LED Gardener
In This Issue:
LED Grow Lighting
Coverage by Mounting Height




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March, 2011             Volume 6,  Issue 3

    LED Grow Lighting Coverage by Mounting Height
          Using traditional, glass bulb lighting, light is emitted in all directions.  
    This is why when we turn on a light bulb in our home- the entire room lights
    up and not just the area beneath the bulb.  When using these bulbs to grow
    plants, a bulky external reflector is used to direct more of the light toward the
    intended grow area.  Even with this reflector, turning on the bulb will still
    scatter light throughout the room because it is reflecting from all angles
    within the external reflector.  This reality makes HPS unwelcome in most
    living areas and causes light pollution (aka bad neighbor relations) from
    artificially lit greenhouses.
           LEDs work differently.
    Each individual LED is fitted
    with a built-in reflector that
    ensures the light shines
    only where it is directed.  
    LED manufacturers are
    able to choose the angle at
    which light exits the array.
         The effect of different angles of light dispersion is basically what you see
    when you are using a nozzle on your garden hose.  A wide angle of
    dispersion causes a gentle misting over a large area, while a narrow angle
    of dispersion causes a concentrated jet stream hitting a very small area.  
    The same amount of water comes through the hose on either setting- the
    adjustment just dictates how much area the water will cover.   Either the
    whole plot receives a sip of water- or one plant gets blasted with the jet
    stream.  Most gardeners find there is a setting between these two extremes
    which best serves their purpose.   
          In LED terms- we can take two LED arrays that are identical in light
    output and give one a 180 degree beam spread and one a 14 degree beam
    spread.  The LED array with the 180 degree beam spread is going to cover
    a much larger area but, the light is diluted through the whole 180 degrees
    giving your plants a "misting" of light.   The 14 degree beam spread LED
    array is going to provide you with an extremely powerful stream of light but
    the light would be limited to a very small area directly beneath the LEDs.     
    LGM LED grow lighting is designed around the middle ground.  SolarOasis
    incorporated two beam spreads into our products- 45 degrees and 33
    degrees.  The beams are narrow enough to provide a concentrated source
    of light, but wide enough  to cover an area much larger than the unit itself-
    allowing sunlight through to the plant canopy in applications where sunlight
    is available.
         The LED light is exiting each cluster at one of these angles- making a
    cone shaped light emission.  The cone of light gets larger and larger the
    further from the source.  When we judge coverage on a light source such as
    HPS, a 4' x 4' recommendation would suggest that this is the area that will
    receive the most light. Because the light is scattering- plants outside of the
    4' x 4' area are still receiving light.  This is not the case with LEDs.  Only
    plants that are within the cone will receive light.  Because of this focus, LED
    grow lighting can eliminate light pollution concerns and make them more
    welcome in living areas;  It also makes the coverage area a very important
    guideline.  
          When determining how many LED light bars one needs- the plot size is
    not the only dimension to consider.   For example, let's say you are planning
    an herb garden for your kitchen counter and you determine that you will
    utilize a planter that is 1' wide by 3' long.  While the planter only contains
    seedlings- the 1' x 3' coverage would apply but you need to keep in mind
    that as your plants grow- they may become larger than the planter itself so
    long term coverage
    considerations will need
    to include an area larger
    than the planter size.
    This cone shape
    emission is very
    important to consider
    as well.  The base of the
    cone is going to be wider
    than the top.  This is why
    the expected height and
    width of the full grown plant should be taken into consideration.  As plants
    get larger, only portions that fall within the light cone will grow properly.  
    Since much of the light emitted from the LED array is invisible to the human
    eye- we have provided a chart to approximate your coverage area based on
    the mounting height above the plants.
    Click here for coverage area by mounting height.



                                 Copyright 2011 by LED Grow Master Global, LLC All Rights Reserved

LED Grow Lighting Coverage