Growers face a dilemma when switching from high intensity discharge lamps like Gavita HPS and CMH lamps. Because LED is a new approach for most growers they may be less comfortable making decisions about designing an LED room.
Running an LED test in a grow tent does not provide enough proof to make good decisions about how an entire LED room will perform. LEDs use less wattage, however if under installed won't produce comparable yields to HPS.
Faced with this risk but wanting to save energy growers who switch to LEDs only have a couple options. Choose a lamp and install it 1:1 where the HIDs hung and wait to see the results, or rely on an experienced engineering team who can provide room layouts in CAD style software. AGI32 is an industry standard for designing indoor and greenhouse light modeling.
How does it work? The foundation for AGI32 is a data file provided by testing labs like Underwriters Laboratory called an IES file. These files are created by measuring the lamp using specialized light meters which map light intensity and uniformity. Because they are provided by accredited labs like UL you can trust them.
Lighting layouts can then be built based on your desired room dimensions, the location of your grow trays, aisles and in the case of greenhouse design the transparency of your roof material.
AGI's PAR mapping feature gives us very specific PPFD information which is critical when choosing lamp type and hanging heights.
UL tested a Gavita DE 1000W HPS for us and provided an IES file. Here is the PAR map at 36" above canopy.
A single lamp is simply the starting point, now we need to see what a specific area will look like.
Lamps can easily be exchanged for different models. LED can be compared to HPS lamps side by side in the exact room you intend to design. All virtually presented in 3D.
PAR maps can then be overlaid at any distance to simulate PAR at canopy through the various grow stages.
AGI can do some additional cool things like allow you to visually see light uniformity over your proposed grow table area in addition to PAR data.
FGI's engineering team would be happy to work with you to model your grow rooms. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss.