Nanometer (nm)

Last updated: November 19, 2021

What Does Nanometer (nm) Mean?

Nanometer is a term that comes up frequently when researching grow lights.

In general use, a nanometer is simply a unit of spatial measurement that is one-billionth of a full meter. When used in reference to horticulture lighting, a nanometer is the measurement of the color of light that is being put off by either the sun or an artificial light source.

In other words, the visible light spectrum, which is a fraction of the global radiation spectrum, is measured in nanometers, with ultraviolet light being near the 400 nanometer range, and infrared light being near the 700 nanometer range.

In addition to nanometers, the amount of actual light that reaches the plant is measured in micromoles. These are two important factors to consider when choosing a horticultural lighting system.


Maximum Yield Explains Nanometer (nm)

The light emitted from grow lights is actually made up of small particles (photons). The energy produced by these photons can vary a lot, depending on the wavelength emitted from the global light color spectrum. When it comes to plant growth, it is important to select lighting systems that put off a specific range.

This can be measured in nanometers, which refers to the distance a light can travel before dispersing. A nanometer is actually one-billionth of a full meter. The differing lengths of this wave produce the colors in the global light spectrum.

It is important to note that only a part of the entire global radiation spectrum can be used by a plant for growth and survival. This range occurs on the spectrum between 400 and 700 nm, and this is referred to as photosynthetically active radiation (PAR).

PAR is the range of light required by plants for photosynthesis to take place. These different wavelengths have differing effects on the human eye as they do on the photosynthesis process of a plant, meaning that plants and people see light very differently. Because of these differing wavelengths, calculating how far a light will effectively travel is vital when manufacturers are developing a grow light system.


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