What is grow light?
Generally speaking, grow lights are lamps that meet the lighting requirements of plants. Different plants, or different growth stages of the same plant, require different light. Moreover, when cultivating plants, the required targets are different, and the lighting used is also different. Spectral and illuminance PPFD, in particular, vary widely from plant to plant.
It is important to know which spectrum, and what light intensity (photosynthetic photon flux density, PPFD), is suitable for a specific application (i.e., the purpose of cultivation).
What is the difference between grow lights and regular lights?
Lighting lamps are used to illuminate people and are generally white light, warm-toned yellowish light, and cool-toned blueish light, which are used to provide lighting for people and the environment. Some lamps are colored and are used in scenes such as advertising decoration.
Luminous flux, the total amount of light emitted by a light source or received by a surface, is a measure of the energy released in the form of visible light from a luminous source: unit lumen.
Illuminance, the luminous flux per unit area, is used to determine the brightness of a given area.
Color temperature is the absolute black body with different temperatures to produce different colors.
Color Rendering Index (CRI) measures the ability of a light source to accurately reproduce the color of the objects it illuminates, measured on a scale of 0-100.
Grow lights are used for plant lighting. The complexity of the spectrum is much more than that of ordinary lamps. Grow lights usually use red light and blue light to promote plant growth and flowering.
The biggest difference between plant lamps and ordinary lamps is the spectrum and illuminance. The spectrum is specially optimized for the variety of crops to be planted, and the power of the plant lamps will also be higher than the ordinary lamps.
The main parameters of the plant light:
PPF (luminous flux similar to general lighting)
Photosynthetic Photon Flux (PPF). The total light (photons in the PAR spectral range) is emitted by the light source per second. PPF tells us how much PAR a light source emits. It is measured in “micromoles per second”.
PPFD (illuminance similar to general lighting)
Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density (PPFD), is defined as light (photons in the PAR wavelength range) reaching the target per second. The unit is “micromoles per square meter per second”.
There is no such thing as color temperature for plant lights, but some people usually use LED plant lights of about 3000K for the flowering of medicinal plants and LED plant lights above 6000K for seedlings and vegetative growth.
Color rendering index, the original plant lamp does not have this requirement, the latest research shows that green is also beneficial to plant photosynthesis, and the environment in which plants are cultivated may also be the environment where people work, which requires identifiability and high color rendering index, which meets one of the six elements of plant lights is “people-friendly”.
A grow light need to meet six elements. These elements include effective, high efficiency, energy-saving, safety and reliability, long life, human-friendly, and intelligent control.
The first element “effective” includes effective spectrum, sufficient PPFD, and high uniformity of illumination.
Are plant lights better than sunlight?
Although photosynthesis originally developed as a response to sunlight. However, indoor cultivation, especially the development of indoor plant factories, has proved that the effect of indoor plant grow lights is better than sunlight.
The reason why high-quality grow lights are better than sunlight is that the lighting of plant lights is optimal and controllable. Its spectrum and photosynthetic photon flux density PPFD are suitable for crop growth. And sunlight is uncontrollable. It also contains additional spectrum that plants do not need, such as UVB, too much green light, etc.