High End LED Grow Lights: Coverage Area & Distance – LED vs T5 vs HID (Spider Farmer SF-2000 Review)

Hi YouTubers! I'm AL Gracian from Albopepper.

com.

In our last video we looked at the latestgeneration of LED growlights.

We saw how super high efficacy ratings canallow a lower wattage LED to outperform older, higher wattage ones.

I was excited to share my 100 watt SF-1000from Spider Farmer.

Well, Spider Farmer hired me to measure thePPFD of their double panel SF-2000 LED.

And if I'm taking PPFD readings anyway.

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.

why not share them with you guys? Today we'll see how their 200 watt grow lightcan be used for everything from seedlings to final stage medicinal -tomatoes.

How much area can this light cover? How high up should it be? What role does side reflection play? Also, did you know these lights are "dimmable"? What's the story there? We're gonna find out! To start, I won't cover the same details mentionedin the last video.

Be sure to watch it if you haven't.

But picking up from there, what are some keydifferences between the SF-2000 and the SF-1000? At first glance I figured the SF-2000 wasjust two 1000 panels placed together powered by a single, larger driver.

But if you look closely, you see there's areal difference in the diode configurations.

The 1000 contains 218 diodes at about 0.

43watts each.

But the 2000 uses a very different layout.

Each half has 303 diodes for a total of 606at about 0.

3 watts per diode.

So that's 170 diodes more that I would haveexpected.

The SF-1000 runs a 100 watt Meanwell driverat 94 watts.

The SF-2000 runs a 240 watt driver at 202watts.

Some interesting differences.

But how do these compare when it comes tolight coverage? The 100 watt LED worked well in a 28 inchchamber.

So I tried doubling that for the 200 wattmodel.

The SF-2000 covered a 56 inch by 28 inch areaat a height of 24 inches.

But the lighting wasn't quite uniform.

The PPFD numbers ranged from 306 to 614.

If this was for seedlings or clones, someplants would grow much better than others.

The grow chamber was too elongated.

When I compared it to the proportions of thelight it became clear.

I shortened the area to 44 inches.

Now the PPFD range only fluctuated by 150.

I dropped the light to 18 inches and thosenumbers shifted though, spiking to mid 8 hundreds in the center.

So height makes a big difference.

Over this coverage area 24 inches is the sweetspot.

The average PPFD was 584.

For an 18 hr light cycle, that yields a DLIof 37.

8.

And that's really great.

For normal greenhouse production, that lightlevel will work for all types of nursery plants, including basic high-light fruiting plantslike tomatoes.

Of course, not all tomatoes.

The ones of the.

.

.

um "medicinal" varietyhave special needs.

In its final growth stages mari-tomatoes needa 12 hour light cycle.

These PPFD levels would only yield a DLI of25.

2.

But many growers will shoot for a DLI of 41to 51.

That means PPFD values over 950.

To get that, we need to reduce the coveragearea, squeezing all available photons into a smaller space.

So I tried a 3 foot by 2 foot area at 18 inches.

Average PPFD was 892.

Getting there.

I shrunk the area more, settling on 36 by20 inches.

Now our PPFD was 1054.

At 12 hours of light, the DLI is 45.

5.

At that light intensity, you could cover two18 inch wide plants.

This would be fine for a mini grow chamber, perhaps as a stealth grow project.

For a larger area with more plants, this dimensioncan help you to calculate the density requirement for your grow lights.

You'll need either more lights or an evenstronger, higher wattage unit.

The SF-4000 might be a good option.

I honestly like the idea of using two SF-2000’sfor greater flexibility over various grow areas.

The SF-2000 can put out some fairly intenselight levels.

And those levels are maximized through theuse of reflective sidewalls.

Whether you use mylar, reflective paint ora reflective grow tent, salvaging stray photons is crucial for maximum efficiency.

With no reflective sides, here's a PPFD mapof the SF-2000 at 18 inches.

Let's just look at this portion of those readings.

Now throw up some side walls and you can seethe difference! Hopefully these different readings can assistyou in setting up your grow space.

On one hand we have the very high-light, blooming/ budding plants that require smaller coverage areas and closer mounting heights.

But you can cover much more space in vegemode while also raising the light appropriately.

Based on this data I'd estimate that low-lightplants, like seedlings and lettuce would do well in a 43 by 34 inch coverage area witha light height of 27 inches when side reflection is provided.

Thus this 200 watt light can cover anywherefrom 5 to 11 square feet depending on the application.

Of course if you dim it, that number mightbe much less.

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Wait! Dim it!? Who would want the light to be LESS intense??? Leave it to the guy who says "lettuce" andreally means lettuce.

Or mentions "trees" and actually means trees.

For years I've been growing my seedlings inthis three sided grow chamber, divided into an upper and lower section.

The top was fairly roomy.

But in the bottom, there's not much verticalspace.

So I've continued to use a 2 foot T5 lightfor things like these onion seedlings.

I knew LEDs could be a good choice.

But years ago, I found that some of thosecheap, low wattage panels just couldn't cut it.

Bad spectrums.

Low power.

And poor efficacy.

And that leads me today.

LEDs have come a long way and I can finallysay goodbye to these junky, inefficient fluorescents! Sacrilegious as it might be to some high-endgrowers, I'm gonna dim this SF-2000 so I can run it in this tight space.

Step 1: On a sturdy surface, place the lightso the diodes are in the air.

Plug the light into a wattage meter.

Step 2: Remove the driver.

Turn it over and remove the rubber cap (labeled)"V".

Step 3: Turn it on.

With a very small Phillips head screwdriver, gently and slowly rotate the screw counterclockwise.

Once you reached the desired wattage, justput everything back together.

I decided to reduce my running wattage from202 watts all the way down to 75 watts.

This is as much or even less than a 96 wattT5 system.

In fact, with its one year old bulbs, my T5was drawing the same power as the dimmed SF-2000.

But how would the light levels compare? Without using any side reflection, here'sthe PPFD chart of my T5 at 9 inches.

And now check out the underdriven Spider FarmerLED running at the same wattage.

It's putting out 3 times the light using thesame power! Replacing the bulbs in my T5 would have helpedout.

But that just underscores how inferior thattechnology is.

As soon as you put in new bulbs, you startto lose brightness.

Now I have a system that won't need yearlybulb replacements.

The plants will grow much faster and stronger.

Obviously, most of you would never use thislight in such a way.

You could just buy lower-powered LEDs at alower price.

But I just wanted to share this with you.

These newer quantum style panels can phaseout older LEDs as seen in my previous video.

They'll crush any T5 fluorescent systems.

But what about HIDs like metal halides orhigh pressure sodium? I showed a chart in my previous video comparingthe efficacy of various lighting techs.

Well here's a more recent update showing howLEDs compare to various HIDs.

A great little article for you to read.

Check the link in my description.

Magnetic vs electronic ballasts vs doubledended HPS systems all have different rates of efficacy.

So it depends on the type of HID and its specs.

And regardless of efficacy, you'll still needenough power to achieve your target light levels.

That being said, a light like this SF-2000, running at 200 watts, could easily replace 400 watt HPS if it uses a magnetic ballast.

I hope the data shown in this video has helpedyou to evaluate the Spider Farmer SF-2000.

But hopefully, it also gives you tips in optimizingyour light for your own grow area.

Remember: larger plants, more plants, largergrowing area, later growth phases, shorter day cycles.

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these variables all requirebrighter light sources.

That means good side lighting, higher wattagesystems, more lights, reduced coverage area and or closer light placement.

But if you get it right, you can expect greatresults, with healthy productive plants! Thanks for taking time to watch.

I appreciate all of your support on my channel.

Please subscribe if you haven't already.

And as always, Happy Gardening!.

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