How to Start Your Grow Light Trial

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PRESS RELEASE – The scientists at LumiGrow are back with another helpful article to improve your lighting strategy!  

Click to access the full article with helpful workbooks to learn How to Set Up Your Horticultural Lighting Trial

Why Run a Horticultural Lighting Trial?

In-house grow light trials allow you to get results that reflect your site-specific conditions, focus on answering your specific questions and improve your operation’s efficiencies faster.

Light spectrum, photoperiod and intensity can be custom-tailored to your specific crop cultivar or environment. Additionally, you may want to trial a new technology.  Benefits that can come with adjusting your lighting strategy include improvements for:

  • Fruiting
  • Flowering yield
  • Rate of growth
  • Fresh weight
  • Compactness
  • Root development
  • Plant health
  • Color
  • Flavor
  • Nutrition

Here’s a step-by-step guide for setting up your lighting trial to get you the most meaningful results.

Start Planning

Before you get going, get organized with the steps below.

1.  Determine what you’re trying to learn

Identify what crop you’re working on and what question you’re asking. This will help you design your trial to give you specific information to answer that question.

Write it down! This will be the start of your trial planning and the basis for your trial design.

2.  Establish your control area

Set aside an area of your production that will remain unchanged and capture the details of this area in your trial documentation. This area will act as the control for your trial and allow you to objectively evaluate your trial’s behavior.

It’s important that your control area is as representative of your production areas as possible!

3.  Design your trial area

Set aside another area of your production to use for your trial.  Ideally, this area will have similar environmental and physical conditions to your control area and allow you to change the lighting without affecting the lighting in your control area.

4.  Define measurements

Decide which plant measurements are relevant to answering your trial question. You also need to choose an interval to take those measurements at. Choose an interval that makes sense for your crop’s growth cycle so that you can track changes and have data to refer to when you evaluate your trial.

Use this workbook to start your trial today!

Record Your Data

Now that you’re ready for a successful lighting trial, make sure to track your data.

5.  Record starting details

Include crop traits that relate to your trial question in your trial documentation. Enter all the starting data for both the control and trial areas and continue recording the data regularly until the trial is complete.

6.  Start your trial

Begin your trial at the beginning of the week and with a full day (rather than starting midday) for both your trial and control areas. This will allow for easier data analysis and allow for troubleshooting and handling of unexpected behaviors that might come up over the weekend.

7.  Record data

Record your trial data at regular intervals. Include any observations about the trial and control areas that you notice so that you can consider those in your final analysis.

Analysis & Evaluation

Now that you have your data handy, it’s time to dig in and harvest any learnings!

8.  Identify inconsistencies

Review the data from your control and trial areas. Do you see inconsistencies between the environmental (ex: temperature) or production details (ex: fertility) in your control and trial areas that make the results hard to compare?

Identify inconsistencies and determine how they affect your results. If you didn’t observe inconsistencies between your control and trial areas, you can feel confident that the data shows results based on your trial treatment.

9.  Clarify results

What does the data from your trial and control areas tell you about your trial question? Ideally you will have minimal environmental and production inconsistencies between your trial and control areas and the data shows differences in your trial variable.

You can feel confident that the difference is the result of your trial treatment. These differences can help you answer your trial question.

10.  Summarize your results

Summarize your recorded data, observations and results to determine whether you would like to answer additional questions or are confident enough to build a production protocol based on your first trial’s results.

11.  Roll out your new customized lighting strategy

If you feel good about your results, you can now move your trial protocol over to production, and begin reaping the benefits of custom-tailored lighting recipes.

12.  Share your results

If you’re thinking about conducting an in-house lighting trial or already have results you’d like to discuss, we would love to hear about it! 


About LumiGrow

LumiGrow revolutionized horticulture in 2008 with the introduction of the first smart LED grow lights in North America.  Today, LumiGrow leads the world forward in grow light innovation with their TopLight and BarLight smart fixtures designed to maximize a growers’ profits.  The LumiGrow lights are wirelessly controlled by their smartPAR software to optimize yield, quality, and custom plant traits.  LumiGrow lights can be fine-tuned for greenhouse environments by pairing with their award-winning smartPAR Light Sensor to ensure consistent crop production year-round at the lowest energy cost.

LumiGrow has the largest install-base of smart LED grow lights in North America with installations worldwide.  For more information about LumiGrow, please see www.lumigrow.com

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