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Is it better to buy a cheap or expensive grow light?

The market has reduced the cost of LED grow lights dramatically in the last few years and it is still falling. Companies are using different design approaches from low cost and medium efficiency  to high cost and high efficiency but which is best?
I have tried to answer this as best as possible in two ways.

Fixture cost $/PAR output

The first chart is evaluates each light fixture for their light output V’s cost. I use the test results from each light and divide the total light output (µmols/sec usable PPF) by its cost (before taxes and shipping).

LED grow light fixture cost comparison chart

LED grow light fixture cost comparison chart

3 Year cost (fixture cost + electricity)

I compare the cost of providing 750µmols/m2/sec (enough to cover 1m²) for 3 years.
In this comparison the higher efficiency fixtures will have lower running costs and make ground on the cheaper fixtures.

LED grow light 3 year total cost comparison chart

LED grow light 3 year total cost comparison chart

It hurts to not be on the top of either category but I hope you appreciate the data 🙂
take care, Shane

 

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