Construction & Design
The ViparSpectra Reflector-Series are composed of aluminum, with a matte black finish. We love aluminum for grow lights of several reasons. Aluminum is lightweight which makes the lights much easier to move around and to hang securely above your plants. Although light, the aluminum has a higher strength to weight ratio than stainless steel. In addition, aluminum’s superior thermal conductivity dissipates any heat produced from the LEDs very efficiently. The design is actually reminiscent of PlatinumLEDs grow lights. Our guess is that the actual housings fixtures for the LEDs are produced by the same manufacturer – although PlatinumLED is assembled in the USA and ViparSpectra seems to be a Chinese company. The ViparSpectra lights do have less fans mounted in the bodies than those of PlatinumLEd. For example, the VS 300W has a single 4.72�? fan mounted in the fixture, as compared to PlatinumLEDs two fans in its 300W model (link). The VS Reflector 900W has three fans, while the PlatinumLED 900W has five. Keeping in mind that PlatinumLED are some of the best lights you can get and cost more, growing with the ViparSpectra will produce more heat.
Energy Use & Efficiency
As with most LED grow lights, The ViparSpectra Reflector-Series are much more energy efficient than HID lights. The LEDs runs on AC100-240V input voltage (standard outlets). Although the Reflector-Series have models rated from 300W-900W, that is its maximum wattage. The true wattage and energy consumption of the light will be much less, almost half the consumption of a HID grow light producing a comparable amount of light. In the table below we’ve outlined the various wattages of the VS Reflector-Series for you. There is an output on each light allowing for daisy chaining multiple fixtures together, however, we would always recommend to avoid daisy chaining and ensure each fixture has its own direct power supply.
||# of Fans
Light Spectrum & PAR
The ViparSpectra Reflector-Series produce a decently well-rounded light spectrum. However, it is slightly heavier on the blue end of the spectrum. This is not really a huge issue, as blue light is crucial for growing bushy, healthy plants and blue LEDs are very energy efficient. However, we would prefer to see a little more red light in the spectrum. Red light is the main photosynthesis driver, so your plants have to work a little bit harder to convert the higher energy blue light down into usable energy first. If you do notice that your plants are not growing tall enough and are investing too much into axillary growth (outwards/bushiness) then you could always just cover up a few of the blue LEDs to increase the red ratio for a while.
One thing we are uncertain of is the actual PAR value provided by ViparSpectra. As you can see in the figure below, a PAR value of 300 umol/m2/s was measured in the area directly below the light for the 300W model. However, PAR is a measurement of the amount of light produced, defined by the units umol, while PPFD is a measurement of how much light is reaching the plants of a specified area, defined by units umol/m2/s. Based on the information provided, we can assume that the values provided are actually PPFD, and the mislabelling of PAR is simply either a language barrier/unintended simplification. Back to the 300W Reflector-Series: A PPFD of 300 umol/m2/s in the center, which decreases further from the center is a realistic number, and considering the lights small size, wattage usage, and from a height of 24�? is a decent amount of light hitting your plants. The VS Reflector-Series house 5W LEDs with 90 degree focusing lenses (blog post) which provide a light spread that is a perfect happy medium somewhere between optimal focus and ideal spread. Below we have outlined more specifications about each light regarding to the PAR and Light output of each model for you to compare.
||# of 5 watt LEDs
||PAR @ 24�? height and at center
||Max coverage @ 24�? height
||3 x 3 feet
||3.5 x 3.5 feet
||4 x 4 feet
||5 x 4 feet
||4.5 x 4.5 feet
One feature that we also aren’t crazy about with the ViparSpectra Reflector-Series is the inclusion of Infrared Radiation (IR) diodes alongside the normal LEDs. As you can see in the spectrum analysis, there is radiation wavelengths being produced by the fixture at 700nm-780nm. Although ViparSpectra and other IR proponents claim that IR is important to promote cell division, and to aid germination, leaf building and flowering, we actually disagree. This type of radiation/light is not usable by plants and is basically just a form of heat. So, the two IR diodes mounted in the fixture are essentially just emitting heat onto your plants.
This can also definitely be viewed as a great benefit – especially if you need to add some heat to your growing space. However, if you are worried about excess heat, we would definitely recommend that you either take apart the light and disconnect the IR diodes (if you are comfortable with that) or just cover them up with some thick tape. Of course they only produce a very little amount of heat, but they still can contribute to the temperature of your grow space and are just wasting energy, especially for instance the 900W Square model which has 8 IR diodes. However, if you are hanging the lights from at least 18�?, you shouldn’t have any major issues with heat.
As we mentioned above, the IR diodes will contribute to the heat of your growing space. However, there are several other features of the ViparSpectra Reflector 300W that will reduce the heat being produced by the LEDs. The aluminum design provides an extremely conductive environment, which acts to dissipate any heat produced. Each grow light is also vented on all sides to keep the light cool, and a varying number of fans are also housed within each fixture.
Lifespan & Warranty
Each ViparSpectra Reflector-Series light is rated for a lifespan of 100,000 hours. This is a great lifespan for an affordable LED grow light and it should pay for itself over that time. In addition, ViparSpectra includes a 3-year warranty and a 30-day satisfaction or return guarantee. Although, you’ll have to contact ViparSpectra directly for more details or to put in a request for return.
Recommendations for ViparSpectra LED Lights
Each ViparSpectra Reflector-Series light is rated for a lifespan of 100,000 hours. This is a great lifespan for an affordable LED grow light and it should pay for itself over that time. In addition, ViparSpectra includes a 3-year warranty and a 30-day satisfaction or return guarantee. Although, you’ll have to contact ViparSpectra directly for more details or to put in a request for return