Electric Sky V3 BPFD Charts & The Difference Between PBAR vs PAR

You may have heard the terms PPFD, BPFD, and PAR being passed around in your field of awareness as a grower. Some of you have even asked about our own PPFD/BPFD charts for the Electric Sky lights.

 

That’s what this post is all about!

 

PAR vs PBAR

 

What are PAR values?

PAR stands for Photosynthetically Active Radiation.

This is a term used for the light that can be used by the plant for photosynthesis, measured in nanometers: = the space between waves of light.  This was the result a study performed in the early 1970s by Dr. Mcree, and found a “range” of 400nm (blue) and 700nm (red).  However, this study was not performed using multiple colors of light, as found in nature, but only a single color of light at a time.

Yes, but leaves out Infrared (IR) light which is used in Electric Sky lights.

It is worthy to note that plants use and need a broader spectrum of light to thrive. It would be more accurate to consider the PBAR; Photo-Biologically Active Radiation: a range of light between 300nm (UV) and 800nm (infrared).

The idea of building LED lights that emitted a full PBAR range was the foundation of the Green Sunshine Company!

Notice our Wideband Spectrum below, and how much light energy is created in the 700-800nm range (IR/Infrared) — almost 10%!  Using a standard PAR meter would “miss out” on these readings.  To capture all of the light output sent by the Electric Sky, we use a special light meter – the Apogee Instruments MQ-610 ePar Meter.

Due to the Emerson Effect, we know that the colors in the IR range enhance growth rates, leaf size, and overall photosynthesis when combined with PAR.  So, think Infrared plus anything in the PAR range (blue through red) increases the growth rates when combined together…

 

What is BPFD/PPFD?

BPFD stands for Biological Photon Flux Density, measuring UV through IR light (300-800nm)

PPFD stands for Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density, measuring Blue through Red light (400-700nm)

These are both ways of saying how many particles of light are reaching a specific point at any given time, measured in micromoles per square meter per second (μmol·m-2·s-1). Photosynthetic photon flux is the variant range (or flux) of the light spectrum where photosynthesis takes place.

We refer to the biological photon flux because plants actually use more of the light spectrum for growth and development. This is why our Electric Sky grow lights emit broadband, full spectrum light.

If you want to dig a little deeper into the science behind this, check out our post on how plants use light!

 

What does adding Infrared do for Plants?

According to the Emerson Effect (below) when IR/Infrared light is combined with PAR, increases in yield occurs!

Additionally, the following results are continuously reported by our growers and science:

  1. High Yields due to the Emerson Effect
  2. Top-to-Bottom Plant Development (Infrared light penetrates beneath the canopy)
  3. Vigorous Branching — more colas reaching towards the light! (Infrared light promotes branching)
  4. Faster growth — Many of our growers see 1-2 weeks shaved off of their grow cycle
  5. Bigger Leaves — Infrared light encourages larger leaves to fill your plant canopy.  Bigger leaves means the “solar panels” of the plant soak up more light, leading to more growth
  6. Flavorful Terpenes — Just like a well-balanced plate of food, if the plant receives a broader spectrum of light, it performs better and creates more terpenes

 

How do I read the charts below?

The numbers in the charts below are laid out in direct relation to a 5×11 grid we drew out on the bottom of a 2×4 grow tent. We took measurements for our Electric Sky 300 V3 and Electric Sky 180 V3, each at heights of 12″, 18″, 24″, and 36″. Each of the charts are labelled accordingly.

A good thing to keep in mind is the PPFD range of sunlight is between 500 and 2000 μmol·m-2·s-1.

Many of the readings are above 1500, even 2000, which is more intense than sunlight!

This means it’s possible to replicate the intensity of sunlight — indoors! That’s all there is to it…

If you want to start looking more into the science of how plants use light, and how we used our research to develop the first Electric Sky V1 grow lights, you can check out this post!

Now as promised, here are our BPFD charts:

 

Electric Sky 300 V3 (330W)

Electric Sky 180 V3 (200W)

 

PDF Workbook (All charts together w/note space)

Electric Sky PPFD/BPFD PDF Download

24 thoughts on “Electric Sky V3 BPFD Charts & The Difference Between PBAR vs PAR

  1. greensunshine Post authorReply

    Hi Paul! 5 in a 5×9 would work amazing. Each would cover about a 5×2 area which is plenty for that space and you’ll get amazing yields. You’ve got nothing but power in that setup. – Dan

  2. greensunshine Post authorReply

    Hi Aaron! The V3 produces Infrared light, not UV. We haven’t found UV to be as effective as IR in changing plant growth. You’ll get amazing results with the ES spectrum.

    Dan

  3. Barry Bertrand Reply

    Hey Dan
    Just bought my 2nd 180 V3 will it comes able to tie to my dimmer? Love how it works, but one light doesn’t catch the edges of my 3×3. Like to fill it full lol. Really don’t care about the science the proof is in the pudding. Mr.Canucks introduced me to your company’s products and I haven’t regretted one thing about your light and food and I just add water with wonderful results. Thanks you’ve simplified my life.

    • greensunshine Post authorReply

      Thanks Barry! Yes it comes with a cable to tie both of your lights together off of one control. -Dan

  4. John (SmokinJ) Reply

    How would more “conventional” lights & space compare in similar charts, example 2 x 315W CMH lights in 4’x4′ tent (what I currently use) I was considering switching to 2 x ES180 but if Im interpreting charts correctly I may be somewhat wasting money on ES 180’s (at /=500) to edges & would actually need 2 x ES300’s. Also what happens at center light crossover points when using 2 lights?

    • greensunshine Post authorReply

      Hi John! Good Question. The ES180 works best in a 4×4 backed off slightly more, 24″ in a 4×4. The yield results would be similar to the 315W CMH lights. The ES300’s would give a much higher yield. It’s all about what you’re after: less heat or more yield. With center light crossover, yes the brightness does increase, we hope to have these readings shortly Let us know if you have any other questions or drop us a line [email protected] – Dan

  5. Grateful Reply

    We’ve always been told not to exceed 1000 ppfd if not using CO2. But with BPFD, would this be a different limit (higher,lower) or still 1000? I’m interested if plants can accept higher levels of BPFD than PPFD.

    • greensunshine Post authorReply

      Very good question. The idea about PPFD/BPFD numbers reaching a ceiling of 1000 is not entirely correct.

      It’s entirely possible to get plants 12-18 inches away without CO2 with the ES lights with plants that are properly introduced to the intensity.

      Note ES focuses light downwards with lenses, creating high intensity, making the plants respond and think that they are receiving a very high intensity of light.

      Spot measurements with a
      PAR meter don’t take into account light coming from multiple angles, which is why non lens lights (bar lights) show a “lower reading”

      It’s important to note that intensity isn’t the same as the amount of light, and looking at PAR numbers does not tell the whole story of what plants are receiving…

      With the lenses, light is projected downwards, changing the way it acts as it pushes down through the canopy, and will show very high readings on a ePAR meter.

      Also think about the plant as a 3D object. The light intensity it gets at the top is not representative of the light it gets lower in the canopy, and so if the light fixture is 18″ away, different parts of the plant are getting different PAR readings.

      The measurements you see will certainly go against what traditional knowledge says what the “limits are” of the plant, and so we encourage experimentation to see this paradox in our gardens.

      Light is so complicated that we have created arbitrary “rules” in an attempt to understand light, however remember that the Sun, non lens indoor lighting, and lensed indoor lighting all behave differently in 3D space and therefore have different limits when it comes to what you see on a PAR meter.

      Additionally, when light measurements are taken from further away, those readings are stronger. 1000 PPFD at 6″ is not as strong as 1000 at 36″ because at 6″, light intensity will change dramatically when moving as little as one inch, but at 36″ moving one inch will show a very similar reading (Inverse Square Law of Light)

      This is why it’s the MOST important to do away with concentrating on numbers, and instead seeing how the plants behave first, then reference these numbers.

      In our experience, if following the instructions on our dimmer, combined with skill in cultivating healthy plants, the plant can handle can handle 2000+ BPFD readings from the ES without CO2 with marvelous results.

      All that being said, thank you for reading and have fun experimenting with this high intensity light. It’s a bit of a parodox and challenges the status quo not only with the intensity readings, but also the spectrum.

      In the end… We see amazing results and hope you do too. Of you have any further questions about your personal grow feel free to reach out to our support team at [email protected]

      Dan

  6. Chris Reply

    Would love to have these charts for the V2s to refer to. These charts may be the missing piece of the equation for those who can’t afford bpfd meters! Thanks so much guys & gals! I love that I own such a groundbreaking, innovative lighting fixture!

    • greensunshine Post authorReply

      Will do! Listening to your plants is the most important. I don’t think any of the TGSC staff uses a PAR meter when growing, it’s all about seeing what your plant can handle and finding the edge.

  7. Chris Reply

    So ..if I’m reading this correctly, to operate a 300W V3 at full power without using CO2, I really need to be at a distance of 36″ to not exceed 1000 bpfd right? Can plants safely use a higher level of bpfd than ppfd. I know that without CO2, you are told not to exceed 1000 ppfd.

    • greensunshine Post authorReply

      Very good question! The ES behaves differently and plants can handle 2000 BPFD without C02. 1000 is an arbitrary rule, plants are 3D and light readings change quickly with distance. See my reply under “Grateful” for a longer explanation.

      Dan

  8. Marvin Reply

    I just love my 2ES V3s,my first grow with them,they are in the first week of flower,I’ll send pics later.

  9. Jase Reply

    I take it the lights were running without a dimmer.
    Be good to see a chart showing the values at each step on the dimmer at the same distances shown above.
    For example I am at 32′ on level 5…. plants seem to be doing ok in veg so far, oh and the fan leaves are massive. I have never seen the likes before.

    • greensunshine Post authorReply

      Hi Jase! Yes running without a dimmer. To estimate the readings, on level 5 it would be a little less than half.

      And yes… the effect of the spectrum means you get huge leaves in veg! It’s a marvelous sight.

  10. Chriss Bryant Reply

    Dan , my son and I purchased the V300 ,the AC Infinity 5×5 and the 6” fan with the carbon scrubber along with The Earth Dust Dry Amendments…We are impressed to say the least …come tax season we plan to purchase two More V300…needless to say we look forward to doing business with you in near future and years to come…Thank you & The Green Sunshine Co. for your “Dedication to excellence” and honesty… in addition for helping us fullfill our dreams of becoming a home grower…sincerely Chris&Preston Bryant.

    • greensunshine Post authorReply

      So good to hear Chriss! Thank you for sharing =) – Dan

  11. Patrick Reply

    These are great. Do you have one for the 300 v2 by chance or would reducing the values by 10% suffice?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *