420 Magazine Background

Does Mars II Really use 5w chips - open discussion

Icemud

Member of the Month: July 2012, July 2014 - Nug of the Month: July 2012
Hey everyone!

The purpose of this question/thread is not to knock a product or cause any controversy, but I do think it is something that we all should look at.

I see many many people buying Mars II lights because they claim to use 5w chips... but yet I have to see any proof that the chips are in fact 5w chips.

I want to know what everyones thoughts are here...

Now I want to say, this is not a Mars II bashing thread, because I do own 3 mars II lights and they did work rather well for the price.... but I do not believe these are 5w chips....


OK...so nobody really knows what chips that Mars II uses, but I've seen on some references that it is Epistar, Epiled and Bridgelux I believe...

I went to Epistar and Bridgelux and downloaded every single LED diode product data sheet and could not find any 5w diodes that either of there companies offer. They are all 1w and 3w (with the exception of 850IR, 460nm, 450nm, and 940nm which epistar does make in 5w). So I am wondering...if the Mars II uses all 5w diodes, what chips are they using? They are obviously not Cree, Nichia or OSRAM which are the only 5w chips that I am aware of (other than maybe small companies)...

Also... being that my 400w Mars II LED has 80 chips and runs at 180w... this would mean that each chip is driven approx at 2.25w... If these were truely 5w chips, they should be driven upwards more around 3w-3.5w per chip right?? Most 3w Epistar chips driven at MAX would be around 2.6W, so it would make much more sense that Mars II uses 3w diodes, not 5w...

I am not confirming anything...this is just my speculation and I want to hear others opinions on it...

As many of you may know...I am one that likes the 100% truth, and I see a lot of people buying into the 5w hype without even having proof they are 5w diodes...

Another reason for my suspicion is I recently looked at the diodes for my Intelligent Gro LED which does use 3w diodes, and compared the diodes to the Mars II....Looks like the exact same diodes..(not all of them, but the blues, whites and reds) have many similarities, some looking identical...

So I want to see what everyone's thoughts were on this matter... I mean I'm not here to Knock Mars II and they do work...but if they are really only 3w diodes, then call them 3w lights.....I hate to see people being influenced on purchasing things by mis-information...*(I may be wrong too)

What are everyone thoughts....?
 

Mars Hydro

420 Sponsor
I am sorry I am late, I am Sara, I am back. last three months it is my assistant help growers here. sorry for my late.

yes, Hosebomber are right. 5watt chip is 45x45mil driven at 500mA, but usually we drive to 550~650mA. our infrared is not Epistar , others are Epistar for sure. we need a lot red, blue , white . so we can customize the size of chip from them.

How many watt the chip is, it is decided by the size of chip, but not the draw power.

BTW, it does not mean higher draw power, the chip is better or the light is better. the light draw power is also decided by the power supply quality. As I explained under my topic. take 3watt blue chip as example, there has quality A B C D. A means the voltage between 3.2~3.4V, if the voltage is between 3.4~4V it is belong to B. power draw =voltagle*current. the same current, higher voltage, higher power draw. obviously , lower power draw has better chip. Besides, the light power draw will be decided by the efficiency of power supply. light power draw=all chip power draw /(divided by) power supply efficiency. while power supply efficiency is 0~100%. higher percentage means better power supply. but you can see better power supply makes the light has lower draw power. So please do not judge the light from the power draw. if you only pay attention to power draw, you can not get the best quality light.

@Hosebomber, I am not sure if I explain clear, if you can understand me, please help me . thank you very much.

At last, if you have any questions about our product or our company, please ask me under my topic, then I can get back to you much faster. thank you all.
 

Hosebomber

New Member
This is a copy of my post on from a Primer on LED's

Remember that this is in general terms and not all diode producers follow these rules exactly, and I will attempt to explain that a bit as well.

Most companies LEDs are rated by their max designed drive current. That current rating is as follows:
1 watt diodes: max drive current 350 mA (mil Amps)
2 watt diodes: max drive current 500 mA (mil Amps).... this is generally 2 single watt diode chips and are not made much any more
3 watt diodes: max drive current 750 mA (mil Amps)
5 watt diodes: max drive current 1000 mA (mil Amps)... or 1 Amp
10 watt diodes: max drive current 1500 mA (mil Amps)... or 1.5 Amps .... Note that once you get into this range there are a number of factors that change everything and the general rating of drive current to wattage may or may not be in effect.

The actual wattage of a diode will NEVER be the claimed wattage used (with a very small exception in some COB or chip on board designed diodes). The formula for wattage is as follows:

Forward Voltage x Amperage = Watts

This is displayed in data sheets as V for voltage, IF for Amperage/ current forward/ drive current.. and W for watts or power consumption.

Next is the Voltage. The voltage rises as current increases, but not all diodes use the same voltage. The following is taken from the datasheet for Cree XPE series of diodes.
Diode ColorMin VoltageMax Voltage
Forward voltage (@ 350 mA) - white 3.053.9
Forward voltage (@ 350 mA) - royal blue, blue 3.13.9
Forward voltage (@ 350 mA) - green 3.33.9
Forward voltage (@ 350 mA) - amber, red-orange, red, photo red 2.12.5
Forward voltage (@ 500 mA) - amber 2.3
Forward voltage (@ 700 mA) - white 3.3
Forward voltage (@ 700 mA) - red-orange, red, photo red 2.3
Forward voltage (@ 1000 mA) - white, royal blue, blue 3.5
Forward voltage (@ 1000 mA) - green 3.8

As you can see, all of these 5 watt diodes have different Voltage forward depending on the current that they are driven at. Even though these are "5 watt" diodes the red, red-orange, and photo red all have a max current of 700 mA (Amber has a max current of 500 mA). This would technically make them a 3 watt diode (and 2 watt for Amber), but the manufacturer is not going to say "our 5 watt line that is sometimes a 3 or 2 watt depending on the diode you choose." Now lets see that the actual wattage of these diodes are. When Driven at 1 watt or 350mA the following is the actual power consumption of each:

Forward voltage (@ 350 mA) - white1.07W
Forward voltage (@ 350 mA) - royal blue, blue1.09
Forward voltage (@ 350 mA) - green1.16
Forward voltage (@ 350 mA) - amber, red-orange, red, photo red.74

The white diode (which is what they sell and market the most of) are pretty close to 1 watt. This is where/when the original naming of diodes by drive current occurred.

When Driven at their rated 5 watts (or max current) we get:

Forward voltage (@ 1000 mA) - white, royal blue, blue3.5
Forward voltage (@ 1000 mA) - green3.8
Forward voltage (@ 700 mA) - amber, red-orange, red, photo red1.61

As you can see, the "5 watt" Red diodes, driven at 3 watt power, only pull 1.61 watts each. This is the diode that the majority of our panels are made from. This is also where a large portion of the misnaming and misrepresentation of LED panels come from. We have 100 three watt diodes in the panel so it's a 300 watt panel. But 80% of those diodes are red, this means our 300 watt panel only uses about 175 watts for powering the diodes.

The output of the diode will directly correlate to the drive current and the efficiency of the diode. In general terms (there are some new nano-tech COB diodes that do not follow this), the lower the drive current the more efficient the diode is, meaning that if you run the diode at a lower current it will have a higher radiant flux (light photons) output per watt (power input) than if you provide more current to it. However, you can drive the diode harder and get more radiant flux from the same diode at a lower efficiency. This gives us the ability to get more light in a small area at the cost of some efficiency. What this means is that you get a higher lumen per watt at a lower drive current, but more lumens per diode at a higher drive current.

diode.jpg

Lenses and secondary lenses. In the above picture on the right hand side is the basic design of a diode. The chip is placed on top of a reflector cup, a membrane is added to protect the diode, a layer of phosphors are added to make it transmit the color wanted, then a resin dome is placed over the top to hold everything together and create the dispersion pattern of the light that comes out (in conjunction with the lower reflective lens). Nearly all high power diodes have a Lambertian pattern output. This designates how much of the light goes where. Again in general, high power diodes use a 120 degree Lambertian pattern (picture below). Secondary lenses change this pattern to a different angle. In doing so, more photons are directed in the area the lens determines, but at the cost of 7-15% of the radiant flux.
lambertian.jpg



Now into some of the dirty parts. Epistar is one of the largest makers of chips. They are a Chinese company that started by attempting to copy the top producers and make more faster and cheaper. They did very well at the last two things, not so great at the first one. They produce mass quantities of chips at a super cheap price, however, they don't follow the general guidelines set forth above. They use the size of the die (the base the diode is placed on) to determine what they call their diode. Their 40x40mil diode is their 3 watt and 45x45mil diode is their 5 watt chip. These have max drive currents of 250mA and 500mA respectively. They do produce a wider range of colors than most companies, but in their quest to make super fast and cheap diodes, the resin they use for the diode lens (the dome over the chip itself) is very cheap as well. It degrades at a much faster rate than higher quality more costly chips and cannot withstand UV or IR light very well at all. This is also the reason you don't see the larger diode companies making low blue and UV diodes. You will be hard pressed to find a quality diode below 450nm and above 670nm. The resin and curing process for those resins to withstand the UV and IR light are much more expensive and time consuming to produce. Thus, they simply do not make diodes that require those methods. This saves them in material cost, production time, retooling between diode types, and a host of other money and time saving efforts.

If I left anything out or more clarification is needed please let me know.


The A B C D Sara is talking about is the binning (rating) the company gives to each model/series of diodes. Binning covers a lot of areas and means different things to different companies. Cree and Phillips does their binning by luminous flux or light output. EpiLED and Epistar do theirs by voltage tolerance. Everlight and Nichie use a weird combination of the two, but seem to lean more toward the lumens.

While the power supply efficiency does have a direct effect on what you see in power draw from the wall, it does't effect the mechanical properties of the diode themselves. The more current ran through the diode the higher the voltage. The more current and voltage, the higher the heat. The higher the heat, the higher the voltage. You can see where this is going... it keeps heating up and increasing the voltage and heating up more. This is called thermal runaway. This heating cycle will continue until you have a failure in a diode then one of two things happen: all of the current and voltage it was taking up is passed on to the other diodes causing a chain reaction failure or they are ran in a series and that whole cluster goes out.
 

Mars Hydro

420 Sponsor
Hi Hosebomber,

We are testing a totally new product with new chip, I am not sure if we will success to release the new product.some skill problems need to be solved now. I will talk with you in email.:)
I'm good Sara, glad to see you back. Have you gotten any response on my request for upgraded diodes?
 

El Baya

New Member
Hi guys! This is my first post here, I want to thank you all for the knowledge shared on the forum, thanks to all of you here I went from a curious smoker to a curious grower (2 years growing so far) and now run a perpetual set up with several sucessfull harvests uder my belt.
I run very small cabinets (for my own personal use) and heat is always an issue. My flowering cabinet is doing relatively well with a 400 hps because I have a fairly powerfull extractor for the small cabinet size (RVK Systemair 125E2-A1 (220 m3/h), but with all this LED revolution going on I wonder if I would have better results with LED's, even if only for vegging.
My plan is to experiment with a fairly inexpensive 48x3 Mars Hydro refelector in my vegging chamber (aprox. 2’x2’x3’h) where I keep 18 "bonsai" mothers and lots of clones. I run now 5 x 45w cfls and temperatures reach and sometimes exceed 30º c (86 F) in the summer.
So my question to all you who have experience with Mars Hydro LED's is:
Do you think the 48x3w will do well replacing 4 or 5 x 45w cfls for vegging my mothers and babies?
Looking forward to hear from you guys.

PS - Hope I posted this in the right place, please let me know if something is wrong. I also inform that I'm in South Western Europe and english is not my native language, so I appologize for any typos along the way,

Have a good one!
 

Mars Hydro

420 Sponsor
please ask under my topic: top led grow light discount . there has more people help you, they are using our led grow light :)click my signature:)
Hi guys! This is my first post here, I want to thank you all for the knowledge shared on the forum, thanks to all of you here I went from a curious smoker to a curious grower (2 years growing so far) and now run a perpetual set up with several sucessfull harvests uder my belt.
I run very small cabinets (for my own personal use) and heat is always an issue. My flowering cabinet is doing relatively well with a 400 hps because I have a fairly powerfull extractor for the small cabinet size (RVK Systemair 125E2-A1 (220 m3/h), but with all this LED revolution going on I wonder if I would have better results with LED's, even if only for vegging.
My plan is to experiment with a fairly inexpensive 48x3 Mars Hydro refelector in my vegging chamber (aprox. 2’x2’x3’h) where I keep 18 "bonsai" mothers and lots of clones. I run now 5 x 45w cfls and temperatures reach and sometimes exceed 30º c (86 F) in the summer.
So my question to all you who have experience with Mars Hydro LED's is:
Do you think the 48x3w will do well replacing 4 or 5 x 45w cfls for vegging my mothers and babies?
Looking forward to hear from you guys.

PS - Hope I posted this in the right place, please let me know if something is wrong. I also inform that I'm in South Western Europe and english is not my native language, so I appologize for any typos along the way,

Have a good one!
 

Guy Fawkes

New Member
I would tend to believe they are infact 5w leds of questionable quality at worst. I also question the motives or intentions of someone who has a sponsored grow of a rival company.
 

MsBotwin

New Member
I would tend to believe they are infact 5w leds of questionable quality at worst. I also question the motives or intentions of someone who has a sponsored grow of a rival company.

He has also grown with these very lights, so I'd say he has a POV that comes from first hand experience. JMO
 

Icemud

Member of the Month: July 2012, July 2014 - Nug of the Month: July 2012
I would tend to believe they are infact 5w leds of questionable quality at worst. I also question the motives or intentions of someone who has a sponsored grow of a rival company.

No motives at all... I've used Mars, as well as 2 other companies panels... they all have pluses and minuses... The reason I actually came up with this question was when I was looking at LED diode spec sheets...

Under my understanding...Watts = voltage x amps

So when looking at Epistar's data sheets I noticed the max voltage was 3.5v and max amp is >1000mA... so multiply them together you get a Max wattage of 3.5W.. BTW referring to the ES-CABLV50 Blue Venus InGaN LED chips which seem to be Epistars largest blue chips.

This and this only was the stem of my thought and question, and being that I am not an electrician, but do understand the basics, it made me question why manufacturers list them as 5w diodes, being that at MAX they are 3.5W..... so how companies can say that a diode at MAX at 3.5W is a 5 W diode is beyond me...

When you compare to other LED chips Like cree XTE chips which are also called 5w diodes... lets compare..

XTE royal blue series listed by Cree as 5W Max...

Max Current 1500mA
Max Voltage 3.4V

multiply them.. you get max wattage 5.1W.... that is what I would call a true 5w chip... Now obviously none of these chips can be pushed at max without sacrificing performance and longevity, but still the potential of the chip is 5W vs the Epistars Potential is only 3.5W...

So this is truly why I posted the question because it seems to me, something is fishy... why would a 3.5 Max watt chip be labeled as 5W... and I don't even see 5W listed anywhere on Epistar's site referencing these chips...so who named them 5w? and why did they? I mean does a LED company call Epistar and ask for 5W chip models... or does the LEd manufacture just call them 5w?

In all honesty, I was curious as to what others like Hosebomber thought, because he definitely is way above my level of knowledge on LED and electronics... and thats pretty much is why the forums are here... I also was curious if the manufacture would chime in with clarification but that didn't quite address my question and went more to explain LED BIN sorting... but I have to at least give credit that they chimed in at all :)

So I still don't see any significance to calling chips 3w or 5 watt since really it has no relevance to anything it seems numerical. Its just a generalized "grouping identifier" it seems and the data sheets will tell the real truth of what potential the chips have. It just sucks that hardly any LED companies supply actual LED BIN and part numbers...
 

flexy123

Well-Known Member
Let me chime in to this (interesting) thread.

I am 'researching' Epistar and other brand LED chips simply because I need a source where to buy those LEDs, other than having them shipped from China from MH as a replacement. (It just takes so frickin' long.)

I am having two 60x5W Marshydro lights with "5W" chips, but I can search online 'til I am blue in the face, as someone pointed out it seems that the common chips sold are 1W LEDs and 3W LEDs (40mil/45mil) and those mysterious "actual" 5W leds don't seem to exist. Or if there some actual "5W" chips they are dual chips or simply "look" different than the one my grow light uses.

Simply spoken, regardless of how vendors LABEL those chips I have reason to believe that I need the common 3W chips as a replacement, the 45mil chips with about 750-800ma forward current (2.2-2.8V for red and 3.2-4V for blues and whites).

I really don't care about the labeling or the technicalities, I am happy with my Mars Hydro light I just want the correct replacement LEDs. As said I looked and looked but there simply don't seem to exist those exact LEDs in *actual* 5W.

Can anyone confirm this? (In other words: If I replace burnt out LEDs on my 60x5W and I replace it with EPILED 3W, would the light blow up? :) )

PS: one 60W driver drives 30 LEDs in those lights, now do the math. So, TECHNICALLY it wouldn't even matter whether those are "real" 5W LEDs or 3W Leds since they (on average) are driven at about 2W, if they would actually DRAW 5W each, one 60W driver for one half of the light would not even remotely cut it. So no matter how I look at it, I am relatively confident that the "3W" LEDs are the ones I need.
 
Top Bottom