Vertical farming lights: Bios vs HortiPower

Vertical farming lights: Bios vs HortiPower

In this blog, we’re going to compare BIOS Icarus Li LED grow light bars and HortiPower Nurser 3 pro.

Information on the official websites was used on the 25th of July 2022. 

BIOS Icarus Li LED grow light bar

Icarus Li LED grow light bar with LEDs visible

 HortiPower Nurser 3 Pro

Wattage/ Output 79 Watts, 173 μmol/s

17.3 Watts, 37.7 μmol/s

Efficiency 2.19 2.18
Voltage 110-277VAC & 277-480VAC 100-240VAC
Application Vertical Farming Vertical Farming, Tissue Culture
Mounting height 15cm to 60cm 15cm to 40cm
Daisy Chain connection Yes Yes
Dotless line of light No Yes
Dimensions L 111.7cm x W 5.4cm x H 5.8cm

L 118.5mm x W 2.2cm x H 3.5cm. 40% less height.

Weight 1.9KG/pcs 0.17KG/pcs 90% or 64% less weight with same wattage 
Spectrum Broad with deep red Broad with deep red and 10x more deep red LEDs
Cooling Passive Passive
Power Supply External Internal
Easy to clean Yes Yes, and no fins for less dust collection
IP rating IP65 IP20
Dimmable Yes Yes
Price Start from 1100 USD Start from 47 USD
Availability External website Official website and partners

Fixture Wattage and output: 

Icarus Li LED grow light bar requires 79 Watts with 173 μmol/s 

HortiPower Nurser 3 Pro requires 17.3 Watts with 37.7 μmol/s. The Nurser 3 allows for more flexibility in designs and for more wattage simply add more lights.

PAR Photon Efficacy (μmol PAR/J): 

Based on the 79 Watts and 173 μmol it is 2.19. Bios Lighting communicates 2.2 μmol/J

Based on the 17.3 Watts and 37.7 μmol it is 2.18. HortiPower communicates 1.85 μmol/J 

Voltage: 

Icarus Li works with a range of 110-277VAC & 277-480VAC.

Nurser 3 Pro works with a range of 100-240VAC, 50-60Hz. 

The Icarus Li cannot be used in Japan. It can be used in high voltage applications. Some greenhouses work at a higher voltage input.

The Nurser 3 Pro can be used in Japan and other countries that operate at 100VAC.

Application: 

Both fixtures are designed for vertical farming. BIOS Icarus Li LED grow light bars are optimised for vertical farming racking systems. It can also be used for Growth Chambers. HortiPower Nurser 3 Pro is designed for vertical farms, racking systems, growth chambers and tissue culture. 

Mounting height:

Icarus Li has a beam angle of 125° and recommends 6” to 24“ or 15cm to 60cm.

Nurser 3 Pro has a beam-angle of 120° and is designed for applications 15cm to 40cm.

A wide beam angle is recommended for vertical farming as they allow for a uniform and wide distribution of light. Uniform light is important so that crops grow uniform without any dark spots or hot/bright spots. Both lights are considered wide angles.

A mounting height of more than 40cm above the top leaf of the plants makes the lighting design less efficient. Relatively more light is hanging in the air and not reaching the target leaf area of the crops. However the higher the wattage of the lights, the more height is required to get a uniform distribution. The Nurser 3 can be installed much closer to the plants, thereby increasing the efficiency of the lighting design. And for the additional surface, it can easily add additional lights. 

Daisy Chain connection and dotless line of light

Icarus Li comes with an end-cap and connector on top which allows for a daisy chain connection. A daisy chain connection makes it easier to connect lights together and power them on together. The Icarus Li has a green end-cap and that means if they are connected in a single line there is a relatively darker spot. Nurser 3 has an end-cap with an integrated connector and allows for a dotless line of light. This is visually more appealing and ensures uniform lighting for up to 18 meters in length. The cable on top of the Icarus Li means the height of the product increases, something which Nurser 3 does not do. Nurser 3 has separate extension cables for easier installation. 

Dimensions: 

Bios: L 111.7cm x W 5.4cm x H 5.8cm 

Nurser 3: L 118.5mm x W 2.2cm x H 3.5cm

Vertical farms often use racking systems. Stacking as many layers as possible will help to increase the yield per m2. The Nurser 3 Pro requires 40% less height. This allows more space for another layer or better airflow.

Weight: 

Icarus Li is 1.9 KG/pcs. The Nurser 3 is 0.17KG/pcs. The Nurser 3 is 91% more lightweight. Note that the Icarus Li is 79 Watts, and even with four pieces of Nurser 3 it is 0.68KG/pcs a difference of 64%. Less weight makes it easier to build a taller shelf or rack. Racks have a limitation on the weight that they can hold and floors also have a requirement of maximum weight per m2.

Spectrum:

The spectrum of the Icarus Li LED grow light bar is a Broad spectrum. It is described as white light technology with a very specific Red LED. Based on the product photo we can see 12 white LEDs and 1 deep red LED. White LEDs are relatively cheaper than special plant-centric LEDs because fewer manufacturers buy them and they are more expensive to make. 

The spectrum of the Nurser 3 Pro features also a Broad spectrum. However it has a higher peak in deep red which is one of the most important colors for plant growth and development. It has for every white LED one specific Red LED. The Nurser 3 contains 10X more deep-red LEDs. This means the amount of deep-red exceeds more than 50% which is something that plants love. Bios Lighting does not mention the percentage of red light. The Nurser 3 Pro is white with a soft-pink tint. The Color Rendering Index (CRI) which shows us how truthful colors are rendered for the human eye is 70. Bios Lighting does not mention its CRI. It might be higher because of the number of white LEDs.

Cooling:

The Icarus Li LED grow light bar is 79Watts and has an anodized housing that acts as a heat sink and allows for passive cooling. The Nurser 3 Pro is 20Watts each and has a full plastic housing. The heat is dissipated through an extra thick PCB which is placed into a chamber that allows for passive cooling. The benefit of using multiple lower wattage products vs one higher wattage product is that the heat can be dissipated more easily and there is less heat built up or the need for special anodized fins to offload the heat. The light from the LEDs itself does not generate heat, but the LED chips do dissipate heat. For vertical farming reducing heat is important as it can influence the local growth environment and most farms use extensive HVAC systems. Another benefit of plastic is that it is not conductive which is slightly safer.

Power supply:

The Icarus Li LED grow light bar requires an external power supply unit (PSU). This means extra cabling and another device that can create heat and makes the system less flexible during installation and adaptations. The Nurser 3 Pro has inbuilt power supplies and can be easily connected in a single line of light or with extension cables. This gives much flexibility to the grower to simply add or remove lights, with less worry about the Power supply.

Easy to clean lens

The Icarus Li LED grow light bar prides itself on an easy-to-clean lens. It has to be cleaned with a dry cloth and will ensure optimum light output. The Nurser 3 features also a clear and easy-to-clean lens. It also has a smooth top surface without fins and therefore does not allow for dust collection. 

IP rating:

The Icarus Li LED grow light bar has an IP rating of IP65. This means that the light is dust and waterproof. The Nurser 3 Pro has a rating of IP20. Whilst the plastic body is enclosed, the connectors at both ends are not waterproof. Avoiding water on the lights is always a good practice, even if the lights have a high initial IP rating.

Dimmable:

In some cases, you might want to dim in your vertical farm. This is because you would like to achieve a lower micromole for low-intensity crops, or use low intensity during the seedling stage. The Icarus Li LED grow light bar is dimmable. The Nurser 3 Pro is also dimmable with a LED dimmer. Both brands state that the dimmer is not included and should be purchased separately.

Price:

The Icarus Li LED grow light bars seem to be sold in a set of 8 pcs and is 1100 USD.

The Nurser 3 Pro is available for wholesale at 47 USD and allows you to start with little investment.

Availability:

Icarus Li LED grow light bar was launched in 2019 and is available on external websites. It doesn’t seem to be available on their own website.

Nurser 3 was launched in 2020, the Pro version was launched in 2022 and it is available at hortipower.com or through partners.

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