Thread: LED Grow Light
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Old 02-21-17, 12:37 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by MN Renovator View Post
A bunch of Youtube videos suggest that CFLs just close enough to the plants to be as bright and direct as possible but not close enough to cause heat damage seem to be the most cost effective option and they usually have the broad spectrum needed. I've heard some LEDs lack the proper spectrum and some come at a very high cost.
On average, how long do CFLs last....maybe 3 years of heavy use? A 60W CFL grow light (equivalent to 250W) costs about $11. From what I have seen, the lifespan of a CFL is a maximum of about 15,000 hours, or 1.7 years of continuous 24x7 running. The 10W LED COBs I got are "rated" (I know these COBs are not perfect and are grade B and lower) at 50,000 hours or 5.7 years of continuous 24x7 running. Even if each LED COB obtains 50% of its expected life span I am still doing better than the CFL.

Now lets talk about premature failure. What happens when the transformer in a CFL goes out early, are you going to fix it? I can have up to 3 of my LED COBs or their power drivers go out and still come out ahead on cost to replace. Also, what happens if you accidentally drop your CFL? You are immediately out $11, plus any cleanup. That happened to me last year and replacing a T12 bulb isn't an expense I want to have very often.

I am no pot grower, but I know those people know what they are doing far more than a typical "grow a few veggies indoors home gamer". They have some pretty impressive setups (as you can see on YouTube by searching for "LED grow lights"), and most of them are HPS or LED. They are ditching their HPS for LED because, according to them, they are far superior and can be tuned to the properly wavelengths for optimal growth.

Here is one of the first pot videos (there are TONS BTW) I clicked on:

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