This is really my focus with the SolStrips. Efficient, high quality LED lights for the non-institutional grower, especially personal and small scale growers, for about $1/watt. They aren't buying Fluence or Hortiled because they don't have $2,500 for a lamp, and it's hard to squeeze a Spydr into a 3x3 Gorilla tent.
I use "blurple" derisively to refer to cheap red/blue lights mass produced with generic, unnamed or tested diodes to supposedly mimic the "improved McCree curve" Muleskinner refers to. I don't consider the two companies named as blurple sellers. More like "tuned lighting" producers, using real research and real electronics to produce highly specified spectral ratios.
It's not that the research is wrong, its that 95% of non-white LED grow lights fail miserably at delivering on the promise of more good wavelengths and less wasted wavelengths at much greater efficiencies than HID - and now by extension, white LED. Their diodes, when they are actually disclosed by their manufacturers, are often less efficient than CFLs. Their drivers run at 50% or less of their advertised power. Their circuits are poorly engineered, the PCBs are cheaply designed and fabricated.
Mono color LEDs are inherently less efficient that white diodes due to the nature of the technology. And red spectrum diodes are some of the least efficient of all mono LEDs. One way to look at the red/blue vs white LED efficiency debate is to look at the "wasted" green-yellow spectrum produced by white LEDs as "free photons" because they are so much more efficient compared to mono LEDs.
Except they aren't "wasted" photons. Put aside the recent studies that highlight green-yellow wavelength's contribution to plant growth deep in the canopy, which has all the top mono makers scrambling to introduce "lime" colored diodes. Humans use green-yellow light to see cannabis, and the various bugs, molds and plant health cues growers need to observe to successfully grow their crops. Anyone who has used blurple lights knows this is not a small issue.
I'm not against using colored mono LEDs. I'm testing a red/blue SolStrip right now:
I want folks to be able to supplement their white SolStrips with additional red/blue spectrum with a mono diode strip that can be easily mixed into SolStrip arrays.
It's a great strip. Forty 2w 665nm red and four 3w 450nm blue Cree XPE chips, giving a 7:1 ratio on a 36 watt strip. Only one problem: it costs 400% more to produce than a white Samsung LED strip. And it's far less efficient than the Samsung strips. If anybody wants a $60 red/blue SolStrip, PM me.
LED lighting discussions have a tendency to run deep on the theoretical and the technical, and give short shrift to the practical and the economical. I'm trying to balance the quest for the best with the desire to deliver a quality light at an economical price. I don't expect to steal any of Fluence's business. I do expect to steal a lot of Chinese blurple box makers' business.