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.
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