What are the conditions for a good grow light?
Whether you’re a novice cannabis grower who wants to take your closet growth to the next level, or a seasoned grower looking to replace an old lighting setup, the science behind grow lighting has evolved over the last few years. We’ve come a long way and understand what it all means Choice is essential to growing happy, healthy plants. The biggest leap in lighting technology comes with the development and advancement of light emitting diodes (LEDs). Producers who tried early generation LEDs may have been less experienced, lead The technology is light-years more advanced than it was just a few years ago, and many of the challenges producers had with early LEDs have been overcome. Here are some key factors to consider when comparing different lighting options when considering your next grow light purchase.
1. Spectral distribution
Spectral distribution is used to describe the wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum emitted by a light source. As cannabis plants undergo photosynthesis (plants use light to create the food they need to grow), different lights emit different wavelengths of light or spectral distributions.
Cannabis plants are particularly receptive to the ends of the visible light spectrum, depending on where they are in their growth cycle. During the early stages of growth, cannabis plants crave blue light (wavelengths between 400 and 500 nanometers). When cannabis plants start flowering, they need red light (600-750 nanometer wavelengths).
Conventional high intensity discharge (HID) lights tend to emit a broad spectral distribution that provides more green, yellow, and orange light than blue and red light. This means a lot of energy is wasted because the cannabis plant is being used to generate light that only a fraction of it can use. That means more energy (and money) has to be used to keep the growing environment at the optimum temperature.
LEDs, on the other hand, are advantageous because they can be tuned to provide the exact spectral distribution your cannabis plants need at any point in their growth cycle. The result is less energy (and money) wasted and your plants healthier and happier.
2. Photosynthetic Photon Efficiency (PPE)
PPE is a measurement used to compare the efficiency of one light source to another. All you need to know about PPE is that grow lights with higher PPE are more efficient than grow lights with lower PPE. HID lights have PPEs of 1.7-2.0 at best, while best-in-class LEDs like the F1V have Fosse I have PPE from 2.4 to 2.7. Growers can expect to save 35-50% in energy costs by using 2.7 PPE lights compared to 1.7 PPE lights. In the near future, Fohse plans to grow the first cannabis with his PPE above 3.0.
3. Maintenance cost
Electricity bills are just one of the costs that must be considered when deciding on the best lighting solution. Maintenance costs are often overlooked, but can easily be added. Between replacing bulbs and ballasts, traditional HID lights are very expensive to maintain. Generally speaking, HID bulbs cost between $100 and $150 per unit and must be replaced with each harvest. In addition to the bulbs, ballasts must be replaced approximately every three years at a cost of up to $600 each.
LEDs, on the other hand, do not burn out and do not require a separate ballast. LEDs fade over time instead of burning out. LEDs often cost more upfront than his HID lights, but they offer a greater return on investment in the long run. For example, Fohse’s best-in-class LEDs use 50,000 hours (equivalent to 8 or 9 years) to produce 90% of their original output (a measure also called L90), and about 110,000 hours (nearly 20 hours). use. before fading to 70% of the original light output (or L70).
4. Ingress protection
Intrusion protection (IP) refers to a grow light’s resistance to several key environmental factors commonly found in cultivation operations. Dust, mold spores, spider mites, and water. All of these environmental factors can wreak havoc on your growing operation if proper precautions are not taken, so it’s important to have well-protected lights.
Growers using older HID setups with lower IP ratings should exercise extreme caution when watering their plants, and should remove light fixtures and exercise extreme caution when suspicion that contamination has been introduced to their crops. They may even need to be cleaned with care. Lighting will then need to be reinstalled over time, but it is still possible to reintroduce the original containment into the growing environment.
Full IP rating is IP68. This means the appliance is 100% dust and water proof. Today it is not uncommon to find LEDs rated IP44 to IP57, and best-in-class LEDs can claim ratings up to IP67. With this level of his IP rating, growers can water their plants without worry and have peace of mind knowing their crops will not be at risk of being contaminated by light-entrained dust.
5. Color Rendering Index (CRI)
A light’s CRI is a measure of how faithful a particular light source is to a reference light source. For example, if you are looking at a plant in the sun, the color of the plant will appear very specific. The same plant under artificial lighting may not look the same. This means that his CRI for artificial lighting is low. This is because the light emitted by artificial lighting is very different from the light emitted by the sun. However, if the same plant is placed under artificial lighting and looks nearly identical to what it would look like in the sun, the CRI for that light would be very high. Using a high CRI light is important because a low CRI light may not easily detect contaminated, diseased, or malnourished plants.
Author bio:James BradleyFosse, Inc. is a company dedicated to engineering efficient solutions for the cannabis industry. The company has developed the first LED cannabis grow lights that can outperform his traditional HID systems at a significant cost savings.