First let’s remember that Power (Watts) = Voltage x I(Current)
LED plant lights are grouped by the current (Amps) of the diodes within the light. 1 watt diodes generally run at around 0.35 Amps, 2 watt diodes run around 0.5 Amps and 3 watt diodes run around 0.7 Amps. Diodes are not maximized with current so that the manufacturer can increase the lifespan, reduce the heat output, and supply a better grow light. In addition, different color diodes have different wavelengths and require a different supply voltage for the specific wavelength. The red and orange wavelengths require around 1.8-2.7 Volts and the blue and violet wavelengths require 2.7-3.5 Volts. Hence, following our W = V x I equation, a 3 watt red diode may only have a power draw of 1.5-2.0 watts and a blue diode may only have a power draw of 1.8-2.5 watts. That is why we have the stated wattage of the light and the actual power draw. Hence, the 600 Watt grow light has 200 x 3 watt diodes but the actual power draw is 480 Watts. Some LED companies do not publish the actual power draw. Be careful of these companies and make sure you make an apple to apple comparison when it looking for the right LED for your given grow space.
1W vs 3W vs 5W Chips
Light emitting diode chips come in several sizes from less than 1 watt to 10 watts and more. The first grow lights were made with LED chips which were less than 1 watt. These grow lights proved to not be very effective in growing anything more than simple grasses and sprouts. Later 1 watt lights such as the 90 watt UFO lights were made which were effective for growing more complex plants. Although these lights produced favorable results, they did not have the ability to penetrate more than 3 feet into a plant's canopy. G8LED started using higher wattage LED chips to mitigate this problem. The 3 watt chip was chosen because it provided the perfect balance between canopy pentration, heat dissipation and cost. The 3 watt diode is able to penetrate 5-6 feet deep into plant's canopy making it the ideal chip size for indoor growing. As the chip size increases so does the heat. The result is that the LEDs must be spaced further apart for safety and thus can not be arranged in dense nodes needed for efficient growth. Using larger chip sizes like 5 watt and 10 watt diodes not only decreases density but also requires the indoor grow light to have larger heat sink dimensions and power drivers, resulting in bigger, bulkier and heavier lights which are more expensive to manufacture. 3 watt LED chips are ideal for indoor growing for plants up to 6 feet tall. They provide the perfect blance of penetration, heat dissipation and cost.
Protect Your LED Grow Lights
Buying a LED grow light is a capital investment for your indoor growing hobby or business. The investment offsets other capital expenditures by eliminating the need for ballasts, reflectors, heat venting systems and airconditioning in addition to lowering operational costs by dramatically decreasing the electricity consumption of your grow room. To protect your investment you should connect your LED grow light to a power stabilizer. The power stabilizer will regulate the voltage coming from your power box and eliminate various power fluctuations which can damage devices. If too many high wattage devices are connected to the same circuit there can be voltage fluctuations which damage power drivers inside which power the diodes. This is especially true for growers who use solar energy to power their grow rooms since these systems tend to have power spikes and surges. Power stabilizer are inexpensive and are a great investment to protect your lights and plants, to ensure there is no down time during critical stages of growth.