In 1972, a very well-respected physicist, crop physiology expert and doctor of technical optics definitively mapped how a plant processes photons during photosynthesis. This map proved that plants use photons in every frequency (color) of visible light to produce sugars and therefore energy, for a plant to thrive. This came to be known as the McCree Curve (Dr. Keith McCree), and is the authoritative reference on measurement of light as it affects plants, commonly known as Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR) (Fig 1).
We strive in all our designs to faithfully reproduce this curve. In doing so, we are able to deliver more life-giving and usable photons than other technologies, including competitor’s LED grow lights and High Intensity Discharge (HID) lighting, such as HPS (High Pressure Sodium).
It is a common misconception that for photosynthesis purposes, plants use only light in a few red and blue frequencies. You have likely seen these advertised – they show as pink or purple light in photos. Clearly, based upon the PAR research shown, over 10 years of research in our labs, and thousands of satisfied customers, this is not the case.
As shown in Figure 2, we compare our relative light output to several of our major competitor’s products. As you can see, focusing so much energy into only a few frequencies wastes a lot of energy and delivers lighting power that plants cannot use (purple curve).
While getting the frequencies correct is certainly a major factor in our light’s success, there is a lot more that goes into building a quality LED grow light.
The industry hype is that LEDs do not get hot - but nothing could be further from the truth. Heat is the #1 LED killer in the lighting industry.
More correctly, LEDs do not project heat towards the target (your plants), but the component side of the LEDs can get as hot as 150°C! It is the task of the lighting designer to manage this heat, for several reasons, the most obvious being to extend the lifespan of the LED. In addition, a hot LED can shift frequency (color), which can dramatically change the efficiency of your grow light. To combat heat, we manufacture our lights using the most effective thermal tools, including top-shelf metal clad circuit boards, the finest heat sinks and the most conductive thermal-bonding materials to put it all together. We have a doubly hard job doing this as we have a strict “no fans” rule when we design a new light – as we don’t want to add another component that could ruin your day, and your crop.
A word about our LEDs: The LEDs we use are of the highest quality in the industry. Over the past decade, we have developed such a good relationship with several LED manufacturers that we may pick our LEDs by hand. This comes in very handy when using full-spectrum white LEDs, such as the custom-made units we use in all of our products. Companies that have less of a rapport with LED manufacturers are at the mercy of those manufacturers when it comes to buying white LEDs. White LEDs, even those that come off of the same assembly line, often vary greatly in frequency. A lighting assembler has an option of paying (a lot) extra to choose among specific white LEDs, or they can take their chances and take what they get (most companies choose the latter to increase profit margins).
Also very important is capturing and directing every last bit of light produced by the LEDs. We employ Total Internal Reflective (TIR) lenses to capture the light from our LEDs and to direct it where we want to (Figure 3). This lens fits fully over each LED and in our TMP450 “Tree Master Pro” product, collects and projects light from each LED into a 90° cone. This and intensifies the photons and makes for a very predictable output so you can plan your garden.
We are in total control of manufacturing. We are not a vendor selling someone else’s design. We choose every component, down to the last screw. Last, but certainly not least, we keep every product in inventory.
“In 1972, a very well-respected physicist, crop physiology expert and doctor of technical optics definitively mapped how a plant processes photons during photosynthesis. This map proved that plants use photons in every frequency (color) of visible light to produce sugars and therefore energy, for a plant to thrive…”
Looking directly into any bright light can damage your eyes. Our lights are very bright, with highly focused output, so you should never look directly into them.
Two of our 250W (500W total) LED grow lights technology effectively replace 1150W consumed by a High Pressure Sodium (HPS) light. If you pay 12 cents per kilowatt hour at your grow site, and use your lights for 12 hours per day, the cost per month looks like this:
500W Tall Trees LED Grow Light = $21.60/month
1150W HPS = $49.68/month
it depends on how many lights you use, but LEDs save 50-70% compared to HID lighting.
You can use our lights to grow ANY plant (algae, too).
Less power, less heat, no wasted light, more life-giving photons delivered per square foot than any other light. They last 12+ years, at which time, they still retain over 60% of their original output.
For a detailed analysis between LED grow lights and HPS lights, please visit the following page LED VS HPS Lights
We have seen yields from .3grams per Watt (gm/W) to 1gm/W+. Even newbies using our lights regularly harvest (dried) 1 gm/W, or more!
No matter which light you use, you should always keep the air moving around and through your plants to ward off mold.
The quick answer: If it works well and provides big yields!
The technical answer: Thermal design, spectrum, focus. Design for great heat dissipation. Heat is the primary killer of LEDs and power supplies. Spectrum is the range of frequencies (colors) that the LEDs put out. World class botanists and biologists proved long ago that plants use photons in every visible frequency, plus a few more. Collecting every last bit of light with our precision lenses and putting it exactly where you need it is our business.
The number of photons delivered by a light. Photons make the world go ’round, and make plants grow big, for BIG harvests. Photons trigger plants to make food and energy.
Why buy from Tall Trees Led? We are solid state (LED) lighting designers and have been for over 12 years. We create and build “light for life”, for plants, algae, nature habitats and other spectrum-specific needs. We belong to the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America and are Solid State Lighting Pioneers.
Full-spectrum, please. Not broad, wide, multi, or any other catch-phrase. We deliver life-giving photons across the ENTIRE visible spectrum, and then some. There are very few, if any, other LED grow light builders out there that can make this claim.
How does Tall Trees compare to the competition?
Several years ago, the photobiologist Dr. Keith McCree, mapped the absorption of photons that trigger photosynthesis in plants. As you can see, and contrary to a lot of the hype you see on the Internet, a plant will use every color in the visible spectrum to support its growth.
You might remember from high school biology that a plant’s chloroplasts house photoreceptors that are triggered into action by photons delivered by the sun. Each photoreceptor is specific to a certain frequency, or color.
White light from the sun is made up of every frequency (or color) in the visible spectrum. Each of these frequency waves carry photons that strike and “trigger” their complementary (same color, or frequency) photoreceptors, causing the production of fuel and mass through photosynthesis.
All manner of artificial light sources are now being used to grow plants indoors, but not all of them are created equal.
As you can see, compact fluorescent lights operate mainly in the blue end of the spectrum, which is predominantly used for the seed-to-vegetative stages of plant growth
High pressure sodium lights are the most commonly used for flowering and harvest stages of plant growth. Their strength lies in their sheer power and strong output in the amber range, into the red frequencies.
Also shown is one of the more popular LED grow lights. You can see it is very strong in the red frequencies and somewhat strong in the blues. This belief that only “reds and blues” from LED grow lights is necessary for plant growth is a common misconception, based on very old data, and taken out of context, at that – but that’s a story for another day.
Here is another chart, except we have added in the output of the Tall Trees full spectrum LED grow lights. You can see we’ve developed an LED output that covers the entire visible spectrum, and then some.
In the simulation of our light’s effect on photoreceptors, you can see greater action across the entire visible spectrum.
By covering the colors not affected by other technologies, we can create more energy, food and plant mass using less power.
At this time, we do not charge for these services, but there is a significant amount of work involved, so - serious inquiries only please.
The sheer abundance of light produced by HPS lamps produces fair harvests in most plants, but almost all of the energy used by the technology is wasted as heat. HPS lamps get hot, some reach temperatures as high as 700°F! If you have even one of these in almost any room, the air conditioning bill will go up substantially to keep the room livable for your plants. In addition, you’ll need to keep the lights very far away from your plants.
Here’s a fun fact: every time you double the distance from your light to your plants, you reduce the lighting power by 75%! That means that if you place a light at 1 foot from your canopy and you get a PAR reading of 1000µmol/s-1/m-2, then move it to 2 feet away, your new reading will be 250 µmol/s-1/m-2. That’s a huge loss! Most people keep their 1000W HPS light 2½ - 3 feet away, or more, to keep from burning their plants.
To insure effectiveness, one must follow certain rules when growing with LEDs (see our article “Growing with LEDs”) and in doing so, can achieve up to 2x the yield of HPS lights. We do this by collecting and focusing absolutely every bit of light from our LEDs.
This creates a very well-defined output in which you can plan your crop around. This is something that cannot be done with HPS lighting. The light output of HPS lamps, even with good reflective hoods, is a mess. Light bounces around and some is cancelled (luminaire bounce), and light delivery is very uneven. Anyone that grows with HPS lamps will recognize the “center crop bump”, or the area in the center of their crop, directly underneath an HPS setup, which grows faster than the edges.
As LEDs do not project heat towards your plants, our lights can actually touch your plants without harming them – closer mounting means a dramatic increase in photon delivery to your plants. Further, this lack of heat means no excessive cooling measures need to be taken with LEDs. Not true with HPS. In fact, 2 of our 250W LED grow lights will produce waste heat at 1320BTU/hr. A 1000W HPS produces almost 4000BTU/hr while in operation.