Technical Issues

  • My luminaires aren’t functioning as they should. What should I do?

    If your lamps are failing to fire up in one of our double-ended HPS luminaires, you should initially check that the lamps are properly installed. In the event that your luminaire still fails to function as it should, please send us a brief description of the problem(s) you are experiencing through the form on the contact us page, and a member of our technical support team will be in touch to address the issue.

  • Should I be performing any regular maintenance on my luminaires?

    Yes. Basic regular maintenance is essential to maintaining optimal lighting performance over time. Visit our Resources page for our maintenance recommendations and video instructions on cleaning your reflectors and installing double-ended lamps.

  • Where can I find installation and maintenance instructions?

    A whole range of useful information is available in our Resources section—including installation instructions, helpful “how to” videos, maintenance guidelines and more.

  • Where can I go for light planning advice?

    Successful grow lighting starts with a carefully considered lighting plan. A lighting plan calculates the best possible coordination of luminaires, reflectors, patterns, distance between luminaires and crop, etc. Complete the relevant form for a custom, no obligation light plan for your project.

  • How do I dispose of my old lamps?

    Some lamps used in our luminaires contain a small amount of mercury or other materials that may be considered hazardous. The best way to prevent these materials from entering the waste stream and having a negative impact on our environment is to recycle them.

    In addition to our collective responsibility to protect the environment, there are federal mandates requiring that lamps are disposed of responsibly. The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has created an interactive map that outlines current mercury-containing product legislation by state.

    Contact a licenced lamp recycler near you in the USA or Canada to arrange for the safe and responsible disposal of your lamps.

Product Information

Lighting for Plants

  • How much light do plants need?

    Each plant species (and sometimes even particular cultivars within the same species) has a particular DLI requirement for optimal photosynthesis and plant growth.

    Generally speaking, most plants need an average of 12-30 mols of light per day in order to produce a high-quality crop. So for commercial growers (especially those in northern latitudes), the use of supplemental lighting is essential to maintain year-round high quality crops—especially November through February when naturally occurring outdoor DLI values are typically between 5 to 15 µmol/m2·s.

    When plants receive inadequate light, growth and crop quality can decline. Beyond a certain point, however, incremental light will not result in any corresponding increase in photosynthesis and/or growth. So a well thought out light plan is essential in determining the most efficient layout to achieve optimal light quality.

  • What is the best type of lighting for my application?

    There are many different factors that should be considered when selecting the best type of lighting system (LED/HPS/MH/Hybrid) for any application. The decision  should always be based on a carefully considered light plan that is specific to that particular application. Most reputable lighting manufacturers offer light planning services. Growers, however, should be aware that a company who manufactures only LED or only traditional-source lighting products will, for obvious, reasons try to “sell” growers on the technology upon which their products are based. So working with a manufacturer who offers multiple product technologies will ensure an unbiased  recommendation so the  grower knows they are getting  the product/technology that’s the best fit for their particular application.

  • Should I make the switch to LED lighting?

    There are undoubtedly many benefits to growing with LEDs, including significant energy savings, spectral tunability, reduced heat, low maintenance and long lifetimes.

    However, converting to LED technology is a big investment, so growers should be sure to do their homework in advance.

    An incremental cost of four to five times that of HPS, means you have to look at many factors to determine if the ROI on converting to LED makes sense.

    Growers should consider not only the initial capital expenditure costs of the luminaires themselves, but also the incremental costs associated with a transition to LED lighting.  Growers in northern climates, for example, will have to compensate for the loss of heat from the traditional light sources in the winter—so the additional heating costs should be factored into the ROI calculation.

    A good way to get a true comparison between the cost of LED vs. traditional lighting is to look at the cost per µmol delivered, as the outputs can differ from one product to another.

  • What type of reflector should I be using?

    PL Light offers a choice of multiple reflectors, each designed to deliver optimum performance for specific applications.

    The best reflector for your particular application will depend on several factors, including the mounting height above the canopy of the crop, the best distribution, type of crop, etc. Our light planning team will consider all these factors before making any recommendations.

    All our reflectors feature a highly polished surface material which provides a diffused light pattern, and is corrosion resistant to guarantee low sensitivity to pollution.

  • How do you measure light for plants?

    For plant growth, light is defined in terms of small particles, known as photons. The number of photons is expressed in moles (mol).

    Most typical light units (incl. footcandles and lumens and lux) are based on the human eye’s perception of light.

    Photosynthetic Active Radiation (PAR) is a term that refers to the amount of light within the 400- to 700-nanometer wavelength range. THIS is the range within the visible light range used by plants for photosynthesis. Since plant photosynthesis is the primary purpose of supplemental light in the greenhouse, light sources are typically rated on the amount of PAR delivered to the plant surface.

    There are two different approaches to light measurement in greenhouse applications:

    (a) amount of the light given off by the light source
    (b) amount of light reaching the plant surface

    Approach (b) is considered by most to be the more relevant measurement for light because it affects plants and plant growth. Commonly used units include micromols or, more precisely, micromols per square meter per second (μmol/ m2.s)

    When taking light measurements in a greenhouse, DO NOT use a Foot Candle/Lux sensor (which follows the sensitivity curve of the human eye and gives inaccurate information when comparing light sources with a different spectrum). Instead, use a quantum sensor (PAR-sensor) which is designed to follow the sensitivity curve of plants and measures the number of photons between 400 and 700 nm.