The COB LED Grow Light Explained and Reviewed

Have you ever heard about COB LED develop lights, and now you’re questioning what all of the fuss is about?

Then look no additional, as a result of I’ve acquired a deal with for you.

On this article, I wish to go over the COB LED phenomenon. I’ll clarify what they’re, and the way they’re a major growth for indoor develop gentle expertise and in addition why they’re being quickly deployed into many indoor develop rooms all throughout the planet.

Has LED expertise lastly develop into a viable and reasonably priced various to switch the large, cumbersome, and sizzling HID develop lights?

Do COB LEDs justify the associated fee?

Preserve studying and let’s discover out!​

Be aware: This text is supposed to function a primer on COB LEDs and an extension of my earlier article on full spectrum LED develop lights. If you wish to know extra about full spectrum LED develop lights, check out that article as I’m going deeper into the specifics of LED expertise and the way it compares to different options.

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What’s a COB LED?

A COB (brief for Chip-on-Board), is an LED packaging expertise that describes mounting a number of LED chips immediately onto a substrate to type a single module. A number of LEDs, minuscule in dimension, are wired and packaged collectively right into a single ceramic or copper board in order that they perform as a sole gentle supply.​

When a COB LED package deal is energized, it seems extra like a lighting panel than a number of particular person lights as normally the case with different LED packages, like when utilizing a number of SMD LEDs mounted intently collectively.​

 

Photos present a quite simple Chip-on-Board LED setup, with a single COB mounted on a passive cooler. Left is unlit. Proper is lit and dimmed right down to make the LEDs seen.

Because of the small dimension of the LED chips (think about 1 / 4), Chip-on-Board expertise permits for a a lot increased packing density than floor mount expertise (SMD).

Utilizing COB LEDs as Develop Lights

Whereas there nonetheless are cheap functions to utilizing HID bulbs, the benefits of utilizing COB LED develop lights outweigh the disadvantages.

However the query remails…

Does this expertise justify the associated fee?

The introductory value of utilizing COB LEDs in an indoor backyard is initially increased, however they pay themselves off in the long run as a result of a number of benefits.

I’m going to take the freedom and examine COB LED’s to essentially the most generally used top quality lighting of in the present day, specifically: HPS, CMH, & MH lights.

To make issues simpler right here’s a nifty little chart for you:

Mild Kind

µmol/j (ppf/w)

Lifespan

CCT (Kelvin)

Shade Rendering Index

COB LED

1.8-2.5

30,000 – 60,000

2700-6500

70-97

Double-ended HPS

1.4-1.8

10,000 – 15,000

2100-3200

20-65

Ceramic Steel Halide

1.1-1.5

15,000 – 20,000

3100-4200

80-96

Excessive Strain Sodium

0.8-1.7

9,000 – 17,000

2100-3200

20-65

Steel Halide

0.6-1.2

8,000 – 15,000

3200-6000

80-92

T5 Fluorescent

0.6-1.1

8,000 – 10,000

3000-6500

85

Now right here’s a breakdown that helps clarify the chart:

Improved Electrical Effectivity

For develop lights, effectivity is measured in µmol/j or, extra merely, the quantity of photosynthetically lively photons which might be produced per watt consumed on the wall. This can be interpreted as µmol per watt.

Improved Lifespan

Top quality LEDs have arms down the very best usable lifespan of any develop gentle expertise obtainable. Even when the preliminary funding is increased, a top quality LED fixture will final AT LEAST 30,000 hours. So it’ll pay itself off over time.

Primarily based on producer literature, double-ended HPS lamps have a life expectancy of 10,000 hours to 90% survival, or 1.65 years when used a median of 16 hours per day or 6,000 hours per 12 months (conventional mogul-base lamps have industry-reported life expectations of 10,000 to 17,000 hours, to 90% survival, and value about $40).

The price of a 1000W, double-ended substitute lamp is about $140, which averages to $28 per 12 months if we assume a lamp might be changed as soon as within the first 5 years. Lamp substitute price will increase to $30 to $35 per 12 months when the labor to switch the bulb is included, however that is small in comparison with the roughly $600 per 12 months annual electrical price to function the fixture. Including the price of lamp substitute will increase the five-year price of operation by about 5%.

By comparability when operated at favorable temperatures, particular person LEDs usually have a predicted lifetime (to 70% of the preliminary gentle output) of fifty,000 hours, about 8.35 years when used a median 16 hours per day or 6000 hours per 12 months.​

Improved Spectrum​

COB LED CRI
Extracted from the Citizen CLU048 1212 Gen 6 specification sheet offered by Citizen Electronics. (2017)

That is an instance of the spectrum you’ll discover in most top quality COB LEDs. Please notice that though there are all the time variations between completely different corporations, it’s principally the identical. A 3500K 90CRI COB from any producer ought to perform very intently to another 3500K 90CRI COB of the identical voltage class.

In case you’ve examine spectrums earlier than, you’ll discover that no different single-point gentle supply presents such a broad and focused PAR spectrum.​

Right here’s the spectral studying of some 3100k CMH Bulbs for comparability.​

CMH-spectrum

Improved Mild High quality

One of many most important causes that COB LED develop lights have made their method so shortly into many develop rooms is due to their HIGH Shade Rendering Index (normally over 80) and broad spectrum.

CRI stands for Shade Rendering Index, and describes how the colour of a light-weight supply adjustments how an object seems to the human eyes and the way effectively refined variations in shade shades are revealed. The upper the CRI, the extra reasonable issues look.

Whatever the COB producer, whether or not CREE, Citizen, Bridgelux, and so on. All of them provide a minimum of 70 CRI Broad Spectrum chips and which normally can go to as much as 97 CRI.

This implies no purple, or excessive orange, or crimson or yellow however top quality white gentle displaying reasonable colours.​

Permits substitute of HID bulbs with none lack of gentle depth​

Up till now LEDs had been a selection for individuals who wanted low energy. However not anymore. As of proper now LEDs are considerably extra environment friendly at producing photons than any HID expertise. Which means that on the identical energy consumption, top quality COB LEDs will outperform HID expertise at offering high quality gentle in your cover.​

Higher Mild Distribution

HIDs and COB’s are each single-point gentle sources. However since COBs are comparatively simple to deal with and place, now we have a really completely different scenario.

As an alternative of utilizing one single gentle supply, COB LEDs will be spaced for higher uniformity as a way to keep away from hotspots or low depth areas within the develop room.

A sensible instance can be that as a substitute of getting one massive 600W HID fixture that may create a hotspot, we may have 6 COB LEDs producing the identical quantity of sunshine, whereas consuming much less and offering a method higher unfold.​

Superior Thermal Efficiency

This can be a tough one, however bear with me. A 500 watt fixture will produce 500 watts of warmth, interval. No matter whether or not it’s an HID, a CFL, or an LED. There’s a standard misunderstanding that 500 watts of LEDs is cooler than 500 watts of HID, and whereas that’s normally true, it’s not for the explanations folks suppose.

The reason being principally Infrared radiation. Far infrared is radiant warmth, it’s the identical as the sensation of heat from the solar in your face and the warmth from a coal hearth. It’s even the identical type of warmth emitted by your individual physique. And LEDS (until particularly designed to take action) produce little or no infrared gentle, now examine that spectrum to an HPS and also you’ll quickly perceive why HPS lamps are all the time so sizzling.​

COB LEDs In comparison with Different Forms of Develop Lights

Right here’s a chart evaluating COB LEDs to different varieties of develop lights. I ranked every gentle on every high quality from 1-5, then added the factors as much as decide which lights are greatest.​

Ranking

COB LED

DE HPS

HPS

Ceramic MH

MH

T5 Fluorescent

Value

2

4

3

1

3

5

Energy Use

5

4

2

3

2

1

Spectrum

5

3

2

4

3

3

Effectivity

5

4

3

3

2

1

Lifespan

5

3

2

3

2

1

Complete

22

18

12

14

12

11

Right here’s a easy breakdown to clarify the chart:

COB LEDS vs. HPS

Factors for COB LEDs: 22

The place do COB LEDs beat HPS?

  • Energy Consumption
  • Spectrum
  • Effectivity
  • Lifespan

Factors for HPS: 12

The place do HPS beat COB LEDs?

COB LEDS vs. MH

Factors for COB LEDs: 22

The place does COB LEDs beat MH?

  • Energy Consumption
  • Spectrum
  • Effectivity
  • Lifespan

Factors for MH: 12

The place does MH beat COB LEDs?

COB LEDS vs. CMH

Factors for COB LEDs: 22

The place does COB LEDs beat CMH?

  • Energy Consumption
  • Spectrum
  • Effectivity
  • Lifespan

Factors for CMH: 14

The place does CMH beat COB LEDs?

  • Simpler to Supply (extra market penetration)

COB LEDS vs. CFL

Factors for COB LEDs: 22

The place does COB LEDs beat CFL?

  • Energy Consumption
  • Spectrum
  • Effectivity
  • Lifespan

Factors for CFL: 11

The place does HPS beat COB LEDs?

  • Preliminary Value
  • Easy resolution for low lighting conditions​

COB LEDs vs. Different LEDs​

Keep in mind that COB LEDs are nonetheless LEDs, they’re principally the identical expertise in a distinct package deal. So there isn’t a lot to check aside from gentle distribution.

Whereas COB LEDS do present a wonderful gentle depth, they’re not precisely one of the best with regards to unfold, as a result of COB LEDs are a single-point gentle supply (which means all gentle comes from a single level in house). If we do not forget that gentle drops considerably the additional away you’re from the supply we will see the way it’s simple to depart a couple of “darkish” spots when utilizing COB LEDs. This is the reason producers spend numerous time designing their lamps determining one of the best spacing for essentially the most even gentle distribution over the cover.

And that is the place small SMDs have a bonus over a COB LED, being of such a small dimension you may place lots of them very shut to one another and type a light-weight panel. The issue right here is guaranteeing that the LEDs have sufficient gentle depth to justify the elevated price of producing such a panel.

Finest COB LEDs to Purchase

Since as of proper now COB LEDs are simply coming into the market there are only a few corporations that construct COB LED based mostly develop lights. A few of them are ridiculously costly, but when you recognize the place to look, you’ll discover that there are some actually, actually good alternatives to purchase.

I’ve taken the time to collect and assessment what I consider to be one of the best choices obtainable so you may have a neater time making a selection.​

Finest General

Pacific Mild Ideas, CXP-250​

Pacific Light Concepts, CXP-250
Pacific Mild Ideas, CXP-250

Execs

  • Efficacy: 1.8 µmols/w
  • Lifespan: 50,000hrs
  • Primarily based on: CREE cxb3590
  • Stunning & clear construct high quality
  • Waterproof (weatherproof)
  • Scalable design
  • Passive design (no transferring elements)
  • ETL Examined and Licensed

Cons

The CXP-250 is Pacific Mild Ideas newest toy. It’s designed for use industrially as an array of bars to position over the cover with a excessive and even depth throughout your complete cover. An array of CXP-250’s can ship any depth the grower wishes for any particular crop. And at a beginning value of $499.00 their costs aren’t actually essentially the most reasonably priced, however their high quality is above all of the marks!

See Costs


​Finest Bang for the Buck

Timber Develop Lights, Citizen CLU048 Framework​

Timber Grow Lights
Timber Develop Lights, Citizen CLU048 Framework

Execs

  • Finest priced COB LED develop gentle obtainable
  • Efficacy: 2.0 µmols/wLifespan: 50,000hrs
  • Primarily based on: Citizen CLU 048 Gen 6
  • An possibility for each house configuration
  • Passive design (no transferring elements)

Cons

With a value vary between $229.00 to $1,099.00 Timber positively has one thing happening and an possibility for each want. Their pricing beats a buying a Ceramic Steel Halide develop gentle whereas including all the advantages of switching to utilizing COB LEDs, just like the improved spectrum, much less warmth and elevated effectivity.

Whereas their design is moderately easy they provide a really highly effective and helpful develop gentle. For example, their 200W sq. fixture is beneficial for a 2’ by 2’ house, however it is going to present glorious lighting to a 3’ by 3’ house, and even then it is going to present a PPFD of 600 µmol/s which is within the excessive efficiency vary photosynthetic vary for ANY CROP. That is reasonably priced energy.

See Costs


Do It Your self

Anybody can assemble their very own COB LED develop lights with just a bit steerage!​

On the subject of COB LEDs I all the time suggest DIY! One of many most important benefits of utilizing COB LEDs is that there are only some of parts and that all of them match collectively in a really straight ahead method. You do not want to be an electronics professional to assemble your individual develop gentle anymore! And never solely will you be participating in a really enjoyable mission, however you’re additionally going to avoid wasting loads on the price of labor.​

I’m already engaged on a DIY COB LED information so keep tuned in the event you really feel like engaged on a really neat and easy mission!​

DIY COB LED

An instance of a reasonably fundamental DIY COB LED Develop Mild fixture that I assembled in a couple of hours to make use of in my backyard.

That’s it! I hope this information served its function and that you just now know the advantages and disadvantages of COB LEDs in the event you’re enthusiastic about switching your previous HIDs over to the newer LEDs applied sciences.

Keep in mind that expertise is all the time evolving and what’s true in the present day is probably not true tomorrow. So maintain an eye fixed out for brand new guides in case any new breakthroughs occur. And in the event that they do, I’ll be sure that to write down one other information to dispel your whole doubts!

When you have any doubts or questions or suppose there’s one thing I didn’t cowl, be happy to depart a remark and I’ll do my greatest to assist!


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