In the past, cannabis cultivators and food growers have been using traditional HPS and HID systems for the indoor cultivation of medicinal herbs, vegetables, and other greenery. However, impressive innovations and technological advancements in the field of LED grow light systems are persuading some growers to switch to LED light systems.
While making the switch from these traditional methods of growth may be difficult for some growers, we will explain the economic benefits of converting to the new LED system; address the downsides and increasing unpopularity with HPS and HID systems; and cover why new growers and traditional growers are converting to LED grow systems. The below explanation clarifies and breaks down the process and effect of retrofitting grow light systems that will hopefully settle any concerns regarding both retrofitting and the decision to switch to an LED grow light system.
The main factor that is getting growers and cultivators to switch to a LED grow light system is its efficiency. Many growers’ switch from traditional systems to LED systems are driven by economic motives because LED grow light systems are proven to use less electricity, thus reducing the fixture’s maintenance fees by consuming sustainably less energy and increasing a company’s/business’ profitability. Additionally, LED systems immensely boosts the crop production rate and quality by providing enough light energy to the plants for a lifted development pace. Although the traditional HPS and HID grow light systems also boost crop growth in an indoor setting, LED systems are more efficient and spread the light more evenly to ensure very corner of the greenhouse/plant platform is illuminated. Increasing the product quality with better light intensity and uniformity allow cultivators to fit their plants in a more compact manner; creating spare “shelf space” for additional crops, which allows them to further increase the production quantity.
Indoor cultivation is a controlled and enclosed environment that naturally requires a complex ventilation system to combine with to regulate the CO2 and airflow inside the building. When using outdated HPS systems, the lighting fixtures produce extensive heat during operation, therefore requiring additional costs on adding appropriate ventilation and airflow systems to neutralize this downside. This compounds a business’ expenditures, raising the overall maintenance expense. On the other hand, LED grow light systems generate a considerably less amount of heat, which reduces the need for having extensive ventilation. Furthermore, new state and national regulations are pushing individual growers to follow new requirements limiting energy consumption for commercial uses and utilizing more efficient operating machinery in industrial settings. and The above factors incorporate together to explain the need to execute a retrofitting decision to switch from traditional HPS grow light systems to a LED grow light system.
Picture below is a mockup of the lighting intensity maps for a HPS, HPS + LED hybrid, and a LED-only grow system. The model lighting distribution shows the contrast between the HPS and LED and LED-aided grow systems. Having a LED system provides intense and superior lighting uniformity. In the previous article, we have covered the importance of lighting intensity, lighting uniformity as well as the ideal DLI. The mapping of LED growing system’s lighting distribution shows that they are more robust and more efficient than an equivalent HPS system.
New Product is Coming — DRAGON LED Grow Light System
Our newly launched product, DRAGON, is more fit for single-level or high-bay growing systems. Specializing in crop enhancement and growth, the DRAGON LED grow light from CALIVE comes in a slim and flexible design that is a powerful and scalable system capable of illuminating large areas of crops efficiently. The DRAGON system is a perfect choice for retrofitting traditional HPS systems. While it is best to completely replace the old HPS or HID systems to a LED system, DRAGON can be utilized in conjunction with existing HPS lights to improve productivity and light intensity (PPFD) within the system. As a result, the DRAGON system is available as both an independent grow light system, or as a supplemental system to an existing system due to its wide compatibility.
Packed with densely powerful LED diodes, DRAGON is suitable for any commercial growers and cultivators in need of a robust LED grow light system. DRAGON incorporates a high-quality driver to maximize efficiency and a powerful heat sink to dissipate any heat from the fixture. This will help combat the overheating issue most compact grow lights like DRAGON face. Additionally, the DRAGON system provides easy installation and is built to last a long time with its sturdy metal body.
While the DRAGON system comes in a compact size; this does impact its robustness and versatility as it can seamlessly fit in any HPS layout. Compared to a 1000W HPS lighting systems, CALIVE’s DRAGON system saves up to 20% in utility costs while providing more efficient lighting at a PPE of 2.6 μmol/J. This is an advantage since most HPS only has an average PPE of 1.7 μmol/J.
Besides the energy-saving nature of LED grows lights, DRAGON has an impressive life span of 50,000 hours of operating time, while HPS light bulbs deteriorate and lose intensity over time and need to be replaced every year.
The initial investment of switching from traditional HPS grow lights to LED might seem intimidating to many growers but using DRAGON will increase the quality and result of each batch of crops. Therefore, the extra profit made compounds over time and can pay off the initial investment amount quickly. Furthermore, DRAGON can also be utilized as a perfect addition to an existing HPS system since it can seamlessly fit in traditional growth light layouts. Adding DRAGON to any existing HPS system increase the lighting intensity on the grower’s current growing system, thus leading to more yields.