Is full-spectrum light necessary for plant growth?

08/06/2015 by

Just what is ”full-spectrum light”? Is it something you should expect your grow lights to provide? Is it something plants want or need?
In a word, no.
Before LED technology, lighting research was based on conventional light bulbs that emit a wide range of wavelengths, which makes the appearance of white light. The assumption was that plants needed that wide range of wavelengths in order to thrive, just as the sun provides for outdoor plants.
We now know, however, that that is not the case. Research shows that plants primarily absorb light from much more narrow areas of the light spectrum — blue and red regions, specifically. Chlorophyll — the plant structure in which photosynthesis occurs — absorbs peak wavelengths around 450nm and 660nm (blue and red, respectively). Initial studies using solid-state lighting (LEDs) have proven that specific ratios of blue to red will affect growth of a plant. This research demystified the relationship between specific wavelengths and plant physiology/morphology and showed the way for LEDs to become a viable option as a sole source of lighting for plant growth. Illumitex researchers have developed arrays of different ratios of red and blue for a variety of applications.
Giving plants only the light they need — red and blue vs. “full spectrum” — is important when considering energy usage. It is inefficient (and costly) to consume energy to generate light that is useless to plants. LEDs consume significantly less energy than legacy lighting sources, but it’s still important, for maximum energy savings,  to use lighting that produces only the wavelengths absolutely necessary. This means that not only will you have a lower cost of energy to power your lights, but also, the increased yield you’ll get means a substantial return on investment and a decreased time to turn a profit.
Illumitex produces proven LED spectra for different applications such as biomass accumulation, height suppression, tissue propagation, night-interruption and more. Wavelengths that are not directly involved in plant morphology and physiology have been omitted from our spectra in order to provide an extremely energy-efficient light source capable of supporting plants from seed to seed (germination, vegetative growth, flowering, fruiting and setting seed).
Light energy is delivered exactly where it is needed: the plant canopy. The even lighting coverage across the canopy leads to uniform and consistent harvests throughout time. Combining our powerful optics that feature a 50 degree beam angle and proven spectral arrays, our LED technology will increase yields as well as decrease the energy cost leaving you maximum profit.
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