AF600 LED grow light – a 25 plant autoflowering test grow

600 watt draw LED grow lights …

For any serious grower, these are the ones we need to see proof of: can LED grow lights produce at a level of a big HPS?

So, welcome to my test grow of the AF600. This one has me excited! (I’ve done a few trials for Fero in the past and each time they bring out a new light things just get better, so I’m expecting great things from this one.)

I’m going to be doing this grow looking at how well this LED lighting system works from a number of different angles:

Grams Per Watt

Firstly of course we will be testing for gpw (grams per watt). Bear in mind that this grow will using a auto strain and as experience tells us that “as a rule” autos will produce slightly less per square meter than traditional photoperiod varieties, allow a little tolerance for this .. I’m an “auto fiend” and as this is one of my own varieties that I’ve been working on for the last couple of years I’m going to go ahead and do it anyway …..my mother always said I was a stubborn little bugger!

Oh .. and to be pedantic, the AF600 has a 570 watt actual draw so that’s the ratio I’ll be working with come crop time.

Optimum light and power consumption

Also I will be looking at the efficiency of this light: the wow factor that takes this from a powerful unit onto something really special is the settings options: four switches that mean that at each stage of growth I can change

  • the amount of leds that are available    &
  • the light spectrum which I choose to use

The combination of these two effects is that I should be able to grow a cannabis plant from seed to harvest using just one, large sized (600 watt draw) lighting unit. And not only that, but as the plant moves from seedling to strong vegetative growth, from flower set to buds blooming, I can control how much power is offered to the plant (25%, 50%, 75%, 100%) and also what end of the spectrum the plant receives most of its light from.

Heat and Interior Growing

As a by product of this test (and others) I’ll be looking into the question of heat control in  the indoor grow room. I know some of you UK growers are just glad to see a bit summer sunshine no matter what, but lets face it, pretty much the world over heat management is a big factor in any indoor grow using HPS lighting.

This grow is situated in a semi arid area where summer temps touch (and exceed) 40 degrees. Now one of the biggest pluses of growing with LEDS is the lack of heat they produce. I know cannabis growers who are struggling as we speak with HID systems even though they are using 2.5K airconditioning systems with half the amount of light that I am using.  Thanks to this trial, the “safe-guard seedlings” in coco-perlite, and a seed run I’m doing, I am running over 2.5k actual draw of LED lighting in a 7 square meter area. I’m using a 125mm rvk extractor and a 900 watt portable air con unit. Lets see how the system copes with the summer heat as we move into August!

So rather than prattle away for a couple of thousand of words …  I’m going to bang straight into this trial and let anyone who reads this report make their own minds up explaining the different features as and when I use them.

Get ready for lots of “pink” pics and eventually lots and lots of “bud porn”!

Days 1-7

  • average outside temps 25-35ºC
  • average temps inside room 23-25ºC
  • average RH 45-65 %

OK I popped 100 seeds, germinated on tissue paper, and then put into rockwool. Lost a few to the kitten (why?) and am left with 94 seedlings. Now I’m going to be putting the AF600 over a hydro table, but as my seeds have not been feminised, I can’t put them straight into the trays. Not quite able to cough up the 200 quid for a X-stream aeroponic propagator right at the moment, I’ve decided to have a go at building my own “bubblers”(dwc). As usual with this kind of do-it-yourself job, it all depends on sourcing the right materials. I’ve had problems with a d-i-y- bubbler in the past so I have 45 seedlings in bubblers to go on to the hydro-tray (ideally I need 25 females from these to fill it nicely). The other seedlings I’ve put straight into coco-perlite under an adjustable LED as a fall back. All going well these will provide some comparison to the strength of the AF600, and you’ll see a post on “how to make your own bubbler”. All going badly, I’ll still have some seedlings left to grow on under the AF600. I realise the second group aren’t a strict control group, but it should still provide some level of comparison (for myself at least).

Until I see the roots pushing out of the net pots I will be watering from above a few mils of 5.8 ph’d water twice a day until we fill the pots and fire up the bubblers.

looking at them by eye, on each of the two panels I can see 8 blues, 6 assorted reds and 1 infa red. I will be contacting Fero and Area 51 for some layman’s specs for each one of the different power and spectra settings and will update this when I receive them.

and finally “fall back plan” in total 42 unsexed seedlings sat in 13 cm pots under the adjustable led on 1 third power however with the adjustable you only have 3 settings which switch on and off  (3 ufos) so for the seedling stage they will be running at 113wats (plus fans).

BUT each ufo has identical spectra so you are not able to target the correct colour specrum for each stage of growth as you can with this clever AF600 badboy

See you next week with the Day 7 to 14 grow report of the the AF600 trial led grow!

Happy tokin