products at all. You are far better off buying a HPS/MH system and deal with the added electricity costs and ventilation issues.
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Mid price – Bands of spectrum, fans and reasonable quality
These usually look more the part with better housing, higher quality LEDs that may even include brands like Epistar and Bridgelux. In variably though these will not be full spectrum LED grow lights they will be 6, 8, 11 or 12 band models. These bands will cover sections (bands) of the whole PAR spectrum but will miss chunks here and there. The sun doesn’t miss any of the spectrum required to grow and flower plants correctly so why would your plants react to their full potential under them? They don’t. Mid price larger models will incorporate fans for cooling.
High end – Full spectrum, fan-less operation, excellent build quality
These are more often the full spectrum models that cover approximately 420 to 750 nanometres, the PAR range. They include expensive white LEDs and in photos you will see some LEDs look like they are ‘dead’ – not true these are emitting in the far-red portion of the spectrum which is 710 to 850 nanometres, dimly visible to some people eyes. Look for high end components such as brand name LEDs from Epistar, Bridgelux or Cree. Thermal engineering is a key to design with the best being fan-less. LED grow lights that are high Watt and fan-less are designed well because they have dissipated the heat created by the LEDs perfectly using rapid heat sink materials. Then there are self protecting power supplies, UV protected and angled TIR lenses and not to mention the warranty, two years is not enough. LED grow lights with these features offer excellent results with thick and juicy buds.
LEDs pros and cons
- LEDs have far lower energy consumption running at approximately 60% of an equivalent HID;
- There is no filament to burn so LEDs have longer bulb times of 50,000 to 60,000 hours versus HIDs which start dropping output considerable at 2,000 to 3,000 hours;
- LEDs are smaller and faster to emit light and are physically more robust so they relatively shock resistant being solid state components;
- LEDs’ offer far less heat output, in fact the good ones run pretty much ‘cold to touch’ while HIDs run very hot. LEDs reduce your fire risk considerably;
- LEDs can focus their light output with the use of lenses rather than disperse the light like HIDs that require reflectors;
- Precise current (power) management is required with LEDs when compared to HIDs. However, LEDs have the power management built in while the HID lamps rely on external ballasts which also add another 100 to 150 Watts of power consumption;
- LEDs are more expensive to start a grow with when compared to HID but they are cheaper over the long term;
- LEDs are instant on and instant off, they do not need to ‘warm up’ like HID lamps;
- LEDs can be dimmed also if required;
- LEDs are safe, classed as ‘Class 1 LED product’ as they do not contain mercury like compact fluorescents;
- LEDs powerful enough for lighting big areas like rooms or greenhouses require more precise current and heat management but are now used in some large areas over CFL and HID lighting.
Brief history of LEDs
How do they work? LED grow lights produce light by passing a current through a semiconductor material. The movement of electrons within the semiconductor releases energy in the form of photons, i.e. light.
LEDs once just came red in color, they were the little low lights in the corner of every TV. These days LEDs have advanced massively, they are now available across the spectrum from ultraviolet through the visible right into infrared wavelengths with very high light output.
The first observation of ‘electroluminescence’ was in 1907 by a British experimenter from Marconi Labs named H. J. Round. Then twenty years later, way back in 1927 a Russian named Oldeg Vladimirovich Losev created the first LED but no practical use for it was found. It took until 1955 for semiconductor alloys, namely gallium arsenide (GaAs), gallium antimonide (GaSb), indium phosphide (InP) and silicon-germanium (SiGe) to show infrared emissions at room temperature as firstly observed Rubin Braunstein working with RCA (Radio Corporation America) . Then in 1961 Texas Instruments patented the idea.
How are LED colors made?
The semiconductor material has a p-n junction which is the interface between the two types of semiconductor materials, n-type and p-type, known as ‘n’ and the ‘p’. This is the active site whereby the electronic action of the LED takes place. The color of the light emitted or its wavelength is dependent on the ‘band gap’ energy of the materials forming the p-n junction.
In 1962 -Nick Holonyak Jr., considered by some the father of LEDs, working within General Electric (GE) reported the first visible spectrum LED showing red color. Craford, then graduate student of Holonyak, created the first yellow LEDs and improved the overall brightness of his red and orange LEDs tenfold in 1972.
The Monsanto corporation, yes the seed guys who sued USA farmers, were the first to mass produce visible spectrum LEDs, firstly as indicators, in 1968.
We had the first high powered blue LED (not the first blue) created by Shuji Nakamura of the Nichia Corporation in 1994 which was based on the semiconductor alloy InGaN or Indium gallium nitrite, your new word for the day?
This quickly led to the development of the first white LED using Yttrium aluminium garnet or ‘YAG’, which is a phosphor coating to mix ‘down-converted’ yellow light with blue which produces a visible white light.
Moore’s law which saw the doubling of chip performance every 18 months to two years, applies similarly within the LED industry with a doubling in performance ever 36 months since the late 1960’s due to the improvements in semiconductor and optics.
Full spectrum LEDs vs. 3 band, 5 band, 11 band
As with many plant species, marijuana also has light-mediated development – photomorphogenesis. The blue spectrum stimulates vegetative growth and the yellows, ambers, reds and far-red spectrum stimulates pre-flowering and flowering (reproductive growth). Therefore, growing marijuana to maturity will use the light wavelengths from approximately 420 to 730 nanometres (nm), covering both chlorophyll A and chlorophyll B absorption peaks (Photosynthetically Active Radiation, or PAR for short).
LEDs are manufactured using different semiconductor materials to create LEDs which emit light of different wavelengths. Using LED grow lights that emit the proper spectrum is essential to obtaining high yields.
In the earlier days of LED grow light technology, your main options were red and blue diodes or more expensive white LEDs. The white LEDs, commonly called full spectrum LEDs, provided a much closer match to the natural spectrum of sunlight (the PAR spectrum) than the individual diodes which emitted light at a single wavelength.
As you can see from the table below, there are now many different possible LED diodes that can be produced using different semi-conductor materials.
What wavelength or spectrum your LED grow lights offer your marijuana is of paramount importance to your yield. The most expensive LEDs are white, offering a broad spectrum of light like the sun covering much of the visible light spectrum (PAR). You need white LEDs! If you see an LED grow light with just red and blue lights you are not going to achieve a high quality grow at all as the white LEDs are so much closer to mimicking the sun. The table below outlines the different LEDs versus the color and wavelength they produce.
Many leading LED producers now use an assortment of different diodes in place of white LEDs. These manufacturers state that by choosing individual diodes they can match the PAR spectrum more closely than a white led. White LED lights do have peaks and troughs in their spectrum, as do spectrums composed of individual band diodes. When choosing an LED grow light it is important to consider the spectrum it covers and how closely that spectrum matches the PAR spectrum. There is more good information at LED grow light expert on this.
The more closely the LED matches the PAR spectrum the more efficient it is. There is less light that cannot be used by the plants which means less waste. An efficient LED grow light saves on electricity and boosts yields. In addition, less light is lost to heat, which decreases the cooling requirements in the growroom.
How to make high intensity white LEDs (WLEDs)
- Use a single LED that emits three primary colors of red, green and blue and mix the colors perfectly to form a white light. These are known as ‘multi-color white LEDs’ or ‘RGB LEDs’ and are more complex to manufacture than the phosphorus type explained below. Multi-color LEDs are at the forefront of LED development because with the right tweaking they can offer nearly any color light we want by mixing primary colors. These are the best type of white LEDs;
- Or use a phosphor based semiconductor material to convert a blue or even a UV light into the broad or full spectrum white light your plants require. These WLEDs are known as phosphors based white LEDs which are also the easiest to manufacture and therefore the cheapest to buy;
- There is a third method of making white LED grow lights using zinc selenide (ZnSE) but this is in its early stages.
The key difference between WLEDs is how solid their color stability, color rendering and luminous efficiency are key. Color rendering index, CRI, basically means how faithfully the color is produced, you may know the term from using Photoshop. While luminous efficiency is discussed later on. If your LED grow light is constructed using LEDs from brand name suppliers such as Cree or Bridgelux, then these issues will be minimized and cause little affect. It is far easier to get good solid color rendering and luminous efficiency with the multi-color or RGB white LEDs.
- There are many commercially available LED units that have spectra specifically balanced LEDs for the grow room. This is generally achieved by using a mix of red and blue then white, ambers and far-red ranges so that they cover the entire spectrum;
- When you see LED grow lights advertized as 3, 5, 6, 11 or 12 band LEDs this means they offer a spectrum with gaps, maybe something like this: 440nm, 470nm, 525nm, 640nm, 660nm, 740nm. So there will be peaks and troughs in the spectrum produced rather than one continuous full or broad spectrum. These ‘6, 11, 12 etc band’ products operate in some but not all of the spectrum required for a successful, fast, big yield crop. These are not full spectrum grow lights;
- Quite often LED grow light companies are reselling someone else’s product configuration and they simply don’t know what LEDs are mounted in the system;
Did you know that LEDs are now available is very short wavelengths with near UV 375-395 nanometres and more expensive models that achieve wavelengths closer to 240 nm. The absolute wavelength depths of LEDs are known as ‘deep UV’ with labs using diamond to produce 235 nm, boron nitride at 215 and aluminium nitride right down at 210 nm.
LED efficiency versus HID lamps
LEDs are ‘luminous efficient’, which means they produce visible light very efficiently from electricity. For example in 2002 Lumileds manufactured a 5W LED with a luminous efficacy of 18 – 22 lumens per Watt, compare that to the traditional incandescent bulb which at around 80 Watts offers 15 lumens per Watt (lm/Watt). Nichia released a white LED 140 lm/W in 2010. Since then Cree have increased that right up to 254 lumens per Watt at a color temperature of 4,408 K (Kelvin) using the Cree XLamp® which uses silicon carbide technology and runs at 350 mA. Note these figures are in controlled labs and are only the chip, so in real life after the LED has its plastic shell and is mounted these figures will be much lower but they are still better than the HPS lamps with standard HPS lamps running at approximately 100 lm/Watt.
These days, good LED grow lights will save a grower around 50% off their electrical bills. Growing with 2 x 250W (true Watts drawn not potential draw) equals a total power bill of 500 Watts per hour. This setup will offer better but comparable growing to a 1000 Watt HID (HPS or MH) which also requires a 150 Watt ballast. So when you include the ballast and potential ventilation system the savings are more like 60% or more.
High powered LEDs (HPLEDs) – 1W, 2W, 3W & 5W
Normal LEDs used in electronics consume a tiny 30-60 milliwatts (mW) of power at very low amperage; note the word ‘milli’ in there. However high power LEDs running at between 500 milliwatts to over 500 Watts (Yes! Think industrial lighting) are driven from 100’s of mA (milliamps) to over an Ampere. In 1993 the first highly bright blue LEDs were manufactured by the Nichia company and were based on silicon carbide. It wasn’t until 1999 that Philips Lumileds introduced the first 1 Watt LEDs to the market in far larger semiconductor die sizes.
So what is the difference between 1Watt and 3Watt LEDs then?
The 1W and the 3W can tolerate running at a range of power outputs up to and over there named Wattage. So a 3W LED can run at say 1W but it will also be able to run at say 4W too. Why? Well it’s because the names given to these LEDs (1W, 3W, 5W) are only ever a guide as to the power possibilities of the LED. However a 3W LED is built on a larger semiconductor die size when compared to a 1W LED so it is built to run at higher Watts, this why it is named a 3Watt LED.
IMPORTANT – Advertized Watts vs. actual Watts draw.
All LED grow lights run well below their potential Watts. If you have 100 X 3W LEDs the potential is 300 Watts but the actual draw will be closer to 150 Watts. LEDs are usually driven at anything from between 50% to 65% of their potential. If you run a 1 Watt at 1Watt continuously or a 3W at 3Watt you have a greater chance of color shift and will also cut its life (hours) down considerably, just as you would running a car at high revs all the time.
Let’s get this straight; don’t be fooled into thinking that just because your LED grow light has 150 x 1W LEDs it as an output of 150 Watts. No, it does not. Well, you hope it doesn’t as the bulb time will be severely limited if you power it at full capacity at all times. Your LED grow light will have an output closer to 55% to 65% of its full capacity; the same concept applies to all LED grow light diodes.
Again, if you see a light advertised as 450 Watts using 150 x 3W LEDs its actual draw will be more like 250 Watts. You can work out the actual output or draw of any LED grow light using the Volts, Amps Watts calculator. If the company selling the lights does not advertise the Volts and Amps then you have to wonder why and assume they are run at 60% of capacity. We have compared a couple of popular LED grow light models further down this page on their actual draw versus their advertised.
Heat – Thermal management of LED grow lights
Another happy result of LEDs having no filament is that they are far more efficient than other light sources and LEDs produce far less heat. With traditional HID’s, up to 95% of energy is wasted as heat or radiation, whereas LEDs run relatively cool they do still produce some heat. That heat difference means HIDs should be placed two or three feet above the plant canopy while LEDs can be placed extremely close, usually around 12-18 inches, helping prevent ‘stretch’ and directing the light exactly where it’s needed.
Even though LEDs are far more energy efficient and waste a lot less heat than HIDs there are still heat issues associated when running high powered LEDs. LEDs are cool to touch mainly because they do not produce heat in the form of infrared (IR) radiation. The higher the Watts the less energy efficient they become because they turn more and more electricity into heat which is wasteful and needs management.
Where does the heat come from? The heat originates at the semiconductors p-n junction due to its slight inefficiencies when electrical activity is not turned into light. The p–n junction in turn heats the soldering point and that heats the metal core printed circuit board (MCPCB) which then needs to be directed into a heat sink so it dissipates into the atmosphere.
The three areas focused on for heat transfer are convection; which uses a moving fluid such as water or air to cool the device, conduction; whereby heat is transferred from one solid to another until there is no more and the last is radiation but that isn’t used with LEDs.
The best LEDs use heat sinks to control heat. The heat sink medium provides a path from the LED to the medium which dissipates the heat. If you are using a smaller LED light (under 700 Watts) look for a model that uses passive cooling through heat sinks. The best thermal management within high powered LEDs uses heat sinks that include materials such as aluminium, copper, thermoplastics and at the high end of the cost scale, graphite. The heat sink material needs to incorporate a large enough surface area to work so this is why you see the classic ‘fins’ shape layered next to each other to the top of some high end LED grow lights.
Because properly designed heat sinks require a large surface area, they are not always the most practical way of cooling large LED grow lights. Some high quality larger lights use a combination of passive heat sinks and fans to efficiently cool their lights. However it is possible to have a fan-less system which if designed well with big fin like heat sinks is optimum as it removes the chance of fans breaking and airflow being required.
Thermal management of LEDs is a science in itself. There are a variety of methods, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. Fans add extra moving parts to your system and have the potential to break down if they are poorly made. Choose fans that are rated for a lifetime that exceeds that of the LEDs. Passive cooling systems require airflow and many cannot be mounted to a ceiling. Larger Wattage LEDs that use only passive heat sinks are not always fully cooled. Poorly cooled LEDs degrade quickly from excess heat. Look for a well-built LED grow light that uses high quality components regardless of the cooling technique.
LED grow light lens – Boost light & direction
LEDs only look like their finished product when the ‘die’ or ‘chip’ is set or encapsulated in a resin or plastic which is known as potting. This plastic shell helps out in many ways. It holds the very delicate system together, mounting the LED is made far easier in products and it acts as a lens or refractive intermediary to boost the light from the semiconductor. As you can imagine there are a lot of different methods of potting these chips to make LEDs – some cheap and some expensive which result in different light output.
Light extraction of grow light LEDs is just as important as the semiconductor materials being used. Most materials have very high refractive indices so that light is reflected back and out of the LED.
- There are many types of lenses and reflectors available to harness the LED’s output and direct it where it will do the grower the most good. A simple, well-designed reflector is usually suitable to do the job, but Total Internal Reflective (TIR) lenses more fully and accurately collect and guide the light;
- Make sure you choose a reflector or lens product with an output that meets your needs. An LED’s light output is usually a cone with a 160 degree angle. Some products have 120 degree lenses but we find a LED lens with an angle of 90 degrees is just about perfect at directing light deep into the plants. However, too wide a lens spreads the luminous intensity over too great an area, it wastes light, either providing too little power to your plants, too wide a coverage area or both. Some LED grow lights have no lenses and obviously, these are a waste of valuable light, and your money;
- Narrowing the lens or reflector increases the power delivered to your plants significantly, up to 400-500%, but narrows the effective coverage area. A good trade-off for both problems is to use a medium output angle, from 60-90 degrees. The grow light manufacturer should provide effective coverage charts for their products and some will even perform photometry evaluations for your specific grow area, telling you exactly where to place your light(s) for maximum effect.
Best LED Grow Lights for 2016
LED grow light technology is rapidly improving. Unfortunately, there are still a lot of cheaply built lights out there, and even more misinformation being circulated. Before we share our reviews of the best LED grow lights of 2016, we want to set a few things straight:
Most LEDs are not named based on their actual Watts, which leads to confusion. If you purchase an 800W LED its actual Watts are will be around 450 or 500. It is a replacement for a 600W HID, but not for an 800W HID.
What this means for you:
When replacing an HID with an LED, choose the size of the light based on actual Watts. Remember that an LED is more efficient and will replace an HID with higher actual Watts. Currently the only LED grow lights being named for their actual Watts are those from Black Dog.
Efficiency and Spectrum
LED grow lights are becoming more and more efficient. They can do this in two ways:
- 1. Intensity of Light: Measured by a PAR meter.
- 2. Accuracy of Spectrum: The PAR curve shows the wavelengths of light that a plant can use. Any light which hits a plant that is not in these wavelengths is reflected. This reflected light = wasted energy in any LED grow light.
What this means for you:
The spectrum of an LED grow light should match the PAR spectrum as closely as possible for maximum efficiency.
Some manufacturers offer graphs to help you see how their spectrum matches the wavelengths plants use, like this one from Platinum LED. The three lines show the absorption peaks for chlorophyll A, chlorophyll B and carotenoids. The colored peaks show the spectrum that Platinum LED’s lights use. As you can see, they’ve tried to match the absorption peaks for photosynthesis so no light energy is wasted.
PPFD and Footprint
The terms Photosynthetic Photon Flux (PPF) and Photosynthetic Proton Flux Distribution (PPFD) are being tossed around a lot in the LED grow light world.
They are measurements that help you decide how much PAR spectrum light is reaching your plants. But they are only part of the story.
PPF: This number is pretty useless. It tells you how many PAR spectrum photons are leaving the light, but don’t tell you anything about how much of that light reaches the plants.
PPFD: a measure of the number of photons in the 400-700 range (PAR spectrum) that fall on a square meter of target area per second. Measured in µmoles/m2/s.
- Why it’s useful:
This number can help you compare the amount of photosynthetically available light that is emitted by different LED grow lights
- Why it’s usefulness is limited:
PPFD is typically measured in the center of the light, 12” below it. What’s wrong with that?
- You normally place an LED about 30” above your plants, so a reading at 12” isn’t really relevant.
- You are growing in a broad space, say 3’ X 3’ or 5’ X 5’. It is important that PAR spectrum light reaches all areas of the grow, not just the center.
PPFD is useful, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. If you just compare PPFD values, you may end up purchasing an inferior light.
What’s Better than PPFD?
When investigating a grow light you want to consider the entire footprint; the larger the footprint, the greater the area that receives considerable amounts of PAR spectrum light.
Some manufacturers provide graphs showing the change in the amount of light reaching the plant throughout the footprint of the light, like this great image from California Light Works.
As you consider each of the lights on our Top 10 LED Grow Lights for 2016 list, keep in mind that any single piece of information we’ve provided is only part of the story. We’ve given you the best information available. It is up to you to put the pieces together and choose the light that is best suited to the size and style of your grow.
If any of the terms used in these reviews are unfamiliar to you, check out our grow light glossary for help.
Best LED Grow Lights for 2017
We have rounded up the best and newest LED grow lights we have found across the world. We aim to review only well built, high (broad full) spectrum LEDs with an eye on fan-less hat management. We also communicate with the manufacturers and ask them questions you guys want to know the answers too. Here we go, in no particular order.
Neonica – Growy LED-254-200W
Model by Neonica
Hailing from Poland, Neonica recently introduced their very promising Growy LED series. Although it is among the very few European grow lights manufacturers, the company has been working hard to increase its presence in the world market. They are not newbies in this game either: they have been specializing in the production of LED lighting systems since 1995, having secured some very solid partnerships along the way:
“Among few in Europe we have special machines able to produce a variety of LED solutions: led strips, led lamps, led tubes, led bulbs, led modules and led lighting for industrial applications. High qualified staff, know-how and expanded photometric laboratory allow us to develop and improve a whole range of products.
High innovation of our solutions and their quality is appreciated both by thousands of satisfied users, industry experts and international leaders of the market. Leading manufacturers of LED chips CREE and OSRAM offered Neonica Polska partnership agreements. Thus Neonica Polska has permanent access to high-tech LED chips and our products are tested not only for necessary certifications in national laboratories but also in order to ensure world’s highest quality.”
Their credentials are surely impressive, but what about their products?
Although in this case we will be presenting the 200W model (which stands as a true replacement of a traditional HPS600W fixture), LED fixtures from Neonica company come as a pleasant surprise: they significantly increase vegetative growth, boosts flowering and budding. Though not very well known in the US, these Polish guys work really make up on their company’s obscure reputation by focusing on their products sophisticated components and build quality.
Actual Draw in Watts
The Growy-254 is not the largest and most powerful grow light created by Neonica and thus it is recommended for small/medium sized crops. However, its 200W Watts draw is designed to and will replace a 600W HPS fixture. Of course, we have approached the people at Neonica with some questions regarding the true Watts intake, but haven’t received an answer as of yet. The lack of detailed information on the web only made matters worse. Based on our own calculations, the actual wattage is around 185W.
Total LEDs and Spectrum
Growy 254 features a carefully selected LED sequence enriched in 520-540nm and 595-615nm wavelength to suit perfectly the needs of plants on the chlorophyll “A” and “B”. Its LEDs do not emit much heat radiation so that the lamp can be installed very close to plants without having to worry about their condition. Again, although we have contacted Neonica to ask about any “gaps” in the spectrum, there was no response.
Also by working at a much lower temperature Growy LED fixtures drastically decrease the consumption of water needed to grow. Growy LED uses specially dedicated OSRAM LEDs which guarantees maintenance-free use and high quality product. However, if you so wish, you can use different focusing optics, allowing for individual adjustment of Growy LED to a different style.
The Growy series’ specially engineered housing with anodized aviation aluminum alloy does not require active cooling by fans, reduces energy requirements and extends the lamp life up to at least 10 years of continuous use.
Peak Photon Delivery in µmoles
Coverage and Build Quality
- Dimensions: 56.3” x 5.5” x 4.2”;
- Expected Lifetime: 50,000 hours;
- Voltage: Voltage AC 90-264V/50-60Hz;
- Special selected high-quality LEDs from OSRAM;
- Robust housing made of anodized aluminum provides excellent heat dissipation through gravity exchange (passive cooling);
- Modern design with handles for easy installation in line or stand alone;
- Designed and manufactured in Poland.
Neonica offers a 36-month warranty plan.
Being a European company, Neonica’s Growy series is not especially well known among US growers. Information about their product series was scarce and their social media presence is scanty, to say the least (they have disabled comments in their YouTube channel and their FB page looks neglected). However, their website is regularly updated, so you can easily find out information about shipping details.
Pro Max Grow – MAX1200 – 250 Watts
Pro MAX Grow LED products have a reputation for reducing grower’s expenditures, while simultaneously, increasing the size of their harvests. MAX1200 is the pinnacle of this philosophy. This LED panel has been designed to generate virtually no heat and therefore it does not require external cooling fans – a factor that significantly lowers energy costs. Also, it is worth mentioning that the technology between the ProMax grow lights, enables them to work equally well in both the Growth and Flowering stages, meaning that you can just plug the light and just never change the settings. Plug’n’play, from seed to harvest!
The lights themselves are designed by Eco-Light products, a company that has more than three decades of experience in specialty lighting manufacturing, all in US soil. Perhaps the fact that the people at NASA have been using their products to conduct research on their study for plant growth in space says everything there is to know about them: your space cookies will finally be spacier than ever!
Actual Draw in Watts
It is a common theme for grow light manufacturers not to state the correct number of their products’ Watts draw so we asked the manufacturer and Christie Lunsford from ProMaxGrow told HTG:
“The Max1200 is only 250W and it draws 250W. We use the most advanced LED diodes on the market which are significantly more efficient and allow Pro MAX Grow lights to produce more usable light power while drawing less wattage than traditional LED grow light fixtures that draw much higher wattage.” – Christie Lunsford ProMaxGrow
Turns out that Christie was completely sincere in her answer. In fact, testers and reviewers concur that not only the company’s claims are true, but that the actual number is slightly higher, reaching 259W in some instances!
Total LEDs and Spectrum
The MAX1200 features 768 custom-made diodes that will last for more than 50,000 hours if the LED lights are on 57% of the time. Christie also answered some of our questions regarding the LED lights quality and the color spectrum:
- Do you use ‘white’ LEDs to get the spectrum?
“Pro MAX Grow’s Max1200 is a full spectrum “white” light LED Grow light. Our chip produces a white color in order to permit accurate plant health evaluation. However, within the white color that is projected, we hit the peak spectrums along with the ancillary spectrums required to produce quality, high yielding crops. Our cultivators love us for our full spectrum technology.”
- Are the lights “dimmable” or able to select spectrum?
“Pro MAX Grow grow lights are dimmable. You cannot select a specific spectrum, because by choosing only one spectrum you are going to negatively impact the other spectrums and negatively affect the spectrum which would cause a gap in the band. While many grow lights require constant turning of switches to change from one spectrum of light to another, our advanced diodes integrate the necessary light waves required for both growth and flowering/vegetation so that one of our Max 600 or 1200 grow lights is all you need for growth and flowering.”
The MAX1200’s 768 full-spectrum, high-power white diodes emit an array of light that and will cover a 48″ x 48″ (16 sq.ft) area and could easily replace a much more expensive and power-consuming 1000+ Watts HID system. It goes without saying that this is suitable for all phases of plant development.
The company’s CEO, Jeffrey Gasman was even so kind as to email us a copy of the lab results one of ProMax Grow’s clients, to highlight the effects of MAX1200 on the THC level of the plants:
“They are getting just over 16% more THC from their plants that are growing under the Max1200 than they are getting with the same strain while it was grown under 1000Watts HPS.”
Fans are not required; the operating temperature ranges from 40°F to 104°F without the need for thermal management.
16 sq. ft. (48” x 48”) ProMax claim that the MAX1200 gives you high PAR readings throughout your grow space and thus, it has an actual 4’x4’ grow area. That means that you can grow 12 good-sized plants in a space this size.
- Build: Powder coasted white finish;
- Dimensions: 11.5” x 22.5” x 29.9”;
- Weight: 20 lbs.;
- Expected Lifetime: 50,000 hours.
- Five Years Limited Warranty;
- 30 Day Money Back Guarantee;
- Made in the U.S.A.
MAX1200 reviews are unanimously declaring it as one of the most successful LED grow lights that have ever been produced:
- “After several tests with other grow lights, we found a favorite in the MAX600 from Pro MAX Grow Lights. Not only did our test plants thrive under the MAX600, with all nutrients tested, but they were also a huge money saver on our electric bills. When it comes to it, MAX Grow Lights are the best choice out there on the market.”-Sheila Keller,MyGrowPhonics
- “The Pro MAX Grow MAX1200 have outperformed consistently for our most discerning clientele. Product quality and yield are greater than ever with the Max1200.”-Charles Allin, THC Global Consulting, Missoula, MT
- “We rely on Pro MAX Grow MAX1200’s for our cannabis collection. We appreciate the cooler temperatures of Pro MAX Grow and the amazing cost savings on electricity.”-Kim Ott , Green Lion Farms Seattle, WA
Lighting Science VividGro V2
Model by Lighting Science
Another space-traveler, the VIVIDGRO V2 by the Florida-based company Lighting Science, promises to take your growing to the next level. This high-end fixture was built by the same brilliant minds that helped astronauts aboard the International Space Station grow their own food. VividGro is incredibly energy efficient and it is optimized for all horticultural activities, so feel free to grow a healthy batch of tomatoes (along with your MJ) with this.
“Plants are all about photosynthesis, and LEDs offer an unrivaled source of optimized solid state lighting that’s used to fuel plant cultivation and propagation. The nurturing of plants in an indoor environment, supported by LED light, helps to control many of the elements influencing the growth of the plant,” said Randy Mortensen, leader of the Agricultural Business Unit at Lighting Science. “With our proprietary VividGro™ technology, the spectral output of the light can be tuned to a particular species of plant, delivering optimal plant growth and energy efficiencies. As the urban population centers continue to flourish and higher demand is placed on growth of specific plants, such as in the cannabis industry, indoor horticulture will require more quality, energy efficient lighting, like that provided by our VividGro V2 LED Grow fixture.”
This model uses a passive, fan-less cooling method, that is both quieter and more energy efficient. It is also making use of an advanced thermal technology that provides maximum light intensity with increased PAR (Photosynthetic Active Radiation), needed to enhance growth, development and yield, with a proven 45% reduction in energy costs. Note that the V2 qualifies for utility rebates, so check with your energy provider for specific instructions and info.
Actual Draw in Watts
The VividGro V2 has an actual 585W draw, which can easily act as a true replacement to a 1000W HPS/Metal Halide fixture. According to the guys at Lighting Science, that’s because HPS and MH grow lights weren’t designed for horticultural purposes in the first place and can, in fact, be harmful to marijuana plants. The solution to this problem was the development of a light with a spectrum, coverage and temperature specifically designed to ensure plant growth (and not object illumination).
Total LEDs and Grow Light Spectrum
312 High Power LEDs; 60,000-hour lifespan (10+ years if LED lights are on 57% of the time). V2 uses seven-band wavelength spectrum and their color bands are at:
- UV: 300-400nm;
- Blue: 400-500nm;
- Green: 500-600nm;
- Red: 600-700nm;
- IR: 700-800nm;
- Visible: 400-700nm;
- Blue: 400-500nm.
Peak Photon Delivery in µmoles
V2 can deliver about 1081 µmol at a 24″-30″ distance.
VIVID GRO V2 offers a broad light spectrum – tailored to maximize photosynthetic absorption efficiency. The light is engineered to penetrate down into and across the canopy, without sacrificing PAR efficacy.
VIVIDGro2 uses Aluminum Heat Sinks without fans, a system that significantly cuts down energy costs (and unwanted noises).
16 sq. ft. (48” x 48”)
- Build: Rugged die cast aluminum housing and optical grade weather resistant polycarbonate cover;
- Dimensions: 1077(L) x 603(W) x 110(H)mm 42.4″(L) x 23.74″(W) x 4.33″(H)
- Input Voltage: 100-277 VAC, 50/60 Hz;
- Weight: 64 lbs.;
- Expected Lifetime: 60,000 hours.
Lighting Science offers a five years limited warranty on this product.
- “This grow light has far exceeded our expectations and “wish list”. We have tested and light metered virtually every other LED grow light on the market and none of them reach the PAR levels that this one does. The price is the lowest we’ve seen for this amount of light output as well, showing an efficiency of 1.84 umol/j. We even got utility rebates for it. This is a win-win grow light. Save energy, save money, increase light output and yield over traditional grow light sources”. – User Review
- “Hi there, first of all I’m a great researcher and me and my friend Google can find amazing things, after a ton of release I found out that the vividgro v1 had one of the highest efficiency led on the market, and they had just release this monster so I bought five.
- I have just recently started to use one of them and I’m at awe, never seen any growth like this before anywhere. But destine look so bright for the eye, but I’m sure it is made specially for plants not for eye.” – User Review
Truth Lighting – M16 – 760 Watts
Model by Truth Lighting
Truth Lighting has spent over 10 years on research and development for their next grow light. By looking at the M16, we can definitely say that this was time well spent.
All models of the series (M6, M9 and M16) feature an original 25 diode module layout, that distributes patterns of light in a 4×4 array. This system ensures that your plants will always absorb the optimal amount of light. Whether on vegging of flowering period, the M16 has been proven to easily outperform 1000W HID setups.
Perhaps one of the best points about any of Truth Lighting LED panels is that they are completely modular and customizable. In the unlikely event of a failure, every part is easily replaceable (although failure is not a very common occurrence with Truth Lighting products). However, the real highlight of the M16 is the achievement of a full spectrum at a surprising 3”-6” above the garden’s canopy. This compares to most traditional LED panels, that require the grower to keep it around 2”-3” above. This feature allows growers to have more vertical space – and grow larger plants. According to the manufacturer, keeping the light at this distance optimizes the absorption of PAR and promises a generally healthier and higher yielding harvest.
The M16 is also incredibly easy to set up: unbox it, hang it up, turn it on and you’re ready to go. Its footprint is around 5”x5” for flowering and vegging and its spectrum is fully customizable for both phases of plant growth. If you need to expand or modify your setup, more modules are available through Truth Lighting. When combined with the traditional benefits of LEDs such as energy savings, safety, durability and life span, Truth Lighting LEDs quickly become the obvious choice for cultivation professionals concerned with the quality of their product and the health of their plants.
Actual Draw in Watts
The people at Truth Lighting claimed that 760W is the actual output of the product. Truth Lighting insisted that they are “highly against the misleading marketed wattage selections by most competitors” and if we are to judge by the reviews all over the internet, their stance is highly appreciated by the grower community as well.
However, we have to mention that reports from reviewers and growers, suggest that 714W might be a more realistic expectation for this setup.
400 x 3W Bridgelux/Epistar/Epiled LEDs; 50,000+ hour lifespan (10+ years if LED lights are on 57% of the time)
Grow Light Spectrum
Multiple; for vegetative growth and flowering. According to Truth Lighting themselves, M16 was “designed between 380nm – 840nm. These fixtures were specifically tailored for fueling cannabis through its entire life cycle”. The spectrum on this light is trying to focus on chlorophyll a and b, with a strong spike in the blue and two spikes in the reds around 640 and about 660 nanometers and in the low blues at 450 nm.
The fixture is cooled by an arrangement of 6 x 120mm internal Thermal Management fans that are quiet as much as they are effective in providing fresh air to the aluminum heat sinks. These keep the unit running at internal temperatures of 86 to 100.4ºF.
Peak Photon Delivery in µmoles
At a two-foot distance from the top of the canopy, the M16 already has a PAR of 781.72 µmol.
25 sq. ft. (60” x 60”) at 24″ above plants. Truth Lighting tells us that their fixtures do not have dimmers, but dual power switches which allow for partial illumination of the fixture, or as they put it:
“The M16 is capable of running with only six Modules at a time or 10 modules at a time or all 16 modules for full power. The M9 is capable of running with four modules or with five modules and then full power with all nine modules illuminated. The M6 is 3” and 3”.
- Operating frequency: 50Hz/69Hz;
- Input Current: 580-630mA;
- Working Temperature: 4°F to 140°F (4.4°C to 40°C);
- Life Span: 50,000 hours;
- Input Voltage: AC85~264V;
- LED Beam Angle: 90º;
- Net Weight: 0 lbs. or 19kg/pc.
- Dimensions: 6” x 23.6” x 2.6”
The warranty package of the M16 is also very impressive and includes a three-year manufacturer guarantee of your investment. Practically, this means that if anything fails, you can contact the company and they will have you covered.
Unsurprisingly, there are a lot of positive reviews to be found on the web about the M16:
“I bought one of these, and it is simply amazing. Runs cooler than a 525W NextLight LED and puts out SO much light. Very substantially built.
It’s my favorite high-end LED, with the best coverage. I keep it about 12″ above my plants, works great. I’m using it for both veg and bloom cycles, with no issues. Big deep green leaves, huge thick buds. AAAAAAA+” – Amazon review
“The Truth LED Lamp is one of the most impressive LED systems on the market.” – High Times
“Hands down the best LED on the market. I don’t normally write reviews but believe me when I tell you that all other lights pale in comparison to the Truth Lighting LED. Read about the light in High Times and decided to purchase. So happy I did.” – User Review
TaoTronic – E27 – 12W Light Bulb
Model by TaoTronic
If you’ve ever searched for a LED grow light in your life, you couldn’t have missed that one. A number one seller on Amazon, with a new and improved model on the market, this is one of the greatest LED grow lights for medium to small-time growers all over the world. Those who need a very powerful light that takes up almost no room and emits virtually no heat, have got themselves a winner here.
The E27 can fool you with its tiny appearance, especially when compared to most of the other lights presented in this here article. However, it is by far the most energy efficient (if we compare size to power) and its build quality is remarkably good. Not to mention the huge energy savings that you enjoy by using these particular models.
Actual Draw in Watts
The actual Watts draw of the 12W model is 8W, while the 24W model is about 15W, so keep that in mind before you rush into ordering!
Total LEDs and Grow Light Spectrum
E27 models use a suitable spectrum of red and blue to assist the plants regardless of their growth phase. Practically, that means that not only there is no idle light (as it usually is the case with old-fashioned fluorescent lights), but that you will not have to change settings every now and then! The combination of 12 LED lights ensures guaranteed results and thousands of reviews concur on one thing: this grow light actually helps reach new levels of yield!
As we stated above, these growing lamps emit the wavelength of light which can be fully absorbed by the plants’ photosynthesis; no energy waste like fluorescent lights etc. 660 and 430nm; 630 and 460nm are respectively four peaks of growth spectrum for maximum chlorophyII A and B production. Sources rich in red light are more efficient and beneficial for photosynthesis, best for flowering and budding:
- Four Peaks
- 430, 460, 630 and 660 are four peaks wavelength of growth spectrum for maximum chlorophyll A and B production. The TaoTronics grow light bulb emits light which can be fully absorbed by the planets; no energy is wasted like fluorescent lights.
- Blue 400 – 470 nanometers
- Blue light is good for photosynthesis; and help to induce chlorophyll and carotenoid, which are necessary for healthy leaves.
- Red 610 – 720 nanometers
- 660 nanometers the peak wavelength for photosynthesis and photoperiodism. Red light is best for blooming and fruits.
Keeping heat off plants is essential. By using aircraft grade aluminum and a unique heat sink design to maximize heat dissipation, E27 LED maintains a cooler temperature even after 24 hours of continuous use.
The light coverage for the 24W model is about 4’9” x 3’3” (compared to the 12W 3’x 2’) which is quite a good sized area for its size. The suggested height of the light from the plants is between 1’7” and 5’.
- Lux Values: 1M/890, 1.5M/520, 2M/400;
- Working environment: -20~40ºC.
The E27 is essentially a light bulb, so it can fit into a regular bulb socket – you will need something to put 24W Tao Tronics Grow Light it into like a lamp – it just twists into the socket. You can also get brackets to hang grow lights which may be useful. In the end, the only limiting factor is only your imagination – the versatility of this product is one of the reasons it became so hugely popular.
- Package size: 92″x4.92″x 5.99″;
- Gross Weight: 37kg/1pcs;
- Light Size: Diameter 4.84″, Height 5.44″.
If a rockstar LED grow light could ever exist, the E27 would be it: there are literally thousands of positive reviews for this little gem (not only from cannabis growers) and they all reach the conclusion that this is one of the best grow lights in the history of grow lights!
“Just what I needed. I have a mini greenhouse on my apartment balcony and it faces East. So around noon everyday the direct sunlight is gone. I had bought an LED Daylight 6500k light bulb and placed in inside the greenhouse on an automatic timer and noticed my veggie garden was still not growing the way it was supposed to. (…) This LED works so well I bought another one on Wednesday and received it yesterday. This weekend I will be installing the second light to get the veggies in the shade. Amazing product and great quality!!! This product x2 has and will definitely help keep my mini greenhouse all natural and organic!” – Amazon User
“I got this set up, and it is awesome, spectacular. It shadows red, purple, blue on the wall-where I need another table! -I don’t know how the plants like it but is very colorful. I will definitely buy more before winter. Tried this first with the large size clamp and may try just the base with the whole fixture next. But this is great. May try another brand too before it is over but this one I really like. It would be so nice to have some way to string up half a dozen over plants. I haven’t tried others, for the record, and am sure others are just as great-this is amazing though. I tried to pack about half a dozen plants in front on little table. So, they are definitely getting the “sun”. I have seen a similar light actually at Nashville’s largest fish store-they have a huge area-30 by 30 -with this hung from the ceilings for the baby fish and plants. Since I have this sideways the full spectrum of the lights is not evident except on the wall-but at that fish place they have probably 30 lights and it is surreal. Anyway, if someone knows of other lights I am here. Highly recommend this one.” – Amazon User
2016 LED Grow Light Review
#1: Black Dog
Model: Phytomax 800 LED Grow Lights
Black Dog is trying to set the record straight about LED grow lights. They have started by naming all their lights accurately based on their actual Watts.
“We focus on true footprints and true results. Part of our challenge is to educate people. Everything is based on research and trials. There is a lot of misinformation being spread out there which we are trying to fight our way through.” Patrick at Black Dog
They strive for transparency, which starts with disclosure of the actual Watts and carries all the way through to their stellar warranty, which is the best available.
At 800 Actual Watts, their Phytomax 800 is a true replacement for 1000W HID lights. In fact, it kicks any 1000W HID light’s a$$.
Actual Draw in Watts
The Phytomax 800 is one of few LEDs named for its actual Watts instead of its LED Watts. The actual draw is 800 Watts, with an LED Wattage of 1710W.
There are 342 high output 5 Watt LEDs. They have LEDs from five top manufacturers, because no single manufacturer makes diodes covering the entire PAR spectrum and UV and IR light.
Grow Light Spectrum
Black Dog LED’s proprietary full-cycle Phyto-Genesis Spectrum™ is full spectrum without gaps between 375 nm and 735 nm.
The spectrum spikes to match the PAR spectrum as closely as possible.
It covers UV light which increases THC and CBD content, boosts terpenes and flavonoids for better taste and boosts antioxidants, vitamins and pigmentation of buds.
The spectrum also includes near infrared (NIR) light to boost photosynthetic activity.
Black Dog uses one of the most effective active heat management set-ups in the LED industry, with ultra-quiet, durable fans to maximize the life of your light.
The Phytomax 800 has a 120° beam angle primary lens.
At Black Dog they don’t use secondary lenses, because these actually reduce efficiency. You lose about 2% of your light intensity just by filtering it. While a secondary lens may look nice in the stats, it actually decreases the footprint of the grow light.
Peak Photon Delivery in µmoles
Black Dog made it clear that PPFD is only one aspect of measuring a grow light’s efficiency. As we mentioned above, alone it doesn’t tell you how well a grow light actually grows marijuana plants.
Black Dog is the only company that gives footprint information specifically for growing marijuana.
They have had the footprint of their lights independently tested with light spectrometers. These tests have shown that they have large, even footprints with no hotspots.
For growing cannabis, use the following recommendations:
- Vegetative Stage: 7’ X 7’ with light hung 40 inches above plants
- Flowering Stage: 5’ X 5’ with light hung 29 inches above plants
If you ever decide to grow something else under these lights (hey, you may decide you want hydroponic tomatoes this winter!) check out their guidelines for different footprints here. It also discusses adjustments for growing auto-flowering varieties.
Build Quality and Materials
The Phytomax 800W LED grow light is built with commercial grade components designed for a long life. It’s industrial heat sink is the largest in the industry.
- 21” X 21” X 7”
- Weight: 50 lbs
- Expected Lifetime: 50,000 hours
Black Dog offers the best warranty available for LED grow lights. It is a limited lifetime warranty which features:
- 90 day money-back guarantee
- First 3 years: all parts, all labor. You’re covered no matter what happens.
- 3-5 years: all parts are covered.
- 5 years+: call Black Dog for trouble shooting and support.
As Patrick from Black Dog explained, five years is a lifetime when it comes to technology. Most clients want to upgrade to the latest LED grow light before then, and Black Dog has you covered there too.
They offer upgrade programs depending on how long you’ve owned a light. This means significant amounts of credit when you upgrade to a new LED grow light.
Here’s what growers are saying about the Phytomax 800W Grow Light:
“This is the best light out.” Review from youtube.com
“With this update, only two companies- Black Dog LED and Build My LED- were put in the ‘Good Choice’ column. Black Dog LED has UV, IR and isn’t exaggerating footprint sizes or lying about anything.” Review from www.compareledgrowlights.com, which aggressively picks apart the claims made by the leading LED producers.
“You can’t do this with other LED Grow Lights — #PhytoMAX800—Larger Yield, Higher THC 2-5%, Lower Power.” Review from Instagram.com
#2: California Light Works
Model: Solar Storm 440W
California Light Works (CLW) is the oldest LED grow light company in the industry. They credit their success to the ingenuity of electrical engineer George Mekhtarian, who is the owner/operator of CLW.
Mekhtarian’s genius is evident in the Solar Storm 440. This highly scalable full spectrum LED grow light is up to 25% more efficient than competitors. It features UVB supplementation to inhibit mold and mildew while increasing potency. The mode settings make it easy to switch back and forth from vegging to flowering spectrums.
This is an efficient, reliable and well-designed LED grow light from a very dependable company. Let CLW make your next grow the best you’ve had yet.
Actual Draw in Watts
The actual draw of the Solar Storm 440 depends on which mode you’re using:
- Veg Mode: 235W
- Flowering (Bloom) Mode: 320W
- Bloom Mode + UVB T8 bulbs on: 350W
This grow light has 144 3W Osram SSL LEDs. This gives them 1.7 mmol/j efficiency, which is 25% higher than competitors.
Grow Light Spectrum
CLW uses their proprietary OptiGrow® Blend which is based on university studies. It features dominant wavelengths at:
- 440 nm (Deep Blue)
- 470 nm (Blue)
- 620 nm (Red)
- 665 nm (Deep Red)
- 3100 K (Warm White)
- 285-315 nm (UVB)
There is a switchable feature which allows you to turn the UVB light on and off as you choose. UVB exposure will increase yields and reduce the risk of bud rot. Unless mold is a serious issue in your grow room, you do not need to leave the UVB light on at all times and can turn it off to save energy.
This unit stays cool using 92mm integrated fans and large heat sinks.
The Solar Storm 440W light will cover:
- Vegging (up to 5’ about plants): 36 square feet (6’ X 6’)
- Flowering (16”-24” above plants): 9 square feet (3’ X 3’)
The Solar Storm uses no lens, just a glass dust shield. This maximizes the efficiency of the light. Instead of using efficiency reducing lenses, CLW chooses the LEDs that give the proper field.
Peak Photon Delivery in µmoles
|Distance from Light||µmoles/m2/s at Center|
Build Quality and Materials
Durable power coated 6063 aluminum and sheet metal construction with a sealed electronics section make the Solar Storm 440 a tough light that will last.
Solar Storm 440W: 15” X 18” X 5”, weighs 18 pounds
Estimated Lifespan: 80,000+ Hours
All CLW LED grow lights are designed and manufactured in California. They build all their LED boards in-house to assure the highest quality.
The Solar Storm 440 comes with a limited 3 year warranty.
Growers everywhere are raving about the Solar Storm 440W:
“I bought these to test and set them up in a 4 x 8 tent. With two 440’s running I didn’t not even have to run an A/C. If you are looking into LED I strongly suggest you take a good look at these Solar Storm 440’s. Top notch product, top notch manufacturer and service.” Review from growershouse.com/
“I started with one of these through Cali. Light Works Grower Feedback Program, and liked it so much, I ordered 3 more.” Review from growershouse.com
“Excellent light for indoor growing. Gives HP and MH lights an honest run for the money. Company reps provide great support and a 3 year warranty. Be ready to have your expectations exceeded and your growing space cooled, all in one day! Great product.” Review from Amazon.com
“This is a bad as# light, hands down kills a 600 watt hps.” Review from Amazon.com
#3: Dorm Grow
Model: G8LED 450W Veg/Flower and G8LED 900W Veg/Flower
Dorm Grow’s G8LED grow lights are among the most efficient on the market today. They have a sound reputation for producing high quality lights that last.
Unlike HID lights which throw off light in many wavelengths that plants can’t use, the G8LEDs use the Optimal 8-band spectrum to deliver light in exactly the right wavelengths for plants. This means no wasted light. For you that means a lower electric bill, higher yields and a better final product.
They include UV and IR light, which not only improve photosynthesis but also fight mold and boost the terpene content of your buds.
Dorm Grow stands by their lights because they know they have a quality product. As Robert from Dorm Grow explained,
“G8LED Technology provides the most efficient photosynthesis from a grow light using the Optimal 8-band wavelength spectrum. From seedling to harvest, the G8LED system gives some of the best yields possible from any LED grow light system.”
He’s confident that you’ll love these lights, and so are we.
Actual Draw in Watts
G8LED 450W: Actual Draw is 280 Watts
G8LED 900W: Actual Draw is 540 Watts
The G8 series uses LEDs by USA made BridgeLux, Epistar and Optotech.
G8LED 450W: 17.5”x11”x3” (44.5x28x7.6cm)
Weight: 14 lb
G8LED 900W: 20.5”x14”x3” (44.5x28x7.6cm)
Weight: 22 lb
Grow Light Spectrum
Dorm Grow uses the Optimal 8-band wavelength spectrum that includes IR and UV light. Their color bands are at:
- 475nm Blue
- 440nm Violet
- 610 nm Orange
- 630 nm Red
- 660 nm Deep Red
- 380 nm Ultraviolet
- 740 nm Infrared
- 3000K White
Both of the G8 grow lights are fan cooled.
G8LED 450W: 12+ square feet
G8LED 900W: 24+ square feet
Add two 90W red UFO lights during flowering to boost yield even further.
The G8 grow lights feature 90 and 120 degree angled lenses for optimal direction of light into the plant canopy.
Peak Photon Delivery in µmoles
G8LED 450W Veg/Flower: 1800 µmoles at 2” from center.
G8LED 900W Veg/Flower: 3600 µmoles at 2” from center.
Build Quality and Materials
Dorm Grow produces only high quality LED grow lights. These are heavy duty lights, designed and built to last.
- G8LED 450W: 5” X 11” X3”
- Weight: 18 lb
- G8LED 900W: 5” X 14” X 3”
- Weight: 22 lb
- Expected Lifetime: 50,000 hours
Both models come with a 2 Year Warranty, plus a 90 day money back guarantee, giving you a full flowering cycle to test out the lights.
Dorm Grow is known for their great customer service. If you have any questions or concerns just give them a ring and they’ll help you out right away.
If the specs aren’t enough to convince you how great the G8LEDs are, maybe the growers who use these full spectrum LEDs are:
“G8LED 900W grow light and two G8LED 90W Red UFOs – that is all you need. Hands down best growing system for the money (actually saves me money!)” Review from theweedblog.com
“G8LED 450 Watt LED Grow Light is a very high quality,durable and outrageously bright.i did a ton of research on all led specs,parts,brightness and reasonably priced,and this light exceeded my expectations and now im walkin’/basking in sunshine B-)” Review from amazon.com
“The G8 system is a cut above the rest. Very few led systems are able to match the yield of sodium lights but G8 has done it. Using their system I used the 450 and added the 90red after my dark period and I outperformed my 600w sodium light on my first try. I had already done extensive research and knew the G8 technology was the real McCoy but having the results in my hands was truly a rewarding experience. Indoor growers Can’t go wrong with this system.” Review from amazon.com
#4: Platinum LED
Model: Advanced Platinum Series P300W
Platinum LED is another company that is striving for transparency and quality. We think they’ve achieved both. Their LED grow lights are made in America, so you’re dollars will stay right here, helping to build the economy.
Platinum LED proudly told us:
“We’re producing the most powerful LED light on the market. We have the highest PAR for the Watt of any grow light right now. That means we have the brightest lights.”
Even more important than having bright lights is having light in the right spectrum. Platinum LED uses 12 different colors of narrow banded diodes to match the natural absorption curve as closely as possible.
Actual Draw in Watts
The actual draw of this grow light depends on which setting you use:
- Vegging: 93 Watts
- Flowering (Veg + Bloom Switch): 180 Watts
100 U.S. Made 3 Watt LEDs
Grow Light Spectrum
Platinum LED has carefully correlated their LED spectrum to match the PAR spectrum. They use twelve different color bands which overlap to match the natural
At 18” above the grow the maximum coverage is 4.5’ X 3.8’. The core coverage at the same height is 3’ X 2’.
The P300 uses a 90° secondary focusing lens to direct the light directly into the plants.
Peak Photon Delivery in µmoles
Build Quality and Materials
- 9” X 19” X 3”
- Weight: 13 lbs
- Expected Lifetime: 50,000-100,000 hours
In addition to offering a 5 year warranty, Platinum LED is widely praised for their stellar customer service. If you have any doubts about the product, just give them a call and they’ll be happy to help.
Here’s what growers are saying about the Platinum LED:
“Holy S#!%. With just the p300 plugged in, first night, I took my 6″ buddies from outside in the 85 degree sun, in less than 24 hours the new growth is looking CHUNNNKYYYY. And NO HEAT. I woke up to 72 degree temps at 48% humidity and unplugged my 4″ cooling can.” Review from Amazon.com
“Never… ever have you seen growth like this. Platinum LED lights are the highest powered, best spectrum emitting lights you can possibly find on the market today and the results don’t lie! Using only 2 of these P450 lights in a 4×4 tent, I regularly pull over 1.6 grams/watt while using less than 600w of power.” Review from Amazon.com
“I was very skeptical, I called the manufacture and asked them an array of questions. Great down to earth people who know what you’re doing and want you to be successful. This is honestly one of the best purchases I’ve ever made.” Review from Amazon.com
#5: Super Grow LED
Super Grow LED is one of the few grow light manufacturers that offers a true continuous full spectrum, with no gaps. Their SK450 is an industrial grade grow light designed for maximum efficiency.
This light is ideal for use from seed to harvest. It will maximize growth during all stages, improve your cloning success rate and boost yields. With their tough fanless design these grow lights are built to last.
The SK450 comes with clear instructions, specs and diagrams showing a variety of potential grow room set-ups. If you have any questions Super Grow LED’s in-house lighting engineers are happy to help at any time. These durable lights will improve the harvest from a grow of any size.
Actual Draw in Watts
The actual draw of the SK450 is 252 Watts.
Super Grow LED uses Bridgelux and Epistar chips in their own custom diodes. They use a phosphor coat on a high power 425 nm blue base LED to create strong, continuous full spectrum coverage.
The SK450 has 150 3W LEDs. These give 250 Watts of true power, and are a real replacement for a 450W HID grow light.
Grow Light Spectrum
This is one of the few LED grow lights out there that really does provide continuous full spectrum light. The SK450 is continuous full spectrum from 420-750nm, with supplemental cholophyll absorption peaks. Their spectrum closely matches the natural spectrum or daylight.
Two thirds of the diodes in the SK450 are “white” LEDs, which have a mix of red, green and blue light. These supply the full spectrum. The remaining third of the diodes are a mixture of red light wavelengths to supercharge the flowering cycle. This increases yields and allows strict photoperiod control.
This image shows the SK450 (aka the Spectrum King) compared to HID lights and the PAR spectrum (the McCree Curve).
This fanless LED grow light uses high quality heat sinks, thermal bond and metal clad printed circuit boards to manage heat.
There is no heat increase 12 inches from the source, which will considerably reduce HVAC requirements in your grow room.
The coverage of the SK450 depends on the growing stage;
- Vegetative: 30 square feet
- Flowering: 16 square feet
Two or more SK450 units can be easily bolted together to cover larger grows.
|Qty.||LED||HID equiv.||Flower||Pro. Yield|
|1||250W||500W||16 sq ft||300g|
|2||500W||1,000W||16 sq ft||600g|
|3||750W||1,500W||24 sq ft||900g|
|4||1,000W||2,000W||32 sq ft||1,200g|
The SK450 features 90° lenses for optimal photo deliver. These lenses are the best compromise for maximizing the coverage area while maintaining a high light intensity. This give the SK450 the best value in terms of cost per square foot of harvest area compared to LED grow lights of the same size.
Peak Photon Delivery in µmoles
Par Output: 1000 µmoles at 12” from center
Build Quality and Materials
These LED grow lights are built with rugged materials like the anodized aluminum chassis. There are no bulbs or ballasts to replace.
- Dimensions: 22” X 14” X 7”
- Weight: 23 lbs
- Lifespan: 60,000+ hours
- Yo-Yo Hangers included
The SK450 comes with a 5 Year Warranty from manufacturer’s defects.
Their customer service is outstanding. You’ll have access to their in-house engineers in case any questions or problems arise.
People love the SK450 for its continuous full spectrum and great customer service:
“The SK450 produces a continuous spectral distribution that is close to daylight, it uses name brand LEDs, does not require an internal fan due to the impressive thermal management design and comes with 90 degree TIR lenses to concentrate the light on the plants.” Review from canybus.com
“You may note the Super Grow LED banners on this site, we only recommend these lights because they are the best on the market beating the likes of Advanced, HydroGrow and Prosource. Why? To start with they beat those other companies hands down on a $ per sqft of flowering basis and deliver higher yields per Watt than HPS lights.” Review from greenthumbgrowing.wordpress.com
“I just finished my first hydroponic grow and the LED lights are efficient and produce the estimated 1g per watt. My entire household electricity was $60 last month and I’m running a hot water spa. It’s great not to have to switch the lights out between cycles. My home was built in 1953 so traditional lighting systems weren’t an option for me unless I spent a lot of money on upgrades etc.. The temperature in my grow room rarely gets above 85 degrees and usually runs about 78 degrees – no air cooling – just an efficient fan. Lastly, you’re not on your own once you purchase this product – no really – the response to my questions and concerns have been extremely prompt.
It’s great when a product does what it claims to do so you can plan ahead and count on it.” Review from supergrowled.com
#6: Kind LED
Model: K5 XL1000
Kind LED was founded by real growers with years of hands-on experience. They painstakingly developed their technology as they realized the full potential of LED grow lights. With the K5 series LED grow light Kind is setting a new industry standard.
Most LED grow lights have a small “footprint”, which means they don’t fully cover the square footage of cannabis canopy. This has traditionally resulted in lower harvest yields from full spectrum LEDs when compared to HPS. The K5 series has an extra-large footprint, making these lights true replacements higher wattage HPS lights.
Actual Draw in Watts
The actual draw of the K5 1000 is 650 Watts.
Kind LED advertises this light as a true replacement for a 1000 W HID.
The K5 XL1000 has 320 LEDs, in a blend of 3W and 5W diodes.
Grow Light Spectrum
The K5 models use a 12 bandwidth spectrum which covers the entire photosynthetic growing spectrum. It is dimmable, allowing the grower to customize the spectrum to suit vegging or flowering cycles.
Their spectrum ranges from 350 nm – 740 nm, covering the entire PAR spectrum.
Natural Light Cycle
The X1000 mimics the natural light cycle by moving through eight different stages during the day. It starts off with a dawn setting, gently waking up your plants. Then it moves gradually through the intensity of midday before slowly dimming into sunset and eventual night. The natural light pattern results in higher yields and more natural growth patterns.
There are four large diameter fans that run over several heat sinks to effectively dissipate any heat generated through the light cycle.
25 square feet (5’ X 5’)
This grow light uses a secondary optical lens.
Peak Photon Delivery in µmoles, PPFD
Kind LED offers some of the most useful PPFD data we’ve come across. They provide measurements at realistic distances from the light. They also give averages for the inner and outer edges of the coverage area.
Here is their data, comparing their XL1000 to 600W and 1000W HPS cooltube lights.
All measurements are in µmoles/m2/s:
|Kind XL1000||600W HPS cooltube||1000W HPS cooltube|
Build Quality and Materials
Everything in a Kind LED grow light is manufactured by Kind, right down to the screws. They don’t outsource to anyone, so they can ensure that every light is the highest quality possible.
- XL1000W – 26” X 20” X 3.5”
- Weight: 36 lbs
All Kind LED products are covered by a 3 year comprehensive warranty and a 90-day, money back, satisfaction guarantee.
Here’s what users are saying about Kind LED:
“I went from CFL to this Kind LED. Wow. There is practically no heat other than the little bit that comes from the heat sinks being cooled. To the touch is cold. The progress alone in 1 week was astonishing. The difference in size in so little time is mind blowing.“ Review from Amazon.com
“Best LED light on the market. I have three K-5’s one 1000 and two 750’s. I have had them for three months and product is amazing. Great all the way through.” Review from Amazon.com
Model: NeoSol DS
Illumitex is an American company based in Austin, TX that is fully vertically integrated, meaning that they own their supply chain. This gives them the opportunity to manage the quality of their lights at every stage of manufacturing.
The NeoSol DS from Illumitex is another LED grow light designed to maximize efficiency. It is dimmable down to 10%, so you can adjust the amount of light reaching your plants without moving it up or down. The adjustable LED bars allow you to direct light exactly where you want it.
The light itself provides uniform distribution and silent operation. Illumitex partners with research companies like the world renowned Syngenta to continually improve their LED lights. The NeoSol DS is their latest offering.
Actual Draw in Watts
The actual draw of the NeoSol DS is 457.9-508.8 Watts. The fluctuation is due to effect of heat on the efficacy of the Surexi diodes.
The NeoSol features 96 ultra-efficient Illumitex Surexi arrays, each of which is 5.4 Watts.
Grow Light Spectrum
The Illumitex Surexi F3 Spectrum LEDs use a mix of four wavelengths designed for the best vegetative and flowering results. In addition to the common blue and red wavelengths it includes a small amount of green which increases the quality of your yield. Here’s the breakdown:
- 400-499 nm (Blue) 11%
- 500-599 nm (Green) 7.7%
- 600-699 nm (Red) 81%
- 700-780 nm (Deep Red) 0.3%
This is a fanless system that uses a passive heat sink to keep cool.
The 520 Watt NeoSol replaces a 1000 Watt HID, and covers 16-25 square feet depending on the growth stage:
- Vegging: 5’ X 5’
- Flowering: 4’ X 4’
Illumitex’s patented Digital Distribution optical technology guarantees that 65% of emitted light is contained using a 50° beam angle. Each diode is protected against dust and water.
Build Quality and Materials
The NeoSol has eight 48” extruded aluminum LED bars with formed aluminum end caps and housing, with IP66 rated LED bar construction. It features liquid tight cable connections.
- Dimensions: 2’ X 4’
- Weight: 37 pounds
- Estimated Lifespan: 60,000+ Hours
According to Rebecca Knight, the Director of Horticulture Research and Development at Illumitex, the NeoSol DS “allows for tight mounting heights with the ease of plug and play installation, maximizing utility in height restrictive grows” as well as affording growers “the flexibility to customize light-bar desnity and configuration as well as the ability to mount driver housings away from the plant canopy.” These features ensure that the NeoSol DS can be made to fit a grow room of any dimensions.
5 Year Warranty. The NeoSol DS also comes with a 15-15-15 guarantee. This means they promise you’ll get 15% faster growth compared to a 1000 Watt HID equivalent lighting, 15% increase in yield and 15% higher PPFD (that refers to the amount of light that actually reaches your plants). With a guarantee like that, what do you have to lose?
As an added bonus, when you purchase a grow light from Illumitex you gain access to their talented team of horticulture specialists. They do more than just offer technical support regarding the grow light; they’ll answer any growing questions you have an help you attain the highest yields you’ve ever seen.
#8: Grow Northern
Model: Holographic Series 2
This is the new and improved grow light from Grow Northern, a highly respected LED grow light manufacturer in the UK, which will be available starting summer of 2016.
New and improved features of the Holographic Series 2 include:
- New, Ultra-Efficient LEDs
- Cutting Edge Single Stage Holographic Optic
- Silent Synjet Cooling System
This new series is light weight, compact and features an adjustable lighting angle. The lights can be remotely dimmed, and turned on or off using a programmed timer via a phone app.
The Holographic Series 2 uses the latest LED grow lights, powerful drivers and a sturdy build for a long life of powerful LED growing power.
Look for a full review of the Holographic Series 2 grow lights will be coming soon.
Model: King 1200W
You may be wondering how this light made the list. It is made in China, by a Chinese company no less. At first glance, I didn’t think it was much either. But a little research showed that these lights actually work great.
These are the best cheap LED grow lights on the market right now. And sometimes cheap is important.
The King 1200W has a color band spectrum with peaks in the right places (matching PAR). It has a high intensity output. Many growers are seeing better results from this light compared with two 300W LEDs and even with 1000W HID lights.
As far as LEDs in this price range, you can’t beat the results you’ll see with the King 1200W. They are backed by a good warranty and the company is known for quality customer service. Plus they ship from inside the US, so you’ll get your lights quickly.
Actual Draw in Watts
The actual draw of this light is about 340W.
While this seems low, keep in mind that a large LED Wattage (1200W in this case) means that the light has a bigger LED driver. In turn, this creates higher intensity light (measured in lumens or PAR/Watt). The heavy duty 6W LEDs in the King 1200W give a better PAR/Watt than smaller 3W LEDs.
So this light uses less electricity but is able to produce intense light that will improve your yields.
This grow light uses 200 6W LEDs.
Grow Light Spectrum
The King 1200W grow light has color bands for vegetative and flowering marijuana stages.
- 410 nm (Deep Blue)
- 440 nm (Deep Blue)
- 450-475 nm (Blue)
- 620-630 (Red)
- 650-670 nm (Deep Red)
- 730 nm (IR)
KingLED reminds us that the IR wavelength is at the far edge of wavelengths visible to the human eye. It will look like these diodes are not working or are very dim, but they are helping your plants produce bigger, tastier and more potent buds.
This fanless light uses custom copper core heat sinks to quickly dissipate heat.
While the lighting area and height can be adjusted depending on your set-up, the average coverage is 5.5’ X 5.5’.
Build Quality and Materials
The King 1200W is not a cheaply made Chinese grow light. It has surprisingly tough materials and is built to last for years.
- Dimensions: 13.1” X 13.1” X 2.37”
- Expected Lifespan: >50,000 hours
The King 1200W comes with a 3 Year All Inclusive Warranty.
Here’s what growers think about the King 1200W Grow Light:
“This light was leaps and bounds ahead of my two 300w’s (and I want to mention they are very good LED lights that have good par/per watt performance and are new technology). I couldn’t believe how fast the plants put on weight and growth, it was near explosive growth.” Review from amazon.com
“This is a great grow light for the indoor grower. It is a good investment for your growing needs and I highly recommend this product. Great light for a great price I’ve been using it and I couldn’t be happier with the results of my grow.” Review from amazon.com
“I bought a 1200w w/6w bulbs from China for 300.00 and its works 5 times better than my 1000w Gravita.” Review from boards.cannabis.com
#10: Advanced LED Lights
Model: XTE Series 300
The XTE series is the latest innovation from Advanced LED Lights. These American made grow lights outshine even their original Diamond Series thanks to many hours of research.
The XTE 300 uses 5W high flux LEDs which output twice the power of competing 5W diodes. In addition to the boost in power, you are in full control of the spectrum output and intensity. This makes it easy to adjust the lights instead of changing their height for different stages in the grow.
With a quality build, great diodes and a strong PAR/Watt output, the XTE 300 is a grow light to be reckoned with.
Actual Draw in Watts
The actual draw of the XTE 300 is 252W.
This grow light uses a combination of Cree XT-E 5W LEDs and Osram 3W LEDs.
Grow Light Spectrum
With the XTE series you are in full control of the spectrum. You can change the “season”, spectrum peaks and intensity of the light with Advanced LEDs upgraded Color Select Controls.
Advanced LED claims that their ColdFlo Heat Dissipation Technology keeps the powerful 5W lights cool better than any other system out there. They were not willing to tell us more about it. Reviewers say it works, so we’ll have to go with that for now.
The XTE 300 has a total coverage of 3.5’ X 4’, with a core coverage of 3’ X 3’.
The XTE series used the Diamond Series Optic built-in reflector to direct extra light at the garden.
Peak Photon Delivery in µmoles
The one complaint we have with Advanced LED is that they decline to share much information. In a phone call I was told that the information on their website is all that they “are allowed” to release. It doesn’t include PPFD data.
Customers seem to love these lights and say they live up to all the claims Advanced LED makes. So we can’t judge them too harshly. These appear to be really great LED grow lights, but we would love to have just a little more information about them.
If you’ve used the XTE series for a grow, please share your experience in the comments section below. Devendra please link to the comments section.
Build Quality and Materials
Advanced LED uses quality US made materials for all their grow lights. The XTE series has parts that are easily removed and replaced. Even if you encounter an issue you can usually make the repair yourself with parts supplied quickly and free of charge from Advanced LED. This means less time fooling around and more time growing great weed.
- Dimensions: 19” X 8” X 3”
- Weight: 18 lbs
90 Day Risk Free Trial- You get a full flowering cycle to decide if you like it or not. No hidden fees or questions asked.
Advanced LED’s Limited Lifetime Warranty is one of the best around. Here’s the breakdown:
- First 3 Years: If a defect occurs Advanced LED will either provide replacement parts immediately, repair the light (they pay shipping) or replace the light with a new one.
- After 3 Years: Advanced LED will provide all parts. Customer is responsible for shipping and labor.
Growers everywhere love the XTE series from Advanced LED Lights:
“One thing I noticed about the new XTE series is with the reflectors built in to the secondary lens hardly no light is wasted out the sides of the lens, most cluster panels the whole cluster lights up due to wasted light. The XTE series clusters don’t.” Review from 420magazine.com
“I am using the Advanced LED XTE 300’s in my garden and couldn’t be happier. The panels are well built, using top brand diodes (Cree and Osram) which will last much longer than cheap epistar and epiled diodes found in 90% of the LEDs on the market. I would highly recommend them.” Review from icmag.com
2015 Reviewed LED Grow Lights
|232& 532 W||11 bands at: 760nm, 740nm, 720nm, 660nm, 630nm, 615nm-480nm, 460nm, 440nm, 415nm, 380nm|
|100 W or 195 W Switchable||cool white (6000 K) warm white (3000 K)|
|Variable. Can be run at 100%, 70% or 30-40%||cool white (5,000K-8,300K) 450-465nm, 465-485nm, 420nm, 520-535nm, 620-630nm, 610-620nm|
|107 W & 227 W||5,500–6,000 K Vertical daylight|
|336 W||“BDL’s proprietary full-cycle Phyto-genesis Spectrum™” No Details Available from manufacturer|
|333 W||450nm, 625nm, 660nm, 6500K Cool White|
|135 W & 275 W||5,500–6,000 K Vertical daylight|
|500 W||“Proprietary Groblu full spectrum” No Details Available from Manufacturer|
|160-180 W||12 bandscovering 400 – 760nm.|
|80 W||No Details Available from Manufacturer|
|286 W & 296 W||440nm, 470nm, 525nm, 640nm, 660nm|
|370||730nm, 660-670nm, 640-660nm, 620-630nm, 630-640nm, 460nm, 430-440nm, 410-420nm. White 3000K|
|250 W & 25 W||True full spectrum no gaps, no bands, 420 nm through to 750 nm right into IR|
|540 W & 280 W||8 Bands Covering: 480 nm, 580 nm, 630 nm And surrounding wavelengths|
The Diamond Series XML from Advanced Lights are one of the first LED grow light arrays to feature the 10W Cree XML LEDs; a breakthrough in LED technology that massively increases the power of LED grow lights. These LEDs deliver over 1,000 lumens each at full power and are run here in conjunction with Bridgelux 3W LEDs to make a very powerful grow light.
The ‘Diamond Series’ features two models
The difference in the two models is the size, with the larger unit (XML350) covering 4’6” squared as opposed to the 3’ squared of the smaller (XML150) unit.
- The XML150 has 4 X 10W Cree XML lights and 64 X 3W made up of 4 arrays of Bridgelux LEDs, each containing 16 LEDS. Total potential Watts = 40W + 192W = 232W
- The XML350 has 10 X 10W Cree XML lights and 144 X 3W made up of 9 arrays of Bridgelux LEDs, each containing 16 LEDS. Total potential Watts = 100W + 432W = 532W
Color select and dimmable controls are available for you to switch between different modes for different phases of growth. You can choose from clone/seedling mode, veg mode and flowering mode.
With dual heat sinks and fans the Diamond Series XML LEDs run cool and can lessen the need for heat ventilation in the growing area. You can also fit more of them into your grow room with the functionality that allows you to daisy chain up to 4 units from the same power supply.
If you are looking to totally maximize production from a limited space then this could be the light for you. The Diamond Series XML LEDs deliver more power than most of the competition with light across the spectrum to meet all your plants needs.
Each of the units emits light in 11 different wavelengths. This is not full spectrum but still good quality light.
Actual Draw or True Draw
Diamond Series XML150 – “Amps @ 110 Volts quoted at 1.6 and 220 volts @ 0.5.” Therefore @ 110 Volts, 1.6A = 176Watts or 76% of potential. Quite high, maybe their quoted amperage is incorrect.
Diamond Series XML350 – No Amps given. They claim 330 Watts which sounds about right = 330Watts or 62% of potential.
Advanced LED drivers
Precision 90 Degree XML Collimator Lenses
Dual heat sinks with fans and honeycomb fan covers with dust filters.
The Diamond Series XML lights look solid in metal housings with diamond vents for increased airflow.
Advanced Lights of USA
3 Year Warranty
Money Back Offer
90 Days No Hassle Money Back Guarantee
Area 51 LED
For those who prefer an all in one solution that best simulates natural sunlight Area 51 offer the XGS-190 LED grow light.
This switchable 100W/195W Cree XTE Warm White LED set comes with finned aluminum heat sinks plus two ball bearing fans and will operate on any voltage from 100 to 240 V without the need for providing any special drivers or cords to run on different voltages. These are the specific LEDs they use XTEAWT-02-0000-00000BFF6.
Unlike some LED units the Area 51 does not offer you the ability to switch between different modes that optimize the light frequency depending on your plants’ growth phase. It does however offer 2 power settings that allow you to choose from 100W actual draw and 195W actual draw to adapt the unit to your spatial needs. These two options can also be used to provide gentler lighting to young plants and then to ramp it up during flowering.
The Area 51 XGS-190 LED Grow Light is designed to allow you to daisy chain up to four lights from a single power source (check your circuit breaker) by simply connecting them in series.
Each Area 51 XGS-190 comes with adjustable ratchet hangers and provides high energy Warm White lighting that is suitable for growing plants throughout the grow cycle. It seems like a good option with a reasonable price for providing good quality light that your plants will surely like.
Only mentioned in terms of the LED “Cree 5w warm white 3700k” here is the datasheet from CREE. “The XT-E LED delivers up to 148 lumens and 148 lumens per watt in cool white (6000 K) or up to 114 lumens and 114 lumens per watt in warm white (3000 K), both at 350 mA, 85°C”.
72 LEDs x 5W = 360W potential
Switchable between 100W or 195W, as stated by Area51, these sound like reasonable actual Watts given a potential of 360W.
Cree XTE Warm White 3750k. See spectrum above.
Aluminum Heat Sinks with 2 X 120mm ball bearing fans. Each fan operates at 73cfm and makes an almost silent 10dB. Operating temperature: 77F – 86F / 25C – 30C (generally operates a few degrees higher than ambient temps) They recommend that you keep your grow room between 70°F and 77°F.
The Area 51 XGS-190 LED is robustly housed in a vented aluminum casing. It measures 12” X 18” X 2.75” (30cm X 45cm X 7cm).
The recommended growing area for the Area 51 XGS-190 LED is:
- Veg 100W – 24” X 30” (61cm X 76cm)
- Veg 195W – 39” X 39” (99cm X 99cm)
- Flowering 195W – 30” X 30” (76cm X 76cm)
Area 51 LED of USA
Limited Lifetime Warranty
Models: Full Spectrum G8LED Veg/Flower Lights 900 Watt & 450 Watt
G8LED lights from Dorm Grow are extraordinarily efficient grow lights which are used to full capacity during both vegetative and flowering cycles. Unlike many LED vendors, Dorm Grow combines ultraviolet and infrared diodes in their unique G8LED lights. The extra wavelengths maximize plant growth and yields while saving hundreds of Watts of electricity each hour. With penetration of up to five feet past the plant canopy, it is no surprise that these lights have received rave reviews and been awarded a High Times Magazine Gear of the Year award in 2014. Reviewers have gone so far as to say there are no cons to be listed for G8LED lights.
The Full Spectrum G8LED Veg/Flower Lights are available in 2 sizes:
- 450 Watt G8LED Full Spectrum Veg/Flower
- 900 WattG8LED Full SpectrumVeg/Flower
The smaller unit covers over 12 square feet of growing space, while the larger model can accommodate over 24 square feet. By placing two or more G8LED lights on 4 or 6 foot centers respectively you can increase the grow area further through cross coverage.
- According to Dorm Grow, the 450 Watt unit will replace an 800 Watt MH/HPS System with a power draw of 280 Watts
- The 900 Watt unit will replace a 1400 Watt MH/HPS System with an power draw of 540 Watts
The G8LED lights each emit wavelengths along the Optimal 8 band system that Dorm Grow has formulated, including wavelengths in Infrared and Ultraviolet plus 6000K white. After extensive research and testing, Dorm Grow found a weighted average ratio of wavelengths used by plants throughout vegetative and flowering growth. They balanced their LEDs accordingly, creating a grow light whose efficiency is unmatched.
The G8LED wavelengths have been chosen to include the following three peak colors of the PAR spectrum and the surrounding wavelengths:
630 nm (red)
480 nm (blue)
580 nm (orange)
Dorm Grow explains that more bands are unnecessary, as their 8 carefully chosen wavelengths cover all the light necessary for rapid growth and high bud yields. Users seem to agree, describing these lights as durable, efficient and contributing to some of the highest yields they have ever achieved.
G8LED lights are unique in that they do not have a switch to turn off red diodes during vegging and back on during flowering. Instead the lights are used at full capacity and add on 90 W Red during the flowering period in place of decreasing the number of it diodes during veg.
- 450 Watt G8LED Full Spectrum – 150 x 3W
- 900 Watt G8LED Full Spectrum – 300 x 3W
Both the 450 Watt G8LED Full Spectrum and the 900 Watt G8LED Full Spectrum lights use a combination of Bridgelux, Epistar and Optotech diodes.
Actual Draw or True Draw
- 450 Watt G8LED Full Spectrum– “Amps @ 110 Volts quoted at 2.49 and 240 volts @ 1.0.” Therefore @ 110 Volts, 2.49A = 280 Watts or 54% of potential.
- 900 Watt G8LED Full Spectrum– “Amps @ 110 Volts quoted at 4.9 and 240 volts @ 2.0.” Therefore @ 110 Volts, 4.9A = 540 Watts or 54% of potential.
The actual draw of both models is slightly lower than the power draw listed on their site, which work out to 62% and 60% of potential respectively.
With 6internal cooling fans in the 450 Watt G8LED and 8 in the 900 Watt G8LED both stay cool to the touch and require no extra heat ventilation.
The G8LED Full Spectrum lights are solidly built and durable to last for many years. Dorm Grow is known for quality construction. You can expect to get over 50,000 hours from these lights, which means you could use them for up to 10 years if you treat them well!
- 450 Watt G8LED Full Spectrum– 17.5” X 11” X 3” – weight: 17.8lb
- 900 Watt G8LED Full Spectrum–20.5” X 14” X 3” – weight 24.8lb
- 450 Watt G8LED Full Spectrum– 12 square feet
- 900 Watt G8LED Full Spectrum– 24 square feet
Dorm Grow at www.dormgrow.com
2 Year Warranty
Money Back Offer
90 Days Money Back Guarantee
The Dual Aurora Puck Kit from Rapid LED is a self assembly LED array that allows you to build your LED lighting unit to your own exact requirements.
If you have some experience of Electronics, LEDs and series circuits then self assembly is a great way to save costs, building yourself a top of the range LED grow light without having to pay top dollar for pre-assembled units.
For simulating daylight the Dual Aurora Puck Kit (Dimmable) seems a good solution as it presents 4 channels of control and 7 colors of LEDs: 4 XP-G cool white; 4 XT-E royal blue; 4 XP-E blue; 4 Violet UV; 2 XP-E Green; 2 XP-E Red; and 1 XP-E Red-Orange. Apart from good mimicking of natural daylight, thus covering the photosynthetic spectrum, this set allows you to create different combinations of light colors which then can be used to stimulate marijuana’s vegetative or reproductive growth (flowering) requirements, depending on your interests.
The 4 channel arrangements are:
- Channel 1 (1000mA max) – 4 royal blue + 3 blue;
- Channel 2 (700mA max) – 2 green + 1 blue + 2 red + 1 red-orange;
- Channel 3 (1500mA max) – 4 cool white:
- Channel 4 (700mA max) – 4 Violet UV.
The Dual Aurora Puck Kit (Dimmable) comes with current and fan adapters and dimming accessories. There are also clear and thoroughly explained instructions which allow you to create, adapt and experiment on different environmental conditions.
We asked Rapid LED directly and they stated:
We emailed them about our review.
Thank you for thinking of us! The theoretical wattage draw of the Aurora Puck is about 65w. However, this is when running each channel at exactly the max current as specified on our site here: http://www.rapidled.com/aurora-puck/
That is correct, it’s just a calculator that multiples current (mA) times volts to find watts.
a) We provide a maximum current for each string here: http://www.rapidled.com/aurora-puck/
The actual current you’ll use is really up to you and your tank/needs, some people will run at 100% of our recommendations, most are at 70-90%, but I’ve seen some go as low as 30-40%.
b) The 110V isn’t the voltage you’re using to calculate wattage, that’s simply the input AC voltage to the driver. The driver then converts that to DC voltage (if you’re using a LDD driver the power supply would do the converting for you but it’s essentially the same thing). You’re going to look for the DC voltage draw of each LED, which will vary depending on the current. For example, here’s the datasheet for our XT-E royal blue LED:
Look at page 8 of the datasheet and you’ll see a chart showing you the relationship between current and voltage. For example, if you’re running the LED at 1000mA (the max we suggest for channel 1 on the puck) the LED will draw about 3.2V. Thus, you will multiple 3.2V x 1.0A to get 3.2 watts. This is the true wattage draw of the royal blue LED at 1000mA (1A). You simply add up the wattage draw of each LED on the puck to find the total draw for the puck.
c) Each LED will output a different wavelength. I don’t have a spectral graph of the output on the entire puck, but if you click on each LED’s product page (linked at the top of the puck product page) we’ll tell you the wavelength of each LED. For example, the royal blue is 450-465nm, the blue is 465-485nm, etc. The only one that won’t have a nm is the white LED as those are full spectrum and thus are always rated in Kelvin temperature (the higher the temperature the cooler the LED).
Hope that helps clear things up, if you have any other questions please feel free to let me know.
Thanks for your reply.
I am unsure of the draw and electronics so I need some help here as normally I would work out the true wattage when I have the Voltage and the Amps (current) using thishttp://www.supercircuits.com/resources/tools/volts-watts-amps-converter . Please assume I have just bought one of your kits, which comes with two pucks, what would the be the answers to the following assuming I am an average home grower?
a) What current/Amps should I use?
b) What would that current draw in Watts assuming 110 Volts for the entire kit combined, total of two pucks?
c) Also, what is the spectrum of the output in nanometres?
Thanks in advance for your time.
LED Brands and Spectrum
Cree LEDs. Rapid LED state: For full spectrum color lovers this is the ideal puck! You’ll get 4 channels of control and 7 colors of LEDs! All LEDs are from our regular stock and each puck contains 4 XP-G2 cool white, 4 XT-E royal blue, 4 XP-E blue, 4 Violet UV, 2 XP-E Green, 2 XP-E Red, and 1 XP-E Red-Orange.
Unit has 2 pucks (arrays). We believe this is correct. Each Puck contains:
- 4 XP-G cool white @ 5W – color temperature 5,000K-8,300K;
- 4 XT-E royal blue – Wavelength 450-465nm; Is this 1.8W?
- 4 XP-E blue @ 3W – Wavelength 465-485nm; Is this 1.2W?
- 4 Violet UV; Wavelength 410nm – 420nm Is this 0.84W?
- 2 XP-E Green @ 3W – Wavelength 520-535nm;
- 2 XP-E Red – Wavelength 620-630nm; Is this 0.84W?
- 1 XP-E Red-Orange – Wavelength 610-620nm. Is this 0.84W?
- 2 x Mean Well ELN-60-48D and 2 x Mean Well ELN-60-27D or;
- 2 x Mean Well ELN-60-48P drivers and 2 x Mean Well ELN-60-27P or;
- 2 x LDD-700H drivers + 2 x LDD-1000H drivers + LDD-H-4 board + SE-350-48 power supply.
All LEDs come with appropriate lenses to suit.
Temperature is managed by black anodyzed heat sinks with fan. Choose from:
- 1 X 6” X 20” Heat Sink or;
- 2 X 6” X 10” Heat Sink.
Heat sinks have splash guards for aquarium use and come either drilled or not, depending on your choice.
Each Heatsink comes with 1 X 92mm Vantec Stealth Fan (model SF9225L).
- 80% quieter than standard case fans;
- Suitable for 1.4” or 6” heat sink;
- 92 x 92 x 25mm (3.62″ x 3.62″ x 1″);
- 12V DC power;
- Runs at 1750 RPM;
- Moves 28 CFM (cubic feet per minute) of air;
- 20 dBA (equivalent to whispering);
The Dual Aurora Puck Kit is a self assemble kit that contains high quality products from leading brands.
The Dual Aurura Puck Kit is supplied by Rapid LED of Burlingame, California.
Rapid LED offers the following Return Policy:
If defective, replacement will be provided if we are notified within 14 days. Return shipping is the responsibility of the buyer. Replacement shipping is on us. Please note that once LEDs have been soldered, they are no longer under warranty. Due to the nature of DIY projects, we must be notified of any defective LEDs PRIOR to soldering or use of any kind.
For all other returns, product must be brand new and in original shipping box and sent back to us within 14 days. We’ll refund you back the cost of the order, minus what we paid to ship the order to you.
Black Diamond LED
There are two size options in the Black Diamond range from Lil’Tomato Concepts.
Each offers high output LEDs that run at 5500/73 K/CRI. The smaller Black Diamond has 48 LEDs whereas the larger Double Black Diamond has 96.
Lil’ Tomato advertize their lights as operating at 115 W and 228 W potential.
As with XGS-190 LED Grow Light, both these Black Diamond LED Light V2 sets operate over a voltage range, here from 110 to 240 V. To work out the actual draw for you, use this handy calculator and enter your home voltage in the top box and either 0.89 (for the Black Diamond) or 1.89 (for the Double Black Diamond) in the bottom box. The answer in the middle box is your actual power draw.
Lil Tomato go on to suggest an input of 120 Volts at 0.89 Amps which equates to 107 Watts true draw. The Double @ 1.89 Amps and 120 Volts equates to 227W. This is because LEDs never run at maximum power all the time. This would be like always driving your car at full revs; it would soon wear out!
Overall, and understandably, these sets are a bit more expensive than the XGS-190 LED Grow Light set. However, Lil’Tomato Concepts come with proven experience in the field of agricultural lighting and offer you a 5 year warranty period.
- 5,500–6,000 K Vertical daylight is the concept there, they do not mention nanometers however this sounds like good white broad spectrum light.
- Black Diamond – 48 LEDs
- Double Black Diamond – 96 LEDs
Actual Draw in Watts
- Black Diamond – 107 Watts
- Double Black Diamond – 227 Watts
Total Lumen Output
- Black Diamond – 11810 lm
- Double Black Diamond – 21300 lm
Philips Lumileds – 5500/73 K/CRI
All LEDs come with 900 angle lenses.
The Black Diamond LED V2 units come on strips set in a robust metal housing. The spacious desing should help with heat management.
- Black Diamond – 17.5” X 17.3” X 5.13” – weight: 13lb
- Double Black Diamond – 17.5” X 37.03” X 5.13” – weight: 21lb
Optimal Growing Area
- Black Diamond – 48” X 48”
- Double Black Diamond – 48” X 72”
Lil’ Tomato Concepts (LTC) of Sun Valley, California, USA
The Black Dog LED Universal Series is a solidly constructed LED grow light series that relies on proven 5W LED technology to deliver powerful PAR lighting to your plants.
This model, The BD360-U, is a mid range model that is suitable for home growers with a 4’ square growing area. It more than adequately replaces a 400W HID and features 140 5W single chip LEDS.
Black Dog Universal Series LEDs use the trademarked ‘Phyto-Genesis-Spectrum’. This is the result of extensive research and uses 15 different colored LEDs to create a spectrum that closely mimics the graph below which shows the rate of light absorption of different plant pigments.
The full spectrum created goes from UV to IR and covers crucial absorption peaks in the red, orange, violet, and blue spectrum. This represents optimum lighting for both flowering and veg. For vegetative growth the light covers a 4’ square and should be hung at 22” from the canopy. Lower the light to 16” for flowering to cover a 3’ square.
Having a square footprint is more efficient than some of the rectangular footprints available and can make for easier grow room planning.
The Black Dog BD360-U LED has a capacity of 700W but only actually draws 340W when running. This prolongs the life of the LEDs and keeps your energy bills low. Extra large heat sinks are used to keep operating temperatures low, allowing you to get your plants closer to the light source.
Black Dog LED lights enjoy an excellent reputation and the BD360-U is a great buy that comes with proven performance and productivity.
Black Dog claim: “BDL’s proprietary full-cycle Phyto-genesis Spectrum™, which eliminates the need for separate vegetative and flowering grow lights”. “Includes multiple wavelengths targeting crucial absorption peaks in the red, orange, violet, and blue spectrum, as well as IR and UV.”
We have not seen any tests outlining spectrum, PAR or nanometers.
140 X 5W = 700 Watts potential
Black Dog claim 340W actual draw which is 48% of potential, this is in the ball park of reality. We checked, given the amperage is 2.8-1.4A (@ 120/240v) this equates to 336 Watts true draw, so they are bang on correct.
5W High Output LEDs – no brand name given
Black Dog use some of the ‘largest heat sinks in the grow light industry’ to keep operating temperatures down. Operating temperature range of -20 to 40 °C. BTU of 1161.
The BD360-U comes in a sturdy black metal frame that is oversized to allow for extra heat dissipation. The side panels are designed with good venting and the unit comes with D rings and adjustable metal ratchet hangers. CE certified and ROHS compliant.
The recommended growing area for the BD360-U is:
- Veg 48” X 48” (121.9 X 121.9)
- Flowering 36” X 36” (91.4cm X 91.4cm)
Black Dog LED of Boulder, Colorado, USA
Limited Lifetime Warranty
BML Custom LED
BML offer an array of lights from the SPYDR 1000 and 600 Grow Max Spectrum models to the 600 Start-Max Spectrum.
You can even build your own spectrum lights, find a length from 7” through to 72” and the angle of the beam from 30 ° to 90 °.
To create the best LED combinations that mimic natural daylight for your plants and are suitable for the physical conditions that you have (i.e. space, temperature, humidity), BML offers you a most convenient custom LED tool you can create and see how your own custom made LED spectrum will work.
With reviews from PhD’s at Princeton it is seen as a quality light “In my opinion, BML Horticulture is an ambassador of the LED revolution and is a great partner for plant science!” Paul P. Gaulthier, PhD.
By selecting your preferred fixture length and creating a circuit board with any LEDs (up to 15) of your choice together with choosing the beam angle you want in your fixture, you will have the opportunity to evaluate, experiment and compare many different light conditions and scenarios that you can offer to your marijuana plants.
Depending on length, fixtures can have a different number of circuits. These custom made fixtures come with a three year unconditional warranty against defects in workmanship or materials. With the different set of LED colors offered BML you can build an enormous variety of spectrum ranges and built different sets of LEDs specific for different development stages of your plants, e.g. vegetative vs. reproductive growth, according to your own needs. In addition to this most helpful builder and to help you choosing the best LED combinations, BML, bmlcustom.com/custom-led-strip, also offers you a graphical tool where you can analyze and compare the different values of the physiological parameters that matter created by a given LED combination. For example, you can see the wavelength (color) predominance and the resulting PAR (Photosynthetically Active Radiation) of a given LED combination and fixture that you chose. This way you can see which region of the light spectrum is most represented and evaluate which developmental stage of your plants are you favoring most, i.e. vegetative vs. reproductive growth.
SPYDR 600 GROW-MAX Spectrum – They state it covers PAR >> “Spectrum is the perfect choice if you need to take young plants to maturity with maximum vegetative growth and flowering capacity.” “When the bars are centered in the fixture to achieve max PAR levels, you can expect PPFD readings of up to 2100 mmol/m2/s at a 12″ mounting height.”
(67%) 660nm Deep Red,
(13%) 625nm Red,
(13%) 6500K Cool White
(7%) 450nm Royal Blue
270 x 3W Osram LEDs. Total 810 Watts potential.
Input voltage 90-305 VAC. They state these are under driven, as they should be and 333 Watts actual draw.
Thermally protected MEAN WELL driver. The SPYDR is powered by a single, driver that consumes 333 watts.
U.S. made, industrial quality, fan-free LED fixture.
Top quality LEDs protected by heavy spray-proof aluminum case and tough, easy to clean polycarbonate cover.
Coverage over a 4’x4′ grow area
Fixture weight: 23 lbs / 10.4 kg. 36” x 36” x 4.5” thick
Built-to-Order in the USA
Three Year Limited Warranty. CE certified to Low Voltage and EMC safety directives. ROHS compliant.
Cool Diamond LED Lights from Lil’Tomato Concepts are built on the same sturdy framework as their Black Diamond LED sets. As with Black Diamond they offer two different sizes.
- Cool Diamond LED Grow Light
- Cool Diamond LED Grow Light II
Although of the same size as the Black Diamond sets, Cool Diamond LEDs squeeze more power out of the same area, providing 64 and 128 LEDs respectively. More light energy into your system means more weed out! As with other LTC products, the Cool Diamond LED lights also operate over a voltage range, here from 110V to 240V.
The specs on the Cool Diamond show an actual draw of 147W and 300W respectively @ 120 Volts and 1.23 A and 2.5A respectively.
If your domestic voltage is 110V then this equates to an actual power draw of around 135W and 275W respectively. The reason for the difference in this is that the LEDs do not continually run at full capacity as that would drastically shorten their life time. What this means to you is even lower utility bills than expected.
If you live somewhere with voltage other than 110V then you can use this simple calculator to work out what the actual power draw of the Cool Diamond LED lights would be for you. Just enter your domestic power supply in the top box, then enter either 1.23 for the Cool Diamond, or 2.5 for the Cool Diamond II, in the bottom box. The result in the middle box will be your actual power draw.
The Cool Diamond LED lights are a step up from the Black Diamond sets in price, but they provide much more power to your grow, enabling you to increase output for the same sized growing area. Basically it means fatter buds and bigger yields.
5,500–6,000 K Vertical daylight is the concept there, they do not mention nanometers however this sounds like good white broad spectrum light.
- Cool Diamond – 64
- Cool Diamond II – 128
- Cool Diamond – 135W
- Cool Diamond II – 275W
Total Lumen Output
- Cool Diamond – 14821 lm
- Cool Diamond II – 29329 lm
- Cool Diamond – Philips Lumileds – 5500/74 K/CRI
- Cool Diamond II – Philips Lumileds – 5500/75 K/CRI
All LEDs come with 900 angle lenses.
The Black Diamond LED V2 units come on strips set in a robust metal housing. The spacious desing should help with heat management. Sizes are:
- Cool Diamond – 17.5” X 17.3” X 5.13” – weight: 14lb
- Cool Diamond II – 17.5” X 37.03” X 5.13” – weight: 23lb
- Cool Diamond – 48” X 48”
- Cool Diamond II – 148” X 72”
Lil’ Tomato Concepts (LTC) of Sun Valley, California, USA
Model: Apollo 240 X 3W
The Apollo 240 X 3W LED grow light, from Growblu of USA, is a high quality full spectrum grow light that is rated to replace a 1000W HID.
The Apollo 240X3W uses 240 3W LEDs clustered into 16 pods of 15 individual LEDs. This amounts to 720W of LED power, although Growblu state the actual power draw of this light is only around 500W.
We calculated the actual draw using this calculator and, using the 5.4 amps stated by Growblu, found the actual draw at 120V to be 648W.
Either way, it would lower the running costs of the 1000W HID it replaces, as well as significantly lowering the high operating temperatures that are associated with HIDs.
To keep operating temperatures down, the Apollo 240 X 3W grow light uses aluminum PCB modules and a 2 cm premium aluminum heat sink. For added cooling there are also 8, quiet, high output cooling fans. All of this keeps operating temperatures at the canopy (12” from lens) at just 79oF, creating minimal need for you to supply extra ventilation for cooling.
The Apollo 240X3W uses a selection of top quality 3W LED chips from Bridgelux and Epistar to create their own, proprietary full spectrum. The actual breakdown of the spectrum is not available. However it is suitable for all your plants’ needs from germination, thru veg, to harvest. Each LED is fitted with a primary 90o lens and a secondary 60o focus lens for maximum light penetration.
The Apollo has an independent on board monitoring system that keeps an eye on how the LED grow light is performing. Any malfunctions with the lights are indicated by flashing or extinguished lights on the side of the casing. This allows you to address any problems that may occur immediately.
The Apollo 240 X 3W is a powerful light. Growblu give the optimal footprint as 4’ X 4’. The long rectangular shape of the light might be awkward for some tents or smaller rooms. However for larger commercial grows, several of these side by side would supply excellent coverage.
The Apollo performs equally well at either110V or 240V. Growblu will even supply the unit with the correct plug for the country that you live in. We contacted them for information for this page and they responded quickly to all our questions
They state “Proprietary Groblu full spectrum” with no other details.
PAR-1300-1ft, 700-2ft, 430-3ft
Average LUX 70,000-1ft, 32,000-2ft, 18,000-3ft
240 X 3W = 720 LEDs within 16 arrays. Potential of 720 Watts
We understand it is around 500W. An emails from them stated “Amps drawn by a 240V is 5.4.”
Bridgelux and Epistar
90o Primary Lenses + 60o Focus Lenses
PCB modules 2cm aluminum heat sinks + 8 cooling fans. Average canopy temperature 79°F @ 1FT. Average lens temperature 88°F.
Good and solid. Hanging wires supplied.
37? X 11.5? X 3? (94cm X 29.2cm X 7.6cm)
Optimal Growing Area – 4ft X 4ft. A larger area would be appropriate for seedlings or vegetative plants.
Recommended Grow Height
Growblu, California, USA
3 Year warranty on parts and repairs with one time free replacement
Money Back Offer
30 Days No Hassle Money Back Guarantee
Advanced LED Grow
The Grow Sun 320P LED grow light is one of the 5g Grow Sun Series. It offers single 20W LEDs with 12 multi-chips emitting in 12 bandwidths of light to give you great spectrum coverage for your plants.
The Grow Sun 320P features 16 of these 20W LEDs and is shipped in directly from the manufacturers in China and available from Advanced LED Grow of USA. Chinese LEDs can sometimes get a bad rep but there are a number of online reviews backing up the efficacy of this unit.
The Grow Sun 320P is designed to be comparable with a 400W HID. Side by side tests show an increase in yield of around 20% and a corresponding drop in energy use of around 30% with the actual draw of the Grow Sun 320P being around 280W on full bloom.
Grow Sun state that their bandwidths run from 400nm to 760nm plus white. Optical lenses are used to blend the light into the full spectrum but Grow Sun do not stipulate the individual chip frequencies. An acrylic sheet with reflective covering makes best use of the light, focusing it directly onto the plant canopy.
The Grow Sun 320P comes with an advanced wireless remote control with timer and the choice of three channels to meet the requirements of different stages of plant growth; seedling, veg and flower. The intensity of light with each channel is also adjustable from 10% to 100%. Each 20W LED comes with a solder free design that makes changes individual chips easy.
A built in safety feature lowers the light intensity of the GS320P should overheating occur. A trip switch is also fitted to cut off power in the event of an accident.
With hanging kit included, a one year full warranty, free tracked FEDEX shipping and the possibility of paying with Paypal, the GS 320P is worth a look at. We contacted Advanced LED Grow and found them very communicative and easy to deal with.
Check out this Youtube clip of the Grow Sun 320P grow light in action.
12 bans covering 400 – 760nm. We are sure there will be gaps in that spectrum but still 12 is a good number and close to full spectrum.
16 X 20W = 320 Watt potential. These are multi chip LEDs with multi spectra in them.
280W is what they quote, there is no discussion on Amps. We think that 280 is too high and not correct as that is 87% of potential, so either the LEDs will burn out (1 year warranty) or they are driving them at far less than this actual draw, maybe 160 to 180Watts.
Email from Advanced LED Grow “The actual power draw of the Grow Sun 320P is 280W. Attached is a brochure on the unit with a light source test report that shows the distribution of the LED light.”
Sunface Optical Lenses
Fan cooled by built in fans. Side vents only.
The Grow Sun 320P is an attractive unit with gold effect aluminum casing for those who like a bit of bling with their grow.
Grow Sun give us the levels of coverage for the 320P at varying heights above the canopy. Obviously you would lose a great deal of the intensity at the higher levels and only be able to flower effectively at the lower levels.
|Height from canopy||Footprint||Height from canopy||Footprint|
|8”||28” X 28”||20cm||70cm X 70m|
|20”||51” X 51”||50cm||130cm X 130cm|
|39”||90” X 90”||100cm||230cm X 230cm|
|59”||122” X 122”||150cm||310cm X 310cm|
|78”||165” X 165”||200cm||420cm X 420cm|
China via Advanced Lights of USA
1 Year Warranty
In the same line as Dual Aurora Puck Kit (Dimmable) and BML LED combinations, there is a brand new 80 Watt LED panel and upgraded version of the famous Hans-panel from Bonsai Hero.
Bonsai Hero offer the 65W and 80W models. We concentrate on the 80W model here.
Bonsai Hero’s Hans Panel combines 4 Cree XBD Royal Blue, 17 Cree XBD 701 Red, 2 Cree XBD White and 10 Osram LH-CPDP Deep Red Rebel LEDs. The difference and main advantage of the Hans Panel is that this LED panel is optimized for a higher current and delivers 15% more light than the standard 65 Watt Hans-panel. However, both versions are among the very best LED color combinations on the market today.
The Hans Panel allows you to optimize the spectrum and the amount of light you deliver at different developmental stages of your plants’ growth. This way you can provide optimum lighting conditions whether you are growing seedlings or cuttings, vegetative growth or flowering.
- Growth Phase – Seedlings and clones. Power draw = 38W
- Early Flowering – Mothers and first weeks of flowering. Power draw = 60W
- Full Flowering – Thru to harvest. Power draw = 80W
Hans Panels have no light losses caused by plastic covers or lenses in front of the LEDs. Patented reflectors are used instead.
The Hans Panel comes with an external, waterproof power supply that doesn’t add any heat to the array. The whole unit operates at a mere 45dB, this almost silent noise output is a must for stealth growers.
There is no mention of actual spectrum but they offer a good selection of LEDs. There are 3 selectable positions;
(1) Seedlings and cuttings;
(2) Mothers and Early weeks of flowering;
(3) Full flowering position. Easily selectable by switch.
Max 80 Watts quoted which sounds reasonable. No mention of Amps used.
CREE and Osram
- 4 Cree XBD Royal Blue
- 17 Cree XBD 701 Red
- 2 Cree XBD White
- 10 Osram LH-CPDP Deep Red Rebel LEDs
Not known. EU, USA or UK power supply included.
No plastic or glass lenses. System uses patented reflectors instead. Each LED has its own refelctor and measures eiither 106 or 123 degrees.
Metal core PCB for effective cooling. “Very quiet, only -45 dB at 60 cm, 24″.
The Hans Panel is ‘simple industrial design’ solid constructed and measures 15” X 10” X 1.6” (26cm X 38cm X 4cm).
The recommended growing area for the Hans Panel 80W LED is 24” X 28” (60cm X 80cm)
The Hans Panel 80W is made by Bonsai Hero of Amsterdam, Netherlands
2 Years Warranty
Hydro Grow LED
Hydro Grow LED from Monroeville, PA., have cemented an excellent reputation for themselves over the past few years for their LED grow lights.
Their SOL Series covers a wide range of needs, from the SOL 1 which is suitable for supplemental lighting or single plant grows, up to the SOL 9 which is equivalent to 750W of HID lighting.
The SOL Series is based around integrated LEDs that come in the choice of either 50W or 100W. The 50W LEDs contain 32 individual 3W chips whereas the 100W LEDs contain 64.
Here we take a look at the mid range SOL 6, a powerful grow light with 6 of the integrated LED units. You can choose the 300W model which operates with the 50W LEDs or the 600W model which runs the 100W LEDs.
Because LEDs don’t run at full power all of the time the actual power draw of these LEDs is not 300W or 600W respectively. The true actual draw can be calculated by using this handy calculator. Given the amperage supplied by the manufacturer we can calculate that the actual power draw of the SOL 6 is as follows.
|SOL 6 Model||110V – Actual draw||220V – Actual draw|
|SOL 6 300W||275W||286W|
|SOL 6 600W||539W||396W|
The LEDs used by Hydro Grow LED are Top BIN LEDs. Binning is a process that grades individual LEDs according to their brightness. Top BIN LEDs are the best quality LEDs available.
Hydro Grow LED use their own 3rd Generation light spectrum that emits light at 440nm, 470nm, 525nm, 640nm and 660nm. The spectrum breaks down to around 10% blue, 15% green and 75% red.
The SOL 6 is an elegantly designed unit with the 6 integrated LEDs mounted in Fusion reflectors. These Fusion reflectors are patent pending and focus all the light from the LEDs into a concentrated beam. No lenses are used.
The SOL 6 LED grow light has a future proof modular design that is easily upgradeable should the need arise. Extra units can be daisy chained to a maximum of 1200W. Units are available with 110V or 220V power supplies.
Each LED has a dedicated 80mm dual bearing fan and custom built thin finned heat sinks to keep operating temperatures low.
We contacted Hydro Grow LED for information and found them very helpful and quick to respond. Nice work guys.
They state “tested PAR output matching that of a 600W HPS!” But then mention that it is bands, “440, 470, 525, 640, 660”. So this is not full spectrum.
Email from HydroGrow: “Our 3rd Gen light spectrum was broken down into 10% blue, 15% green and 75% red based on lumen output. I cannot break down the individual wavelengths into their percentages.”
- SOL 6 300W – 6 X 50W = 300W potential (192 individual chips)
- SOL 6 600W – 6 X 100W = 600W potential (384 individual chips)
- SOL 6 300W – 275W – 2.5A @ 110V (1.3A @ 220V = 286W)
- SOL 6 600W – 539W – 4.9A @ 110V (1.8A @ 220V = 396W)
Email from HydroGrow “The 50W LED contains 32 chips in total, while the 100W contains 64. The chips we use are 3W, however it is rare for a colored 3W LED to consume more than 2W of actual power. Likewise we do not drive them at full power as this would create too much heat.”
They mention they use Philips LumiLEDs ‘top bin’. Model numbers. LXM2-PD01-0050 and LXM2-PD01-0040 on their website.
However the email response was different:
Email from HydroGrowLED: “We do not use any LEDs one might typically consider “brand name” such as Cree, Osram, Luxeon, Nichia, etc… The reason for this is that their LEDs test out to produce approximately 1/2 the PAR output per watt of those we use in our products.”
Generic, 85V – 480V and the email reply stated: “The drivers we use are generic. I believe the power factor is around 92.”
120° with no lenses, not glass or acrylic lenses, just the back reflector – pat pending Fusion reflector.
Solid with modular design for easy maintenance
- SOL 6 300W – 3′ x 4′ (92cm x 122cm)
- SOL 6 600W – 4′ x 5′ (122cm x 152cm)
- SOL 6 300W – 12′ x 15′ (3.7m x 4.6m)
- SOL 6 600W – 15′ x 18′ (4.6m x 5.5m)
*primary coverage based on 12-18″ hanging height above canopy, supplemental coverage based on 6-10′ above canopy.
Hydro Grow LED., PA., USA
2 Year Warranty
Money Back Offer
90 Days No Hassle Money Back Guarantee
The Titan 370W LED grow light is the biggest light in the Solar Core line from Solid Apollo of Washington State, USA. It has been designed with the larger scale grower in mind and has a core coverage of 27ft2.
Solid Apollo also offer the Ares LED Grow Light @ 120W and the Midas @280W. We review the Titan @ 370 Watt.
The Titan 370W is a good looking, sturdily built, modular high tech light that comes with all the confidence of a 120 day money back offer or 5 year warranty.
The driving force behind the Titan 370W LED comes from the 10 X Full PAR spectrum LED grow lights from the industry renowned Bridgelux. These LEDs are combined with 120o polycarbonate lenses to ensure effective coverage of the whole growing area. Each of the ten light ‘cores’ contains 15 individual 3W Bridgelux LEDs. This makes a total of 150 individual diodes in the following light spectrum:
- 10x Infrared 730nm,
- 10x Deep Red 660-670nm
- 60x Red 640-660nm
- 10x Orange-Red 620-630
- 20x Red 630-640nm
- 10x Blue 460nm
- 10x Cobalt blue 430-440nm
- 10x Violet 410-420nm
- 10x Warm White full spectrum 3000K
This creates a full light spectrum with extra oomph at the red end, ensuring good coverage of the chlorophyll A and B peaks, the most essential wavelengths for your marijuana plants’ growth.
This Titan 370W LED is designed to replace 800W of HID lighting power and can easily grow up to 15, medium sized marijuana plants. 150 X 3W LEDs actually equals a maximum power of 450W. However, LEDs are never run at maximum capacity as this would just burn them out too quickly. You can calculate the actual power draw of the Titan for yourself by using this calculator. The input current is 2.5amps. At 120V, the actual power draw is 300W. This low power consumption can help you to slash the considerable energy costs of your grow.
Heat management in the Titan 370W comes via 6 whisper quiet 90mm fans and effective side venting. These Bridgelux LEDs are 98% efficient at creating light meaning that the heat created is kept to a minimum anyway.
The Solar Core Titan 370W LED comes with a sophisticated on board LED diagnostics system (LDS). This system constantly monitors your grow light and provides you with an up to date status. Any faults or problems with the system are notified by a flashing light to indicate which individual LED is giving you trouble. Although, with an expected lifespan of 50,000 hours on the LEDs, you shouldn’t be seeing too much of this.
We contacted Solid Apollo whilst gathering information for this article and found them quick to respond and helpful with providing information.
See information above and note the bands here:
- Last is ‘white with temperature of 3000K
10 Solar Cores with 15 X 3W LEDs =150 Total LEDs
120o polycarbonate polished lenses
6 X 90mm built in fans and venting. Working temperature 32-140F.
Sturdily built with modular design for easy maintenance. IP55 rating. CE, RoHs.
24” X 11.14” X 3.4” (60.9cm X 28.3cm X 8.6cm)
Optimal growing area – 27ft2
Solid Apollo, Washington, USA
5 Year Warranty
Money Back Offer
120 Days no hassle money back guarantee
Super Grow LED
Known as one of the Rolls Royce LED grow lights on the market. Super Grow LED offers two models. Our people use them. So do a number of the big Dutch seed companies.
- Super Grow LED SK450
- Super Grow LED SGL6
The SGL6 is the smaller of the two and great for small grows and supplemental lighting. The SGL6 has 28 X 3W LEDs with an actual draw of approximately 25 Watts.
The SK450 is the larger of the two lights and has 150 X 3W LEDs to offer a 450W capacity light with an actual power draw of approximately 250 Watts.
The concept with the SK450 is that two units, total draw of 500 Watts, would replace your 1,000 Watt HID unit. In the process you would save at least 50% in electricity compared to an HID unit, more if you consider there is no ballast needed and a reduction in HVAC requirements.
Both the SLG6 and the SK450 offer a full spectrum from 420nm through to 750nm with no gaps or bands missing. Other features include high end heat sinks which require no fans, eliminating noise and further lowering energy bills. The solid state construction is extremely durable and SuperGrowLED back this up with a 5 year warranty.
Both lights have top of the range 45mm (not the cheaper 39mm) Bridgelux and Epistar LEDs with 90° and 120° beam angle PMMS lenses for greater photon delivery. Optimum photon delivery is at 12” and has been measured at 1000µmol.
Both the SK450 and the SGL6 come fitted with US plugs but will work worldwide on different power supplies in different countries. There is no need for transformers, simply buy an international plug adapter and you can use them anywhere in thw world.
The SK450 and SGL6 from SuperGrowLED are high quality grow lights with a great track record. Whether you want some small supplemental lighting or a replacement for your HIDs, SuperGrowLED can supply you with cutting edge LED lighting technology to suit your needs.
True full spectrum no gaps, no bands, 420 nm through to 750 nm right into IR.
- SK450 – 150 X 3W LEDs = 450W potential
- SGL6 – 28 LEDs X 3W LEDs = 84W potential
- SK450– 250 Watts (250W / 120VAC @ 2.1A)
- SGL6– 25 Watts (25W / 110VAC @ 0.23A)
Bridgelux and Epistar
- SK450 – 6th generation Spectrum II™ LEDs using 100 ‘white LEDs’. Individual ‘white’ LEDs are a mix of RGB to supply you with high end color rendering and a full spectrum. The remaining 50 LEDs are a mixture of ‘reds’ for extra power during flowering.
- SGL6 – 6th generation Spectrum II™ LEDs using ‘white LEDs’. Individual LEDs are a mix of the primary colors RGB to supply you with high end color rendering and full spectrum ‘white’ light.
Mean Well – Self-protecting constant current power supply,
- SK450 – PMMS 900 Lenses
- SGL6 – Precision 900 and 1200 Lenses
Totally fanless heat sinks, thermal bonds and quality metal clad printed circuit boards (MCPCB) keep operating temperatures down. Dead quiet, the ultimate in stealth.
Both models are brilliantly made and well presented.
- SK450 – 22” X 14” X 7” Weight – 23lb
- SGL6 – 9” X 7” X 6” Weight – 4.5lb
Veg – Optimum
- SK450 – 30 sq ft
- SGL6 – 5 sq ft
Flowering – Optimum
- SK450 – 16 sq ft
- SGL6 – 3 sq ft
5 Year Warranty
Full spectrum lights carry the blue light for vegging and the yellow, amber, orange and reds for flowering and run between 420 to 750 nanometres.
You can replace a 1000 Watt HPS for around 500 Watts of LED (500W actual power) which would yield around 600 grams of dried buds.
Good fan-less LEDs run 1W or 3W LEDs and these lights can be situated mere inches above the canopy, however setting them at around 18 inches allows the lights to disperse the light over a larger area and gets better results.
The four LED grow light systems outlined below are all claimed to be full spectrum and are all around the 250W mark, taking into account the true Wattage rather than the total Wattage of the bulbs as explained earlier. Of the four, both the Black Dog BD-240-U and Super Grow’s SK450 can claim to be truly full spectrum, while the Hydro Grow’s Penetrator 168X Pro and Prosource’s Illuminator Pro target specific wavelengths.
The main difference between the Black Dog and the other systems, which may explain the lower price, is that the LEDs don’t have lenses or reflectors to collect and guide the light – reducing concentrated over the plants with a strong percentage of the light missing its’ target. To compensate, the lights need to be placed closer to the plants, reducing the effective growing area.
The Penetrator 168X Pro uses lenses that provide a beam angle of 60 degrees, which creates a more intense light over a relatively small area. The manufacturers also claim that their X2 lens system further increases the intensity, so more light will reach the bottom of the plants. One feature unique to the Penetrator 168X Pro is the switchable power settings from 0.5W to 1W to 3W. This is slightly misleading, as the unit is only designed to deliver just over 1.5W per LED at full power. Hydro Grow attempts to provide PAR data for the Penetrator 168X but if you visit their website you’ll see that is a graphical form that’s very difficult to interpret.
ProSource have opted for variable angled beams. This means, for example, that some may be set at 60 degrees, some at 90 degrees, and others at 120 degrees. The claim here is that this produces more illumination to the tops and the bottoms of the plants. This might allow for a slightly wider growing area but it’s not been proven it has any real advantage over single fixed angle beam.
Super Grow have opted for 90 degree lenses on the SK450 and this is perhaps the best compromise for maximizing the cropping area while maintaining a reasonably high light intensity. On a cost per sq ft of harvest area, the SK450 450 works out best value of the four lighting systems. If you need a larger growing area and are after a slightly more intense light, two SK450s can be bolted together. Super Grow’s spectral distribution data for this twin light arrangement is a very close match to natural daylight.
Based on the specifications, the SuperGrowLED SK450 looks like the best value. It produces a continuous spectral distribution that is close to daylight, it uses name brand LEDs, does not require an internal fan due to the impressive thermal management design and comes with 90 degree TIR lenses to concentrate the light on the plants.
Where space is limited or if you only want to grow a few plants, The Black Dog BD-240-U is worth considering, with what looks like a good spectral distribution and plenty of light.
If all you have space for is a single row of plants, due to its long, narrow geometry, the Penetrator 168X could be the ideal solution, but you may find it hard to justify the high set up cost.
The Illuminator Pro Hybrid 350W appears expensive with nothing special to offer. It has a fairly limited spectral distribution and we were slightly put off by the manufacturer not being open about true wattage. The spectral distribution may also be a bit restrictive, depending on what you want to grow.
|Black Dog BD-240-U||Hydro Grow Penetrator 168x Pro||Prosource Illuminator Pro Hybrid 350W||Super Grow LED SK450||G8LED 450W Veg/Flower Light||G8LED 900W Veg/Flower Light|
|Cost per Watt||2.70||4.35||4.54||3.47||2.14||2.04|
|Lenses angled||n/a||60 degrees||Variable||90 degrees||90 & 120 degrees||90 & 120 degrees|
|Harvest area ||6.25 sq ft||7.5 sq ft||16 sq ft||16 sq ft||12+ sq ft||24+ sq ft|
|Setup cost per sq ft||97.76||153.20||74.94||54.18||49.92||45.80|
|Spectrum coverage||full spectrum ||5 band ||red, infra red, and blue||full spectrum ||full spectrum optimal 8-band||full spectrum optimal 8-band|
|Warranty||Unknown||3 years||3 years||5 years||2 years||2 years|
- Advertised price as of August 2013. Shipping not included:
- Based on maximum input wattage, which may be less than the total wattage of the bulbs. For example, the Hydro Grow Penetrator 168X Pro has 168 x 3W bulbs but it is not possible for them all to run at full capacity;
- Harvest area for flowering plants. For young plants or leaf crops, harvest area may be 15 to 30% larger;
- Manufacturer claims that their Phyto-genesis Spectrum™ utilizes hundreds of beneficial light waves that include multiple wavelengths targeting crucial absorption peaks in the red, orange, violet, and blue spectrum, as well as IR and UV;
- Actual wavelengths not stated;
- Full spectrum output is augmented by additional discrete LEDs to further enhance the chlorophyll red absorption peaks.
The Future of LED Grow Lights
The commercial sector is really leading the way with LED grow lighting, making available a huge selection of lighting units. Although this is to be welcomed, the down side of it is that there are also many substandard products available that are not up to scratch and that will not produce the plentiful yields growers have become accustomed to with HIDs. They give the good LED grow lights a bad name.
If you do decide to invest in some LED grow lights it is important that you buy from a reputable source and be sure it’s somewhere that you can ask questions about the spectrum and light intensity of the unit. We can highly recommend working with Super Grow LED, they offer the best full spectrum LED grow lights we have seen anywhere. They are not just resellers, they are the manufacturers, they don’t sell junk, and they designed their products with the benefit of decades of LED lighting experience.
Big yields are obtainable using good LED grow lights noted by some of the leading Dutch growers who have already moved away from HID to purely LED based systems. One thing is for sure though, the technology is here right now and in a world where energy efficiency, heat reduction, space saving and sustainability is vital, LED grow light systems have a bright future for indoor marijuana cultivation.