Adrian, keep in mind these are 100% my personal opinions. I won’t go into detail about why, but if you’re curious would be happy to explain my reasoning.
- It depends, who “we” is. Undoubtedly this will increase price/complexity. Another option I plan to use for the MVP is just to provide two sets of full spectrum COB LEDs (2800k, 5000k). For years horticulture did this between Metal Halide & HPS.
- 200-300 umol.m.2s1
-light bars (individual linkable fixtures) - More practical for large-scale applications (generally longer)
-light panels (large PCBs) - Could you explain this more? Do you mean COBs or arrays of diodes?
-built up light panels (several small PCBs) - Same as above
-light boxes (panel shaped fixture with LED board on edge(s) - Probably not, please explain this as well, perhaps include a picture.
-light strips - These are pretty much what goes on a heat sink to make a “light bar” if I’m not mistaken.
The only model I found on your site did not list a price, but judging by the quality sensor integration you’re developing top of the line products. Honestly, that product may be the most advanced I’ve seen to date, which while impressive means it also is likely way out of my price range. While I completely understand the value of tuneable spectrum lighting for research purposes and large-scale commercial operations I worry that at this point it’s just too expensive for the average “maker” to get their hands on.
I am a novice and the extent of my LED development is mounting COBs on CPU heatsinks. I went this route because there was no way I could afford $1000 on a KIND LED array or other comparable product. I’m curious about whether or not you think a fixed spectrum COB targeted at leafy greens is feasible. I was using 32V CREE CXB3590’s to grow peppers, but we wouldn’t need anything near that high powered for a PFC.
Fixed spectrum lighting reaching 150µmol/m2/s - When would this low level of lighting be desired? In my reading, I haven’t seen anything lower than 200 be recommended.
Fixed spectrum lighting reaching 300µmol/m2/s - I know this is low, but I genuinely think that a small fixture designed for a 2x2 space needs to be >$200 in order to compete going forward. I may be totally off base here, in which case, please prove me wrong (that’s why I love these forums). Keep in mind, the lights we use for the MVP generate 264µmol/m2/s at canopy level and are just 4 sawed off GE bright stik’s.
Tune-able lighting reaching 150µmol/m2/s - Same question as fixed 150, though this one might be interesting as a supplemental fixture.
Tune-able lighting reaching 300µmol/m2/s - The first iteration of the lights for the V2 is 3 channel blue/red/white LEDs. For those interested in variable spectrums to create light recipes this is IMHO the bare minimum light. I would think that people would be willing to pay $400-600.
Tune-able lighting incorporating UVA LEDs - It’s hard to put a price on these because so few people even understand the potential. That’s why I initially left the comment is because I am excited by this area of research and would love to open people (primarily students) minds to all of the possibilities of CEA. That being said, I think you’ll have a hard time getting people to go out on a limb until you can link it back to yield or specific breakthroughs. I think if you could provide a $150 add-on module that could be used in addition to an existing fixture you would be able to find some interested individuals.
I have to answer your final question regarding lighting exceeding 300µmol/m2/s with a no at this point. While I think perhaps on larger systems like the Food Servers or PFCs that are designed for flowering plants this would be desired, at this point in time that has yet to be developed. I think as far as the CEA/Vertical Farming community is concerned they’re mostly focused on leafy greens, anything that high of intensity generally gets targeted at Cannabis.
Thanks for your contributions, I look forward to hearing back from you and appreciate your expert advice.
One final comment: as we’re working on CV for the MVP we’ve already realized our lights are too bright and wash out some of our images. We are using full spectrum COBs, but I know this is an even bigger problem with red/blue LEDs especially if trying to look for deficiencies using cheap cameras. If I’m not mistaken the V1 had a very simple white COB light strip in addition to the regular lights that came on just for taking pictures. I also think for beginners, even getting dimming capabilites will offer enough opportunity for experimentation.