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The Future of Horticulture Grow Lighting Featured

LED lights are one type of lighting that will be a part of the future of growing. LED lights are one type of lighting that will be a part of the future of growing.


HID light manufactures, most indoor gardening distributors, and the majority of hydroponic retailers may not want to admit it, but horticultural lighting is taking a new direction. A few manufacturers are already embracing this new direction and producing some outstanding, innovative products.

Horticultural lighting of the future will be focused on efficiency in both energy consumption and spectral output. The technologies making the most headway in these attributes are sulfur plasma, LEDs, and induction fluorescents.

Sulfur Plasma

Sulfur plasma is an induction-type lamp that contains sulfur powder. When the magnetron excites the sulfur powder it causes it to illuminate. It is the long lifespan and full spectrum output that makes sulfur plasma such a bright prospect for the future of horticulture. Sulfur plasma bulbs do not lose their usable light energy like HID bulbs and are rated for 60,000 hours.

Although this technology is years away from taking over the indoor gardening industry, sulfur plasma is a technology to keep your eye on. Plants grown under sulfur plasma lighting are vigorous and emulate plants grown under direct sunlight.


LEDs team longevity with energy efficiency and can be customized to emit virtually any spectrum desired. It is the ability to customize their spectral output that makes LEDs the main contender for the future of horticultural lighting.

We already know that plants are more sensitive to particular spectrums than others. LEDs have the ability to tailor their light output to best fit the needs of the plants. This makes for a very high amount of PAR (photosynthetically active radiation) per watt of energy consumed. This is where the potential of LEDs dwarfs all other lighting technologies.

As we discover more of the intricacies associated with plant growth relative to specific light spectrums we will come closer to discovering the ultimate LED lighting system for horticultural use.

Induction Fluorescent

Induction fluorescent technology makes fluorescent lighting as efficient as possible. The tube in an induction fluorescent bulb is sealed, which means gas is unable to escape. Because of this, the bulb is able to maintain a consistent light output throughout its entire life, which is 5-7 years of continuous use.

Induction fluorescents are more ecologically friendly than current lighting technologies as well. The mercury contained within induction fluorescents is half the amount of standard fluorescents and is in solid form, which means, in the case of accidental breakage, there is less of a health hazard. The solid form mercury also makes it completely retrievable during the recycling process. Its high CRI rating and practically non-existent degradation in spectral output make induction fluorescents the eco-friendly bulb of choice for indoor growers of today and a good prospect for becoming the future of horticultural lighting.

Growers of high-value crops have continually pushed the envelope in indoor gardening technologies. It is their desire to constantly improve the efficiencies of their gardens that drives manufacturers to produce more efficient products.

The future of indoor gardening is unknown but one thing is certain: growers are demanding products that will help optimize their return. Sulfur plasma, LEDs, and induction fluorescents are all positioned to play key roles in maximizing efficiency and performance in the future of indoor horticulture.

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The revolution in grow lights is a little different than the lights and revolution Paris is talking about here.
Last modified on Tuesday, 28 May 2013 21:42

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