LED Grow Lights – 3 watt vs 5 watt chips

What is the best size diode for LED grow lights?

LED grow lights: 3-watt vs 5-watt chips? LED lights are made using different sized diode chips from less than 1 watt per diode up to 20 watts or more per diode chip. The ideal chip size for a LED light will depend on the use for the light. As the chip size gets larger, the light is more intense. However, the diodes give off more heat, require a larger cooling mechanism, and are less efficient.

The ideal chip size for most indoor growing applications is the 3-watt diode chip. When LED grow lights first appeared on the market several years ago in panels of 225 diodes, they used diodes which were 1/16 of a watt per diode. These grow lights were only effective for growing very simple plants like sprouts but failed to grow larger plants. Larger plants requiring fruiting needed larger diode sizes. The 3-watt diode LED grow light soon became the gold standard for LED indoor grow light.

The Perfect Balance of Light Penetration and Diode Density

Many LED grow light resellers started selling their brand of lights. In an effort to make something new, some have erroneously turned to the 5-watt and 10-watt diode chips. These larger diodes have shortcomings when it comes to indoor growing. The larger chips give off more heat and require more heat dissipation. They need larger heat sinks and make for a heavier product. The 5-watt and 10-watt lights do not have a dense network of diodes like the Full Spectrum G8LED Grow Lights, which have the ideal 3-watt diodes.

Additionally, the 5-watt and 10-watt chips are not efficient. For example, a 1200Watt light made with 120×10-watt diodes has an actual output power of only 320Watts. Each 10-watt chip can only generate around 3-watts of output power since it is not very efficient.  The 3-watt diode chip is the perfect size for an indoor grow light. It can penetrate 5-6 feet past the plant canopy and can be packed in a dense network configuration. The dense network of diodes increases the light intensity per square inch and is the ideal design for growing fruiting plants. The light from the plant is not overly intense where it can cause leaf spots but is strong enough to provide the energy necessary for full photosynthesis of fruiting plants.

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