These are the Horticultural Lighting Group (HLG) LEDs and these are the flagship models. Now Horticultural Lighting Group and their quantum board design has revolutionized the LED industry. They've made LEDs that are extremely thin, simple yet powerful. These are literally like a no-frills LED.
So, let me tell you a little story that not many people know about HLG. HLG was actually born out of two separate LED companies. One of them being Johnson Grow Lights by a guy named Stephen Johnson and the other one called Northern Grow Lights by a guy named Amit Chandra.
Stephen was an experienced grower while Amit was an engineer. Originally, both their companies were focusing on COB LED lights. Chip-on-board for those of you not familiar.
Now, these chip-on-board LEDs are a little less expensive, but they also kind of hit the level of max efficiency. And both Steven and Amit recognized this, and in communicating with one another, they decided they were going to try this new Samsung LED that just came out and they together developed this new LED called the QB 304, QB for quantum board.
And when this like came out, I think it was around 2016, it really, like I said, earlier, revolutionized the LED industry.
The LED was super thin and it really didn't have any of the extra parts necessary that a lot of these other companies put on that honestly raised the cost and sometimes even made them less efficient.
So, now we're getting to today. HLG is in the quantum board style is probably the new industry standard design for LED for grow lights out there. And there's a lot of Chinese knock-offs that call themselves quantum boards even though the quantum board was developed by HLG and the term is trademarked.
A buyer beware caution: a lot of times Chinese knock-offs are not using the same standard as HLG. Another thing you really have to watch out for is a lot of these other companies don't have safety ratings, like an ETL or UL listing. Now, is that important for everyone? Not necessarily. If you're a commercial grower, it's basically mandatory because what these ETL and UL really mean is a piece of equipment, electronics are designed to fail safely.
If you're growing in a professional manner or honestly, you don't want your house to catch on fire, getting an ETL or UL listed LED grow light could be very important for you.
A lot of customers have been asking us: What is the difference between Horticultural Lighting Group LEDs and these ones that look honestly exactly just like them? And honestly, in many cases, the specifications look identical.
Well, here's the answer— HLG is made in USA. They try to use the best componentry possible, and they're very honest and upfront about how efficient their light is. Let's dive into that a little bit more.
HLG uses a very high-performance driver that is, honestly, a little bit more expensive, and it's known to last longer.
A lot of other companies do use MEAN WELL drivers, but they use the less expensive ones, the ones that are tend to be a little bit less efficient. But I've noticed that these other companies, I think, they want to use a MEAN WELL driver, even if it is more entry-level driver because the name MEAN WELL is pretty synonymous with just good ballast for LED lightings, but you have to realize not all MEAN WELL drivers are created equal.
It's like comparing an entry-level 3 Series BMW to like the 7 Series 100,000 dollar BMW. Yes, they're both BMWs but one is 30 grand and the other one is 100 grand. With the MEAN WELL drivers, it's the same thing. A lot of these imitation LEDs are using the MEAN WELL drivers because they have the brand name, but the HLG, they've invested in the ones that are more efficient and they're designed to last longer.And that's an important distinction when you're putting a pretty big investment into a LED grow light.
Another distinction that's really, really important that I wanna put out there is LED efficiency. And first, let's go over some terms.
So if you've ever heard of umol/j or micro mol/j, it's a really a determining factor of what the efficiency is of the LED grow light.
So usually this numbers between 1.5 and around 3.0 and I will say every year it is creeping up a little bit because LEDs are much like computers where computers get faster, and less expensive every year LEDs get more efficient and less expensive every year.
So the important part that I really want to focus on is each company will usually put out some type of number of umol/j.
So with Horticultural Lighting Group, they take their HLG 550 V2 R-Spec, send it to a third-party independent laboratory testing facility in Anaheim, California called Light laboratory Inc.
Now, Light Laboratory Inc. has no vested interest in how well or poorly the light would do, but they test it and they have to stamp their names on it. So the HLG 550 came out at about 2.67 micro mol/j.
Now, that is a really high... That is, honestly, today probably one of the most efficient lights out there.
Now, there are some Chinese lights, we've noticed, that claim even up to 2.7 micro mol/j.
HLG took one of these lights that claimed a 2.7 micro mol/j and sent it to the Light Laboratory test, and when it came back, it was actually only at 2.5, which is a pretty big difference.
And that means some of these companies are claiming they're really efficient when in fact they are not. And I really want to emphasize this, every LED company worth itself has sent all of their lights to a Light Laboratory test to see how efficient they are, and if you're going to buy one of these LED lights, I highly recommend from any company you ask for their third-party independent light laboratory results.
Now, HLG actually uploads these to every product page. And if you go to growershouse.com, we upload the document on every product page there as well, so you can see exactly what conditions light was tested under, the wattage, voltage, amperage, how efficient it was, the spectrum, everything.
If you ask a different LED company, let's say potentially one of these Chinese replicas if they've done a third-party independent test. And if they say Yes, ask for the results ask them to send you that PDF. If they don't, I would be very wary of buying their LEDs.
And to be honest, I think HLG right now is the only company I've ever seen that has actually taken their independent results and just uploaded them to the web, and that's like 100% full transparency.
Now, let's dive into the three models that we're gonna be focusing on today.
First off, we have the HLG 550 V2 R-Spec, then we have the HLG 550 V2 B-Spec and then we have the HLG 550 ECO. So, of these three lights, let's go over the specifications and features and why you'd use one versus the other.
So first off the R-Spec, so this light is basically a 480-watt light that can cover about a 4.5 foot by 4.5 foot area in flower and about a 6 foot by 6 foot area in veg. So as I bring that up, this life can be used for both flowering and vegetative phases.
It is designed with a little bit of a 670-660 nanometer deep red LEDs. So I would say this light is slightly more geared towards flowering although since it does have a broad spectrum white light, it works well for veg.
So then, why do they have this B-Spec? What is this B-Spec light?
So, this B-Spec light really is made specifically for veg.
Okay, so it has more of a 470 nanometer, which is a pretty deep blue LED and that allows it to be really good light for your plants when you're trying to have very short internal growth, so that space between branches so that you get bushier plants once they do go into flower and usually you get more bud sites. So now let's move on to the Echo.