The traditional HPS grow light for all intents and purposes is a fixed point light source. A lamp is installed inside a reflector, which then spreads the light out to cover an area such as 1.2m squared.
For a long time, the design of LED grow lights has mimicked this idea, with all the LEDs being fitted close together in a relatively compact unit. Optical lenses are then used to spread the light out over the intended grow area, just like an HPS reflector does.
Unfortunately, having a central light source and then spreading the light to the sides is not the most efficient way of creating a good light spread. This is because light intensity goes down the further away from a light source you get (inverse square law), and the outer edges of the grow area are further away from the light source than the region directly beneath it.
So, a compact unit design that mimics a point source like HPS will always have a compromised evenness of light footprint; that’s just a fact of science for you, folks!
Enter a new breed of LED Grow Light
Very recently, a couple of American manufacturers experimented with a very different way of laying out the LEDs. Instead of clumping them all together in a compact central unit, they use a series of bars which spread the LEDs out above the whole grow space. The result was an evenness of light spread over the grow space that had never been achieved before from a grow light.
It has taken a while for this type design to finally hit the shores of the UK. First came the Gavita 1700e unit, and hot on its heels we now have the Superb value-for-money Maxibright Daylight LED grow light. In this blog we’re going to have a review of this example of the latest design.
The Maxibright Daylight LED Grow Light – A Thoroughly Well Thought Out Design
The Maxibright Daylight unit measures 1120mm x 1070mm (add 50mm for the IEC power plug bringing it to about 1120mm as well). This means it fills out a 1.2m square grow tent almost perfectly with just a touch of space to spare.
The unit is just 11cm in height, and in the peak of flowering it only needs to be about 40-50cm above the tops of the plants, so depending on how you choose to hang it, it gives a lot of headroom.
Easy to Transport, Easy to fit Through Small Spaces, Easy to Assemble
On first impressions, the size of the Maxibright looks like it might be a bit cumbersome. However, it comes dismantled so it’s easy to transport and fit through tight spaces such as loft hatches. Assembling it is dead easy and is a very quick process taking about 10-15 minutes. Once it’s hung, you’ll find it is no less convenient than any other grow light on the market.
This is the footprint of a Maxibright Daylight over a 1.2m square open area (not in a reflective tent) at a height of 45cm:
This is very flat footprint! Once this unit is in a reflective grow tent, the footprint will be even flatter! Every part of every plant will be receiving all the light it needs. No more disappointing results around the edges of the grow space. With the Maxibright Daylight LED, the whole grow space becomes uniformly productive!
The Light Spectrum
The Maxibright unit uses a mixture of Lumiled White LEDs for healthy, happy plants and great quality crops. Maxibright have also added in Osram Red LEDs to boost productivity to the maximum:
This is a spectrum similar to what we are seeing more and more often in the best LED grow lights. For example, it is virtually indistinguishable to the spectrum produced by the superb GN Telos range. It seems that more and more manufacturers are coming to the conclusion that using about 75-80% white LEDs with the addition of about 20-25% purely red LEDs is pretty much the optimum for growing plants. It grows healthy plants and delivers big, premium quality crops.
The efficiency of LEDs has risen considerably over recent years. However, the most efficient ones cost a premium. Maxibright haven’t skimped in this department. They have used white Lumiled LEDs with an efficiency of 3.1 umols/Joule, along with Osram Red LEDs with an efficiency of 2.7 umols/Joule. The combined efficiency of the LED components comes out at 2.8 umols/Joule.
In some specifications written by manufacturers, they will leave it there, quoting 2.8 umols/Joule efficiency for their LED grow light. Unfortunately, this is not the whole story. Before electrical power gets to the LEDs it has to go through a Driver Unit. This unit converts AC mains power into a low voltage DC feed which can be used to power the LEDs. No power supply on the planet is 100% efficient and the Driver Unit in the Maxibright is no exception. It reduces the overall efficiency of the whole Maxibright unit down to 2.3 umols/Joule which is still excellent.
Many brands of grow light require that you buy a separate controller if you want to dim your grow lights. This can be expensive. The Maxibright Daylight LED has dimming knob fitted so that you can dim the unit down from 100% to just 30% – great if you just want to start some cuttings off.
Rounding it up
At just £849.95, the Maxibright Daylight is an absolute steal. It offers an unbeatable light spread, an extremely well-sorted spectrum, very high efficiency, and a built-in dimmer. It’s difficult to think of anything not to like. What an investment!