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LEC, the latest in lighting for cannabis crops

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LEC, the latest in lighting for cannabis crops

LEC is the name of the new technology in lighting for indoor marijuana growing. It should not be confused with LED or LEP. It is the acronym of Light Emitting Ceramic, also called CMH (Ceramic Metal Halide).
LEC, the latest in lighting for cannabis crops
LEC, the latest in lighting for cannabis crops
First of all, it is an evolution of the typical metal halide lamps used in the growth stages, in which the quartz is replaced by a ceramic arc tube similar to what is used in sodium vapor which is usually used for the flowering stage. This is why they are also called “ceramic metal halides”.

They became known around 2010, when the Molecular Science Institute of the Universitat de València led a European consortium willing to develop a low cost and efficient grow lamp that produces more light than a classic bulb, consuming half the energy.

This caught the attention of manufacturers such as Osram and Siemens. In 2012 Osram presented its first LEC lamp, and in 2015 it began to talk about this new technology as a substitute for LED systems.

the latest lighting for growing marijuana
LEC, the latest in lighting for growing marijuana LEC 315W

LEC, the latest in lighting for growing marijuana LEC 315W[/caption]The LEC lamps are simpler in construction and have only one layer of active material, in addition to the electrodes can be made based on materials as simple as aluminum.

Against it, they have a lifespan of about 20,000 hours compared to 100,000 of an LED system, but much more than the 15,000 hours of the fluorescents or 10,000 hours of the HPS bulbs.

But what is really surprising about this LEC technology is that it is more efficient and provides less heat, two very important factors in any indoor crop.

LEC ceramic metal halide lights produce UV-B rays like the sun, which undoubtedly contribute to the increased development of trichomes and terpenes in the buds, as well as producing a natural spectrum of light that allows you to see plants in full color.

And if compared directly with the typical HPS lamps, they offer twice the output. Like HPS, they require a special ballast, in addition, the lamp holders are also different from the typical E40 or large thread used for HPS and Metal Halide Bulbs.

L.ámpara LEC 315W

LEC lamps are currently available in two power outputs, 315W and 630W. The 315W has a bi-pin connection instead of a conventional E40 thread, but through a socket/adapter we can take advantage of our reflector without having to invest in a new one.

As for the ballast at the moment there are not many manufacturers that offer them. They are electronic ballasts such as the Solux Pro LEC 315W, which have the latest technology. These 315W lamps are equivalent to sodium of 600W, but consuming almost half the power, and also reducing the heat emitted by 50%.

On the other hand, the 630W version has a dual or double ended connection the same as the latest HPS double entry lamps, coupling to the lamp holder at both ends. This system eliminates helps reduce the deformation of the reflectors due to the weight of the lamp when used in the horizontal position.

These lamps work at 400v, so the ballast is also different from the conventional 220v, such as the Lumatek Ultimate Pro 600W 400v or the Solux Colosus 600W 400v. As for the reflectors, Its quite limited. Gavita and Adjust-a-Wings are currently two of the manufacturers that offer reflectors or accessories for conversion. These 630W lamps are equal to  1200W of sodium vapor lamps.

LEC 630W lamp

Other manufacturers such as Sun System , Solux or Hydrofarm have directly chosen to develop luminaires LEC, complete equipment where a large reflector and the ballast is incorporated, minimizing the overall size.


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One Comment

  1. Hi Heath, big fan of your work.
    From everything I’ve read CMH/LEC bulbs need to be run on low frequency square wave ballasts, otherwise the bulbs don’t last and keep popping, like the problems with the one dimlux put out.
    I own ones from Maxibrite, Lumii and Nanolux, all are low frequency square wave and absolutely brilliant, such an upgrade from HPS.
    The only downside is it’s lacks the penetration power of the 600w HPS so wouldn’t work great on their own for tree grows, the quality of bud it produces is mental though!

    Btw did you ever release seeds for your Rlack Rose or V3? always wanted to get my hands on them.


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