Can I compare LED and HID grow lights using photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) as a unit of measure?
Thank you for your great question. PPFD (expressed in umol/m2/s) is currently the best measurement horticulturists have to determine how much usable light energy there is. Unfortunately, a PPFD reading gives us the total photon flux density between 400-700 nm without taking into consideration the nanometers to which chlorophyll a and b are most sensitive. That being said, the amount of umol/m2/s or PPFD required to produce optimal growth with LED lighting should be slightly lower than with other horticultural light sources (this is assuming the LEDs are emitting the optimal nanometers for photosynthesis).
In theory, horticultural LEDs should also be able to produce higher PPFD readings per watt of energy consumed than other light technologies because of their ability to tailor their light output to specific nanometers. I’m afraid until we have a way to accurately measure individual nanometers within the range of photosynthentically active radiation (PAR), comparing horticultural LEDs to other horticultural lighting technologies is a bit like comparing apples to oranges.
Thanks again for your question!
More Q&As from our experts
- What is the best way to manicure my plants; bushy or tall?
- Should I consider companion plants for optimal pest control and nutrient balance?
- How should I mix hydroponic nutrient solution concentrates when cultivating ginger hydroponically?
Don't Miss the Latest News From Maximum Yield!
Stay on top of new content from MaximumYield.com. Join our email newsletter and get the latest grow tips in your inbox every week.
- Free Webinar: Beyond the Test: How to ensure proper cannabis remediation from lab to shelf
- Free Webinar: Beyond the Test: How to ensure proper cannabis remediation from lab to shelf | Wednesday, February 19, 2020 at 1:00 PM (EST)
- Upcoming Free Webinar: Beyond the Test: How to ensure proper cannabis remediation from lab to shelf | Wednesday, February 19 at 1PM (ET)
- Take our grower survey for a chance to win a $500 Visa giftcard!
- Free Webinar | Grow Smarter: Technology Advances in Agriculture | November 28, 2018 @ 10:00 AM PST