This is a review of a professional-grade LED grow light, the URSA Optilux. I was very excited to get my hands on a professional-grade grow light to grow cannabis with. This is the most powerful LED grow light I’ve ever had my hands on with a PPFD rating of 1370 µmol/m2/s under the center of the light. The Optilux LED’s produce wide spectrum light between 359 nm to around 950 nm which is a significantly wider band of light than any other LED grow light I’m aware of. Wide-band grow lights are a newer trend that provides a fuller spectrum to your plants.
The first thing you’ll notice about the Optilux grow light is its 16 glass lenses which are designed to evenly distribute the light over the whole 4’x4’ grow footprint. Most LEDs use lenses to direct light but URSA, the makers of the Optilux 16, go the extra mile using real glass optics which provide excellent light coverage and focuses the light in a better way.
It starts with quality optics
When looking at the bottom of the grow light you’ll notice that the glass lenses in the center of the unit are 120 degrees while the lenses around the exterior of the unit are 60 degrees. This is a super smart feature to help move excessive light generated in the very center of the grow light out to the sides of the growing field. Even with their manipulation of light away from the center of the grow light fixture, it leaves behind enough energy directly under the center of this light to burn your plants. (Start your plants with the light at least 5’ of distance between your plants and the light).
High-quality product build
You’ll also notice quickly that the Optilux is a solid unit made from high-grade materials. The heavy-duty case, glass lenses and large LEDs bring the weight of this light up to 46 pounds. The hanging system, which is constructed from thick heavy steel, can be attached to the unit in either direction and has two large hanging hooks for suspension. I did have this light in a 4’X4’ tent but it took a little reinforcement to take the load of the light safely.
Hot but not too hot
The Optilux grow light features 16 custom designed COB LEDs which are covered by 60 degree and 120-degree glass lenses and grouped in units of four over the entire fixture. While this unit does run hot, it is covered with no-noise, vertical cooling fins (heat sinks) which help dissipate the heat generated by the COBs and drivers. The Optilux didn’t cause any heat issues in my grow tent though it produces about 2200 BTU’s which means you need a good fan on your crop for air movement and exhaust system to vent out the hot air and maintain the temperature.
Two 90 to 305-volt drivers located at the top center of the unit provide the LEDs with the power they need to generate extremely high PAR ratings throughout the footprint of the light. The drivers are custom made for this unit and are very high quality and should be able to power your LEDs for 50,000 plus hours. The two drivers pull 640 watts at the wall.
Patented LED’s make the difference
The true power of this unit is the patented 3-pad COBs which are powered with up to 40W each. By using more COBs at lower amperages, it ensures an effective lifetime of over 50,000 grow hours. The COBs have the capability to produce light spectra from UV to infrared, which is unique to this product. All other products I’ve tested before used different LEDs to achieve mixtures of light. The Optilux is so much more efficient because each of its COBs independently produces a broad spectrum.
You’ll need lots of headroom
This unit is designed specifically to flower a 4’X4’ area and can vegetate cannabis plants in up to a 6’X6’ area. At the time I tested this light, the manufacturer recommended hanging height was 24” to 36” inches above the canopy. During my testing with the Optilux, I found that a more realistic hanging height for vegetative cannabis plants to be 56” to 60”. Any closer than this stressed my Cannabis plants and caused visible damage. Instead of lowering the light down to the plants as they grew I let them grow up towards the light. I didn’t start lowering the light until the plants started to flower. Once the plants were flowering, I started to lower the light a few inches per day until I reached a height of 42” over the canopy. If you are considering purchasing this unit, make sure you have enough height available in your grow area.
This is a professional-grade grow light which comes with a professional grade manufacturer’s warranty of 3 years! You can be operating this light for over 50,000 hours and receive support on it for 5 years of growing; this light will be paying you back in large healthy crops for years to come. Remember buying an LED grow light is a long-term investment; you should pay for the best possible light you can afford.
The Optilux is an incredibly powerful, feature-rich grow light option for advanced to professional growers. You will need 6’ to 8’ of head space to grow cannabis from a seedling into vegetation otherwise your plants are going to vaporize under the intense light produced by the LEDs.
The wide spectrum light produced by the Optilux will grow cannabis like weeds so to speak. There is no need to change lights or flip a switch when it is time to flower your cannabis as the wide spectrum LED’s provide all the significant photosynthetic radiation needed for vegging and flowering cannabis plants.
This grow light unit will grow large cannabis plants and large dense buds better than many of the lights I’ve reviewed before. The cannabis test grow I completed with the Optilux took some experimenting to dial in the light distance which caused stress on the plants early in the grow. Without torturing the plants with too much light in the beginning I would expect to see an average plant produce 3 pounds of cannabis or more depending on the strain and nutrition provided when using the Optilux.