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We recently received a Hydro Grow LED Penetrator 336x-PRO. Since this is one of the most popular, and most talked about LED grow lights on the market, we knew a PAR reading and footprint test was in order. [For those of you who don't know what the acronym PAR means, or what it measures click here for the Wikipedia explanation] This is one of the most specialized lights on the market for plant growing purposes, and this light has a unique square design (23.5" x 23.5" x 3") that has 16 circular openings where lights emits from, so testing its efficiency and effectiveness at lighting an area with the right spectrum is a must for any grower considering an LED grow light.
The Penetrator 336x-PRO uses 336--yes you read that right, three hundred and thirty six--three watt diodes made from Bridgelux, Epistar, & SemiLED. The LEDs make up a 6-band spectrum to cover the nanometers that plants use most for photosynthesis including: 440nm, 470nm, 525nm, 640nm, 660nm, and 740nm. The X-lens technology is Hydro Grow LED's way to describe the lenses they use to amplify the intensity and coverage. Similar to how magnifying glasses work, these lenses are either made to focus light intensely or throw it over a large area to disperse the light and give a larger footprint. Hydro Grow LED states that this advancement increases output over 4X compared to prior models without the X-Lens.
This all equates to about a 1008w unit if calculated as diode wattage times number of diodes, but this unit only consumes 520w when tested on a wattage meter. It's nice to know this units comes with six 120mm dual bearing cooling fans to keep the heat exhausted out over the heat sinks built in for added cooling.
This unit is not one we would consider small. At basically 2' x 2' and 28.7 lbs this is a hefty unit. It is made to cover a large area of approximately 4' x 4' of grow space from 24" high, so we set out to test what the PAR (photosynthetically active radiation) would be from that height. The nice characteristic about this large unit design is its ability to throw light over a large area versus LEDs that have a small source of light, such as Kessils for example.
Below is the infographic showing the footprint this unit throws at 12", 18", and 24" above a 4' x 4' footprint, although we also measured the PAR at 3' x 3', 2' x 2', and 1' x 1'. The test we did just prior to this one was the Stealth Grow SG 1250 HO LED grow unit, which consumes 625w, did well in our test, yet the Penetrator still did better in some respects. The SG 1250 costs 63% more (if you're going off MSRP) and consumes 17% more wattage, yet isn't able to put down a footprint as good as the Penetrator 336x-PRO when up at 18" and 24" in the center area. The Stealth Grow unit was notably more intense at 12" though, and in the 3' x 3' and 4' x 4' square it often did better than the Penetrator. Up next, LumiGro Pro 325 & 650 and California Light Works 400w & 800w Solar Storms! Stay tuned.
Other LED Footprint PAR Tests: