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The HLG 650R – A Must-Read, Comprehensive, Honest Review

The HLG 650R – A Must-Read, Comprehensive, Honest Review

If you are thinking about purchasing the HLG 650R, do not overlook this vital and honest review that you should definitely read.

Read on to discover the good, the bad, and everything in between about the HLG 650R grow light.

Key Takeaways

The HLG 650R provides vivid full-spectrum light for almost half the power consumption of other grow lights.

It’s easy to install, simple to operate and works well as a replacement for older lights that use more power.

The light is a bit bulkier than some quantum boards of its class. It weighs 23 pounds, and frankly, it may actually be more light than you need if you’re a small grower.

This light is designed to replace powerful 1000-watt lights, making it a great selection for growers who are upgrading their equipment with more energy-efficient gear or beginners who’re advancing to intermediate-level growing operations.

Who Should Buy the HLG 650R?

The HLG 650R is ideal for beginners looking to upgrade their lighting systems as well as intermediate and advanced growers who want to reduce their power bills.

It’s great for large grow tents, grow rooms, and warehouses.

Horticultural Lighting Group 650R Pros & Cons

HLG 650R Key Features

  • Full spectrum white and red LED
  • 5×5 flowering footprint at 30 inches high 
  • 7×7 vegetative footprint at 48 inches high
  • 2.84 μmol/joule PPF efficacy
  • weight of approximately 23 pounds
  • 160 to 630 watts
  • Inline passive-cooling design
  • Includes everything need to install right out of the box
  • 3-year standard warranty included
  • 5-year extended warranty optional

HLG 650R Size & Weight

The HLG 650R measures 26 inches by 21.5 inches by 2.75 inches. It has a total weight of approximately 23 pounds.

In today’s market, it’s an average shape and weight for a quantum board type grow light.

HLG 650R Wattage

The HLG has a power rating of 160 to 630 watts because it is dimmable. The light’s voltage rating is 120 to 277 VAC/50 to 60Hz.

The auto-sensing power pack enables the unit to work on either 120VAC, 240VAC, or 277VAC power sources.

HLG 650R Lights & Light Output

The HLG 650R is a quantum board; it is full-spectrum, with warm-white Samsung LM301H light diodes as well as 660nm deep-red LEDs.

The lights are custom made to replace lights as bright as 1000W while only drawing 650W or less.

HLG 650R Lighting Spectrum

The lighting spectrum of the HLG 650R ranges from bright warm-white lamps to deep-red 660nm bulbs.

That means the light is full-spectrum and works for all manners of growing operations whether you’re sprouting, vegging, or flowering.

HLG 650R Energy Efficiency

One of the greatest aspects of the HLG650R is that it’s extremely energy efficient. With a 2.8 to 3.1 μmol/joule PPF Efficacy, it puts older HPS-type grow lights to shame in regards to power consumption.

It runs on almost half the power of many comparable grow lights.

HLG 650R Cooling

The HLG 650R has a “built-in” passive cooling design that keeps the light from ever getting as hot as other units do.

That means you don’t have to worry about burning yourself, equipment, tent, or plants.

That said, running a fan/exhaust nearby still makes a lot of sense (even though you don’t technically need it).

HLG 650R Flowering Footprint

The flowering footprint of the light is 5 feet by 5 feet at 2.5 feet high.

It’s more than enough light to flower half a dozen to a full dozen medium to large plants (or more) whether you’re growing with soil, hydroponics, or some other sort of system.

HLG 650R Vegetative Footprint

The vegetative footprint of the unit is 7 feet by 7 feet at 4 feet high.

Again, the light provides adequate light for up to a dozen or more medium to large plants (depending on what you’re growing) regardless of what type of growing system you happen to be using.

What’s Included in Package

The HLG 650R includes the light itself, the hardware to hang it, ratcheting ropes, and an owner’s manual/safety instructions.

Information about the unit’s warranty can be found in the manual. Make sure to follow the safety instructions while installing and operating the light or your warranty is at risk of being voided.

HLG 650R Compatibility With Growing Systems

The unit is perfect for indoor gardening, regardless of what methods or mediums you use.

The HLG 650R is compatible with nearly all growing systems, including soil, hydroponics, aquaponics, aeroponics, Kratkyponics, and more.

HLG 650R Main Drawbacks

The main drawbacks to this light are simply that it costs more than some simpler alternatives that (more or less) give off the same amount of light as well as the fact that it’s a quantum board (which is only a disadvantage because they’ve only been around for a few years and not so much is known about them as older types of lights).

HLG 650R Installation

Installing the HLG650R is the same as any other quantum board or modern LED grow light with a slim profile, but first make sure the surface you are mounting it to is noncombustible and can support up to 23 pounds.

Once you’re ready to install the light, simply attach the harness to the ceiling in your grow tent, hook the ends of the ratcheting ropes to the corners of the light, and position it how you like. 

Make sure that you leave at least 15-inches from the top of the light to the ceiling/top of your grow tent. Next, plug it in, power it up, and adjust the lights to the settings you prefer.

HLG 650R Operating Instructions

Operating the HLG 650R is straightforward: the power switch turns it on, and the dimmer knob raises or lowers the level of light output.

Maintaining a temperature of 78 to 85°F degrees in your grow room/tent is also recommended.

One other noteworthy mention about operating this unit is that it requires a 220V dual-pole timer (or higher) to function properly (and not void the warranty) if you want to automate your lights.

Warranty Information

The unit’s three-year warranty covers manufacturer defects but does not include damage caused by yourself, other equipment, or failing to adhere to the product’s safety manual.

More or less, you need to follow the instructions to the letter, or there’s a very high chance that your warranty will be voided.

Horticultural Lighting Group Customer Service

The HLG customer service is located in Westerville, OH, USA. They are available to take your calls Monday through Friday each week between the hours of 9 am and 4 pm.

The company also has a FAQ and blog that may have the answers to your common questions about their products or services (including warranty coverage)!


The HLG 650R is an all-around great light in regards to footprint size for medium to large grows, power consumption, and ease of use.

Whether you’re a beginner or a growing vet who’s used dozens of lights, it’s quick and easy to set up and operate.

Furthermore, it fits well to any sort of growing system, including tents, hydroponics, aeroponics, aquaponics, and more.