Apr 19 2019
Engineering the Best LED Grow Lights for the Horticulture Industry
The best LED grow lights for the horticulture industry account for all factors of a growing environment, including heat, humidity levels, energy consumption, and lighting wavelengths that best feed chlorophyll activity in the crops that are under cultivation. Given our 15+ years of LED engineering and design experience, we were eager to engineer LED grow light systems that produce optimum results within these factors. Hence, the OpticPARTM line of premium LED grow lights for the professional cultivator.
According to our lead engineers, at least seven aspects of horticultural lighting are critical to engineer the best LED grow lights:
- Wavelength. The photosynthetically active radiation or “PAR” rating of an LED grow light is a measure of the range of light wavelengths that are most useful for plant growth. Certain wavelengths, for example, promote vegetation and flower production, while other wavelengths can impair a plant’s growth and development. The best LED grow lights for any specific horticultural application will be engineered with PAR ratings that best serve that application.
- Wattage. The wattage rating of an artificial light source is a reference to the amount of electricity that is consumed by that source. LED grow lights will generally have significantly lower wattage ratings than more traditional light sources because LEDs are more efficient and are better able to convert input electricity into effective light output. The best LED grow lights will be engineered with superior energy efficiency that lowers a horticultural facility’s electrical utility bills while generating the ideal amount of useful light.
- Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density (PPFD). Quantifiable micromoles of light and PAR are related to photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD), which is a measure of the amount of light that reaches a target in one second. SpecGrade LED engineers and horticulturalists have fine-tuned the optics on our superior LED grow lights to create ideal PPFD levels by focusing the beam spread of the light directly onto the plant, eliminating light loss and waste.
- Structural Integrity. Horticultural facilities are wet and humid, and that humidity places a high degree of stress on an LED lighting fixture. The best LED grow lights are engineered with fixtures that are rated to endure humid environments with no corrosion in lighting casings and no degradation of light quality due to ambient moisture. SpecGrade LED’s OpticPARTM grow lights have received IP ratings of either IP42 or IP65, indicating that the fixtures will not be damaged or become unsafe in either damp (IP42) or wet (IP65) locations.
- LED Components. The semiconductor drivers that generate LED lighting will generate heat over time and, as with any electronic system, that heat can degrade LED performance. The best LED grow lights are engineered with thermal management components that draw heat away from LED circuitry. Our industry-leading passive thermal management system, with over 70 square feet of double folded aluminum cooling fins, is markedly superior to built-in electrical fans and other active cooling systems that can fail or that otherwise utilize extra electricity input.
- Lenses and Diffusers. The light from individual LED fixtures might be too directional for growing facilities, leaving areas that are alternately overlit and underlit. Properly-engineered lenses and diffusers that are built into the LED grow light fixtures can help a facility to achieve uniform lighting across the canopies of plants as well as into the plants’ undergrowth. SpecGrade engineers can help you customize the structrure of your light’s optics and directional focus for the ideal light intensity for your crop.
- Modular Design. One particularly convenient feature of any high grade fixture is a modular housing that allows easymaintenance and repair. To date, SpecGrade LED is alone in the market in providing a completely modular design that allows the various components, particularly the diodes panel, to be removed and replaced–even while the fixture is still hanging in the greenhouse. We made sure that swapping your LED spectrum or replacing your optics are quick and efficient, saving you time and energy on your harvest and preserving the fixture housing itself for years of use.