We’ve analysed the most common kinds of grow light technologies and compared them to each other. For this comparison we chose the most efficient examples of each category. For reference, here is our grow light comparison below.
We used our grow light as the benchmark for COB tech. We build our lights with the world’s most efficient COB in its class, the Luminus CXM32.
Let us begin with efficiency. Most people are surprised to find out that the good ‘ol “blurple” lights are actually less efficient than the even older HPS tech. This means that they use more electricity to produce the same amount of photosynthetically active light. More electricity you ask? We’ll explain.
Grow lights these days cannot be compared to each other using watts. The reason is that we now have grow lights that can make more light per watt of electricity than others. By light we mean PAR, Photosynthetically Active Light. Thats the kind of light plants need to grow – like the sun. But not like the light that comes from regular household bulbs.
So back to efficiency; when we measure the light coming from different grow lights, we can calculate the PPFD efficiency of each light. This basically means the amount of PAR (Photosynthetically Active Light) that the light can make per watt of electricity. We write this measurement as umols/watt which means micromoles of light per watt.
So now that we all understand each other, you can clearly see that “blurples” are the worst, and HPS comes next. There are many growers that doubt LED technology, and they will only use HPS grow lights as the tried, tested; and trusted type of tech in the industry. We’re here to help get rid of the distrust in LED tech created by “blurple” lights. Our COB LED grow lights are some of the most efficient grow lights in the world.
Many of you are probably wondering “How did they compare all these lights, are they all same wattage?” – the answer is no! What we have done is calculated the average amount of watts each grow lights requires to produce a standard amount light (200 umols). Therefore the wattage of each fixture is irrelevant.
Next in our comparison is the colour spectrum of each light. This demonstrates that HPS tech has an inadequate amount of blue light; whereas “blurple” lights have a disproportionate amount of red light and barely any green light. COB and quantum board grow lights however, have a spectrum that closely matches sunlight.
Red light light is widely known as the most important colour when it comes photosynthesis. It is the most efficient and it change the flowering time of plants. Green light is the most effective at penetrating the plants canopy, reaching leaves further down. Green light in grow lights helps us to see the plants, and identify and health issues. Blue light is also PAR, and has one of the most profound effects on a plants shape. Blue light reduces cell expansion and leads to shorted node spacing and an overall more compact plant. This can be a benefit in indoor growing environments.
Lastly, we used all of the data to calculate the running costs of each type of grow light tech. We calculated the cost to veg for one week, at 18 hours per day – and to flower for one week at 12 hours per day. This shows that our COB LED grow lights use 40% less electricity than HPS, 50% less than “blurple” lights and 5% less than quantum boards.