What's in a name? I want to show you the great little grow light with the hard to say name and light output that will shame American competitors.
|The FSKTEK 1000 pulling the sex out of this Blue Cheese seedling...
Greetings Kids! Jeff here with what will likely be one of the last reviews I do this time around. Last one because yes, thats where the disease is but also last one because my grow operation has evolved to be what I consider damned-near perfection for me. I can pull a pound per crop out of my single license, I have the best and most efficient light and grow setups for me, requires very little maintenance and at the end of the day it "just works." Since rule #1 in the Engineers Bible is "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." I apply that here. I have no urge or need to continually improve on this. Sure I can toy with things if curious but for the big picture stuff, I have everything the way I like it, the way I and it can grow best. No need to add anything new and so no need to review anything.
Then the FSGTEK 1000w grow light came along.
Before we go further, there are a few things I need to clear up about LED grow lights...
* Watts vs...? As any intelligent human beings we need common language with which to convey ideas and information. If that language is not common, the ideas are diffused/obscured and the information lost. In the grow world we have our very own little kerfluffle, trying to describe lights to other growers. The key problem is for years there were only a few really good ways to light stuff inside and so it was easier to equate "watts used" in terms of electricity consumed as an estimate of light power output. X watts in equals Y amount of light out. It was simple, easy to understand and so grew common.
The problem is that science moves on and since the world in general needed more efficient and effective light methods, the grow world profited from climate change as well. Light emitters became more and more efficient at producing light with lower consumption from the wall AC socket and soon, with the advent of LED lighting techniques, the efficiency was such that watts started to become meaningless when trying to measure or describe light output. This cut both ways because if the watts no longer translated to power, what can anyone really say about how powerful the lights in their grow room are? Resellers are forced to fall back on things like "estimated watts" because as soon as a grower sees a light that consumes hardly any power, the light is suspected to be junk. While its not their fault, the resellers forced to estimate the watts out are almost always off by a lot. Wishful thinking perhaps but nothing devious or really wrong because nobody really has a better way to do it. Every review of an LED grow light turns into some kind of "paper or plastic" debate over watts.
Currently here we have some 14 different LED panels working across two tents, Philzon 600 Switchables, Mars Hydro 600 are the two brands that represent the bulk (Mars makes the majority) but also have 4 no-name panels in use claiming to be 300w. I use my lights in a really non-standard way so this may mean something or nothing to the reader. However with all those lights and seeing what they really do put out, I can promise nobody is putting out what they claim. Also have another half-dozen no-name brand lights of various vintage and strength, from 120w ancient LED panels to supposedly 2000w no-name panels which are maybe a 100w if they are lucky. And you are blind in one eye.
So when FSGTEK came along with what they claimed was a 1000w panel I was dubious at best. However my grow method uses panels to do many things in the grow room so always looking for modestly-priced lights so took a look but before I did, I had to have some way to cut through the bullshit about watts vs..whatever..
To the rescue of my sanity came the Smart Sensor digital lux meter for grow tents:
Smart Sensor Light Meter on Amazon
This is going to be the great equalizer. I went through the grow room and took measurements of each light and lets just say it was illuminating, no pun intended. More on the exact readings in a moment but these readings pointed out something else I do not wish to get lost:
There has been an American vs Foreign light thing going on, not really nationalistic or whatever the right political word is, its just that on one hand, the American brands like Mars Hydro and such have been banging out a pretty stellar batch of lights lately, for the last two years for sure. They had stuff before that of course but..they were still figuring out their game too and none felt like the cake was quite done yet. Also during this period the Asian markets did what Asian markets do and flood the world with really cheap LED grow lights. Many made during this time were basically refurbished kid toy leds sold as grow lights. And they failed and burned up alot too. Quality control just wasn't there at all and I blame no one because at that price, no one was paying for it either. If you bought a 300w knockoff light for 20 bucks, buddy you got a 20 dollar light so have a Coke and a smile and get over it.
Now I am mere consumer, I just buy stuff for my own use out of my own pocket so I can't go out and buy every light to compare...but what I can say and prove with science is that this light from FSGTEK is the exception to the lights in my collection and by a huge margin. This is really solid, well-put together, very forward thinking in my case. I use LEDs in advanced ways that I have written to Mars and others begging them to put into their designs and I hear nothing. Then the FSGTEK comes pre-designed to act and be used exactly how I want and need. At a price to love: 92 bones on Amazon. And...well. spoiler: this light puts out more lux or light than any other light I have. By a matter of 2-4 times what the next-nearest one can.
What this needs to point out is, the stigma of the cheap, dodgy, dim Asian light comes to an end with this one. The light output per watt is more, the cost per watt/lux is far less, the device itself is put together with high quality parts than the American counterparts. The short answer is, the hard-to-say FSGTEK from Asia blows the Mars Hydro right out of the water. I cannot say other non-American names will be this good but that isn't the point: buy this light because its the physical, technical best light for your money and with how tight money is these days, this means a lot. With the evidence I have seen, I have no need for any more Mars Hydro stuff as long as the FSGTEK is available.
So last thing, its time to let go of the American vs whatever debate or prejudice. Restricting yourself to only American brands only hurts you and your grow, like intentionally giving your children a crappy education in the name of some ideology. Your kids are still idiots at the end.
Nuff said on that.
So whats so really cool about this light? I wish I had some fancy unpacking video to show you but like any real engineer, when it came of course I was ripping the box to shreds and playing with all the goodies inside. Here is a very informal video I made showing how I use the FSGTEK 1000w and some things I like about it.
As a grower or maybe more importantly, as a grower-inventor-experimenter, this lights form-factor fits right in with my experiments in creating more pot per indoor grow. The dimmer allows me the flexibility to use it in more situations than say the Mars 600w which is static. To be honest at first I didn't see the value in the dimmer circuit because I can be still new enough at this where the "MORE IS BETTER" mantra is the only one that applies to light. As I have learned through the school of hard knocks, that isn't true. You can over-drive a plant with light, you can actually starve a plant with the wrong kind (bands) of light and too much of so-called "cooler" bands like blue and purple can fry a plant, nothing to do with heat.
What has that to do with the dimmer? Well if some of the examples above had the dimmer switch, the light still might be of some use or less danger to the plant.
What that also has to do with this light is that the color bands in this one are just about the most perfect ones I have found through trial and error (read: hands-on testing) for all around robust plants. Lots and lots of the yellows I have found to be so good with just a touch of the reds and blues other panel makers love so much (and my plants have little use for so much red and blue).
Best of all though the combination of the killer color bands, the intense power of the light and the dimmer has revealed another potential use for the FSGTEK 1000w light that I mean to test in about a week.
Between the last grow and this one we ran into some Blue Cheese seeds that we needed to test to see if they were feminized or regular seeds. To do this we used a technique called 12/12 From Seed where you basically force the seedlings to flower the minute they biologically can. This is nothing more than starting them on bloom feed and light (12/12) from day-one. This makes them essentially act like autoflowers but for our purposes, they show sex in the shortest possible time, the point of the test.
So we germinated a half-dozen seeds in the seed starter, them moved them into Solo-cup mini-Hempy buckets, the survivors landing in one of the tubs we were using for the larger Hempy's last time around.
Now with seedlings like this you want to blast them with as much light as they can handle w/o burning them and to start I hung the usual lower powered lights directly over them, like close. They grew OK but not real quick and in fact one withered a kacked. At this point we had four left and I decided to hang one of my Mars Hydro 600w lights over them, it turned out too close or too little light, there seemed to be no happy medium. Then I switched it out for the single FSGTEK I had and thanks to the dimmer I was able to hang this light further from the seedlings (allowing better air-flow, other panels blocked that being so close) while still blasting them with superior light and the results were great.
|Blasting the test plants in safety thanks to the FSGTEK 1000 Dimmer circuit!
|Finish Line for the Great BC Sex Test
The bottom line is this gives us a nice way to seriously beef up the plants in the shortest amount of time. Also consider these look like this with almost ZERO veg nutrients aside from a little diluted fish shit the first few days. After seeing this the Accounting Dept said to replace all inferior lights with these. She is learning quick, that one.
As a grower I like the single-point of control via CAT-5 network cables. We run an 8 plant grow on steriods that cranks out over a pound every grow, sometimes two. To do this we need a smoothly running and smoothly controlled operation; we have left the amateur stuff behind a while back methinks. This connectivity lets us do that. Think about it from my standpoint: I have progressive dementia, meaning my memory is going to do nothing but get worse as time goes by, so it makes more sense to have to remember one thing rather than 8 (one per plant/trellis rig).
For those that care, we tested this light against the competition (in this house, in this case the Mars Hydro 600w model, we have 8-10 of these here) so even if our eyes are lying to us, the numbers don't:
The light meter shows the FSGTEK 1000w seriously smokes the Mars Hydro model. I expected it to win by some, even if at first I didn't really believe the vendors claims of 1000w output (I mean, who really does, am I right?). But not this much, the Mars Hydro model clocked in about 62,000 lumens and the FSGTEK pulled out about 190,000 when tested from the same distance with the same light meter.
Add to that the FSGTEK blasts this much power out while only sipping 1.1 amps, I believe this is a result of the Seimens LEDs which are hyper-efficient to begin with combined with the excellent Meanwell driver.
This light also features no fan, moving parts and as such, depends upon the heat-sink to dispel excess heat from the delicate lamp components. To be honest the heat sink with the Mars Hydro model is just some bent aluminum or tin, very very thin. It is in fact repuposed reflector material. The heat-sink on the FSGTEK 1000 is a serious heat sink, very thick:
In closing I am proud to state that I highly recommend this grow panel for all growers, not just beginners or those working on a budget. For me, a disabled person on a fixed income, the FSGTEK 1000 is the perfect light for me and what I do.....I got mine (actually have two more on-order right now) from Amazon but you may find it cheaper else-where: