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Heliospectra LX601C & E601C

We’ve been debating the value of LED grow lights for what seems like forever; you either love them or you hate them, they’re either a sham or they’re the future. More often than not, they’re a great source of supplemental light but can’t carry an entire crop to harvest. Well, Heliospectra have put the debate to bed. The LED age has well and truly arrived.

You’ve heard that before, right? Next we’ll be telling you their lights double yields and cut growing time in half. Spend some time perusing Heliospectra’s website and you’ll find they knew you were going to think that and a heap more snide quips besides, so they’ve had their clients address those very concerns for you.  Fair warning; their website makes for compelling reading so don’t expect to get anything else done today once you’re there.

Manufactures have traditionally guarded their tailored spectra with litigious fervour. Heliospetra have taken an entirely different path.

We’re surely all familiar with the potential inherent to LED lights; Lower power consumption bumps up your grams per watt rating. A lower heat output make for a cooler growroom and allows you to position your lights close to the plant canopy. Finally you can adjust the spectrum according to what stage your plants are at in their life cycle; this is where so many LED grow lights have faltered in the past. As we found when we tested a number of LEDs back in 2015 (Issue 016), manufactures have traditionally guarded their tailored spectra with litigious fervour. Heliospetra have taken an entirely different path.

The spectrum, intensity, quality and duration of their Wi-Fi enabled grow lights can all be controlled remotely and instantaneously from your PC, Ipad or any other device capable of running their built in UI. You can then monitor and share your light recipes with other growers around the world. Those wasted hours spent parked in front of Pepper bloody Pig or the hateful Paw Patrol just got a whole lot more bearable, you paragon of millennial parenting, you!

With an estimated 50,000 hour lifespan you’re getting more than enough bang for your buck.

Cons (sort of!)

Obviously we wouldn’t be doing our duty if we didn’t at least consider some of the potential downsides of these lights; it’s true that the LX601C and the E601C aren’t cheap, but with an estimated 50,000 hour lifespan you’re getting more than enough bang for your buck.

At 600W the LX601C consumes a fair amount more power than we might be used to seeing from an LED fixture, but its relative efficiency rating of 1.7 micromoles per joule, overall lifespan and reduced running temperature should all put it ahead of an HPS consuming the same amount of power.

Heliospetra lights are already used in the commercial and research sectors, indoors and in greenhouses, in closed-loop systems and from seed to harvest. Their efforts have been recognised by a bevy of distinguished partners and most recently with the 2016 Pineapple D’or Award for best Lighting Technology.

Not that any of that is enough for these market leading innovators from Gothenburg. Today, they’re working on biofeedback systems designed to automatically respond to environmental and biological inputs. Fiddle with your spectra whilst you still can, before your computer politely asks you not to!

The Heliospectra LX601C and the E601C are both available right now from ProGrow

  • Mousehold Garden Centre

    Still hasn’t really sold me on LED – being cynical, if the quality of the light is customisable by the user, this is just another way for the manufacturer to avoid responsibility for presenting a product that equals the performance of existing HID bulbs…
    If the power consumption of these LEDs is equal to that of 600w HID lights, then one of the other main factors of comparison is price:
    50,000 hours of LEDs would be about 10 years of use at slightly less than 14 hours per day, for an upfront cost of £2,249 (current ProGrow price); if we compare that to using a grow stage (£28) and flowering stage (£25) HID bulb, changed every 6 months (manufacturer’s recommendation) over the same 10 years comes to £1,060 (+ ballast & shade, approx. £100 depending on options, all based on our retail prices) which is still half the cost of the LED, or less…
    The remaining factor to consider is the physical quality of the product – is it actually durable enough to last those 10 years? I can’t make a judgement on the LED system, having not examined one myself, but I would say that the lesser cost and greater convenience of a more ‘disposable’ HID system still seems likely to win out.

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