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LED Lights and the Grow Revolution

One of the things I hope to accomplish with the launch of this blog is to spread the word about innovative products and companies in the gardening industry.  And so we will begin our series of featured products with Grow Revolution Horticultural Lighting. Their products seem to fall into the fantasy grow room category, but after a question and answer session with them, I learned that they actually SAVE you tons of cash on overhead, so click on their savings calculator to see how much! I am posting a great photo of their lights in action, and an excerpt from our Q&A. For more outstanding information about what I personally believe is the future of indoor growing, click here to read the entire interview.

At the trade show in San Francisco I was able to check out your products. The light set up I was most impressed with was the T1 Smart Bar. I was told they produce as much light, if not more, than a standard 1000 watt bulb, and they are specifically designed for growing hydroponically. How were you able to develop this product?

The SmartBar is sold as a kit of two bars is the equivalent to a 1000 watt HPS. The wattage equivalency was established by Agriculture Canada in lettuce tests comparing our lights to HPS lights.

Theoreme Innovation began in 2004 with the research of two engineers in Montreal whose goal was to develop truly leading edge grow lights for the commercial grow industry. Since founding the company at that time they and their team have spent significant time and effort (and money) in the fundamental research required to achieve the necessary mixture of spectrums to promote full plant growth and flowering. This has meant a great deal of basic agronomy and engineering research to deliver products that deliver real results.

There are many manufacturers of LEDs and the differences between each LED can be quite substantial. Theoreme has tested all of them and continues to do so in order to be at the leading edge of this technology. However, Theoreme is not just a lighting company. At base it is a company whose focus is on plant science and aiding growers to grow more efficiently.

What sets Theoreme Innovation apart from other sellers, resellers and distributors of LED grow lights is that their products are the result of a lot of basic research and engineering rather than just trying to quickly repackage technology and products that others have made. From the start, Theoreme’s founders were committed to doing the basic research to develop a long run vision and solutions for the grow industry.

The SmartBar is the best example of this approach – the low height of the light and the water cooling are not the result of technical requirements but rather the lamp is the result of an analysis of what commercial growers needed.

With the capital cost of greenhouses and grow spaces being around 30% of the cost of commercial grow production, Theoreme decided that a key goal was to allow growers to grow on multiple vertical levels thus cutting that 30% figure dramatically. In one commercial grow operation where this light is used, the grower has increased production fourfold in the same space. The means that the 30% is maybe something like 7.5%. That is a huge capital savings for the grower which can be translated onto bottom line savings.

The water cooling is a result of growers needing to evacuate all heat from greenhouses and grow spaces in warm periods. In cold periods, this heat production can be more usefully directed around plants because research has shown that this is the most efficient use of the energy in the whole grow process compared with just letting the heat escape from the light into the greenhouse and be circulated around.

To learn more about LED lights, check out Grow Revolution, their peers at Greenpinelane.com and read the rest of the interview here.

 

Comments

Comment from jeff
Time October 6, 2008 at 8:57 am

in the picture there are around 35 to 40 reflectors? could 4 to 6 1000w HID bulbs cover the same area? I know that my 600w hid system kills my T5 and led systems? mabye not in annual cost but in yeild it has seemed to flourish over the other two. I know what im gonna use! :) Jeff from MaverickSun

Comment from jeff
Time October 6, 2008 at 9:32 am

I would love to send you our new 600w grow spec bulb. We sent some to 3 commercial veggie growers and they told us they have never seen a better bulb. I know that every company says this but we want to prove it! All 3 growers have been around for years and were set on how they did things untill we sent them our bulb! they said that we out yield any bulb on the market! And we can prove it! :) Let me know!

Comment from Red Icculus
Time November 9, 2008 at 12:09 pm

LED’s work in veg, but are a total letdown in flower. There are spectrums not being hit with LED lamps that prolong flowering and produce spindly fruits.

Comment from John
Time November 14, 2008 at 9:42 pm

Red Icculus, I think you should take a look at http://www.greenpinelane.com which tested these lights — the results are fantastic and finally debunk what you’re saying in a big way. They grew both tomatoes and peppers and the results are outstanding. There are also results on other sites with these lights which show outstanding flowering.

Comment from jeff
Time January 21, 2009 at 8:04 am

yes you can flower with them kinda. but nothing beats a high pressure but the sun. also with a plant growing taller and you having to pull your lights farther away, you will need a lamp that dosent take away from the bottom getting efficent light. also leds dont get very hot at all making your grow room temp easily fall into cold spells. with that said your media will stay wet longer from lack of heated light hitting it and that inturn can make it more easy to get disease. not only disease but with your media not being completly dry, you dont want to over water it, making it hard to keep your feeding schedule on track. if you cant water because it will drown it and it will die if you dont feed it is a problem i dont want. This is just my opinion from what i haved tryed and trued. im not a guru in anyway but i do know what i have found to work the best.

Comment from Tom
Time April 16, 2009 at 2:14 pm

The TiSmartBar is a scam. The product doesn’t work. They begged us to do product testing for them and offered us a money back deal if we were not happy for any reason. We bought the product and had product testers use the LED’s for many months. Feel free to call us 24 hrs a day with info about the junk LED’s called the SmartBar. Also feel free to email me at tcr9315@comcast.net

Comment from jmist
Time April 17, 2009 at 3:53 am

apart from the savings are thease lights the best out there. i feel a bit duebious as to whever thease lights have the same lumen to watt ratio of the hps systems

Comment from Ragnar
Time April 18, 2009 at 12:21 pm

It is the special thing about LEDs that you shouldn’t use Lumen but PAR or better PPFD when it comes to plant lights. HPS is originally a very efficient way to lighten up places (e.g. parking lots and streets). It worked good in horticulture, too, even more since the spectrum got altered specifically to those needs. LEDs can be even more specific about plants needs regarding light spectrum. Who’ll get the the magic mix done right in the end is (IMHO) still not decided and it might be different to each plant if you want to use max. efficiency.

Comment from Julie
Time May 22, 2009 at 5:39 am

Red Icculus — you are only right about the old crap like the UFOs and panels. I know cause I’ve tried them all and have finally settled on these lights from Growrevolution which are the only led lights out there that actually replace our old HIDs.

I am not sure why you had such a bad experience Tom. I have been growing with both the Smartlamp 600 and the Smartbar 1000 since this past fall and have gotten great help from the folks at Growrevolution.com.

It takes a bit of getting used to at first because of the change in heat etc. Once I started growing with shorter plants and cut the nutrients and water I was fine and matching what I have been used to getting under HPS all these years without all the heat to manage and with a huge cut in electricity which is important since I grow under license and cost matter for me.

Comment from Anonymous
Time June 26, 2009 at 7:10 am

DLUX GROW BULBS. see what all these led growers are missing out on at mavericksun.com dont be shamboozled by LEDs cause you wont have money to buy the real thing once you figure it out. YES LEDS WILL GROW things but lol come on my house bulbs will too. im sure i could hold a flash light at it long enough to grow a little bit just nothing like a hps grow spec though. its just simply unbeatable. not only that how much did you pay for this set up? ALOT more than a bulb. Leds are ALOT more expensive per unit than a hps bulb. with that said do you really save money on electricity with the extra cost of each unit. the leds lose light output just like any grow light out. SOOO once you reach half of its life you are NOT getting the same results as brand new which is already not as good as the DLux line. once you are 3/4 in its life you are waisting time because the depreciation of light not being suffecient. once you are at the end of its life, well you have to buy another expensive fixture. ending up spending more on the lights than you ever would paying the 40 bucks a month for you hps. some day leds might compair but for now……. well they dont have a chance against the dlux.

Comment from David
Time July 13, 2009 at 6:21 pm

It seems as though the jury is still out on LED’s. As an electrician I feel as though LED’s are the best thing on the horizon for general lighting. I looked over the web site above and was not overly impressed. For one the warrenty is POOR for something that they say is going to last 50,000 hours. I see high output led fail all around me. From street signal lights to tail light on our cars, we are not getting the life out of these LED’s as advertised. Their specs looked hacked, and poorly described. I got the feeling like they were trying to hide something from their web site. I will wait until they work out the bugs for a few years. LED’s do now offer a great way to blend light for hard to grow flowers though. I’m going to wait this one out. I am getting great results with 600 hps and it’ll take a great deal to improve upon that. I also do not care for the” hydrolic” cooling!!!!! The last thing I need is more plumbing (problems)!!!!!!!!!!!! …DFR

Comment from Ragnar
Time July 15, 2009 at 2:23 pm

As much as a lot of the manufacturers exaggerate the performance of the LED light, as much Anonymous underestimates them. They are much more than flash lights and after 10 years of 12 hours daily they still have 70% of their output (then you want to upgrade anyways). 10 years of light-bulbs makes a good $400-500 on HPS bulbs filled with poisonous gases, where do you put them, normal waste? I hope not so.
Energy-saving over that time (maybe 30% or higher) not included. Do the math and check the forums about this, not the manufacturers.

Comment from caronzhang
Time September 11, 2009 at 7:10 am

this is caron from china, we are a chinese manufacturer of led grow light, led spot light, led flexible strip, led rigid ,led tube light.

hoping we can have some chance to business with each other

Comment from KJ
Time November 9, 2009 at 10:42 am

I sent an e-mail to Grow Revolution last thursday, and asked many questions. One of which was, “What exactly is a high powered LED?”

I have yet to hear back from them, and my gut feelings tells me I won’t. Respectfully and IMHO, another company making claims they can’t or won’t back up.

Yes, I saw the photos and read the entire forum on http://www.greenpinelane.com. But if a company won’t say, tell or write what exactly is meant (tech. spec) by a “high powered LED”, then I cannot help but believe this is another empty promise of current LED technology.

What a shame.

Comment from growell.co.uk
Time February 16, 2010 at 6:57 am

David, I loved your post and agree fully. In my mind the jury is still out a little on LED’s and I want to see them actually work as advertised first before I actually have on my appliances that I depend on.

Comment from Phil
Time May 12, 2010 at 1:45 pm

Gents,

I have to tell you that Grow Revolution does not manufacture any lamps. They where doing Theorem Innovation distribution. If you have any questions about the SmartLamp, SmartBar or technicallity ab out them please write to sales@ledinnovationdesign.com I will be glad to answer.

A little bit about High power LEDs. A High power LED is a term used by the LED manufacturer and the LED industry to categorized them. On the market you have the standard LED that are use as pilot light, there are the high brithness that would generate at least 1cdl and normally driven at 30mA. Then we have have the high power one that can be driven at 350mA.

I have to correct a bit Ragnar we use PAR when we are talking about vegatation as it refer to the Photosynthetically Actif Radiation (PAR) curve. Lumen, LUX and candella are still use when trying to define light that is visible to the humans & animals eye

Comment from John
Time March 21, 2011 at 3:11 pm

I saw this on Google.

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