HLG 550 V2 Quantum Board LED Grow Light – Detailed Review
Horticulture Lighting Group has designed a higher output quantum board LED grow light, dubbed the HLG 550.
The HLG 550 V2 quantum board is a large, white spectrum, modern design LED grow light that effectively covers a 3 foot by 3 foot grow space.
Horticulture Lighting Group actually came up with the “quantum board” grow light design and started the trend among the indoor plant growing community. Quantum board LED grow lights are now one of the most popular grow light choices among dedicated growers.
It’s basically two HLG 300 V2 grow lights combined on one panel. If you don’t mind having it all on one panel, you’ll be able to save roughly a c-note by purchasing one HLG 550 V2 instead of two HLG 300s.
In this detailed review I plan to answer all your questions about this grow light. We’ll also briefly touch on the HLG 550 V2 R-Spec variant
This is a top-range quantum board LED grow light from Horticulture Lighting Group’s product lineup.
The light has 4 circuit boards, each containing 288 (1,152 total) Samsung LM301B diodes. Samsung is known to produce top-shelf LED quality, so you won’t have to worry if you decide to go with this quantum board grow light. The boards are placed on a larger aluminum panel with a dimmable Meanwell driver on the opposite side.
The HLG 550 V2 measures in at 26″ x 20″ x 3″. It comes with a 120v plug, so you’ll need a 120V to 240V Adapter if your country uses 240v.
If you’re curious, or just switching over from an HID grow light, Horticulture Lighting Group equates the HLG 550 V2 to a 1000 watt HPS grow light.
The Horticulture Lighting Group 550 V2 is ETL certified, meaning it meets North American safety standards. The light is put through various electrical, mechanical, normal and abnormal temperature testing to ensure it’s durability and safety.
How is the HLG 550 V2 Quantum Board Grow Light different from other LED grow lights?
If you’re used to using regular or COB LED grow lights, the quantum board design is more bare-bones. You’ll notice there are no fans on the design. There’s also no “reflector” or glass magnifying lens on this design.
One of the biggest differences with the quantum board led grow light design is the light color. Many people appreciate this feature because it’s easier on the eyes (That doesn’t mean it’s safe to look directly at the light board. Don’t stare directly at the LED light board).
The HLG 550 V2 quantum board LED grow light will draw 480 watts from your wall at maximum power.
The Meanwell driver has a rubber stopper on the “Output” side, you can remove the rubber stopper and adjust the light intensity with a Philips screw driver. You can dim the HLG 550 V2 down by 50%, bringing it down to 240 watts of power consumption.
I suppose it depends which grow light models you compare, but I compared the HLG quantum board LED grow light to 3 very popular non-quantum LED grow lights and the power consumption is almost exactly the same.
Full White Spectrum & Uniform PPFD:
This light features a full white spectrum. You can check the spectral charts for each version here: 3000k | R-Spec | 4000k. A lot of people focus on red and blue wavelengths for plant growing, which is great. But studies have shown that white light spectrum (yellow, orange and green wavelengths) added to red and blue wavelengths are more beneficial than red and blue alone.¹
A second study found tomato plants yielded 12-16% more when white light spectrum was added to blue and red spectrum alone.²
Don’t worry, white spectrum lights actually include blue and red wavelengths, so you aren’t losing those wavelengths. You’re simply gaining yellow, orange and green wavelengths along with it. This would explain recent the shift of more sophisticated growers to high quality white spectrum grow lights like the HLG grow lights.
If I had to pick between the 3000k/R-Spec and 4000k model I’d take the 4000k based on the spectrum, but they’ll all do a fine job.
Another big difference with Quantum Board LED grow lights is the uniform photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) that doesn’t fade dramatically when you measure further from the center of the PPFD chart, which is the case for many “regular” LED grow lights.
To understand better, let’s look at PPFD charts for the HLG 550 V2 quantum board vs two other COB LED grow lights:
The top chart is from a 450 watt COB LED grow light. The middle chart is a 500 watt COB LED grow light. The bottom chart is the HLG 550 V2. Take a look at the far side measurements on each chart.
The difference is the Horticulture Lighting Group 550 V2 maintains a considerably higher (and usable) PPFD at the edges, while the first two COB LEDs’ PPFD dropped off considerably when measuring 3 feet from center.
While we’re on the subject of PPFD, the HLG 550 V2 provides sufficient PPFD to get your marijuana (or other) plants from vegetation to flowering. The HLG 550 V2 PPFD chart above contains measurements in an open grow space.
For an open grow space I’d recommend this light for 3×3 foot coverage. Inside a grow tent you can get 4×4 feet covered comfortably due to the reflection increasing the PPFD.
You can also consider two HLG 300 V2 if you want a bit more versatility with light placement.
Heat (or not):
The HLG 550 V2 doesn’t feature cooling fans or heat sink on the design. That’s because it doesn’t need them. One owner reported their HLG 550 V2 gives off “barely any heat.” Another person said an oscillating fan was enough to manage temperatures while using this quantum board grow light.
The R-Spec is a design upgrade of the 3000k HLG 550 V2, which is now discontinued, although there may be a few 3000k models left for sale online. Everything you’ve read so far also holds true for the R-Spec variant.
The R-Spec still utilizes 1,152 LEDs. The spectrum is 3500k whereas the HLG 550 V2 is offered at 4000k. There’s a little bit extra blue light in the R-Spec diodes. The additional blue spectrum helps mostly during vegetation but it’s also absorbed during flowering.
HLG also swapped in 64 Osram 660nm deep red diodes, spread out evenly among the four circuit boards. These diodes increase the electrical efficiency and the overall light spectrum. The extra red intensity also contributes to faster growth.
This quantum board grow light is ideal for all growth phases – seedling through harvest.
Warranty and User Comments:
Horticulture Lighting Group provides a 3 year warranty with this quantum board grow light. Three years is among the more generous duration warranties we typically see with grow lights.
There are a couple dozen reviews combined between Amazon and other reseller websites. A majority of the reviewers are very pleased with the HLG 550 V2.
Aside from the general positive comments, many people commented on the strong brightness of the light. Someone who’s tight on space appreciated the fact they didn’t need to waste space with cooling equipment. Another person said they’ve been running the HLG 550 V2 at full power from seed phase and they’re loving the results. A third person said “buds came out big and dense , and the trichome production under this light was crazy.”
What’s in the box:
You’ll receive one HLG 550 V2 Quantum board LED grow light, one fixture, one 120v plug, and a few 1/8″ hangers.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Amazon shows three light spectrum options (same price) – 3000k, 4000k, and R-Spec. Which one is better?
- The 3000k version is sufficient for all plant growth phases, seed through harvest. It was recently discontinued due to release of the R-Spec variant, but there may be some 3000k remaining for sale. The R-Spec is meant to replace the 3000k spectrum-wise.
- All spectrums are ideal for seedling to harvest
- You can view the spectrum charts here: 3000k | R-Spec | 4000k
Amazon seller is out of stock, can I buy one anywhere else for the same price?
- Yes, Click Here to visit LED Grow Lights Depot. Many times their price is the same as Amazon, although not guaranteed. They also have incredible customer service – just like a family business.
Is the HLG 550 V2 setup complicated?
- These lights are plug-and-play. Not a DIY kit.
What’s the recommended hanging height?
- I would recommend 18″; Horticulture Lighting Group says 15-24″ is fine. You can adjust based on required coverage/intensity.
Is the HLG 550 V2 quantum board LED grow light a game changer for growers? It’s different, new, innovative, but the wheel wasn’t necessarily reinvented. You’ll still be able to find some quality COB LED grow lights that put up a fight to these quantum boards.
The HLG 550 V2 is a nice grow light with it’s own respective benefits. If you prefer white light over purple light, this light is for you. If you like a lean design without cooling fans, this light is for you. If you don’t mind either way, can you find a regular LED or COB LED light that’ll compete with this light on cost, spectrum and PPFD? Sure you can.
1. Lin, K., Huang, M., Huang, W., Hsu, M., Yang, Z. and Yang, C. (2013). The effects of red, blue, and white light-emitting diodes on the growth, development, and edible quality of hydroponically grown lettuce (Lactuca sativa L. var. capitata). Scientia Horticulturae, 150, pp.86-91.
2. MARUO, Toru, et al. “Effects of Supplemental Lighting with Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs) on Tomato Yield and Quality of Single-Truss Tomato Plants Grown at High Planting Density.” Environmental Control in Biology, Japanese Society of Agricultural, Biological and Environmental Engineers and Scientists, 11 June 2012, https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/ecb/50/1/50_63/_article.