Horticultural Blues and Reds by Dennis McCarthy

Jul 19, 2013 No Comments by

 Dennis McCarthy  is an Educator , product analyst , writer and  quality maven in the solid state lighting field- and  has recently  become a SSL  horticultural  product “inventor” who has a  new item under the sun made to enhance photosynthetic flux density output numbers.

We’re all witnessing the optimization of an approach with regards to lighting in

the realm of horticulture – a new day is on us. We are seeing LEDs become THE

solution . There are facets of practicality, advancement and of noble intent-

Noble as in increasing food production ratios while lowering costs !

Hey a little cheerleading is fine, and this is the time and place for it.

young tomatoes


 A measure of where the trend is going can be summed up by the observation that

a lot of modern era greenhouses are turning a pinkish – purplish hue.



  There is a palpable sense that horticultural concerns are now adopting SS lighting !

 It’s most likely

due to practicality aspect and because of compelling innovations that make using it extremely  desirable.


With a finite amount of tillable land many growing concerns are going vertical-

that’s an area that lends itself well to these new innovative lighting wares . Doing the

job of lighting these tiers of vegetation is poorly handled by grand dads grow lights.

We all know that proper – effective lighting spectrums are equally as critical as is

a sound medium or  using the proper nutrients for garnering an outstanding yield.

By pairing an improved alignment with next gen lighting – well it’s brilliant !

At least that’s what the plants are saying!

Michel smith Lab


 Since the vegetative matter is not paying the electric bill – we ought to look  to the

LED grow light engineers to make a perfect product that will be robust enough for service- over years and be

tunable so as to be dynamic and efficient enough to slash kW usage-. I would say

many of these lighting  gurus are doing their jobs well. If the plants were talkin  &

bill paying they would agree – this is the way to do it.


 Astute growers were getting fed up with paying for energy in the green area of the lighting

spectrum – now they don’t have to – ah better living thru science !!

Additionally there are not the traditional constraints of seasonal growth patterns as

seen in traditional green houses reliant on old Sol.  The flexibility is part of the appeal of the use of SSL – need more of the blue spectrum, tap the control pad, or need to

coordinate air flow along with  the type  or strength of luminance – done via your smart phone.

Often this new tech is paired with improved secondary considerations or tangents, ie

Hours of use counters or a moving lighting gantry where the lights are on moving tracks

LED lighting will evolve in to a data center that can  regulate a multitude of  keen tasks.


 So for me (and I’m speaking for many) cheers are in order – for the folks who are using

SSL  as the pioneers, but also I’m sending out Kudos’ for the innovators and those trying to sell these babies, I give a round of applause for the folks in Europe and Asia

who are  further along in the product refinement process. The hope is that all of us

will be  reaping the increased benefits seen because some people saw the great

red and blue as a way to make more green . It makes me proud to be a solid state

lighting professional.

 Dennis McCarthy




LED Grow Lights, Opinion

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