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Hortimol vs lower priced competitor

Why pay for quality?

A comparison between Hortimol 2*18W TLB LED and a lower priced competitor

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Presentation of the 2 models: Hortimol Tlbled 2x18 W “K14” Spectrum (9000K°)

The Hortimol TLBLED Full Spectrum K14 frame is a low-consumption frame whose spectrum and dimensions are specially designed for vertical cultivation of leafy vegetables as well as for propagation (cuttings, grafting, ...) and seeds.
Since the energy content is mainly focused on the blue tones, this results in a high light output and a stimulation of photosynthesis that consumes little energy. The presence of red diodes ensures sufficient penetration for young or small plants and allows to maintain healthy genetics for a longer period of time.
The technical specifications:

Efficacité

2,3 µmol/j

PPF

82,8 µmol/s

Tension

220-230V, 50-60Hz

Intensité

0,2A

Consommation

36W

Surface conseillée

120x90cm

Puces LEDs

OSRAM LED, Sunribio IR, LM-80

L70 Rating

>78000 h

L90 Rating

>54000 h



Competition: 2x18W clone lamp 6500K°

The extended spectrum does not contain a peak in red and the white balance shifts to 6500K°. The big difference is the purchase price, that being said, what can we expect in terms of performance / PPFD?

First impression

From the first moment, the difference in quality  / finishing touch is very noticeable. Hortimol units have superior rigidity, connectors fitted with robust seals and most importantly do not produce any noise from moving parts (when shaken back and forth).
The competitor's unit must be handled delicately because this unit is very fragile. This model gives a feeling of mediocre overall quality (especially when shaken). In addition, the protective glass shows signs of tarnishing even before the first use.
It is important to emphasize that the overall quality of manufacture determines the luminaire's ability to withstand the sometimes extreme conditions that may arise in our grow rooms (temperature, humidity, spraying, mechanical constraints, etc.) .

Brightness perspective

We tested the two LEDs under equal conditions on an area of 120x40 cm to compare the effective light intensity with the plants of these two models. However, this comparison is only indicative as the two do not have the same spectrum and thus will not provide the same quality of light.
These are the results of our tests:

  • TLBLED : PPFD Moy = 162 , PPFD max = 184
  • CloneLed : PPFD Moy = 163, PPFD max = 191

It is difficult to draw conclusions from a test with such comparable results. This will probably be less the case after a few thousand operating hours, but we have already noticed that the Hortimol model offers a more diffuse and therefore less aggressive light intensity, with on average less loss in the corners and no hotspots.

Let's take a closer look at both LEDs inside:

When these LED units are disassembled, the differences in quality become visible...
If this is easy to achieve with the Hortimol models, it is because they are closed with screws and a seal. Unlike its competitor whose ends are glued, which is not practical at all if you have to open it for maintenance, cleaning or repair.

Hortimol Tlbled démontée

Moreover, after disassembly, we notice that the cable gland no longer fits well with the low-end model, where at Hortimol everything is designed for easy reassembly. We can see that this is also the case for the connectors of the LED strip.

Concurrence de piètre qualité

There is also a small gap in the seal and mechanical protection of the driver. If Hortimol has opted for an insulating and vibration-damping protective cover, this is certainly not the case with the cheaper unit, the LED driver is not neatly mounted and makes noise when it moves.
On the heat dissipation side, the two models are equipped with an aluminium plate of the same thickness, however, the TLBLED Hortimol is screwed, the unit has two additional grooves inside. So there is a greater amount of material to heat up when dissipating, i.e. it is simply more efficient at dissipating heat.

Consequences for the service life and resistance of the device

In conclusion, it is clear that in the long term and when used in extreme environments (very humid, very hot, UV exposure, etc.) the Hortimol model will have a better preservation of the initial luminous flux and thus will have a much longer lifetime compared with the low-end models available at a lower cost than the competition.
Thanks to the design that allows maximum maintenance, you are protected from surprises and you benefit from stable and equal performance from year to year.

In short, by buying Hortimol you have purchased a product with the best price/quality ratio.



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