How to Accurately Measure Your Spectrum
The spectral output is a very important factor in plantmorphologyand energy production which directly affects the overall yield and quality of your crop and so should be considered carefully when designing a lamp or purchasing a lamp.
The best way to know your spectral output is to measure your lamps in an integrated sphere as this then gives you a 99 - 100% accurate average SPD you can work from.
Using hand held meters gives only a rough guide to the the spectral output of the plant but can be a useful indicator to see how the SPD can change over distance to help fine tune your plants different growth stages via logisitics instead of dynamics.
Focused spectrums such as those provided by led lamps are proven time and time again in both domestic and commercial environments to provide a lower cost in electricity due to more efficient growth being stimulated in the plant.
Right Spectral Output = Better Quality Yield
The additional oil production from a good spectral output can increase biomass significantly, giving a more efficient yield, and of course a higher quality end product can attract higher prices or market demand.
The right focused spectrum is the reason that led can beat its HPS counterparts using significantly less energy, so for example a good quality led fixture outputting average 600 µmol/s-m2 average can beat a Professional HPS Fixture (900 µmol/s-m2 average ) in warm to hot environments or controlled environments as long as it provides an equivalent effective footprint.
A white spectrum LED will require a comparable amount of energy to its HPS counterpart to provide similar results. However growing with white led is much simpler than growing with pink spectrum led.
A cool running lamp with a good spectral output can beat its traditional HPS counterparts for several reasons including:
- Better spectral output equals better quality plants with more essential vitamin and oil content giving a higher return per gram.
- No excessive heat causing plant stress or burning off essential oils.
- Better environmental control, its easier to warm a room than to cool a room.
- Less infestation problems as many predators such as spider mites prefer the hotter climates that HPS can provide.
- More control of the morphology of your plants due to no restrictions on direct heat in or above your canopy area.
- Repeatable and reliable yields year on year due to absolute minimum light drop from efficiently cooled fixtures allow you to exactly plan your financials.
- Greater essential oil content gives you a greater return on investment.
- Lower light source energy consumption by as much as 30%.
- Lower air conditioning costs exponentially.
- Lower water consumption and nutrient costs, HPS lamps evaporate nutrients from your grow media exponentially which can also cause imbalance in the feed content of your media.
- No bulb replacements for ten years:
- Save costs of replacement bulbs (1 bulb every six months = 20 bulbs x £25 = £500 bulb costs over 10 years).
- Saves the earth with no toxic landfill.
- Maintenance for replacing bulbs in high bay applications can be costly and cost you valuable growing time.
- Installation for high voltage HPS lights can be expensive.
Plant Light Absorption Charts