LED Grow lights have sure come a long way in 10 years!

Aug 18, 2014 No Comments by

10 years back, I was briefly “Very Excited” about LED replacing the HPS and Metal Halide in small grow ops for single patient micro cannabis farms. NASA already was growing lettuce in space under red and blue .001 watt LEDs, so growing good greens was close right? unfortunately, it would be many years before I would even give LED Grow lights a chance.

60 watt ufo

Do not buy any lights made with these!

Do not buy any lights made with these!


The main problem we would have was the HPS and ballasts got really hot, the room quickly became superheated and additional ventilation or chilling was needed. also, there was a substantial fire risk if bulbs came in contact with plastic walls or wiring. HPS emits the most light of all HID lighting and is used in commercial greenhouses and legal medical marijuana operations that are popping up across North America as the dubious Cannabis prohibition laws are swept away by the sway of public opinion. However, HPS light output is mainly in the orange spectrum or color of light and plants flowered quite well but most growers noticed leaves would lose color and UV burn is easy to miss until too late. HPS worked because the red spectrum output is also quite good , it was blue and even green spectra that were missing.

Second Generation LED Grow Lights were a small leap or Hop

1 watt LEDs were a vast improvement over DIP hand soldered arrays, with a good lens, they were great for young cuttings but rarely would anyone attempt flowering although there were always stories about massive record breaking ratios from LED harvests in Amsterdam 7 Grams per watt of light would be nice!

CrappyLED Grow Light

Pass on these old arrays


3 and 5 watt LED Grow lights

These lights actually had some impressive results, companies started using 3-7 different spectrum in an effort to target Cannabis specific spectra. although many claims contrary, it would take a 600 watt LED to get similar results from 1000 watt HPS, that’s not enough to justify the crazy prices of some of these lights. The problem is you would need 12 different LEDs in very specific ratios, and mix them all evenly! this proved almost impossible with 3 watt and more difficult to mix evenly with 5 watt LED chips.

MCOB LED Arrays are the 5th Generation of Horticultural Grow Lights


Now 20 and higher wattage MCOB (Multiple Chips On Board), allow perfectly blended spectrum from a single light source, the canopy penetration is excellent, flowering is best we have ever seen, plants are healthy right up to harvest, lower room temperatures reduce plant respiration, that in return lowers mold and mildew likelihoods. Even the most die-hard HID guys are raising their eyebrows to these Marvels of LED technology!

PowerBloom Gold MCOB Grow Light

Powerful 320 watt total power.


LED Grow Lights with remote controls and intelligent circuitry have now become common




LED Grow Lights

About the author

15 years horticulture experience to draw from
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