Horticraft Holland wants to provide growers with the best products and services. This is why we are developing a handy tool that will let our customers know how and where to hang their grow lights based on their light strategy.
Nowadays most growers struggle with their set up and usually have to guess where they should hang their fixtures and what light intensity their fixtures will give. Our tool gives our customers a visualization of the light intensity and light uniformity across the grow area at canopy height. With the Horticraft Holland Light Planning Tool growers can take the guessing out of the equation.
The light planning tool
The user first draws an outline of their grow area, thus creating a “field” that reflects their cultivation space. The user then adds Horticraft Holland LED grow light to that field and sets the preferred values per fixture or per group of fixtures to create the desired lighting strategy. The tool will show all important values and µmol measures. All the user needs to do is hang their lights according to the tools calculations. Once the grow lights are in the right place, the tool can adjust the fixtures in real time based on the lighting strategy made in the tool. In other words, the tool will adjust the lights, control the dimming, or switch to another lightning cycle once the plants go from vegetation phase to flowering phase. The user can monitor and sometimes adjust the strategy through the tool if needed.
Important factors for indoor grow lights
Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR) is most important for photosynthesis (chlorophyll A and B). This is the part of the light spectrum between 400 and 700 nanometer (nm). PAR is expressed as the number of micromoles (or µmoles) of photons being emitted by the light source. Outside the PAR region are wavelengths that play a lesser but still crucial role to photosynthesis. Each type of crop, fruit, vegetable or herb has its own ideal light spectrum. PAR can be used in determining the strength and overall quality of a grow light.
Although not yet fully known, there are guidelines as to what the ideal light intensity is for which crop and at what stage of cultivation. For example, lettuce needs less light intensity than tomatoes or medicinal cannabis. There is also a maximum that a plant can handle in terms of light. This is called the “light saturation point”. Higher intensity will add nothing, but can actually damage the plant (especially when other parts of cultivation are not optimal, such as climate control, nutrition, etc.).
Uniform light field
To give every plant their desired light intensity, it is needed to create a light field that is as uniform as possible. Directly beneath a light source the light intensity is strongest and the further away from a light source, the lower the light intensity. This has consequences for the quality and yield of every plant in the light field. Without the tool, you can’t know for sure what the values are. After all, you do not know what the light intensity is at any place within the light field. Certainly if the grower uses multiple light sources and light fields overlap, it becomes even more difficult to estimate.