10 years ago when I was in the thick of my growing “hobby,” I was a staunch advocate of the high intensity (HID) and metal halide lights that dominated indoor growers' crops. I’d see ads and online posts for LED lights but they were far from being ready for prime time. They lacked what was needed to grow from seed to harvest.
I knew that LED technology was up and coming and I knew that I just needed some patience. Well, if patience is a virtue then I’ve become a virtuous man. Today things are very different. LED technology has finally hit primetime and I’m now an advocate of these high tech wonders. This is my second review of an LED grow light and I could not be more pleased with what I see.
My first grow light review was the Mars-Hydro 1000 and now I’m going to take a look at the Viparspectra XS2000 led grow light. While I can’t compare the lights head to head as they are different sizes and wattages, what I can say is that the design and functions are similar and I’m loving this new Mounted On Board (MOB) design.
Today's LED grow lights are light weight, quiet (no fans), and put out a full spectrum of light that mimics the sun. The LED lights of the past were great lights for vegetative growth, but they lacked the proper spectrum to adequately complete the process of producing big, tight, frosty buds. No more!
Many of the LED grow lights in use today are built in China. I don’t necessarily think this is a bad thing as almost everything today is made in China. My only problem with some products that come out of China is that they sometimes lack the quality and customer service we’ve come to expect from American made products. With the Viparspectra this is not the case.
The first thing I noticed when I open the box to the Viparspectra XS2000 245 watt LED grow light is a creative customer service reply card where one side asks “Happy?” and the other side asks “Not Happy?”
Depending on which side you are reading, when you open the card you are presented with ways to express your happiness or lack thereof directly to Viparspectra. While not a huge thing, it’s little touches like this that impress me.
Also included is a full color brochure/instruction manual for the entire XS Series of lights. In the past I’d get a big kick out of reading manuals that came with Chinese made products, as the English usually would even confuse Google Translate. However, it is clear that this manual was written, or at least edited by, someone with a firm grasp on the English language. The information inside covers everything you need to know about Viparspectra LED grow lights from technical specification to PPFD MAP light tests, to suggestions on how to get the most out of the light you purchased.
Included in the box, as with many other LED lights on the market, are the power cord, and two plastic coated metal cables to attach the light to the two adjustable rope hangers. The plastic coating is also a nice touch other manufacturers don’t do.
Now moving on to the reason we’re here, a review of the light itself.
Weighing in at just under 8 pounds and measuring just 20” x 12” this medium sized LED packs a lot of light. Mounted on the aluminum board are 504 LED’s which are then covered with a transparent silicone sealant to protect and waterproof them.
To better mimic natural sunlight Viparspectra choose to use a variety of LED spectrums, so while there are 504 LEDs total, 316 are 3000k warm white LEDs, 160 are 5000k white LEDs, then there’s 26 660nm deep red LEDs and two 730nm IR (infrared red) LEDs.
So what do all these numbers mean? It means this light has you covered with almost every spectrum under the sun from the time you plant to the time you harvest. When looking for a light for your grow, don’t just look at the number of LEDs, look at the spectrum it puts out. If all the LEDs are one type, you don’t get a full spectrum.
The board the LED’s are mounted to is made of aluminum and features dozens of ridges or fins running length wise along the top. These ridges act like a heat sink by adding more area for the heat generated by the lights to escape, allowing for a cooler running light. Not only do the LEDs generate heat but so does the driver that transforms the electricity from the wall into electricity for the LED's. The Mean Well made driver mounted on top of the board will generate a bit of heat too. Mean Well has a long reputation of being one of the top manufacturers of drivers and lighting accessories in the world. You can rest assured that the driver will not overheat or burn out.
I talk a lot about heat because you don’t want a lot of it and with the old style HID lights of old it was always an issue. Today’s LED lights don’t put out nearly the same amount of heat and you have little worry about. Using an infrared thermometer, I have not seen any temps higher than 85 degrees coming from this light.
With no need to replace or change bulbs when switching from vegging to flowering and no need to run a cooling fan specifically to cool the hot bulbs, I’m now sold on LED grow lights as a perfect grow light for indoor plants on a budget.
But wait there’s more!
The last thing I want to talk about is dimming. Yes this light has a dimmer. For me this is also a game changer when you compare the Viparspectra light to previous designs. A lot of lights have them theses days and I would not buy a light without one.
Having a dimmer knob allows you, the grower, to perfectly adjust the amount of light your plants get. When they are young they only need about 40% or 100 watts of light to get what they need to grow. As the weeks go buy and your plants grow they will need more light and you can increase the watts until you get to flowering. Once flowering you should be at 100% wattage. Having a dimmer saves you electricity and, in the early stages, prevents you from burning the delicate leaves of young plants.
I like this light a lot and for about $270 you can have a light that will last for years without burning out or needing to replace bulbs.
Why I like the Viparspectra LED Grow Light XS2000
To sum up, here’s why the Viparspectra XS2000 is a perfect light for a 3x3 or 4x4 grow tent (review of such a tent coming soon, so stay tuned).
- Industry-leading Samsung LED’s
- MEAN WELL LED driver
- Sun-like full spectrum
- Including Infrared LED (IR)
- Built-in dimmer switch, 5% - 100%
- Silicone sealant coating to waterproof the LEDs
- Passive cooling with larger-surface heat sink
- Totally silent
There are plenty of people already using this light with great results, I know I’ll get them too. If you’re ready to get growing 2 to 4 plants using a light designed specifically for growing the Viparspectra XS2000 is the perfect choice.
Or, if you are already using this light, leave a comment below with how it has worked out for you.