What’s in a Watt? Differences in Indoor Lighting Options

What’s in a Watt? Differences in Indoor Lighting Options

Horticultural lighting is one of the most consequential aspects of any cultivation setup, but it’s frequently also one of the most confusing.

To succeed in today’s competitive cultivation landscape, growers need lighting solutions that are not simply effective, but highly efficient as well. State-of-the-art lighting hardware—and software—can enable growers to implement systems that improve their profitability by lowering operating costs, increasing efficiencies and yields, and decreasing cultivation cycle times.

These days, many growers are gravitating toward LED lighting systems, which can offer a number of advantages over other lighting options such as high intensity discharge (HID) and fluorescent lights. However, converting to LED is a sizable investment. So here are a few key things every grower should understand.

Light Intensity

Flexible wattage output is one major advantage of LED lighting systems. Plant cultivars require different light intensity at various stages of growth, so the ability to continually customize and adjust the lighting system’s output for optimal growth and development greatly streamlines the growing process. State-of-the-art LED lighting systems that offer customizable wattage levels serve a dual energy-saving purpose: They reduce wasted wattage and also cut down on energy requirements tied to mitigating heat generation for added savings on power and HVAC equipment costs.

LED lights are also highly efficient, using up to 40 percent less energy than traditional lighting systems, while delivering the same light levels. And LEDs generate up to 53 percent higher photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD)—or light intensity—per watt than HID lighting systems.

What’s in a Watt? Differences in Indoor Lighting Options

Light Quality

Good light quality needs intensity and full-spectrum color. And contrary to the widespread belief that cannabis plants only need red and blue light, full-spectrum white light is typically much better for plants.

Until recently, however, manufacturers lacked the ability to produce LED lights with a full spectrum. That’s why they focused on the spectra used most efficiently by the plant—red and blue. But recent advances in technology now allow LEDs to emit the full spectrum at intensity levels that growers are accustomed to working with, making them ideal for cultivation.

Light Plan

Regardless of which kind of lights a grower utilizes, the ultimate performance of any lighting system depends heavily on a well-developed light plan. That plan should include a customized pattern for the installation height and spacing of light fixtures for uniform lighting across the plant canopy, as well as optimal PPFD for plants in all stages.

Learn more at VividGro.com


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