All plants, including those flowering, fruiting, and vegetable plants, are strongly influenced by the particular spectrum of light they receive. Farmers have relied on sunlight for years to deliver the perfect recipe, however today’s lighting technology can provide what plants need most without help
from mother nature.
Today, electric light from HID sources such as metal halide and high pressure sodium plays a significant role in the horticultural industry. It enables growers to expose plants to longer hours of light per day in order to influence the growth cycle. Farmers and gardeners using horticulture lighting as a supplement to sunlight in greenhouses are less reliant on unpredictable factors such as sunlight availability and weather patterns. Electric lighting technology can be used as the sole source of light within grow facilities, however the HID sources commonly used have been electrically inefficient and spectrally insufficient.
LED lighting can significantly increase crop production efficiency through lighting control. LED grow lighting
systems are well-suited to provide the most appropriate light for each phase of growth and type of plant, from seedling to flowering to fruiting. LED lighting provides optimal levels of Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR)—the photons that promote growth and yield without wasting energy to produce photons not efficiently used by the plant. The optimum spectrum for plants includes wavelengths of light in the blue and red region of the spectrum. Although some grow applications easily accommodate this spectrum, commercial growers will also benefit from the most noticeable benefits of our LED—true “white light” working environment for employees.
Spectrum - "Lumens are for Humans"
Plant growth (photosynthesis) is directly impacted by the amount of light plants receive within the PAR (photosynthetic active radiation) range of 400-700 nm. As shown below on the left, plant photosynthetic response to the visible light spectrum is very different than human eye response to the visible light spectrum shown on the right. Humans refer to light intensity in terms of foot-candles and output of lumens. The correct term to express light for plants is called Photosynthetic Photon Flux (PPF) and is expressed as micromoles per square meter per second. This makes comparing PPF intensity to foot-candles or lumens not possible. The scientific representation of PPF is µmol/m-2/s-1 and the abbreviation is µmol/m2/s.