I recently had the opportunity to complete a cannabis test grow with the a professional-grade LED grow light, the URSA Optilux. As a smaller sized grower, I’d never had my hands on a unit this powerful before and it was daunting when I opened the box to see this truly unique looking grow light. Panic hits me instantly; can I pull a grow off with this beast? Why was I so worried? Under the center of this grow light it produces a PPFD rating of 1370 µmol/m2/s. As far as I know that’s the most powerful grow light of its size available today and I had to grow under this bad boy without vaporizing my plants.
True Wide Spectrum Light
Power isn’t the only feature of the Optilux; it also produces visible clear light while providing your cannabis plants with wide spectrum light between 359 nm to around 950 nm. I think this is also the widest spectrum available in an LED grow light. This wide spectrum of light coupled with the light intensity get’s deep into your canopy helping your plants vegetate. The white light emanating from the LEDS makes tending to your plants easy. No color shifts on your plants so you see exactly what’s going on without having to switch off the grow lights.
Looking down at the open box my fright turns into amazement as the shiny glass lenses that cover the face of the Optilux shine and refract light in every direction. The face plate behind all that glass is stainless steel which provides a perfect reflective surface.
High Quality Product
Right away I can tell this LED grow light has an extremely high build quality with heavy steel casing, stainless steel face and real glass lenses this all adds up to tip the scales at 45 pounds. The main hanging bracket that is provided with the light is heavy gauge steel as well and needs to be fixed to your hanging supports with at least two heavy duty hangers.
The weight of the light on my 5×5 grow tent was too much to leave safely. I ended up cutting two sticks of wood that I used as supports under the tent poles that supported the light unit. That provided more than enough support to safely hang the light in my tent.
Complete Grow Coverage
The 16 glass lenses on the face of the Optilux are arranged specially so that the higher intensity light generated at the center of the light is evenly dispersed. The Lenses in the center of the unit are 120 degrees and the lenses around the outside are 60 degrees, you can see the size difference when you examine the face of the grow light. This mixture of lenses produces a perfect 6X6 Vegetative foot print or a 4×4 flowering foot print. Why heavy glass optics instead of light plastic optics? That’s an easy one, plastic can’t increase the intensity of the light like glass can. The glass optics act like a magnifier as well and increases the light intensity.
Even with the optics spreading light around the Optilux still produces a hot spot below the center of the light. The power is so intense that you’ll want to hang this light between 5 and 6 feet above your plants and let your plants grow toward the light.
The Power behind the Optilux
URSA developed highly specialized 3-pad cobs for the Optilix. These LED pads can each produce full spectrum light from ultraviolet to infrared instead of using different colored LEDs to achieve the same result like other manufactures. The ability to have all 16 LED groups producing the same spectrum’s of light is more efficient and therefore provides more usable light to your cannabis plants. The LED’s are powered to just 40 W each which ensure optimal performance and extended lifetimes of over 50,000 hours.
The LED’s are powered by two 90 to 3015-volt drivers which are built into the top heat sync of the grow light. The two drivers pull 640W from the wall but drive the LEDs to produce a maximum PAR of 1370.
This grow light runs on the hot side but the unit itself does not require a fan. The LED’s produce about 2200 BTU’s of heat so you’ll need good tent ventilation and a fan moving air over your canopy.
I’m going to be right up front here. I did have some issues early on with this grow light. The recommended starting distance from URSA was just 36 inches and that vaporized my first set of plants. I Vaporized a second set of plants before I realized the unit needed to be up at least 5 to 6 feet.
Once I was able to get that light up to just over 5 feet above my plants the magic did start to happen. I experienced a very fast vegetation stage with the plants vegging for just 6 weeks. Flowering went 8 weeks. The plants were happy and produced 3 pounds of cannabis per plant which is good for the strain.
Air flow is key when growing with this powerful LED grow light. Make sure you have air movement all the way through your canopy or you could run into issues.
The Optilux grow light is a professional-grade unit which comes with an amazing 3 year warranty to back up their build quality. This light will operate for over 50,000 hours so it will be paying you back with large healthy cannabis plants for years to come. Buying a quality LED has an extra upfront cost but the long term savings in energy and replacement costs plus the excellent plant growth potential it brings to the table makes it worth the investment. My feeling is that you should always purchase the best possible LED grow light you can stretch your budget too.
URSA has produced a very powerful, feature-rich grow light that is geared toward the pro or advanced grower. Also remember you’ll need some serious headroom, at least 5 feet above your plants which can make growing with this light in a tent impossible depending on the height.
After just a few grows under the Optilux and I can tell that cannabis plants love the light spectrum that this unit is providing. I’ve seen faster vegetation and flowering times when using this product.