Sign up for our newsletter to receive exclusive discounts, promotions, and grow tips. We'll also keep you updated on the latest product releases.
Tagged with 'lighting'
What Causes A Bulb To Depreciate Anyway?
Start Up Firing: When your ballast strikes (fires) your MH or HPS bulb, it sends a massive voltage pulse to the bulb that is much higher than what the bulb runs at once it has been fired. This massive voltage ignition slightly harms the lamp. This is the primary source of blackening within the arc tube, which is actually microfractures caused by this intense voltage ignition. This process will slowly cause the properties of the arc tube to change, causing decreased intensity and color shift over time.
Temperature: Another factor that can decrease your lamps potential output is heat, or lackthereof. High Intensity Discharge (HPS and MH) bulbs create light photons via heat and pressure. Air cooling a lamp will cause a minimal decrease in bulb intensity. Refrigerated air such as that from an air conditioner or when it is very cold outside can cause a noticeable decrease in brightness. This decrease in brightness is caused because bulbs are designed to be ran at specific, hot temperatures that burn the beneficial salts and halides within them to produce the spectrum optimal for plants to photosynthesize.
Old Age & Power Draw: As a lamp ages, it may require a higher voltage to operate correctly. Digital ballasts can sense that a lamp is not coming up to full brightness and increase the power to a lamp. Unfortunately, magnetic ballasts do not. Instead, magnetic ballasts will keep the voltage to your lamp constant, and the intensity of your lamp will decrease. As lamps age on digital ballasts, the digital ballast will attempt to compensate by increasing the power to the bulb. So, digital ballasts will help keep your light output more consistent as they degrade, but possibly at the expense of more energy used. And this is no cure all for bulb degradation. If the aging lamp requires too much voltage, the ballast will shut down as a safety precaution. Your lamp may restart but it will continue to shut down because the voltage requirement is too high for the ballast.This is a typical sign that it is time to replace your lamp.
Regular Lamp Replacement is Essential
All that said, many of the beneficial salts (HPS) and halides (MH) within the lamp arc tube that are used to create the spectrum we're looking for is used up within 9 months of typical usage at 12 hours per day. As these magic chemicals are burned off, the spectrum of your lamp changes away from the photosynthetically optimal spectrum. The intensity of your lamp will also degrade over this same period by about 10%, depending on your lamp and possibly even more. These two factors combined can lead to more than +15% decreased yield after 9 months using the same bulb.
Growers House wants to make sure all of our customer's understand this information. With this information, our customers can make educated decisions on how to optimize their gardens and their budgets. Including our crazy low price on Eye Hortilux 1000W Super HPS Enhanced Lamps.
Happy Growing :)>
Hello everyone, Nate from GrowersHouse (growershouse.com) here and today we want to show off our newest test that we've just completed.
Apache Tech AT600 LED Review. We are showing off a new light that's introduced to the indoor growing scene from Apache Tech LED Grow Light Company. Now this is the AT 600 unit which is much larger than the other units you've seen the AT120's available before and those were the one that were developed in conjunction with NASA about 3 years ago. This unit is now coming in called the AT600 LED Grow Light and we measured at the wall (with a Kill-A-Watt Meter) this guy is hovering close to around 700 watts of actual power.
We are going to do a spectral analysis of this light with our spectralradiometer and do a footprint analysis with our PAR meter over a 4x4 footprint. Because that is what this light is actually rated for a true 4 by 4 footprint to replace a 1000 watt light. The spectrum put in this light that was sent to us, is one that is optimized for the flowering phase although can also be used during the vegetative growth phase.
We're going to turn it on and were hoping the camera can resolve the colors in this light because it is extremely bright. As you can see here to the eye there are bands of white and red and that's how the light appears to us. You'll see in the spectral analysis is that there are actually more colors in the blues that are coming off that we can't see.
You can see that this is a pretty big light; we are thinking that is weighs at least 60 pounds and has built in fans on each side for eight fans total to make sure they cool the leds. it says it will heat the led to about 90 degrees Farenheight which is a very cool temperature for this light. This light is completely made in the USA, assembled in Apache Techs warehouse in California. The spectrum of this led is optimized to increase yields and the specific compounds by the plants its set up for, over that 4 by 4 footprint. This light is also UL approved which, by our knowledge, is the first LED grow light with a UL approval which is big step for essentially becoming a more legitimate light in the industry. Apache Tech LED AT600 also carries a limited lifetime warranty and operates from 100 all the way up to 277 volts. It comes with a 120/240v plug so out of the box you can just plug it in and it will auto recognize 120 or 240 and you can start growing.
Let's put this under our meters and show you some data.
Here is some of our test data. As you can see we measured the Apache Tech LED AT600 at a standard wall outlet at 120v. We measured the amperage coming out at about 6.4 Amps. And we also measured the wattage at 742 Watts at the wall. We have also included a ratio of the average amount of PAR over the 4x4 footprint read at the 33 points of measurement over the total amount of watt draw at the wall. To come to the calculation we added up the numbers for the 24" height and total amount of watt draw at the wall for a ratio of PAR/Watts of 31.27.
If we scroll down the infographic we can see the analysis of the spectralradiometer. Telling us what the spectrum of light is coming from this light source. You can see the relative intensity is much higher around the 660 nanometer range in the red spectrum you can also see on the left a smaller bump around the 440 nm range in the blue spectrum and you can see everything in between. This light really is a flowering dominant light although it does have those other spectra so that you can use this light from seed to harvest.
Moving down to the 4 X 4 footprint analysis we measured this light with our PAR meter at 3 different heights, at 18" above the footprint, 24" and 30". You can see for each height we measured the 33 different points of intensity and this should hopefully help you gauge how high you want this light above the canopy for a good distribution versus intensity.
Keep tuned for more of the latest growing technology!
This is Nate from Growers House. Have a good one.
Apache Tech AT600 LED Review PDF
Alternative Lighting Test: PAR & Spectral Data Excel File
Shop these Categories on our site now:
Shop for LED's>