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HLG QUANTUM BOARD LED GROW LIGHT REVIEW

Everyone has heard of quantum boards by now.

You can’t visit any forum on growing without seeing HLG Quantum Board LED grow lights mentioned, and usually in glowing terms.

When they first came out, HLG made sure there was a constant conversation about their lights, and the very cleverly picked “quantum board” term.

Does that mean these lights are not worth it?

No, definitely not. They are great lights and they perform exceptionally well. But they are not the second coming, as much of the hype would have you believe. There are definitely some things you should be aware of.

We’ll cover it all in the review below.

The review will be focused on the Horticulture Lighting Group 550 V2 RSpec LED grow light, since that is their flagship fixture. But everything said (apart from specific numbers) goes for the other quantum board lights as well.

Let’s begin by taking a look at the most popular HLG quantum board lights and seeing how they compare. Then we’ll cover the 550 V2 RSpec in detail.

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HLG-550 V2 RSPEC FULL SPECTRUM LED GROW LIGHT

Advantages

The biggest advantage of the Horticulture Lighting Group fixtures are the quality components. Chief among them are the Samsung and Osram LEDs and the Meanwell drivers.

These high quality components are extremely efficient, delivering a high output, while consuming less power and generating less heat than almost every other light on the market.

The other major advantage of HLG fixtures is the form factor. The large panel makes for a more even light distribution. Let’s take a closer look at the primary advantages of this light.

Spectrum

The Samsung LM301B LEDs emit a full-spectrum white light with a color temperature of 3500K. That is a warm white (i.e. containing a lot of red-spectrum light) that is great for flowering, but also works well for vegging.

The additional Osram LEDs add a 660 nm deep red light that give plants a huge boost during the bloom stage. It results in bigger and more potent yields.

The light emitted by the HLG 550 V2 RSpec is ideal for full cycle plant growth and is especially powerful for flowering.

When it comes to HLG lights with a spectrum consisting only of 3000K or 4000K white light (which is most of their other fixtures), you lose that extra flowering boost from the deep red light.

The 3000K spectrum is a bit warmer (more reddish) than the 3500K white light in the RSpec, so it is also great for flowering, but you do miss that additional deep red light. The 4000K spectrum works well for flowering, too, but not as well as the RSpec or the 3000K.

4000K is better for vegging though. For that reason, you want to go with the 4000K spectrum if you are vegging only. If you are growing full cycle or flowering only, the RSpec spectrum is the best, with the 3000K spectrum being a close second.

None of the HLG lights emit a significant amount of UV or IR light.

Output and Coverage

The coverage is much more even than most LED grow lights.

The reason for the even coverage is something I touched on earlier: the size of the fixture.

With a smaller fixture (like most competitors), light to the corners of the coverage area has to travel further, since it is coming from the center of the area. It loses much of its intensity by the time it reaches the canopy.

With the larger HLG fixture, light does not have to travel nearly as far to reach the corners of the coverage area, since the large size of the fixture brings LED diodes much closer to the far corners. As a result, the light does not lose nearly as much of its intensity by the time it reaches the canopy.

This does mean less power in the center of the coverage area, but much more around the outside. Even with less power in the center, you still get a lot. Plenty for any type of plant.

And the plants on the outside also still get enough light to flower, which is not the case with many lights that focus all of their power into a small area in the center of the coverage area.

It is actually listed at 4.5 by 4.5 feet and it can effectively cover that size area, especially if it is in a tent or other enclosure with reflective walls.

Personally, I would use this light to cover a 4 by 4 foot area. That way you ensure that even plants in the corners still get well over 100 umol/s. If the light is used to cover a 4.5 by 4.5 foot area, the corners will barely get 100 umol/s and might get slightly less.

It would work fine, but I prefer to give the plants a bit more light.

OTHER PROS

Another great pro is the heat management. The HLG-550 V2 quantum boards run much cooler than other LED panels, so the fixture doesn’t even need fans. Passive cooling is all you need.

Not only does that mean silent operation, it also means a longer lifespan. Fans are usually one of the first components to stop working.

The HLG 550 lights ship with a free set of ratchet hangers, but that is not the case for the other HLG fixtures.

HLG QUANTUM BOARD LED GROW LIGHT REVIEW: FINAL VERDICT

The Horticulture Lighting Group HLG 550 V2 RSpec LED Grow Light and all other HLG panels, use high quality components to give you one of the most efficient grow lights on the market period.

The high quality Samsung and Osram diodes, deliver huge output, while consuming less power and generating less heat. Your costs go way down and your yields go up.

The large fixtures with diodes spread out over the entire surface ensure a more even coverage and deeper penetration, since the light does not lose nearly as much of its intensity by the time it hits the canopy. Again, yields increase, especially around the outside of the coverage area.

The all-white color spectrum is great for all stages of growing and the addition of deep red in the RSpec fixtures gives a huge boost to flowering. This also results in bigger and higher quality yields.

The internet is littered with grow reports using these lights and the results speak for themselves. Growers are getting incredible yields. For that reason, it should come as no surprise that HLG quantum board lights earned a Grow Light Info rating of 4.8 out of 5.

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