5w LED Grow Lights are not a new invention, but what is new is fake 5w LED grow lights. A few companies actually do use legitimate 5w LEDs in their lights and we will discuss how you can spot a true 5w LED Grow Light.
5w LED grow lights are somewhat of a false hope for those who think each LED is actually going to be using 5w full watts of power. In reality there are only a couple major LED chip companies who can achieve such high wattage per chip safely without junction temperatures causing failures prematurely and most of the 5w LED grow lights on the market do not achieve these high watts per LED. The key is to find those who can.
So who does make a true 5w LED and how can you tell the difference?
First, let’s start with the best brands of 5w LEDs: 5w CREE and 5w Luxeon (Philips)
The chips used in these two brands are able to run a true 5w and have junction temperatures low enough to be considered a long term option. These two brands are the leaders in high wattage LED chips and produce the highest overall light output for white LEDs and can produce very intense results for red and blue LEDs as well.
How do you know if the company you are looking at is using actual 5w CREE or Luxeon LEDs?
There is no full proof way of finding this information but here is out best advice for proving the brand of LED chips. First, ask for a close up picture of the LEDs themselves. Each LED has a chip inside and a tiny housing for the chip. If they refuse to provide pictures of these or they don’t show their LEDs on their website you may want to move on. If they do, compare those LEDs to the pictures of the actual manufacture (CREE). Second, take the total number of LEDs and divide this number by the actual watts consumed and minus the fans wattage. This number should always be well above 3w each and if not you are better off buying quality 3w LED grow lights. A 5w CREE LED can run at well over 6w each with the proper cooling (required) and you should have a minimum standard of at least 4w per LED in an 5W LED Grow Light. If the light you have found is not using 4w per LED and they call it a “5w LED grow light” then you need to ask yourself why. The reason is either they are not using true 5w capable LEDs or they are not cooling the LEDs properly (bad) which will cause a premature failure over a short period of time.
The next question to ask is “Why should I buy a 5w LED grow light instead of an all 3w LED grow light?”
3w LED grow lights are very powerful lights and if the spectra, optics and quality are all in check you can rest assured you have the very best in LED grow light technology. On the other hand, if you simply want a 5w LED grow light then you need to make sure you are getting a comparable light to the best 3w LED grow lights available.
Here are 3 ways to compare 5w VS 3w LED Grow Lights:
- Number of actual 5w LEDs and 3w LEDs. (20 5w LEDs DOES NOT EQUAL 90 3w LEDs)
- Cooling Technology and Heat Sinks (advanced cooling is critical for both, especially 5w)
- Wattage per LED (a so called 5w LED run at 3w is not your goal)
5w LED grow lights are going to fast become the latest technology due to the fact that CREE and Luxeon are advancing the total light output at a fast rate. Look for more advanced LED grow lights using 5w LEDs in the near future and try to stay away from fake 5W LED grow lights.
LED Grow Lights Change the Paradigm of Indoor Gardening – gammalux lighting
All plants require light in order to thrive. The basic life process of the plant kingdom is photosynthesis, wherein light-sensitive cells in plant leaves convert light energy into chemical energy to feed the plant. Because of this, indoor gardening requires planning and the use of proper equipment in order to be successful. When growing indoors hydroponically, or even in good old-fashioned soil, there are many considerations to be taken into account, but of primary concern is the type of artificial lighting to be used.
Traditionally, indoor horticulture required the use of bulky gas-discharge lamps in order to produce light of sufficient intensity and of the proper wavelength to grow plants. Regular consumer lighting fixtures used in homes and offices do not produce light of the correct spectrum and intensity for this purpose. These types of high-output lamps consume excessive amounts of energy and produce massive amounts of waste heat, which require the additional expense of sophisticated ventilation systems to draw off all the wasted heat produced by the lamps. However, recent advances in LED lighting technology promise to change this paradigm of indoor gardening for the better, by exponentially reducing the amount of energy required per unit of light produced and by reducing or eliminating the need for complex ventilation systems in indoor gardens.
LED stands for Light Emitting Diode, which is a simple electronic semi-conductor device that has been around since the 1960s. An LED is a diode, basically a one-way electronic switch, that produces light through a phenomenon called electroluminescence. A diode is a device constructed of two materials with differing levels of limited electrical conductivity, hence the word semi-conductor, with one of the materials having a net positive charge and the other having a net negative charge. Diodes are used much like transistors and resistors to regulate current flow in various electronic devices and machines. When a current is passed through a diode from the negative (N-type) to the positive (P-type) material, some the electrons in the current flow are captured by empty spaces in the atomic structure of the P-type material. This, as a side-effect, discharges the excess energy by producing photons of light.
The light produced by early LEDs was not very bright, being of a very long (red) wavelength. The good news is that it takes a miniscule amount of current to produce a unit of light. The better news, from the standpoint of the indoor gardener, is that as the science behind the technology has advanced, the output capabilities of this very efficient lighting system makes LED grow lights a viable alternative to the old gas-discharge systems for indoor horticulture.
LED grow lights have been commercially available for a number of years now and, as the technology and production infrastructure continues to expand, the cost of these super-efficient LED lighting systems will surely come down. The advantages of LEDs are clear: They provide highly reduced energy consumption, the elimination of waste-heat and long-term cost-savings through the extreme durability of these devices. They can be rated to last as many as 100,000 hours, or 12 years under normal usage conditions.