Johnson LED CX-9 540 Watt Grow Light Review

LED Grow Lights are the best new growing equipment for indoor growing available. Whether you’re trying your hand at hydroponics, supplementing a greenhouse, or just growing a few plants in your home to last you through the winter, LED grow lights are perfect for you. LED grow lights are much more energy efficient than traditional grow lights. They can also produce a higher amount of the types of light that your plants actually can use, and not just reflect. Although Johnson LEDs are a relatively new company in the LED Grow Light industry, they are producing some very high quality lights that produce optimal growing conditions for your plants. In this review, we cover the Johnson LED CX-9 540 Watt LED grow light.

First Look

The Johnson LED CX-9 540W Grow Light is square shaped, measuring 16×16 inches, and 3 inches tall. Its large size put the Johnson LED CX-9 540W on the heavier end of most grow lights, but it’s the price you pay for a large light with a large light footprint. The 540W grow light can run on voltage input of AC85-265V, suitable for standard North American outlets. As per its name, the Johnson LED CX-90 540W uses only 540W of energy while running on 120V of voltage and 1.33A of current.

Johnson LED CX-9 540

The fixture is made of a white plastic, which helps to reduce the weight of the grow light. There are nine fans mounted within the frame, which act to reduce the amount of heat that is produced by the LEDs. Although the fans do run fairly quiet, the combination of all nine does produce an audible hum when the light is operating. Johnson LED has also used nine Cree CXA3070 3000K LEDs mounted in the light fixture. Cree is a market-leading innovator of LEDs, with their LEDs producing some of the best spectrums of light on the market, while still maintaining high efficiency and long lifespans.

Energy Use

Like most LED grow lights, the Johnson LED CX-9 540W is much more efficient than a traditional HID grow light (HPS or MH). The Johnson LED 540W can produce the same amount of light as a 1000W HPS grow light, while operating at almost 50% of the wattage. There are a few reasons why the Johnson LED 540W is so efficient. In most HID bulbs, although they transform a large amount of electricity they receive into light, a large portion of the electricity running through the bulb is converted and wasted in the production of heat.

Johnson LED CX-9 540

Due to the design of LEDs, they produce very little heat during operation. Since the LEDs produce less heat, a larger percentage of the electricity they are consuming is converted directly into light, to be used by your plants. LEDs are also more efficient for a less direct reason. Because the heat is reduced in your growing space form your LED grow light, you don’t have to spend money and electricity on external methods to remove the heat such as fans or other cooling agents.

In addition, because of the specifically produced light spectrum that Johnson LED has perfected in their grow lights, the majority of light produced by the LEDs is actually usable by your plants. Much of the yellow and green light produced by HID lights is not actually absorbed by chlorophyll, therefore wasting electricity to produce that type of light. The Johnson LED 540W produces a higher amount of red and blue light which plants prefer to use for photosynthesis when growing.

Johnson LED CX-9 540

Heat Production

As we mentioned before, LEDs produce very little to no heat at all. So even when you are running your Johnson LED CX-9 540W over long periods of time, the LEDs produce a small amount of heat. Typically, using a 1000W HPS grow light, an HID light producing a comparable amount of light to the Johnson LED 540W, would emit approximately 3500-4000 BTU of heat (British thermal units) into the space you are growing in. The Johnson LED CX-9 540W on the other hand, produces half of that heat, approximately 1600-2000 BTU.

However, that amount of heat is produced when the 9 fans mounted within the grow light are turned off. Once the fans are engaged, the Johnson LED CX-9 produces only 800 BTU of heat, the fans dissipating a large amount of the heat produced. Although the fans will increase the grow lights power draw, the energy consumed from running the high efficiency fans is still minimal compared to the amount of energy required to cool a room using an HID grow light. The white plastic body of the light also functions to reduce heat, by effectively dissipating any heat produced by the LEDs.

Johnson LED CX-9 540

Light Quality

The Johnson LED CX-9 540W has a color rendering index (CRI) of 80+ units, which ensures the light provided by the LEDs will be efficiently used by the plants growing below them. By comparison, traditional HID lights have a CRI of only around 40 units. There are two other important metrics for measuring the actual power of a grow light, the PPF and PPFD. Johnson LED has provided both values so we can accurately determine how much light the LEDs are producing that the plants can actually use. The value of PPF of the Johnson LED CX-9 540W provided is 938, while the PPFD value provided is 632 units. These measurements reinforce that the majority of light produced by the grow light is not wasted, but is actually being used by the plants and promoting healthy, robust plants.

Johnson LED CX-9 540

Light Spectrum

The Johnson LED CX-9 540W produces a full spectrum of usable light for your plants. Plants usually use light from the sun which contains all colors and types of light. Johnson LED has attempted to produce a spectrum as similar to the sun as possible to ensure your plants get every type of light that they need to grow large and healthy. The LEDs produce light even between 380nm and 420nm which is considered UV light. UV radiation is important for healthy growth during certain stages of the plants life including the flowering stages. The Johnson LED CX-9 also produces light greater than 700nm which is the infrared (IR) spectrum. IR is also important for healthy growth of your plants. The blue light is also very important for your plants, which is included in the LEDs spectrum. Johnson LED claims that blue light can increase the quality of your plants and also increase the production of certain essential oils.

Warranty Information

When buying an LED grow light, one of the primary factors to consider is buying from a trusted company. Although Johnson LED is a relatively newer company to the LED grow light industry, they are using high quality components and producing high quality lights. Even the fact that they are using Cree LEDs can attest to the quality of the grow light. The Jonson LED CX-9 is also CSA certified. CSA certification is only bestowed upon electrical products that have maintained a certain operating standard. Johnson LED also provides a full 3-year warranty on the CX-9 grow light fixture.

Johnson LED CX-9 540

Should I Buy The CX-9?

The Johnson LED CX-9 540W LED Grow Light is an excellent option for your indoor growing space. It is on the larger size, at 16×16 inches, but this will simply allow you to grow more plants underneath. The light runs on 120V and 1.33A of currents, perfect for North American outlets. Johnson LED uses top-quality Cree LED lights, which are considered some of of the best LEDs available in the industry. The Johnson LED CX-9 540W is also almost twice as efficient as a comparable HID light.

The 540W usage is much more energy efficient than a 1000W HID light, which produces a comparable amount of light. And although the LEDs produce even more light than an HID, they produce a fraction of the heat. The decreased heat production is better for your plants, and also easier on your monthly bill, since you don’t have to waste energy and money on getting rid of the heat from your growing environment. The CX-9 produces an optimal spectrum of light, as similar as possible to sunlight for which your plants use for photosynthesis and growth. The LEDs covers all types of light from UV, to blue, to red to Infrared. If you are looking for an LED grow light to take your indoor growing to the next level, then maybe the Johnson LED CX-9 540W is the fixture for you.


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