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Author Topic: Indoor lighting whats the best bang for the buck?  (Read 4162 times)

Avoman

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Re: Indoor lighting whats the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #50 on: December 06, 2019, 08:29:41 PM »
The sec light came today its a dual cob unit and has a much better white light it is not dimmible which i dont want anyway, the fans are loud, other than that it seems good and price is right at 59 dollars includes shipping.will include some pictures






simon_grow

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Re: Indoor lighting whats the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #51 on: December 06, 2019, 10:06:22 PM »
What do you guys/gals think about LEDs on Quantum boards such as the HLG lights? Iíve been doing some serious reading on new light technology and the Quantum board LEDs have very high efficiency with a Photosynthetic Photon efficacy of around 2.00 umol/J or higher.

Iím just learning about this new technology and even data that is 1-2 years old can be considered out dated. From what I understand, these LEDs spread out on Quantum Boards reduce hot spots that can occur with COBs. Hot spots with significantly higher PPFD than surrounding areas still occur with QBs but it seems that the light is more evenly spread out.

Hereís some data that shows PPEs of various lighting technologies from Michigan State university. The technology is advancing so fast that the data may be outdated by the time you read this.

https://www.canr.msu.edu/floriculture/uploads/files/updateefficacy.pdf

Simon

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Re: Indoor lighting whats the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #52 on: December 07, 2019, 01:45:20 AM »
Toggled grow lights give u around 2.0 umol/J.
Check them out at toggled.com
They are 4í long, low heat spots.
They give better coverage than COB.

You can use them in your 4 fluorescent bulb fixture.
Just cut and discard the ballasts.

simon_grow

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Re: Indoor lighting whats the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #53 on: December 07, 2019, 01:46:24 AM »
In my case, I wasn't willing to have fan noise since this light set-up is inside my house. The quantum boards are effectively just a COB light with a different lay out - instead of the diodes circling around a stalk and being reflected downward by the housing, the LEDs are directly facing down on a big fat panel. This is also good for cooling, since they aren't stacked all around each other. They are mounted to an extruded, anodized aluminum heat sink that gets better light distribution and cooling. A lot of the COB rigs are really expensive if you're buying them commercially a la Timber. Homebrew like Brad is pretty decent pricing.

With the two 260w boards I have, the boards and the heatsink barely get warm - it's just the driver that runs even slightly hot. It's kind of a bummer actually cause I wanted some ambient heating in my house from them...

There are so many ways to do this. You can even just buy some cheap fluorescent bulbs from Home Depot and have a bunch of little work lamp housings, which is probably sufficient and cheapest. I plan to use my lights for other endeavours later on, so I wanted something higher end than that, and also didn't want some weird aesthetic in the corner of my house... Though I guess it's still weird since it glows like the gotdamn sun.  8)

I missed your post earlier but from my recent internet searches, the Quantum Boards are amongst the best bang for your buck. There is a lot of miss leading information out there. Much of the information on the internet is from manufacturers that are trying to sell lights.

The newer LED lights are amongst the most expensive out there but calculated over the lifespan of the light fixture, including bulb replacement, the LEDs come out on top.

The newer LEDs also have a better Spectrum than HID, for plants. The newer LEDs have multiple bands or colors of LED diodes that combine to create a broad spectrum instead of high peaks at specific wavelengths like T5.

Metal Halides have a lot of Blue within the PAR Spectrum so this can help shorten internode length which may be beneficial if youíre trying to grow Avocado or Mangos. The issue with the old school Metal Halides is that they have significantly less photons in the red spectrum where much of the PAR lies.

The newer Ceramic Metal Halides have a better Spectrum with more red but the fixtures still produce a lot of heat although less than the older MHs.

There is also the double ended HPS that has better PPFD and efficiency than older single ended HPS but the newer LEDs including the newer COBs and SMDs have higher PPFD and efficiency.

The better LEDs will have some of the Infrared spectrum but from what I understand, it does not contain UV. The papers or videos I saw showed that T5, Metal Halide and HPS give off some UV but they are giving off UV A and the plants want more UV B. There was something being mentioned about a one to thirty ratio of UVB to UVA, respectively, that natural sunlight gives off but I donít remember the exact figures.

A lot of the information regarding UV requirements out there is geared towards growing medicinal flowers and the UV light is supposed to increase THC levels. More research needs to be done to see what role UV light plays in the everyday life of tropical fruit trees grown under artificial lighting.

Just to reiterate, I recently read most this info off the Internet. Some of the info came from Universities and a lot of the information came from YouTube videos so do your own research and take everything I wrote above with a grain or tablespoon of salt.

I was merely regurgitating info I recently acquired before I forget it. Please correct me if Iím wrong. Reading about new innovations in lighting technology was extremely interesting. The efficiency of the newer lighting sources has got me captivated.

Simon

zands

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Re: Indoor lighting whats the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #54 on: December 07, 2019, 11:40:28 AM »
...
« Last Edit: December 18, 2019, 05:04:21 AM by zands »

spaugh

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Re: Indoor lighting whats the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #55 on: December 07, 2019, 11:52:52 AM »
Simon the main advantage to the cobs over quantum boards is the light is concentrated in a small area.  And can be focused however you like.  To help make the point, think of a laser beam, you can shoot it 1000ft away and all the light is still there.  Grow lights arent focused like lasers obviously but you get the general idea.  When you have a big array of small leds like quantum boards they have to be kept really close to the plants because the light isnt foucused.  With cobs, you can change reflectors and mix and match and do whatever you want with the light.  They have reflectors that range from 17degrees spread to 45degrees (spot pattern, medium, wide, and extra wide angle lenses).  By using spot paatterns you can hang the lamp way above the plants and still make the same pattern as with a wider angle lens hung lower.  So that allows you to hang your lamp up high and have a tall plant close to one cob with a wide pattern on it.  And the cob next to it can have a spot pattern and hit plants 3 or 4 ft below it without losing the light intensity.

Depending on what Im growing I swap out different angled lenses.  Right now I have some tall trees under one side of my lamp and some seedlings under the other side.  They are 2ft difference in height but its not a problem because the lenses are matched to the plants.  The cobs have solderless clamps that hold them to a heat sink and have mounts for lenses.  The lenses click right on and can be swapped out easily.  With quantum boards,  your plants all need to be more or less the same distance from the lamp.

« Last Edit: December 07, 2019, 11:56:47 AM by spaugh »
Brad Spaugh

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Re: Indoor lighting whats the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #56 on: December 07, 2019, 12:30:32 PM »
Thanks for the info Brad! I guess it really depends on the application.

For others that have purchased the cheaper Blurple lights or other SMDs with built in fans, I read that the fans often fail which eventually cause the lights to overheat because they are encased.

Also when doing research on LED lights some sellers miss represent their data. Some sellers are giving PPFD reading from the dead center reading, not the average PPFD reading at 12, 18, 24 or 36 inches. PPFD readings are highest dead center, beneath the light and depending on the type of LED or lense, it may or may not drop off significantly as you take readings from the perimeter.

Simon

Avoman

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Re: Indoor lighting whats the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #57 on: December 08, 2019, 03:22:16 PM »
I like the idea of being able to change out reflectors but does that  work easy only for certain brands of COB i noticed alot of brands are not useing reflectors. Does anyone have easy to understand plans to build my own COB lights ? im wanting to build heatsink types, single chip units, no fans with with mean well drivers and no dimmer switch option with high wattage and using Luminus chips who is the best seller to buy all this from scratch ?
« Last Edit: December 08, 2019, 03:27:02 PM by Avoman »

Avoman

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Re: Indoor lighting whats the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #58 on: December 08, 2019, 03:36:47 PM »
I understand the driver for COBs adds  heat to the light chip itself,  Migro brand uses a design where the driver is 4 or more feet away from the main unit, im not crazy about the design couldnt the driver be placed 1 foot above the main cob unit somehow to get enough air flow cooling ?

spaugh

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Re: Indoor lighting whats the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #59 on: December 08, 2019, 06:55:21 PM »
I understand the driver for COBs adds  heat to the light chip itself,  Migro brand uses a design where the driver is 4 or more feet away from the main unit, im not crazy about the design couldnt the driver be placed 1 foot above the main cob unit somehow to get enough air flow cooling ?

 You could simply mount the power supply with plastic washers or some other type of heat insulator to seperate the lights from the power supply if you wanted.  The distance from one another is irrelevant.  Not really necessay though, the cobs dont run that hot if you are driving them at a reasonable current.  Another reason to use the dimmer, if its running too hot you just turn the lamp down or add some air flow. 

The dimmer is great and all the power supplies come with the dimmer function.  It would be stupid not to put a pot on it and use the dimmer.  When you sprout little seeds you dont need to run the lights full blast, you turn them down and save some power.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2019, 06:58:46 PM by spaugh »
Brad Spaugh

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Re: Indoor lighting whats the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #60 on: December 11, 2019, 03:10:06 PM »
I understand the driver for COBs adds  heat to the light chip itself,  Migro brand uses a design where the driver is 4 or more feet away from the main unit, im not crazy about the design couldnt the driver be placed 1 foot above the main cob unit somehow to get enough air flow cooling ?

The reason to have the driver 4' away, is because many people are using these lights inside grow tents, thus, 4' away means the driver can be outside your tent and not increase interior temperatures.

spaugh

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Re: Indoor lighting whats the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #61 on: December 11, 2019, 03:16:48 PM »
Ive been looking at lights just to see whats the latest and greatest.  Citizen and luminous both have nice stuff out but they are way more expensive then the previous generation lights.  There was a chart posted early showing those to be the most efficient lighrs of the cobs but it was putting their new generation stuff agaibst competitors old stuff.  Wasnt putting lights of the same price point against each other.  Based on my research the older gen citizen or luminous chips look atill to be the best option for cost effectiveness.

Mars hydro has some good looking waterproof quantum type lights out.  No fans and the light looks white.  I may buy one of those at some point to test out.  They look good for putting over a table of small starter plants.  I think they come ready to go with dimmable meanwells.
Brad Spaugh

Avoman

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Re: Indoor lighting whats the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #62 on: December 11, 2019, 09:29:13 PM »
Im not using tents currently but having the driver and dimmer outside the tent makes sence, im not growing seeds with COB currently but if i did a dimmer could come in handy but if i, m paying high dollar for lights i want it full blast power and i will adjust the height of light instead of using dimmer and if i build my own i want design as simple and as cheap as possible, i picked up a used luminus single today , its my brightest COB yet


nullzero

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Re: Indoor lighting whats the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #63 on: December 12, 2019, 01:46:43 AM »
You dont need a dimmer with growing from seeds. Placing soil mix 3ft to 4ft below the light and on edges of light pattern is enough. Dimmer will save some power but if you already have indoor plants most likely will be intermixing mature plants with small seedlings.
Grow mainly fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

K-Rimes

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Re: Indoor lighting whats the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #64 on: December 12, 2019, 06:23:22 PM »
Ive been looking at lights just to see whats the latest and greatest.  Citizen and luminous both have nice stuff out but they are way more expensive then the previous generation lights.  There was a chart posted early showing those to be the most efficient lighrs of the cobs but it was putting their new generation stuff agaibst competitors old stuff.  Wasnt putting lights of the same price point against each other.  Based on my research the older gen citizen or luminous chips look atill to be the best option for cost effectiveness.

Mars hydro has some good looking waterproof quantum type lights out.  No fans and the light looks white.  I may buy one of those at some point to test out.  They look good for putting over a table of small starter plants.  I think they come ready to go with dimmable meanwells.

May as well go straight to the source of QBs and order from Meiju Lighting Co on Alibaba. I bought a $300 light from HLG, and then the same light from Meiju - it had better build quality, was pre-wired, and had an external dimmer rather than a kinda POS internal one on the driver like the HLG.... For $154 delivered. It's also brighter.

Avoman

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Re: Indoor lighting whats the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #65 on: December 17, 2019, 08:57:18 PM »
I guess if i want to buy direct raw parts for the lowest price im forced to buy out of china i guess no brands of COB chips are made in america.Now i only have to find easy instructions to assemble myself or bite the bullet and pay high prices for already assembled.

K-Rimes

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Re: Indoor lighting whats the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #66 on: December 18, 2019, 12:42:58 AM »
I guess if i want to buy direct raw parts for the lowest price im forced to buy out of china i guess no brands of COB chips are made in america.Now i only have to find easy instructions to assemble myself or bite the bullet and pay high prices for already assembled.

The QB versions I ďassembledĒ took all of 15 minutes. Fairly fool proof.

simon_grow

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Re: Indoor lighting whats the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #67 on: December 19, 2019, 01:26:36 PM »
K-Rimes, did your QBs from Meiju have a waterproof coating on the LEDs like the Spider Farmer 2000? I know the waterproof coating diminishes the PPFD but itís nice to have. Even with the waterproof coating, the PPFD chart from Spider Farmer and also from the Migro test videos shows the QBs still have extremely high efficiencies.

Simon

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Re: Indoor lighting whats the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #68 on: December 19, 2019, 04:38:14 PM »
K-Rimes, did your QBs from Meiju have a waterproof coating on the LEDs like the Spider Farmer 2000? I know the waterproof coating diminishes the PPFD but itís nice to have. Even with the waterproof coating, the PPFD chart from Spider Farmer and also from the Migro test videos shows the QBs still have extremely high efficiencies.

Simon

Simon, I do not believe they have a waterproof coating. They seem pretty bare bones and simple. I don't really have to worry about humidity since they are indoors and in the open (not in a tent) with good airflow (several fans mounted up) and blowing at the plants. I average about 60% humidity.

The efficiency and strength, even for a 260w is pretty impressive. VERY easily burns leaves even at 50% power and 20" distance! I fiddled around with the dimmer on the meiju to get it right and it's probably under 50% now and the node spacing on all the plants under it is admirable. Mangoes are pushing constant new leaves, pitangas seedlings pop a new set of leaves every week it seems like. It's also nice to have teensy bit of ambient heating, but I will say the set-up makes basically none. The aluminum heat sinks are barely warm to the touch even at 100%, though the drivers do heat some.

For the price at $154 delivered, if they give me a few years service I'm ok with it. If some diodes burn out, also fine, there are hundreds of them per board. I can buy 3 for the price of one "HLG".

simon_grow

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Re: Indoor lighting whats the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #69 on: December 21, 2019, 05:56:46 PM »
Thanks for the info K-Rimes! The HLGs are very expensive. The meiju seller lists their LEDs as top bin but theyíre all the way in China so who knows what youíll actually get but for the price, itís a great deal.

I use my lights for Miracle Fruit and Mangos during the Winter so I have to mist my MF to keep the humidity up.

I have my Spider Farmer arriving soon and Iíll probably pick up a quantum board from Meiju for comparison.

Iím thinking about getting the 3500K + 660nm epistar




Simon

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Re: Indoor lighting whats the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #70 on: December 22, 2019, 07:16:30 PM »
A spec picture i found for a single COB unit




SeaWalnut

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Re: Indoor lighting whats the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #71 on: December 26, 2019, 04:01:42 AM »
In my case, I wasn't willing to have fan noise since this light set-up is inside my house. The quantum boards are effectively just a COB light with a different lay out - instead of the diodes circling around a stalk and being reflected downward by the housing, the LEDs are directly facing down on a big fat panel. This is also good for cooling, since they aren't stacked all around each other. They are mounted to an extruded, anodized aluminum heat sink that gets better light distribution and cooling. A lot of the COB rigs are really expensive if you're buying them commercially a la Timber. Homebrew like Brad is pretty decent pricing.

With the two 260w boards I have, the boards and the heatsink barely get warm - it's just the driver that runs even slightly hot. It's kind of a bummer actually cause I wanted some ambient heating in my house from them...

There are so many ways to do this. You can even just buy some cheap fluorescent bulbs from Home Depot and have a bunch of little work lamp housings, which is probably sufficient and cheapest. I plan to use my lights for other endeavours later on, so I wanted something higher end than that, and also didn't want some weird aesthetic in the corner of my house... Though I guess it's still weird since it glows like the gotdamn sun.  8)

The better LEDs will have some of the Infrared spectrum but from what I understand, it does not contain UV. The papers or videos I saw showed that T5, Metal Halide and HPS give off some UV but they are giving off UV A and the plants want more UV B. There was something being mentioned about a one to thirty ratio of UVB to UVA, respectively, that natural sunlight gives off but I donít remember the exact figures.

A lot of the information regarding UV requirements out there is geared towards growing medicinal flowers and the UV light is supposed to increase THC levels. More research needs to be done to see what role UV light plays in the everyday life of tropical fruit trees grown under artificial lighting.

Simon
LEDs have UVA at the and of the UV spectrum but its harmless and reads zero on my pretty accurate UV meter with the ,,UV ,, led glued on the sensor.
On the otther hand,all light emitters that are made of glass,neon tubes,MH,HID and even the old incandescent lamp ,they all have quite a serious ammount of UVB and UVC.
Neon tubes are used in the brozing saloons for womens that have such a high output that it tans the human body.
Various UV sterilisers bulbs are also made from neon tubes or they have a glass bulb ,a HID or a MH,etc.
You will never see LED as UV sterilisers or in bronzing saloons because LEDS are made of plastic( somme parts are) and the UV light breaks down plastic fast.
There are a few exceptions of glass LEDs that cost 300 dollars one small one and that lasts only 1000 hours ,that are true UV LEDs.
But those are curiosityes not really good for practical use.
So any LED cant have more better spectrum than a HID.
The HID has UVB and UVC while the leds dont.
And the substances that are used to glow light are the same in LEDs and HIDs and T5,sodium for yellow,mercury for blue and various otthers.
I now use cob LEDs for grow lamps but they are inferior by far to a HID.
When i used to grow corals ( photosynthetic animals) at home i learned a lot about grow lamps and the strongest growth response to light ive seen was in MH lighted aquarium and second ( my friend) T5HO.
All reef aquariums with LEDs have good growth also but the most sensitive corals were grown with MH and T5HO incomparable better ( from another league).
My friend pays 200 dollars a month only on the electric current from the aquarium lamp and also has to change all the tubes at every 10 months.If Leds were soo good he would have switched to LEDs but he tryed and they failed.
This is the T5HO lamps aquarium. https://youtu.be/DbDCdHYT-Gw
Youl never find anything close to this that has grown on LED lamps.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2019, 04:17:10 AM by SeaWalnut »

simon_grow

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Re: Indoor lighting whats the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #72 on: December 26, 2019, 02:44:42 PM »
Hey Seawalnut, thanks for the information.

I used to raise corals and breed saltwater clownfish and freshwater Flowerhorns.

From the recent research Iíve done, the newer LEDs are significantly more efficient than the newer HIDs including Ceramic Metal Halides and Double ended HPS in terms of PAR efficiency in umol/joule.

What type of light is best for a specific plant, animal or combination is dependent on that particular species.

From the latest information I was able to look up, the LEDs seem to be advancing at the fastest pace with efficiencies higher than 2.7umol/J

Many of the newest HID technologies using the best bulbs and reflectors including LECs(Ceramic Metal Halide) and double ended HPS have efficiencies around 2umol/J.

The newer LEDs also have spectral graphs that more closely match the typical PAR graph if you overlay them.

HPS has more orange/red but very little blue and itís missing a lot of wavelengths in between 400-700nm. CMH has the best PAR graph for HID that comes closest to natural sun but Newer LEDs have an even better Spectrum with the added benefit of increased efficiency.

Again, Iím a complete novice but a quick study, when I have time. What I stated above is my understanding based off of many many hours of internet searches I could find based on the latest information out there.

LED technology has come a long way and the LEDs from 2019 are significantly better than LEDs from 2018. If someone is comparing HID to blurple lights, that is an extremely unfair comparison.

The one thing that LEDs really lack is UVA/UVB light. UVB light appears to be more significant in terms of increasing essential oils but it is also extremely dangerous. UVB can easily be supplemented by adding something like this

https://www.amazon.com/4-Pack-AgroMax-45-75-Fluorescent-Light/dp/B01LWPIMJE/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?keywords=agromax+uv&qid=1577388993&sr=8-3

I will add links to some pertinent experiments when I have some more time.

I could be completely wrong but if I am, Iíd love to see some research, videos or papers to prove it. This is a great discussion as indoor growers trying to grow Mangos in areas of the country that snow outside may be able to utilize this information to maximize growth of their Tropical/subtropical and also potentially improve taste by giving their plants the best PAR light and maybe even increase sensory appeal of the fruit they are growing by incorporating UV light which is not considered photosynthetically active.

Simon

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Re: Indoor lighting whats the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #73 on: December 26, 2019, 03:36:29 PM »
While indeed, there are likely benefits from the use of other varieties of lights, there is a certain point at which you have to run a benefit:cost analysis and you will time and time again arrive at LED. They are cheap to buy, and most importantly cheap to run - then you also have to look into their svelte profile, low heat, and convenience in set-up (just hang and go, no ducting, no fans, no ACs)

If indeed, I focused on this for something as important (and expensive) as rare corals, or a crop that pays good money - I would buy the best for this purpose. My current use is just boosting winter growth of seedlings and smaller plants that can fit in a small 3x3' area. We in California are space deficient, and electricity is pricy! All these plants will go outside once it warms up again, and this set-up will either go in the closet till next winter or will be used to grow something else in the meantime. I can't really imagine the space needed to store a big metal halide light rig, the fans, the ACs, the ducting, etc etc etc when not in use. 

I will say this about that: the cheap Meiju lights are showing extremely promising growth in ALL my seedlings, mangoes, miracle berries, jaboticabas, pitangas and they are serving me phenomenally for the price. I see almost no difference in my electrical bill, as well. That's good enough for me.

simon_grow

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Re: Indoor lighting whats the best bang for the buck?
« Reply #74 on: December 26, 2019, 11:27:56 PM »
Hereís a great video from Migro. Migro is a light seller so take his info with a grain of salt but he is amongst the most comprehensive indoor light reviewers. He clearly shows how he takes his light readings and he will not hide the fact that other lights have higher efficiency or PAR output than his own brand.

He also references research papers and interviews professionals in the industry like Erik Runkle of Michigan State University. This is a very general overview of plant lights.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=oK8e5bgqgT8

Hereís another video with Bruce Bugbee
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=X1O3OD-dI20

Simon

 

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