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Comparison List Of Light Technologies

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Dr Photon
Member Moderator
Expert Grower
Completed Grows

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Here is a list comparing grow light products and technologies. Showing data such as photon flux and cost per umol for performance & economical value. Many LED manufacturers only provide calculated values which provide unrealistic data as the calculations are a maximum theoreticle and do not take into consideration of factors including stabalization time, temperature and electrical losses. A LED fixture often has around 15 - 20% lower efficiency than what is calculated. I also provide estimated data for fixtures that do not have or provide any data on the fixtures light values, which is common for products that manufacturers know that do not perform well enough to warrant advertising. These estimations are taken from measurement data in the field which are not ideal, but provide good enough data for a rough approximation.

 

So remember

True measurement is a method of testing the full light output using sophisticated equipment that captures all light and directs it towards a sensor. 

Calculated measurement is a mathematical value determined by data provided by the manufacturers from the diodes used. This is an unrealistic value which typically is 15-20% higher than what would be seen with a true measurement. And the error can be even higher if the calculations are overblown.

Field measurements are real world measurements using physical simulated testing stations that imitate the same conditions as a growing environment. The data from these systems are typically lower than true measurements (by about 15 - 20%), as they encounter variables that introduce successive losses during testing. 

 

Here are the approximate desired canopy PPF requirements for different sizes of grow areas.

 

2x2 260umol PPF

3x3 585umol PPF

4x4 1040umol PPF

5x5 1625umol PPF

 

Enjoy!

 

Fluence

Spyder X Plus

PPF 1500 umol (Calculated data)

2.3umol per watt

$1500

$1 Per umol

 

Spyder X

PPF 810umol (Calculated data)

2.5umol per watt

$900

$1.11 Per umol

 

Gavita

Pro 1650e

PPF 1650 umol (Calculated data)

2.6umol per watt

$1300

$0.78 Per umol

 

Spectrum King

SK602

PPF 1376umol (Calculated data)

2.15umol Per watt

$1349

$0.98 Per umol

 

SK402

PPF 924umol (Calculated data)

2.15umol Per watt

$779

$0.84 Per umol

 

Migro LED

Migro 600

PPF 1510 (Calculated data)

2.35umol Per Watt

$1200

$1.26 Per umol

 

Migro 300

PPF 782 (Calculated data)

2.35umol Per Watt

$650

$1.20 Per umol

 

Migro 100

PPF 263 (Calculated data)

2.35umol Per Watt

$270

$0.98 Per umol

 

Optic LED

1 XL

PPF 200umol (field data)

2umol per watt

$200

$1 per umol

 

Kind LED

K5XL1000

PPF 850umol (True Measurement data)

1.3umol Per Watt

$1900

$2.2 Per umol

 

K5XL750

PPF 560umol (True Measurement data)

1.3umol Per watt

$1400

$2.5 Per umol

 

Black Dog

Phytomax2 1000

PPF 1600umol (Calculated data)

1.6umol Per watt

$2250

$1.4 per umol

 

Phytomax2 800

PPF 1280umol (Calculated data)

1.6umol Per watt

$1949

$1.5 Per umol

 

Phytomax2 600

PPF 960umol (Calculated data)

1.6umol Per watt

$1549

$1.6 Per umol

 

Phytomax2 400

PPF 640umol (Calculated data)

1.6umol Per watt

$1099

$1.7 Per umol

 

Chill LED

Gen2 800

PPF 2000umol (True Measurement Data)

2.6umol Per watt

$2000

$1 Per umol

 

Gen2 600

PPF 1900 umol (True Measurement Data)

3umol Per watt

$1499

$0.8 Per umol

 

Gen2 200

PPF 615umol (True Measurement Data)

2.9umol Per watt

$599

$1 Per umol

 

NextLight

Mega

PPF 1400umol (Calculated Data)

2.15umol Per watt

$1695

$1.2 Per umol

 

Mini

PPF 255 (Calculated Data)

1.7umol Per watt

$595

$2.3 per umol

 

California Lightworks

SolarSystem 1100

PPF 1700 (Field Data)

1.5umol Per watt

$1599

$0.94 Per umol

 

SolarSystem 550

PPF 888umol (Field Data)

1.5umol Per watt

$799

$0.9 Per umol

 

SolarSystem 275

PPF 439umol (Field Estimated)

1.5umol Per watt

$489

$1.1 Per umol

 

Mars 

Hydro 240

PPF 130umol (Field Data)

1.3umol per watt

$108

$0.80 per umol

 

hydro 480

PPF 260umol (Field Data)

1.3umol per watt

$160

$0.60 per umol

 

Hydro 960

PPF 520umol (Field Data)

1.3umol per watt

$340

$0.65 per umol

 

Hydro TS1000

PPF 255umol (Field Data)

1.7umol per watt

$130

$0.50 per umol

 

Hydro TSW2000

PPF 522umol (Field Data)

1.7umol per watt

$250

$0.50 per umol

 

Vipar Spectra 

VS 450

PPF 200umol (Field Data)

1umol per watt

$0.70 per umol

 

VS 900

PPF 400umol (Field Data)

1umol per watt

$250

$0.70 per umol

 

VS 1200

PPF 500umol (Field Data)

1umol per watt

$340

$0.70 per umol

 

 

Gas Discharge

315 watt Ceramic Metal Halide

PPF 491 (True Measurement, Including Reflector Losses)

1.5umol Per watt

$300

$1 Per umol

 

630 watt Ceramic Metal Halide

PPF 817 (True Measurement, Including Reflector Losses)

1.25umol Per watt

$400

$0.48 Per umol

​​​​​​​

400watt HPS

PPF 480 (True Measurement, Including Reflector Losses)

1.2umol Per watt

$150

$0.31 Per umol

 

600watt HPS

PPF 900umol (True Measurement, Including Reflector Losses)

1.5umol Per watt

$200

$0.22 Per umol

 

1000watt HPS

PPF 1300umol (True Measurement, Including Reflector Losses)

1.3umol Per watt

$250

$0.19 Per umol

 

1000watt DE HPS

PPF 1700umol (True Measurement, Including Reflector Losses)

1.7umol Per watt

$250

$0.14 Per umol

 

600 watt Metal Halide

PPF 720umol (True Measurement, Including Reflector Losses)

1.2umol Per watt

$200

$0.28 Per umol

 

1000 watt Metal Halide

PPF 1000umol (True Measurement, Including Reflector Losses)

1umol Per watt

$220

$0.22 Per umol

 

Update 8/2019:

We are now reaching the stage where LEDs efficiency and economical value are catching up and with some products, exceeding that of HID technology. 

 

 

As always please comment your thoughts or any questions on the subject.

Being wrong, is an opportunity for getting things right.
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Posted : 04/11/2019 9:18 pm smotpoker, Californiakid, KingLoki and 2 people liked
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MrK006
  MrK006
Trusted Member
Practicing Grower

Thoughts on Mars hydro vs Viparspectra for just some extra light? As in the middle of my grow distance between my hps are at the higher end of their area so I’d like to add some cheaper LEDs to help boost the par/lumens in those spaces

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Posted : 05/19/2019 1:41 pm
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Dr Photon
Member Moderator
Expert Grower
Completed Grows

Updated with new products and data on light requirement per size of grow area.

Being wrong, is an opportunity for getting things right.
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Posted : 08/24/2019 8:21 pm CannabisandBeats liked
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Gadgetman
Trusted Member
Cannabis Fan
Completed Grows

Hey, Fantastic info. I heard you on a Podcast, Michigan Bros Show I think.

Question (s):

I have a 3x3x6 tent. I'm trying to keep it low cost with LEDs. I purchased a Mars Hydro II 900 a few years ago. At the time they said it replaces a 1000 (lie). I am willing to replace it if that gets me on track for a nice quality grow. Looking for quality more than quantity. I keep hearing about "blurple" lights. Are they a bad thing? I will be hitting you up on many other subjects. I'll try to keep them to the correct post area. I love gadgets!

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Posted : 09/08/2019 2:58 pm
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Nores
  Nores
Esteemed Member
Proven Grower
Completed Grows

Do you have info on the ES300?

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Posted : 09/09/2019 4:16 am
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Hi Doc, Im not sure if you've looked into them but I'd love to get your views on the meijiu and kingbrite QBs from Alibaba. They're now using the samsung LM301H diodes that claim above 3.0 micro mouls per Joul. They can also be optioned with some 660nm epistars. They come with a meanwell drive and aluminum heat sink. The price is too good to be true aswell. Links for you below

Edit: fixed links

Meijiu

https://meijiu.m.en.alibaba.com/

Kingbrite

https://kingbriteled.m.en.alibaba.com/

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Posted : 10/25/2019 11:17 pm
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HasHONE
  HasHONE
Active Member
Cannabis Fan

I have a couple Gavita 1650e , still dailing in a couple things. The last couple runs my fan leaves would bleach and lose color  almost chlorosis like in a week 5 (only in late flower) I thought maybe it was because of the light intensity so I decided to dim my lights down to 50% with a Gavita master controller.Now I’m thinking I might have to double down on my cal mag because of the intensity of the light the plant is eating more cal mag . I’m in ProMix Hp Using advanced nutrients entire line Running A/c ,Dehumidifier co2 room temperature in week 5 is about 80-82 Rh is  55-60 % leaf surface temperature is 79 

 but I’m not 100% sure w the issue is or where it’s creeping from . 

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Posted : 02/22/2020 3:03 pm
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HasHONE
  HasHONE
Active Member
Cannabis Fan

These are the beginning stages when I first noticed anything then it just progressed ,  I started off at 50% intensity on the gavita master controller and started ramping up 2% every day when I reach 75% intensity is when I started noticing color Loss on fan leaf then it progressed at that point I dim the back down to 55% . Very sorry for the late response as I’ve been getting familiar with the site , Very grateful for your help & advice  I know you’re a busy man  !

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Posted : 03/10/2020 6:43 pm
HasHONE
  HasHONE
Active Member
Cannabis Fan

Cannabis Grow 9F6CD882 B91B 4078 87AF 1F35EF1E7909

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Posted : 03/10/2020 6:51 pm
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Lavos
  Lavos
New Member
Cannabis Fan

Why no reviews for an LED light with samsung lm301b/h diodes? Other recent LED comparisons I've seen includes them, and show that they are the best right now for efficiency, price, heat, etc.

After days of reading /r/autoflower, microgrowery and other forums, the current meta for grow lighting seems to be quantum boards with lm301b or lm301h samsung LED diodes from:

-Alibaba - Kingbrite and Meijiu are the two sellers everyone seems to recommend, very inexpensive and everyone seems to love them

-Amazon - Spider Farmer brand - good warranty and UL listed, slightly more expensive than alibaba, amazing reviews

-Horticulture Lighting Group - Assembled in US, most expensive of the three but very positive reviews

 

I am not trying to shill any products here, I was just surprised to see a nice comparison like this that didn't include these options, considering they are by far the most recommended and reviewed products on other forums and seem to come out on top.

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Posted : 04/26/2020 11:04 am BigSkyCBD, Shake.and.Bake, Tropa and 1 people liked
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smotpoker
Reputable Member
Proven Grower
Completed Grows

Fired up my spydr 2x ... Exciting times here....im losing 500 in ppf but doubling my umol per wat from 1.3 to 2.5 ! I have to be honest I'm not even sure what that means I have to just watch my plans and see how they do compared to the thousand watt hid

Life's a garden, dig it, make it work for you.~ JoeDirt
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Posted : 05/07/2020 4:10 am Ausbucket461 liked
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Dr Photon
Member Moderator
Expert Grower
Completed Grows
Posted by: ERG

Thank you Dr. Photon- I do not think it addresses my question.

First, Migro did a 6000 hour test in February of 2020. He showed that Cree, Luminus, Growmau5 ( Chilled) COBs and some Quantum Board using Samsung LM301 B SMD LEDS had an average 5% annual drop in efficiency. I think the COB vendors were at 41 degrees Celsius= 104 degrees F?

So Shane's conclusion is that at 5% , 3 manufacturers needed to be replaced in 4 years. The Samsung vendor whom you and Dr. Coco like drops at 7% annually, and thus to reach the LM 80 level would need to be replaced at the end of the 3rd year.

So, if one looks at your value assessment of the cost per umol, then there needs to be a time value at what a umol costs you over a period of time. Agree? 

Dr. Coco does not recommend sealed rooms due to costs. Fair enough. It is his comment about the relationship between, light ( wasted heat) , room , temp , rh , CO2, and ventilation that I seek clarity. Dr. Coco says that if one ventilates then the CO2 is evacuated ( 400pppm, I assume). So then heat build up in a closed environment and along with ambient grow room temperature becomes the significant factor on EC if total heat contribution is not controlled which will drive transpiration rates leading to high rH, right?

 

So, water cool lights seem to be a significant method to provide a consistent above grow media parameters.

It doesn't matter to me if Chilled LED can't do it, he claims that it is superior to passive cooling and proves it scientifically. Agnetix has done it and achieves 2x your projected yield of either COB or Fluence bar architecture, 2.8 pounds per 4' x 4' canopy?

So my question again, what do you or Dr. Coco believe to be the physiological reasons for maintenance of 82 degree Farenheit ( I assume) and high humidity causing superior yields?

I agree that there are difficulties in water cool design as Chilled notes, but it does not detract from the potential benefits from it as Agnetix shows.

Agree? Best-erg

 

All lighting systems degrade over time, including LED. As the natural degradation of the chemical structure occurs, which is accelerated by heat. Which is why the better the cooling, the less degradation will occur. The point where a fixture needs to be replaced. Is where the yeild losses caused by reduced diode efficiency, are higher than the cost of replacement and yield gains. This is one of the prime factors that made LED adoption a big issue in commercial applications. And has still yet not been a total replacement of HPS as a reason. But we are getting close. The efficiency losses differences between products however is too small in my opinion to make a difference in purchase dicisions, but i would have to run the numbers to confirm.

As i have previously said, an enviornment using co2, changes the dynamics of photosynthetic potential. Agnetix achieves this potential, through the use of co2 supplimentation. Which any system can benefit from. Even with typical lighting levels for ambient co2 environments. The photosynthetic efficiency drops nearly by half going from 500ppfd to 1000ppfd. So co2 supplimentation can compensate for these deficiency losses on its own. But it can further increase potential through increases in lighting up to 1500ppfd+. Where ambient co2 concentrations cannot be sufficient at all.

So as you can see, these potentials you speak of. Are not from the light, but from the use of co2 supplimentation. Of which any system that reaches light intensities above 500ppfd can benefit from. Including my own. Where i can reach 29zips naturally with a standard 600w HPS system. I could see up to 35+ zips with nothing more than co2 supplimentation used. 

The agnetix looks like a decent light, but holds nothing ground breaking from a technological standpoint. Reaching stated efficiency levels, comparable to other passive systems like that of fluence and others. Both which have estimated efficiency values of around 2.5umols per watt.

If we were to adjust our calculators with co2 supplimentation in mind (our calculators are based on ambient co2 concentration), then these types of yields per area would be similar.  But as you have mentioned, the process for implementing sealed systems becomes costly. As you have to introduce several control systems to replace the air exchange system. Which is naturally more efficient with respect to energy use.

 

Being wrong, is an opportunity for getting things right.
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Posted : 05/14/2020 5:50 pm Chefomj and smotpoker liked
ERG
  ERG
Active Member
Cannabis Fan

Dr. Photon- again. thank you for generously posting your scientifically based opinions on lighting and thus Photons. Even more, I appreciate your earnest response.

I am not versed nor do I do proclaim any depth in horticulture, plant physiology, genetics, much less cannabis, or any involved in cultivating it. I approach this site because it uses a methodology that I am familiar with- scientific method to discover objective truth.

So, I disagree with some of your opinions.

First, I read your citation of Suman Chandra, 2008. I agree with your analysis of Pn or net Photosynthesis with respect to PPPD as Chandra cites that arithmetically 500 is 50% of 1000umol. So, as PPFD increases from 1000 to 1500umol there is a diminishing return on Pn without corresponding an increase in CO2 from atmospheric to 800umol+.

The Chandra graph of Pn vs PPFD clearly shows this, the linearity until the cannabis plant begins to light saturate. My examination is that between 500 to 1000umol the slope of the graph reveals Pn begins to decrease , and specifically at an inflection point near 700umol. This I believe is the optimal PPFD that you and Dr. Coco conclude using Chandra's 2008 study.

My original inquiry was to understand the effect of photon source heat on plant physiology and to be respectful to you. I cite Chandra's 2011 published research on the effect of temperature here- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3550580/

To be clear, I realize that Chandra has temperature, rH,Co2, water, and light or a combination of them constant while he determines Pn, WUE, stomata conductance Gs, etc. So Chandra has to hold multiple factors constant while measuring Pn, WUE, et al.

But what I find interesting from the 2011 paper is that the high potency THC strains have Topt, or Optimal Temperature at 30-35 degrees Centigrade. Further, the high THC strains have higher Pn at levels approaching 1000 umol PPFD.

I realize that this does not invalidate your assertion on increased CO2 level resulting in higher Pn. 

I assert that increased PPFD and higher temperatures increase Pn.

Now I claim that what growers should ask- what is temperature? Chandra cites Ta or ambient Temperature.

I think you and I will extrapolate that temperature is really the temperature where the enzymatic process occurs.

Agree? 

Thank you for indulging my thoughts. Your response respected and appreciated. If no response, I respect your forum immensely and am grateful for it.

Best-erg

 

 

 

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Posted : 05/20/2020 9:43 am
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Dr Photon
Member Moderator
Expert Grower
Completed Grows

I think you may be making some assumptions about things. Which is clouding the discussion i believe. Lets see if we can clear it up.

"""My original inquiry was to understand the effect of photon source heat on plant physiology and to be respectful to you. I cite Chandra's 2011 published research on the effect of temperature"""

The leaf surface temperature (LST) is a combination of several factors, including light intensity, wavelength, ambient temperatures, transpiration rate and photosynthetic characteristics of the plant. This all contributes and defines what the leaf surface temperature will be. I do not know what you refer to with photon source heat. But this variable is predetermined by the light sources spectral output. And its potential heat dissipation on leaves is fixed. Each photon has an energy density which depending on the quantum efficiency per wavelength. Releases a certain amount of heat through non photochemical quenching processes. The higher the energy density, the more heat is released due to the energy mismatch at the photo center. This is a mathematical expectation due to the nature of the photo systems.

"""To be clear, I realize that Chandra has temperature, rH,Co2, water, and light or a combination of them constant while he determines Pn, WUE, stomata conductance Gs, etc. So Chandra has to hold multiple factors constant while measuring Pn, WUE, et al."""

Actually the two papers in 2008 and 2011 are done using a sophisticated portable leaf chamber system (licor LI-6400) which controls and measures all the variables such as ambient co2 concentration, Leaf surface temperature through thermo coupling, humidity and light. Which is the mean standard for how photosynthesis in plants is measured. Quite fascinating and complex equipment. 

"""But what I find interesting from the 2011 paper is that the high potency THC strains have Topt, or Optimal Temperature at 30-35 degrees Centigrade. Further, the high THC strains have higher Pn at levels approaching 1000 umol PPFD."""

The Toptimal is determined by the maximum quantum yield at any given temperature. And the peak photosynthesis levels are just that, the peak rates at any given condition. But remember that peak photosynthesis does not mean its optimal rates. As even in the 2008 paper, the peak rate was at 1500umols at 30 C. But the quantum yield is terrible at that parameter. With a net gain of only 4% in net Pn. For a 50% increase in light energy. When assessing photosynthetic characteristics of plant leaves, you must factor in quantum yield. 

"""I assert that increased PPFD and higher temperatures increase Pn."""

Absolutely they do. As you can see with the 2008 chandra photosynthesis chart, quantum yield increases at a almost linear rate up to 30 C. Then rapidly declines as a result. With photosynthesis rate increasing with respect to light quantity.

"""Now I claim that what growers should ask- what is temperature? Chandra cites Ta or ambient Temperature.

Leaf photosynthesis study is typically done with a highly sophisticated measurement system, which uses thermocoupling to control leaf surface temperature. This in effect is the leaf surface temperature, albeit an indirect measurement.

"""I think you and I will extrapolate that temperature is really the temperature where the enzymatic process occurs.

Agree? """

Yes, the leaf surface temperature. Which is a well known and understood parameter in plant science. There is a paper by bugbee which details the variables i mentioned which effect leaf surface temperature and how typical light sources under optimal conditions effect the leaf surface temperature "Analysis of Environmental Effects on Leaf Tempurature under Sunlight, HPS and LED."

 

Being wrong, is an opportunity for getting things right.
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Posted : 05/20/2020 3:59 pm smotpoker, BigSkyCBD and Chefomj liked
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ERG
  ERG
Active Member
Cannabis Fan

Dr. Photon-first, appreciate your citation to Professor Bugbee Analysis of Leaf Temperature.

Bugbee uses scientific models to analyze and draw conclusions. Math is not simple.

Suman Chandra uses the scientific method and experimental protocol observed by his academic peers.

Therefore, all science- metabolism, physics, and genetics.

Second- I note the basis for the analysis- "We modeled a SINGLE TOP LEAF because the uppermost leaves absorb about 75% of the incident radiation and have the greatest temperature differences."

Now I ask after Bugbee shows the mathematics in building his model for the top leaf " what would be the state or level of temperature of the leaves along with the other factors Suman Chandra notes- rH, CO2, wind to optimize Pn?

Even deeper, what is the effect therefore on the leaves under the uppermost be if Chandra cites 30-35 degrees C Topt?

Bugbee leaves an interesting note at the conclusion and specifically for cannabis- "

Our near-worst case analysis would likely be representative of flowers, fruits, and thick, dense plant parts that have low transpiration rates, including high value products such as tomatoes, strawberries, and Cannabis flowers. These thicker structures would absorb more radiation than a thin leaf. Our measurements show that while only 63% of HPS shortwave radiation is absorbed by the first leaf, a structure ten times thinker would absorb more than 80%. LED technology has the potential to reduce heating of these thick, low transpiring plant structures."

This paper was accepted in 2015. Bugbee's model has not been disputed but is subject to modification. The energy balance equations show the coupling of transpiration rates to other Pn parameters cited by Chandra's studies from 2009 to 2011.

What has changed from 2015 to 2020 are the capabilities and economics of LEDs which will max out at 5umols leading to the commoditization of fixtures.

But I remember when Nokia and Blackberry led the cell phone market. Then Steve Jobs told his design team over their protests because of the cost, heat, battery lifetimes ad nauseum to incorporate a camera. 

Ihor Lys of Agnetix sees the future, at some point Professor Bugbee will agree.

Thank you for your citation, and even though I have a different opinion and outlook, I see the future of LED fixtures more clearly now.

Best- erg

 

 

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Posted : 05/21/2020 9:18 am
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