This post was updated on: Wednesday, October 1, 2019
The Grow Light
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Is the ViperSpectra – UL Certified Reflector Series Really That Good?
In my recent roundup of 600W grow lights for weed growing I’ve addressed the current market state and compared the popular offerings. There’s grow light out there for (almost) everyone’s pocket, and with a bit of effort, you can score a decent grow light, depending on what you need.
There are dozens of reviews out there already.
Well, the latter is definitely true, but I’ve noticed a trend of praising the brand and this particular product, that it made me think “Is this grow light really that good?”
Reading one positive review after another, I felt the need to put this light to the real test and see if those praises are really true or not. You can also check our 1200W article if you are looking for something stronger.
Having a significant amount of experience in the field and having the light myself for a while, I’ll address the most common situations a grower who’d be interested in this type of product will face and try to answer any possible questions that may arise in the process.
Let’s see what’s this grow light all about.
The VIPARSPECTRA Brand
Viparspectra is one of the most prominent companies in the grow light industry. They are selling their stuff online on many marketplaces, and are established to fulfill customer needs throughout the world. Their brand’s message says “Good light is not that expensive” which can tell us that they want to provide quality without breaking your bank.
They are present on both Amazon & eBay, while not having a company ground office or something presented on their website, so you can’t expect getting to their store/office/showroom and examining the product you’re considering to get. (There’s an image of a garage with their sign on it featured on their Amazon listing, stating they’re located in Beaverton, OR, USA. More on that later)
Speaking of their website, they’ve been building it for the last 3½ years, which means they’ve passed the startup phase and solved any potential problems that may have happened in the early stages of development and market testing.
On the other hand, their product line looks quite promising and focused on plant growers (aside from aquarium lights). They offer many different categories of grower equipment, and lights are their prominent, main category.
Overall, the brand doesn’t seem like something very serious and large, which might be both good or bad. It all depends on one’s personal experience and opinion. Personally, I’m ok with Viparspectra.
Let’s move on to their product, the subject of this review.
VIPARSPECTRA 600W Review
V600 is an interesting light, modernly-designed, with a plethora of features & specs for you to get excited about. Let’s break that down:
VIPARSPECTRA V600 Specs & Features
Listed on their website & online marketplaces, VIPARSPECTRA V600 features:
- Dimensions: 15.3×12.8×3 inches – Quite small & handy, easy to maneuver with
- Item Weight: 11.6 lbs – Decent weight, you’ll be able to hang it without problems
- Replaces a 600W HPS/MH – This means that this light has the power of a standard 600W HPS light, which might be a fluke, especially considering the price. More on that later.
- Vegetative Coverage at 32″ Height: 3×3 ft – This means the light dissipation angle is decent – not spread too much.
- Flowering Coverage at 22″ Height: 2.5×2.5 ft
- Actual Power Draw: 260W±3% at 120V – This is showcased to bring you the impression of low consumption. A very good feature, indeed.
- Amperage: 2.36A at 110V, 1.18A at 220V – Standard for all the products in this range
- LED Bulbs: (120pcs) High-Intensity 5W Epiled/Bridgelux LEDs – 5W bulbs aren’t really the best thing out there. Many offer 10, or 15W ones. Still, Viparspectra defends these with the fact that an educated grower doesn’t need system input (which these 5W bulbs actually stand for) but system output, which they claim is on par with other bulbs on the market.
- Input: AC100-240V, 50-60Hz – standard, yet varies for one’s needs.
- Lifespan: ≥100,000 hours – More than a hundred thousand hours is a very bold claim. Usually, it’s not that true in real life – bulbs tend to wear out sooner, based on many factors.
As you can see, things aren’t as advertised in real life. (duh)
Still, when we consider the current offerings on today’s market and the price this light goes for, it’s understandable. Furthermore, we need to break things down for clarity.
V600 comes with 120 5W bulbs, combined in a casing that separates groups in quartal segments. The bulbs are spread evenly and the red & blue mixture is present throughout the whole lightning area. And viparspectra 300W is also a great opportunity for quality led light.
With the two switches on top for blue & red lights (which you use for veg & bloom stages) you combine the lights that are on in the given moment. The combination of lights is white + blue/white + red.
How these LED’s perform?
Well, to be honest, they are quite good, especially in the blue combination. The output is quite strong, and you can risk a serious eye strain if you expose yourself to it for a prolonged period.
An experienced grower who changed many lights during the years could tell you easily what a true 600W of power looks like. With my experience and knowledge so far (I never considered myself as an expert) I could say that the blue combination of light is definitely there.
On the other hand, I couldn’t say that for the red bulbs. It simply feels weaker. This is expected for the grow light significantly under $200, and with proper height adjusting, you can cope with this “flaw” easily.
Spectrum & PAR output
Speaking of these two features, I’m used to the manufacturers bragging of with impressive numbers, and VIPARSPECRA is not missing out there. The general spectrum coverage for this light is 590-7500nm, which is more than enough, considering what’s required for a grow light to stimulate your plants for growth. You don’t have to worry about this.
Same goes with the PAR output; I’ve explained this before – PAR output is connected with the spectrum that a light emits, and provides a level of Photosynthetic Active Radiation, which is the element required for plant growth. Often, it’s used just to confuse people who aren’t educated more on the topic.
VIPARSPECTRA provides a detailed illustration for the PAR distribution based on the light placement.
As you can see, the left values are combined values from the right numbers.
When growing cannabis, it’s important to supply it with the proper amount of light and oxygen, and speaking on PAR requirements, these are healthy guidelines:
200-400 PFFD: Seedling stage per cycle
400-600 PFFD: Early to late vegging stage per cycle
600-900 PFFD: Flowering stage per cycle
PFFD: Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density, measured in micromoles per square meter per second (μmol/m2/s)
Summing these up, with V600 you’ll have a decent light that will make your plants quite happy during the vegetative stage, and you’ll have to take care of it while in the blooming stage.
While all grow lights emit a certain level of heat, LED lights are known for their relatively cool operation.
However, to further help you keep the temperature in the grow room under control, and avoid fluctuations, the VIPARSPECTRA 600W grow light features a cooling system that keeps the unit cool and minimizes heat output.
Located on the back of the panel are two considerably sized, high-speed fans, backed up by ventilation slits, which are conveniently laid out along the sides of the unit.
If the noise level is a concern, know that VIPARSPECTRA employs low-noise cooling systems in the majority of their grow lights – and this one is no exception. I’ve found some comments from customers that their units were loud, but it turned out their units were faulty.
Thanks to its reflector design and strong PPFD reading, the VIPARSPECTRA 600W grow light provides a 3×3 feet coverage area during the vegetation phase (when hanged to a height of 24 inches), with the maximum coverage being 4×4 feet.
When you decrease the height down to 22 inches during the blooming phase, the coverage area goes down to 2.5×2.5 feet, though (2×2 for the best results).
Either way, it’s more than enough for a small indoor grow setup – and very impressive at this price point, too.
I know that some of you prefer to hang the grow light closer to the plants, while others play it safe, and hang them a bit higher. While I do agree that finding what works for your plants is the way to go, keep in mind that the coverage will vary depending on the height of the fixture.
VIPARSPECTRA V600 Power Efficiency
Since you’re looking at a 600-watt fixture here, worrying about energy consumption and electricity bills is perfectly understandable. That said, you’ll be glad to know that, at full capacity, the fixture draws around 260 watts on average – and the power consumption goes even lower if you run the vegetation spectrum mode individually.
Considering that it doesn’t suck that much electricity, it’s impressive that it’s comparable to and able to replace traditional 600-watt HPS/MH grow light systems.
And while I do believe that there’s still some room for improvement in this domain, the VIPARSPECTRA 600W grow light did perform similarly to other units I’ve tested in the past.
What about VIPARSPECTRA customer support?
Earlier in the article, I mentioned that this manufacturer advertises local customer support service located in Oregon, USA. The phone listed on their website is + 1(844)504 3266.
I’ve tried calling them just to see how they respond, with attention on their working hours.
Funny thing: four times out of five, nobody answered the phone, and I got transferred to a voicemail, which was unable to receive more messages. The fifth time, the line was busy.
I went on to investigate what’s going on, only to find that their customer support is quite involved on the Amazon & eBay platforms, where they offer a significant, pleasant, and very responsive support, while I found more people complaining that they couldn’t reach them by phone.
Their phone might be broken, perhaps??
Still, if you’re an Amazon buyer, you’ll have no problems getting through troubleshooting with VIPARSPECTRA’s online customer support. Worth to note, though.
VIPARSPECTRA 600W LED Grow Light: Weighing the Pros & Cons
Let’s sum it all up:
Things I Liked
- It features a full 12-band spectrum, including (a bit weaker) IR diodes, so the light meets the demands of your plants throughout their growth cycle.
- The design of the fixture ensures even light distribution, which means that all your plants are getting an equal amount of light.
- It has dual-mode Veg/Bloom switches that optimize the light’s intensity depending on the growth stages.
- The advanced cooling system ensures adequate heat dissipation.
- The unit supports the daisy-chaining feature – connecting multiple fixtures side by side – where the power cord acts as a daisy chain connector. It’s important to have a fitting power cord, though.
- The product is covered by VIPARSPECTRA three-year warranty and a 30-day return window.
- The company ships its products in discrete packaging and offers fantastic customer support. (Please let me know if you manage to get them on the phone)
- VIPARSPECTRA is a good online brand with a large – and satisfied – customer base.
Things I Didn’t Like
- The fixture is not waterproof, which means you’ll have to be extra picky about its location.
- It doesn’t have a timer, so buying a separate one is a must.
- The blue and red spectrums are off balance and lean toward the blue range, which could affect the plants in the flowering stages of the growth cycle.
What’s In The Box?
Before you even get a chance to ask, yes, the packaging is discrete. Your grow light fixture will come in an unmarked, plain cardboard box placed inside a regular Amazon box, with nothing more than a shipping label on it.
And here’s what you’ll find inside:
- A standard power cord that connects the unit to the power outlet, and works like a daisy chain, too, if you decide to link multiple fixtures together.
- Hanging kit that allows for fast, straight-out-of-the-box installation. No adjustable hanger, though.
- A user manual, which helps with proper setup and operation.
Getting The Most Out Of VIPARSPECTRA 600W Grow Light: User Tips & Tricks
Now that we’ve gone through all these vital specs and features, you should have a pretty clear idea of what to expect from it performance-wise.
However, there are a few more things you should keep in mind to ensure smooth sailing and prolong the lifespan of your VIPARSPECTRA 600W fixture:
- As mentioned before, the panel is not waterproof, so picking the right location for it – as far away from any water source as possible – should be your first concern. Preventing any contact with water will not only keep you safe but extend the unit’s lifespan, as well.
- The maximum recommended number of plants you can grow under a single VIPARSPECTRA 600W panel is four. However, if you plan to grow on a slightly larger scale, the daisy chaining feature will allow you to connect an additional unit and increase the coverage.
- Don’t leave the light on for 24 hours straight. I highly recommend 16 to 18 hours of operation a day max for vegetative, and up to 12 hours for flowering stages. Going over that limit may not only reduce the lifespan of the fixture but affect the plants, as well. You want them to have some darkness, too.
- The unit doesn’t come with a timer, so, if you know that you might not have the time to control the operation manually, investing in one might be a good idea, as it will prevent you from running the light unnecessarily – and save some electricity, too.
VIPARSPECTRA 600W Grow Light Review: The Final Verdict
Summing it all up, I’ve had fun with this grow light. It definitely brings value for the money and provides some more-than-decent features a grower would appreciate. From sturdiness, low heat, very good veg blue power, and an excellent price, to the online support and enough recognition and online presence to persuade you to trust your plants’ growth on it, VIPARSPECTRA V600 will be well worth purchasing.
Even though it does have its flaws (which light doesn’t?), it can find its place in casual grower’s tent, or in a daisy-chained setup of a serious grower as well. It balances the small faults with great value and decent quality, and I’m trusting it enough to praise it.
Last update on 2019-10-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API