LED Grow Lights for Seed Starting, Propagation, and Veg Review & Unboxing - HLG, AgroLED & Growlite

LED Grow Lights for Seed Starting, Propagation, and Veg Review & Unboxing - HLG, AgroLED & Growlite

These lighting products have been making an impact on the market, especially for propagating, seed starting, and vegetative growth. They are not just LEDs but really are lights that are going after traditional forms of lighting, including HPS, Metal Halide and T5 fluorescents. They are pushing the envelope in this regard and they are not nearly as expensive as LEDs were a few years ago.

One of our favorite new LEDs is the Quantum Board from Horticultural Lighting Group. If you look at this LED you’ll notice how thin it is—probably 3 or 4 millimeters, maybe less. This is actually just a 65-watt LED. You can buy it in different kelvins—3K, 4K, or 5K—so if you want to use it for veg or for propagation or even for flower, you can. This 65-watt LED comes with a driver; for most of you who are used to ballasts, just think of the driver as your ballast. The light also comes with hanging hardware. With this driver you simply plug it into one end and you can turn the light on.

Turn it on and you see right away that it’s very bright. These things work really well. There are two driver inputs, so you can daisy-chain these lights—plus one light onto another, then another into it. By daisy-chaining you're putting close to the same amount of power through, so two of these lights with one driver are basically covering more area but not really using much more power. There will be just a small difference. This 65-watt LED is only $99 delivered. This can cover a 1.5 x 1.5 or 2 x 1-foot area, maybe as much as 2x2, for veg or for flower.

Some owners use the two brackets and actually hang this fixture vertically inside their tents for side lighting. It's an extremely versatile light just because of its form factor, plus it’s inexpensive and easy to run. There’s also a 100-watt version which is $149 from GrowersHouse and has a slightly larger driver. Both are lightweight lights and super thin, so if you have a really low ceiling height or tent height, or if you have multi-layer racking for propagation, these can fit right in there, no problem. Just daisy-chain them and there’s no worry at all. We've been loving these lights so far and highly recommend them.

Horticulture Lighting Group 100W 1 Quantum Board HLG100

These T5 LEDs are replacing T5 fluorescent lights. The LEDs and fluorescent T5 fixtures look similar. The AgroLED T5 5500k is a 5500 Kelvin, making it really good for vegetative growth. Remarkably it's only 41 watts per LED, basically compared to the 54 watts that you're getting with a normal T5 lamp. You would be getting a 30% reduction of light from your T5s, while this light would last much longer than the T5 lamp.The T5 fluorescent lasts about a year, while this LED probably will last more like 5 years, leading to considerable purchase savings over the long term. T5 LEDs are usually a bit over $20, while a normal-output T5 lamp typically costs about $10. In essence, you’re paying twice as much for a light that will last five times longer and uses 30% less power. And manufacturers are actually designing these LEDs with very specific spectrums.

With T5 fluorescent lights running at 54 watts each, and four fluorescent tubes per fixture, the power consumption is 216 watts per T5 fluorescent fixture. Now suppose you change out the fluorescent fixture for one of these LED T5-type fixtures. Now you would be at just 164 watts. A 5500 kelvin LED is a good veg spectrum, along with that produced by the AgroLED iSunlight T5 LED, by Sunlight. A few companies offer similar lights. We've really liked the AgroLEDs that we carry.

AgroLED iSunlight 41 Watt T5 4 ft VEG + UV LED Lamp

The AgroLED ISunlight T5 UV LED is a UV-based bulb. Its white spectrum is the one that's really good for veg, but turn on the UV spectrum and you can create a nice mixed spectrum if you want to continue to use existing T5 fluorescent fixtures that you might already have in your house or your growing operation. We are using it with the Grow Crew normal T5 fixture where you can change on two banks.

The Growlite, which you might know from their making the Growlite 8" Air-cooled Reflector, has gotten into manufacturing LEDs. They're making a light for vegetating and propagating that's maybe very similar to what you've seen in industrial and commercial buildings. The fixture itself probably is half an inch thick and then you have the driver, which might add another inch and a half, so we are probably talking two inches thick total. The light is about 1 x 4 feet and it comes with little built-in hangers if you want to hang it on every corner. This fixture is only 40 watts, so the Growlite Flatpanel 1' x 4' 40w is actually the same wattage as one of those T5 LED bulbs we were just looking at.

Growlite Flat Panel Veg LED Cloning Light - 1' x 4' (40w)

Being 40 watts, this light might not be great for vegetative growth because the intensity really isn't there, but for propagation and seed starting I think this is going to be an amazing fixture. With its form factor I think this light's going to be really great for people who need to make sure they have a slim light to fix inside of those tight multi-layered racks and just want to save on electricity. At 41 watts for each of four lights, you’re down to 164 watts for the fixture, compared with 216 watts for the four-tune T5 fluorescent fixture. You're talking about huge savings.

Nate holding Growlite Flatpanel 1' x 4' 40wNate holding Growlite Flatpanel 1' x 4' 40w

The Growlite flat panel produces a nice white, diffuse light that makes it very easy for you to uniformly light your plants, which is what you really want. You want even, consistent light over your canopy, no hot spots and not what we call "dead zones," where you don't get a lot of light.

We have one of these fixtures on our site for about $130, give or take a few bucks for a 1 x 4-foot. There are also a 2 x 2-foot that's 40-watts or a 2 x 4-foot that's 68-watts, depending on how large an area you want to illuminate. These are the LEDs that are taking the growing industry by storm. They are saving people money, illuminating their plants better, and saving space so you can maximize your grow environment. You would have paid going $100 to 130 for a T5 fixture; now you’re you're going from 216 watts down to 40, maybe do propagating with your plants there, so there’s a huge savings in electricity for a very small markup maybe an extra 20 to 30 percent savings on the front end.

Horticulture Lighting Group 65W 1 Quantum Board HLG65Horticulture Lighting Group 65W 1 Quantum Board HLG65
Horticulture Lighting Group 65W 1 Quantum Board HLG65
Horticulture Lighting Group 300W 2 Quantum Boards HLG300Horticulture Lighting Group 300W 2 Quantum Boards HLG300
Horticulture Lighting Group 300W 2 Quantum Boards HLG300
Horticulture Lighting Group 300W 2 Quantum Boards HLG300 V2Horticulture Lighting Group 300W 2 Quantum Boards HLG300 V2
Horticulture Lighting Group 300W 2 Quantum Boards HLG300 V2
Horticulture Lighting Group 500W 4 Quantum Boards HLG550 V2 HLGHorticulture Lighting Group 500W 4 Quantum Boards HLG550 V2 HLG
Horticulture Lighting Group 500W 4 Quantum Boards HLG550 V2 HLG