Because every growing facility is different, we offer onsite consulting services to help you optimize your BIOS grow light setup. From environment assessment to critical measurements to final configuration, BIOS experts can help you increase your crop yields and profits.
Grow Light Facility Setup & Evaluation
With new technology like BIOS LED grow lights comes a need to understand all of the variables that make your grow facility unique. No two facilities are the same and therefore, important considerations and metrics need to be analyzed and measured to determine the perfect lighting solution.
Minute details make the difference
BIOS Lighting staff are industry-respected experts in this ‘space’ – due in part to key staff members past and ongoing work with NASA to grow plants in any environment including space and Mars. Our industry-leading commercial crop production expertise can help you to optimize your lighting setup and “relearn” how to grow crops with LED lights. Considerations to address include:
The Icarus Gi fixture is a true 1:1 replacement to traditional and double-ended HPS. It has a recommended coverage area of 16 square feet (4’ x 4’) for high light requiring crops, and up to 36 square feet (6’ x 6’) for lower light applications.
Height of fixture
The Icarus Gi has a unique patented design ideally suited for commercial crop production installations (but works great in smaller installations too). This design requires that the fixture is maintained between 18” and 24” above the plant canopy for optimal light levels and light uniformity across the plant canopy. Unlike some other LED products that require very close proximity to the plant canopy, BIOS products are designed so they don’t have to compensate for lower light output and delivery by requiring a close distance to the plant canopy. Keeping an appropriate distance between the fixture and plants also eliminates interference of air movement across the plant canopy.
The LED spectrum does not have any long-wave radiation (heat) in it, therefore does not project any heat on the plants and warm them up. Growers have a preferred air temperature that works for plants grown under HPS that will need to be increased when growing under LEDs. BIOS recommends raising the air temperature by 2-4 degrees F to compensate for the reduced plant temperature compared to plants grown under HPS. Experimention with air temperature may also be necessary to dial this in for optimal results. The good news is that raising the air temperature set point adds to the overall energy saving benefit of growing with BIOS products.
BIOS products are designed and constructed to be industrial grade. Unlike our competitors, our fixtures are suitable for the environment with which you are using them. A UL wet rating ensures the grow environment won’t negatively affect the performance like cheap and flimsy products that expose their electronics to the inherent environmental conditions (water, chemicals, etc.) that can easily ruin a fixture.
The water use by plants grown under LEDs may be affected and is something that should be monitored while using LED products. In some cases, the water consumption may go down due to lower plant temperatures (plants transpire water to cool themselves) or it may go up because the plants under the LEDs are getting more light and increasing growth rate than what they used with other light sources. Either way, you are saving water by not heating the plants up, or using more with increased crop yields. Win-Win.
Nutrient use by your crop may also be affected by growing with LED technology. Like water use, it may be reduced with lower plant temperatures, and it may increase due to increased growth of your crop. Monitor nutrient use by the plants and adjust as necessary.
Many commercial growers enrich their atmosphere with CO2 to promote growth in plants. The CO2 in the atmosphere is the source of carbon to fuel the growth of plants, and when coupled with the improved lighting conditions that BIOS LED provides, results in optimal crop growth. Many growers will enrich the atmospheric CO2 concentration to around 1000-1200 ppm using either gas burners that generate CO2, or use pressurized CO2.
The BIOS LED products are unique to many other LED grow light products in that it has a broad white spectrum. This enables the grower to accurately visualize the crop status in a more pleasing light environment than the difficult-to-work-in purple spectrum from some LEDs, or the amber spectrum of HPS. The BIOS spectrum makes identifying problems such as insect presence, nutritional problems and diseases much easier and earlier detection means earlier response.
Some crop species and varieties express a condition commonly called “photo-bleaching” which is associated with very high light conditions, and can be exacerbated with certain light spectra. The appearance of certain parts of the plant are white (bleached) due to the lack of chlorophyll production but not deformed in any other way. If this condition is observed, you may want to raise the fixture height a couple more inches than the recommended height. In instances where we have seen this phenomena in certain crops, the chemical composition or quality of the bleached tissue is equal to or greater than normal green portions of the plant. The good news is that this is associated with higher light. Higher light means more growth, and this condition affects a tiny portion of the overall greatly improved yield.
The BIOS Icarus Gi consumes 660 Watts of electricity. This wattage is equivalent to 2,251 BTU/h of heat per fixture. Compare that to a 1000 Watt HPS lamp, that actually consumes about 1100 Watts of electricity. While providing equivalent or greater amounts of light delivered to the plant canopy, the BIOS Icarus Gi consumes 40% less electricity and 40% less heat which will add significant energy savings to your grow facility.
BIOS recommends regularly inspecting your fixture for anything that might detract from its superior performance capabilities. The most common observation is that the optic on the fixture will accumulate water or chemical residue spots on its surface and thus require regular cleaning. Clean the optics with a non-solvent cleaner and non-abrasive or microfiber cloth to ensure maximum light delivery from your fixture. A dirty optic can reduce light delivered from the fixture by 10% or more, and that reduction in light level directly reduces yield.