We are testing 5 popular budget lamps to see the differences in various performance factors, including Lux and PFD/PPFD. We will be using 2 lamps from each range, taking average scores for each factor.
- Budget lamps which cost roughly the same, should roughly perform the same
- There will be differences in performance between two lamps from the same range
We have chosen a selection of the most popular budget lamps out on the market today.
|• LUMii Black 600W HPS|
|• LUMIi SunBlaster 600W HPS|
|• Omega 600W HPS|
|• Ultra-Vivid 600W HPS|
|• Parbright 600W HPS|
• Test Chamber – A ventilated 1m2 solid construction wooden box, painted in a matt black finish with a level solid base with a clearly defined grid system marked out on the floor (25 Pre-marked points) to be able to give repeatable tests using the same equipment
• LUMii BLACK ballast
• LUMii BLACK reflector
• Licor Ll 250a meter
• Testo 545 Lux meter
• UPRtek MK350S Spectrometer at 0.85m
Ignition test: This tests the performance of a lamp ‘out of the box’. In the test chamber, we warm the lamp up for 30 minutes. We take 25 measurements at pre-marked points with a lux meter, then a Par meter and finally a single point reading with a spectrophotometer.
Step 1 – Age the lamps: To age the lamps we run the lamps for a period of 100 hours (10 x 10 Hour periods). Once aged, it stabilises the output of the light and gives a much more consistent and reliable portrayal of the lamps use in the real world.
Step 2 – Aged Lamp Test ‘true output testing’
We warm the aged lamp up for 30 minutes in our test chamber. We then take 25 measurements at the pre-marked points with a Lux meter, then with a Par meter and finally a single point reading with a spectrometer.
Each Lamp tested received a total of 102 measurements per step.
Results: To view the full testing report click here.
1. The Spectrum graphs are very similar for all, but the differences in overall performance are clear to see.
2. Omega performance shows the widest variance between the lamps in regard to PPFD, while both LUMii lamps perform better and more consistently.
3. Parbright is weakest lamp on average for PPFD, while their lack of information on Lumen performance means we cannot compare this to the low LUX score it achieved.
4. Despite Omega and Ultra Vivid bulbs declaring the highest Lumen levels (90,000) on their packaging/advertising, their LUX scores fell below both LUMii bulbs (88,000) which outperformed them.
1. Many manufacturers stated numbers in light output are not reflected in the tested results. A high Lux rating should reflect in a high lumens output. This raises the question whether manufacturer’s displayed performances are indeed accurate.
2. Some brands show product performance can differ dramatically bulb for bulb, meaning specified performance numbers may be way off the mark. Omega bulbs showed the widest variance.
3. Parbright do not specify Declared Lumen output or Life Span on both packaging and online, meaning those purchasing cannot make a fully informed choice on the bulb.
We will continue to improve our testing facilities and provide the horticultural lighting sector with honest and informative research. We will give the lighting community the opportunity to nominate bulbs/brands to test next time, as we look to expand and make our testing even more comprehensive. As brands continue to change and improve their bulbs, we will look to run testing again in Spring 2020 and publicise the results as we have done here.