Gavita, Fluence, HLG?

I’ve already commented on the Pros and Cons of the lights in article #1 so I’m going to get more technical on costs, energy savings and plain old growing results here because that’s what really matters.

First, let’s talk power consumption. I’m running 6 lights with the coinciding adapters and master controller. I burn them 18/6 in veg and 12/12 during flower. My local electric coop charges 6 cents per Kilowatt Hour so let’s do the math.

ELECTRICITY COST

Energy Charge: $0.0642/ kWh ( for first 600 kWh /mo The G’s put out the equivalent of 1,000 watts but only burn 650w. (x6 = 3,900w total) at 18hrs that’s about $4.50 per day of use in Veg at 100% power and $3.00 per day in the flowering 12 hours. Keep in mind, I run my setup at 60% power in early veg and ramp up to 80% to start flower and don’t hit 100% until maybe mid-week 2. Bottom line is I’m running less than $200 a month for my 6 light setup.


FORECASTING A LARGER ROOM

We’re expanding in 2021 and will be adding a whopping 48 lights to the operation. I’m forecasting $1,100+ energy costs per month due strictly to lighting… not bad at all. For 1K HPS lights, that would be $1,800 plus the additional HVAC/cooling costs. Now, don’t forget that I have the upfront purchase expense to acquire 48 lights/adapters/controllers. That hurts no matter how I look at it at over $1,200 per light and NO seasonal sales or discounts. !!$$$$!! I’m just thankful we’ve made the progress we have in this industry. Who knows what the future holds. One thing’s for sure. This industry will be a race to the bottom so being efficient and thrifty is as much a business plan as it is a good practice.

ISSUES

My short history is not without issues. Sometime over the summer, a small strip of 12 diodes went out on a light. While seeming to have no noticeable negative effect on my plants, I requested a replacement from my local retailer and was given one under the 5year warranty. SCORE! Additionally, I’ve had some normal but seemingly excessive wear and tear on one of the adapter cables which is causing it to not make a solid connection with the cable and thus is prone to flickering if bumped. This was not acceptable for a number of reasons but was not deemed ‘broken under warranty’ so no replacement was given. This was the policy of my local store and not the Gavita manufacturer. I’ve muscled it into place and reinforced with some electrical tape which has so far solved the problem.

GOOD LOOKING OUT

Aside from the issues, the setup has also saved my garden in periods of high temperatures. Throughout 2020, we’ve been building a more appropriate grow facility while also making due with the existing infrastructure. Our air conditioning abilities are pretty much nil and we instead opt for high air flow circulation / venting. This works well in all but the hottest of months. For us in Montana, that’s August where temps can reach 100 degrees in the afternoon hours and drag on through evening. Even though the LED’s omit far less heat than comparable lighting solutions, they still radiate and will put a room inhospitable to cannabis. I personally, don’t like my plants to get warmer than 86 F at the extreme. This is where the Gavita EL2F master controller with its auto-dimming feature comes in handy. As the temps rise above a set threshold (85 degrees in my case), the light intensity is reduced down to compensate. It can go as low as 50% output. I’m sure we sacrificed a couple of days/hours of max grow potential but saved our crop from stress, herming or even death.

COMPARISONS — Gavita vs KIND vs Flexstar


I’ll be honest, I’m curious about the competition… actually, let me re-phrase that. I’m curious about the cheaper competition. My veg plants likely don’t need a $1,200 state-of-the-art, osram LED, Samsung driver Gavita / Fluence monster. I grabbed an older KIND LED blurple from a friend in Los Angeles and sought out x3 of these [Alibaba Flexstars ] for a soon-to-be-done comparison.

Shipping was $200 for each unit but they showed up safe and sound within a week. I haven’t had the opportunity to do a full life cycle comparison so it would be unfair to make assumptions at this point but if they happen to perform, I could possibly save thousands or even ten thousand on my setup.

The hardware appears to be identical to the Hawthorne/Gavitas. Truely, the cherry on top of this shake would be a 4 way light challenge with one of the Fluence Spydrx added to the mix.

So, I try not to look a gift horse in the mouth because just making a decision on which light solution to go with is hard enough without comparing apples to oranges BUT…. I couldn’t help myself from making a little stat vs cost on industry leading options on this. Make of it what you will but if the manufacturer stats can be believed as accurate, there is a clear winner here… hmmmm… AND just because I can’t keep quiet, why are companies charging $1,500, $1,700 dollars for a product that can’t set a higher bar? You be the judge.

ANOTHER BOTTOM LINE

So, as it always comes down to, specs matter not unless you have a spectacular finished product. I’ll speak little on this and let the images tell the story. I find that light penetration is great on all but the most bushy of indicas and with a bit of trimming we get universal growth throughout the plant.


LA Kush Cake, Sundae Float & Red Diesel in flower

Notice the color expressions from the different strains and the absolute knockout finale. We’ve grown a Sundae Float strain that reached nearly 33% THC content and under the microscope, it’s clear that the plant is getting what it needs to develop world class trichomes.

I’ll do a part three write up when we can do our light comparison.

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Looking at your chart the numbers listed don’ttell the whole story. The fluence spydr 2i (flagship model) is 1700 umols/s current pricing I’ve seen around $1230 shipped. I was also wondering if the $900 for flexstar included the $200 shipping?

Not trying to be critical, it is understood that you are growing and just putting the data together and not necessarily just in the business of doing light comparisons.

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Hey @dbrn32 I got the specs from the manufacturer websites. Yes the $900 for the flexstar includes the $200 shipping fee.

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That sounds pretty good on the flexstar if their marketing data is accurate.

The specs on spydr look about right. I just meant that it is old model. They have been around since at least early 2017, first time I remember seeing one. I’m pretty sure they predate quantum boards and were cutting edge led tech at the time. Obviously the game has changed a lot since then. The spydr 2i is their current big light. Pretty comparable to gavita, only not owned by the mothership.

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I just got the new HLG scorpion and boy it is a beast. I love it. Can’t wait to throw them into flower under it.

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So I can be an educated consumer:

Who is the mothership and what brands do they own?

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Scott’s Miracle-Gro.

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Thank you! Are they affiliated with Monsanto/Bayer?

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Looks beautiful lol. If ya don’t mind me asking…what did that set ya back?

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$1515.31 exactly. It will be worth it though. I noticed a difference in the scorpion and my 260’s I run. There is literally zero heat coming from the scorpion. They also used inventronic driver on it.

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Ouch! :anguished: lol. I heard it’s a bad mo fo. Tho. I started with a spider farmer 2000, then added a hlg 260. Which easily outperformed the spider farmer. After the holidays…I’m going to get another 260. I can have 6 flowering plants in my state. I kind of have my room set up in horse shoe shape so I have an opening in the middle to attend to all plants. Then I can have one light per 2 flowering plants. I like having the separate lights as it gives me flexibility in the flowering room. My next project is a new veg room and was just curious what ya spent Incase I decide to switch things up and go that route. I was thinking the 650rspec. It’s a little cheaper than $1500 I think. Anyway…nice looking light. I’d tell ya to let us know how it does…but I think we already know what it’s going to do. Lol​:+1:

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Yessir, they are the marketing agent for Bayer

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Yeah I have a feeling it will grow some bats. I have 3 260’s as well that I use. I just love the hlg lights very low electric consumption and they are built like tanks.

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Damnit man! I just bought a hurricane fan!

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Not the end of the world. When the time comes to replace you will be more prepared.

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Has any one tryed the sp3000 from marshydro
I bought two of them 400 a piece free shipping but I Google a discount code and total price was 767.00
Only been using for a week


I usually used HID but wanted to try led to see what the hype was all about

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Seems like you’ve been using HID and LED for a while. Could you post some topics about HID vs LED?

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Hi Galen,

Welcome to the community! There are tons of threads on HID vs LED. We’re all happy to help.

What would you like to know?

Are you currently growing?

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Hi NeoGroR,

Big thanks for you all for the knowledge post here!
So, there are tons of pricy brand like Grower’s choice and these three listed now, are they really worth the price? As far as I know, almost all of those pricy brand are manufactured by China. And we can reach same quality light with only half investment.
I am now working for the factory of Grower’s Choice in China, and planing to start growing in America once I get the ■■■■. New for growing but experienced enough on LED.

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Galen,

You’re right. There are many many quality lights available with wide range of pricing.

Almost all of them have have been reviewed with a good technical breakdown. Check out the Migro YouTube channel. I really respect Shane from Migro and all of the work he puts into his reviews.

I look for lights that have a good output, full spectrum LED’s and are affordable.

Just last week I bought an refurbished HLG 600r. The list price $599, with a 10% discount code it can be had for $540. From what I’ve found, there’s not a light on the market that can beat that power/price point. On top of that, they have great customer service.

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