Lighthouse BlackStar V2 240 Watt Review

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AquariusPanta

Well-Known Member
Hello Everyone


This is my first thread that I've posted on Rollitup and it feels like something that I can get down to occasionally.

So I think it's safe to say that LED's are like the hybrids of grow lighting. They have been noted as supposedly being more power efficient and greener then their predecessors but are still working on some kinks such as penetration. Every inch filled on those branches counts.

If you've ever found yourself researching LED's, then you've probably encountered the endless amounts of products found in the market. Most are foreign because, lets face it, anything and everything plastic comes from China. You have your cheap knockoff brands that copy the image of the prominent brands and instead use cheap parts, leaving you scratching your head while wondering why your plant caught on fire. Then there are the prominent LED companies that tout the priciest LED chips and hardware, asking you for in exchange a considerable amount of compensation for their high-powered products.

Somewhere in middle of all these choices, I found myself considering LightHouse's Blackstar LED unit. I was skeptical about buying any grow lights, let alone LED's. After trying and returning a T8, I eventually made up my mind and bought an original Blackstar 240 Watt HO (Veg) unit from Gothamhydroponics.com back a few years ago. I thought it was pretty darn bright at the time. The light performed better than the T8 undoubtedly as the plants didn't stretch as much. Soon after I quickly found myself in search of another light for more watts and for flowering. At this point in time I had the phone number for one of the head executives at Lighthouse and was lucky enough to get his scoop on the upcoming models that were about to be launched. He offered me the choice of trying out the unreleased Chrome 6 (~270 watts) model. I took the offer. God that thing was so bright I had to put on two pairs of sunglasses just to keep my eyes from burning through my skull. Ok maybe not 2x pairs but you get the gist of how bright the Chrome series was/is. The results from the Chrome were phenomenal and I later bought another Chrome model, the 8 (~360 watts, currently discontinued). I was overpowered with LED's at this point. The results, after learning the basics of growing, really made the investment and time worth it all. I eventually sold the lights after using as I had to focus on my academics at college. I made like 80% back of my initial investment for those wondering.

I recently decided that I was ready again to start up one of my favorite hobbies. I checked out Gotham's website and noticed they had some new models, like the Blackstar V2 and Ion-8. The Ion is really expensive, as it provides 6watt colored and 10watt 12,000kelvin chips. I'm assuming they were going for even deeper penetration with that model. Being as I just graduated from college, I don't have a bunch of money laying around so I decided that I'd try out the Blackstar V2 240 Watt, as it's reasonably priced (~$270). I had the option between the Vegetation model or the Full-Spectrum (Flower+Vegetation). The website claims both are 6-band, meaning they have 6x different operating LED chips but I think they are intentionally false-adverising or just don't know anything about the main things they sell: LED lights. The reason I say this is that if you look at their pictures they provide, you can only count either 3x LED colors on the HO (High-Output) Vegetation model or 4x LED colors on the UV Full-Spectrum model. I can verify this because the first Blackstar I ever bought had the UVA 385 nm chip in middle, which can be clearly seen on their website. As for the infrared 730 nm chip they claim to include, I can't find it. It should be hidden to the average eye but if you count the LED's on the product, you can only add up to what you see and it comes out to the total LED's that they advertise. To some of you this may not be of concern but for those who take their business seriously, heres to you.

Anyways....

Cons before Pros: It's really a 4-band LED system, only giving the user white 12k, 630 nm, 660 nm, and 425 nm LEDs.

Pros: The LEDs work and the unit doesn't sound too loud. The 3x fans do run though so expect some noise from them. The brightness is a factor (higher penetration I'm guessing) so stock up on sunglasses for you and your pals. Combining attributes from the original Blackstar and the Chrome models, this V2 looks slick. Gives off a nice purple/pink look.

Overall: Depending on how the performance turns out, which hasn't been an issue in the past with the LightHouse brand, this small investment should later on be considered a marginal benefit in capital.

Additionally, it may be beneficial for me to later invest into the 240watt Blackstar 3-Band HO unit on the basis that the addition of 3watt 12,000kelvin LED chips (like over 50 of them) would help spread out the available light spectrum for my honeys. I've heard that 12,000kelvin chips sort of offer wavelengths between ~ 480nm - 615nm, which would help offer some late blues and early oranges, as well as the non-essential yellows and greens. What do you guys think of all of this? Am I on to something?

Sort of a long start to a forum but hopefully my experience with LED's helps others when buying LED's of their own.
 

Yodaweed

Well-Known Member
Here's a picture of my BLACKSTAR ION 8, TWO BLACKSTAR 240W FULL SPECTRUM V2.0 LIGHTS AND 1 AREA 51 SGS160. The 240w Full spectrum only draw 135w to the wall(I have a kill a watt meter) and the ion 8 draws 170W on the wall.
 

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AquariusPanta

Well-Known Member
Yoda! How cool it is to see you post something on one of my first threads!

I think I came across some of your older posts about LED lighting recently; they were enlightening.

Have you tried the Chrome series? I'm curious on how they compare to the new Ion model. What's your favorite LED unit so far and why?
 

AquariusPanta

Well-Known Member
I was checking out your photo you provided. That monster in the background is HUGE! Sativa dominant I take it?

My guess on the indica closest to the camera, on the left side, will fetch anywhere between 4-10ounces (with heavy resin) depending on how close you lower the lights to the canopy. What's your guess on these based from experience?
 

Yodaweed

Well-Known Member
I have not tried the Chrome series yet but have heard good things. My favorite LED unit so far is the ion 8 and that's because it makes resin like you have never seen before and dense nugs to all heck, amazing light LH Hydro knocked it out of the park with this one. My guess is no less than 2 oz for the small plant in front, its actually a sativa dom plant (golden goat). The one in the back is an indica dom hybrid but its super big cause its in hydroponics (General Hydroponics Water Farm) and plants in hydro grow big lol :) and it will probably yield 6-8 oz. If going for a blackstar I would recommend the ion 8 if you can afford it for just 1 plant. You will get amazing buds but the coverage isn't great. Quality > Quantity for me.
 

az2000

Well-Known Member
Here's a picture of my BLACKSTAR ION 8, TWO BLACKSTAR 240W FULL SPECTRUM V2.0 LIGHTS AND 1 AREA 51 SGS160. The 240w Full spectrum only draw 135w to the wall(I have a kill a watt meter) and the ion 8 draws 170W on the wall.
Something's not right. I have the 180w v2 full spectrum and it pulls 125w using the k-a-w meter.

Did you actually count your bulbs to see if you have 80 and not 60?
 

AquariusPanta

Well-Known Member
Aren't LED's supposed to draw from around 40-70% less power than traditional lights while performing the same? Also, watts = amps * volts. The advertised power supply cord is rated at 100-250V, so it really depends on how many volts are being delivered to the LED system itself and maybe more so the amps the actual unit is geared for (my guess is 0.6amps).

I welcome any additional input on this subject in order to better understand it myself.
 

Yodaweed

Well-Known Member
Something's not right. I have the 180w v2 full spectrum and it pulls 125w using the k-a-w meter.

Did you actually count your bulbs to see if you have 80 and not 60?
Yes I check I actually have two panels BOTH test at 135W called gotham hydro they said that's the same amount their lights pull so IDK
 

Yodaweed

Well-Known Member
Aren't LED's supposed to draw from around 40-70% less power than traditional lights while performing the same? Also, watts = amps * volts. The advertised power supply cord is rated at 100-250V, so it really depends on how many volts are being delivered to the LED system itself and maybe more so the amps the actual unit is geared for (my guess is 0.6amps).

I welcome any additional input on this subject in order to better understand it myself.
These are kind of old or not the most savory practices that LED manufacturers practiced , most really good LED producers tell you the draw of the light +/- 5 watts. My A51 SGS160 pulls 160w from the wall just as advertised. However my ion 8 is advertised as a 426w light and pulls a mere 170W.
 

AquariusPanta

Well-Known Member
These are kind of old or not the most savory practices that LED manufacturers practiced , most really good LED producers tell you the draw of the light +/- 5 watts. My A51 SGS160 pulls 160w from the wall just as advertised. However my ion 8 is advertised as a 426w light and pulls a mere 170W.
170W seems really low for a 426W. I'm curious on whether my V2 runs the same wattage as yours Yoda. I'll have to run some tests in the near future and get back to you. Would you say that regardless of the LED lights from LightHouse Hydro, most lights offered are suitable for 1 plant throughout growth cycles (vegetation and flowering)?

(Meaning if all LED's advertised from LHH, 180w, 240w, 470w, etc., all run around 140truewatts)
 

AquariusPanta

Well-Known Member
I checked out the website for the A51 LED you mentioned. I counted 72 total LED chips, which you claim provides ~160true-watts. This means that instead of advertising individual LED chip wattage * amount of LED chips (3W * 72), they went the extra step to measure it like you've done yourself and include that into their model name (A51 SGS 160). Both LightHouse Hydro and A51 LED offer lighting units equipped with 3W chips but it's obvious at this point that some units run more effectively in terms of wattage than others do. Should wattage be of concern for us as the consumers when dealing with LED's?
 

Yodaweed

Well-Known Member
Wattage isn't the most important thing, quality of parts (which gives better efficiency) is much more important. Most Chinese LED makers use lower quality parts like epistar or epiled LED diodes that are not as efficient as the cree / luxon / osram / etc higher quality parts. Then they advertise false claims of wattage so you think you are getting more than you are. Blackstar lights are average quality lights that you pay top dollar for. For the money I would go with an Area 51 RW 150 or AT200 / onyx bloom . And as for 1 plant per light, that depends honestly the blackstar panels are not very good, I have to use 2 of the 240w panels on one plant to get the density/coverage I desire but I grow bigger plants (5 gallon fabric pots with coco-coir/perlite mix) than most. The ion 8 will cover a mid sized plant pretty well and make really good buds.
 

AquariusPanta

Well-Known Member
I've had excellent results in the past placing 2x LED lights (both Chromes) above a single lady. I figured I'd need at least 2x of the 240's to score decently. I checked out the lights you mentioned. They are a bit pricier but I bet they include fancier parts. Aren't the BlackStars equipped with Cree chips?

I've been known to use 5 and 10 gallon smart pots, using B.U.D. soil (Both Premium and Original). Have you tried using the cloth-like smart pots?
 

Yodaweed

Well-Known Member
Yeah I use 3 or 5 gallon smartpots with coco-coir/perlite mixed, use AN nutrients right now. The ion 8 has cree chips , 4 10w white ones but I am not sure of what bin they are and could be middle bin quality chips.
 

t0adgr0w

Member
I use 4 x 270 chromes and a 600w Hps in a 1.2x1.2x2.0 tent. It's a bit over a 1000w HPS but i'd much rather use the LED's for the added spectrum, and the heat isn't so bothersome. I did find that using just the Blackstars, although forming good sized buds took a good 2 weeks longer to mature. It was almost like they stopped towards the end and wouldn't ripen. The HPS sorted that out and nearly doubled the size of the buds but that's partly because I can get my lights almost touching the canopy now, whereas before I had to raise the LED's to get the coverage.
 

AquariusPanta

Well-Known Member
I use 4 x 270 chromes and a 600w Hps in a 1.2x1.2x2.0 tent. It's a bit over a 1000w HPS but i'd much rather use the LED's for the added spectrum, and the heat isn't so bothersome. I did find that using just the Blackstars, although forming good sized buds took a good 2 weeks longer to mature. It was almost like they stopped towards the end and wouldn't ripen. The HPS sorted that out and nearly doubled the size of the buds but that's partly because I can get my lights almost touching the canopy now, whereas before I had to raise the LED's to get the coverage.
Ahhh do what? A 1.2x1.2x2 tent... with 5x lights.... were talking metric units right? lmao

Have you any experience with the BlackStar V2? I've worked with the original BlackStar and Chromes (default photo) but am new to the V2 and am wondering how they compare to the rest the family.

Edit: How do you like the Chrome series?
 

t0adgr0w

Member
Ahhh do what? A 1.2x1.2x2 tent... with 5x lights.... were talking metric units right? lmao

Have you any experience with the BlackStar V2? I've worked with the original BlackStar and Chromes (default photo) but am new to the V2 and am wondering how they compare to the rest the family.

Edit: How do you like the Chrome series?
Yeah I know it's overkill but things grow pretty vigorously. I'm honestly not clued up on which version I have. I use these ones.. http://www.amazon.com/Lighthouse-BlackStar-Chrome-Spectrum-Flowering/dp/B009F01OVK

If you mean this version then I really don't rate them, they don't seem nearly as powerful.
http://www.amazon.com/Lighthouse-Hydro-BlackStar-Flowering-240-watt/dp/B004E662SA/ref=cm_cr_pr_sims_t

I love them, damn expensive but I've had mine like a year and a half and not 1 led has blown. I do however take them apart every now and then, you wouldn't believe the dust that get's in them! I dropped 1 whilst hanging it up from 6 foot and it didn't even blink. Can't do that with your hps lol.
 

Bricksquad2625

Well-Known Member
I have a BML 600w Spyder as my main light but I use my 500w Blackstar as some badass side lighting, great combo, blackstar works and I've been banned on other forums for saying that
 

AquariusPanta

Well-Known Member
I've seen blackstars on Craigslist, just bring a gun
LMFAO... I actually sold my originals through Craiglist.com

Yeah I know it's overkill but things grow pretty vigorously. I'm honestly not clued up on which version I have
Well if it's in meters, than yeah that's a capped light set up. At first I imagined a 1.2'x1.2'x2' grow tent with 5x light units lol then I realized they don't offer those sizes.

Your using the original BlackStar (V1), as well as the Chrome.

The V2 is a little different - > http://www.gothamhydroponics.com/featured-products/lighthouse-hydro-blackstar-240w-led-grow-light-uv-538.html
 
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