It can be an expensive investment if you’re thinking about purchasing an LED grow light. Many people are enticed by the low prices they may find on eBay or similar Chinese-based websites like Alibaba that sell hundreds of different low quality LED grow lights that simply don’t live up to their claims. You can often find a panel that’s listed as a 1000 watt equivalent for just a meager few hundred dollars. Be wary, while they may veg plants just fine, they won’t grow flowers anywhere near as well or as efficiently as any of the panels that Area 51 manufactures.
We’ve reviewed their RW-150 panel in the past, but we haven’t taken a closer look at their smaller-end grow lights, like the W100. Although they no longer sell it, the XGS-190 was essentially a double sized version of the W100. That is, the W100 is in fact just half of what the XGS-190 was.
The W100 is a small panel that provides adequate coverage for about 2′ x 2′ of area. It measures 12 inches wide, 9.5 inches long, and 2.75 inches thick – the perfect size for a small scale garden. It utilizes the Cree XTE Warm White 3750k XTEAWT-02-0000-00000BFF6, with a total of 36 individual diodes in six different clusters of six. The color temperature of 3750k is an ideal blend that hits a unique sweet spot for all stages of growth including clones, seedlings, vegging, and flowering. Although it’s not often that we see a led grow light that has ‘all white’, the W100 works fantastically well for a variety of plants.
While it’s not directly listed on Area 51’s website, we recommend hanging the panel about 24″-30″ away for seedlings and clones, 18″-24″ away for vegging plants, and 18″-24″ for flowering plants. These recommendations are listed for the XGS-190, so take that into consideration with a little bit of trial and error. And don’t worry, it’s very difficult to stress or bleach your plants unless you have the panel less than 12″ from the canopy.
Growers are happy to find that there are two separate switchable modes that are ideal for certain growth stages. When plants are young and sensitive in the seedling or cloning stage, it’s best to have the panel operating on 1/2 power. Only half of the diodes will emit light, using just 50 watts of actual power consumption from the wall. This operating mode is also ideal for vegging plants since less intense lighting is suitable for proper photosynthesis during this stage. When you decide to grow fruits and/or flowers, flip the switch to have the panel emit light from all of the 36 diodes. This will create a much more intense PAR reading that will stimulate lush and healthy flowers and fruits.
Unlike most led manufacturers, it’s obvious that Area 51 stands behind the products they create. We say this because the W100 is sold with a limited lifetime warranty that protects your purchase for several years to come. This way, you’ll get a great deal of peace of mind, knowing that it’s a reliably built panel that’s shipped directly from the USA, not from overseas. Additionally, they even pair it with a free adjustable ratchet hanging kit that makes installation a breeze.
Although it’s fairly new to the market, the Area 51 W100 LED grow light is becoming quite a popular choice for those either on a budget, or those who need an incredibly nice light for a small space. Overall, we’re impressed and we can’t wait to see what Area 51 has in store for the future! It’s exciting to see such a high quality panel at such a low and affordable price point. It’s listed at a retail price of $295, but it’s currently on sale for $235, so get it while it’s cheap.