Our previous blog post introduced the concept of tune-able spectrum lighting; this post focuses on the merits of tune-able broad spectrum lighting, which incorporates every wavelength in the photosynthetic active radiation range, while allowing for control over specific wavelengths relevant to horticultural outcomes.
Traditionally, many LED grow lights have utilized only red and blue LEDs, resulting in the pure magenta colored light typically associated with indoor farms. The red + blue LED approach is based on conventional knowledge, which attempted to match the wavelengths at which photosynthesis is most efficient with the emission spectrum of the LEDs in the fixture. Unfortunately, this approach prioritizes only photosynthesis over other plant functions, such as accessory pigment development. This lighting approach is broadly recognized as an inefficient method of growing healthy plants with desirable characteristics, such as rich turpene profiles, high concentrations of accessory pigments, and potent flavors.
Since red/blue LED grow lights, sometimes referred to as ‘blurple’ lights, are largely considered outdated within the industry, many LED grow light manufacturers have responded by blending white LEDs with single color (or monochromatic) LEDs in the red, blue, and far red spectrum. Some manufacturers even offer grow lights with only warm white LEDs for flowering applications. As of this writing, very few manufacturers offer tune-able horticultural lighting products which combine both narrow spectrum and broad spectrum LEDs while allowing for a wide dimming range across each channel. Tune-able broad spectrum horticultural lighting allows growers to take advantage of all of the benefits of broad spectrum horticultural lighting while also tailoring the spectrum toward their needs, such as manipulating flowering,