LED Grow Lights We Love - NextLight Mega Commercial Series
Many experienced growers come to us wanting to replace their 1000W HPS with a high performance LED grow light. We understand. At some point you want to reduce that electricity bill and stop worrying about heat management. While many LEDs claim to replace a 1000 Watt HPS, many either don't deliver the same level of performance or end up consuming so much electricity and running so hot that you end up losing any efficiency gains from LEDs in the first place.
One light that has consistently impressed us and our customers with its solid performance is the NextLight Mega. It's on the top of the list of lights we recommend to both personal and commercial growers that need a no-nonsense LED that truly delivers.
If you've never heard of the NextLight Mega, here's a quick intro video:
Here are the highlights:
- Designed to replace a DE 1000W HPS grow light.
- 5' x 5' Flowering Footprint
- Draws Only 650 Watts
- 1400 PPF
- 2.15 PPF per Watt (beats out nearly all HPS and competing LED grow lights)
Some good things to know about the Mega:
- It's a full fixed spectrum grow light, it doesn't have separate veg and flowering modes.
- Uses passive cooling and stays cool without using any internal fans
- Daisy chain-able so you can easily use multiple lights together
- 100,000 Hour Life-Rating
- Made in the USA
- UL and DLC Premium Certified listed
The first thing you'll notice about the NextLight Mega is that it's physically a very large light. It measures in at 37" x 37" while most competing LED grow lights are usually around 18" x 18", a quarter of the size.
The Mega is designed this way to promote an even coverage over its 5' x 5' grow footprint and to minimize hotspots (areas of extremely concentrated light). While plants love intense light, the problem with hotspots is that they're accompanied with a large drop-off in intensity outside of the hotspot area. You'll get excellent growth directly under a hotspot, but you won't get even growth across your whole grow area.
The Mega's design also allows the fixture to take advantage of passive cooling. Most LED grow lights require built in fans to dissipate their heat output. Fans aren't neccessarily a bad thing, but they are one more component that can break. While many fans run nearly silent, they'll never be as quiet as no fan at all. The passively cool ed Mega runs cool to the touch.
Customer Photo - NextLight Mega in Action
The NextLight Mega boasts an impressive 2.15 PPF per Watt, a measure of the efficiency of the total light output by the power consumed. For comparison, most top of the line HPS bulbs are under 2 PPF per Watt. If you're looking to reduce your power bill without compromising your grow, the NextLight Mega delivers.
This is the PAR chart for the NextLight Mega measured from inside a grow tent with reflective material. Measurements were taken in this environment to more closely simulate what you'll see in your grow environment.
One thing that you should definitely be aware before you start growing with a Mega is that it's designed to be placed close to the plant canopy. While many LED grow lights are designed to be at least 2 ft from the plant canopy, the NextLight Mega operates best at about 18 inches. If you've used LEDs before, that may sound like it's too close and will burn or bleach your plants. This isn't a problem for the Mega. It can safely operate close to the plant canopy because of its even light output and full white spectrum diodes.
The NextLight Mega uses an all white spectrum as opposed to focusing on the blue and red wavelengths like many LED grow lights. Visually, this is very obvious - instead of the purple light you see in many LEDs the NextLight Mega produces white light that looks more like light from the sun or an HPS bulb.
There's currently a debate in the LED grow light world over which one is better. On one side, the blue and red LED supporters claim that their lights output only the wavelengths necessary for plant growth. Since they aren't wasting output on other parts of the spectrum, they are more efficient. The white spectrum camp argues that plant growth is more complicated then that. While you'll get decent growth using only the blue and red spectrum, plants evolved to grow under sunlight and can't reach their full potential unless given a complete spectrum of light. While this comes down to preference and experience, we're big fans of full white spectrum lights.
Here's what the NextLight Mega's spectrum looks like compared to a DE HPS and a blue and red spectrum LED grow light:
The reason the Mega is able to produce its PAR output and spectrum comes down to its diodes. It uses mid power Samsung LM561B diodes split across 6 panels. These diodes are designed with high efficiency in mind so the Mega can run without any fans and stil be cool to the touch. You can see the spec sheet for the diodes here if you'd like to do more research.
When making a big investment like purchasing an LED grow light, it's important to go with a company that stands behind their product. This is where NextLight really shines (pardon the pun).
The Mega, along with the entire NextLight Commercial line, comes with a 5 year warranty. Most competitors top off at three years and some offer only one. NextLight also has a special loaner program should you have any problem with your light.
Let's say one day your NextLight Mega just refuses to turn on. In most cases you'd have to send it back to the manufacturer for repairs. It's going to take time for the light to get shipped back, more time to get it fixed, and then even more time for it to get sent back you.
So what happens to your plants while all that's going on?
This can be a huge headache and result in extra expenses or even a failed crop. NextLight doesn't let that happen to you. If you have any issues with your light they will overnight a loaner light to you. You can ship your light back in the box that the loaner arrives in and continue your grow like nothing happened.
This service should not be overlooked as it could really save your butt one day and most competitors don't offer an equivalent. Hopefully you'll never need it, but if you do you'll be glad you have it.
Hopefully you can now see why the NextLight Mega is one of the first lights we recommend when growers are searching for a high end 1000W HPS replacement. It's efficiency is unparalleled, it has a full white spectrum that your plants will love, and it's got one of the best service warranties in the industry.
Have any questions about the NextLight Mega? Ask away in the comments!
Ready for your own? Get it here.