When you’ve worked hard developing a hydroponic business to the point of being a serious commercial enterprise, you’ve also got to be serious about the grow lights you’re using. In the world of commercial, increasing any slight edge can make a difference in the profit margin.
A change in grow lights can affect the quality of your grow and make a tremendous impact on the volume of yield. Using the very best grow light is even more important for the commercial hydroponic grower because your entire profit margin is based solely on the quality of the vegs and buds you’re producing.
Meanwhile, the direction of hydroponic grow lights is moving toward LED. The bottom line for hydroponics is to throw out those energy old-school lights like CFLs and update to a quality LED system.
We’re going to take a look at one popular LED grow light brand - Kind LED.
Kind LED Grow Lights is an American company based in Santa Rosa, California and was founded by longtime hydroponic growers who grew frustrated with the quality of traditional HID systems and felt that they could do better.
When it comes to LED grow lights one would be hard-pressed not to have heard of the Kind LED brand. Kind specializes in the highest quality commercial grade LED grow lights, but you’re certainly going to pay for it.
If you’re a small or hobbyist grower, you won’t need to worry about making the enormous cash outlay for Kind LED premium grow lights. To the commercial grower, however, who has a huge profit margin at stake you’re going to want to take a closer look at the popular brand.
Warranty & Customer Services
The Kind LED offers a pretty attractive warranty that will cover any technical problems that may be the result of a defect or overall, dissatisfaction. It does have some limitations, however, and does not cover damage caused by any modifications to the system, negligent use or extreme environmental issues beyond the company’s control.
The Kind website states the following expressed warranty.
- 3-year warranty for defects in materials/workmanship
- Any defective product will be fixed or replaced.
- 90-day free of charge for any repair or replacement
- From day 91, you have to pay for shipping service if it costs more than $50.
Another nice aspect about Kind LED is that there are experts on hand and ready to answer any questions you may have through a site chatline that will immediately greet the visitor the moment you enter the site.
Should you buy these LEDs?
As you may have known, Kind LED specializes in quality commercial grade grow lights but at premium prices.
Though there are some misleading facts like their HID equivalent wattage number and coverage, Kind LED grow lights have revolutionized the industry and are widely acknowledged as the best commercial grow lights on the market.
They have won the prestigious gear awards every year since 2014. Kind produces the most popular LED grow lights on the market because they’ve partnered with hydroponic and soil growers to research and test their lighting systems under the toughest of commercial environments.
That's why if you're looking for a quality LED light for your grow, they are worth it, but you must know that you pay for the quality.
Product Feature Review
Kind LED products own these features-
12-band Color Spectrum
This is one of Kind LED's strongest points compared to other LED light brands on the market. Their LED lights have 12 colors from deep blue to green, blue, white, UR, IR.
Is the number of spectrum wavelengths important for plants? Basically, plants will need both light intensity and light colors. So yes is the answer. More appropriate colors will give plants better yields. In advanced product lines like the K5 series, you have the ability to custom the color output you want for your plants. Probably, this feature is an attractive point for buyers to consider their product.
LED Lights Kind uses
The performance of any LED grow light system comes down to the quality of the individual diodes the unit contains. Higher quality diodes emit a broader spectrum at a higher intensity over lower grade units.
Kind LED uses 3W, and 5W 12 band LED diodes which provide a much more balanced spectrum than lesser quality diodes. The units also include secondary high-intensity optical lens, 2CM aluminum circuit boards, and superior switching. Also Kind LED grow lights include infrared (IR) and ultraviolet (UV) diodes for additional performance.
Kind maintains that their “3-watt Kind LED lights will match or outperform any other similar 3-watt setup that is often seen throughout the web, regardless of price or claims.”
While some Kind LED units use only the 3W or 5W diode the Kind brand utilizes a combination of both which the site claims provide twice the spectrum coverage than any other brand.
PAR Output and Coverage
Unfortunately, just like other LED light manufacturers on the market, KIND does not offer PAR (Photosynthetic Active Radiation ) measurement for their lights. PAR is calculated in units of PPFD (photosynthetic photon flux density). This figure will tell you exactly the amount of photons that cover a square surface meter per second (μmol/m²/s). This has been agreed by expert growers to measure the intensity of your light output.
The manufacturer offers suggested coverage and "HID equivalent wattage". For example, the XL1000 K5 series is said to light up a 5x5" coverage and has an equivalent wattage of a 1000W HID bulb. But be expected it will not be able to provide enough light intensity and penetration for the flowering period with such coverage. So to be safe, lower your coverage to about 4x4 for plants with strong light requirements.
So what the KIND manufacturer boasted "HID Wattage Equivalent" is not true, probably just a marketing gimmick. Consider this when you read their specifications.
All Kind LED products have large heat sinks, silent fans. But they do emit heat around your growing area. This is expected if you want strong light output. Though, it is not as hot as an HPS light with the similar wattage output. So if you grow in a closed indoor area, you will need to have some ventilation solutions.
Kind LED offers a wide assortment of products that fall into three categories.
- K5 series- This is Kind’s top of the line grow light systems and accessories. These are guaranteed the highest quality LED diodes and offer the broadest range of spectrum.
- K3 series- is the more mainstream product line that is more affordable while still offering the quality growers expect out of the Kind LED brand.
- Bar lights- These are supplemental lighting sources for conditions that require a little extra.
Let's look at the specific series and some products in details.
Kind LED K-5 Series
Grow lights do not get any better than the Kind LED K-5 series. This line of LED lights has the features that pro-growers love.
K5 Series is UL listed and comprised of a mix of 3 & 5 Watt LED with a very wide-spread. The three primary ranges of the photosynthetic spectrum can be dimmed or intensified as individual units that provide plants with the ideal spectral ratios from the seedling stage right on to harvest.
LED tends to have a narrower range of coverage because they direct the light straight down, rather than outward. The K5 Series rectifies this with a large footprint that dwarfs most competing LEDs and even equals that of traditional grow lighting.
There are secondary optical lenses that can individually focus and intensify the output of any single diode.
These make the K-5 series great for commercial cannabis growers who are dealing with a dense growth habit.
The Kind website boasts that this series of grow lights will produce maximum yields while using only about half the electricity, producing far less heat than HID lighting. However, this is largely just a marketing ploy because all LED lights are far more efficient with cooler operating temperatures.
Kind K5 XL1000 LED Grow Light
Features & Specs
- Dimensions: 26″ x 20″ x 3.5″
- Weight: 36 lbs.
- Max Wattage: 630w
- Total Diodes: 320
- Diodes Wattage: Perfect Mix of 3w & 5w
- Footprint: 5' x 5'
If you’re looking for a broad, consistent footprint, the K-5 certainly delivers. It has nearly 100 more diodes than almost every competing brand.
Kind LED K-3 Series
The Kind LED K-3 grow light line is an affordable and superior upgrade.
It’s easy to see why the Kind K-3 line is such a big hit with growers as they offer superior quality at a very affordable price. The K-3 series is undoubtedly an impressive upgrade to just about any lighting system currently being used.
The main difference here lies in the use of a single wattage diode. While K-5 uses both 3W and 5W, the K-3 is little more limited by using only the 3W. However, the K-3 also incorporates an intensified spectrum which is perfect for increasing harvest yields.
Like the K-5 Series, they use about ½ of the electricity and produce almost no heat. The mid-ranged K-3 Series L450 still has better performance features than most similarly priced competitors.
Kind LED Grow Lights K3 L450
Features & Specs
- Dimensions: 20″ x 11″ x 3″
- Weight: 16 lbs.
- Maximum Wattage: 270w
- Modules: 8
- Diodes per Module: 15
- Total Diodes: 120
- Diode Wattage: 3w
- Footprint: 2.5' x 3.5'
For these growers, the huge upfront price difference makes the K-3 quite an attractive option.
Kind LED offers two styles of bar lighting options.
Bar lights play an important role under certain growing conditions or for cultivating specific crops. Kind LED offers two bar light options-the X-Series and the V-1 Series.
The X-Series is the Kind LED's top of the line bar light while the V-1 has more mainstream features.
The specifications for the mid-priced Kind LED X Series XC150 Bar Light reveal an impressive unit.
It’s obvious that Kind LED Grow Lights were designed with the input of professional growers and not just engineers of the R&D department of a corporation. They are designed with the very best features, and the quality build that a commercial grower could ask for.
The real drawback is the significant initial investment it's going to take for the top of the line models. Balance this against the higher yields Kind LED guarantees, however, and the much lower electrical operating costs and they may quickly pay for themselves.
Looking at the specifications for their products and Kind LED Grow Lights appear to be everything they claim to be. These indeed are a far superior unit over any unknown discount brand on the market.
This combined with the fact that Kind LED also has retail stores assures that these are LED grow lights with a brand and tangible name behind them and not some abstract internet fly by night operation.
This at least makes Kind LED a legitimate and reputable company that is well worth exploring.