What Does Optical Efficiency Mean?
In horticulture, optical efficiency refers to the grow light’s power. This is usually measured in watts per watts (W/W). Since plants tend to be sensitive to the number of photons distributed by the grow light, it is important to maximize optical efficiency. Proper optical efficiency can also result in larger buds, and consequently, more productive yields.
Maximum Yield Explains Optical Efficiency
There are five main ways to optimize optical efficiency:
- Adjusting the intensity - Beginners are often under the misconception that brighter lights will automatically produce better yields. However, lights that are too close to too bright may be detrimental to more delicate or smaller plants. It’s best to opt for a lighting system that can be adjusted as the plant grows.
- Refraining from over-handling the bulbs - While setting up the grow light, it is only natural to have direct contact with the bulbs. However, fingertip oils may create spots and smudges, which may be detrimental to the lamp’s optical efficiency.
- Changing the bulbs regularly - This applies to both LED and standard bulbs. To maximize optical efficiency, it is crucial to change the bulbs every time they begin to lose power, instead of waiting for them to turn off completely.
- Adding Reflective surfaces and walls - Some plants, like cannabis, thrive best with proper reflection, which may boost optical efficiency by up to 30%. Most DIY stores carry reflective wallpaper or surfaces that can be arranged in the grow room.
- Boosting light intensity with reflectors - Also available in DIY stores, these apparatuses are best-suited to smaller spaces with just a few grow lamps. Reflectors can easily improve light intensity and coverage, resulting in better optical efficiency.