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Indoor Lighting: Using LEDs through the full grow

Thread starter #1

sfxman

New Member
I have produced over 16 grows now using only LED and feel I have finally gotten a handle on things. I wanted to write this blog so I could lay down the info for reference for my friends instead of repeating it over and over so here goes.

When we started, we bought several of the "Chinese" LEDs to test and quickly discarded all but a few. Most of the lights we tried had from 3 to 6 spectrums and, while working OK in Veg, the bud production lighting was far less than adequate. From this bit of testing, we determined that lights which do not provide IR and UVb and have at least 3watt LEDs will not pull the oils and fatten the buds anywhere close to a HID.

Our second purchase was the Diamond Light DS200 from Advanced Lighting. This light had all the spectrums we needed and also put out the wattage they list, rather than listing its "Possible" wattage the way the Chinese typically do. Our opinion of the "Diamond Lights" was that it was the best of the Chinese lights and could take a small grow from start to finish. Its only drawback was a small footprint and no penetration much past about 8" when hanging the light 24" for maximum coverage. If you hang them from a light rail about 6"-8" above, you will get great penetration and a much better bloom.

From there we started beta testing for Procyon with their Procyon300. This is a great light with really powerful 5 watt LEDs and an internal computer that lets you create a varying light spectrum throughout the day much the same as the sun does.
The footprint is small so for max coverage, it cannot be hung close to the plants. But with its intense LEDs, you do not want them any closer than 18'-24".

We have two of them on a light rail and use them as a finisher (last 4 weeks of bloom) and get incredible results. Rich flavors and smells are pulled out and the buds are just bursting with crystals so this light is HIGHLY recommended.

For our next three rooms, we found a company in Florida called Platinum Lighting that sells incredible lights with all the spectrums. My understanding is that they have custom built drivers that increase the PAR output for the watts consumed. You can't buy a brighter, more powerful 3 watt LED grow light! The lights are robust with similar footprints to the Diamond Lights so we fitted three tents with their 400 watt on a light rail and have been using them now for the last 8 grows with great results. This combo is the best tent set-up we have found for a small grower and will give a very nice finish. Not quite as intense as the Procyon or a HID finish, but from start to finish, these lights do the job.

We have now added 4 of their 200 watt models for our veg rooms and our newest light is their 800 watt bad boy. We are hoping that it will get close to the two Procyon set-up so we can have a second finish room but we will have to wait and see.

What we have found is that you can't go wrong with the Platinum lights or the Procyon lights. Cost/performance wise, the Platinum Series lights are the bomb so if you are just setting up, these would be a great way to go. Using 3-watt LEDS, they are not too overpowering so first time users do not have to worry about overwhelming the plants with too much light. I hope they come out with a higher powered light in the future, but these are great lights.

The most important thing for us in regards to using LED lighting is to mount them on a light rail. For a couple hundred more, you literally double your lighting and also allow for closer, more penetrative lighting without the burn.

Well, that's all for now but I will be adding to this as we test out the Platinum Lights 800 watt and others.
 
Thread starter #2

sfxman

New Member
OK, we tried testing the DS-800 vs the Procyon 2x300. The Ds-800 was too hot for our tents so went dropped back to the DS-400 and have now finished the harvest and compare. Honestly, if you look at the bud pics, they are both excellent, but the Cola 2 was under the 600w and is fatter and heavier. But I am happy with either so I have to say I would recommend either light and since the DS-400 is cheaper, what more can I say...LOL