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HortiCann Light + Tech notes and how to choose your grow lights

The annual HortiCann Light + Tech conference was held virtually this year. Here are 3 key take-aways.

1. In addition to Red and Blue, colors such as Green, Far Red can help to achieve optimum plant growth and development.

2. Each crop has a slightly different response curve towards light. Yield optimization can be supported with the right light for each crop.

3. Growers can get steer for different outcomes based on different intensities and spectrums. A flexible spectrum will help you to adapt and improve continuously.

Light is a key factor in CEA Light has enormous flexibility to tweak things and optimize. It is one of the key parameters that growers can use in controlled environmental agriculture (CEA).

Fig 1: Light as the main growth driver. By Crop Physiology Laboratory, Utah State University

Colors such as green, far red can help to achieve optimum plant growth and development

Many presentations highlighted the colors and spectrums of light. These are well documented and you should consider fixtures that contain all these colors. Red and Blue remain essential for photosynthesis. Yet with green and far red there is a synergetic effect on photosynthesis which helps to achieve higher yields. Green for example penetrates deeper in the leaf and canopy. In addition there are other benefits that arise from green and far-red light on human vision or photomorphogenesis. E.g. green can help people to see better.

Fig 2: Different colors of light penetrate at various levels in the leaf. By Crop Physiology Laboratory, Utah State University

Below is an illustration which shows how deep each color penetrates.

Fig 3: illustration with different colors that penetrate within the leaf structure. By HortiPower

Additional examples where shown in which plants with a full spectrum (including far-red) showed a larger mass. These findings are consistent with what HortiPower growers reported back to us and a key reason why HortiPower lights contain all kinds of colors.

Fig 4: There is more to grow light than only white or red and blue. By Crop Physiology Laboratory, Utah State University

Each crop has a slightly different response curve towards light. Yield optimization can be supported with the right light for each crop

Currently we use micromole (based on the Mc Cree curve) to measure light that is effectively received by the plant photo-receptors. However each plant might have a slightly different curve and hence we should optimize the spectrum so that each plant receives the light that is right for them. With HortiPower you have the possibility to adjust the spectrum through software, so you are free to optimize and adapt depending on your current geolocation, natural daylight or even time of the day.

Fig 5: Different plants have different response curves to light. By Crop Physiology Laboratory, Utah State University

Growers can get steer for different outcomes based on different intensities and spectrums. A flexible spectrum will help you to adapt and improve continuously.

Depending on the goals of the grower you can steer to certain outcomes. Below illustration shows different responses under different ratio’s of light. In this example B,G, R,FR is used. 

Fig 6: Plant growth and development under different ratio’s. By Osram Semiconductors

HortiPower lights contain B,G,R,FR,W from to cover a wider range of crops and give you the flexibility to adjust ratio's so you have more possibilities to set, grow and optimize.

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