UL certified horticulture PAR mapping now available

UL now certifies horticulture PAR Mapping. The setting of standards helps shape and form any industry’s level of quality or attainment. Standards govern the quality, safety, level, grade, caliber, merit and excellence of products or services to meet a minimum of set of values people can expect from that type of product or service including LED lighting.

The history of horticulture performance metrics started out very ambiguous and the most growers had to go off was wattage and spectra. This combination was misleading though as the amount of photonic energy was not measured. So higher wattage and spectra became the standard until photon measurements using quantum meters became available.

Companies like Smart Grow and Fluence Bioengineering pioneered a testing metric call par mapping by taking quantum measurements of micromoles (symbol μmol 10−6 moles) per second at various places over an entire grid. (PPFD) These PAR map grids started out as 4 x 4 area. Par Mapping was the first metric available that showed growers what the distribution of light was over an area. Smart Grow and Fluence Bioengineering would video quantum meter readings at multiple distances and post their results. These new results were very useful however they did not have the credibility from a valued third party. More tests were done by third party organizations such as retail stores however they still lacked the credibility of an official sphere report.

Horticulture relied on LM-79 reports from companies like UL and Intertek however they measured lumens rather than PAR light. The addition of the new UL certification is something EVERY grower needs to be aware of before they make their buying decision. Finally growers can eliminate the noise around whether a par map is valid and obtain real metrics they can count on when planning their grow. Especially the breakdown of photon radiometric flux % output in the all important Orange and Red nm range. This range is CRITICAL when it comes to flowering cannabis.
UL’s Newly Developed Safety Certification Service for Horticultural Lighting.
To address the needs of manufacturers that offer lighting equipment for the horticultural industry, UL established a new safety Certification category for Horticultural luminaires: IFAU. This new category offers manufacturers of horticultural lighting a way to clearly distinguish their UL Listed specialty lighting equipment from those Certifications applicable to lighting intended for general illumination of indoor and outdoor spaces.
Read more at Smart Grow Systems (Donna Ebeling)

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