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WeeDroid
23-09-11, 09:54 AM
Hi there,

I just wanted to throw my hat into the ring. I'm pretty familiar with the LED market and technologies and there is nothing out there that leads me to believe that LED grow lights are worth the cost.

From the industry trade journals I have read, and LED trade shows I have attended, the very best and most expensive LEDs are basically about as intense as T5s.

If you look at most ads for LED grow lights, note that the lights are almost always hung ridiculously far away from the plants (they need to be pretty close really, due to the inverse square law of light propagation).

They certainly do not out perform HIDs and are far more expensive than any fluro lights.

I would never recommend LED grow lights to anyone. Better to save your money and buy a good extraction system.

Strider
23-09-11, 10:08 AM
well I own T5's & LEDS, the LED's grow buds, the T5's don't, and mine are a fucksight away from top of the range :P

I notice you've blanket told everyone they shouldn't use this technology without taking into account why they might want it or without saying if you've even used it yourself, i think you'll find a good few growers here producing LED plants you ain't gonna get with no T5 :P

ukfats
23-09-11, 11:30 AM
I would never recommend LED grow lights to anyone. Better to save your money and buy a good extraction system.

More or less agree with you, I'd add that LED's do have their place though..probably not ideal as the "bread and butter" light setup unless you can throw a stupid amount of money at gear.
I've used cheap LED's to add light to the side of CFL grows, they're cheap to buy/run and the cfl doesn't penetrate enough to hit the satellite growth..between the 2 I did ok, probably not as well as a single sodium or something but for small personal use it was fine.

Also LED's are great little germination lights, my germination area in the grow room is the inside of a small tableside cabinet. There's not much airflow for cooling apart from the intake coming past..LED fits in that small place and doesn't generate enough heat to be a problem.

GBK
23-09-11, 12:04 PM
Unfortunately, only about 15 percent of light emitted by HID/CFL bulbs is available in the bands of light needed for photosynthesis. In contrast, 90-99 percent of the light emitted by LED grow lights is immediately usable in plants for photosynthesis.You may also need to change the duration of growing cycles - vegetative and flowering. Seeds packets usually contain growing instructions either for outdoor or indoor growing. This is very common with cannabis seeds because the various strains all have very particular requirements to get the most yield from your plants. Currently, all instructions given assume you are using HID lighting which we now know is an entirely different critter when compared to growing with LEDs. When we understand that LED grow lights offer 6-8 times more light in the correct spectra for growth, it becomes clear that we must change our tactics in order to be successful. It is not necessarily more complex or technical to grow with LED lights, it is just different than using HID or CFL bulbs.

Tabbatha
23-09-11, 12:15 PM
Hi there,

I just wanted to throw my hat into the ring. I'm pretty familiar with the LED market and technologies and there is nothing out there that leads me to believe that LED grow lights are worth the cost.
Have you read Seymour Buds diary yet?

It's enough to convince me that I'm going to get some (the right ones) when I can afford it. :)

GBK
23-09-11, 12:19 PM
Some Closing Thoughts
Don't hesitate to ask questions to whatever LED grow light supplier you are interested in. If they don't take the time to answer your concerns fully, then move on. Some out there are just trying to make a quick buck and love it when people are too lazy to ask for clarification.
While I am sure there will be several new fly-by-night LED grow light companies that come out , I feel the number of true industry leaders will consolidate by the end of the year. What I am saying is that by year's end, there will be fewer (yet stronger) legit LED grow light providers than there are now. This is why it is incredibly important to be vigilant in your choice to be sure you get what you pay for.

Rockster
23-09-11, 12:20 PM
In my experience I found leds are good for vegging very economically but they lack the 'oomph' to make bud anyware near on a par with hps.

It's an emerging technology that has great potential though and I'm sure future generations of leds may well do the trick when it comes to flowering.

GBK
23-09-11, 12:36 PM
In the coming years, I think that LED grow light manufacturers will stray away from the often seen claims that a 90W LED is comparable to a 400W HPS, a 350W LED can produce similar to a 1000W HID, and similar claims. Likewise, manufacturers need to revise their stated grow space coverage area and further explain what exactly can be grown by a 90W LED in a 4x4 growing space: what breed of plant, strain of cannabis, quantity of plants, overall height of plants, vegetative or flowering stages, and other details that are of utmost importance to indoor growers. We as potential clients need to be able to compare apples to apples.Led's are here to stay and can only get better,I wont be turning back as thats the past,I live for the future,and thats led's.

WeeDroid
23-09-11, 07:20 PM
Despite what ANYONE says LED grow lights CAN NOT out perform HIDs (at their current state of development for now and many years to come, perhaps forever) and are far more expensive. I still believe that LEDs of any variety currently available, can not outperform T5s and still cost far more than T5s.

I also know that LED salespeople are very prevalent on all cannabis grow forums, lie extensively and are known to give away free LED units to forum administrators who then ban forum members who speak dismissively about LED grow lights.

It's a scam market folks. Be very very wary of anyone who claims miracles from these units.

Before you consider purchasing one, think of this. What do I gain by by making these claims? What does a LED salesperson gain by making counter claims? China and their LED manufacturers have invested a lot of money in making these units and are trying to dump them on unsuspecting growers.

robinhood
23-09-11, 07:24 PM
Also the lack of heat can be a problem - air exchange must be minimal, need to add heater some days.

great for the week in summer. Iv used some, wasnt impressed but they were not the £700 lights which pack a punch. At that price they will need to water my plants aswell.

GBK
23-09-11, 07:27 PM
Not true,The belief that LED grow lights cannot grow on a commercial level will be disproved in a big way. Just check out the results of a commercial hydroponic tomato growing operation in New Hampshire using LED grow lights. The article points out that Hobbit Hill Farm has been able to save 50% on electricity by using LED grow lights for their commercial tomato grow. At over $1000 per month on electricity using HID lights, the switch to LED enables the farm to save over $500 per month. Hobbit Hill Farm was also able to get a grant from the USDA and the local electric company, NHEC, which covered 53 percent of the almost $24,000 upgrade cost. This means that the farm will be able to break even on the upgrade cost in just 2 seasons, based only on electricity savings and not taking into account increased production from using LEDs (thus increased income). With money savings and results like this, it is hard to imagine why growers would continue to use inefficient HID technology.Each to there own,You just need to respect it.

Cheddar
23-09-11, 07:27 PM
I thought LED lights were the future till this thread! :-(

robinhood
23-09-11, 07:29 PM
They are the future for sure, but prices need to be halved to tempt many people. In hot climates I imagine they are great.

Mr Swilly
23-09-11, 07:30 PM
I'm not convinced that any panels are as good as hid. Check out comparison bubbler grows with hid.
Check tissue99 grow. I've not seen anything get even near that. Phenomenal.
However I am watching all the grows very closely and they are great. But for cash outlay, you can run hid for 1 years worth of free of charge in comparison to the price difference. And led panels do have a shelf life, whereas hid is 20 quid on a bulb replacement.

Cheddar
23-09-11, 07:30 PM
Thats good news then. Maybe a few years to come. Must be good for hot climates then?

seymour-buds
23-09-11, 08:23 PM
I'm not convinced that any panels are as good as hid. Check out comparison bubbler grows with hid.
Check tissue99 grow. I've not seen anything get even near that. Phenomenal.
However I am watching all the grows very closely and they are great. But for cash outlay, you can run hid for 1 years worth of free of charge in comparison to the price difference. And led panels do have a shelf life, whereas hid is 20 quid on a bulb replacement.

dude their was over 600 watts of hps used in that grow lol give me 2 x 300 watt pro panels and ill show you what 600 watts of l.e.d can do, obviously i was stumped myself on that grow and i had to do the calculations and back trach to see how long both lights were used in the grow, i love to reserach, anyways it wasnt untill the lst few week of the grow that 1 of the hps lights was removed due to heat issues, you can check the diary and see the dates and see the pics that 2 bulbs were in use :)

sorry to piss on your chips mate

6oz from an auto using 290 watts double that up to 580 watts would be close to 12 oz but remeber that was an auto using 1 watt l.e.d panel please dont tell me the potenial is not there to outperform hps

seymour-buds
23-09-11, 08:32 PM
Hi there,

I just wanted to throw my hat into the ring. I'm pretty familiar with the LED market and technologies and there is nothing out there that leads me to believe that LED grow lights are worth the cost.

From the industry trade journals I have read, and LED trade shows I have attended, the very best and most expensive LEDs are basically about as intense as T5s.

If you look at most ads for LED grow lights, note that the lights are almost always hung ridiculously far away from the plants (they need to be pretty close really, due to the inverse square law of light propagation).

They certainly do not out perform HIDs and are far more expensive than any fluro lights.

I would never recommend LED grow lights to anyone. Better to save your money and buy a good extraction system.

fair comment mate, everyone is entitled to their opinion ;)

the fixer
23-09-11, 08:34 PM
well i grow with led and got a very very good crop so i think you should try it....my one is a ufo 90w and is good all the way

Strider
23-09-11, 08:37 PM
6oz from an auto using 290 watts double that up to 580 watts would be close to 12 oz but remeber that was an auto using 1 watt l.e.d panel please dont tell me the potenial is not there to outperform hps

damn right, even with my limited experience in them i have no doubt of their potential VS HPS, and i say that as a longtime and current HPS user, theres a hell of a lot of dross on the market, but the jewels are there, esp the newer Pen-X series 3w jobbies and similar, i've never expected them to match HPS on unit cost, thats not why i want them, LED's cost a lot of startup $$$, well FUCK everyone, ahm pimpin. :pimped:

WeeDroid
23-09-11, 08:45 PM
Despite claims to the contrary, LEDs get quite hot. The best commercially available LED lamp made to replace 60W incandescents (and there are only two on the market I know of) cost about $50 US for one unit (ouch), use a huge heat sink as a base in addition to being cooled by an internal fluid in the lamp (it's a globe with about 5 LEDs in it, arranged in a circle). The globe is to hot to touch.

Just to add, I would love a miracle LED light to come on the market and make my life better. It doesn't exist. There is some exciting possibilities in the bandwidth applications of LEDs (on growth and resin head production), but the cost is something like NASA style budget to fund all of the LEDs needed and some pretty good software needs to be designed and research needed on how to best use it.

Speaking of NASA, people like to point out NASA's use of LED grow lamps. Well, the reality is that NASA was using LEDs to grow low energy plants like lettuce (cannabis is a high energy needing plant) and LEDs were also chosen as they can handle a high G lift off, unlike more delicate lamps.

Bottom line is that LEDs are expensive and not that efficient (lumens per watt). The light they produce is not that intense.

Strider
23-09-11, 08:49 PM
mine are 'warm' not hot, i can touch the panels glass quite comfortably, there is NONE of the heat issues i'd have with HPS, even more considering the small space my LED grow occupies.

stoneroz
23-09-11, 08:54 PM
HPS= high powered skunk.
LED = low end dope
in all seriousness, I never used leds,
seen em in action,
would always pick hps over led,
however, if heat extraction was my main concern, I'd go led.!!!
butgood luck ya bunch o ledders

WeeDroid
23-09-11, 08:55 PM
That's nice. Imo, fluros piss all over LEDs in terms of cost/yield.

seymour-buds
23-09-11, 08:55 PM
damn right, even with my limited experience in them i have no doubt of their potential VS HPS, and i say that as a longtime and current HPS user, theres a hell of a lot of dross on the market, but the jewels are there, esp the newer Pen-X series 3w jobbies and similar, i've never expected them to match HPS on unit cost, thats not why i want them, LED's cost a lot of startup $$$, well FUCK everyone, ahm pimpin. :pimped:

well ive just got my new x-gen panel today after using 1 watt l.e.d for over a year with some nice results i thought it time to upgrade, they say my panel will match a 750 watt hps but ill be happy if it matches a 600 watt hps using only 300 watt electric

i also have the added benefit that ive still got my 1 watt panel and i could run them both in the same grow room giving me just under 600 watts of electric draw, both panels would give me a better footprint than a 600 watt hps and im gonna stick my neck out and say i know which would probably yield more ;)

WeeDroid
23-09-11, 08:56 PM
300W LED panel matching a 600W HID? It'll never happen. Sorry man.

seymour-buds
23-09-11, 09:00 PM
how so???

mate you rmissing the total point of the debate, we are talking matching the par spectrum to the same output as hps using less watts

stoneroz
23-09-11, 09:08 PM
leds just look pretty, ya can take nice photos,
unfortunately,
you wont see more buds, but see more colours,lolingtons......

WeeDroid
23-09-11, 09:08 PM
I'm not missing any point. A 300W LED panel will NEVER outperform a 600W HID. I understand the technology, I've done my research. Anyone who suggests otherwise is ignorant or a salesman.

Strider
23-09-11, 09:09 PM
300W LED panel matching a 600W HID? It'll never happen. Sorry man.

It totally will :)

WeeDroid
23-09-11, 09:18 PM
Nope. That claim has been around for years. Still no proof.

But hey! If you want to waste your time and your money, be my guest. Please.

seymour-buds
23-09-11, 09:19 PM
I'm not missing any point. A 300W LED panel will NEVER outperform a 600W HID. I understand the technology, I've done my research. Anyone who suggests otherwise is ignorant or a salesman.

some people find it hard to accept change which is understandable, hps is a dying source for the grow room plasma and l.e.d will see it off ;)

Strider
23-09-11, 09:19 PM
....have you TRIED them?

WeeDroid
23-09-11, 09:27 PM
lol

Why would I waste my time and money when HIDs outperform them? This is a typical salesman technique. Just try (buy) them.

When I first started growing I did a lot of half ass research and speculated wildly on what I thought would be the ultimate, cheap and efficient way to grow. I never bothered with the science like air flow (cfm's), wattage per square foot, etc. As a result I had to repurchase new equipment to actually achieve what I wanted.

I wasted money and time. And time can never ever be replaced. Something one learns as one grows older.

Since then I've learned my lesson, I now do research rather than relying on anonymous posters in grow forums for advice. As I mentioned in my first post, I've researched LEDs and LED technology. The claims made by salesmen in the LED market are totally counter to the scientific research out there. I've talked to growers who have used them and read online documented grows where the growers often supplement their LEDs (often with an HID) or just give up because the grows are so wimpy (90W UFOs especially).

Fluros will perform as well as an LED unit and cost far far less.

I would NEVER waste my time trying an LED unit. Well, maybe if some one paid me and gave me a free unit, I might set up an extra tent to try it out. But I would never interupt my main grow for the sake of an LED.

I have two main points to this topic. I will never use LEDs and anyone considering them should do some research.

By research I mean science, not websites that sell them with misleading lies and photographs of LEDs hanging as high as a HID hood from the plants.

seymour-buds
23-09-11, 09:45 PM
i tell everybody to look for results before they commit to buying, there are so many shit panels out their that claim to be good but not many of them actually live up to the claims

obviously i use hydrogrowled panels and rate them quite high but they do have competion from the spectras also the blackstars are a nice middle of the range panel, like i you say and i say please please please reasrach any l.e.d light before you purchase it and see the results for yourself, i totally 100% agree that some companies are trying to scam people out of their money and the fudge photos, ive seen companies get exposed on other websites many times

but dont tie every l.e.d company to the same brush, we have an l.e.d section right here on thctalk and you can see many grows being performed and finished so you people can decide for yourself if its right for you

i have a few diaries in their myself using my grow light which was marketed in 2009 and ive just upgraded to a 2011 model so it may bring a few suprises to many peoples faces when i start doing diaries with that ;)

seymour-buds
23-09-11, 09:58 PM
also just to add i also have my own conclusions as to why so much money has been invested in alternative light sources for the grow room, not to mention the power that a hps bulb can use but also the disadvantage it has on the growers pocket, we have rising electric prices which is not good for hps growers (unless you bypass the electric) and we have reduction in the amount of fuels we are burning so the race is on to produce technology that gives you the same resluts as already used items but at a lower running costs and less use of energy which is why i believe hps will be removed and replaced with l.e.d and plasma

hps will go the same way as the lightbulb did but its only a matter of time, the speed at which l.e.d is advancing is incredible and like with any technology it only goes in 1 direction and thats forward, hps is burning out in todays changing climate

WeeDroid
23-09-11, 10:04 PM
I think if I was trying to sell LEDs, or get more buyers into the market, I would have a name on a growers forum like, oh I don't know. See More Buds, LED grower? Nah man. You don't see more buds with LEDs. Oh, and be sure to be dismissive of tried and true technologies like HIDs.

If heat is an issue, 1 250W HID or even a 100W HID would be a better choice than any WAY overpriced LED. Better results and much much less money spent. A critical issue for new growers.

A parting note. When ever I have gotten into debates about LEDs, they usually end with some saying, oh well, maybe not now but soon! I've been hearing that for over 4 years now on grow forums. It still hasn't happened.

seymour-buds
23-09-11, 10:17 PM
I think if I was trying to sell LEDs, or get more buyers into the market, I would have a name on a growers forum like, oh I don't know. See More Buds, LED grower? Nah man. You don't see more buds with LEDs. Oh, and be sure to be dismissive of tried and true technologies like HIDs.

If heat is an issue, 1 250W HID or even a 100W HID would be a better choice than any WAY overpriced LED. Better results and much much less money spent. A critical issue for new growers.

A parting note. When ever I have gotten into debates about LEDs, they usually end with some saying, oh well, maybe not now but soon! I've been hearing that for over 4 years now on grow forums. It still hasn't happened.

lol cheers mate, its a growers forum and the fact i grow buds the name seemed to fit perfectly also the fact i grow with l.e.d lights may explain why it states l.e.d grower lmfao

cheers for the comments though and your opinions its been a nice read ;)

WeeDroid
23-09-11, 10:48 PM
You are welcome. It is good of you take criticism with grace and dignity. It's something I'm still trying to improve.

maxbreak
23-09-11, 10:54 PM
http://i53.tinypic.com/jfyanr.png
Not actual size

maxbreak
23-09-11, 11:03 PM
LED is not eco friendly as you would assume when all thing are considered not just the running costs. OLED is the way forward but thats a long way away and, is going to be far from being cheap when getting here, tho i like the idea of having a OLED material that emits light...Mhhh now a tent made of flexible light emitting material would be bright as fuck....

silverthorn
24-09-11, 12:44 AM
HydroGrow LED - Utter shite - Read on....


For more information on Cammie McKenzie "President" of HydroGrow, "Does a one man operation really need a president?" - Search Cammie McKenzie on google - What a knob!

paul_sheff
24-09-11, 11:53 AM
hydrogrow shite !!! what utter bollox, think someone is a dreamer and can't afford decent led panel so he's trying to stop others having the best

paul

WeeDroid
24-09-11, 12:43 PM
there is no such thing as a decent LED panel. They're all shite.

paul_sheff
24-09-11, 07:02 PM
well ya know what , this thread is getting borning now, how anyone can say led's are crap you clearly not been looking in the led grow diary section at all, or you are just so so ignorant and blind to new methods of growing and any advancements, or simply just can't afford to buy a good panel like a penetrator, so yeah just say they are crap with no hard first hand evidence !!!

i would love to see one of you 600w hps boys have a toe to toe with seymour and his new panel using only 300w of leccy same strain germed same day !

, i know who i would bet money on having a bigger pile of nice potent bud, and alot lower lecky bill at the end of the grow

this is only my own thoughts , not even suggested it to seymour before you all start saying good idea etc, just my opinion all be it FACT LOL

paul

WeeDroid
24-09-11, 08:23 PM
Oh brother. Buy the damn panels then if you are so eager. And since you are so adamant, you do the comparison. I looked at one of seemorebuds diary. I have NEVER seen such wimpy buds before.

As far as the tone of this topic, if you don't like it, get out. I'm not going into LED grow topics and trashing them, am I. Yet for some reason the pro LED gang thinks they should come in here and talk trash.

Strider
24-09-11, 08:30 PM
That sounds entirely reasonable, i'll leave you to your ranting.

paul_sheff
24-09-11, 08:36 PM
ILL be more than happy to leave yo to your stupid little anti led topic too, join a forum, make 1 post introducing yourself, and then the only topic you have made since is putting led panels down, when you have admitted to not using em !!!
get a life , if you got nothing good to add to this very good nice friendly forum, just do 1 !

paul

WeeDroid
24-09-11, 08:46 PM
Why are you so insulting paul? I think insults are not very friendly at all.

up2nogood
24-09-11, 09:02 PM
Why are you so insulting paul? I think insults are not very friendly at all.

to be fair mate you have done some insulting as well..I mean about the led panels,if paul likes these then leave him be lol

WeeDroid
24-09-11, 09:05 PM
Yea, but I'm not being personally insulting, am I?

Did I hurt the poor LED panels feelings? nah, I didn't think so.

Paul however is an ass and owes me an apology.

up2nogood
24-09-11, 09:10 PM
Paul however is an ass and owes me an apology.
well that's between you and him and I haven't really seen bad insults so far

Mr Swilly
24-09-11, 09:27 PM
Paul has one good idea, which is a grow off.
I'd like to see Seymour with his 300w light as Paul describes as a hps beater, with tissue99 under 650w hps, which has the same lumens or less as a 600whps. One costs a grand, the other costs 150. They are both using bubblers.
Paul , you obviously haven't seen this from tissue.
http://www.thctalk.com/cannabis-forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=59393

Anonymiss
24-09-11, 09:38 PM
From the industry trade journals I have read, and LED trade shows I have attended, the very best and most expensive LEDs are basically about as intense as T5s.
This puts them at about the samel level as metal halide then. T5 HE produce around 100 to 105 lumens per Watt, and metal halide comes in at about 95 to 105.


If you look at most ads for LED grow lights, note that the lights are almost always hung ridiculously far away from the plants (they need to be pretty close really, due to the inverse square law of light propagation).
The inverse square law is really only applicable to point sources. When considering 'plane' or 'panel' sources such as banks of LEDs, or fluorescent fittings, it's a different story due to the overlap between the multiple point sources. (A fluorescent tube can be considered as a line of point sources very close together.)


They certainly do not out perform HIDs
But they do match metal halide, and that's HID.


and are far more expensive than any fluro lights.
True enough.

Anonymiss
24-09-11, 09:42 PM
In the coming years, I think that LED grow light manufacturers will stray away from the often seen claims that a 90W LED is comparable to a 400W HPS, a 350W LED can produce similar to a 1000W HID, and similar claims.

It seems to me that rather than abandoning those claims, they'll actually be able to meet them.

Anonymiss
24-09-11, 09:51 PM
I'm not missing any point. A 300W LED panel will NEVER outperform a 600W HID. I understand the technology, I've done my research. Anyone who suggests otherwise is ignorant or a salesman.

I don't think I'm stupid, and I'm definitely not selling anything, but I think you're wrong.

Assuming, that is, that 'outperform' means 'grow better plants' rather than 'produce more lumens'. If and when LED technology gets properly tuned to plant growth I would expect near 100% of the output to be usable PAR. HID technology will almost certainly never get to that sort of level.


I now do research
Please, feel free to provide citations to the reference material so that we can see it too. Ideally, these will be in the form of peer-reviewed articles, and not just forum posts.


rather than relying on anonymous posters in grow forums for advice.
Wait.

What?

Isn't that how this thread started? Yep, thought so..."Advice against LEDs"


As I mentioned in my first post, I've researched LEDs and LED technology. The claims made by salesmen in the LED market are totally counter to the scientific research out there.
Please provide the references, I'd really like to see this research.


By research I mean science, not websites that sell them
So do I. Nor anecdotes or random forum posts.

seymour-buds
25-09-11, 07:54 AM
Paul has one good idea, which is a grow off.
I'd like to see Seymour with his 300w light as Paul describes as a hps beater, with tissue99 under 650w hps, which has the same lumens or less as a 600whps. One costs a grand, the other costs 150. They are both using bubblers.
Paul , you obviously haven't seen this from tissue.
http://www.thctalk.com/cannabis-forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=59393

mate ive only just reiceved my new light this week and nobody has seen anygrows with it yet ;)

when my mazar is down my new light is going up so we can see what happens, im just as much excited as others to see how the technology as moved on in 3 years ;)

Skanga
25-09-11, 09:53 AM
LED'S are good but not great yet!!

the main issue i've found with them is there don't produce enough heat, i've seen 200w & 300w LED's that will not make temps above 20c and even close to it.

there needs to be a min of 5w led diodes used, better if 7w or 10w diodes to get the very best out of LED's but the cost of the unit would be sky high, give it a year or two and they'll be at a reassonable price.

GBK
25-09-11, 10:19 AM
Common sense would dictate that a 3W LED would emit more intense and brighter light than a 1W. This is correct, however, this is not the whole story as some manufacturers claim. A single 3W LED will outshine a single 1W LED but it does not do so on a 3 to 1 basis. To be more clear: a 3W LED is not 3x as bright, powerful, or intense as a 1W LED. Expanding upon this, we can reach the conclusion that 3x1W LEDs will be brighter, more powerful, and more intense than a single 3W LED and the reason comes down to efficiency.
So how can it be that 3W is really less than 3x1W? It revolves around the design of LED chips and the circuitry used to power the diode. For an LED module (chip and diode) to run, it takes a certain amount of energy (overhead) to power it up. What this means is that a 1W module will not produce an entire watt of light energy due to the overhead of powering the circuitry. Similarly, a 3W module does not produce three watts of light intensity either. The amount of overhead depends on many factors - most of which are beyond the scope of this article but suffice to say that higher wattage LED modules have more overhead in order to operate.

In real terms, this means that a good 90W LED grow light using all 1W LEDs actually operates on about 80-85 watts. That same 90W light using all 3W diodes would consume only about 50-55 watts. I think we can all agree that 85W is greater than 55W, right? This trend is evident in all LED grow lights, no matter if they utilize 3W, 5W, 6W or higher. In an industry that knows the critical role that light intensity plays in getting big yields, cannabis growers may conclude that using 1W LEDs is one of the keys to success.
LED grow lights using 3W diodes will look brighter to the human eye. A single 3W LED does, in fact, have more penetrating power than a single 1W LED. However, when you compare apples to apples, an LED grow light using all 1W LEDs will have less canopy penetrating power than one using only 3W LEDs. 1W LEDs are more efficient, however, each 3W diode can penetrate better (as long as it is from a trusted LED supplier).

Efficiency Versus Penetration

Based on current technology, the 1W diode is, by far, the most efficient use of energy. At the same time, if you have an LED grow light made with high-quality 3w diodes - such as the 357 Magnum LED Grow Light - you will get more canopy penetration. In order for there to be more canopy penetration, you have to trade-off some efficiency in the process.

The choice to use and LED light with 1w vs 3w LEDs really comes down to the type of grow you are doing. Everyone gets so hyped up about canopy penetration when the truth is that, for most growers, it does not matter. Most closet/stealth growers keep their plants at 3 ft or less. If this describes your grow, then an LED grow light with 1W diodes can do just fine - this includes SOG and SCROG methods where there really is no canopy to worry about penetrating. Otherwise, if you are growing taller plants or want to ensure you have the most dense, sticky bud you can possibly get (even from smaller grows) you need to get an LED grow light that uses 3w diodes.

To get the right idea about how 1w and 3w diodes emit light. I use an analogy of a garden hose to illustrate light penetration. On one hand, you have a 1w diode that is more efficient than a 3w diode, yet is like using a garden hose with a kink in it - you just don't get the same amount of flow. Then you see the hose representing the 3w diode - here the hose is fully on and is able to go further than the 1w. The distance of the stream is just like the difference in penetration between 1w and 3w diodes. When talking about high-quality diodes, it is a difference of up to 4 to 1 in penetration. In other words, if an LED light using a 1w diode can penetrate 4 inches of canopy, then a 3w should be able to penetrate at least 16 inches into the canopy.

If you take the time to educate yourself on other factors such as wavelengths used, grow light height, LED beam angle, and others, it is easy to have great yields with LED grow lights.

seymour-buds
25-09-11, 10:38 AM
the thing thats gets me is when you try and explain to people that a 300 watt l.e.d will match a 600 watt hps we are actually talking in terms of par ratio, people dont understand the difference between lumens and par

once you understand the difference between par and lumens you will see that its very easy to give you the same results of a hps light using less watts

and l.e.d will never outdo a hps light is absoloutle bullshit as far as im concerend, if you understand the science behind growing plants and what the light is actually used for then you will understand why l.e.d is an all round better growing light

as for light heights i agree totally 100% which is why i have run into difficulty on my current grow due to the size of the plant and the distance my light is away from her, any l.e.d light you use will have a minimum and maximum grow height for best results this is due to the intensity of the light being produced

plants do suffer from light stauration where to much can slow down growth and decrease yields but if you keep the light in the intended range then results speak for themself