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HLG Scorpion Rspec FR Review

HLG Scorpion Rspec FR Review

Today we're looking at the updated HLG Scorpion Rspec LED grow light, now the Scorpion Rspec FR

HLG has three lights in the Scorpion Series, the Diablo, Rspec FR, and Blackbird. How does the updated Scorpion Rspec FR fixture compare to the updated Scorpion Diablo? First, the Scorpion Rspec has always had the same build as the Diablo. It is now 8% less powerful, 13% less efficient, but 26% less expensive than the Diablo. Compared to the previous Scorpion Rspec, the new version is 25% more powerful and over 7% more efficient. 


The fixture is 39.5" x 36" x 2.5" inches and weighs 42 lbs. It can be used for vertical racking, open rooms, or grow tents. The Scorpion Rspec FR uses 6 evenly-spaced, high-powered Quantum Boards, which emit a light distribution similar to bar lights. An Inventronics driver and an external dimmer, dimmable to 20% intensity, sits on the back of the anodized red aluminum heatsink.



The Scorpion Rspec FR draws 700W at the wall, 16% more than the previous version. When I measured this grow light’s wattage draw at the wall at 113.8V, I received a reading of 718 watts with an amperage of 6.3 amps. The Scorpion Rspec FR is rated for 120V, 240V and 277V applications. The plug is available as a Nema 5-15 120V, Nema 6-15 240V, EU, UK, or AU. 

The total light output of the fixture was independently measured at 1964 umol/s with a high efficacy of 2.81 umol/J. This is similar to the first version of the Scorpion Diablo. Expect up to a 5’ x 5’ flowering footprint at about 24”, or a 7’ x 7’ veg footprint at 36” at full intensity. You can also veg at 24” if you dim the fixture down to about 50%. 

Expect a heat output of 2,387 BTU/Hour from this fixture. This is 30% less heat than a 1000W HPS. 

This fixture is designed and assembled by HLG in the USA, comes with a 5-year manufacturer’s warranty, is ETL-certified, and can be used for both home and commercial grows.


Diodes and Spectrum

The Scorpion Rspec FR spectrum is made up of the new QB272 Rspec+IR quantum boards. The boards contain Seoul Semiconductor 3030 White diodes, Seoul 660nm deep red, and Seoul Far Red diodes. 

There are not any UV diodes incorporated into the boards, but you can add UVA with the HLG 30 UVA bar (or this longer one) which attaches directly to the Scorpion Rspec FR. This spectrum can be used for seedling to harvest growth. We recommend using the dimmer to dim the light down for seedlings, clones, and veg, and then turning up the intensity for flowering. 


Here are my thoughts on the Scorpion Rspec FR. 

Starting with the negatives:

  1. The Scorpion Rspec FR is not HLG's most powerful or efficient fixture. But that’s OK. It is second in intensity and efficacy after the Scorpion Diablo. Furthermore, it is a whopping 26% less expensive than the Diablo. So it still ranks high on the charts, even though it is not breaking any HLG records.
  2. You have the option of ordering the light with a manual dimmer or an RJ cable box, but not both. Some fixtures on the market have a manual dimmer and a receptacle for 0-10v dimming via an RJ cable. You have to choose one option with this light. If you decide you want to use the other one later, you can contact HLG and for a small fee, they will send you the dimmer or RJ box that you can retrofit in a few minutes. (As of Early-June 2022, GrowFlux controllers are now available on this light).
  3. This is not a bar light. If you are married to the idea of a bar light, this is not your fixture. HLG's 6-board Scorpion design is better than a bar light, in my opinion, which I will describe shortly.

Now the positives:

  1. Good news! HLG has a new line of boards - the QB272 Rspec+IR, which as they state, contain Far Red diodes, something we haven’t seen in HLG lights before. The new boards use diodes by Seoul Semiconductor, not Samsung or Osram. These are diodes that have not been used in other HLG lights, to my knowledge. HLG told me that by adding Far Red diodes they did not see a change in yield and actually saw larger leaves in veg and early flower. One benefit that a plant with larger leaves has is that it is more forgiving to mistakes since the plant has extra resources to expend if needed. The effects of supplemental Far Red diodes may differ slightly between strains.
  2. These new boards have increased the light output and efficacy of the entire fixture, so as I mentioned earlier, it performs how the old Scorpion Diablo performed. The only difference is the Rspec+IR boards have a slightly warmer spectrum than the Diablo boards. To get this light higher output, the fixture draws 700W, which is more watts than the typical high-powered HLG fixture that draws 600 to 650W. So a little more energy draw, but almost 25% more light output than the old Scorpion Rspec.
  3. While you have to choose between the manual dimmer, RJ cable box, or GrowFlux controller, at least now you have several options. Older versions of HLG lights only had the manual dimmer.
  4.  The uniformity is surprisingly good, compared to a bar-style fixture. The pattern of the boards removes the hotspot out of the middle and spreads the light more evenly throughout the footprint. The downside to this is that you can’t get very close to the plants, say closer than 16-18 inches, otherwise you start to lose uniformity and will get six hot spots on your plants. 
  5. Lastly, as of March 2022, the price of most HLG lights was reduced. This is good news for anyone looking to purchase HLG lighting now or in the future. The price of the Scorpion Rspec FR is $899, so no price change, even with the higher light output, from the Scorpion Rspec to the Scorpion Rspec FR.

So, if you are looking for a good quality, efficient fixture made in the USA, need to cover up to a 5'x5' area with high light intensity, and want to spend under $1000, then this light is for you. I really like this light and you will too!



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