As the use of LEDs has risen among greenhouse growers, so have concerns about the best way to measure and compare the many LED light products across the market in terms of energy efficiency, reliability and safety. Inflated claims about lighting products and the need for an easier way to compare the many lighting products available on the market have triggered a call for greater transparency in the lighting industry and the development of standardized measuring and testing methods for LEDs. And the lighting industry is responding.
Early in 2015, the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, part of the American National Standards Institute, formed a Plant Growth LED Lighting Committee and tasked them with developing a plan for moving the lighting industry toward developing new standards that meet the needs of plant-growth communities. The committee formed two working groups that will define the metrics of radiation for plant growth applications in a controlled environment, and establish methods of measurement and testing longevity for LED products, along with other criteria. They have since made great strides toward the development of industry lighting standards.
“In advance of lighting standard’s eventual adoption by growers, trade associations, manufacturers, utilities and other shareholders, LumiGrow is rolling out a product label concept that is a consumer-friendly interpretation of the data manufacturers receive from LM-79 and LM-80 tests,” says Caroline Nordahl Wells, vice president of marketing at LumiGrow.
Inspiration for the label comes from the nutrition labels on food. The new label will translate technical lab test results into clear language that is easily comprehensible to growers. The label will be accompanied with an educational series featuring the use of spectrally adjustable lights to control growth in a range of production and research crops, including Arabidopsis, basil, cannabis, gerberas, lettuce, snapdragons and tomatoes.