The OpticPAR™ technology found inside SpecGrade LED grow lights aims every micromole (µmol) of PAR produced by the luminaire on to the plants. The increased intensity of PAR delivered to the plant canopy penetrates the canopy and reaches the lower levels of the tomato plants, strawberry plants or lettuce, resulting in higher yields.
There are two metrics commonly used to measure the amount of PAR available in a grow area. The photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) measures the total amount of PAR produced by the lighting fixture, but it does not consider whether the fixture delivers the PAR energy to the plants. The photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) describes the amount of PAR that reaches the canopy of various plants such as tomatoes or strawberries. It is measured in micromoles per square meter per second (µmol/m2/s). Reputable grow lighting manufacturers will provide an average PPFD value provided by a grow light and include details such as the recommended distance from the light source to the canopy, example room size, and the calculation density (the number and spacing of PPFD measurements used to generate the average PPFD value). The higher the PPFD value of a grow fixture, the more PAR exposure it provides to the plant canopy.
Providing PAR exposure to a crop requires that the grow light both produce an impressive amount of PAR and effectively distribute it to the plant canopy. Unfortunately, most grow lights are not equipped with the optical technology necessary to control the direction in which PAR leaves the fixture, so this valuable energy is absorbed by the walls, the floor, the isles and the plant canopy.
While fixtures with poor or non-existent optical systems may produce adequate levels of PAR, they cannot effectively deliver it to the plants, resulting in low PPFD values and lackluster yields.
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