High End LED Grow Lights: Coverage Area & Distance - LED vs T5 vs HID (Spider Farmer SF-2000 Review)
How high should you place your grow light? How much area can it cover? In this unboxing, video review, we look at the SF-2000 quantum style LED board from Spider Farmer. The PPFD readings can help you to optimize your growing area depending on your crop and its stage of growth. Plant size, plant density and growth phase makes a difference!
Spider Farmer SF 2000
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• 606 Diodes: SAMSUNG LED LM301B
• Driver: Mean Well - Dimmable!
• Power Draw: 202 Watts
• Efficacy: 2.7 umol/J
• Spectrum: 3000K, 5000K, 660nm, 760nm
• Coverage: 4 ft x 3 ft Vege / 3 ft x 2 ft Bloom
• Distance: 18" - 27" from Plant Canopy
Spider Farmer hired me to measure the light levels of their 200 watt SF-2000 grow light. I took a variety of PPFD readings using my Apogee quantum light sensor. This video shows my readings at 2 different heights and 7 coverage areas. Two readings were without side reflection. The others used reflective sidewalls.
When comparing the light levels of any two grow lights, it's better to use PPFD measurements. Measuring lux or lumens is less reliable, especially with custom light spectrums. But simply showing a center PPFD reading isn't enough! How much area can the light cover? How evenly is the light distributed?
Longer LED panels can spread the diodes out over a longer area, allowing you to get some pretty consistent light coverage. But you still need to see the light map over a given area at a set distance. And it's important to account for side reflection and the role that it plays in boosting photon penetration.
Of course, you also need to consider the needs of your plants. Are they young, still growing in their vegetative state? Or are they mature, producing blooms, buds or fruit? Different stages require different DLI (Daily Light Integral) levels. And some plants also require shorter photoperiods, which in turn, increases light demands.
DIMMING OPTION: I really like the specs of the SF-2000. But it's overpowered for my application. I have a very small growing area, used for seedlings and vegetative growth. My grow chamber has a top and bottom section. In the bottom, I've continued to use a 2 foot T5 because of limited vertical clearance. But now I can finally retire my outdated, inefficient fluorescent! I managed to dim the SF-2000 from 202w down to 75w. It pumps out three times as much light as the old T5 without using any extra power!
FINAL THOUGHTS: I liked my SF-1000, but I like the SF-2000 even more. It packs more diodes onto each board. That means fewer watts per diode. I would expect that to translate into longer life. The PPFD values are impressive. Spider Farmer also offers a 400 watt unit (SF-4000). However, when I compared the price, it seemed better to just buy two SF-2000s rather than a single SF-4000. You would get much more flexibility in how the light can be distributed over the plant canopy!
#IndoorGrowing #LEDlights #QuantumPanels #ArtificialLighting
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