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Evaluating Grow LightsGrow

LED Grow Light Buying Guide

August 10, 2021 October 8th, 2021 No Comments

Here is what you should look for when looking to purchase LED grow lights. While this checklist is specifically targeted for growing cannabis, much of it remains true for the best lights to use in any general indoor grow.

High PPF

A high PPF is considered anywhere above 1000µmol/s–– anything higher than 1800µmol/s is excellent. Our 720W FL-1 LED Grow Light has a PPF of 2000µmol/s and our 440W VL-1 LED Grow Light has 1220µmol/s.

High PPFD & Even Footprint

For the cannabis flowering stage, you want an average PPFD of 900-1000 or greater. The targeted average PPFD varies for different crops, depending on how light hungry they are. See table.

The light distribution, which you can see from the PPFD maps, should be fairly even (however it is normal for the light to be most concentrated in the center). The outer numbers should be close to mirroring each other, not varying too much from corner to corner.

High Efficacy (Not Wattage)

Efficacy measures how efficiently a light converts power (watts) into light. This is important because the wattage of a fixture only tells you how much power you are using, but not how much light is actually being produced. Evaluating the light output of a grow light by looking at its wattage is a common misconception.

The higher the efficacy, the better. A higher efficacy allows you to save money on electricity costs while not sacrificing light output. A high efficacy is considered 2.7 or higher. VOLT Grow’s lights have an efficacy of 2.8.

Full-Spectrum Light

Full-spectrum light most closely mimics the spectrum of natural sunlight. This helps to maximize well-rounded plant growth by including all colors (wavelengths) of light, since each is responsible for contributing to a different aspect of plant growth.

VOLT® Grow Full Spectrum Graph

Third-Party Certifications

It is important for products to have official listings and certifications by independent parties to ensure their marketed specs are credible. Two certifications to look for are a DLC Listing and UL Certification.

DLC (DesignLights Consortium) Listed means a product has been approved as highly energy efficient. In order to get rebates, products have to be DLC Listed. They also test the products to ensure their listed specifications meet their standards and their website can be used as a great independent source of accurate testing data.

UL (Underwriter Laboratories) Listed certifies that a product has passed safety and sustainability requirements, abiding by nationally recognized industry standards. This ensures the products are safe and meet electrical codes. Installing fixtures that are not approved by UL or other qualified organizations can result in you likely not being able to get insurance coverage should an accident occur.

Product Warranty

Make sure the company offers a warranty to help ensure your expectations and satisfaction with the grow light. Especially in the grow light industry where there are so many low-quality and knockoff products, warranties ensure your purchase will be protected from any defects or failed performances. VOLT Grow offers a 5-Year warranty on all products.

Competitive Pricing & Included Features

Many companies list their grow lights for a lower price, but then do not include necessary accessories, such as power cords and mounting harnesses. These add-ons and upgrades can add considerable costs to the light’s total price. VOLT Grow’s LED Grow Lights final price includes an integrated dimming control, mounting harness and power cord.

✓ Good Customer Reviews

Check customer reviews and testimonials to see if past customers are satisfied with the product and company experience. Ratings closest to 5-Stars are optimal. This will help differentiate credible companies from knockoffs. VOLT Grow’s LED Grow Lights both have 4.9-Stars or higher.

Fast Shipping Time

It is very common in the grow light industry to have weeks or month-long lead times. Make sure to check if the grow lights are in stock and the estimated shipping time before checking out to not delay your grow. VOLT Grow ships all orders out the same day they are placed and has 4 distribution centers across the US to ensure fast UPS ground shipping.

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