Grow closet lighting suggestion

I am starting out my first grow set up and have stumbled down the rabbit hole of lighting. I have a 5X7 closet and intend to use about 3x4 to grow on. Currently I set up (2) Mars Hydro TS 600w.

The more I read, the more I am going to return these. Problem is I need another light(s). My budget is $200 and lower. Could someone suggest to me two options. One option being the best and another option being the best within my budget.

I’ve come to learn HLG is the best but I cannot justify the price for my beginner status. I would ideally want 2-4 plants in the space with 2 strains.
Thank you in advance!

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Hi @Tyhackett1 welcome to the neighborhood :grinning: good lighting is very important when growing and will end up being your biggest investment. These are in my opinion of the best for the $ light and best light available

Electric Sky 300 V3, Wideband LED Grow Light, High Performance, Silent Cooling, Plant-Tuned Full Spectrum, Rapid Veg Growth and High Flower Yield, up to 3’x6’ Grow Area

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HLG’s Diablo is right at $200 and is a very good light for 1 plant.

If expense is a concern I would throttle the number of plants you intend to grow. Grow 1 really good plant and get a good harvest. Running multiple plants under inadequate lighting will result in whispy, weak plants. You are not going to find a light from any manufacturer that will flower multiple plants for <$200.

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Agree with @MidwestGuy not going to get an led for a 3x5 for $200 scale down your grow space and expand as you can afford more lighting if the dude code still works you mite get that HLG 200 for 170

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@MeEasy thank you for the welcome and the suggestions. I do like the first one!

@MidwestGuy I was afraid of hearing this but it makes sense :sweat_smile:.

@dirtydave what is the dude code and that HLG 200 would be good for flowering and veg in my area? Do I just put in promo code “dude”?

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Viparspectra has been around for a long time and build quality equipment I think you put one of them for now and add another later. I’ve seen many of these in action and they produce very well and it would be hard to find 250w with Samsung diodes for cheaper plus it actually has a better spectrum than a lot of the big companies with the far red. Of course you can spend more and get better but I don’t think you can get more for that money. Again my opinion

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From what I’ve learned lurking around this forum for a day or two is Samsung diodes are the way to go. There are so many brands of lights I haven’t come across Viparspectra yet, but I do like that price point for what you get. And if I want to get another one I’d still be at 150% cost of the HLG of similar power. I will most likely be returning the Mars Hydro and getting that. Unless of course I cave and get the HLG :laughing:

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One light to cover that space, 3x5 ft it will be on the expensive side, like posted above I have a virparspec xs-1500 it’s the newer version they have. I think you can the xs-2000 in your price range, that can do a 4x2 ish if you wanting to do 2 plant I think it would be ok. The big difference between the newer xs models and there older models the xs I think has more Dios not 100% for sure but they do have the Samsung 301 and it has a Meanwelll driver. So you are greeting name brand equipment With the older models do not have the meanwell driver. Meanwell is what HLG using. I did upgrade to HLG and it is more efficient, my xs ran much hotter then my HLG which is twice the size and power but did coast more

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That XS2000 is about $80 more than the P2500 unfortunately. $240 vs $160. The meanwell driver is doing what exactly? Making the LEDs more efficient and better quality? Ensuring proper and consistent voltage? With the meanwell driver and Samsung diodes it’s practically the same as HLG then.

Unfortunately like I said with my budget and beginner level I’m going to have to settle with the best I can get within my budget. So far that P2500 Viparspectra seems to be in that sweet spot. I’d do 1 plant maybe 2 because I’m a glutton. Also love room for error and practice.

I really appreciate all of your help and suggestions
@dbrn32 if you have a moment I’d like to hear your opinion on this choice. Thank!

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I would never personally recommend lights from Viparspectra or Mars, if that’s what you’re asking. Although I do respect the position of more expensive lights simply being outside of budget.

Meanwell driver is going to be more efficient than most at converting ac power into dc power, and probably have a longer warranty than most. That being said, not all Meanwell drivers are the same either. Xlg-240 is going to be roughly $20 cheaper than hlg-240 with only having minor differences. Same goes for Samsung leds. Some of Samsung leds are very very good, and some aren’t even half as good as those. That would be acknowledging that everyone saying they use authentic Samsung leds is telling the truth, and this has already been proven otherwise.

In short, I always feel like just because you’re getting a less expensive light doesn’t necessarily make it a better value. Neither of lights mentioned will have the same amount of par per watt as the hlg products. If you understand that and you’re making a clear decision to save a little money on lower performing product, I have no objection. I would maybe check out some of the qb knock off companies before buying on Amazon though.

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Well thank you for the explanation. That answered my questions for sure. Looks like I have a decision to make. All of the information can make your head spin. I’ll most likely go with an HLG, hopefully refurbished.

Thank you again everyone! I’m sure I’ll be posting around these forums again some time within the next 5 months :sweat_smile:

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Keep the lights you got to veg and get a hps 2nd hand to flower with is only way you will flower that big of a space for a couple hundred.
Unless you get a really good deal on some used lights.
There is a sf2000 on Facebook market place local to me right now for $75. Check what ever you got access to locally 2nd hand and you may be surprised what you find very cheap.

Many buy stuff, try and give up, then sale their equipment cheap…

Good luck to ya freind :grin:

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Just to elaborate more on Samsung dios, efficiency is the main thing with HLG, I had a tech guy explain to me the difference and this is long story short.
1 HLG only using top bin dios ( or the best of best dios made) they are the top of the of the line. When Samsung makes dios they have a giant sheets and make thousand, and thousands at 1 time. Like anything some come out perfect with less then 1% of defections, when you buy HLG that is what your are getting. Also HLG is the only company in the US that has the equipment and rights from Samsung to make there dios here .Any other light manufacturer has to buy them from the factories in China, or over seas. So not dios are created equal, HLG only uses the best dios. So other dios that test lower then that are sold for a cheaper price. And that is what your getting from other companies, not saying that they aren’t any good but less efficient. Efficiency is the key, you get more out of them at a lower power consumption, versus lower tier dios.
2 that is where the meanwell driver comes in more efficient. Like dbrn23 said
3 efficiency is they key, less heat( heat is bad on all electrical equipment)
Now all that being said I have used a spider farm light, and virparspec xs-1500 and they did there job, but neither came close to what my HLG light dose. And I got a refurbished light from them cause I don’t have unlimited cash so understand. The money I spent on sdf-1000, and viparspec xs-1500 I could have bought a new HLG. Also posted above if you can save for a month or 2, use the light I have now and before flower upgrade if growing photos. Choice is yours pay more now, and hit a home run, or spend less now, and more later when u upgrade. There are other good lights out bedsides HLG but no other company can do what HLG lights can do, It science, not opinion

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Wonderful explanation. Makes sense about the diodes for sure

You are correct but I just want to tac on a little bit myself…
When we are talking about the efficiency, it’s basically how many dollars do we spend on electricity to get the light out put we need.

The difference between top bin or bottom for near every home grower running maybe a couple thousand watts worth at a time across a few lights… or less for most…
Is absolute pennies and should not even really be a considering factor…

If you are running commercial and have many, many 1000w lights going inside a ¼ million dollar operation then ever bit adds up…

Long as you understand what you have and it’s capabilities, all this "diode efficiency " talk isn’t near as important as HLG and marketing makes it out to be for any novice grower…

Now things like country of origin, customer service, and warranty are some good reasons to choose say HLG over alot of the cheap companies…
But youtube and this forum is full of people killing it with cheap led lights that cost them less then $50 a year more to run then a hlg equivalent…

Heat and reliability can be effected by efficiency sure, but again for someone with only a light or two the difference is negotiable in most cases…

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Thank you for adding that. I’ve been keeping that thought in the back of my head, that the efficiency argument has to be negligible. It’s important for other reasons but still. It’s hard not to get caught up with getting the best of the best.

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Don’t get me wrong freind, if you can offered it by all means get the best.
I just don’t want people to think they have to and hit a credit card more then they should or think they going to save that money in a year on electricity.
When its not really the case…

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I completely agree with all said above by reading my post you would think I work for HLG lol, I don’t, all I have is my personal experience, like said I used virparspec and spider farm. Each one of lights ran much hotter then my bigger HLG, which means I had 2 6 inch fans blowing just on lights to keep them cool. And to keep my environment right I had to use more electricity, another way efficiency comes in to play, Completely agree lots of people on this form use other lights, and have GREAT results. I’m just tying to give all the information possible to let y’all make your own decisions. I think we all know that some of these lighting company say there light can do this or that and it’s just not true. Like I said if I knew now what I new then would have not wasted my cash on others smaller lights. And all I have is HLG 300, by no means there too end light, and cause I’m poor i got the refurbished model, 1 yr warranty and if you need help there only a phone call away. Not very many companies can say that. Please make you own decijust trying to give y’all all the info out there, best of luck and happy growing

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I appreciate the advice and your experiences !

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