Technology

SunFlek™ Dynamics

One the most dynamic environmental factor on earth is sunlight. The interaction of light and plants has provided the diverse life that encompasses us. Light drives the growth of plants and because it surrounds us daily, we consider it a constant continuous flow of energy. Surprisingly it is not, and plants have evolved to use the surges of light that happen in the environment. During a process called “Sunfleck” plants can process burst of sunlight shorter than 200 milliseconds.

Have you ever walked beneath a tree midday and watch the dappled light dance around your feet? This light can provide as much as 80% of the photons that reach the plants that that carpet the ground. Surprisingly it is shorter, frequent, and intense wind induced sunflecks in both forest and crops that provide most of the irradiance attributed to sunflecks.

Using the stroboscopic xenon flash FireFly-One has patented a lighting system for plants call SunFlek™ Dynamics. Having a flash rate of 70, we have found that plants are capable of processing rapid burst 150 millisecond light for periods up to 24 hours. Over the past 7 years has led to the development of increasingly powerful lights and research has shown that some plants are capable of processing microburst as high as 3000 PPFD for weeks at a time.

Photosynthesis is a dynamic process that by design, allows for processing light fluctuation very rapidly. The use of pulsed xenon light (PXL) will allow both researchers and growers to expand our understanding of this advancement in lighting. Dynamic photosynthetic models infer, that faster responses of photosynthesis to light fluctuations within canopies could increase the productivity of C3 crops by 13–32%. Thus far the paradigm has been that light has to be continuous and that photosynthesis is studied predominately at steady state in saturating light. The dynamics of sunflecks show that over the past 580 million years of evolution the plant ability to processing light can be increased. Understanding and capturing this ability of a plant to use PXL, provides the user with the benefits of an energy reduction of 97%, increased yields, and faster growth. SunFlek™ Dynamics is the next advancement in lighting for agriculture.

Spectrum Mimics Sunlight

The xenon gas stroboscopic lamp in a SunFlek Dynamics unit closely resembles natural sunlight, from U.V. to harness the wide range of crop benefits from full-spectrum lighting for increased stem and root development, faster transplants and higher crop yield.

Control Daily Light Integral with SunFlex™ Controller

Pulse xenon lighting (PXL) provides the grower increased flexibility in controlling Daily Light Integral (DLI) beyond adjusting fixture height. Due to instant “On” the grower now can now adjust DLI on a minute-by-minute basis. PXL provides the grower controllable dosing of PPFD allowing the delivery of a set PPFD over the user defined daily growing cycle. Depending on crop this growing cycle can be adjusted up to 24 hours. This is especially beneficial during the low light months. Knowing that DLI is cumulative, the grower can adjust light needs to their specific requirements. Using data from the table below you can determine the light output based on installation height for each hour of operation. Using an example for a light installed at 7’ it can be determined that the light provides the plant an additional 2.1 hours of DLI at 572 PPFD. If the current DLI is 22 and the target is 35 the grower has the flexibility to add the additional 13 units of DLI to fit their operational requirements using the Sunflek™ Controller.

Monthly Operating Cost for 30’ x 96’ Greenhouse having two 20-amp circuits with 60 - 26-watt Lights

Lights

60

Watts

26

Total Watts per Hour

1560

Total Watts per 24 hours

37,440

Cost of Electricity (kW)

$0.12

Cost of 24-hour Operation

$4.49

DLI Generated in 24 hours

45.5

Cost per DLI hour

$0.187

Grid layout of PhotonFlux Light

Variable

Unit

Mounting Height Distance (ft)

7′

Mounting Height Distance (m)

2.14

Area (ft)

40

Area (m)

3.7
PPFD – Intensity on Surface (μmol/s.m²)
527
DLI/minute
0.032
DLI/hr
1.9
DLI/day
45.5