Hydro Grow Breaks LED Grow Light Record with the Release of X2
LEDs are a chip-based light technology with a 50-year track-record of 20x output increases and 10x cost reductions per decade. This occurrence has become known as Haitz’s law, which over time has enabled modern LEDs to reach the same lumen per watt levels as compact fluorescent and high intensity discharge lamps. According to Haitz's Law LED efficiency will quickly exceed every lighting technology on earth, becoming 20x more powerful and 10x cheaper than it is today in just 10 years.
Hydro Grow is a unique company who recognized the trend with LEDs and entered the global LED Grow Light market in July 2009. Since their inception Hydro Grow has focused on bettering LED Grow light technology, not by waiting for more powerful LEDs from Haitz’s Law, but rather by inventing new lens technologies to direct and alter the properties of light. These amazing advancements and others are detailed in two published US Patent Applications: US 2012/0020071A1 and US 2012/0104977A1.
To understand the significance of lens development in better detail, one must first have knowledge of how the lens interacts with the LED. High Power LEDs found in modern LED Grow Lights utilize 4 primary parts: the diode (chip), lens, wiring and package. The lens attached to the LED package is known as the primary lens, which collects light emitted by the diode and focuses it to a set dispersion angle. The most common lens found in LED Grow Lights emits light at a 90 degree angle, however there is still a fair portion of light which escapes the set pattern and falls outside the 90 degree perimeter.
In April 2011 Hydro Grow sought out a method to re-capture light escaping the dispersion pattern of their primary lens, and developed a way to utilize that light to make their output stronger. Similar to technologies used in LED Street Lights or LED Flashlights, Hydro Grow developed a custom secondary optic dubbed the X-lens. The X-lens is built of a single piece of optics-grade acrylic, encompassing 21 individual lenses, 6 of which were uniquely engineered to match the wavelengths of light produced by the LEDs beneath them. Never before had such a lens been developed for the LED Grow Light market, nor one that was specifically calibrated for each color it emitted. When compared to the 90 degree primary lens, it was found that the X-lens boosted output by 429%, which set the new world record over their original 60 degree primary lens released in 2009.
After nearly a year of refinement, Hydro Grow broke the world record yet again with the release of X2 in April 2012. The new X2 lens boasts an astounding 569% higher output compared to the 90 degree primary lens used in most competing LED Grow Lights, and while many thought the X1 lens could not be improved upon, the new X2 lens provides an impressive 25% boost in output.
With nearly 600% higher output compared to LED Grow Lights produced only 1 year ago, what does the innovation of X2 mean for farmers using High Pressure Sodium (HPS) Grow Lights for crop production? It means LED Grow Lights have finally surpassed the PAR output (photosynthetically active radiation) of HPS, and they do so using 60% less power, 400%-600% less heat production and a spectrum that has been fine-tuned for photosynthesis. LED Grow Lights can save commercial farmers thousands per light over their lifespan on electricity, reduced A/C needs and costly bulb replacements. Another neat concept? LEDs contain no mercury or harmful chemicals like their HPS counterparts, nor do they degrade as quickly. Instead LEDs are 100% recyclable and maintain up to 70% of their output after 50,000 hours of use (nearly 6 continuous years). It would seem LED Grow Lights are well-poised to take over the multi-billion dollar per year horticultural lighting industry, and Hydro Grow has positioned itself squarely at the top.