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What to look for when comparing grow lights, regardless of the technology

When considering comparisons between grow lights of any technology (which includes LED) there are 4 primary questions that the manufacturer should answer in their specifications and they are:

  1. What is the total PPF of the light?
    (What are the total photons being emitted from the light?)

  2. What is the lights Spectral Power Distribution?
    (Is it a high PPF but at the cost of being a narrow PAR spectrum?)

  3. What are the actual watts being drawn at the outlet?

  4. What is the uMole/watt rating of the light?
    (This number can be calculated from the information provided in 2 and 3 but it’s additional verification of both values and most people are too lazy to do the math anyway.

The next issues in no particular order that should be addressed but aren’t always would be;

  1. Recommended area coverage?

  2. Fixture weight?

  3. Are they active or passively cooled?

  4. What is the thermal contribution at their highest wattage setting in a btu/hr value?

  5. What is the recommended relamping time for the lamp?

  6. What are all the control features such as the ability to run the lights in vegetative and flowering modes? Can the lights be controlled by PC or IPhone?

  7. Price?

  8. What is the lifespan and warranty?

  9. Does the mfg offer a technical upgrade program if the design efficiencies are improved or do you have to buy a whole new light?

If a mfg is unwilling or unable to provide you with any of this data you should be leery of any claims they are making regarding how well their product performs.


Thanks for posting that Darryl! For comparison, what are answers to all those questions for your lights? That way shoppers have a data point to compare to when they are talking with vendors.


You’re very welcome. We publish all this information on our product white sheets.

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Nice, this is a good example where you could make a project on our site, testing your lights versus competition and see how it affects things like potency or yield, than you can have bragging rights with the data to back it up :wink:

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We do side by side trials all the time and have been doing them for years at our 151 Farm here in San Diego. I know what our lights can do compared to what’s out there. And there are some exceptionally well made/designed grow lights on the market. The purpose of this thread was to highlight what information grow lighting mfg’s should present so an informed decision can be made based on specification. Too many grow light mfg’s take their products to market with a ‘we make the greatest grow light in the world approach’. This is usually a result of skewed data or outright fabrication. If PPF, SPD and Watts at the Wall are known this is going to takeaway 90% of the BS that one must wade through to get to what is fact and what it hype.

Well with our open data, community research approach growers can test their cannabis under a series of different lights, and we can see as a community who the top dog is. You can also set up private projects to test/optimize your lights against others, allowing a competitive head start in the market place.

Think it would be cool for a lighting company to provide links to their public projects showing how their lights performed against others. We could break down the project further so every measurement is attached to a strain, so if someone is only growing a few, they can sort by those strains and see which lights are the best for them.

I love when lighting mfg’s test their lights publicly in real world applications. That is what we do and have done so with a wide variety of technologies and mfg’s. Here is out GG4 and WIFI at day 50 under our Impact Series of grow lights. Thumb through the album and you’ll see the dry weight yields came in at 1.25 gr/watt and that is not counting 4 plants that were not ready to harvest yet which had also been under that light. We’ll be adding a UV-A/B Pontoon as an accessory for this light.

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This is what I am talking about! There is not better advertising then cold hard facts and data to me, glad to see a company being so transparent. Would love to connect more, you seem like someone who could really get value from our tools. :slight_smile: