The SolarSystem 550 LED grow light uses 400W of power and replaces a 600W HPS using less electricity and generating less heat. In this weeks blog two SolarSystem 550 lights were used in a 1.5 x 1.5m tent to grow Dutch Passion Mazar, a best selling Afghan variety with a strong aroma and heavy hitting stone.
The SolarSystem 550 is built by California Lightworks using high quality 5W Osram LEDs, these produce a powerful and proven spectrum of red, deep red, white, blue and deep blue light. California Lightworks have around a decade of experience producing professional grade grow lights for the legal licensed cannabis producers in the USA. The build quality of these LED grow lights is in a different league to the lower quality Chinese manufactured grow lights which use lower quality components. In Europe, the SolarSystem 550 is sold by Crazy LEDs, sister company of Dutch Passion.
The Dutch Passion Mazar genetics have been a popular best seller, with seeds available as feminized, regular and autofems. This grow used regular Dutch Passion Mazar seeds which were grown by Seymour Buds in a deep water culture hydroponics system. The original grow diary is here on the autoflower network.
The SolarSystem 550 uses three separate electrical circuits to power the red, blue and white LEDs. Its a clever design which allows the power to each circuit to be separately dimmed. While your plants are small you can switch off most/all of the power to the red LEDs and grow your seedlings under blue/white light. This means power consumption is low at the start of the grow, using just a fraction of the 400W capability. As the plants get larger, more and more red light can be introduced to the plants. Usually, around week 3-4 of bloom, the cannabis plants are strong enough to be able to take full power from the SolarSystem 550. Many cannabis home growers use HPS lights on full power throughout all of their grow. By switching to an adjustable LED grow light, partial power can be used for much of the first half of the grow, reducing your electricity bill significantly.
These days, a typical 600W HPS home grow can use around €200 of electricity. Electricity costs are one of the most expensive aspects of home growing, and the best way to reduce electricity costs without sacrificing harvest quality/quantity is to upgrade to LED. You also save the ongoing costs of replacing the HPS bulbs, the SolarSystem 550 should give 50,000 - 100,000 hours of use with hardly any degradation of light intensity.
The SolarSystem 550 grow lights allowed the Mazar plants to grow, with a good healthy appearance and vigorous development. Nutrient concentration was gradually increased using Genesis 3-part nutrients. During bloom EC (electrical conductivity) was 2.2. Plant development was good, with some great looking trichome covered buds. The SolarSystem 550 is typically positioned 40-50cm+ away from your plants. If it is too close the intense light can bleach the tops of your buds, turning them white. If this happens, just increase the distance between the plants and the light.
The SolarSystem 550 produces a pink light in your tent when all the red, blue and white LEDs are set to 100%. But when you inspect your plants the red and blue LEDs can be switched off during plant inspection mode, this leaves a natural white light to view your plants. This makes it easy to identify any nutrient deficiencies or plant health issues. Not all LED grow lights have this feature, but for many growers a white light plant viewing mode is one of the most useful features of a modern LED grow light. Once you get used to it you will not want to go back to viewing your plants under yellow HPS or pink LED light again. Anyone upgrading from HPS will love the white light plant viewing mode, and many of the USA legal commercial growers now regard it as essential.
Seymour Buds uses a 60 litre/minute air pump to maximise root development in the deep water culture system. Its one of the fastest ways to grow cannabis and the Mazar plants responded well with good growth and bud development. He made the following remarks about his Mazar grow:
“That Mazar was a nice smoke... proper heavyweight stone but with the flavour to match citrus/lemony/fuel/hash/skunky/kushy/sour. Not sure if she is a cash cropper from the pheno I had, but the flavour and effects make up for that. A little goes a long way.... but nearly every seed company has their own take on a skunk x afghan and Ive smoked a few. Mazar is good but wouldn't make my number 1 spot although she deserves a space in the top 10”
One of the other features of the SolarSystem LED technology are the low levels of heat production. The high-end Osram LEDs convert around 50% of the electrical energy directly into light, this means that there is very little heat produced by the SolarSystem 550 grow light. Anyone switching from HPS grow lights will instantly notice the more comfortable grow room temperatures, especially during the summer months. This allows you to reduce grow room air extraction rates because the room simply isn't as hot. That means less heat stress for your plants and better quality harvests as a direct result. Many of the licensed USA cannabis growers comment that the two biggest problems with HPS are the high energy costs and the high grow room temperatures. By switching to LED both these issues are addressed and quality is also improved.
Seymour Buds made the following comments about the SolarSystem 550:
“I’ve had these lights for a few grows now... the lights will 100% grow you a harvest and you could easily make you money back in your first grow plus have left over stock....
I clearly found that running these lights too close to your plants will cause bleaching and are best kept at least 20in away for best bud production and density.... i recently harvested a cheese plant that was solely grown under a SolarSystem 550 and i didn't notice any loss in yield or density or even flavour and taste, but now the lights are pretty much dialled in to my grow room....
The panels aren't badly designed, they look and feel pretty sturdy and don't run overly hot.. the controller is a must-have feature with this light if you want full colour and timing control however running the lights at full power is always gonna produce you an end product, its a great all round light for taking you from seed to harvest but genetics will always play a part…"
In this previous SolarSystem 550 grow diary the grower also commented that the light should be kept some 50cm+ from top of the plants to prevent bleaching of the plants.
The Mazar plants finished well under the SolarSystem 550 grow, with firm buds and an aromatic penetrating aroma. Mazar is noted for high THC levels and a satisfyingly heavy smoke, its one of Dutch Passions most popular variety with plenty of repeat growers.
Anyone looking to upgrade their home grow from HPS to LED should take a close look at the SolarSystem 550 which comes with a 3-year guarantee. Its the most complete and well constructed LED grow light that we have seen for the price. Its being built in large numbers for the licensed USA legal growers, and those scales of efficiency means aggressive pricing which is being passed onto European home growers. If you buy the SolarSystem from Crazy LED’s you also get a €75 e-voucher to use on the Dutch Passion website.
March 3rd 2017