INTRODUCTION TO ECONOLUX LIGHTS


EconoLux lights provide the closest match to the PAR curve (the spectral curve of plant’s light absorption) possible, within the limits of the technology. Our plant-lights produce the maximum light output in the blue and red regions of the spectrum where it is most useful to the plants.  In addition, the output from our lamps have a smoother, and broader, spectral output than Metal Halide or High Pressure Sodium lamps.  The EconoLux lights produce full-spectrum light output (all colors) unlike many LED lamps that produce no output in the green and yellow portions of the spectrum (plants do need some green and yellow light) or spikes in output.

ELPL 2 types Plant-lights Spectrum + PAR Curve

The graph (above) shows the light output spectrum from the ELPL-VG (green line) and ELPL-FL (pink line) models, compared to the PAR curve (navy blue dashed line).  Note that the majority of the light output is in the blue and red regions as the plants make little use of green light.  Any light falling above the PAR curve is an “overabundance” of light and it is simply ignored by the plants unless they can make use of it.  The Two different types, VG and FL,  have different Blue to Red ratios to suit different plant types.

Useful Light Output:  The ELPL series of lamps produce the vast majority of their light output in the blue and yellow to red portions of the spectrum.  The green light produced (540~560nm) is a small fraction of the total lamp output, and the plants can utilize about 31% of that green light output (the balance is an ‘overabundance’ falling above the PAR curve and is ignored by the plants).  As a result, the ELPL lamps produce between 93% and 95% of light useful to plant cultivation.  Little energy is wasted producing light that the plants cannot use, compared to the useful (to plants) light output of about 75% for HPS lamps, and about 82% for MH lamps.

Plant-light Lifespan

Lifespan:  Since the ELPL plant-lights is based on Induction Lighting technology, which has no filaments or electrodes to wear out, the lamps offer an exceptionally long lifespan.  The ELPL plant growing lamps have a lifespan of 80,000 to 85,000 hours of operation – that’s over 9 years of 24/7 use!

The extended lifespan also saves time and money on the purchase of replacement lamps, and the labour for re-lamping.  Typically, an ELPL plant-light can outlast more than 9 Metal Halide (MH) lamps and more than 5 High Pressure Sodium (HPS) lamps!

Low “Heat Signature”:  The ELPL lamps operate at temperatures of around 52C (144.8F) on the glass, much lower than the temperatures found in Metal Halide (MH) and High Pressure Sodium (HPS) Lamps (typically 900~1,100C (1,652~2,012F) for MH and HPS lamps).  Unlike most LED plant-lights (which also operate at lower temperatures than MH and HPS lamps), they do not incorporate fans that may need cleaning and replacement during the lifetime of the LED fixture.  The ELPL series relies on passive cooling (conduction and convention) thus little, or no, heat extraction/ventilation equipment is needed, saving on the cost of the energy usually required to operate that equipment. The low operating temperatures also provide further benefits such as:

  • Improved moisture control and a reduced need for watering and nutrients due to less evaporation;
  • Significantly reduced heat damage to sensitive shoots and flower buds at the tops of the plants;
  • Improved light ‘intensity’ as the ELPL series lamps can be mounted closer to the plants (see diagram).  Since light falls off with the square of the distance, the closer the plant-lights can be mounted to the vegetation (without damaging it), the more light can be delivered to the plants.

ELPL grow-plant light positioning

Lumen Maintenance:  As any artificial light sources ages, it’s light output decreases.  This “lumen depreciation” can be plotted as a lumen maintenance curve which shows how well the light source maintains its output levels over its lifespan.

In the case of Metal Halide (MH) and High Pressure Sodium (HPS) plant-lights, they have shorter lifespan and steep lumen depreciation, necessitating frequent lamp replacements (see chart).  While LED plant-lights last longer (50,000 ~ 55,000 hours) they also have steeper lumen depreciation than the ELPL series.  The ELPL plant-lights have excellent lumen maintenance, producing higher levels of light output for a longer time, that competing plant-light technologies.

Plant GrowLIght - Lumen Maintenance

Significant Energy Savings:  When the ELPL series of plant-lights replaces MH and HPS lamps, they can provide energy savings of between 74% and 31% depending on the technology replaced (not including any additional saving on reduced ventilation/cooling costs).  For example, a 600W HPS lamp can be replaced with a 300W ELPL lamp saving 56.6% in energy costs, also saving the cost of 5 replacement HPS lamps, and the cost of the re-lamping labour.  In many cases, higher power LED plant-lights can be replaced with slightly lower wattage ELPL lamps due to the much broader spectrum of light output from the ELPL lamps, saving 25% to 40% in energy costs.

Advanced Coating:  The ELPL series of induction plant-lights uses a proprietary, and trade-secret, blend of domestically produced, and imported, high-gain phosphors to maximize light output.  Our self-developed phosphor technology also allows us to offer different coatings to suit different applications such as growing vegetative or flowering plants.  We are the only induction plant-light manufacturer who can provide these coatings.

Two Different types:  The ELPL series of plant lights are available in two different coating types to suit different agricultural applications.

The graph below shows the comparison of the two types, where the maximum output peak of the lamps is shown at 100%, while the PAR curve (plants light absorption curve – shown as a dashed navy blue line) has been normalized to 60% of relative spectral response.

The ELPL-VG type has more blue than red for growing vegetative plants, while the ELPL-FL type has more red than blue for growing flowering plants.  For more detail on the spectral output curves of the ELPL series lamps, please request a copy of our catalogues or test reports.

ELPL 2 Types Spectrum Compare

  • ELPL-VG:  Designed to growing vegetative (non-flowering) plants or for use in sprouting/germination/cloning areas where early plant growth requires additional blue light.  It offers a balance of 59% Blue to 32% Red light, and an output of 96.5% light useful to plants (excess green light has been deducted) – a Blue to Red ratio of 5.9:3.2.

  • ELPL-FL:  Designed for growing fruiting/flowering plants that need additional red light output.  It offers a balance of 41% Blue to 55% Red light, and an output of 96.5% light useful to plants  (excess green light has been deducted) – a Blue to Red ratio of 4.1:5.5.

Integrated Thermal Management:  The Induction lamps are designed with custom inductor heat-sinks that have almost twice the mass and surface area, compared to industry averages.  This helps to more rapidly dissipate the lamp heat through conduction and convention – lower operating temperatures increase lamp lifespan.  They are also laser engraved to allow for rapid identification of lamp type/model in the field.  In addition, the Induction series lamps come pre-mounted to a custom, extruded, thermal bridge (heat sink) to provide additional heat dissipation.  The Thermal bridge is provided with slotted holes at either end (and other threaded holes) making it simple to mount the lamp.

Green Technology:  The ELPL series of plant lights reduces energy consumption in agricultural applications, thereby also reducing CO2 production from power generation.  The ELPL series uses solid mercury amalgam which is more environmentally friendly than the liquid mercury used in HPS and MH lamps.  In addition, over the lifespan of the ELPL lamps, they use 8 times less mercury than HPS lamps, and 24 times less mercury than MH lamps!

Product Cost:  The ELPL series of induction plant-lights are more costly than standard induction lamps, due to the high quality of the components, precision manufacturing, CNC machined parts, the use of imported phosphors, and the integrated thermal management provided.  However, they are still cost competitive with brand-name MH and HPS agricultural lamps driven by electronic ballasts, and with most models of LED plant-lights.