October 20, 2020 6 min read

By George Mouratidis

When you get indoor gardenersin a room discussing LED grow lights, one name always pops up—Kind. Most growers will agree that the company revolutionized LED grow light technology. But controversy soon erupts when someone starts talking about the price. Are Kind LED grow lights really worth the expense?

Let’s examine the details so that you can decide for yourself.

About Kind LED

The founders of Kind LED are veteran growers from Santa Rosa, California. Like most early indoor gardeners, the Kind team began with High-Intensity Discharge (HID) lighting. When Kind started in the industry, LED technology couldn’t match the yields growers could get from standard HIDs. 

The company spent decades producing high-quality harvests, but they were constantly reminded of the expensive energy costs and excessive heat produced by HID lighting. Eventually, they decided to take matters into their own hands and develop more effective LED grow lights.

Kind’s LED Technology

Kind’s LED innovations include 12-band diodes and targeted-spectrum technology. 12-band diodes ensure that plants receive light from every range of the Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR) spectrum between 400-700nm. Kind’s targeted-spectrum technology is one of the most exciting and potentially useful features of Kind LED grow lights.

Kind’s engineers found that “white-light” full-spectrum LEDs wasted a considerable amount of energy in the yellow and green range (500-600nm) of the PAR spectrum. In order to thrive, plants need some light in the 500-600nm range, but they don’t require nearly as much yellow/green light as typical full-spectrum LEDs provide. 

Typical white LEDs emit an equal amount of light throughout the entire PAR spectrum, which causes them to lose efficiency. All of the unabsorbed yellow/green light also produces more heat in the grow room. Kind’s X2 commercial grow light uses targeted-spectrum technology to focus more energy on the blue and red ends of the PAR spectrum while giving plants just the right amount of light from the yellow/green range.

Kind K5 Grow Light Series

Kind’s K5 series combines both three and five-watt diodes within an extra-large footprint, which matches the coverage of traditional grow lighting. 

The K5’s impressive wireless command center offers gardeners a host of advanced features. K5’s Secondary Optical Lenses allow gardeners to dim or intensify individual ranges of the PAR spectrum as the plants move through the growing stages. The command center includes an integrated timer to simulate sunrise and sunset and a remote controller.

K5 Series Specs

K5 XL750

K5 XL1000

Dimensions

23” x 17” x 3.5”

26” x 20” x 3.5”

Footprint (RMH)

4’ x 4’

5’ x 5’

Weight

28 pounds

36 pounds

Total Diodes

208

320

Maximum Wattage

430 watts

650 watts

HID Wattage Equivalent

750 watts

1000 watts

Diode Wattage

Mix of 3 watts and 5 watts

Mix of 3 watts and 3 watts

Input Voltage

100-240 volt AC power

100-240 volt AC power

Output Voltage

UL standard < 76 volts DC

UL standard < 76 volts DC

Amperage

3.58@120v / 1.8@240v

5.25

PPFD Peak (RMH)

458

720.25

Lifetime

>50,000 hours

>50,000 hours

Warranty

Three years

Three years

Price

$1,395

$1,695

Kind K3 Series 2 Grow Lights

Kind’s K3 line of grow lights is targeted more toward home gardeners rather than commercial growers. The K3 line offers the same 12-band LED technology without some of the extra features of the K5 series, such as the wireless command center and 5-watt diodes.

K3 Series Specs

Feature

K3XL300

K3XL450

K3XL600

Dimensions

15.75” x 13” x 3.25”

22” x 13” x 3.25”

28.4” x 13” x 3.25”

Footprint (RMH)

2’ x 2.5’

2’ x 3’

3’ x 4’

Weight

14.76 pounds

19.3 pounds

24 pounds

Total Diodes

90

120

150

Maximum Wattage

170 watts

227 watts

288 watts

HID Wattage Equivalent

300 watts

450 watts

600 watts

Diode Wattage

3 watts

3 watts

3 watts

Input Voltage

100-240 volts AC

100-240 volts AC

100-240 volts AC

Output Voltage

UL Standard 

UL Standard

UL Standard

Amperage

1.75@120v / .875@240v

2.25@120v / 1.125@240v

2.67@120v / 1.33@240v

PPFD Peak (RMH)

776

579

663

Lifetime

>50,000 hours

>50,000 hours

>50,000

Warranty

Three years

Three years

Three years

Price

$660

$825

$990

X2 Commercial LED Grow Light

The latest addition to Kind’s line, the X2 provides growers with an alternative to the typical white-light, full-spectrum LED fixtures that dominate commercial grow spaces.

The X2 uses targeted-spectrum lights that filter out some of the yellow and green range of traditional full-spectrum LEDs. 

Kind specifically wanted the X2 to solve some of the problems involved with vertical racking and overhead grow operations. The X2 uses a concentric square design to offer more Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density (PPFD) across the canopy than standard commercial lights provide. The 12-inch Recommended Height Above Canopy (RMH) allows growers to optimize growing space for tiered gardens. The unit features patented Osram Oslon diodes, which have an extended lifespan of more than 75,000 hours.

Purchase options include a digital controller manufactured by Grow Strong Industries. The optional controller allows over 500 functions to be controlled at the same time.

X2 Specs

Feature

Kind X2 

Dimensions

39.4” x 39.4” x 4.3”

Footprint (RMH)

4’ x 4’

Weight

40.2 pounds

Total Diodes

384

Maximum Wattage

750 watts

Spectrum

Fully adjustable three-channel

Power Factor

.963@240 volts

Input Voltage

120-277 volts

Efficacy

2.2 μmol/J

Amperage

5.25@120 v / 2.625@240v

RMH

12 inches

Lifetime

>75,000 hours

Warranty

5 years

Price

$1,695

Kind X Series Bar Lights

Bar lights come in handy for reaching within the canopy and at the edges of the main lighting fixtures. With proper placement, bar lights can substantially increase yields. Kind sells bar lights with diodes that concentrate either on the red spectrum or the blue spectrum to focus on either the vegetative or flowering phases.

Kind offers two types of bars lights: the standard X series with 40 and 80 watts and the XD series with 75 and 150 watts. The larger XD150 bar light is only available by special order.

X 40/80 Bar Light Specs

X 40 Bar Light

X 80 Bar Light

Dimensions

23.75” x 2.6” x 1.7”

47.6” x 2.6” x 1.7”

Spectrum

Vegetative or Flowering

Vegetative or Flowering

Weight

4.5 pounds

8.5 pounds

Total Diodes

108

216

Maximum Wattage

40 watts

80 watts

PPFD Peak- Vegetative

110

146

PPFD Peak- Flowering

128

160

Input Voltage

90-227 volts AC

100-227 volts AC

Amperage

.33@120v / .167@240v

.67@120v / .33@240v

RMH

12 inches

12 inches

Lifetime

>50,000 hours

>50,000 hours

Warranty

Three years

Three years

Price

$169.95

$299.95

XD 75/150 Bar Light Specs

XD75

XD150

Dimensions

47.4” x 3.1” x 2.3”

94.8” x 3.1” x 2.3”

Spectrum

Vegetative or Flower

Vegetative or Flower

Weight

7.5 pounds

14 pounds

Total Diodes

432

864

Maximum Wattage

75 watts

150 watts

PPFD Peak- Vegetative

110

128

PPFD Peak- Flowering

110

128

Input Voltage

100-277 volts AC

100-277 volts AC

Amperage

.625@120v /.313@240v

1.25@120v / .625@240v

RMH

9 inches

9 inches

Lifetime

>50,000 hours

>50,000 hours

Warranty

Three years

Three years

Price

$349.95

$349.95

Warranty, Refunds, and Customer Service

Kind has different warranty and return policies for U.S. and international customers.

The company will repair or replace any product that has defects in materials or workmanship. For the first 90 days, Kind will cover the cost of shipping for returned merchandise. After 90 days, the company will cover up to $50 per light for shipping.

Like most standard policies, the warranty doesn’t cover damage incurred by the consumer or acts of nature.

The company offers a 90-day money-back guarantee for the K3 and K5 series only. The bar lights and X2 commercial unit are not included in the 90-day guarantee. The company allows customers to return bar lights or X2 units within 30 days. However, the company subtracts a $15% restocking fee and shipping charges from the refunded amount.

For logistical reasons, Kind doesn’t cover the shipping costs for returned items from international customers. Instead, the company will assist international customers in finding a repair facility in their own country.

Kind LED has an excellent record for customer service. Kind maintains a rating of 4.3 stars from 168 reviews on Trustpilot

Conclusion

There can be no doubt that Kind offers some of the best options on the market with regards to efficiency.

If you’re a grower who is currently using HID lights, your new Kind LED lights could save you a bundle in energy costs and quickly pay for themselves, especially if you go with the K3 series. Buyers can also take advantage of Kind’s frequent sales that offer substantial discounts from their regular prices. Buying a Kind light during one of their sales could get you much closer to the cost of “white light” full-spectrum fixtures and may reward you with higher yields and lower electricity bills.

Consumers should keep in mind that Kind’s diodes with targeted-spectrum technology emit pink and blue colors, which some growers refer to as “burple.” The altered light in the grow room could take some getting used to, but the change could be well worth the effort if Kind’s LED lights produce the results they claim.

If you’re still not sure, we suggest that you purchase one of Kind’s smaller K3 lights or bar lights and gauge your results. Every grow room could use an energy efficient grow light.


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