LED Grow Light Comparison Test Review: Kessil v. California Light Works v. ProSource v. Haight Solid State

3 minute read · June 29, 2012

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Video Transcript:

"Hey everyone, it's Nate from Growers House and today we're going to be showing you the LED comparison test that we just ran here. We ran a comparison test on some of the most popular LED units in the hydroponics industry including the Kessil H350 90w unit, ProSource Jumbo Illuminator 180w unit, California Light Works SolarFlare 200w Full Cycle unit, and finally the Haight Solid State PPF-800Rv2 180w.

What we did to test these lights against each other was put them over a grow area. That grow area was 3' x 3.' Within that 3' x 3' area, we put a 2' x 2' square, a 1' x 1' square, and a point in the middle. What we really wanted to do was test out what kind of PAR readings or Photosynthetically Active Radiation readings these lights were giving out at different heights above this 3' x 3' footprint. We measured them at 12", 18", and 24" above the footprint.

When we took our readings, we took them at the center, and then these different point on every single square. That ended up giving us quite a few readings that you can see in the infographic pasted below in the comments section. Many people may ask why we didn't test the lumens for these LEDs. That's because lumens are for measuring the intensity of light as visible to the human eye. What we really wanted to measure was the spectrum that plants use to photosynthesize. So that's what the PAR meter did versus measuring something that could be outside of the spectrum that plants use to photosynthesize. So let us jump into the video so you can see how we ran the test with some of these lights.

Okay, now taking a look at this infographic, which you can find a link to below, it seems like the light that came out best was California Light Works SolarFlare 200w Full Cycle unit giving us some of the highest PAR readings out of all of these lights. It also covered a pretty good area, although we did see that once you get up higher that the ProSource and the Haight Solid State did make up a little bit of ground on the California Light Works unit when you're talking about 18" up or 24" up and in those 2' and 3' squares. Another surprise was the Kessil because it's quite a bit lower in wattage than these units, it actually did perform pretty well. So on a watt-per-watt basis, we think the Kessil is also a very strong unit.

All this data is readily available to you in the infographic. Do what you will with these numbers. We realize that some people may be looking for a smaller footprint with their LED versus some people just want the largest footprint with the most coverage. We just want to make this information available so that you can make an informed purchasing decision. This is Nate with Growers House, have a good one."

Test Infographic: Kessil v. ProSource v. California Light Works v. Haight Solid State LED Grow Light Comparison Test Review Infographic

Other LED Footprint PAR Tests:

Stealth Grow SG 1250 High Output LED Grow Light

Hydro Grow LED Penetrator 336x-PRO LED Grow Light

Small LED Shootout: California Lightworks v. Kessil v. Haight Solid State v. Prosource

Associated Products


  • Alf
    Alf August 15, 2012

    Nice comparison,
    Now actual plant growth needs to be seen

  • Joel
    Joel September 27, 2012

    Basically, this is near perfect. True, plant growth would be nice, but that is a lot more time consuming and would probably have debatable results. Thanks for this review.

  • Brian
    Brian October 27, 2012

    I would love to see a test done like this using ballasts. Some ballasts like the micromole are claiming much higher par output.

  • anonymous
    anonymous November 1, 2012

    Helpful but I would like to see actual wall plug electric consumption numbers, so I can compare PAR levels per watt of electricity used. It seems like the wattage ratings of various lights is pretty arbitrary. Frequently it's someone's idea of the HID equivalent in terms of blue and red.

  • Corey
    Corey November 17, 2012

    Very nice comparison. What type of PAR meter are you guys using? At Black Dog LED we have found PAR meters such as those from Apogee Instruments are inaccurate with very intense light.

    • Admin
      Admin November 18, 2012

      We use the Sun System PAR meter, which is labeled by Sun System and manufactured by Apogee. So far the meter has been pretty consistent on our side measuring lights at different times i.e., measuring a unit, then measuring it one month later. What meters have you used that you like more? We may get another meter so that we can corroborate our tests.

  • paul
    paul January 1, 2013

    Almost every plant grows higher then 18 ", true real sunlight compares to an average 14000 to 26000 Watts depending on cloud cover and distance to the equator for a 36"x36" area, so LED grow lights are only to be seen as a helping hand for hydroponics or any culture system you use in commercial buildings without proper daylight where compromises have to be made. LED's have the great advantage that only a small percentage of the electrical input is wasted into heat. And specific grow lights are more economical then just plain white because it concentrates only on wavelengths that plants need the most. You have to make an assessment how much real daylight you have in your particular situation, and decide from there what brand / model / wattage to pick to get as close as possible to real daylight that your crop needs.
    Rule of Thumb in your decision making: Grow as high value crops as possible when you start to input electrical energy into your lights whether LED or Tubular to rev up your R.O.I.
    Remember you are trying to make money or save money.

  • MCM 販売
    MCM 販売 June 28, 2013

    Hello.This post was extremely fascinating, particularly because I was investigating for thoughts on this matter last week.

  • バーバリー 財布
    バーバリー 財布 July 3, 2013

    But wanna state that this is handy , Thanks for taking your time to write this.

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