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AC Infinity IONFRAME EVO8 LED Grow Light Review

AC Infinity IONFRAME EVO8 LED Grow Light Review

In this review, we will be looking at the new AC Infinity IONFRAME EVO8, released May 2023. 

The IONFRAME Commercial series is the third LED grow light series by AC Infinity. The first two series include the IONGRID and IONBOARD. This newest series is definitely their best yet and includes the EVO3, EVO4, EVO6, EVO8, and EVO10.

I love unboxing an AC infinity product. It’s like opening a new Apple product. Everything is beautifully packaged and of great quality. Like most AC infinity products, their is an array of helpful accessories that are included with each IONFRAME light. 

 

Build

This low-profile folding fixture features an anodized matte black finish frame and dark grey heatsinks. Also included is the driver and a controller. The elongated black Sosen-brand driver includes a UIS controller port which can be wall-mounted or fixture-mounted using the reversible driver attachment plates.

A 10’ driver extension cable is also included and allows you mount the driver outside of the grow space. 

This fixutre also comes with a Controller 77. Controller 77 is a small, magnetic lighting controller that can be stuck on to the fixture or outside the grow space, like on the controller plate on an AC Infinity tent. Controller 77 allows scheduling, dimming to 10 different brightness levels, and sunrise and sunset functionality. 

Instead of using Controller 77, you can hook up the IONFRAME series to the more powerful Contorller 69 Pro which provides control of your lighting, circulation, ventilation, humidity, and/or temperature in your grow space. Controller 69 Pro is controllable via WiFi or Bluetooth and is sold separately for $99.

The IONFRAME series is daisy chainable up to 16 lights per controller port when using the daisy chain adapter (sold separately).

 

Diodes

The diodes are algorithmically-spaced which means that there is a higher concentration of didoes near the ends of the bars to help distribute the light more evenly across the intended footprint. I’ve also seen a few other brands use a similar diode layout, and I think it is quite smart.

 This fixture contains 2688 diodes which includes:

  • 1720 Samsung LM301H EVO (3000K) diodes
  • 864 Samsung LM301H EVO (5000K) diodes
  • 96 Osram 660nm Red diodes
  • 8 x Seoul 395nm UV diodes 

There are not any far red diodes in the IONFRAME 8 or 10. I am not sure why AC Infinity chose not to include these diodes on the larger, more powerful models.

The LM301H EVO diodes are the newest, most efficient offering from Samsung. More companies are starting to incorporate these into their grow lights because they are extremely efficient. 

They contain a “plant-centric” spectrum meaning a shorter wavelength compared to standard horticultural white LEDs. And promote better growth which includes larger leaves and higher nutrient content. 

The eight UV diodes contribute little UV to the spectrum and makes less than a tiny dent for any increases in trichome concentration. 

Therefore, I recommend to those grower’s who want a healthy amount of UV for increasing secondary metabolites to use the AC Infinity IONBEAM U2 or U4 UV bars. These are magnetic and will attach directly to the fixture frame. 

The full spectrum will bring your plants from seed to harvest. All you need to do it adjust the intensity level of the fixture and timing between veg and flower. 

Also, note that AC Infinity’s published spectrum on the EVO8 is really the EVO4 spectrum with the added far red, so this little bump you see in the far red part of the spectrum should be flattened out since the extra far red is not really there. However, the full spectrum whites diodes provide a bit of far red. 

 

Specs

Power

The EVO8 specs state that it draws 730W at the wall. When I measured the wattage draw at 114V, I received a reading of 748W and 6.51A.

The light can be used in up to 277V applications and comes with a NEMA 5-15P plug, which is your standard 120V style plug. For 240V applications you will need to buy a plug adapter.

The heat output of the fixture is 2490 BTU/Hour and is IP65 wet rated. All AC Infinity products have a 2 year warranty.

Light Output and PAR Efficacy

Unfortunately, at this time, AC Infinity does not list the PAR efficacy or light output of this fixture or any light in the EVO series. 

They only light output related number that they state is the PPFD as 1480 umol/m2/S, but all this is the highest PAR value in the center of the PAR map at 12” which is useless information in many cases.

Similarly, they only publish the efficiency of the most efficient diode, the LM301H EVO at 3.14 umol/J. This is not the PAR efficacy of the entire fixture, but of only a single LM301H diode. Again, pretty useless information.

Instead, I would like to know the total light output. If we had the total light output or PAR efficacy we could calculate the missing value by using the wattage as one of the input values. Given the high efficacy of the Samsung LM301H EVO diodes and Osram 660nm deep reds, I would put the total efficacy of this fixture somewhere between 2.8 and 3.1 umol/S. Assuming this, I can use the wattage draw to figure out the total light output which would be somewhere 2044 umol/S and 2263 umol/S. I realize that this a range of 200 PPF, but shows that this fixture is powerful enough to flower a strong 4x4 or up to a 5x5.

So, AC Infinity, please publish the PPF (total light output in umol/S and PPE (PAR efficacy in umol/J). I don’t believe AC Infinity has anything to hide, they just didn’t measure or publish these specifications. 

Coverage Area

AC Infinity recommends using this light in a 5' x 5' space, and I agree, but you can really fill out a 4' x 4' quite well with this light. The fixture’s dimensions are about 44” x 44.5” so a 4' x 4' would be the smallest space I would use this light in, and a 5' x 5' area is the maximum intended footprint. In general, I think AC Infinity slightly overstates their coverage areas. Their coverage area suggestions are ideal for the average home grower or beginner, but for the more experienced growers, I recommend moving most of their coverage area suggestions down by 6" to 12”, so in this case, the 5' x 5' recommended flower coverage should be a 4' x 4' to 4.5' x 4.5'.

 

PAR

AC Infinity published PAR maps for the EVO series. Again, the recommended coverage is 5' x 5', but notice they tested the light in 4' x 5' area. It is not clear whether they tested the light in a reflective area or open space. My best guess is that they were tested in an AC Infinity Grow Tent, which, of course, are reflective. 

I calculated the average PAR of each of the listed heights. In a 4' x 5' area, expect an average PPFD of:

  •  912 at 12” 
  •  871 PPDF at 14”
  •  830 PPDF at 18”

 

Summary 

I really enjoyed this light, as I do with pretty much all AC infinity products. Besides just being pleasing to the eye, the IONFRAME EVO series is the next step in the evolution of the AC Infinity brand and UIS ecosystem. 

This series is AC Infinity's response to a bar light and I believe that they strongly delivered. At only $799, this light is fairly priced, as are all of their lights in the IONFRAME series, compared to similar lights from other brands. 

I hope that in the near future, AC Infinity publishes the exact light output and PAR efficacy, and increase the warranty to 3 or 5 years on these lights like most other commercial grow lights. But at least we have some average PAR values that we can work with and I know that AC Infinity back their products quite well. 

AC Infinity should also clean up some of their marketing, like publishing the correct spectrum on the lights without far red diodes, and testing the light in a 5' x 5' space if they say it is 5' x 5' coverage.  

But I can look past these issues, because I know AC Infinity is delivering a new high-quality product and I trust them, like tens of thousands of other growers. Overall, I highly recommend the EVO8 and other lights in the IONFRAME series.

This light is available in an AC Infinity Grow Kit for $1499.

Use code 5shine for 5% off your next purchase at LED Grow Lights Depot. Shop the IONFRAME EVO8 now!

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