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A PAR Apart – the “REAL PAR”

Since its creation, the PAR has created much discussion. The latest developments in specific spectrum lighting create a clear-cut necessity for some explanations.

The PAR (or PPFD) is a system of measurement of energy available to plants, in the form of light.

The creators, at the time, decreed that a chlorophyllous green plant has a need for light of frequencies between 400 nm and 700nm (nanometre). Simply explained: from a light blue through to a deep red. Green, yellow and orange are found between the two.

It is now known that these plants need light that is situated beyond these limits. However the PAR remains the standard measure in the horticultural world!

The different frequencies of light stimulate specific functions in chlorophyllous green plants, varying depending on the phase of development.

The frequencies from 500nm to 600nm (the green spectrum) are virtually unused, particularly during the flowering phase. If the great majority of the surface of these plants is green, it is not a hazard. The green part of the light is reflected not absorbed. This is why our eyes see these plants as green.

When plants grow under sunlight there is not strictly speaking a “waste of energy”. However, when the same plant is cultivated under artificial light, all light produced and not absorbed is a waste of energy, natural resources and money.

For the moment, the most efficient way of producing light is the LED (Light-Emitting diode) and on a bigger scale, a COB of LEDs.

The O-Magma team has developed their flowering lamps on these facts:

  1. Our “Light motor” is a unique, COB of LEDs, specifically designed to supply the exact frequencies of light (not the useless ones), necessary during the flowering phase of chlorophyllous green plants. The blue and red peaks are perfectly aligned, with the plant’s needs.
  2. Our COB is based on our privileged access to the latest technological breakthroughs, so giving us an unbeatable output, efficiency and yield.
  3. Our COB produces more than 1.4* times more light per watt than the best of the HPS (High Pressure Sodium) light sources. (ref: Dr. Caroline Horst, Horticultural Lighting Conference, Eindhoven 2017).
  4. Our COB does not produce light in the “useless frequencies”, 500nm to 600nm, which represents 33%** of the PAR measurement. So when compared with a “full spectrum” light source, such as an HPS or white LEDs, which produce this unused light and is mechanically counted in their PAR reading, it is necessary to increase PAR reading of the specific spectrum light by 33% to be able to compare the “REAL PAR” readings.

LED efficiency vs. HPS (1.4) x useless light not produced (1.33) =  1.4 x 1.33 = 1.86


Compared with the best of the HPS tubes, the O-Magma technology is 86% more efficient … Furthermore, 90% of the heat generated is extracted from the grow area, unlike all of other lamps.


Peter J. Thornhill

25 November 2016

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