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Inda-Gro Product Claims Analysis
Manufacturer: BML Horticulture Lighting Systems
www.bmlhorticulture.com | Austin, Texas | October, 2014

Initial impressions are that this is a well built and thought out product. It uses multiple beams configured in a large array similar to Illumitex, but they have incorporated a sliding technique to allow the move the beams in tighter, for most applications this would be of very limited value.  Light spectrum is consistent with spectral distributions of many other LED grow lights. Due to the use of individual LEDs homogeneity of mix could be an issue at closer lamp to canopy distances.
Let’s face it: comparing various horticulture lighting systems can be a very difficult task. This is especially true due to the amount of exaggerated marketing claims, misleading information and blatantly wrong metrics that are common in the horticulture lighting industry.  BML Lighting
Performance Claims
Since BML makes such a big deal about the proper comparative metrics, we’ll start there.
  • Rule 1:  they state “since light (not electricity) grows plants, you need to ask how much light a fixture emits.” (They mean a PPF value) “It sounds simple, but 99.9% of the horticultural Lighting companies do not advertise this metric.” Apparently they are part of that 99.9% since I could not find this value in their specifications or literature for their fixtures; apparently you have to ask for it.
  • Rule 2: We absolutely agree, do not use Lumens.
  • Rule 3: They speak about the myth of not using green light and that plants have multiple pigments and photoreceptors across the PAR spectral range as well as the spectrum importance on plant morphology. But, the main 2 spectrums (Grow-Max and Start-Max) they promote are hardly broad spectrum and the 2 broader spectrums (View-Max and Solar-Max) are specified for specialized applications. It would appear that by example they too follow this same narrow spectrum dogma.
  • Rule 4: We would agree, it is inappropriate to use a single PPFD value as a metric for a lighting fixture. It is curious that despite the use of their PPFD maps they still felt compelled to publish a maximum value at center only 12” below the fixture.
  • Rule 5: Yes do not be distracted by the individual LED wattage ratings, especially since most are driven at about 70% or of that value.
The main performance claim they make is that their Spyder 600 can provide the same PPFD levels as a 1000W HPS and Metal Halide fixtures in many greenhouse applications. In the same paragraph they claim it delivers the same light level as a 600W HPS.  We are not quite sure what they are suggesting, but we’ll focus on the 1000W HPS.  While they do not show a PPF specification we were able to extract a PPF value from the LED Fixture Comparison on the product specification, approximately 540 uMol/S. So once again we will use a PPF of 1300 uMol/S for our 1000W HPS. The average PPFD is simply the PPF spread over a given area, so using the PPF value for this evaluation is appropriate. The argument they are making here is that the HPS is so sloppy in the delivery of light to the actual grow area that nearly 60% of the emitted light is lost through the reflector and spray over. We find this to be highly unlikely, even in a poor set up.

Additionally on the LED Fixture Comparison they summaries that they had the highest PAR/Dollar and most energy efficient LED Fixture, but the comparison shows the LSG Purple beating them on both accounts. Spyder 600 Product Comparrison

Once again we find ourselves a bit dizzy after twisting around their site, being distracted by what an LED grow light should be and how to properly evaluate it only to conclude they are not really even following their own guidelines. We find it interesting that even the LED grow light manufacturers who produce some of the better fixtures still find it necessary to exaggerate, distract, and maybe even deceive. So what is it that they are trying to hide?

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