If you are looking for the best LED grow lights for your indoor growing operation, Platinum LED makes some of the most powerful LED grow lights available. LED grow lights have a ton of benefits that overshadow traditional HPS or HID lights, and Platinum LED’s grow lights are no exception. Platinum LED is confident that they are the most powerful LED grow lights on the market today, and they’re certainly producing hardware that could back up that claim. Platinum LED has several different models available, all of varying sizes and wattage so that you can pick the grow light that best suits your needs. In this review, we will cover Platinum LED’s Advanced Platinum Series grow lights and make sure you know everything you need to know to make an educated decision.
Construction & Design
The Advanced Platinum Series by Platinum LED has 6 different models, each model possessing unique specifications and features. Each model has a distinct amount of LEDs mounted in the frame, maximum wattage usage, average operating watts, vegetation/bloom coverage and the actual panel dimensions. The Advanced Platinum Series are actually constructed from aluminum – which is obviously a good thing since platinum lights would be too heavy and expensive to even use – but the panels being constructed from aluminum has multiple benefits. Aluminum actually has a higher strength to weight ratio than stainless steel, despite it being almost one third of the weight as steel. In addition, aluminum has a very high thermal conductivity which allows the aluminum fixtures to easily and efficiently dissipate excess heat produced from the LEDs. These great design features give the Advanced Platinum Series a sturdy, lightweight energy- efficient and low maintenance design that lends well to your indoor grow.
PlatinumLED produces six Advanced Platinum Series LED grow light models: the P150, P300, P450, P600, P900 and P1200. The number of each model corresponds to the number of 3w LEDs mounted in the fixture. For instance, the P150 is their smallest light with 50x 3w bulbs, leading up to the largest model with 600x 3w LEDs. If you are going to be just having one or a few plants in a microgrow, then the P150 – P450 are probably suitable for you. If you’re going to be stepping up your game to a larger operation, the larger lights such as P600 – P1200 are going to be your best bet.
Energy Use & Efficiency
If you are looking at buying LED grow lights in place of traditional grow light fixtures, the energy efficiency of the LED light is likely one of the biggest reasons you are considering buying. The Platinum LED Advanced Platinum Series are some of the most energy efficient LED grow lights available. But keep in mind as you go up in size and increase the number of LEDs, the power drainage will also increase. Each model operates on AC85V-260Vvoltage and have auto-voltage sensing/power adjusting drivers. The table below outlines the energy consumption in watts of each Advanced Platinum Series model (in vegetation and bloom mode) and what equivalent of HPS light that the Platinum series light functions to replace. As you can see, these Platinum LED lights draw almost half the watts of an HPS light producing the same light. Although these lights may be a more expensive up-front cost, they will pay for themselves partly through their decreased energy draw.
PlatinumLED claims that their LED grow lights produce the most complete light spectrum of any grow light available today. They use 11 different LED band wavelengths to maximize yields through optimal photosynthesis. The complete spectrum that PlatinumLED offers in this series of grow lights include the following light wavelengths: 380nm/415nm/440nm/460nm/480nm/615nm/630nm/660nm/720nm/740nm/760nm. Although the jury is still out on whether or not UV light (shorter wavelengths than 430nm) and deep red/infared light (greater than 700nm) actually enhances photosynthesis in plants.
The PlatinumLED lights cover all these wavelengths at a negligible amount of increased energy consumption. LEDs typically have a primary and secondary lens mounted that help focus their emitting photons. PlatinumLED has put 90 degree secondary lenses that are a good middle ground between 120 and 60 degree lenses we typically see in grow lights. Below we will have outlined PlatinumLED’s measurements of PAR for each model, as well as the veg/bloom coverage footprint for each Platinum Series light.
There are a couple factors to remember when evaluating those numbers. First of all, PAR does change slightly over time, and as you see in the videos, PAR is slightly changing while he is taking the readings, although it just jumps up and down only a couple units over time. In addition, the sensor from a PAR meter is quite small, and the value taken is only shining directly on it. These PAR values were all taken from the center of the lights, so you can expect the values to decrease somewhat as you move further towards the edges. As you can see from the numbers in the table above, PlatinumLED’s P600 model was a bit of an anomaly – despite having more LEDs in the fixture than the P450, it measured a smaller PAR value. If you look at the difference of coverage between those two models, you can see that the panel size and coverage of the P600 is significantly larger than that of the P450 – for this same reason. With more LEDs spread out over a larger area, the PAR is also spread out more evenly than just in the center where the PAR meter was fixed.
Vegetation & Bloom Functions
Two large red switches are mounted on the end of each PlatinumLED Advanced Platinum Series model. Each switch corresponds to either Vegetation or Bloom growing mode. The PlatinumLED grow lights should always be used with the vegetation switch turned on. Although the plants require more short-wave radiation in the form of blue light during vegetative growth which the vegetation mode provides, it also does produce light throughout the PAR as well. When your plants are ready for bloom, you must keep the vegetation switch on AND turn on the bloom switch. This will allow the LEDs to produce more long-wave radiation in the form of red light, which simulates summer light. With both switches active, your plants will produce a strong and healthy yield.
For different growing stages, your plants will require different cycles of light. For example, for a typical vegetative state, your plants should run under light for around 18 hours. The Advanced Platinum Series do not have a built-in timer on each LED grow light, but a run-of-the mill kitchen appliance timer such as should do just fine to automatically set your light cycles. Using a kitchen appliance timer is also the best way to connect multiple PlatinumLED lights together. For example: at 110V, you can connect up to 4x P600 models to a standard 15A power strip. The power strip should then be run through the timer to plug into the wall outlet. That way, all your lights are safely connected to one point of control. Of course, whenever you are thinking about connecting multiple light fixtures for a larger growing operation, it is important to do so safely – ideally with some consulting from someone with electrical experience.
Although LED grow lights are known to produce much less heat than HPS or HID light fixtures, no electrical fixture is 100% efficient, and it is inevitable that some electrical energy will be released as thermal energy – producing heat. Too much heat in a system can The Advanced Platinum Series of grow lights have fans mounted in the top of the light panels of each model that helps to cool the lights. The fans are very quiet, although depending on the size of your operation with many lights connected together, there will be an audible hum. In addition to the fans, Platinum LED has produced its Advanced Platinum Series of grow lights with an aluminum body. Aluminum has a very high thermal conductivity and significantly dissipates any excess heat produced. Although the decreased heat production by LEDs is a great benefit of LED grow lights, it is important to keep in mind they can allow your plants and growing area to get too cold, so make sure you are constantly monitoring the temperature of your space.
Quality & Warranty
PlatinumLED uses 3w LEDs that are manufactured in the USA by companies such as Bridgelux and Epistar. Their well-made LED drivers maintain a steady 650mA output, to guarantee a lifespan of at least 30,000 hours. Although you can expect a guaranteed 30,000 hours, the Advanced Platinum Series are rated up to 100,000 hours (8-10 years). Every LED grow light produced by Platinum LED is also backed by a 5-year complete warranty. This is one of the best warranties we have seen for LED grow lights and is a great feature to consider when purchasing lights. PlatinumLED claims that that if their grow light should fail for any reason within 5 years of purchase, they will fix or replace the light as necessary. It is important to contact Platinum LED directly for any warranty inquiries to avoid any issues, though.
Are the Platinum LED the right lights for you?
Platinum LED lights definitely have a lot going for them. Yes, they are more expensive up-front cost than HPS/HID lights, and also more expensive than some LED lights available. But you are getting a well made product with great features, and they pay for themselves. The aluminum body is sturdy but light, the fans are quiet and efficient, and they are easily connected together for a larger grow with just a simple kitchen timer. Switching from vegetation to bloom mode is as easy as hitting a switch. Although their light spectrum could be a little more than you need these lights crank out a ton of high quality PAR, and their wide panels do a great job of completely covering all your plants. Plus, the lights have an estimated 8-10 year lifespan with a 5-year complete warranty. You will see a great return on your investment and end up saving money due to the decreased energy use, lack of necessity to replace LEDs, and the tremendous lifespan of these lights. If you’re going to be growing long term, the PlatinumLED Advanced Platinum Series are a great choice.