Burples vs full spec quantam boards

Couldn’t find a thread with this particular discussion…I’ve been trying to find a ‘definitive’ answer for the past year since I started growing as to whether quantum board-style full spec LED lights are superior to burples, and while it seems based on the responses in this post and also other things I’ve read that the general concensus is that burples are being phased out and full specs are the way of the future, I’m still coming across some conflicting info that I’m hoping someone with pretty vast experience and knowledge can help clarify. I know that of course some of this is subjective based on personal experience and preference, but I would think by now there’s been enough experimentation and research out there to answer this once and for all.

My first light was a full spec, cheap but worked great for my seedlings and plants in early veg (which is all I was working with at the time). It also doesn’t generate much heat, is lightweight, unobtrusive, and best of all makes no noise. I still use and love this light and am considering purchasing another one.

I then got my first burple based on whatever research I had done at the time, the main reason being that they seemed to be more powerful and have more targeted specificity with the dual-switch function. I thought this would both be best for the plants and also my electric bill. I also got it because I planned to start flowering in a tent soon and didn’t think my other light would be powerful enough for that (despite the description saying it is for both veg and bloom, I wouldn’t really consider flowering plants with it). This light hasn’t been terrible, but it also hasn’t been great. Buds haven’t been very dense and it’s also heavy and noisy with the cooling fans, but it’s still fully functional after 7 months of non-stop use. I ended up buying a second one of these soon after.


You might have noticed that the above light is no longer available on Amazon…probably a month or so into flower I got overzealous and felt I needed a third grow light for my 4x4 grow tent (in retrospect I couldn’t have been more wrong–not only did it make it incredibly hot inside the tent, but all the weight ended up making the tent collapse halfway through flower which was pretty catastrophic). My budget was tight, so I bought an even shittier Chinese-made burple from Amazon for under $50. I don’t want to go as far as to say that this light is awful, but if I thought the Bestva lights were bulky, loud, and obtrusive, I had another thing coming. The description for this light says that they have a more improved spectrum or something like that, but the light it gives off is very pink, even with only the veg switch on, which feels wrong considering plants use blue light the most when vegging. Ended up buying another one of these too because Amazon knocked the price down to $35 and it’s still in use today, but I’d like to replace them soon. The sounds of the fans are driving me insane. The plants seem to veg ok under it (flowering is the same as Bestva, not the densest buds by any means), but it just pisses me off.


This prompted me to do more research on the burple vs full spec argument, because I really liked my full spec light a lot better than any of the burples I’d owned, and from what I was finding I began to lean much more towards the full spec side. I bought this HLG light a little over a month ago for seedlings and clones based on glowing reviews online, and it’s not bad but not much more impressive than my first light, which was less than half the price. Time will tell of course, and I know HLG is a much more reputable company. But I’ve been finding over the past few weeks that plants under the burples grow much faster than plants under this light.


A little over a week ago I came into a little extra change and took the plunge to get another flower tent, and this time my research led me to Viparaspectra, specifically the p1500. I haven’t owned this light very long, but so far I love it and it blows all my other lights out of the water. No noise, barely any heat, not too heavy, bright AF, and not to mention a sleek, sexy design. I’m already pretty sold on Viparaspectra and will probably stick with this company until I feel otherwise, but they too have a burple series of lights which I then started looking at to compare against their full-specs. Couldn’t find any exact side by side comparisons.


Gear addiction is a real thing, guys, and as soon as my budget allows I’ll probably be looking to set up another tent (most likely for veg, as this is currently a higher priority). I figured while I save I’d continue to research grow lights, and the first site I came across ranks a Phlizon burple as #1 best light for 2022 (most of their other top candidates are burples too). I just don’t get how with all the arguments for full specs people can still rank a burple above all others, and of course this is just one website’s evaluation, but it made me reconsider the entire argument all over again. I do feel like the full specs, in addition to all their other perceived advantages, definitely have a lower power draw for their output too (250W for the 1200w burples vs 150W for the p1500). The link is below.

I know I said I was probably going to be a Viparaspectra guy for a while, but I came across this light below on Amazon yesterday and it looks pretty awesome for the price point, especially because it has a built-in timer function which I like. I know it’s probably made in China, but when you’re working on a budget most of your gear probably is lol. I might buy this one for my next light, but I’d like to clear some of this up first. Thanks in advance for any input, and sorry for the long post. I like to be thorough!



Welcomed to the forum @JonRobby2000
I will recommended the HLG

Happy growing🤘


Hlg all the way over anuy of the others posted. Cost more upfront but pays for it self real quick


Viparspectra lights either in the p series or xs series there great lights for the money


Be aware that a decent portion of the power that burples use goes toward generating heat (it takes watts to generate heat) and the fans in the assembly that mitigate that heat.

If you want the biggest portion of your watts to go toward generating light rather than heat, then go with boards that use Samsung LM301 series diodes.


Burples are out! Any light with samsung lm301B (or) H diode is where its at. HLG, Mars-hydro, spider farmer just to name a couple use these diodes on most (NOT ALL) s9 be sure to check. Do yourself a favor and order your light from a trusted source, dont get some random brand light that says it has the goods, it likely wont…the light is probably your most important piece of equipment so don’t be stingy! You will be glad you didn’t. Myself I have a Marshydro fc3000 and I love it!


Burples are old LED tech and not nearly as efficient as turning electricity into light as the newer full spectrum LEDS, specifically Samsung 301B or 301H LEDs or similar.

Another reason blurples suck is that they mask the color of your plants and leaves making it difficult to diagnose or even see plant heath issues.

But there is more to it than just the spectrum, need to provide an adequate amount of light to get good results - dense buds and good yield. Can’t expect good results if you use a 65 watt and 100 watt HLG light to light up a 4x4 tent, when the proper amount of light for that space would be more like a HLG 600 (600 real watts)


These lights are using diodes manufactured ten years ago and now could be called ‘campy nostalgia items’ except for the fact that they market under predatory circumstances. Most lie to you and greatly inflate their claims.

We had a member email Samsung who informed them that nobody overseas is using their top-bin diodes. If you want the targeted spectrum and efficiency, diy or HLG are probably your best choices.

I’m in the process of building my fourth light for the grow space and all in I’ll have under $200 in the one light, comparable to anything HLG produces. This is a great alternative if you are mechanical, have the tools and skills and maybe a supply of heatsink material (which I have).


AS mentioned above, DIY or HLG is probably your best bet for the most efficient lights. Most of what I read about the lights on Amazon is word salad designed to sell lights. I have ineffective lights. I won’t buy any more. Seriously considering building my own. At the very least a HLG kit to save a buck…


According to Samsung website

These companies partner with them. So does HLG but I do not see them listed by Samsung on their website. @Myfriendis410 mentioned no one over sea is using their top bins. I dont care to argue but it would seem that may not be exactly accurate. I’m curious about the email 410 talks about as Samsung is a South Korean company did they mean no over seas from them or over seas from the US? There is a constant level of disagreement about which lighting company is best…my opinion is that no matter where you go to get one, don’t get the cheapest one. Lighting is not a place where any old tool will do. However, getting one because its the most expensive isn’t the answer either. If you do go DIY, hit up @dbrn32 for assistance. Kinda a guru of lighting here on the boards. Whatever you do…dont buy it without asking around here 1st.


There really isn’t: HLG uses the latest top-bin diodes which is what I referenced. Having overseas partners just means they’re selling something to them but you have no idea what. Based on the outright lies put out by pretty much all of the ‘China lights’ makes it impossible to know what you are really getting. But 2.6 µmol/joule/m2 at 90 cri is where the state of the art rests.

If it’s a cheap light it doesn’t have top of the line diodes.


This is based on my own experience of searching for lights. What I found is if google based search and the first responses come back Best of BLAH BLAH it is ok to look at the selections. You get a good idea of what the mass merchandizing end of the market is offering. Or what lights are the most popular etc etc. However, if you are looking for more than price points or a popularity contest, move on. I have seen plenty of youtube unboxing videos proclaiming this is the brightest light I’ve seen. Keep searching. Most user reviews are paid endorsements or product give away if…
So know what you are looking at and who is behind the information. You can find independent reviews for a lot of lights. Also the results and evaluations are technically sound using accepted practice, equipment and procedures.
In the end it often comes down to dollars and space. But at least the decision is based on good information


A lot of comments here are open for interpretation. For example, full spectrum vs blurple. This can be broken down to arguments on multiple levels. 1. A light with one single “white” led and 100 blue and red leds is technically full spectrum. Full spectrum in terms of a grow light means some representation of every color grouping within par region. Full spectrum could mean a lot of things, and huge differences from one “full spectrum” light to another, or almost no difference from a light considered blurple to a “full spectrum”. 2. There are red and blue leds that are capable of kicking the snot out of white leds in terms of photosynthetic efficiency. To simply say a “blurple” light sucks is not telling the whole truth. It’s just that the majority of them available suck, and not necessarily related to solely the color of light emitted.

An entirely different argument, the manufacturer or subbed equipment. Samsung makes a ton of leds. Some of them are great, and from specification standpoint others would be considered garbage. This applies to all big names in led business. To simply use Samsung, Cree, Bridgelux, Osram leds should mean nothing. Several of these light manufacturers have been using lm561b+ leds that are a fraction of the cost of something like lm301b/h or even lm561c (first gen qb). Is not to say all do, but there are plenty of these boards out there, and they are lower performing led than the flagship models. From there you have companies like Samsung and Cree placing leds into performance bins. Samsung goes as far to to have voltage and flux bins. If you have highest flux bin with lowest voltage means that particular led puts out the most amount of light and consumes the least amount of power. Last I looked, it was about 10-12% difference in efficacy I think. Cree often releases new bin under same part number that is entirely different phosphor, which can lead to huge gap in performance of a specific led model… Doesn’t seem like a lot, but the typical increase in efficacy from last best thing is usually 3-5%. So it boils down to about 3-5 years worth of increases in led tech. One may be perfectly comfortable not having the latest and greatest to save a few bucks, and that’s fine. But that’s not the same as saying you’re getting the same thing for less money.

Let’s say you have a knock off light that you are 100% confident uses same exact led that hlg uses. Now you have to think about how many of them are in use, how are they configured, and are they being utilized. The current and/or temperature of leds has linear effect on performance of leds. As operating current goes up, so does the temp. As either current or temperature go up, the efficacy (ppf per watt) of led goes down. If you take two identical leds and run one at 1000ma and the other at 500ma, the 500ma led will be less power (watts per hour) but will produce more light per watt. As opposed to the 1000ma led that will draw more power but produce less light. If you’ve ever seen me correct a suggested amount of watts per ft², this is why. In short, a light manufacturer that uses more leds and less power will have a superior light than one that tries to run same leds at higher power or less leds at same power. This also relates back to heat issues with “blurple” lights. Most have cheap leds that already have poor electrical efficiency, then the leds are over powered to create “more watts”, and some even have very poor or no heatsinks.

I’m not going to say that there aren’t good lights that you can’t pick up a little cheaper than something from horticulture lighting group. There certainly is. But if someone asks me what kind of light to buy, I’m also not going to recommend something I don’t have the most confidence in. That is the feeling that you or anyone else will get a light that will perform exactly as advertised, and if you run into an issue it will be handled swiftly and to a satisfactory level. Last thing I want is for someone to purchase a light I recommend and not be happy with it.


Truth @beardless

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I bought a Black Dog. And I have no complaints whatsoever. I’m using advanced nutrients as well so maybe it’s the combo but I’ve only been impressed so far.


There’s a couple really informative videos on YouTube by Bruce Bugbee all about light spectrum and the cannabis plant. Toward an Optimal Spectral Quality for Plant Growth and Development - YouTube
His research is funded by NASA and Utah State University.


I wouldn’t put a lot of value into that chart. The lights may be measured by same method, but they’re not all measured by same standard or environment. In fact if I disagree with using this method for comparison of light performance at all. Data should be collected and calculated using integrated sphere or goniophotometer. These readings change based on height of light, type of surface around test area, and several variables with instrument used.

It wouldn’t be hard for someone to record same test with two different lights and make whichever one they wanted to look superior. It wouldn’t be hard to get different results even trying to keep everything similar.


It’s frome Shane Torpey (think that’s how he spelled it could be wrong) on YouTube. Does all lights the same.
Still not saying it’s all good though. Half of what you see and none of what you hear. Or something like that.
Some do say he’s really good at this though. The sphere thing I absolutely agree. That is why I don’t think photone is correct. It is a good reference if doing side by side comparison but the numbers are probably off. My opinion.


One other thing with photone is. If you do a grow at 40 dli and think you can do better so you go to 50 next grow and do better. Then you try 60 next time and do worse you should be good growing at 50 according to photone with another light of same category led, hid, blurple so on. Again my opinion.