I don't know about you, but I've been waiting for this product for a long time. When LEDs first started hitting the scene as replacements for fluorescents, I was on my computer, trying to figure out if they'd work for plants (they didn't) and if they were affordable (they weren't). Once they started getting made for plant growth, two annoying problems remained. The first was that the light was purple colored, which has never worked for me with LEDs- I need to be able to see what I'm doing and avoid headaches. The second problem was that they weren't plug and play; you had to remove the ballast in your fluorescent fixture in order to make them work. For mechanical people, this problem might not be difficult to overcome, but for others, it was a deal breaker. In any case, it's a bit time consuming.
Fast forward a few years, and Transcend Lighting sends me an email, wanting me to check out their new T5 LED replacements bulbs. I was skeptical for the reasons stated above. Luckily, though, I had some T5 fixtures running and was actively seeking ways to cut my wattage draw. It's because I live in Hawaii where electricity is $.39 a kWh, which is CRAZY. Plus, I wanted to add some flowering lights and was maxing out my circuits. If these new bulbs could work, they'd be the perfect solution because, for the same light output, the wattage gets cut in half.
My order came within 3 days of placing it, and much to my pleasant surprise, the tubes are actually plastic covered, meaning no more breakable light tubes. Yay! They actually bend a little bit with no problem, and I have permanently removed all traces of toxic mercury from the room now that those pesky fluorescents are gone.
They cost $50 each, including shipping, and considering the wattage draw reduction, pay for themselves in about a year, depending on your local cost per kWh. So the buy-in cost is a bit heavy, but the benefits are definitely there to make it totally worthwhile.
How's the performance? Excellent! Here are some pics of my clone moms grown under them for a few weeks:
Well, you can't argue with that, can you? They work great. If only T5 fixture companies would make fixtures that fit evenly over 4x4 tables, we'd have the perfect combo. (Actually, the 16-bulb Quantum Badboy is pretty close). The only other feature I wish I had is dimmability, and I reported that back to Transcend. They've been very receptive to suggestions and responsive in all our communications. Totally positive experience.
Update: This company is now called Thrive Agritech.
Jennifer Martin is a pioneer in American cannabis cloning. Having supplied Bay Area marijuana dispensaries since the passage of Prop 215 in 1996, she helped bring over 2 million marijuana plants into the world. She also won the 1998 San Francisco Bay Area Cannabis Cup with the strain Bubbleberry, by a 32-point spread on a scale of 200. Jennifer lived in Amsterdam in the mid 90's and learned all about the industry and world-class cannabis products.