Hi. BigBud here. MaryJane Farmer and I are starting a contest today and you can win a Mars Hydro LED Grow Light. Just be referring friends on email or social media–it’s as easy as that!
The contest runs until May 31. The three winners will each receive a Mars Hydro Reflector 48. Check out the specs here. It’s a great light and an efficiency winner for small garden of 4-6 plants.
All you have to do issign up hereand then start referring friends via email, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, etc. to win a Grow Light.
The more people you refer, the more points you get.
When your referrals sign up, you get even more points automatically. Nothing could be easier! Sign up here today. You’ve only got until May 31 to win. You can check your standings on the leaderboard once you have signed up–start referring and go for the win!
Because you need to know about OUR NEW STORE. (Sad-funny story about the conspiracy among the FAANG companies, the Banksters, the BigBadTabakkyGuys and the US Gummint below this article.) Its name is DazzleKat and it lives at DazzleKat.com.
Yep, you heard right.
We are selling MarsHydro LED Grow Lights shipped straight from MarsHydro’s US warehouse.
And our shop is cheaper than Amazon. (You can’t accuse us of burying the lead!)
Because we are also offering a…
10% discount on everything you buy from our store.
Just enter “10off” at checkout to claim your discount on EVERYTHING.
And—EVEN MORE—there’s free shipping to the continental US.
So if you live in one of the newly liberated, Revolution of 2018 states then this free shipping offer is worth its weight in Acapulco Gold.
And if you still live in the not-so-liberated states (UTAH? anyone?) then the discreet packaging is also worth its weight in Acapulco Gold.
Another reason to buy from us: some MarsHydro lights just aren’t available on Amazon anymore.
So if you’re considering buying a MarsHydro grow light or grow tent, read on to find out a bit more about MarsHydro, what they sell—and why it could be worth your while to buy from DazzleKat.com (that’s us.)
MarsHydro: A brief introduction
MarsHydro grow lights have earned a great reputation among growers for very competitive prices—but combined with component and build quality that exceeds most lights at similar price points.
For instance, rather than no-name LED diodes, Mars lights use zener protected Epistar and/or CREE LED chips. (Zener protection means that if one LED fails the rest continue to work.)
Moreover, MarsHydro lights are tested at least three times for quality control and all products are fully safety certified for US, Canadian and EU markets.
Founded in 2009, the company has been developing and perfecting its products for over nine years now. The Mars factory shop itself has a history on eBay going back over six years, with 99.9% positive feedback. They reply to enquiries within one business day. We’re looking to offer that same service.
While MarsHydro lights are manufactured in China, a network of warehouses and repair centers across the US/Canada/UK/Germany/Australia handles local shipping and servicing. For the vast majority of our readers that means fast, free or cheap local shipping; local repairs; and no extra customs fees.
Shipping within the USA is free. And packaging is discreet.
Mars also makes grow tents (which we’re selling too) and protective glasses for dealing with the ultra-brightness of LEDs.
What else we like about MarsHydro grow lights
Full spectrum, for use throughout your grow
Plenty of info given on the exact spectrum, footprint and PAR values of each light—too many manufacturers still don’t give growers enough of this info
No unrealistic claims about what wattage of HID lights they can replace
Hanging kit, region-specific power cable and instruction manual included
Minimum of 1 year manufacturer warranty with free service or returns with first 90 days (after that, Mars sends parts for free, or you pay shipping to the repair center and Mars pays return shipping)—warranty length depends on product.
Did we mention already that our lights are cheaper than buying from Amazon? Did we already mention the…
10% Discount on Everything?
Besides that not insignificant point, it’s also worth noting that our store sells some models that aren’t available on Amazon.
You can be sure that you’re buying authentic goods directly from MarsHydro (and our guy on the inside is Kevin Chen if you want to check), rather than from a reseller raising the price or someone selling fakes (it happens). Just make sure the store name is DazzleKat
Selling direct from the manufacturer also means we can offer the occasional auction of new or used equipment. Your chance to perhaps pick up a great bargain.
Plus we can offer some good deals on multi-product packages, which are hard to find on Amazon.
Just enter “10off” at checkout to get your
10% Discount on everything.
A CONSPIRACY FABLE ABOUT FAANG, BANKSTERS, TABAKKY AND GUMMINT
(P.S. Conspiracy against us. We are not paranoid. But that guy in the trenchcoat behind us might be.)
Anyway, as you may or may not know, the FAANG companies (Facecrack, Amazoo, Crapple, Netfux and Gurgle) are bigshots in the $$$ bizness. And the banksters like JPMugginYou, ChaseYou, and BankUvAmerika just LOOOOOOVE $$$$$. And they all LOOOOVE the US Gummint because it’s so easy to suck bucks out of the Gullible Gummint.
So when the Gummint is waddling along with its money cart, the banksters and the FAANGS don’t want to upset the money cart.
Now one thing the Gummint likes a lot is more $$$$. And it gets more $$$ with taxe$$$. And it yanks taxe$$$ out of every little crevice it can find.
But for the longest time, like 100 years, the Gummint could not find the crevices where weed was growing, so it couldn’t suck taxe$$$ out of weed. And besides, BigBadTobakky didn’t want nobody smoking nuthin else.
So everything was hunkydory with BigBadTobakky paying taxes out of your pocket, and the Gummint collecting those taxe$$$, and the banksters storing those taxe$$$ and FAANG companies sitting back and maybe taking a little ad money on the side.
But then sumthin’ happened. You decided you weren’t smokin that Tobakky no more, you were growing your own. And it tasted and smelled a LOT better.
The Gummint couldn’t find the crevices where you grew it, so the Gummint couldn’t collect the taxe$$$. And the banksters couldn’t suck the $$$ from the taxes. And that created a FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) which led to NIMBY (Nobody In My BackYard) which led to FU (do I really need to spell it out?)
And then sumthin’ else happened.
You started growing more and MORE and MOOOORE in bigger and BIGGER and BIGGGGGER crevices. And then the Gummint found it. And eventually the Gummint figured out a way to get taxe$$ from it—in some states.
But the banksters are still in the last century.
And since the FAANG’s and the banks are up each other’s wazoo in a big way—well, the FAANG and the banksters ain’t gonna let anything called “420beginner” have a store. So we have to pretend we only sell LED Grow Lights to, y’know…
Not sure which MarsHydro light to buy? No worries, we’ve already reviewed a few over on 420Beginner.com and we’ll be adding some more reviews over the next few months. (N.B. We said “next few weeks” in the newsletter—we meant “months”!)
We promise: NO SPAM. Just our weekly newsletter, bringing you our latest posts and the occasional relevant offer.
Best LED Grow Lights from our friends at LED Grow Lights Depot.
There are a multitude of LED Grow Lights on the market at all price levels and with or without all the bells and whistles. Sometimes the quality is what it should be but sometimes–well, some manufacturers cut corners to cut costs. And the opinions about LED Grow Lights are just like belly-buttons–everybody has one. So it can be hard or even impossible to find the lights that are best for your indoor garden.
That’s where we come in–we do the work of sorting out what is good, what is worth the cost and even sometimes what to avoid completely. Our top ten LED Grow Light Reviews for 2019 are posted on our front page and on the front page at our sister site, MaryJane Farmer’s 420Beginner.com.
But the fun doesn’t stop there–and neither do the LED Grow Light Reviews. Our friends at LED Grow Lights Depot sell a wide variety of lights and growing products and they have put out their own Top Ten review for 2019. Naturally it contains the products that they sell, but there is nothing against tooting your own horn.
Here at BigBudsguide, we don’t copy somebody else’s content but we certainly can comment on what someone else publishes. So here is a brief synopsis of the Top Ten LED Grow Lights as listed by the folks at LED Grow Lights Depot.
High Quality Quantum Boards in this LED grow light
The first light on their list is also an Amazon Choice and has a 5-star rating. This light is made with high-quality Quantum Boards designed by Horticulture Lighting Group. This light is suitable for commercial operations as well as home use. You can read more about Quantum Boards from MaryJane Farmer here under “DIY LED Grow Lights.”
A good commercial LED grow light
The next light is Gavita’s top of the line and most powerful model. Again, this is a good light for commercial operations but maybe a bit pricey for the smaller grower. This light has a low profile, which would be useful in low-ceiling rooms or in vertically stacked multiple grow spaces. The company claims that it’s multilayer LED construction allows a more uniform light distribution.
NextLight is the next light in the top ten grow lights list
The next light is in fact the NextLight Mega. This is a 2016 design which has stood the test of time and is best for commercial operations. It’s made in the USA and has a 5 year warranty. It’s also sold on Amazon and it’s kind of pricey at $1525.50 but LED Grow Lights Depot offers a 15% discount at checkout. Buy on LedGrowLightsDepot.com
Research says this light grows better cannabis.
Another pricey light but well worth it because of the high-quality Cree LED’s it sports is the Optic 8+. The company claims that “Research shows significant increases in trichome density, volume & terpene profile.”
Legalize Tomatoes (and cannabis) with Black Dog LED Grow Lights
Moving to number 4, is another pricey choice, this one from the well-known Black Dog line of LED Grow Lights. These lights are also made in the USA and come from Amazon in a bundle that includes a “Legalize Tomatoes” sticker, good for those American backwater states where MaryJane is not welcome. (Check out MaryJane’s interactive Global Weed Infographic of US and world cannabis laws, soon to be updated with the 2018 Revolution.) Black Dog has several lights in various sizes with various add-ons. Here are a few of them.
Light number 5 is from our friend Dan at the Green Sunshine Company. You can read MaryJane’s interview with Dan here. This is a 2-pack set of ES300 lights which can be placed closer together or farther apart depending on your plant spacing. The virtue of the Electric Sky is in its lensing system which reduces wasted light by directing more of the light straight down instead of losing it out to the sides. Again, not available on Amazon but you get a 5% discount on the two-pack at checkout on the Depot. Buy on LedGrowLightsDepot.com
Do It Yourself and save some bucks on a high quality LED Grow Light
The next light is a DIY project which requires putting together the four Quantum Boards comprising the HLG 600. The Depot calls this light its “best bang for the buck” light at $692.00. Buy on LedGrowLightsDepot.com . However, if you are handy with Do It Yourself projects requiring no more than a screwdriver and a wire stripper, you can save a ton of money by buying one or more of the same Quantum boards from Amazon. This light has several positive reviews raving about the light, about customer support from HLG and about the ease of assembly. LED Grow Lights Depot also has a video showing how to put the light together.
Raging Kush for commercial cannabis growers with stacked grow boxes
The Scynce LED Raging Kush light is aimed at the commercial market, particularly vertical grow operations (stacked tiers of plants) but small growers can certainly use it as well. There are two unique features of this light: (1) a patented lensing system that spreads the light more evenly and reduces the central hot spot that some other lights have and (2) an Android app to control timing and spectrum. The light is $1395.00 and is brand-new on the market so you might have to pre-order. For a 10% discount buy on LedGrowLightsDepot.com
A commercial-grade LED Grow Light with a discount
California Lightworks SolarXtreme 1000 is a new model from this well-known company and it is targeted to the home grower, without the remote control and other functions that California Lightworks puts in its pricier commercial-grade lights. The SolarXtreme 1000 is a powerful light with a heavy power consumption at 800 watts but its price of $899 takes some of the sting out of that. It is sold as a plug-and-play light that can be set up in minutes by even the newest noob. Get 5% off when you buy on LedGrowLightsDepot.com
High Power light with a lower power consumption and another discount
Here is another high-powered LED Grow Light suitable for any operation, the Crecer PanthrX. It has a full spectrum with added red just like the California Lightworks light above and it has a similar power replacement profile, but draws about 200 fewer watts. It has a connector to add dimmers for the high-quality Cree LEDs. The Depot tested it in a 4×4 grow tent and reports a higher PAR value at the edges than other lights. At $999 this is again a pricey light, but worth the price for the high power. You can get a 7% discount if you buy on LedGrowLightsDepot.com
That’s it for the Top Ten LEd Grow Lights list from LED Grow Lights Depot. Take advantage of the discounts in this list today because they certainly won’t last forever.
If you are wondering where all the money in growing cannabis went, read this article from a very experienced grower who has some insights about growing weed for money that might have escaped the small cannabis producer.
Joshua Haupt has been growing for a few years now. Even though he still uses old technology (inefficient and costly HPS lighting), his basic message is right on point: “Focus on efficiencies, big time.”
Despite advances in LED grow lights in recent years, the debate about which grow lights are better, LED or HID (High Intensity Discharge), remains a frequent and lively topic within the weed growing community. If you know this site well, you’ll likely expect us to come out heavily in favor of LED grow lights…
But the truth is, the best grow light for you is the one that best suits your growing circumstances. And that can be HID at times.
However, it’s becoming increasingly accepted that a top of the range LED grow light can easily replace an equivalent HID. Moreover, LED grow lights suit a much wider range of grow spaces and setups. They can certainly make growing a lot simpler and more convenient—for the home or hobby grower and commercial growers alike.
Nevertheless, HID grow lights have a lot to offer in the right circumstances.
So, to help you decide which kind of grow light is best for you, let’s take a closer look at both technologies. Starting with HID grow lights…
What are HID Grow Lights and How Do They Work?
High Intensity Discharge grow lights, as the name suggests, are prized for the brightness and intensity of the light they emit. Light that’s intense enough to easily penetrate the canopy and nourish your whole plant.
How Do HID Grow Lights Work?
The technology behind HID grow lights has actually been around for centuries. Gas is enclosed within a glass bulb, along with electrodes. When electricity is passed through the bulb it forms an arc between the electrodes which heats the gas molecules. This causes the gas to give off light. Brightness and color of light depends on which gas the bulb contains.
The two main kinds of HID bulb you’ll find within grow lights are Metal Halide (MH) and High Pressure Sodium (HPS).
MH bulbs emit a cooler, bluish spectrum that’s ideal for the vegetation stage of growing.
HPS bulbs, on the other hand, create a predominantly orange to red spectrum, that will look yellow or gold to the human eye. HPS bulbs are ideal for flowering, but can also be used for the whole grow cycle if needs be.
However, there’s more to an HID light than just the bulbs.
HID Grow Light Components
You’ll also need a reflector hood to direct the light. Some take HPS or MH bulbs only. Others allow switching.
The hood will often include some form of cooling too, since HID bulbs run very hot. But you’ll often need to supplement that with extra cooling too.
Finally, you’ll also need a ballast to power the light. The ballast converts mains electricity into electricity that the bulbs can use.
Bulbs come in two types, digital and magnetic, so ballasts do too. Not only that, but you’ll also need a ballast that matches the wattage of the bulb.
Ideally, your ballast should be digital (more efficient), versatile (able to power MH or HPS) and dimmable.
Fortunately, all this often comes as a package, so growing with HIDs isn’t quite as inconvenient as it sounds.
But let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of using HID grow lights:
Advantages of HID Grow Lights
Bright, intense light that penetrates the canopy to nourish the whole plant.
Relatively low initial cost.
Long history of successful use, so plenty of reliable information and growing advice available.
MH bulb spectrum includes UV (ultraviolet) light which stimulates production of terpenes and resin for better flavor and THC levels. Especially useful when added in the last couple of weeks of flowering to ‘ripen’ your bud.
HPS bulbs can be used for the full grow cycle, though it’s optimal to use MH instead for the veg stage.
A hybrid grow setup combining a powerful HPS grow light with supplementary LED grow lights can be very effective for larger grows. You get the intensity of a good HPS light, while LED grow lights hung either side of your HID give your plants a fuller spectrum and help ensure coverage of the edges of your grow space.
1000W HIDs give good coverage, so are great for commercial growers with large grow spaces. Whereas 400W and 600W can be great for home growing.
Disadvantages of HID Grow Lights
Frequent bulb changes, which increases running costs long term.
HID bulbs degrade quickly (up to 10-15% after one year), becoming less bright and efficient; spectrum shifts too as they grow dimmer. MH last up to 10,000 hours, HPS last up to 18,000 hours, but both are usually changed sooner.
HPS bulbs in particular create a lot of heat. Therefore:
Not suitable for confined spaces, potential fire hazard if not cooled properly.
Not suitable for low rooms, as have to be hung higher than other grow lights to protect the plants.
Increased water and nutrient bills due to evaporation.
Not great for stealth growing.
Around 75% of energy emitted is heat.
Includes high levels of infrared that can stress and damage plants.
Inefficient electricity usage.
Rely on reflectors to direct the light, losing up to 15% efficiency as a result. Light loses intensity every time it bounces off a surface before hitting the plant.
HPS bulbs create much more green and yellow light than the plants actually need, wasting energy.
The best LED grow lights are now matching and exceeding HIDs on PAR (Photosynthetically Active Radiation) per watt and yield per watt.
Not great for the environment: bulbs contain toxic metals.
Switching bulbs above a full, flowering canopy and/or a large grow space can be tricky.
Below 400W, HID lights are generally seen as inefficient and better replaced by much cooler fluorescent or LED grow lights.
At 1000W or above, generally too powerful for home and hobbyist growers.
One big reason LED grow lights are becoming so popular is that they solve most if not all of the problems we’ve just listed.
LED grow lights use LED chips rather than any sort of bulbs. The chips or diodes turn electricity directly and efficiently into light. Like HID lights, certain colors of LED chips are more energy efficient than others. However, even so, an LED grow light will use far less energy or wattage than an equivalent HID. 50-70% energy savings are quite normal to see.
You won’t have any hoods or ballasts to worry about either.
Because LED grow lights are basically plug and play. Hang up your unit, plug it in at the wall, turn it on.
Raising and lowering the height for different grow stages is really about as inconvenient as it’ll get.
The other major difference is how cool LED grow lights run compared to HIDs. Not only is less energy wasted creating heat, less electricity is wasted cooling them (40-50% less). Moreover, the design of most LED grow light units makes sure that whatever heat is produced is mostly directed up and away from the plants.
Some More Pros of LED Grow Lights
LEDs can deliver a very precise spectrum tuned exactly to the needs of your plants, with no electricity wasted on producing light the plants won’t use.
A basic full spectrum LED grow light can be used efficiently for a full grow cycle.
Can be placed closer to plants than HIDs, so can be used in a much wider variety of grow spaces, including stealth growing.
High PAR per watt and yield per watt.
Good for 50,000-100,000 hours of growing, with very little loss of quality towards end of lifespan.
Less heat = less watering, much lower fire risk and less nutrient evaporation.
Good for use in greenhouses to supplement sunlight on dull days, as can be easily switched on or off and many can be dimmed.
Even very powerful LED grow lights (well over 1000W equivalent) remain much more energy efficient than HIDs.
Better for the environment: no toxic metals used, less water and electricity used.
Lower utility bills and other running costs.
No bulbs to change and generally much lower maintenance; few parts to go wrong.
Cons of Using LED Grow Lights
High initial cost.
However, low running costs mean they work out cheaper than HID in the long run.
Need to be careful how close your grow light is to your plants. Placed too close the sheer intensity of LED light can cause so-called ‘light burn’ (which is when your plants get more light than they can process, rather than the light being too hot). Also, LEDs still produce some heat—the more powerful, the more heat.
Some LED grow light manufacturers get very creative with their specs to make essentially untrue claims about their lights. The better manufacturers, however, tend to give plenty of supporting figures and detailed diagrams so that you know exactly what you’ll be getting and exactly how well it will cover your grow space.
Fluorescent lighting might be cheaper and more practical for growing just a plant or two in a very confined space.
With some of the cheaper, less powerful models you may need to learn plant training methods like Sea of Green or Screen of Green to make sure all parts of the plants get enough light.
LED grow lights have matured to a point where the best can replace and exceed HID lights in pretty much any situation. And they just keep getting better.
It’s not that HID lights are ineffective. Far from it. They do the job very well.
But unless you lack the budget for the initial purchase, the lower maintenance and running costs, the greater convenience, versatility and reliability of LED grow lights give them the advantage.
Even many big commercial growers who used to swear by HIDs have successfully switched to LED grow lights.