LED DISTRIBUTION VS
LED lamps are highly directional with
vertical beam spreads between15 – 50°. To illustrate the intensity of the
LED one need only look directly into an LED or as you see LED sign on the
side of a freeway at night, how long did it take you to recover your full
vision once you looked away from the LED source?
LED grow lamp plants also suffer from their
narrow vertical beam spreads with lack of CANOPY PENETRATION. The angle of
light at the plants is an important consideration since the rays of
sunlight nearly parallel by the time they reach an outdoor plant due to
the distance between earth and sun. This means that a 6 ft plant will be
illuminated equally from top to bottom outdoors insuring dense growth and
high yields. While not accomplished by nature of the LED design it is
normal for an INDA-GRO Induction Grow Lamp to achieve canopy penetration
of 30” and more.
PHOTOMETRICS is then how we refer the light
distribution levels of any fixture/lamp combination. This is an important
relationship because it will determine how much of an area a given fixture
will light as it correlates to either visible distribution levels or plant
(PPF, YPF, PAR lp/w) values and the efficiency of the light source.
Proper lamp selection itself would be the
first thing that determines the quantity of light energy reaching the
plant but it's important that the levels being considered have been taken
with the selected lamp and the fixture combined for what's referred to the
IN SITU levels. In situ is a Latin phrase used in the lighting industry
that stands for ‘in place'. In situ measurements are the only way to
accurately measure in a surface point by point value how efficient the
total lamp/fixture package will be to the customer.
In situ measurements will also depend on
such factors as the housing materials and design, color, reflective
materials and shape within the fixture, and lens design will all come
together to perform in meeting your plants large area coverage needs. It's
not unusual for identical lamp/ballast combinations to measure widely
different In situ photometric values dependent upon how the manufacturer
dealt with the design and materials quality of the fixture they developed.
Now let's look at how much PLANT LIGHTING
will be needed and how that measurement is different than how we measure
light for human vision.
One of the ways we measure the quantity of
light reaching the plant is in the PHOTOSYNTHETIC PHOTON FLUX values.
Let's take a look at a 100 watt LED lamp putting out lighting levels of
roughly 100 umol/sec (mol is pronounced micro mole and describes the
amount of photon packs striking a square meter every second). So just how
far will that 100 umol/sec of light get you? Well, to put it into
perspective, full sunlight is 2000 umol/meter^2/sec (2000 umol per square
meter per second), the photo saturation point for many food crops is
around 1000 umol/meter^2/sec and most food crops thrive at 500
umol/meter^2/sec especially in flowering. The answer for the 100 watt LED
light at an intensity of 500 umol/meter^2/sec is roughly two square feet.
So while the 100 watt LED lamp can definitely grow in a larger area the
rate of photosynthesis will proportionally go down.
As the cost of electrical energy costs
continue to rise, the commercial grower needs to have considered how the
efficiencies of his grow lights when considering photometric In situ
values, high power factor, low total harmonic distortion, and daylight
harvesting control features can significantly reduce those monthly
operational costs. Induction grow lights score well in all of these areas.
And while you might take from all this that
we're entirely down on using LED lighting that is not entirely the case.
We've found it worked well for clone and vegetive stages but for the
customer to make a fully informed decision to use LED you need to know the
lifetime operational and economic benefits of selecting LED for these
processes. However we believe that once you remove the hype surrounding
LED grow lights you'll choose our Inda-Gro Induction Grow Lights.
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