As a grower, you have a lot of things to care about. Plant lifecycles, grow light positioning, heat, light spectrum, space and market are all incredibly important factors to consider when building a greenhouse or grow area.
As you explore this world and unpack the different metrics and grow lights and systems that you need for optimum yields and healthy, flavoursome plants, you will hit a wall of acronyms. These acronyms – PAR, PPF, PPFD – sit alongside terms like watts, lumens, photon efficiency and LUX, and they are all critical to helping you create the perfect grow space and yield.
This isn’t as complicated as it sounds. In this guide, we explain exactly what PPFD means, and exactly why you should care…
PPFD measures the light that actually arrives at the plant or algae. Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density or “PPFD” is a measurement of the amount of light that actually reaches your plants and algae or, as a scientist might say: “the number of photosynthetically active photons that fall on a given surface each second”. PPFD is a ‘spot’ measurement of a specific location on your plant canopy, and it is measured in micromoles per square meter per second. This measurement is expressed by scientists and light engineers as: μmol/m2/s.
Since it’s possible to measure both the PPFD output from grow lights and the ideal PPFD levels for plants, the grow light’s output should match the plant’s needs.
Let's say you’re growing tomatoes in a 2x2’ (60x60 cm) tent and you know that tomato is a high light intensity crop that likes PPFD 600 µmol/m2/s and above. Naturally, a grow light matching this plant’s needs should be selected.0r, if you’re growing microgreens, which are considered low light intensity plants, they will do well with PPFD 100-200 µmol/m2/s. These two scenarios would need very different grow lights.
The data from Chandra et al. confirm that the optimal photon density for peak medicinal plants photosynthesis is between 500 and 700 µmol/m2 (PPFD). It also shows that we should avoid going over 1000 µmol/m2 (PPFD) which could lead to damage. With artificial lighting, the distribution of light is never perfect. Therefore, we want to ensure that all areas of the canopy get at least 500 µmol/m2 (PPFD) and that no spot receives more than 1000 µmol/m2 (PPFD). We recommend an average of 700 µmol/m2 (PPFD). With most grow lights, an average of 700 will ensure that you stay within the optimal range for peak photosynthesis in all regions of the canopy.
For the grower, it’s important to make sure that the PPFD data you get from your grow light manufacturer is accurate and covers the entire area of the light. It’s relatively easy to massage this information, so consider factors such as distance from the light source, a number of measurements that account for the average, and the minimum/maximum ratio before you buy. This is another great reason why you should work with a trusted grow light partner who can offer you relevant metrics and the right tools to fully benefit from PPFD.The major festival is coming and we provide customers with more favorable prices. Welcome customers to come and buy
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