Fluence Bioengineering Unveils Horticulture Lighting Improved Efficacy

Fluence Bioengineering, a photobiology design and manufacturing company, has developed an indoor and greenhouse lighting system with an efficacy above 2.0 micromoles per joule (µmol/J) according to replicate, collaborative testing conducted by Rutgers University and Utah State University. The testing found that the VYPRx PLUS had a 21 percent and 58 percent greater efficacy than the leading 1000-watt double-ended and single-ended high pressure sodium (HPS) fixtures respectively, and better than any of the LED technologies studied in an economic analysis of greenhouse lighting paper by Nelson and Bugbee1.

Fluence Bioengineering has developed an indoor and greenhouse lighting system with an efficacy above 2.0 micromoles per joule (µmol/J) according to replicate, collaborative testing conducted by Rutgers University and Utah State University. (All Photos Courtesy of Fluence Bioengineering)

"Overall efficacy influences every design consideration in every product we develop," said Randy Johnson, Co-Founder and CTO of Fluence Bioengineering. "To design and build anything other than the most energy efficient lighting systems would be a disservice both environmentally and economically to our clients."

According to the tests, the efficacy for VYPRx PLUS came in at 2.05 µmol/J with flat plane integration at Utah State University, and 2.02 to 2.05 µmol/J at Rutgers University depending on supply voltages (either 120 or 277 VAC, respectively). "Efficacy is the ratio of useful output (moles of photons) to energy input in joules, which is the most appropriate measurement for plant growth lighting," said professor Bruce Bugbee, Ph.D., Crop Physiology Laboratory, Department of Plant Soils and Climate, Utah State University. 

The fixture is designed to be a one-for-one replacement of traditional 1,000-watt HPS systems with a purpose-built spectrum, an optimized form factor, passive thermal management system and optimized photon distribution pattern for greenhouse applications.

"LED lighting solutions for indoor and greenhouse plant cultivation are improving rapidly," said A.J. Both, Ph.D., Bioenvironmental Engineering, Department of Environmental Sciences, Rutgers University. "The Fluence VYPRx PLUS surpassed all other LED lamps we have tested at Rutgers so far in terms of efficacy."

"This is the most efficient broad-spectrum LED fixture we have tested at Utah State University," said Bugbee. "Although there are several claims of high efficacy LED fixtures for plant lighting applications, the Fluence VYPRx PLUS is only the second fixture we have tested with an efficacy higher than two micromoles per joule and the only broad-spectrum fixture to surpass this mark. As described in our article, there are several criteria in addition to high efficacy that should be considered in selecting among lighting technologies. One criteria is temperature control. The VYPR system has an innovative design to help remove the heat from the 505-watt fixture. Some other high-wattage LED fixtures can be too hot to touch and I am concerned about the lifetime of those LEDs."  

 

Along with world class efficacy, VYPR is a high-performance system delivering a photosynthetic photon flux (PPF) greater than 1,000 micromoles per second (μmol/s) with a dramatic reduction in shading compared to HPS fixtures2. The fixture is designed to be a one-for-one replacement of traditional 1,000-watt HPS systems with a purpose-built spectrum, an optimized form factor, passive thermal management system and optimized photon distribution pattern for greenhouse applications.

"Another important selection criteria is light distribution from the fixture," said Bugbee. "The photon distribution from this fixture is broader than most LED fixtures, but more focused than HPS fixtures. As described in our article, the importance of focused light depends on the distribution of plants underneath the fixture."

In addition to the VYPR Series, Fluence has designed the SPYDR Series. All systems have an efficacy above 2.0 µmols/J, have passive thermal management systems and emit a broad "white" spectrum: PhysioSpec. PhysioSpec is purposefully designed for full-cycle plant cultivation with more green light to penetrate further into the leaf and increase overall photosynthesis compared to HPS or traditional pink or purple spectrum LED sources. The broad spectrum also provides a superior research and work environment.

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