HLG 550 LED by Horticulture Lighting Group The Full Review

  

A new era in LED grow lights has arrived.

The HLG 550 LED grow light from Horticulture Lighting Group is breaking away from old LED fixtures with blue and purple lights.

HLG decided to build their own LED boards to utilize a white light technology with a full-color spectrum.

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The grow light uses more green and yellow light (invisible to the eye) to enhance photosynthesis accompanied by all the other color spectrum's.

More and more LED fixtures on the market are using the white light technology.

In this HLG 550 review, we will take a look at the guts of the light, go over the parts included in this fixture.

Also, what features it has and how it compares it to other alternatives of LED grow lights out there in the industry.

Can this LED grow light replace a 1000 watt single ended bulb?

Find out more below.

HLG 550 is designed for:

HLG 550 grow light

Recommend for growers who would like to transition from using the HPS or MH bulbs.

Make a move to a more energy efficient way to grow with new LED or COBS which are also on the market.

Grower's with an older LED grow lights and are not satisfied with the quality your bud.

Or are alarmed at how much your electricity bill is and are considering going back to HPS or metal halide.

You are starting to grow and are concern over bulbs exploding or fire caused by heat especially in a tent.

Or just want to save money on power and grow some killer weed.

What does this mean for you the cannabis grower?

Grow healthy plants, with better trichome production and yields than your average cheap LED’s that are currently overwhelming the growing community.

There's nothing wrong with these lights they do grow some alright weed.

Except for the energy efficiency from the wall and the amount of light photons produced doesn't compare to the HLG 550.

You could realistically get a cheap HPS or Metal Halide also to replace your inexpensive LED and get the same watts from the wall and have better quality herb.

Save money on cooling when you're growing, this light is passively cooled with no additional fans.

There is heat but nothing compared to a 1000 watt in the summer.

The power is less than half of a 1000-watt HPS or even Metal halide bulb if you're using one. 515 watts. Sweet.

This light is bright you will want to wear some grow glasses when you power it on! 

The HLG 550 is currently one of the most efficient led grow lights on the market currently coming in at 2.4 umole/joule.

Some of the most efficient led right now are at an efficiency of 2 umole/joule.

What’s in the HLG 550 Led Grow Light

Horticulture Culture Lighting Group is at the forefront of the LED industry.

They are leading the way with a new efficiency in LED lights.

Moving away from the older generation of LED of purple, blue lights and created the Quantum Board.

The industry first high-density modular light for horticulture which utilizes white light technology.

Quantum Boards

quantum board

Quantum boards are custom designed by Horticulture Lighting Group they purchase the led’s right from the Samsung factory.

Samsung LED diodes are assembled on the boards in the United States.

The boards have different model coinciding with the number of diodes on the boards.

Some of the models are qb120, qb288, qb304 quantum boards.

The quantum boards are like a giant COB because both lights use a newer white light technology, which utilizes the green, yellow color spectrum. 

Quantum boards is passively cooled. Unlike a cob which requires a means of cooling itself.

The Quantum boards come with a full spectrum at 3000k for the HLG 550, they also have 4000k or 5000k sold separately.

Meanwell Drivers

Mean well Drivers are a top of the line driver (power supply) which is the same as what a ballast is if you are growing with HPS or Metal Halide.

HLG 550 uses a Meanwell driver model: HLG-480H-2100A has a dimmable feature.

This is cool if you want to turn down the power and not use the full 515 watts from the wall.

Features:

HLG 550 - color spectrum- 3000k

3000K color spectrum

Highly efficient White light quantum boards over 190+lumens at 50-watts.

Full Spectrum white light 3000K this spectrum is the happy medium in growing because your cannabis plants will do well in the veg or flower stage. 

Passively cooled fixture design (no fans required) this is a bonus because the heat is dissipated over the whole boards and the mounting frame.

Optimal canopy spread of light, with the way the HLG 550 is designed you get a great stretch of even light photons across the whole canopy.

Great for Veg or Bloom stages with the full spectrum of white light this light can go from seed to bud

Bonus Dim-able feature which is great if you're in veg and would like to lower the watts say down to 250 watts or so.

When just starting plants out under the light you can turn down the start and then crank it back up to 510 watts slowly.

Made with 1152 top bin, Samsung LM561C S6 led, so top bin means the top of the line, the best of the best straight from the factory.

Only uses 515 watts from the wall, this is incredible, imagine saving half of the cost of your electricity bill.

Flowering footprint is 4.5’X4.5 or 4’X5’; this light is great for tents or sections of your grow room

Veg footprint is 6’X6', enough room to provide some spread to your growing plants

Tech Specs of the HLG550

Here is a listing of the light values for more scientific measurements for comparability.

  • Efficiency is 161 Lm/W
  • Fixture Efficacy is 161 Lm/ W
  • The Fixture PPF Efficacy 2.4 umole/joule
  • Total output is 1265 PPF
  • Size of the unit is 26” x 20”X 3”
  • Recommended height for mounting is 18-28 inches
  • lightbulb-o
    Also, possible to get power outputs for 240V for UK and European Union outlets as well.
grow light hlg 550

Replace your 1000 watt HPS?

Bold claims for sure, but if you look at the data (science) for the PPF of light.

The HLG 550 is 1265 PPF, and a 1000 watt single ended HPS has 1245.

HLG 550 has comparable par readings to some single ended bulbs.

HLG 550 vs. HPS  with par readings

Here are some of the par readings to compare with a single-ended HPS
(include pics and maybe table stats?)

Here is the par measurements for the HLG550 LED (click to enlarge for mobile)

par measurements hlg 550 at 24 inches
par measurements hlg 550 at 18 inches

Here is one of best the par measurements for a SE 1000 watt bulb 

1000watt par chart

As you can see at the recommended height of 18 inches the 550 outpaces the HPS, at their recommended distance of 24 inches.

Pros

  • Save money on electricity, 515 watts from the wall
  • Comparable light photons to a 1000-watt SE
  • Easily repairable, with replacement parts
  • Solid warranty
  • Fantastic customer service
  • Affordable for the efficiency and quality of the HLG550
  • Great for a beginner
  • Perfect when transitioning from growing with bulbs
  • Quality parts are used, no cheap OEM or 15 year old diodes here
  • They actually tell you what the light is made of.

Cons

  • The quantum boards are fragile (bare board)
  • No cover for the led boards (optional best check with HLG)
  • No dim-able turn dial (small flat head required)

Check out the video below for a closer look,

Alternatives

Here are just a couple of the grow lights right now on the market that is using white light with new technology.

Other than in the past decade of poor quality grow lights.

NextLight Mega LED Grow Light

The Nextlight Mega grow light is one big light. It uses 650 watts from the wall and Nextlight has stated that it can replace your double ended HPS bulb.

Mega also uses 75 percent less heat. This light also uses white light technology with a full spectrum.

The PPF is 1400 umol/s covering 5 X 5 area.The size of the light is 37” x 37” x 2.5" .

Weighs 23 pounds and comes with a 5-year warranty.

The Mega grow light is a little more expensive, but it also has more watts from the wall and can cover a 5X5 foot area for flower and 7X7 foot area for vegetative stage.

CX-9

cx9 hlg

The CX-9 from the Horticulture Lighting Group. The light features 9 top bin

citizen CLU048 cobs and draws 540 watts from the wall.

The veg footprint is 5.5 x 5.5 feet, and the flower footprint is 4x4 foot area.

PPF is 938 umol/sec. The light is smaller than the HLG550 with dimensions of 18"X18"x3.25".

This fixture also stated can replace a single-ended 1000wat HPS.

The cobs also use a white light technology if you are not familiar with these types of newer grow light s on the market.

If you are unsure on the quantum boards, you can always go for the cobs which have been really pushing the market in the last couple of years.

Conclusion

When looking for a LED grow light out there if you're growing with anything lower than a 1000-watt single ended bulb.

The HLG 550 grow light will blow anything else away. 

For quality and quantity of bud it comes up pretty even with a 1000 watt.

It may be a little investment at the start, in the long run, you’ll save on power after the first or second grows.

When I use a bulb, it's pretty inexpensive just to replace it, but the electricity bills start to add up.

These lights are just like TV's with their lifespan, over fifty thousand hours.

Something to consider with looking into purchasing a LED.

Have you used the HLG 550, what were your experiences?

Are you considering making the change from grow bulbs to led lights?

Let me know in the comments

Grow on my friends. 

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