The Optilux: Crushing the Competition

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ABOUT THE OPTILUX

The Optilux is a 640 W LED fixture that delivers intense light that exceeds the levels typically seen from leading horticultural lighting manufacturers. It features an array of 16 LED chips (COBs) that evenly distribute light over the plant canopy. At a 2 ft height above the canopy, the Optilux delivers ~1400 umol/m2/s – that’s brighter than most of our LED competitors! The Optilux is ideal for a 4’ x 4’ area and is bright enough to use over larger areas as well! Although LEDs produce more light relative to heat, there is still some heat production. The Optilux has passive heat sinks that divert heat away from the chips (and your plants). This means that growers can place the Optilux closer to the canopy without causing heat stress to plants. It has the added benefit of reducing the need for watering and ventilation maintenance.

LEDs are an energy-efficient solution to indoor cannabis growth that has advantages over traditional horticultural lighting, such as high pressure sodium (HPS), metal halide (MH), and other high-intensity discharge lamps1. Research on horticultural LED lighting has happened for decades and researchers agree that LED lighting has a positive effect on a variety of crop species1–3. Over and over, LED lighting has improved yield, productivity, and nutritional quality1,2,4. Along these lines, URSA Lighting partnered up with AgroMechanix to test the effect that the Optilux has on cannabis growth compared to the traditional HPS lamp and other LED manufacturers.

“With URSA Lighting, the heat dissipation is better than all the LED technologies I’ve used. As for penetration and spectrum, I’ve benefited from being able to have high amounts of terpenes. The buds have been denser and frostier.”

– Ty, Head Grower at AgroMechanix

OUR EXPERIMENT

The Optilux, an HPS lamp, and four competitor LED lamps were tested in their large-scale facility. The lamps varied in their wattage (ranging from 600 W to 1000 W) and so were placed as close to the canopy as possible without inducing light stress. Although the Optilux is available in a variety of spectrums, the standard 4000 K – 80 CRI spectrum was used. All other environmental conditions – air and water temperature, fertilization rate, CO2, and humidity – were kept constant. Over each 4’ x 4’ plot (16 sq ft in total) the growers placed one horticultural light. In each plot, 9 cannabis plants were grown, from week 1 of flowering all the way to week 10. Fluorescent lamps were used for the vegetative stage. The experiment was performed three times, each with a different strain. In the first replicate, the strain was Dirty Girl; in the second it was Jesus OG; the third was Dippin’ Dots (all strains were sativa dominant).

URSA LightOptilux 640 W LED
The Competition1000 W HPS and 4 Competitor LED lights
StrainsDirty Girl, Jesus OG, and Dippin' Dots (all sativa dominant)
SoilConsistent throughout trials
NutrientsConsistent throughout trials
Veg4 weeks, fluorescent lamps, 18 hr day length
Flower10 weeks, tested various lighting solutions, 12 hr day length

RESULTS

The Optilux produced the highest yields (in terms of lbs per light), while the 1000 W HPS came in second (Figure 1). The competitor LED lights took third, fourth, fifth, and last place. These results show us that the Optilux produces comparable (and in fact, better) yields than the traditional 1000 W HPS lamp. Compared to other LED technology, the Optilux clearly prevails. This result is attributed to the patented and highly efficient COB technology used in URSA luminaires. URSA’s COBs are able to convert more electrical energy to light energy (photons) than LED diodes that are used in most competitor lights. Cannabinoid and terpene content remained relatively constant across all the lights.

Many growers want to achieve the greatest yield at the lowest cost. For this reason, we also evaluated yield on a grams per watt basis. The Optilux provided the best bang for the buck: with these strains, The Optilux reached ~1.3 grams/watt while the 1000 W HPS was far behind at a measly ~0.7 grams/watt (Figure 1). Most competitor LED lights performed better than the HPS, but none of them came close to the Optilux.

This analysis shows that the Optilux produces high-yielding cannabis while reducing electricity costs and maintaining product potency. The Optilux provides the optimal lighting conditions for cannabis growth. Solid-state LED technology provides flexibility in terms of design and spectra, allowing the grower to meet the specific needs of their plants. However, the potential of LEDs is far from fully explored2. URSA Lighting continues to study the effect of LEDs on various cannabis strains as well as greenhouse vegetables and the floriculture industry.

the optilux yields

Figure 1: When AgroMechanix implemented the Optilux, their yields drastically increased! The flowers were heavy and bulky and high high terpene levels.

the optilux at agro facility

“We have to be considerate of the type of lighting that we use. The number one setback with HPS versus LEDs is heat. Heat causes stress to the plants. With LEDs, I have not had that problem”

– Ty, Head Grower at AgroMechanix

Technology Used

optilux 640watt grow light

Optilux 640w

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URSA exists to serve the lighting world, providing innovative solutions through our core platforms. As a subsidiary of Cofan USA, we leverage their 30 years of experience in thermal management and combine that with our revolutionary 3-pad flip chip design to create LED products that are beautifully designed and will lower your energy costs by up to 70%. Our vision is set on changing the thermal industry, creating a new standard in efficiency and affordability.

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