LumiGrow of Emeryville, California, a company that produces LED grow lights, has created a pilot product that they claim is the industry’s first dynamic horticultural grow light sensor. According to the company, the grow light sensor works with LumiGrow LED grow lights to precisely target the light output based on the amount of sunlight. So, the plants receive the optimal light exposure within the greenhouse.
Specifying precise light levels guarantees that greenhouse crops can grow in optimal lighting conditions regardless of weather changes or other light-limiting factors.
“Our Plant Research Group has been working directly with major commercial growers and research institutions to discover new ways that light can be used to improve crop quality and production,” said Dr. Melanie Yelton, vice president of research at LumiGrow. “It’s through these partnerships that we’ve come to understand how controlling light levels dynamically and specifying the length of time that crops receive illumination (known as photoperiod), can improve quality and biomass.”
The SmartPAR™ Wireless Control System
The LumiGrow Grow Light Sensor operates in conjunction with the LumiGrow SmartPAR™ Wireless Control System, a cloud-based software. LumiGrow says that the SmartPAR™ Wireless Control System empowers growers to schedule changes in light intensity and spectrum by zone. Additionally, the SmartPAR™ System automatically adjusts LumiGrow LEDs based upon the sensor’s measurement of the sunlight entering the greenhouse. The precise automatic adjustments manage greenhouse light levels.
Instead of keeping the grow lights at full power, the LumiGrow LED grow lights will now be able to ramp up or down their light output based on the amount of light from the sun. The company points out that such adjustments will save energy and reduce operating costs.
Previously, High-Pressure Sodium (HPS) lamps were an industry standard. However, HPS lamps like many older technologies have significant limitations. LumiGrow notes for example that HPS technology can’t adjust to changes in crop production requirements to optimize growth while maximizing growers’ profits.
“Greenhouse lighting that adjusts with the sun’s intensity has potentially huge benefits towards increasing electrical efficiency and cost savings,” said LumiGrow CEO Shami Patel. “The LumiGrow Grow Light Sensor is really the next logical step in smart horticultural lighting. The sensor makes our lighting even more dynamic and easier to use because there’s really nothing easier than having the sun manage your lights.”