News

Active Grow Featured in ORCHIDS Magazine: T5 HO LED Replacements for Fluorescent Grow Lights

Seattle, WA, March 02, 2020, Active Grow, the sustainable horticultural lighting manufacturer, is featured in the latest issue of the American Orchid Society’s ORCHIDS Magazine. A’na Sa’tara, owner of Ancient Energy Orchids, reviews the benefits of LED horticultural lighting and her experience with Active Grow products in her article: Growing With LED Lights, T5 HO LED Replacements for Fluorescent Grow Lights.

Sa’tara, a professional orchid grower, experienced firsthand one of the drawbacks of using traditional fluorescent lighting in a vertical growing setup. There was too much heat building up in her dedicated “warm room” used as a seedling growing area.

In an effort to lower the room’s temperature and her electricity usage, she decided to retrofit the existing T5 HO (High Output) fluorescent fixtures with T5 HO LED lamps. Sa’tara notes, “Some of these T5 HO LED replacement bulbs use nearly half of the electricity, with a comparable reduction in heat output.” She goes on to mention that these LED lamps are designed to last 30,000-50,000 hours, depending upon the manufacturer which translates into about 8-10 years of daily usage.

When selecting a T5 LED lamp, Sa’tara rightly points out that the lamp’s compatibility with the existing fixture’s ballast needs to be determined prior to installation. After experiencing a lamp burnout from one T5 LED lamp manufacturer, Sa’tara switched to Active Grow’s T5 HO LED Sun White Spectrum grow lamps which were compatible with her Agrobrite and Sun Blaze Fixtures.

Along with ballast compatibility, Sa’tara emphasizes the importance of selecting an LED light with a spectrum appropriate for the plants she grows. She states, “Ultimately, it’s not what I ‘see’ that matters, but how the plants respond to available photosynthetic wavelengths.  Based upon the quality of light spectrum (photosynthetically active radiation, PAR) and efficient production of photosynthetically valuable wavelengths (photosynthetic photon flux density, PPFD), LED grow lights are a resounding upgrade from our T5 HO fluorescent lights.”

In addition to using Active Grow’s T5 HO LED lamps, Sa’tara also installed Active Grow’s 40W 4FT Propagation Luminaire for lower light Paphiopedilum seedlings. After a year of growing, Sa’tara saw her seedlings and blooming-size plants thrive under her LED lights, a lower temperature in her “warm room” and less rapid drying of her small seedling pots.

In conclusion, Sa’tara says, “I certainly would not purchase another T5 HO fluorescent fixture, though I am pleased to have T5 HO LED replacement bulbs as an option to extend the life of our existing fixtures.  Instead, for my new growing area innovations, I would select a non-ballasted LED grow light or T5/T8 HO LED fixture with replaceable bulbs.  The decision would depend upon the 1) light intensity desired, 2) whether it was a supplemental or primary light source, and 3) size of space to illuminate.”

The February issue of ORCHIDS magazine from the American Orchid Society can be accessed by becoming a member here, or head over to A’na Sa’tara’s website aeorchids.com to read the full article here.

About Active Grow
Active Grow LLC is a commercial grade horticultural lighting manufacturer based in Seattle, Washington. The company works directly with experienced growers to develop the next generation of horticultural lighting systems that are energy efficient and long-lasting alternatives to HPS, HID and fluorescent grow lamps. Active Grow LED lights feature the latest technological innovations to help growers increase their yields and maximize their production. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for the latest company updates and videos.

Leave a Reply