Ceramic Metal Halide grow lights, also called CMH and LEC (Light Emitting Ceramic), grow lighting systems produce light that is of a higher quality to living organisms like plants because of the balance and quantities of light energy generated resemble more closely those of the Sun. Further, less electrical power is required per usable unit of light energy that can be used for plant growth functions when growing with Ceramic Metal Halide grow lights.
Where lighting for crop growth is discussed, growers may encounter the term “Photon Flux Density” (PFD) or similar. Truth is, these measurements favour the purposes of lighting manufacturers rather than giving a true expression of the potential the light produced offers for plant growth. It’s easier to make your lighting product seem better for plant growth using this scale because it measures in the areas of the lighting spectrum that the manufacturers can achieve versus what the sun produces or what plants are really using.
Here’s a practical example:
A PFD Light Meter in a greenhouse, under full sun in the summer time, will show a lower light level reading for usable plant growth energy than a small LED flashlight pointed at the sensor from a few inches away. According to these meters, in this example, a low wattage LED flashlight will give more light energy for better crops than full sun on a summer’s day.
Sounds unbelievable, right? We encourage you to give it a try for yourself.
So What’s a Better Measurement for Crop Lighting?
Electron Volts (eV) are a measurement of light energy that takes into account the different qualities of different light wavelengths (color of light) in the lighting spectrum, ie which units carry more usable light energy for earthly functions in the “rainbow”.
Truth of the matter is, that shorter wavelengths ie “blue” spectra, produce higher energy Photons (photons are little “packages” of light that living things like plants absorb as energy for growth). Longer wavelengths, i.e. “orange-red” spectra, produce lower energy photons.
If you want a more detailed explantation of how this works, here’s a great resource:
So How Does That Make Ceramic Metal Halide Grow Lights More Efficient?
Growers using Ceramic Metal Halide grow lights achieve higher yields Watt To Watt with growers using HPS lighting systems because Ceramic Metal Halide grow lights use more the electricity they consume to produce light wavelengths for growth energy in the Blue end of the output. Remember, blue spectra produce a Photon that is of higher energy.
Ceramic Metal Halide grow lights can cover similar cropping foot prints in grow rooms with less than half of the wattage versus HPS because the light output is of higher energy watt for watt. Besides the obvious power savings in lighting, the reduced cooling requirements and healthier plants (less stress), problems like insects and diseases are less prevalent in grow rooms that are taking advantage of Ceramic Metal Halide grow lights.
Our goal at Summit Lighting, Inc is to continue to bring the most innovative products to market that allow the professional agriculture community to produce higher yields while consuming less energy and using fewer nutrients and additives.
We do this by constantly trying to create an environment that is closest to what the sun produces naturally. This approach reduces the amount of stress placed on the plants and allows them a chance to grow as natural as possible in an artificial environment.