Commercial grade Vertical & Horizontal LED Grow Lights for half the cost: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/gardentowerproject/ultra-efficient-high-power-80-watt-4-led-grow-ligh
Over the past few years we’ve had hundreds of users ask us about growing vertically indoors. Most of the equation comes down to lighting. A LOT of “photosynthetically available radiation” (PAR) or the light that plants actually use for energy production is necessary to actually have real harvests indoors. Getting enough PAR output directed across a large vertical column of plants used to require a huge energy budget and a serious investment.
We’ve been field-testing grow lighting technologies and configurations since 2014. We started with arrays of multiple T5 florescents and scientifically compared them to expensive, high-power discrete LED Grow Lights, and later developed three versions of our own prototype surface-mounted LED Grow Lights to optimize for performance and value.
We determined that discrete, individually heat-sinked LED systems were the highest performers, but their high cost was difficult to justify. Surface-mounted LED designs were lower in cost, but often had inferior thermal management and thin electrical traces which resulted in excess resistive losses (heat) which decreased their efficiency.
In 2016 we started prototyping high quality surface-mount LED array designs with a partner tech firm. Our goal was to produce a surface-mounted LED array that had larger traces and better thermal management than most of the available arrays and bring a product to market that offered very high efficiency and output at a lower cost.
Two years into our own lighting system development we were connected with a respected LED lighting manufacturer that was already designing lighting systems using high quantities of lower-power surface-mounted LEDS – exactly what we had been working on.
We worked with this large manufacturer to specify a high quality light array that achieved a very high output using Japanese LEDs. Instead of using discrete super-high power LEDS, this design uses 192 under-driven 1.0w LEDs which are heatsinked to the entire enclosure. Under-driving these LED’s by about 50% resulted in increased efficiency, lower temperatures, and a longer lifespan.
The result is an 80w Grow Light that performs as well (PAR on the plants) as some LED systems that consume nearly twice the electricity, but costs much less than typical commercial LED horticultural grow lights.