Stevehman's LED Buyer's Guide

Thread starter #21
possibly, I read another article that was saying that blue light was safe at night as well, and the guy was doing some testing on a different light plan that had the blue on for an hour or two longer than the red. He claimed it wouldn't effect the 12/12 cycle since that was controlled by the red spectrum. I don't think he ever posted his findings. That is why I am always a skeptic until I have empirical evidence otherwise.

I could just as easily say that orange is the most important spectrum and until someone came along and proved me wrong with scientific data, I could claim whatever I wanted about it. Stevehman's newest, most powerful LED, equivalent to a 1,000 w HPS, draws only 30w and uses a proprietary mix of green, orange and violet lights. 200% more penetration than the competitor....ad nauseam

I take every claim with a grain of salt, (especially nutrient companies) and wish we had a Cannasumer Reports, but until the landscape changes and MMJ/cannabis acceptance is up, we won't see any mainstream testing of the products targeted at the market. As a consequence, we are left to the claims of those selling to us, many who have no credentials to back them up.
 
Actually for the tomato plant the highest yields where recorded with the lowest amounts of green light. Likewise, the Oxford study you linked was in "Strong White light". It refers to light absorption in the lower chloroplasts.

"When compared on a unit chlorophyll basis, the chloroplasts in the lowermost part of the leaf absorb <10% of those in the uppermost part, even at a wavelength of 550 nm at which the absorption gradient is most moderate."

You're adding only green light to the red and blue spectra for a process that is >90% ineffective. This green light still only has a 1% absorption gain over 660nm red light over a PPFD of 1000 micro mols m-2 s-1.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that light that falls between the common 450-630 or 660nm range (or on either end of those ranges) is not used or not needed. I'm simply saying that there have not been enough in-depth studies across all plant mediums to give a 100% definitive answer.

This is the exact reason that growers of all plants try different nutrients, grow mediums, lighting setups, temperatures, humidity levels, etc. For me personally, I have tried using countless wavelengths and combinations of wavelengths to see what works best. Much to my surprise, what works well with herbs and spices, tends not to work very well with flower and produce plants. If you mix UV light into cucumbers and broccoli, they grow very slowly and produce poor produce. If you mix UV into tomatoes and peppers, it increases fruiting and the amount of Beta-carotene they produce.

I haven't devised what I feel is the best mix wavelengths and lighting as of yet. If I had, you would see me as one of the sponsors on the sight and I would be selling a product. However, one of the reasons I've been a lurker here for so long is that the people in this community are the pioneers for all things horticultural. They perform rigorous test on multiple platforms across a variety of strains and openly share their wealth of information with others. Stevehman, happens to be one of those fine growers that gives true scientific data on his results and is very good listing his methodology. He is also one of the few people that I would ask to test my product if I am ever satisfied with my results.
 
Thread starter #23
Hosebomber,
Welcome to the site, great to have another critical thinker amongst the group. I would be honored to test your lights when you have them ready for market. I really do enjoy the growing more than the using aspect. I spent a lot of my time doing analytical work and now that I am semi-retired this gives me an outlet and something to focus on.
 
possibly, I read another article that was saying that blue light was safe at night as well, and the guy was doing some testing on a different light plan that had the blue on for an hour or two longer than the red. He claimed it wouldn't effect the 12/12 cycle since that was controlled by the red spectrum. I don't think he ever posted his findings. That is why I am always a skeptic until I have empirical evidence otherwise.

I could just as easily say that orange is the most important spectrum and until someone came along and proved me wrong with scientific data, I could claim whatever I wanted about it. Stevehman's newest, most powerful LED, equivalent to a 1,000 w HPS, draws only 30w and uses a proprietary mix of green, orange and violet lights. 200% more penetration than the competitor....ad nauseam

I take every claim with a grain of salt, (especially nutrient companies) and wish we had a Cannasumer Reports, but until the landscape changes and MMJ/cannabis acceptance is up, we won't see any mainstream testing of the products targeted at the market. As a consequence, we are left to the claims of those selling to us, many who have no credentials to back them up.
In my readings, I've come across a method of using 12 hours of normal light and 12 hours of solid blue light, to determine the sex of a Cannabis plant without taking it out of the veg cycle; haven't gotten to test this just yet, however seems interesting.

Great insight Hosebomber.

Regardless of all the details we're discussing here, I'm sure we can all agree that LED has come a long way, and will likely continue to. I can see it replacing HID, as an industry norm in the future.
 
Thread starter #25
There are a lot of exciting innovations just around the corner, higher output LEDs (some hinting at a full spectrum chip?), sulfur plasma lights that are like mini-suns and others. It is going to be really interesting to see what we are all growing with in 10 years, one that that I am certain of, it won't involve HPS, MH or HID type lighting.
 
I agree completely JJ. LED's have come a very long way in the past 2 years. Let alone 20 years ago when we was playing with them in high school biology class. Using colored film covering to see what effect they had. I still remember the massive stretching under the green film and the stubby little plant under the blue film.

I believe that the advances in the use of leds in a horticulture application are still a bit too slow. Miracle-Gro is the first corp. to actively look at the MMJ market and target it and they haven't released a product yet (that I am aware of). As the movement grows and the market expands, I believe you will see larger companies looking to invest. Likewise, with the rising cost of power in many states, using more economical/energy efficient lighting will become more and more popular. The led manufacturing industry as a whole is still relatively young and will continue to push more efficient and more powerful lighting. Laws passed by the EU and other nations to move away from incandescent lighting will push the industry too.
 
Miracle-Gro has just begun getting into the game...they have invested. It's not wide-spread news yet, but I'm sure it will be soon.
 
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Thread starter #28
Miracle-Gro has just begun getting into the game...they have invested. It's not wide-spread news yet, but I'm sure it will be soon.
Like them or not, one thing to be sure of, when Miracle-Gro gets into the game, the prices will be very competitive and their products will be well tested and the guaranteed analysis will be spot-on. They won't half-step when their name is at stake. Other nutrient companies can get by with half-truths because no one is really going to call them on the carpet. But MG will have a lot at stake and I am sure if/when they release a MMJ specific nute line it will be top-rate.
 

Bassman59

Member of the Month Winner - October 2012
Obviously it's important to have a feeling of the light spectrum that's being offered by certain LED's, but how much stock should we put into color graphs from the manufacturers like those placed in these ads:

180w LED Grow Light - 3w USA Brand LEDs

Quantum LED Grow Lights | Grow Stealth LED | Best LED Grow Light

I dont mean to say the above manufacturers are pulling a move on us. Don't take it that way.

What I mean is where should we be putting our priority rating on these graphs.

Along the same lines, are you finding manufacturers when asked will divulge the chip information that we are here learning is important?

When asking about coverage area, there are at least two stats listed. Core coverage and overall coverage. This can be another somewhat confusing piece of information. Possibly a light coverage area graph below a unit showing inches/area coverage like we've seen from some hid ads would be helpful in determining what the true area of coverage is both long & wide. This obviously becomes pretty important for the 1st time buyer. Especially when thinking small multi plant areas that are larger than the 1-3 plant grower.
 
You know it really just goes back to our discussion earlier in this thread about a third party reviewer/tester.

It's hard to know how much info provided is bullshit or not.

To stevehman's point though, most of the time if you stick with a sponsor you will be likely getting a fair product. Because most members here are quick to discuss any fallacies involved in a sponsor, if there are any.
 

Bassman59

Member of the Month Winner - October 2012
You know it really just goes back to our discussion earlier in this thread about a third party reviewer/tester.

It's hard to know how much info provided is bullshit or not.

To stevehman's point though, most of the time if you stick with a sponsor you will be likely getting a fair product. Because most members here are quick to discuss any fallacies involved in a sponsor, if there are any.
Believe me when I say I dont mean anything against the sponsors here.

But often, all it takes to be a sponsor of any internet forum is to throw some advertising bucks out there. It may take some time at the cost of the users that buy a bunch of units (combined) before a strong determination can be made for any given company. *Edit: only later on after complaints would a sponsor then be kicked

I do feel however that the two sponsors sites I have looked at here for LED's appear to have very nice products. I am just looking for more information as to things I may want to question or ask about to make a better determination for myself on which unit to purchase.

I am leaning hard one direction presently. But I also dont want to miss something that may be important, while at the same time I could be overthinking it and as such need to be told that as well.
 
I don't look at you bashing any sponsors, you're message is simply, it is in no way a negative message at all, no worries there bro.

Focus on what you can, review Grow Journals with LED, see how it works for them, maybe even message them. Results will speak wonders.
 

Bassman59

Member of the Month Winner - October 2012
Focus on what you can, review Grow Journals with LED, see how it works for them, maybe even message them. Results will speak wonders.
In an effort to blatantly post dribble to achieve 50 posts and ability to message members. Ya, agree with above. :)
 

Bassman59

Member of the Month Winner - October 2012
BTW, I'm usually not as sly as above...oh hey,,,this is 50!

Edit:
now, who will be my first victim?
 
You ask some good questions. One sponsor list the wavelengths of their led's and the other doesn't. I can see the reasoning for both. Both claim to use 3 watt led's and one of those gives the reasoning for that. " Quantum LED Grow Lights feature High Power 3W LED's, which provide substantially better results compared to 2W-2Chip and 3W-3Chip diodes." In my research, I would have to agree with them 100%. One claims 11 wavelengths the other claims 5. One claims USA made chips the other doesn't state where the chips are manufactured. I find it very hard to believe that all of the chips in that panel are USA made. My reasoning for this is the fact that I have looked for US manufacturers of LED's for UV and IR LED's and have not found a company that is still manufacturing them. I could be wrong, it has happened before and I'm sure it will happen again. Most US manufacturers of LED's are focusing on high brightness, high cri LED's for general and architectural lighting. Bridgelux (one of the main US LED manufactures for most of the panels you see around) is not making anything other than white, green, and blue LED's now. Many companies have stopped copying from Cree and are now copying the design of the Luxeon Rebel. Two that come to mind instantly are Prolight Opto. and Everlight.

It was discussed in another thread about how grow panel sellers/re-sellers are marketing their products with a wide range of different standards. Watts used by the LED's total possible wattage used, count the wattage the fans use or not, and the list goes on. Some vendors do a great job of listing this information, others simply make outrageous claims about their products. This 90 watt ufo replaces a 600 watt HPS (not a real claim that I know of ). You get the point. I'm all for giving the customer accurate information, but I also believe in the rights of a company to protect it's Intellectual Property. I'm actually a little surprised that Advanced gives the exact wavelengths they use. Of course, they are not giving their ratios and you can't blame them for that.

Also remember that the peak nm of an LED is when driven at said current and has a 10 nm+- range (from most manufacturers) so a 430 nm blue LED will effectively cover 420-440nm wavelengths very well. Most vendors to not run their LED's at the same current the manufacturer test and bins them at. the higher the current the higher the dominant wavelength and vise verse for lower current. The equipment to get those exact readings of what your system is producing is in the high 5 to low 6 figure range (unless you are very friendly with a large University/research institute.

Just my 2 cent.
 
LEDs ddfinitely have advanced over the past couple years. I havent been growing that long but ive done tons of research and seen many results. One thing is for sure: contrary to the classic claim, No, a 180w LED will not compare to a 400w hps in terms of yield if all other limiting factors are the same. BUT i believe LEDs are starting to surpass HPS watt per watt gram per gram. There is tons of skepticism to LEDs mixed with faith in HID lighting that drives many long time HID users to defend their beloved, some in denial that their HID is becominf obsolete. Now dont get me wrong. HID lighting, tried and true, works and gives results, but if the general public istoo scared to throw down some change on new technology, and take a chance, the technology willnot move forward as fast, not to mention prices will stay up.
Im a researcher. I read a lot. And i am open minded. I thought id take a chance with some LED lights that looked promising, and ahead of the game. I didnt make this purchase with the intent of growing 2 lbs with 360w of leds. I am trying this to see what i can expect from these leds and KNOW FOR MY OWN PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE instead of rely on grow forums and other peoples results.

Now i know i went off on a bit of a tangeant with that but what im trying to say is when you buy an LED, it is not just a light. It is an investment that will pay itself off in the long run. So if you shutter at the sound of $500 a 180w light or similar, maybe LEDs r not for you just yet. There is no right or wrong way to grow, as long as you get some danky buds in the end ;)

Most importantly as mentioned before. Do your homework. I would have never known about advanced leds had i not scoured the internet viciously. And im also interested in a few other brands but one thing at a time. To all, dont be afraid to take chances, life isnt worth living without risks.
 
Thread starter #38
Magic,
I agree, you have to scour the internet for information. When I research I look for negative as well as positive reviews. I stumbled across Advanced last year when researching other companies, they have only recently become sponsors here, but I've been using them for a year now. I bought another company's lights to see if I could do better, and I am back buying more Advanced gear.

@Hosebomber, I will send the guys at Advanced an email and ask about the US made chips in all of the wavelengths. That is a good point you bring up and unless you are doing thorough research, that is information most would take at face value (the manufacturer's claim, not yours).
 

TorturedSoul

420 Member of the Month October 2010
In my readings, I've come across a method of using 12 hours of normal light and 12 hours of solid blue light, to determine the sex of a Cannabis plant without taking it out of the veg cycle; haven't gotten to test this just yet, however seems interesting.
That is interesting. Especially since cannabis plants will show sex while still in the traditional vegetative cycle. Kind of sounds like that product would be guaranteed to work - just like I'd be guaranteed to get wet if I put on my magic lapel pin that guarantees I can get wet while standing in a downpour.

EDIT: I wonder if using such a light schedule would provide less vegetative growth than simply keeping "normal" lights on for 18 (or more) hours/day, lol.
 
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Thread starter #40
I was able to get a few of the questions answered by the guys at Advanced on their lights. These are questions both posted here as well as those that were PM'd to me (since Advanced doesn't post to the site directly I wanted to make sure that as sponsors, they had a voice as well):

Q: One claims USA made chips the other doesn't state where the chips are manufactured. I find it very hard to believe that all of the chips in that panel are USA made. My reasoning for this is the fact that I have looked for US manufacturers of LED's for UV and IR LED's and have not found a company that is still manufacturing them. I could be wrong, it has happened before and I'm sure it will happen again. Most US manufacturers of LED's are focusing on high brightness, high cri LED's for general and architectural lighting. Bridgelux (one of the main US LED manufactures for most of the panels you see around) is not making anything other than white, green, and blue LED's now. Many companies have stopped copying from Cree and are now copying the design of the Luxeon Rebel. Two that come to mind instantly are Prolight Opto. and Everlight.
A: Yes, all of our LED chips are made by USA brand companies. Although we do not release the source of some of our LEDs due to the fact that our source is just that, our source. We can say though that our company has a strict policy of using the very best USA brand LEDs and enforce this policy using a verified proof of source. With that said, the LED industry is advancing quickly and our new lights will feature the biggest and brightest 3w LEDs from around the world including the USA.

Q: Do they use 3w chips or 3-1w chips?
A: All of our new lights will feature our new massive 3w LEDs that have a huge single chip and are able to fit in our new Diamond Series Lens.


Q: I've seen similar lights direct from China, why are these better?
A: Correct, it's China, good luck and be prepared to buy two lights to get one that works as good as ours because one will probably fail or not be made the way you want it.


Q: Other companies are using green LEDs, I've read they improve yield?
A: We have tested some ratios of green and continue to test higher ratios among other "Micro" colors. Our current lights will have small quantities of a certain spectrum of green that we have found to improve yields due to reasons we will not disclose. Large quantities of green are not confirmed more beneficial over Macro colors.


Q: Are the 11 spectrum units that much better than the competitors 6 spectrum?
A: In a short answer, yes of course, but this is because of the specific wavelengths we count as 11+, not just the number of them. If you targeted 20 different wavelengths than we target you would get very different results. If you had all white LEDs the output of that light would provide almost every different wavelength of light but in very small quantities. We use many different colors of LEDs in our lights and those LEDs produce an output of more than 11 wavelengths that we consider strong enough to count. This of course is up to our interpretation of the output readings which are provided by very sophisticated equipment that is built specifically for measuring light output and yes the equipment costs more than a new car.