Tag Archives: LED grow light

The Pro grows: El Patron by Royal Queen Seeds

El Patrin main bud close up
This is what you get – El Patron main bud by Royal Queen Seeds, grown by Homegrow Pro.

Back to square one – from a Royal Queen Seeds veteran

Growing El Patron felt like I was going back in time. Royal Queen Seeds was the first breeder I bought seeds from – Amnesia Haze Automatics being the first. And also the feeling not really to know what I’m doing wrong was there again.

One year after my last run with RQS Critical – my last RQS run until El Patron – I have now a lot more experience under my belt and equipment in the closet.

Items and Tools that I used for that grow

The Grow Room – Setting up

I had the opportunity to test out Lien-Tecs very own interpretation of a Samsung Lm301b chipboard including the now commonly used photo- as well as far-red LED chips on a passively cooled fixture. The system came with an LCD display with a dimmer attached to set the power as desired. In the 2’x2’ (60 cm x 60 cm) tent area I dimmed the light down to values between 120 W (seedling, veg) and 160 W (early and mid flower).

Lientec LED screen to setup the power of the led and monitor current and voltage
Lien-Tec LED: This model features a very convenient screen and power adjuster!


For air circulation I used one low powered static fan inside the tent and an AC Infinity Cloudline T6 for filtering and air-exchange. I aimed to grow four plants total in 3 gal smart pots filled with my go to soil: BioBizz Light Mix. Not too hard on the seedlings and cool for the first weeks alone, while also (usually) easy to maintain when combined with the BioBizz nutrition line, which I also did.

Seedling and Vegetation Stage

small seedling coming out of the soil
El Patron – cracking the soils surface

El Patron had a rough summer to germinate in. I got my four favorites and started the run, at first separated under two different grow lights, but altogether after a brief time of three weeks.

Right after germination I recognized the first problems: All four plants seem to “forgot” to develop one of the second-set branches, resulting in a weird triangle shape. Cannabis plants usually retain a decent symmetry for a longer time after sprouting – especially under LED lights. Followed by the first signs of nutritional malady they grew okay in veg. Longer internodial distances and a vague signs of nitrogen deficiencies were always visible. “I had it worse…” – I thought and wanted to let them go vital before switching to flower.

small cannabis plant with a weird shape
El Patrons shape is very unique (or weird) in the first weeks of the grow. All four plants showed this feature.

For training I’ve chosen my favourite LST method with the metal hooks you can read about on my website here.

Flowering

flowering cannabis
In the tent: El Patron does not like to stretch a lot, flowering was uniform and easy to manage in terms of stretching and structure.

I switched to flower rising the power usage of the light to 160 W from the wall, while I reduced the hours of light per day to 12 hours. I also raised usage of the nitrogen source in order to get ready for the flowering stretch. Up to three weeks into 12/12 the plant is still creating large amounts of green material such as branches and sun leafs and grows exponentially, raising its height by up to 300%!  In the same time I increased usage of the potassium (K) and phosphorus (P) parts of my nutrition plan and let it buffer up in the soil to be ready to use mid flower, where a plant is the hungriest.

Cannabis mid flowering
El Patron in mid flower: Shes stacking up nicely but always showed a bunch of nutrition problems. Maybe the pH was off….

El Patron is a late stacker. You have to wait to the very end until she abruptly stops pushing out bud volume. I was greeted with medium to medium-high yields of bud. Was the quality worth all the hassle?

cannabis ready to harvest
El Patron short before harvest: The leafs are dry and curled upwards. This picture was taken 18 days after the one above.

The Product – taste, potency, flavor and smell

To answer that question: For me, definetly. I am a taste/personal use grower, so yield is not the first aspect when it comes to growing. I want new tastes, flavors, structures, views and colors. While the colors were nothing special in this run (although I tried – running sub 20°C in the nights) the initial smell is mesmerizing. The first thing I thought was: ”Oh, it’s just like Lemon Haze! “, which is very commonly the first distinct terpene variety you experience as a rookie cannabis consumer. If you squeeze it you get whiffs of cookies and cream as well as parsnips, without being too dominant. Smoking it reminds me of oldschool Amnesia taste, also no surpise due to the AMG lineage.

This strain is covered in trichomes! So frosty – its unreal!

The high drops in hard and head-heavy: I got talky as usual and was in urgent need to eat a lot of food in a short time. I also got pretty much useless doing tasks that involve a lot of different steps at the same time, so I went and did another round of macro shots of the now dried out plant. The buds were exceptionally dense (apart from that one pheno that didn’t) and became rock-hard in the initial drying phase. There will be some remoisturization going on, burping and curing her, but at a first inspection – very grindable and enjoyable material! Should also be very good for extracts like hash or rosin.

If you are a hazelover who needs head-high in the afternoon to clean up the living room (very slowly!) – here you go! El Patron by Royal Queen Seeds – Thanks again for the opportunity to grow a new variety. Its a great experiment to set “new grounds” for a new strain!

Trichome closeup: There is also plant material in this picture – believe it, or not.

How to evaluate growlights- Part One: Phlizon 600W LED

Disclaimer: Blue/Purple grow “lights get the job done”. But do not expect more than that.

This article is a rant.
Its subjective, but backed with sources, experience and knowledge from over four years of growing with alleged top notch technology.

People are pretty simple if it comes to marketing. Everyone wants to buy the best valued components for the best price to get going. If you ever build your own PC or a drone you will know what im talking about. 
Creating a grow setup was a simple task ten to twenty years ago. You just had to go to one of these grow shops, where you talked with a clerk to get the best out of your budget for your operation. You got a tent, a HPS light, soil, nutes, seeds and some ventilation. Online and offline sources were limited to a few books the old masters wrote.

With spreding legalisation many companies jumped on the grow train trying to advertise their products to you. And i have to admit: They are good at it!

Google results for "grow light"
Google result of  “grow light” … That says it all.

Just google “grow light” and you are flooded with the infamous blue/purple spectra of common grow lights you find on amazon or alibaba. But a great search engine optimization does not equal the quality of the product.

False advertisement

To be honest: There is nothing wrong with running these lights. They are getting the job done. They will not get you near the results you always see on the famous pictures circulating on the internet. The lights are often praised with heavily exaggerated numbers. I will discuss the most bought LED grow lights from amazon.com and show you whats wrong with them.

Critical cannabis in flower
Get back to me, if you manage to do this with a single Phlizon 600 W. I did this with a 310 W light. So yours should be at least in the ballpark of my result. 😉

Example One: Phlizon 600W LED

Phlizon light from amazon
Phlizon 600W LED light. The hangers and hygrometer are actually useful. Pic from amazon.com


NO REFLECTOR NO DANGER- Many others’ grow lights are used led spotlight reflector to make the light look beautiful, but we don’t use it because the led reflector is not heat-resistant. If a short circuit occurs,reflector at 80℃ is easy to melt and fire. we do not use the reflector, we can not give up the safety beause of beauty.

Amazon Description

Reflectors are a thing of beauty huh?
Phlizon claims, that reflectors are useless and just melt, if there is a short circuit.
Do they assume their light will short curcuit at one point?
LEDs are emitting light in all directions. It actually enhances the optical properties of a light if you use reflectors. They just ditch them, because they think its just a cosmetic element. You actually need them to focus the light more in the direction of the canopy.

FULL SPECTRUM- We did lots of experimentation to ensure that this full spectrum design promotes plant growth. It includes universal Blue Red IR UV and white light provide everything plant desire in the natural sunlight. The expensive IR UV led promote plants to defense mechanisms, blue and red led is essential light for plant growth.


Amazon Description

Okay! Thats bold. The spectrum is one of the least “white” ones you could imagine. Its mainly blue and red. The McCree curve, where you can see, what intensity distribution your light should have is vastly different from Phlizons “white” light. White light is created if the spectrum contains of every wavelengths in equal parts. Its fine to build an only red-blue light, but do not call it white.

McCree Curve vs the phlizon spectrum
The McCree Curve behind the “full spectrum” of the Phlizon 600W spectrum. You get an idea whats missing here.

DOUBLE SWITCH- Veg and Bloom button have different function. Veg switch: It’s blue led and white led. For seeding or young vegetative growth,you can use Veg switch only. Bloom switch: It’s red led and white led.for flowering/blooming,you can use both Veg and Bloom switches. View Angle of LEDs: 90°and 120°


Amazon Description

Thats actually cool to save money on energy. I really doubt that your plants do well under one of these lights switched to veg, but useful nontheless. Good LED COB or Quantum Board system got a dimmer as well to do save energy.

COMPARE TO HPS/MH- The 600W LED grow light can replace traditional 400 watt HPS/MH while consuming only 108 watts! More effective coverage area than any reflector series lights. perfect for a 2x2ft growing area at 24″ height. The difference of us is that we use double cooling fans. Can most extend the light life.


Amazon Description

There is so much bullshit in here…
WHY would you name it a 600W LED if its an ACTUAL 108 Watt LED claiming it will replace a 400 Watt HPS
It will not even come close to a 400 Watt HPS output. The only honest fact in there is, that this light is perfect for a 2 x 2 environment. No grower with the right mind would setup a REAL 600 Watt light in that, nor a 400 W hps. 
What other purpose is there but to confuse the customer?

More confusing info

Screenshot of lamp info
What color is 600 W? The wattage is 108 Watt, not 600! From amazon.com

The made up 600 W are pulled entirely through the hole descripton. You can actually light up an area of 1.44 m² with a high quality 600 Watt LED light. This area is about 4x bigger than the 2′ x 2′ space advertised.

PPFD values from Phlizon amazon lamp
PPFD of 260 at 24″ distance is  about 1/4 of the optimal value. From amazon.com

They also claim that a hanging distance of about 24″ (61 cm) is the perfect height. I will not believe them any further but a PPFD value of 260 is way below the 700-1000 a high quality COB/Quantum Board light will deliver.

Conclusion: Phlizon 600 W

  • No, it is nowhere near a 600 W LED light. It is a 108 W low quality LED. You can replace your 100 Watt HPS with that, and will be happy, that this abomination will run a bit cooler.
  • No, the spectrum is not the perfect fit for your flowers. It is mass produced lowball asian LED that get put into mass produced low quality LED arrays.
  • You need actually 6(!) of these to light up a 5′ x 5′ tent. Thats about the size a high quality LED with 600 actual Watt could light up. That will cost you about $540. Buy a real light instead.

Do not buy this light if you expect a high yield, high quality harvest.

Buy this light if you just want to take a look into the hobby. But you might want to upgrade as soon as possible….