Apr 24, 2019
If you own or manage a greenhouse or grow operation, then one of the most important pieces of equipment you can have are proper lights. But what are proper lights and what aren’t? One thing to look at and understand when purchasing LEDs are what PAR LED lights are, and how incorporating them can improve and enhance plant growth.
The Basics of PAR
PAR stands for Photosynthetically Active Radiation and is essentially how much light is available for use during the photosynthesis process — which, of course, is the process plants use to synthesize carbohydrates from water and carbon dioxide. LED grow lights are designed to mimic the sun and give off a variety of wavelengths in order to simulate the same nutrient-producing properties as the sun to enable photosynthesis to occur. During the natural process of photosynthesis, plants will only absorb a part of the sun’s emitting wavelengths while the rest are reflected off the plants. The term PAR is a measurement or reflection of only those wavelengths the plant absorbs. In other words, PAR is the perfect amount of energy a plant needs for effective photosynthesis to occur.
Finding the Right PAR Measurements
Note that different plants require different amounts of wavelengths and one plant may need varying wavelengths over the course of its lifespan according to its different stages of life. In general, however, a few benchmarks to keep in mind are:
- Between 200 and 400 PPFD for seedlings, clones, and mother plants
- Between 400 and 600 PPFD for late-stage producing cycles
- Between 500 and 900 PPFD for flowering, fruiting, and budding stages
- When you get above 900 PPFD, plants will still be able to perform photosynthesis but at this stage they are getting too much light and an excess amount of wavelengths are being reflected off. This is okay, but growers will want to add more carbon dioxide to better fuel the process.
PPFD stands for Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density, which is the measurement of PAR light density in a given area. To measure it, you use a PPF, or Photosynthetic Photon Flux, which measures PAR and the number of photons of light per second that make contact with plants.
Go With PAR LED for Your Growing Needs
PAR LEDs produce higher ratios of PAR than comparable high-intensity discharge lights (HIDs) which means you’ll tend to use less of the PAR LED when outfitting a light system in a greenhouse or similar grow operation. Additionally, LEDs have a reduced heat load and a significantly longer lifespan which enable buyers of PAR LED to significantly save money over the course of the LED’s lifespan.
For more information about the right amount of PAR and PPFD for your indoor garden, you will want to consult industry resources for your specific crop as optimum PPFDs will vary from plant to plant. Here at Titan LED, we offer full lighting solutions, complete with photometric engineering to accurately gauge the output of your lighting and ensure that you’re getting the optimum growth within your greenhouse. For more information about purchasing and installing PAR LED lighting systems in your greenhouse or indoor growing unit, please consult our team today for personalized assistance.