Technology

Pulsed Xenon Lighting

How does Pulsed Xenon Lighting provide as much light as typical lighting technology? When it comes to light, there are several factors that need to be understood. These factors are spectrum, brightness and intensity. Plants utilize the spectrum of light differently at different stages of growth. Brightness is how our eyes perceive light, and it is not a physical quality. Intensity is the power of light per a defined area. It is the intensity of the lighting source that provides the photons to effectively trigger and drive photosynthesis processes.

Lighting for controlled environmental agriculture has evolved over the past 55 years to include three different lighting applications in common use. Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL), High Pressure Sodium (HPS) and Light Emitting Diode (LED) all use a large amount of energy (between 750W to 1000W) to produce ambient light photons with considerable amounts of heat. Historically, photons have been delivered slowly by means of traditional lighting systems that rely on ambient light. These methods require the lowering of the light to increase the intensity to a productive level.

Xenon lighting comes in two forms: continuous and pulsed. It has been in industrial use for over 70 years in such applications as movie projection, microscope lighting, safety lighting on emergency vehicles, on airplane wing tips and even ship spotlights, which have a 1000-W xenon light producing 80,000,000 candlepower penetrating a clear night sky for 5.5 miles. This intense beam demonstrates the power of pulsed xenon. Xenon lights are also heavily used in photography because they provide full spectrum lighting as true color for emulsions on film, much like leaves use full spectrum light from the sun for photosynthesis.

PhotonFlux™ technology relies on Pulsed Xenon Lighting at much lower wattage than that used in most commercial applications. At a low 26 watts, our full-spectrum light pulses 80 times per minute stimulating photosynthesis in the plant. In addition, the fixture eliminates 98% of heat generated by traditional lighting and the associated cost of cooling. Our patented technology is based on seven years of field research that confirm the effect of full-spectrum pulses to the leaf strata. In an action mimicking “sunfleck”, the PhotonFlux fixture allows the grower to increase the plant’s photon exposure without the side effect of heat damage. PhotonFlux technology provides cool, high-intensity pulsed light that penetrates plant structures and canopy like direct sunlight, optimizing the plant’s quantum ability to process photons rapidly through the photosynthesis process.

The use of pulsed Xenon lighting by FireFly-One is “old” technology with a new application. PhotonFlux is The Next Generation in Greenhouse Lighting.