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NextLight Mega LED Grow Light Review 2020 | Next Light Mega

By Affirm Collaborator August 24, 2020 0 comments

The advent of LEDs in the 90s led to high expectations amongst growers. This invariably led to disappointment across the board, due to the uninspiring results of these LED grow lights. This was because, when LED grow lights first broke into the market, they were an aspirational product, claiming to have the “perfect grow spectrum”, and being a new invention, a lot of people were swayed by the initial enthusiasm. But the results did not follow, unfortunately.

Cue 2016: The NextLight Mega hits the market. And finally, everyone rejoices.

The NextLight Mega has changed the entire attitude of a generation to growers towards LED grow lights. The NextLight delivers results, and these are the results that growers have been craving since the 90s. The high expectations were finally met; nay, exceeded.

The NextLight Mega is the flagship product from NextLight (a part of their NextLight commercial series), and is considered to be a grow light which is a “Best Value LED”. The NextLight uses only the latest and most modern technology when it comes to the white lights it uses, allowing it to replicate the full, dynamic spectrum required for growth. The NextLight Mega LED Grow Light thus gives us light which closely resembles the sun’s rays. It beats out the light from a 1000W HPS light over a sustained period, while using just a fraction of the energy.

In this article, we’re going to take a deep dive into why this amazing LED grow light from NextLight is arguably the best light for growing. The NextLight came out in 2016, but this is our review of it in 2020, updated with the latest information. We hope that reading this article will arm you with the knowledge required to make the best buying decision for your needs, saving you time and money.

13 Top Reasons for Buying the NextLight Mega In 2020

1. Amazing Design

The NextLight Mega emanates a full-spectrum white and light and has been painstakingly crafted for a full-cycle ceiling to harvest growth.

With dimensions of 37 inches by 37 inches and a thickness of only 2.5 inches, the NextLight weighs a trim 23 pounds. A wide form-factor means that the NextLight broadcasts light from a larger area allowing for a uniform distribution of light coverage under the fixture.

The unit doesn’t have any cooling fans because it’s passively cooled due to the aluminum frame.

The NextLight Mega is a streamlined product without many bells and whistles. It does what it needs to do, well. And the reason why it might be a tad costlier than some of the other industry LEDs is that the NextLight focuses on high-quality diodes and the best driver in the market. More on this in the next point!

The 100 – 277-volt AC auto-sensing drivers are encased towards the rear of the unit. Two hanging hooks are conveniently placed to serves as attachment points for the adjustable hangers.

You also get a 120-volt and a 240-volt cord and plug right out of the bag. The NextLight is easily daisy-chainable to another Mega LED.

2. Brilliant White LED Diodes

The Mega uses the exceptional and highly effective Samsung LM561B diodes which are designed to give you a life rating of 100,000 hours at 77 degrees Fahrenheit ambient temperature. That translates to about 15 years on an 18-6 veg cycle. At higher temperatures than 77 degrees, the life rating will be less.

There aren’t any secondary lenses on the NextLight Mega. That results in better efficiency and a wider spread of light.

The diodes are cleverly situated on slotted LED boards and this positioning allows the heat to escape more easily. This orientation also helps the airflow between the top and the bottom of the Mega.

Check out the NextLight Mega product page here!

3. Efficient Light Output

The full-spectrum light output that the NextLight emits is measured to be about 1400 μmol/s (micromoles per second). This is an ideal amount with respect to the size and coverage area of the NextLight.

Unfortunately, the NextLight doesn’t come with dimming capabilities or spectrum control.

But fortunately, this isn’t a big deal because the white spectrum light from the Mega is perfect for all stages of growth and doesn’t really need adjusting. More on this in a bit!

The Mega’s PAR efficacy is 2.15 μmol/J (micromoles per Joule), and that performance means that this is one of the most efficient LED grow lights in the market. This is because, since for every Watt of energy utilized, the Mega LED gives out 2.15 micromoles per light, it easily trumps other LED fixtures which have PAR efficacies of below 1.5 μmol/J. That’s at least 40 percent more efficient than some of the other top LED grow lights out there!

4. True Wattage Efficiency

We might be repeating ourselves here but “efficiency” is the buzzword when it comes to the NextLight. (Other synonyms just don’t do justice. Sorry, thesaurus.)

The NextLight only draws 650 W of power and remember, this is the true wattage of this grow light. There are other LED grow lights in the market which don’t give the output as advertised.

Hence, the Mega can easily replace a double-ended 1000W HPS light. That comes out to 35% less electricity and 35% less heat.

At 650 watts, the Mega LED only emits 2200 BTUs into the grill environment. When running on 120 volts the Mega draws 5.4 amperes and when running on 240 volts it only draws 2.7 amperes.

5. Full-light Spectrum for the BEST Growth

The NextLight LED grow light radiates a full spectrum of white light. The red to blue light ratio in this full spectrum is one is to one approximately, and that is the perfect mix for excellent growth in plants as it stimulates photosynthesis super efficiently.

The blue light is responsible for keeping plants strong and sturdy while the red portion of the spectrum drives growth.

The generous proportion of green light in this full spectrum is absorbed by light hungry plants like cannabis. The indoor growing industry has come around to the benefits of growing in full-spectrum white light. The view that green light was a wasted band of the spectrum and had no effect on plant growth has been debunked. Now it’s known that green light actually drives photosynthesis more efficiently than red light in strong white light. This is because green light can penetrate further into the leaf than red or blue light.

NextLight Full Spectrum LED

Overall, a full-spectrum white light has been proven to trigger growth both in the veg phase as well as the flowering phase. In fact, since the Mega LED provides white light at just the right amount of heat, you don’t need to swap out lights between growing phases. Switching out lights can shock the plants and they stop growing for about two weeks. That’s the worst thing to happen to the poor things, as well as to you as the grower. Your production time gets pushed out and the quality is also affected. Hence, with the NextLight Mega, you can rest easy.

Convinced yet? Buy the NextLight Mega here! Or read on below.

6. Biggest Coverage Area

With a single Mega LED grow light of 650 watts, you can expect a 5-feet by 5-feet coverage area (or 25 sq. ft.) for flower or a 7-feet by 7-feet coverage area (that’s 49 sq. ft.) for veg. Yes, it’s pretty amazing that this is the actual coverage area you can expect. This is only possible because of the generous amount of light that the Mega emanates.

So, one NextLight LED grow light is perfect for a 5 by 5 grow tent. But you can really step it up and use it in a 4 by 4 grow tent. For large scale growers, a bunch of these units can be placed all over a large grow tent or production room.

That’ll give you an intense, even coverage across the whole canopy.

It’s generally recommended to use the NextLight LED about 12 to 24 inches above the plants during the flowering phase to achieve the best possible results.

More specifically, 18 inches above the canopy is suggested for most conditions. For the veg phase, the advocated height is 48 inches. To sum up, start high and adjust as the plants acclimate.

7. PAR Excellence

NextLight has provided PAR maps to further explain the coverage area.

Inside a 4' x 4' Grow Tent:

  • Flower Footprint: 5' x 5' (Veg Footprint: 7 ft x 7 ft)
  • PPF: 1400
  • Wattage: 650W
  • PPF/Watt: 2.15
  • Unit Dimensions: 37" x 37"

NextLight Mega PAR 12 Inches Height in a 4 by 4 Grow Tent

NextLight Mega PAR 18 Inches Height in a 4 by 4 Grow Tent

5' x 5' No Tent:

  • Flower Footprint: 5' x 5' (Veg Footprint: 7 ft x 7 ft)
  • PPF: 1400
  • Wattage: 650W
  • PPF/Watt: 2.15
  • Unit Dimensions: 37" x 37

NextLight Mega PAR 12 Inches Height No Tent

NextLight Mega PAR 18 Inches Height No Tent

* All Readings Taken Using LI-COR LI-250A Light Meter.

8. Genius LED Configuration

The NextLight Mega has over 2500 (!) Light-Emitting Diodes spread out all over the system. Each LED emits white light and draws approximately a quarter of a watt of power each. This is an extremely unique method of setting up one’s LEDs. Other comparable models to the Mega, use 3-watt or 5-watt chips and from what we’re hearing, these manufacturers are looking at using more powerful chips in the future.

So what’s the upshot of all this?

A combination of over 2500 “weak” LEDs results in a robust and uniformly distributed light that matches the output of a 1000W HPS light while using just 650-watts of power. Frankly, this is a pretty ingenious way of using simple tech to create something brilliant.

And it also helps with the heat. More on how below.

For more details, you can also take a look at the NextLight Mega product page.

9. Lesser Heat Output

One of the biggest advantages of using so many low-powered LEDs is that the heat generated is so much lesser than comparable LED grow lights in the market. In fact, the heat is such a non-issue, the Mega LED grow light hasn’t got any internal fans and cools passively using heat sinks.

If required, an external fan can be used to complement the heat sinks.

That’s more than enough to deal with the heat output and can also result in an increased lifespan for your LEDs. We don’t feel like this is a big deal because most growers already have multiple fans in their grow rooms to deal with the stifling air. A bit of circulation does not hurt one bit and our species has other ways to wax lyrical about the human condition.

As mentioned before, the full-spectrum NextLight Mega generates about 2200 BTUs of heat. This is par for the course when it comes to lights ranging in this size. An interesting point to note though is that other lights use a bunch of fans to achieve this output. So, 2200 BTUs is pretty incredible.

Another advantage of the low heat output is that the LEDs last much longer. You also don’t have to spend a lot of money on cooling your grow room. This can be a huge cost saver, especially in warmer climes.

Lastly, without any internal fans, the NextLight Mega is as silent as the night.

10. Simple Operation

The Mega LED grow light is super simple to use. It’s pretty much “plug and play”. So, setting it up is the only hard bit and actually, that’s quite easy as well. To elucidate how easy it is, we’ve expounded on the setup instructions below.

To that end, here are the “detailed” setup instructions: hang it up (v-hooks are included), plug it in, and switch it on.

Yes, that’s all of it. Go nuts.

After the setup, you can probably be forgiven for forgetting about the Mega entirely. As we’ve said before, the white light spectrum emitted by the unit means you can just leave it on during veg and bloom, no problem.

Also, NextLight very kindly provides us with both the 120 V and 240 V plugs. So there’s that as well.

11. Sleek, Light, Slim, Slender

This isn’t necessarily the biggest deal for most folks, but we think that the NextLight Mega LED grow light looks and feels so cool.

Weight: 23 pounds (that’s 10.43 Kg for you metric folks), this Next Light LED as light as a breeze. This makes it easier to maneuver. With dimensions of 37 X 37 X 2.5 inches, the Mega is considered to be “the lightest and thinnest LED fixture in its class”.

12. Highest Safety Standards

With the presence of so many electrical components, growers are keenly aware of the need for safety standards nowadays. NextLight is one of the best brands when it comes to safety.

The Mega LED grow light (full-spectrum) is UL listed for damp and dry conditions. UL stands for Underwriters Laboratories Inc., an independent, non-profit organization that writes testing standards and also tests products for safety and certifies them. UL has a track record of developing more than 800 standards for safety, and millions of components, including the Mega, are tested against UL’s safety standards.

The Mega is also DLC premium listed and qualifies for energy rebates with most energy providers.

13. Made in the USA and 5-year Warranty

NextLight products, including their commercial series products, are designed and manufactured in the United States with domestic and imported parts. They come with a 5-year full manufacturer's warranty. NextLight has one of the best warranties and customer service in the industry.

Buy the NextLight Mega here!

Next Light Mega LED Grow Light Specifications

  • Flower Footprint: 5 ft x 5 ft
  • Veg Footprint: 7 ft x 7 ft
  • PPF: 1400
  • Wattage: 650W
  • PPF/Watt: 2.15
  • Unit Dimensions: 37 in x 37 in x 2.5 in
  • Weight: 23 lbs. (10.43 kg)
  • Daisy chain option: maximum number of units plugged in here is 1. This receptacle is for use with NextLight products only.
  • Life Rating: 100,000 hrs
  • Warranty: 5 Year Full Warranty
  • Operating Voltage: 120V - 277V
  • Operating Frequency: 60 Hz
  • Operating Temperature: -4ºF to 104ºF (-20ºC to 40ºC)
  • BTU Output: 2,200
  • Input Current: 5.4A @ 120V, 2.7A @ 240V
  • Made in the USA: Of the US and Imported Parts

Included in the box:

  • 1 x NextLight Commercial Series Mega Fixture
  • 2 x V-Hooks
  • 1 x 120V Power Cord
  • 1 x 240V Power Cord
  • 1 x Instruction Manual

The Next Light Mega Video

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