The artificial light source of an indoor cannabis garden is arguably the most important piece of equipment. After all, it is the light energy from the lighting system that drives photosynthesis in an indoor environment. Considering the importance of a horticultural lighting system, it only makes sense that experienced growers seek the very best lighting system possible. In many cases “best” is a relative term and what works well for one grower may not work for another.
However, there are certain lighting system attributes that can be examined and compared to give growers a good idea of how efficient and how effective a system will be. In terms of efficiency, horticultural LEDs reign supreme. Their spectral customizability, relatively low temperature operation and high PAR (photosynthetically active radiation) output are unmatched by other lighting technologies.
But, not all LED lighting systems are created equally. The quality of individual components, such as the drivers, heat sinks, cooling fans, and light diodes, all play significant roles in a lighting system’s ability to grow cannabis. In other words, if a manufacturer tries to cut corners on any of the components, the entire unit’s efficiency and effectiveness suffers. There is one horticultural LED company that never cuts corners and is committed to providing the very best LED horticultural solutions to marijuana growers all around the world. That company is BudmasterLED.
BudmasterLED is a horticultural LED company and is based out of North Wales, UK. It prides itself on producing highly efficient and effective horticultural lighting fixtures for all types of growers. The lighting systems are built to the highest quality standards to ensure reliable and repeatable harvests throughout the impressively long life span of the unit. To fit a grower’s needs more precisely, BudmasterLED offers grow lights with several different light engine options. BudmasterLED can even customize ratios of spectral output or customize the LED technologies used to meet a grower’s particular requirements.
In order to have maximum control and to ensure the highest quality level in the manufacturing process, BudmasterLED teamed up with Marl International. Marl International has been working in the LED industry since 1970 and has been providing seamless solutions to commercial, military, and domestic customers in a wide array of applications. The folks at BudmasterLED recognized Marl International’s unrivaled experience and decided it was the perfect partner for creating optimal horticultural LED lighting systems for cannabis growers. With the help of the Marl International team, BudmasterLED is able to offer multiple types of horticultural LED lighting systems, each of the highest quality. One of the newest and most powerful types of LED light units, the Budmaster HC, is already attracting the attention of cannabis cultivators around the globe.
The Budmaster HC series is one of the most impressive horticultural LEDs available to indoor horticulturists. The “HC” stands for Horticultural COB. COB is an acronym for Chips On Board. This is a new technology of LED packaging for the LED light engine. In these units, multiple LED chips are packaged together as one lighting module. The Budmaster HC series utilizes this revolutionary LED technology to produce incredible PAR output. In fact, what makes the Budmaster HC series stand apart from other LED systems is the higher amount of photosynthetic photon flux it produces. Photosynthetic photon flux, or PPF, measures the total amount of PAR that a lighting system produces each second.
Although the Budmaster HC’s PPF output is very impressive, it is the extremely high level of PPFD produced by the Budmaster HC series that should get marijuana growers excited. PPFD stands for photosynthetic photon flux density. PPFD measures the amount of PAR that actually arrives at the plants. Technically speaking, it is a measurement of the number of photosynthetically active photons that fall on a given surface per second of time. Put another way, lighting systems that produce high PPFD measurements throughout the entire plant canopy provide the needed intensity to produce uniform results.
This is something that marijuana growers desire in a lighting system. Without enough PPFD, cannabis plants will produce wimpy, fluffy flowers, instead of dense, sticky buds. Due to its PPFD rating, the Budmaster HC is capable of producing large, uniform buds throughout the entire light footprint. This feature sets the Budmaster HC apart from other horticultural LEDs, which do not provide enough PPFD to create uniform results. In other words, the Budmaster HC LED lighting system is truly capable of competing with HID lighting while drastically reducing electricity costs and unwanted heat in the growing area. The Budmaster HC series has an impressive rated life span of 100,000 hours. This is about double the life span of other LEDs on the market. Another mentionable feature of the Budmaster HC is that the warm, pink light it emits will not make it difficult for a grower to inspect his or her plants. Unlike other LED units that can drastically change a grower’s perception of leaf color, the Budmaster HC series makes it easy for growers to accurately inspect their plants at any time.
It is not an individual component, but rather all of the components working together that make an LED system effective and efficient. The components used in BudmasterLED lighting systems are of the highest quality and go through a series of quality control measures to ensure every unit is built to produce maximum growth rates.
The lenses used in the Budmaster HC have many advantages over the individual lenses used in many other LED light systems. Many lenses used by other companies are designed for down lights and are not designed to be used close to 20 hours per day. This means that the materials in them will degrade over time and can actually reduce the light transmission rate. The lenses used in Budmaster HC units are made from solid, fire retardant, UL approved materials that will maintain both minimum refraction and maximum transmission over the life of the unit.
Heat sinks are a vital component in a horticultural LED system. The heat sink helps dissipate heat away from the unit. This increases longevity and the overall performance of the entire lighting system. The Budmaster HC utilizes UK made aluminum heat sinks for low weight and maximum heat transference.
One feature that really stood out to me when I inspected the Budmaster HC lighting system was its practically bullet-proof construction. This lighting system’s thick powder-coated steel case was the first indicator that this unit is built to last. The high-end reflective powder coating finish used on BudmasterLED’s products is UV-proof, waterproof, grease-proof, heat resistant, and is virtually impenetrable by oxidization. All in all, the Budmaster HC is a very sturdy and well-built LED lighting system.
The high quality drivers used in all of the BudmasterLED light systems run at a .5% failure rate. Simply put, BudmasterLED uses only the very best drivers and they rarely fail. Too many LED manufacturers take short cuts in their units’ drivers and this leads to higher failure rates and less uniform spectral outputs. The staff at BudmasterLED does it right; they use the best drivers available to ensure their units perform up to the high standards of professional marijuana growers.
Loud fans are so common with horticultural LEDs that many growers have just come to accept it as part of the deal. However, it is possible to have quality fans to remove heat from the units without creating a great deal of noise. The 2500 rpm, 33.5 CFM fans used in the Budmaster HC units operate at only 26 decibels and are waterproof. In other words, these units are designed for quiet operation and to be used in high humidity environments, such as that of an indoor garden or greenhouse.
I was very impressed when I opened the Budmaster HC. It was instantly apparent that this was not another cheaply constructed horticultural LED, incapable of living up to all the hype. This unit was spectacular. From its rigid, yet clean, chassis to the perfectly aligned and directed lenses, there was no doubt that the Budmaster HC was the highest quality horticultural LED I had ever held in my hands. I plugged in the system and, holy moly, was it bright. The spectrum is warm, pleasant and definitely capable of penetrating deep into a plant canopy. Unfortunately, I have only had the Budmaster HC in my possession a couple of weeks and that is not enough time to complete an entire growing cycle. However, it has been a long time since I have been this excited to test a lighting system. Judging from my initial reaction and the plant’s initial reactions to the Budmaster HC, I’m confident I will not be disappointed.