|LED Grow Lights Spectral Output and Visual Perception of Output
Before SolarOasis introduced the first LED light designed specifically for plant growth in 2002, all
measurements of light energy were based on “White Light” products. Light comes in many colors (wavelengths).
A typical plant light such as HPS produces light wavelengths from 380nm (UV), up to and beyond 880nm (IR).
Plants use certain groups of light wavelengths from the Visible Light Spectrum (400nm-700nm). To the human
eye, the wavelengths associated with the colors green and yellow appear much brighter than the colors red and
blue which are the primary colors used by plants for photosynthesis.
HID, incandescent, and fluorescent lighting were all originally designed to light rooms. The manufacturers
took these bulbs and added bits of impurities to get more of the colors that plants need and labeled them “grow
lights”. As much as 82% of the light coming out of a traditional plant light is not absorbed by plants or is in the
form of UV, or IR (heat). HID lighting can reach temperatures of over fourteen hundred degrees Fahrenheit at the
bulbs surface. This excess heat is then ventilated and directly translates into wasted energy that is included in a
lumen rating. Remember, up to 80% of the wattage used by a HPS/Metal Halide goes directly to waste heat,
making HID lighting very costly to manage.
LED grow lights offered a unique opportunity to the designers. Instead of starting with an existing lamp
designed to light rooms for people- the LED grow lamp designer can select LEDs that generate exactly the colors
of light needed to target wavelengths that are needed for plant growth. Designers are able to add as many colors
as they would like and add them in their proper proportion. Finally, the individual LEDs can be arranged in
whatever pattern desired to create the final lamp design. By leaving out colors of light that are useful for human
vision but not useful for plant growth, incredible levels of efficiency are attained in comparison to other types of
grow lights. Targeting 6 bands of color proven by Scientists to be best absorbed and used for plant growth.
Designed, engineered, and constructed in the USA.