KIND LED Grow Lights
We’ve reviewed a lot of LED lights here at Grow Gear. A lot. Our mission is to bring you all the information you need to make an informed buying decision so that you can grow your best plants, produce your biggest yields. In this review, we are going to cover some of the best available, the KIND LED series of grow lights. KIND LED is a highly reputable manufacturer, founded by competent and seasoned growers. The KIND founders used traditional HID lights for many years. When LED lights first hit the market, although efficient, they had many pitfalls such as low PAR production and such low yield results, that they were basically unusable. So, the people KIND LED took matters into their own hands and after much research, they developed the KIND LED Series of lights. One of a kind, powerful, programmable LEDs that produce maximal yields with optimal efficiency. Today, we will provide an overview of the various different models of KIND LED lights available.
KIND produces three separate series of grow lights. The K3 models, K5 models, and a supplementary line of Bar lights. The KIND K5 line are their largest, most powerful and highest performance lights, spearheaded by the KIND K5 XL1000. The K3 models are a smaller, less powerful, more affordable light series, suitable for casual and small-time growers. The Bar Lights are intended for supplementary use only, providing a some extra blue or red light for you plants, depending on what stage of growth they are in at the time.
The KIND LED K5 XL1000
Construction & Design
KIND has really put some effort into the design of these lights. You will never be embarrassed to show off your growing space with these sleek white light fixtures installed. These lights are also built to last. The K5 models are built from aluminum, while the K3 models are manufactured from steel. These are, to our knowledge the only lights made of steel on the market. Aluminum is an optimal material for grow lights due to its light weight and superior heat conductivity. Aluminum also has a larger strength to weight ratio than stainless steel. Regardless, the steel in the K3 line is thin so the weight increase is minimal. Even though the fixture is steel, the smallest KIND light, the K3 L300 is only 13 pounds compared to the largest, aluminum KIND K5 XL1000 which weighs in at 36 pounds.
# of Fans
15 x 11 x 3 in
20 x 11 x 3 in
25 x 11 x 3 in
23 x 17 x 3.5 in
26 x 20 x 3.5 in
LEDs run much cooler than traditional grow lights, so any excess heat produced is minimal to begin with. The aluminum body of the K5 acts to effectively dissipate that heat. Although the light fixtures of the K3 line are steel which decreases their heat reduction capabilities, there are thick and heavy-duty aluminum sinks mounted within the fixture that greatly reduce the heat produced by the light. Each KIND LED fixture also has a varying number of fans mounted within the frame which blows cool air over the inner components of the light and dissipates the warm air with the aid of the aluminum sinks.
KIND LED K5 XL750
KIND LED K5 XL1000
Energy Use & Efficiency
Every model of the K3 and K5 series are extremely efficient lights, having true wattages around 40% less than the wattage of the HID light they replace with equivalent light output. KIND is realistic in that they know that a light that draws only 350 watts can replace a 1000W HPS light. It’s just not realistic. However, even the KIND K5 XL1000 only draws 630 watts, and effectively replaces a 1000 watt HPS (47% more efficiency). Of course, that is only a direct comparison of power draw for light, not including the efficiency and savings that comes from decreased heat production and running less lights.
Each light runs on 100-240V AC power, suitable for most standard electrical outlets. KIND LED uses a so-called “perfect mix” of 3 watt and 5 watt LEDs, which combine to emit a great spectrum of light that penetrates the plant canopy and produces lush, healthy plants. The mixing of 5 watt and 3 watt LEDs is a pretty unique feature, and the idea is to provide the best of both wattages. 3 watt LEDs are extremely efficient, while 5 watt LEDs are ultra powerful, which produces a nice balance of light intensity, efficiency and spread.
# of LEDs
2 x 3 feet
2.5 x 3.5 feet
3 x 4 feet
4 x 4 feet
5 x 5 feet
PAR & Spectrum Remote Control
If you need a refresher on PAR, make sure you check out our blog for an in-depth description. Basically, PAR is the light produced from a source that plants actually make use of for photosynthesis, that between approximately 400nm-700nm. We try to always bring you as much possible data regarding PAR, with every light we review. Unfortunately, KIND LED only provides the PAR data for a single model of their lights, the K5 XL1000. This light does produce a large amount of PAR, registering 582umol in the center of its footprint, at a height of 24 inches. However, this is the only data available for PAR of KIND LED lights. We contacted KIND LED a few weeks ago to try find this information for their other models, however we have not heard back. We will provide an update when we eventually hear back.
KIND does provide the spectral output of their lights, however, and we can assume that with the quality LEDs they have mounted and the spectrum that they emit, the PAR will be more than adequate for your plants. The amount of red and blue light that your plant receives has differing effects on its growth. In general, you want more blue light during the vegetative phase and more red light during the blooming or flowering phase. One of the best features of the KIND LED lights is their incredible flexibility in regards to spectrum. And even better, the K5 series lights can be controlled through a remote control. You can dim the LEDs between 1% and 100% to make sure you aren’t overloading your plants with light. You can individually control one type of diodes, the red, blue or white, to produce a spectrum that is ideal for you. You can even turn off every single blue, red or white LED if you wanted, although we recommend some type of combination that produces every type of light for happy and healthy plants. Being able to completely control the spectral output of the KIND LED K5 grow lights are an amazing feature.
IR & UV
The usefulness of IR (infrared) and UV (ultra-violet) diodes for growing plants has been topic of great debate. Currently, based on the science behind plant growth, we at GrowGear don’t believe that either type of radiation has a substantial effect on your yields. The theory is that infrared promotes germination, budding and other such plant functions, but really it’s just a type of radiation your plant can’t use, and is just a form of heat. Some people are also firm believers that UV light enhances your yield and secondary molecule production, although we think it may do more harm than good, since UV can trigger cell-level mutations. In cannabis, UV supposedly boosts the number of psychoactive compounds like THC within the trichomes. As always, depending on your position of the benefits of IR and UV, you can always just disconnect those diodes or just cover them up.
Connectivity & Automation
The KIND LED lights are not possible to be daisy-chained, since they contain just a single power input plug. This may be an issue for some, but we always recommend that each light in your growing space is independently plugged into an outlet since it’s the safest way to connect your lights.
One great feature available in the K5 lights that is not available in the K3 lights is its internal timing system. You can set and program a day/night cycle using its internal timing system. This removes the necessity of using an external timer, which is cheaper safer and more reliable. The light cycles can be controlled and programmed from a wireless remote.
Another awesome and extremely unique feature of the KIND LED K5 XL1000 and XL7500 lights that we really love is their “Mother-Earth” timing system. The idea behind the Mother-Earth Timing system is to have the LEDs simulates natural light as much as possible. There are 8 separate timer stages that automatically increase the light intensity at each stage starting from morning (low intensity) to full power during the “daytime” and back down again in intensity in the “evening.” Slowly engaging the lights in the morning and disengaging them at night mimics a slowly rising and setting sun, which in nature gradually gains or loses intensity as it moves in the sky. We love this feature and think it’s a great way to recreate sunlight for your plants as accurately as possible. Unfortunately, this feature is not available in the K3 lights.
KIND LED also uses something called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) dimming to decrease the light emission of their LEDs to their programmed light level. KIND claims that other LED light manufacturers use a method of dimming that maintains constant power draw, wasting energy. PWM on the other hand dims the LEDs by actually adjusting the amount of power being drawn by the LED, setting the light to the proper intensity and saving energy.
KIND LED Bar Lights
Up to this point, we haven’t talked much about the KIND LED Bar Lights. The K3 and K5 are full-cycle stand-alone models, meaning you can use just one of them to grow a healthy plant through its entire life cycle. The Bar Lights are a small, supplementary-style light that produce a specific skewed spectrum to promote either vegetation or blooming. They all contain 3 watt LEDs that are excellent energy savers.
The lights can also be used as an affordable option to simply increase the light spread of an existing full-cycle light. Or, you can use multiple Bar Lights as a primary light source, and can be set-up similar to the GalaxyHydro strip lights (link) in various installations such as for vertical hydroponic situations, multi-layered racked systems, edge lighting of tents and more. They are light, compact and versatile units.
The Vegetative and Bloom lights come in either a Macro and Micro spectrum. The vegetative lights are blue-heavy to promote pant growth, while the bloom lights are red-heavy to promote budding and flowering (link). The micro spectrum is intended for supplementary use, to just add to an existing light source, while the macro spectrum can be used as a stand-alone light source if necessary, promoting primary growth of your plants, but still producing either veg or bloom specific light. Hopefully the figure below clears that up a bit.
The KIND LED Bar lights all have unique specs because of the varying spectra of each. As well, there are 3 different lengths of light available, 24”, 36” and 48” long. We’ve outlined the specifications in a table below for you to more easily compare them.
|Length||24 in||36 in||48 in||24 in||36 in||48 in|
|Weight||3.5 lbs||4.5 lbs||6 lbs||3.5 lbs||4.5 lbs||6 lbs|
|True Wattage||24.4 watt||37.6 watt||50.8 watt||23.2 watt||35.2 watt||54.4 watt|
|HID Equivalent||60 watt||80 watt||100 watt||60 watt||80 watt||100 watt|
|# of Diodes||13||20||30||13||20||30|
|Footprint||2.5 x 1 ft||3.5 x 1 ft||4.5 x 1 ft||2.5 x 1 ft||3.5 x 1 ft||4.5 x 1 ft|
Warranty and Lifespan
All KIND LED lights are backed by a 90-day full warranty, and a 3-year limited warranty. In general, KIND will replace or repair any lights that have issues based on material defects or issues from worksmanship. They won’t cover any repairs or replacements under a variety of situations such as any sort of abuse, neglect, power surges or fire though so keep that in mind and treat your KIND LEDs with kindness ;). For more details, you’ll have to check out the KIND LED website and their warranty info (link?)Warranty
So, Are You Ready to Treat Your Plants with KINDness?
KIND LED grow lights have a lot going for them. They have large footprints, are extremely efficient, and produce a great spectrum. Although we don’t have specific PAR data for all the lights (yet) we can assume that the values are right up there with the competitors, based on the power of the LEDs and the spectrum produced. The KIND K5 XL1000 and XL750 are the most powerful, and the best buy in our eyes, due to its awesome remote-controlled fully customizable spectrum. You can adjust the output of red, blue and white lights to your exact specifications. The K3 lights are more affordable, but they are smaller, hold less LEDs and will likely produce less yield. And the KIND Bar lights are a great way to supplement your growing space with veg or bloom specific light. All in all, KIND LED has produced superior grow lights with great features and quality components.