Transitioning to LED grow lighting

LED grow lighting has many advantages over high-pressure sodium, metal halide, and fluorescents – they use less energy, emit less heat, reduce water usage and have spectra that are optimized for plant growth.  Another great thing about LEDs is their reliability.  Instead of re-lamping every year, many LEDs have lifespans of 10 years or longer.  But as more growers transition to LED grow lighting, more questions and concerns arise.

 

For decades cannabis growers have been honing their grow “recipes” on their own and when the light technology “ingredient” changes so do the other variables like nutrient uptake, temperature, humidity requirements and so on.  Implementing LEDs into an already dialed in grow can be challenging so let’s look at the first step to make this a successful transition:

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How much HVAC do I need to cool LED Lights? 

We hear this question all the time, especially in the summer.

Our rule of thumb – it takes one watt of air conditioning to cool three watts of lighting.

For a more precise calculation, there are a few things that we need to know about heat

  • A BTU, or British Thermal Unit, is the traditional unit for heat or heat removal
  • A ton of refrigerant is 12,000 BTUs.
  • One watt of energy is equal to 3.412 BTUs

When you turn on a light some of the energy is turned into photons and some of the energy is turned into heat. In the case of LEDs, about 40% of the energy is turned into light and 60% is turned into heat.

Unfortunately…. you need to cool all of the energy, even the energy emitted as light. (more…)

LED Reliability – What you need to know

As everyone knows, LED technology is displacing older lighting technologies across almost all applications. Although LED has a higher upfront cost, energy savings combined with an extremely long product lifetime make LED a compelling choice. But what exactly does it mean when an LED lighting supplier claims a 50,000-hour product lifetime? And what data should the supplier have to support such a claim? (more…)

Environmental protection ratings for LED grow lights

LED grow lights are frequently installed in locations of condensing humidity, or in facilities where water is used for cleaning. In addition, many of these facilities can be dirty or dusty. So, what happens to an LED lighting fixture when exposed to water and dust? The answer is revealed in the fixture’s IP code.

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What is a Micromole?

​We will get to the complicated formal definition at the end of this article but for horticultural lighting it is quite simple – a micromole is a number of photons. Actually, it is a very large number of photons. 602 quadrillion to be exact. That’s 602 followed by 15 zeroes.

​Obviously it difficult to work with such large numbers, so growers ​started using the more manageable term “micromole” (also written as μmole or micro-mole) rather than the cumbersome 602 quadrillion.