5 Tips for Buying commercial LED plant growth lights
Most lighting companies tout their commercial LED growth lights as having unique construction, spectral design or long warranties that provide the best growing light for plants.
These suppliers will tell you, "We've cracked the code to make your plants productive and high-quality!"
The problem is that no manufacturer of commercial LED growth lights can guarantee that their products give plants the best growth light in every environment.
For one thing, different plants need different spectra to thrive. Even different grape varieties respond differently to the spectrum.
The type of commercial lighting you need will also depend on your environment. Greenhouse lighting lamps, shape size to the smallest, try not to block natural light. Vertical shelving requires lighting to be placed high enough above the plant canopy and must be spaced at a certain distance for optimal uniformity.
In this article, we will explore the types of commercial growth lights available and give you advice on the best purchases.
Commercial LED growth lights are lamps that contain light-emitting diodes to provide light for growing plants. These fixtures are mounted above the canopy of plants in a greenhouse or indoor farm.
Commercial LED growth lights must be able to withstand harsh environments and are commonly used in controlled environment agriculture.
There are a number of features to consider when choosing a commercial LED growth lamp. First, you have to decide what you're going to plant. Before you decide what to plant, you need to consider the following factors.
Growth lamp efficacy, also known as photosynthetic photon efficacy or PPE, is the output of PAR (photosynthetically active radiation) photons divided by the wattage of the lamp. Growth lamp efficacy has quickly become one of the main indicators that buyers use to evaluate products.
The higher the PPE, the better the power consumption reduction, but this indicator has its limitations. For example, the PPE only considers photons in the PAR spectrum (not wavelengths such as far-red light).
Some buyers will use photosynthetic photon efficiency as the only reference index to purchase lamps, but we do not recommend this. PPE does not include spectral effects and does not represent lamp quality. In practice, both of these aspects are far more important than the power consumption problem represented by PPE.
In the past, there was a saying that LED growth lights don't generate heat. Although they are much more efficient than traditional HPS planting lights, this is not the case.
In general, we recommend not to worry about differences in heat output between LED lamps. But you have to think about the advantages and disadvantages of having fewer calories.
In colder climates, some greenhouse owners find the heat emitted by HPS lamps more beneficial. This heat does have certain benefits, but lamps are not a reliable source of heat because the heat is difficult to control. HPS growth lights generate heat throughout the greenhouse at various points, affecting plant growth in an uncontrolled manner.
Managing the heat can lead to better product quality. Commercial LED growth lights are the best option, but if you're in a cold climate and want to take advantage of the extra heat generated by your lamps, regardless of the other negative effects, you may need to look for more traditional plant growth light technology.
Commercial LED growth lights are installed above the plant canopy, and depending on the distance of your shed roof from the plants, you need to ensure that the lights can be easily installed and replaced.
In greenhouses, most commercial LED growth lights are mounted on struts running through the top of the facility. In indoor planters, hangers, pulleys are usually attached to struts, or attached to vertical planters.
It's usually wise to find out the manufacturer's installation process before you buy. A good manufacturer also has a well thought out system that is easy to install, replace and extend.
Before buying commercial LED growth lights, it's a good idea to look at the company's customer reviews. There will be some start-ups, but the good ones may not have much of a track record yet, in which case, don't rely on performance as the only yardstick. They will probably surprise you.
If you decide to choose a new company, make sure they offer you a reasonable price based on the fact that they don't have a proven track record of trading.
Today, the standard warranty for growth lights is typically five years. Some good quality companies only guarantee for 3 years. If you are making a large investment, consider mitigating business risk with warranties that meet your business needs.
Some growers want to make a quick profit rather than accumulate it over time, so if this is the case, a lower upfront investment may make more sense than a longer warranty.