Better Than The Sun


November 15, 2014

A grow light that can outdo the sun in terms of powering plant and fruit development? That’s what the guys at IUNU say. Whats more, they say that their new dual plasma fixture uses only half the energy, and produces only 25% of the heat that the comparable industry standard light fixtures to date. And none of the light delivered is wasted, every ounce of it is used by your plants.

That’s pretty exciting stuff. But there is more to a highly efficient grow light than how much electricity it takes to run it, and how much heat it produces.

50,000 Lumens…

Wow. There is an indoor sun! But as impressive as that sounds, unfortunately, lumens are for humans. Plants use light differently than this measure to reach their full potential. Lumens only tell you how bright the light is to the human eye, it’s got nothing to do with growing food indoors. Vegetative growth takes place in the cooler end of PAR, while flowering and fruiting takes place on the warmer end of PAR, while our eyes see light in the middle of this range. Yet, the grow light industry still for the most part only gives you the power of their lamps or fixtures in lumens. There is no regulation that provokes them to offer more, let alone measure it.

Full Spectrum: IUNU Plasma Grow LightInda-Gro has tons of info on PAR, and how important this is to your grow space, but they make induction lights, not plasma. Gavita, who does makes plasma fixtures and provides this more crop-important detail, but they supply tons of commercial growers around the world with horticultural lighting. Still, they do not have a fixture that runs two plasma lamps. Nor do they have one that allows you to program the spectrum being delivered to the garden. IUNU’s new fully optimizable light does according to the information available so far, it offers customizable PAR output in the form of light recipes. This is also super interesting. Phillips has been working on perfecting light recipes in auxiliary winter lighting with large scale growers for years, and has yet to find a total solution according to my knowledge.

One other thing to consider is that Darryl Cotton at Inda-Gro has this to say about PAR in plasma and induction grow lights:

“Both of these systems utilize electrodeless magnetic coils to excite the gas in the lamp vacuum with the main differences being that the plasma systems are clear lamps utilizing no phosphor and they have significantly higher core temperatures of over 720 celsius with lamp lifes usually around 30,000 hours. However either type of system operates at low temperatures which does not contribute added heat within the room with the lumens per watt or efficacies being similar as well.

The PAR analysis of the Plasma fixtures indicates excellent UV values for the clone and vegetative stages with sustained spectral levels up to the 550 nanometer range then rapidly falling off spectrums that are necessary for maximum chlorophyll absorption at the flowering and budding stages from the 600 -700 nanometer ranges.”

Is the same true of IUNU who has just arrived on the scene? Perhaps, but there is no way of knowing from the information they have published online so far. If you run to their website to see what they do have to say, you’ll be intrigued, but left guessing still. They aren’t worried about what you think at present, nor are they concerned about convincing you to buy their indoor sun. Between large scale indoor farmers in just 3 states and Canada the back-order waiting time is presently at 6 months, and orders continue to come in. This in itself is a sign that you might want to keep track of what’s going on with these lights and their availability.

Here’s Adam Greenberg, founding partner and CEO, telling the startup funding angels at Vator Splash in Los Angeles all about his company and product. They aren’t gardeners, these people help fund entrepreneurs with great ideas. Oh yeah, and IUNU won this year’s Vator competition.

The current retail price for 500 watt IUNU full spectrum fixtures with the lamps is $2500 each. Sounds super high, until you realize that a single lamp Gavita Pro LEP 300 watt that delivers blue spectrum at 30,000 lumens will set you back about $1200 apiece, and you still need ducting and HVAC equipment. If you didn’t there wouldn’t be an air-cooled model available.

On paper it looks like the electrical bill would stay about the same as running my T5 HOs, but give a lot more plant vigor. So, perhaps I could have fresh tomatoes all winter without breaking the budget. Plus there is the dialing in your own light recipe to hone in on in demand nutrients, flavors, and aromas? I don’t know about you, but I want one! With $56 million in back-ordered lights sold, and most by word of mouth, things have got to be worth trying out here.

Dear Santa,
All I want for Christmas is this new grow light. It’s called an IUNU.
I promise to put fresh baked cookies and milk by the tree. If you bring two of them, I’ll add a pile of fudge to your plate.


P.S. Yes, I’ve been good all year. What’s your favorite cookie? Send an email so I know what kind to make, and if I need to whip up some fudge too. This isn’t a bribe or anything, I just like to be plan ahead. 🙂

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Contributing Writer at Garden Culture Magazine
The garden played a starring role from spring through fall in the house Amber was raised in. She has decades of experience growing plants from seeds and cuttings in the plot and pots.

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