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Thread: LED Grow Light Review

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    LED Grow Light Review

    Hi all,
    I like many others are looking into the new technology of LED lighting. My question is this, why is there not an official review being conducted by those who are defined as the leaders of providing information in this community? Is 420 planning on doing their own testing and review of this technology? Why havnt those in the know, with the obvious financial backing, completed reviews on this new technology?

    If I have missed an official review, could sombody help point me in the right direction?

    With the amount of exposure LED lighting is receiving at the moment, I would seriously consider making a dedicated posting area for LED's. Until somthing official is published about this new technology, be it positive or negative, these threads are going to continue to infect grow forums accross the globe. (No pun intended)

    Great site guys, keep it up. Your knowledge is appreciated.
    Last edited by 420 Girl; 02-17-2009 at 02:45 PM.

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    Thumbs up Re: Official LED Grow Light Review

    Dear 123-

    Much like you, I have been very interested in this new LED technology, but was very dissapointed with the lack of real proof of effectiveness or trial runs. So, I started my own. Now, several legal rhode island medical trials in conjunction with the THC Ministry are starting to finally see and document HARD results of these incredible lights in action, and are ready to start answering questions and providing pictures to BACK IT UP! Let me say to anyone not quite sure about the effectiveness of LED lights...they RULE!!!

    If you can't already tell, I am personally balls-to-the-wall about seeing people educated about this new technology, so feel free to contact me with any questions or information about your own trials.

    Thanks and god bless, let things grow wherever they will.

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    Exclamation Re: Official LED Grow Light Review

    Check recent posting on LED vs. HPS forum for latest pics.
    LED vs. HPS

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    420 Member Slowpuffer's Avatar
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    Re: Official LED Grow Light Review

    [SIZE="4"]Johniehempseed,
    Just bought a 90 watt led, and your post is music to my ears !! Like you, i figure, i'd take it for a ride, and test it , as i could get no info, because no one had any. They've been selling them for awhile now, so results like your, and the bad reports will start coming in. Thanks for sharing your experience with us !! SIZE]
    Quote Originally Posted by JonnyHempSeed View Post
    Dear 123-

    Much like you, I have been very interested in this new LED technology, but was very dissapointed with the lack of real proof of effectiveness or trial runs. So, I started my own. Now, several legal rhode island medical trials in conjunction with the THC Ministry are starting to finally see and document HARD results of these incredible lights in action, and are ready to start answering questions and providing pictures to BACK IT UP! Let me say to anyone not quite sure about the effectiveness of LED lights...they RULE!!!

    If you can't already tell, I am personally balls-to-the-wall about seeing people educated about this new technology, so feel free to contact me with any questions or information about your own trials.

    Thanks and god bless, let things grow wherever they will.

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    420 Member hazyatbest's Avatar
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    Re: Official LED Grow Light Review

    There's review out there, you just don't know where to look, here's a LED review:

    Can an indoor garden be viably lit with light emitting diodes? Some people claim LEDs are the future. Others vehemently disagree! So here are two contrasting points of view!

    The LED Believer
    Hi, my name is Hans. I started growing with LEDs because I am an inventor and I like to experiment and puzzle things out.

    Here in the Netherlands more and more homegrowers are concerned about the environmental impact of high electricity use and the problems of dealing with the heat that a conventional growroom generates. Therefore I thought it would be very interesting to see if it would be possible to grow plants with LEDs and if it could be done with less power consumption then with normal high pressure sodium (HPS) lights. What if I could produce the same yields using half the energy? Surely thatís a question worth investigating!

    Lots of led panels are being offered on Ebay etc, suggesting growing with LEDs is a mature and available technology - this is simply not true. You won't find many successful Led-grow reports on the web, although I have seen a few documents showing that the initial vegetative phase usually looks quite good, it always goes wrong when it comes to flowering; the buds and flowers stay very, very small. Even if you introduce more led watts than you would ever do with HPS, the result would still be poor.

    So far I have completed three tests, the last one was rather more successful. I donít want to reveal all the details right now as I am still experimenting, but I used red and blue LEDs, both standard 5mm ones and more expensive high-power LEDs. The hp LEDs have a higher efficiency, more light/watt, and I think they are more suitable for the job Ė but they are harder to handle then 5 mm ones. LEDs have a very wide angle, up to 160 degrees, that's why most growers put them as close as possible to their plants. I have chosen to use lenses to direct the light exactly to where I want it. Recently I built some aluminium panels, which also act as heat-sinks for the hp LEDs. Admittedly LEDs are not cheap, and also the lenses, aluminium and power supply add up financially - the panels from my third test cost me over 150 euros.

    Airflow is pretty standard, but if there is less heat development I think there will be less need for airflow, growroom and soil temperature are always very important. I believe that the LEDs available today are far more tailored to fill selected niche applications and specialised marketplaces. These modern LEDs operate at a narrow bandwidth of a wavelength on the light spectrum chart. Most LEDs have a narrow peak wavelength with fast sloping sides. The argument for using LEDs is that this narrow wavelength means they can deliver a light at specific wavelengths in high degrees of intensity and not give off unwanted or extraneous wavelengths. LEDs can use fewer watts because they are focussing these watts on very specific wavelengths. So itís claimed that this allows a narrow wavelength to be equal or greater to larger lighting devices in that particular wavelength without the remaining full spectrum light. If this is true then perhaps LEDs can deliver X amount of light in that wavelength when a corresponding high powered sodium (HPS) might be required to produce the same strength at that particular wavelength while also producing the remaining spectrum of unwanted light.

    Anyway, Iíll finish up by saying that I just started the fourth test, this time I am using white LEDs because of the higher amount of lumen and the broader spectrum, up to far red. I expect bigger flowers, less stretching and no more delayed flowering. In test number three the my plants took two weeks more than usual to finish! The quality of the LEDs is still rapidly improving, so my research is set to continue! Before the end of this year I think I will reach the goal and be able to get twice as much yield from the same electrical power as HPS.

    The LED Non-Believer
    Itís not just about Ďwavelengthí Ė itís about Ďamplitudeí. In other words: ENERGY! There are certainly a lot of exaggerated claims made by LED manufacturers that don't hold water. I canít take any claim that 90W of LEDs produces 400W of light seriously. How do you even compare a plasma-driven HID lamp with a diode? To cover an area with LEDs that would have been covered by a 400W light and produce the same incident energy to the leaf, can't be done with LEDs available now. You would have to use so many of them that again, the heat and energy required would produce diminishing returns.

    Lumens are a measurement for the human eye, and have nothing to do with plant growth, incident energy and photosynthesis. If LED companies are referencing lumens as a selling point, then you know they're lost on what "real" light for plants even is.

    LEDs are linear in their distribution of light. That means that you have to put a bunch of them together tightly to get any amplitude. The more you pack them together, the more heat and energy it takes to light a small area with inadequate levels of light. The light gain you might get isn't enough beyond the point of diminishing returns. The more you cluster them, the more you have to spread them out, and the less intense itís going to be under a given area.

    LEDs are bandwidth narrowed. Each little diode is its own colour, so now you have multiple colours of LEDs to try to cluster together. To get the LEDs to blend, you have to mix them up. When you mix them up no one colour can have the cluster needed to have the energy you need to deliver the light.

    LEDs Ė good for the environment? PAH!

    LEDs have lead in the circuit boards from solder. We don't need more lead in the landfills do we?

    LEDs are petroleum based products. Do we really need to get behind and support another petroleum based industry? We have so many of them already!

    LEDs have tiny amounts of precious metals like gold, platinum and silver that are used in their design. If one LED manufacturer can produce a billion diodes a month, which they do, imagine all the
    precious metal it will take to light the world with LEDs? A hundred years from now they'll be mining LEDs for those precious metals out of landfills!

    Anyway, back to LEDs and light for plants. Hereís an analogy: The Sun isn't a heater. If I hold my hand up to the Sun, it isn't really any hotter. The higher in altitude you go, the colder it actually gets. It's not like Icarus would really melt his wings by flying higher. We actually put light sources in our rooms that produce light, and behave like heaters. We have to compensate for those inefficiencies of energy and the diminishing returns. If I have to run a ton of LEDs to produce the same incident energy to the plants, itís going to be hotter, much less efficient and you'll have no real light distribution and delivery.

    If you hang an LED at five inches away from your plants, don't expect to get any light thatís usable for plants. That's the inverse square law on a very small diode. Remember, we can't think in lumens for plants, that ones for people. You don't see streetlights or stadium lights lit with LEDs - that's because they don't have the amplitude to deliver the light needed from a distance. LEDs are just so weak in energy! Maybe when you can light a stadium with LEDs we can start to begin to think about having them for other applications.

    LEDs are for Christmas, not for life!

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    Re: Official LED Grow Light Review

    Thanks for the kind words, Slowpuffer!

    Hazyatbest- Thanks for those..are these two different reviews from an external source? There were some confusing(ed) statements in the Non-believer's standpoint-
    Especially the environmental comments...haha
    A. Pretty sure almost all electronic solder now features tin instead of lead
    B. All high end electronics have precious metals in them. In fact, car manufacturers probably use way more than the consumer electronic industry. And there are no shortage of cars. Or precious metals already in the market, and out of a mine. Or consumer electronics. If this is a problem, burn your cell phone and Ipod immediately. And your car.
    C. What isn't made out of a petroleum by-product? See above.

    Lets be real, the production of the aluminum-oxide tube for an HPS alone creates way more pollution, paired with the fact that the lights operate off of a mercury/sodium amalgam, break down and thus need to be replaced MUCH sooner, and drain 5-900% more energy out of the grid for a similar function.

    I agree heavily with the statements about keeping your leaf surface far enough away from the diode, though...

    Loved the believer, Hans...haha I know, big surprise. Especially adding white-far red diodes- I bet this makes a huge difference in yield and resin production. Entertaining the thought of splashing some UV into the mix as well, to give those trichomes a bit of a tan, and maybe get myself some too!

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    Re: Official LED Grow Light Review

    Good analogy. Thanks for the heads up & information.

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    Re: Official LED Grow Light Review

    Any official reviews yet? Still waiting....

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    Re: Official LED Grow Light Review

    Quote Originally Posted by 123ABC View Post
    Hi all,
    My question is this, why is there not an official review being conducted by those who are defined as the leaders of providing information in this community?
    Well my friend alot of people test here, and then post their results...not just "The leaders with their obvious financial backing." There is quite alot of info on this sight regarding lighting led and otherwise, you just have to spend a little time looking. Quite alot of this is trial and error so go ahead and make a mistake...if you learn somthing then it wasn't a waste. BTW...it probably wouldn't hurt to ask or post in a civil way, insulting or demanding posts are roundly overlooked.
    Last edited by Soniq420; 09-06-2009 at 11:24 AM.

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    Re: Official LED Grow Light Review

    [QUOTE=SouthernWeed;749042]
    Quote Originally Posted by 123ABC View Post
    Hi all,
    My question is this, why is there not an official review being conducted by those who are defined as the leaders of providing information in this community?

    Well my friend alot of people test here, and then post their results...not just "The leaders with their obvious financial backing." There is quite alot of info on this sight regarding lighting led and otherwise, you just have to spend a little time looking. Quite alot of this is trial and error so go ahead and make a mistake...if you learn somthing then it wasn't a waste. BTW...it probably wouldn't hurt to ask or post in a civil way, insulting or demanding posts are roundly overlooked.

    Thanks for the reply,
    I think I have read enough reviews on 90w led grows, thats all you can find on the net. Im now looking for a review on a serious LED grow with 300+w. I appreciate the trial and error some users have gone to with LED however, I think you have missed my point altogether. My original post was more or less questioning why the leaders have NOT completed a comprehensive review on this technology. Usually when a new technology pops up in a specialist area those in the know are all over it. There is no doubt it works, I just want technical data from those who can provide it. All you read about on the net is a comparison with a 90w light against a 400w. Thats just a joke. If anything, just disapointed with the market leaders for not reviewing this technology and saving the average grower some cash on an unecessary trial and error. I wont be spending anything until I see the results Im after.

    BTW, I have posted in a civil manner, and in no way being offensive to any member on here. You gotta watch out for paranoia...

    Again, thanks for your time replying.
    Last edited by Happy Kitty; 09-27-2009 at 08:40 PM.
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    420 Member of the Month (Oct 10') TorturedSoul's Avatar
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    Re: Official LED Grow Light Review

    Quote Originally Posted by 123ABC View Post
    If you took the time to read my post you would know that I am not looking "Backyard Bob" reviews I am talking about a REAL review by a reputable and trusted PUBLICATION in the grow industy. If you know of one and can help point us in the right direction, please enlighten us with your links.

    What you posted is far from official.
    With all... due respect... I have seen many reviews in this hobby. The vast majority of them have the reviewer taking pains to vociferously thank the company that provided the item being reviewed. And often as not, the reviewer seems to be at great pains to emphasize the good things about the product.

    Whether this tends to be because the person is grateful for the chance to play with a new item, the chance to have his/her 15 minutes of fame, wishes to test more items in the future, or a different motivation entirely, I will not speculate. I wouldn't even know if such glowing reviews are done consciously or unconsciously. But it DOES seem to often work out that way. Not every time, of course, but often enough that one must wonder at the information given.

    But good old "Backyard Bob" (I like to call him Fred ), well... He didn't get the item free (or "for the price of a review") - he had to shell out his hard-earned money to purchase the item. And in the case of most of these new LED lights (at least the ones with CREE LEDs in them), the amount he spent would have easily purchased TWO HID fixtures.

    So I would be inclined to believe Fred's review/report. He is more than likely going to be looking at an LED product in comparison to the lighting product that he could have purchased with the money he spent on the LED.

    He is also very likely to spend the time and effort to go through a complete growing cycle (or as much as Fred feels the LED would be useful for) and if it turns out that in so doing that Fred just screwed himself out of a good harvest by doing so, well, ol' Fred is going to let us know ALL about that.

    If you cannot wait on an "official" reviewer to publish an "official" review, perhaps you would like to volunteer to set up multiple identical grow rooms with identical clones, feed, media, etc. with the only difference between them being the lights... And then grow both sets of clones out from start to harvest, clearly documenting things all along the way. And, since penetration between different types/wattages/etc. lights is generally different, perhaps you'd like to repeat this process multiple times using a pure indica, a pure sativa, and an indica/sativa mix - and grow each set naturally, FIM, SOG, and ScROG.

    I am positive that you will end up finding out everything that you wish to know about whichever LED you so test (and afterwards, there are other LEDs that you could test). I am almost certain that we would all happily and with great interest read all the reports that you choose to publish.

    I say almost certain because I wouldn't be a bit surprised if someone came along and called you a "Backyard Bob" for your efforts. But hey, there's one in every crowd, right?

    Quote Originally Posted by 123ABC View Post
    I think I have read enough reviews on 90w led grows, thats all you can find on the net. Im now looking for a review on a serious LED grow with 300+w.
    I am not at present aware of any 300+ watt LED fixtures. The "biggest" ones I know of are 100-125 watt.

    EDIT: My bad, I just saw the other thread that had mention of the 700 watt ProSource. Wow, I had no idea.
    Last edited by TorturedSoul; 03-18-2009 at 05:20 PM. Reason: Fix Quoting & my goof lol

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    Re: Official LED Grow Light Review

    Thanks for the reply,
    I only wish I had the financial backing to do the above mentioned research. I in no way mean any disrespect to the home growers, only stating that I find it unbelievable that a well documented "mainstream" review has not yet been conducted. There are a few 350 - 700w high power Led systems available and to be honest, would have expected High Times to have ripped them apart one way or another. They promised a review in the March addition however, it has not yet been published.

    Again any person offended by my generalisation of "Backyard Bob" please accept my apology. This site contains a wealth of information and to those who contribute, it is appreciated.

    Unfortunately, until a reputable source conducts the above mentioned comparison, the verdict will not become apparent and further growers will become victim to uncharted territory.

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    Re: Official LED Grow Light Review

    Again, another test using a UFO. How do they think a little 90 watt unit would stand up against a HPS of 600 watts. Let's get real with these test, let's get the colors right with some deep reds, and whatever other colors plants need, and let's get the power up to at least 1/3 the power of the light being tested against. Still even though the test was unbalanced the results were more grams per watt used, and according to them more resins. I can't wait till I get my setup up to the place I'm looking to take it, when I do I'll let everbody know how I did. Look for it by next fall. I have run 400MH's, and a combo 400MH/600HPS for a couple years each, so I know what I'll be looking for.

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    420 Member of the Month (Oct 10') TorturedSoul's Avatar
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    Re: Official LED Grow Light Review

    Me, I'm still hoping for an equal-watts test. How much heat does 600 or 700 watts of LEDs produce? How well does it vegetate? How well does it flower? What is the difference in veg/flower time, internodal spacing, is there a difference in ALL of the various things that make up the trichomes/crystals, terpines, et cetera?

    What it would come down to in my mind is a person spends ## dollars a month on electricity. What will each do at that amount in a year's time?

    I guess I'm asking for too much from the "professional reviewers" lol.
    Respectfully,
    Tortured Soul
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    Re: Official LED Grow Light Review

    Well Tortured Soul, a watt is a watt, it is a unit of heat, it is what you get when you multiply the current used by the voltage lost. Having said that there are other heat issues in standard lighting, like infor red that you don't get with LED's. I too would like to see a watt for watt comparison using one of those high power pannels against whatever light they want. I think that would prove my point I've been trying to make all along. LED's do work if you get the power up, and the spectrum right.
    GrowGSL likes this.

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