If you have a 3’ by 3’ space for growing cannabis, and you’re tired of paying high electric bills, plus managing all the heat that HID lamps produce, you’ll love the new VIPARSPECTRA PAR600. Although it’s rated at 600W output (traditional HID light equivalent), it uses less than half of that amount of electricity—only 285W. And that amount is consumed only if it’s working at full power. Read on to find out what else this light has to offer…

VIPARSPECTRA PAR600 600W 12-band LED Grow Light - 3-Switches Full Spectrum for Indoor Plants Veg and Flower

VIPARSPECTRA PAR600 12-Band LED Grow Light

Can you tailor the spectrum to different grow stages?

You certainly can—which means you’ll save even more because you don’t need to run this light at full power right from the start.

When you’re sprouting seeds or working with new clones, you don’t want to burn them with too much light at once. The VIPARSPECTRA PAR600 has three switches for 3 levels of light: White, Blue, and Red. Select just white, or white and blue, as your weed begins to sprout or adjust to their new environment. Flip on the Red switch during the vegetation cycle, or wait until it’s time for flowering.

How is the PAR600 different from the VIPARSPECTRA Reflector series?

If you own, or are familiar with the VIPARSPECTRA Reflector lights, you’ll notice some differences between them and the PAR600.

The PAR600 has some upgrades like three switches for better control of the light spectrum you use, as well as a new secondary optical lens design that makes the light penetrate twice as well into the canopy.

It also has upgraded aluminum heat sinks and cooling fans on the bottom between the LED panels instead of on the top. The fans circulate the air by pulling it up from the plants’ area, through the light to cool it, then out through exhaust vents on the top edges. Meaning what heat the light does produce is channelled up and away from your plants.

What can the VIPARSPECTRA PAR600 do?

When the PAR600 is suspended at a height of two feet, the PAR rating in the center under the light hits 680, with a 1’ by 1’ area rated at 423umol or better. Generally, a light that can achieve at least 600umol is considered very good for growing cannabis. So the specs of the PAR600 shows it could do a great job at encouraging healthy growth in a small grow tent. Hung at 24″ the light will cover 3′ x 3′, or 4′ x 4′ maximum.

PAR footprint of the VIPARSPECTRA PAR600 at 24 inches

PAR footprint of the VIPARSPECTRA PAR600 hung at 24″

Most users who have reviewed the PAR600 seem to agree that it’s plenty bright enough. They report success using this light and recommend it to other growers. If you try the light yourself and aren’t satisfied, VIPARSPECTRA offers a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, plus a 3-year warranty.

Advantages of the VIPARSPECTRA PAR600 versus HID lights

Growers who have used fluorescent lights can tell you they run cool, but they need ballast to stay flicker-free. Then they need a red lamp to supplement for blooming. Owners of HID lamps like metal halide and high pressure sodium have to deal with using ballast too—but also need to increase their ventilation to deal with the extra heat from the lights. All these lamps need bulb changes, too.

In other words, running costs are not cheap for fluorescent or HID setups.

The advantages of running the PAR600 LED grow light are that there is never a need for ballast, the light runs cooler than an equivalent HID lamp, and since the LEDs last up to 100,000 hours, the owner of the light will probably never ever have to change a bulb (not that it would be easy, anyway). Long-term, your investment should more than pay for itself.

Other important details about the PAR600 12-Band grow light

The side of the PAR600 that faces the plants has three cooling fans (like PC cooling fans) that take in air which escapes through vents on the sides. The fans run quietly, but keep the light cool. The LEDs are powerful enough that looking directly at them isn’t a good idea, but they are cool to the touch.

The bright 5W LEDs used in its construction are from reliable and well-known manufacturers Bridgelux and Epiled. All the LEDs are mounted so they provide light at a 90-degree angle straight down at the plants. LEDs don’t typically burn leaves like HID lamps can, but be careful not to hang the light too close. The manual included with the light gives some guidelines.

The PAR600's different spectrum settings (note cooling fans positioned down middle of light)

The PAR600’s different spectrum settings (you can also see the cooling fans)

No matter where you live in the world, the PAR600 can run on your local voltage, from 100 to 240V. It comes with a hanging kit that’s easy to assemble and use, as well as a 6-foot long power cord. It’s compatible with timers, but shouldn’t be daisy-chained for safety reasons.

The PAR600 weighs 13.7 pounds and measures 14.1” long by 11.8” wide by 3.5” tall. There are 120 5-watt LEDs total. Although the specs given by VIPARSPECTRA don’t include data on how many of the LEDs are ultraviolet or infrared, based on their spectral analysis and the photos provided of the light, it appears that the PAR600 must include at least a small number of UV and IR LEDs. These are widely considered important for maximizing trichome production and yield (though you’ll find some dispute over the value of IR).

Our verdict

Buy the VIPARSPECTRA PAR600 if you want to grow up to 9 plants and need control over the light spectrum at different grow stages.

We think this full spectrum light strikes a great balance between features, price and build and component quality. And given its popularity in the cannabis growing community, it seems we’re far from the only ones. If you’ve got a smallish home setup, it’s a great option.

If this isn’t the light for you, check out our other grow light reviews.

Who makes VIPARSPECTRA?

VIPARSPECTRA’s products are manufactured by the Shenzhen Bailuo Technology Co., Ltd, which is based in Guangdong, China. They say that they are not scientists but indoor growers who want to develop better products and help other growers. Whatever the case, we feel it’s worth pointing out that these are no copycat lights. You’re buying from an actual grow light company, rather than someone just white-labelling products from Alibaba.

VIPARSPECTRA PAR600 unboxing video

Check out exactly what you’ll find in the box.

Results of a real life grow with a VIPARSPECTRA PAR600

Northern Lights grown hydroponically with a PAR600, just before harvest (video should start at 9:49).