Commercial horticulture lighting

Commercial horticulture lighting

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Commercial horticulture lighting comprises of a wide range of sources that have different spectrum and can be distinguished from one another based on spectral properties such as color. Current indoor lighting systems either have fixed parameters or low degree of customization. Consequently, these lighting systems can be difficult to setup and have limitations on the flexibility to control the system. For example, a conventional indoor lighting system may only be able to receive a command from a user to change the brightness of the light source by +/−5 percent. Conventional indoor lighting systems lack flexibility to adjust other parameters such as directionality, spectral output, or color temperature. Furthermore, conventional lighting systems can have cumbersome to use remote controls that are limited to control of the systems. As such, indoor lighting systems are often controlled by software that dictates a level of light intensity. Software typically requires an experienced user to create an “exposure map” or set levels and times for each category of lighting within a room or building to mimic the artificial light of sunlight. However, this lighting system is not sufficiently customizable to adjust other parameters such as directionality, spectral output, or color temperature.

Most commonly, lighting systems are controlled by two ways: (1) remote control and (2) programs. Remote controls such as mechanical buttons are able to turn on and off, turn up and down the light intensity, adjust the color temperature and change directionality. With mechanical buttons, the user has to get to the remote control and manipulate the buttons to make changes. This can be inconvenient and time consuming especially when there are more than one lighting system. Also, lighting systems can be controlled by wired system. This type of control system can be costly to install and requires trained service technicians. There are wireless lighting control systems that allows a user to control lighting system from a distance using a laptop or mobile phone as the remote control. These wireless systems allow the user to manipulate the system's settings with mobile devices such as a mobile phone. The remote control can be operated using hardware buttons or a touch screen, depending on the hardware and software of the control system.

Programs provide instructions to the lighting systems. Typically, there are six to eight programs for most lighting systems such as incandescent lighting and fluorescent lighting systems. As such, the number of possible combinations and configurations can be extremely high. There are also an array of other programs that control lighting systems such as daylight harvesting lighting systems.

An example of a programmable lighting system is provided by a commercial product such as Soft Logix LogiWaves from Softlogix, Inc. As shown in FIG. 1, the control system is connected to a light source, typically a light fixture, via a communication link. One or more light sources 100 such as light emitting diode (LED), gas discharge (high pressure sodium (HPS) or metal halide (MH)), florescent, and solid state, can be connected to the lighting system. The lighting system may comprise the light fixture itself or other peripheral lighting fixtures and light fixtures that are commonly used to supply light in facilities. Typically, a light source 100 outputs a number of programmable levels of light intensity. Light intensity can be a continuous value from 0% to 100% such as 1%, 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, 25%, 30%, 35%, 40%, 45%, 50%, 55%, 60%, 65%, 70%, 75%, 80%, 85%, 90%, 95%, and 100% or a percentage. The system controls the light intensity levels by communicating with the light source 100 via a communication link 110.

In addition to controlling the light intensity of a light source, lighting systems can also control other aspects of lighting in an environment. For example, a lighting system may control directional lighting by allowing the light to spread in one direction. This can be achieved by an angle and/or light diffusion source that diffuses the light. Furthermore, light output can be increased by controlling light output such as by increasing the light intensity. For example, the light intensity can be increased by changing the current. To reduce the light intensity, the light intensity can be decreased by changing the current. In addition, light output and intensity can be increased by dimming by controlling the duty cycle. Another method to control the light intensity is by a pulse width modulation.

Belysningssystemer kan justere spektral utgang basert på lysarmaturer. For eksempel kan et indirekte lyssystem omfatte lysemitterende enheter som genererer et lysmønster og en reflektor, som kan være i form av et ark eller et rutenett. I det tradisjonelle lyssystemet distribueres lyskilder rundt et rutenett og må ofte plasseres for å justere belysningen i et miljø. For eksempel er lysarmaturer plassert på en slik måte at lyset er jevnt fordelt på hele rutenettet til reflektoren. Brukeren kan typisk justere lysposisjonen ved å flytte lysarmaturene. Som det kan verdsettes, er det upraktisk å flytte lysarmaturene. Derfor kan en eller flere lysarmaturer kontrolleres uavhengig slik at de ikke trenger å flyttes for å justere lyset. Vanligvis gir ikke disse lysarmaturene spektral utgang. For å oppnå spektral utgang, kan lysarmaturene kontrolleres individuelt, og deretter kan lyset blandes sammen på et sentralt punkt i lyssystemet.

En av manglene ved det tradisjonelle belysningssystemet er at brukeren må gjøre avveininger i å konfigurere belysningssystemet. For eksempel kan brukeren være i stand til å kontrollere mengden lys, fargetemperatur og lysretning. Brukeren kan ikke være i stand til å kontrollere den spektrale utgangen. I tillegg kan brukeren være i stand til å kontrollere mengden lys, lysets retning og spektral utgang.

Et eksempel på et lyssystem for kommersiell bruk er SoftLogix -belysningssystemet som gir en større grad av kontroll for fargetemperatur og lysutgang. Dette belysningssystemet gir en innledende konfigurasjon av lysarmaturer som er koblet til via et nettverk som kan konfigureres gjennom programvare og fjernkontroller. I tillegg gir SoftLogix belysningssystem også en høy grad av belysningstilpasning og kontroll for brukerne. Selv SoftLogix -belysningssystemet har imidlertid visse ulemper. For det første gir lyssystemet et sett med lysarmaturer som bare kan gi lys fra et enkelt belysningsmiljø. Videre er brukerne ikke i stand til å endre lysmiljøet av seg selv, noe som gjør det vanskelig å skape optimale miljøer.

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