In this blog post, we will compare two aluminum grow lights commonly used for indoor decorative plants: the HortiPower PlantParent and the Mother PlantSpectrum. These lights are designed for plant propagation and can be beneficial for plant enthusiasts.
The HortiPower PlantParent stands out by emitting twice the amount of plant-centric light onto the plant leaves compared to the Mother Plantspectrum. Both lights have a power output of 16W, but the PlantParent is more energy-efficient, utilizing half the energy of the Mother Plantspectrum.
The HortiPower spectrum delivers approximately 47% more deep-red light, which is known to be a more effective spectrum for promoting plant growth and development through photosynthesis.
The Mother PlantSpectrum emits high-quality white light optimized for human visual perception, with a relative peak in the blue spectrum. Its white light has a high Color Rendering Index (CRI) of 97, allowing for accurate color perception by the human eye. On the other hand, the HortiPower PlantParent emits high-quality indoor plant-centric light primarily optimized for indoor plants, with a CRI of 80 and a relative peak in the red spectrum.
In terms of maintenance and repair options, Mother provides the convenience of manual LED board replacement for end-users at a cost of 39 euros for the necessary materials. HortiPower, on the other hand, expresses confidence in the durability of its LEDs and does not anticipate early failures. However, in the unlikely event of a board failure, HortiPower offers a service to replace the boards with qualified staff, even if the warranty period has expired. This service incurs a cost of 39 euros.
Mother Life Plant Spectrum
|L 377mm * Diameter ⌀ 36mm and Base diameter ⌀ 125mm||L 428mm * Diameter ⌀ 42mm and Base diameter ⌀ 120mm|
|Light Spectrum||CoolWhite spectrum||Plant-centric spectrum|
|PAR output||unknown||32 μmol/s|
|PFD at 30cm||43||97|
|Lumen output||726 lumen||996 lumen|
|Lm/watt||45.38 lm/w||62.25 lm/w|
|Energy efficiency||unknown||2.0 μmol/J|
|Compliance||CE||CE, RoHS, EcoDesign, UKCA|
|Light color||White||White with a soft pink tone|
|Color rendering index||97||80|
|IP rating||IP20/ IP65||IP54|
If you're interested, feel free to read a comparison below.
The PlantParent measures 428mm in length with a diameter of ⌀ 42mm. Its Foot Base has a diameter of ⌀ 120mm.
On the other hand, the Plantspectrum is 377mm long with a diameter of ⌀ 36mm. Its Foot Base has a diameter of ⌀ 125mm. It is worth noting that the website also mentions the lights are 16"/40cm, but technically, 16" is equivalent to 40.64cm. However, the technical details provided specify the length of the lights as 377mm.
Overall, the dimensions of these lights are quite similar, although HortiPower provides more precise information by listing the exact dimensions of their light.
Both the HortiPower PlantParent and the Mother PlantSpectrum are constructed using high-quality anodized aluminum. Aluminum is a highly sustainable material due to its ability to be recycled almost infinitely, making it one of the world's most recycled materials. However, it is important to note that material data flow analysis and tracking are not commonly practiced, which makes it challenging to provide precise claims regarding the recycled percentage of the aluminum used in these lights.
According to the International Aluminum Institute, the global recycling efficiency rate of aluminum is reported to be 76%. This rate is influenced by the fact that original aluminum may still be in effective use today. Additionally, the production of aluminum from recycled materials requires 95% less energy compared to production from ore.
While Mother claims that their aluminum is 100% recycled, there is no available material data flow analysis to independently verify this claim. On the other hand, HortiPower does not make any specific claims regarding the percentage of recycled aluminum used in their lights. HortiPower is a member of OPEN, a foundation dedicated to tackling the issue of e-waste, to establish a means of collecting and responsibly managing waste through recycling and upcycling initiatives.
Plants perceive light differently than humans do. While the human eye is more sensitive to green light and to a lesser extent, blue light, plants have specific light requirements primarily in the red and blue spectrum, with less importance placed on green light. Therefore, it is crucial to consider the spectrum of the lights when evaluating their suitability for plant growth.
The HortiPower PlantParent utilizes three different types of LED chips that work together to create the desired spectrum for plant growth. In contrast, the Mother PlantSpectrum relies on two white LED chips working together to produce its spectrum.
Below, you will find spectrum information for both lights, which will give you a better understanding of the light they emit and their suitability for plant growth.
|Light||Mother PlantSpectrum||HortiPower PlantParent|
|Far Red/ NIR||6,5%||1,1%|
The spectrum of light emitted by grow lights plays a crucial role in plant growth and development. Here is a comparison of the spectrum information for the HortiPower PlantParent and the Mother PlantSpectrum:
UV Light: UV light, which falls within the range of 350nm to 400nm, can be harmful to both humans and plants. The PlantParent does not contain any UV light, while the PlantSpectrum emits a very low percentage of 0.05% UV light.
Blue Light: Blue light is important for plants as it can contribute to compact growth. The PlantParent emits 12.4% blue light, while the PlantSpectrum emits a slightly higher percentage of 15.2% blue light.
Green Light: Green light is considered the least important color for plants, as its role is limited and dependent on the presence of other colors. However, green light is necessary for good visible light for human perception, as the combination of red, green, and blue light creates white light. The PlantParent emits 24.5% green light, whereas the PlantSpectrum emits a higher percentage of 36.1% green light.
Red Light: Red light is crucial for driving photosynthesis and promoting plant growth. The PlantParent emits 62% red light, while the PlantSpectrum emits 42.1% red light. This means that the PlantParent has approximately 47% more red light compared to the PlantSpectrum.
Far Red Light: Far red light can support flowering and trigger shade avoidance responses in plants. The PlantParent emits approximately 1.1% far red light, whereas the PlantSpectrum claims to emit around 6.5% far red light.
Peak Wavelength: The peak wavelength refers to the wavelength at which the light emission is strongest. For the PlantParent, the peak is at 660nm, indicating a focus on providing light optimized for plant growth. In contrast, the PlantSpectrum has a peak wavelength of 452nm, suggesting the utilization of a cool white LED, which is more tailored to human vision rather than plant growth.
Overall, the HortiPower PlantParent offers a spectrum that better aligns with the specific lighting needs of plants. It provides approximately 47% more plant-centric light compared to the PlantSpectrum. The PlantParent incorporates three different types of LED chips, including two types of whites, while the PlantSpectrum primarily relies on two types of whites, resulting in a light output that resembles high-quality white light more suitable for human vision than plant growth.
PAR (Photosynthetic Active Radiation) is a critical factor to consider when evaluating grow lights. It quantifies the amount of plant-centric light emitted by a light source per second, typically expressed in micromoles per second (μmol/s).
The HortiPower PlantParent emits 32 μmol/s of PAR, indicating a substantial amount of plant-centric light output. On the other hand, there is no specific information available regarding the μmol/s output for the Mother PlantSpectrum. However, it is mentioned that the Mother PlantSpectrum has a PAR output of 92%. It's important to note that a PAR output of 92% does not provide a direct measurement of the actual μmol/s emitted by the light.
In contrast, the PlantParent boasts a 100% PAR output, suggesting that it emits the full spectrum of light necessary for optimal photosynthesis and plant growth.
Considering the PAR output is an important criterion for evaluating the effectiveness of a grow light, the precise μmol/s measurement provided by the HortiPower PlantParent gives it an advantage in terms of delivering a significant amount of plant-centric light.
Light received at the plant
PFD at different distances
Distance in cm
Based on the above it is clear that PlantParent delivers twice the amount of light vs PlantSpectrum.
Lumen output refers to the amount of visible light emitted by a fixture, which is typically measured and relevant for human visual perception. However, in the context of grow lights, lumen output is considered less important compared to metrics such as micromoles (μmol) for assessing light intensity and its impact on plant growth.
According to the information provided on the website and energy label, the PlantParent emits 996 lumens. On the other hand, the PlantSpectrum website states a flux of 2495 lumens, but the energy label indicates an emission of 726 lumens. Consequently, the PlantParent emits approximately 37% more lumens compared to the PlantSpectrum.
Moreover, it is noteworthy that the PlantParent achieves higher energy efficiency in terms of lumen per watt, as it produces more lumens while consuming the same amount of power. This indicates that the PlantParent is about 37% more efficient in converting electrical power into visible light compared to the PlantSpectrum.
However, it is important to consider that for optimal plant growth, metrics such as micromoles of light (μmol) and their distribution across the relevant spectrum are more crucial than lumen output alone.
Energy efficiency μmol/J
The PlantParent grow light claims an efficiency of 2.0 μmol/J, which aligns with industry standards such as the DLC Horticulture guideline. This guideline requires manufacturers to meet a minimum photosynthetic photon efficacy (PPE) of 2.0 μmol/J. The term "photosynthetic" refers to light that is relevant for photosynthesis, while "photon" pertains to light itself. "Efficacy" denotes the efficiency of converting energy into light. In summary, this metric serves as a measure for evaluating the performance of grow lights.
Unfortunately, the specific μmol/J value for the PlantSpectrum is not provided, as they do not disclose their μmol/s output. Based on the PFD output differences as above however, it shows that the HortiPower PlantParent is emitting twice the amount of light vs Mother PlantSpectrum, even when both lights require the same wattage. The PlantParent is therefore twice as energy efficient.
The PlantParent grow light is compliant with CE, RoHS, EcoDesign, and UKCA regulations and standards. These certifications indicate that the product meets relevant requirements for safety, environmental impact, recycling, and energy efficiency in the respective regions.
As for the PlantSpectrum, it states compliance with the CE certification, which demonstrates adherence to applicable European safety standards.
The light color for the human eye is pure white for the Mother plantspectrum, this is because it contains white LEDs. The light color for the HortiPower PlantParent is white with a soft pink color tone. This is because it contains white LEDs and other color LEDs.
Color rendering index
The PlantParent grow light has a Color Rendering Index (CRI) of 80, while the PlantSpectrum has a CRI of 97. The CRI is an index that indicates how accurately a light source will render colors visible to the human eye. A CRI score of 0 represents the lowest accuracy, while a perfect score of 100 is comparable to natural daylight.
For many grow lights, achieving a high CRI can be challenging because they need to prioritize colors that are essential for plant growth. However, this can potentially affect the human eye's ability to perceive all colors accurately. The human eye has a greater sensitivity to green light, which is thought to be a result of the long-lasting presence of humans in green, natural, and forested areas. Therefore, the human eye requires a significant amount of green light to perceive other colors well. In contrast, plants require only a small amount of green light for their growth and primarily reflect green light, which gives them their green appearance to the human eye.
The current CRI standard for indoor environments, such as offices and residential homes, is typically set at 80. The PlantParent meets this target with its CRI of 80. On the other hand, the PlantSpectrum exceeds this standard with an exceptional CRI of 97, indicating its ability to render colors more accurately and vividly.
The PlantParent grow light has an IP54 rating, indicating that it is not fully sealed and should not be used underwater. However, certain components such as connectors are double sealed, enhancing their resistance to water and humidity.
On the other hand, the Plantspectrum claims that its lights are waterproof and states an IP65 rating on its website. However, on the same page, it shows an IP20 certification, creating uncertainty regarding the actual IP rating of their lights.
IP (Ingress Protection) ratings are standards that define the level of protection against the intrusion of solids and liquids. For grow lights, some level of protection is necessary to safeguard the electronics and ensure longevity. IP20 serves as a good baseline, providing protection against solid objects larger than 12.5 mm, such as fingers or large tools. The second digit (0) in IP20 signifies that it does not offer specific protection against liquid ingress.
In comparison, IP54 offers a higher level of protection against dust and solid objects larger than 1 mm. It also provides protection against water splashes from any direction, although it is not fully waterproof. On the other hand, IP65 offers protection against dust and solid objects larger than 1 mm. It additionally offers protection against low-pressure water jets from any direction.
Therefore, while the PlantParent has an IP54 rating, indicating moderate protection against dust and water splashes, the actual IP rating of the Plantspectrum lights remains uncertain due to the conflicting information provided.
The HortiPower PlantParent is available since September 2023.