The goal of our OpticPAR™ technology is to raise the bar for LED grow lights across multiple cultivation industries, from indoor farms and greenhouses to the rise of commercial production. Raising the bar means getting the science right. At SpecGrade LED, our engineers have been busy for years perfecting the relationship between electrical systems and beam optics in a quest to bring the highest quality LED lighting fixtures to market. Now we’re proudly stepping into the world of indoor plant production with LED single spectrum for the entire life cycle designed to maximize yield.
Technology Timed for Growth Cycles
Optimizing crop yield for any specific plant varietal in an indoor growing facility involves more than just feeding and watering the plants. Lighting conditions will have a direct impact on yield, and the spectral accuracy of that lighting throughout a plant’s growing cycle will be the primary contributor to improved yields.
The spectral accuracy of a grow light relates to the ability of that light source to generate visible light in the wavelengths that are most useful for a plant’s photosynthesis and chlorophyll production. Plants also often need different wavelength concentrations at different stages of their growing cycles.
The indoor cultivation lighting industry typically focuses on controlling light wavelengths in four separate regions of visible light:
- cool, blue light (400 – 520 nm wavelength);
- neutral green (500 – 600 nm);
- warm red (630 – 660 nm);
- and hot red (720 – 740 nm).
Each of these wavelengths has different effects on different plant varieties.
In almost all types of vegetation, the chlorophyll in a plant’s leaves and structures converts useful wavelengths of light into nutrients that the plant needs to grow and thrive. Chlorophyll comes in different forms, the most common of which include Chlorophyll A, which reacts to light in a range of 430 to 662 nm, and Chlorophyll B, which absorbs light wavelengths in a broader range from 400 to 700 nm with absorption peaking at the blue end of the spectrum. Secondary components in plant vegetation also absorb other wavelengths to enhance the primary chlorophyll activity.
LED Grow Lights Built for Growth
The best LED grow light systems will provide the grower with a single spectrum for the entire life cycle. At a plant’s germination stage, for example, a facility can increase the concentration of light in the neutral white wavelength concentrations. The hotter red wavelengths will better replicate summer growing conditions and will encourage taller plant growth, whereas cooler blue wavelengths will produce shorter and stockier plants. Growers frequently shift to blue wavelengths the closer they are to harvesting, as those wavelengths encourage terpene and trichome production that can give the plants a richer color.
Advanced LED grow light systems accomplish this control and spectral accuracy by facilitating adjustments of the light source’s photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), its photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD), its lumen rating, and by giving growers a greater selection over the size and quality of the LED fixtures themselves.
A light source’s PAR and PPFD characteristics enable growers to match the specific wavelengths of light that the source generates to a plant’s needs at every point in a growing cycle. The source’s lumen rating refers to how bright the light appears to a human eye, but does not typically reflect the actually wavelengths of light in the bright or dim light.
Growers that want the best control over spectral accuracy will select the right sizes of fixtures and systems that coincide with their growing environments. Smaller facilities, for example, might be overwhelmed by LED grow light systems that are designed for large indoor warehouse growing operations. Likewise, vertical growing operations can experience PPFD problems if light fixtures are not designed for uniformity, meaning to spread light evenly across tall vertical growing enclosures.
That’s why the OpticPAR™ line offers three distinct fixture designs to cover all the bases and offer room for custom specs as needed. SpecGrade LED has designed and manufactured commercial and industrial LED lighting systems for more than 15 years. We have used that experience as a foundation to develop a new line of LED grow light systems that incorporate advanced OpticPAR™ technology to give growers the best quality and control over the spectral accuracy of lighting in their facilities.