Are you Ready for an LED Heavyweight Grow Light?
The Grow Northern Telos 0008 240W LED grow light has landed at One Stop Grow Shop and to say that we are mega impressed is a complete understatement!
For years, LED grow lights were the underdogs compared with HPS in terms of yield per watt. Despite this, LED grow light manufacturers (particularly Chinese ones) made some ridiculous claims about their equivalent wattage compared to HPS. I personally remember seeing a particular 90w LED grow light being touted as being equivalent to a 400W HPS. That was well over 10 years ago. Looking back, that was clearly an absurd assertion considering the performance of the individual LEDs available at that time. The results that users achieved were absolutely nowhere near the misleading claims that the manufacturers were advertising. It was exaggerated claims like this that damaged the reputation of the LED grow light industry considerably.
At One Stop Grow Shop, we have only stocked LED grow lights for the last 3 years or so. It was around about then that they began to truly compete with equivalent wattage HPS systems. Prior to that we were regularly asked why we didn’t stock LED grow lights, to which we could only reply: “because they don’t match the yield of the same amount of watts from a HPS”.
However, that all changed about 3 years ago when LED grow lights emerged that delivered yields on a par with the equivalent number of watts of HPS light. Since then, the best LED grow lights have just got better and better. In the hands of a good grower, the latest crop can deliver results that, watt for watt, beat HID lighting.
Huge Light Output Per Watt –
So, let’s get back to reviewing the GN Telos 0008. It boasts a huge total PPF (Photosynthetic Photon Flux) light output of 1.9 μmol per watt, which rivals the efficiency of some of the best HPS grow lights out there.
PPF (in μmols / sec) is a measure of the total amount of plant useable photons that are produced by a grow light. Plants create sugar from photosynthetically usable light, CO2 and water. The sugar that is created is then used to fuel growth and other plant processes. It takes approximately 38 photosynthetically usable photons for plants to produce 1 molecule of sugar. The more photosynthetically usable light that a plant gets, the more sugar it can make and therefore the more growth that can be fuelled. The efficiency of the GN Telos 0008 grow light is up there with the best, producing a huge amount of photosynthetically active photons (1.9 μmols/sec per watt of input power).
It’s not just the amazing light output that sets this unit apart. If you are looking for a medium-power LED grow light, the GN Telos 0008 is designed from the ground up for reliability, with an excellent build quality and an impressively long lifespan too!
Well Sorted Full Spectrum Light Output
The GN Telos 0008 uses industry-leading Cree LED’s. The mix of LEDs (white and red) creates a very well thought out final spectrum and is a credit to Grow Northern’s expert designer, Daniel Edwards:
We have seen time and time again that a full spectrum produces healthy, well-structured plants with short internodes and lush green leaves. The GN Telos 0008 uses 2 types of Cree LED for a highly tailored spectrum designed to optimise plant health without compromising anything in yield.
75% of the LEDs are Cree X-Es which produce the full spectrum of white light that plants love. The other 25% of the LEDs are Cree XP-G3s which produce extra reds, making them particularly effective in the flowering/fruiting stage. This ensures fantastic productivity during the all of the crucial stages of your plants’ lives.
Another point (common to virtually all LED grow lights) is that infrared output is very low which means radiant heating of your plant’s leaves is kept to a minimum. If you know about Vapour Pressure Deficit (VPD) then you will know this makes getting control over transpiration rates (particularly during Summer) much easier.
Great Lighting Footprint –
Here is a 3D surface map of the intensity of light projected downwards in a 0.9m x 0.9m area when the unit is mounted at a height of 60cm:
The footprint has a very smooth and even coverage front to back and side to side in this size area. The light reaches out to the very edges and corners with ease. A height of 60cm (24″) above the plant canopy is perfect for great flowering/fruiting. For vegetative growth, we would recommend a hanging height of around 80cm (32″). Cuttings and seedlings can also be grown very well under the Telos 0008 but for more delicate plants we recommend an initial hanging height of 1 metre.
The GN Telos 0008 will cover an area up to 1m x 1m very nicely. The Telos features advanced holographic optic technology which produces a great spread and even footprint without losing intensity.
The Build Quality
The Telos 0008 is designed from the ground up to withstand the humidity and temperature of a grow space or even the tough conditions of a greenhouse. With an impressive ingress protection rating of IP66, the units are completely sealed against dust, and will even shrug off jets of water aimed at them from any direction!
The GN Telos 0008 features 8 LED modules, each using 30W and containing 12 LEDs. The rugged housing incorporates a nice, large heatsink which easily dissipates the heat created by the LEDs. This negates the need for noisy fans, and it means that there are no mechanical moving parts to go wrong.
As mentioned before, the Telos 0008 utilises 2 types of Cree LED – 75% of which are the X-E white LEDs and the other 25% are the XP-G3 red LEDs. Both of the types of these LED are rated at 3 Watts. However, in the Telos 0008 they are deliberately underdriven. There are 2 very good reasons for this. Firstly, underdriving an LED increases its efficiency in terms of light output per watt. Secondly, underdriving an LED allows its internal workings to run cooler, which consequently extends its lifespan. As a result, the Telos 0008 has an expected lifespan of up to 85000 hours which is nearly 10 years of continuous use!
There are slight downsides to underdriving LEDs. It means that more LEDs need to be employed for a particular number of watts of useage. This, of course, not only increases the cost of manufacture, but it also means that the actual grow light needs to be slightly larger to incorporate them all too. However, the benefits of a greater total light output per watt, plus the longer lifespan, more than outweigh the disadvantages of underdriving.
Grow Northern did not skimp on the power drive unit either, going for the highly respected Meanwell units. This maintains the theme of robust and reliable design, components and build quality which is seen throughout the whole unit. It’s no wonder Telos-0008s are likely to last so long!
Future Proofing Intrinsically Built In to the Design
LED grow light technology has advanced a lot in recent years. The improvements in the efficiency of the LEDs alone accounts for much of this. Daniel Edwards, the designer of the Grow Northern Telos range, suspects that most of the improvements that are possible to the individual LEDs have already been implemented. However, there are likely some small advancements that could still to be made in the next few years.
The GN Telos range have a future upgrade path already built in. Each of the 8 LED modules are removable and feature twist-lock connectors. This means that when there is a worthwhile improvement in LED technology, GN can make new modules available incorporating the new LEDs so that owners can upgrade their Telos units.
For a fantastic LED grow light at a great price, look no further than the GN Telos-0008. You won’t regret it!