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Horticulture lights often operate for longer periods of time under a demanding operational environment such as high humidity which brings challenges like chemical and biological corrosion, which can significantly impact reliability and lifetime. Furthermore, each plant type will have its own needs, demanding specific requirements to the environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity to optimize growth.
A flawed design can result in undesirable stress on the lighting components. Testing and analysis of the overall system performance identifies any possible shortcoming in the product design, as well as opportunities to optimize system efficiency.
Farming in a controlled environment enables growers to manipulate lighting to boost yields. Identifying the optimal system can prove to be difficult and growers wanting to gain a competitive edge would therefore benefit from independent tests to verify the performance characteristics of the lighting products they are using. Testing and verification of the correct lighting products and light combination will help to identify the impact on growth rate and nutritional value so that appropriate measures can be defined, such as product design and adaption.
The conditions for plant light are very different because electrical devices are exposed to moisture, dust, vapors, acids and sales which are chemically aggressive to electrical equipment.
A standard that specifically addresses the performance and safety requirements of electrical devices and installations for indoor farming applications is IEC 60364-7-705. The requirements apply to permanently installed electrical installations in both interior and open air spaces. The standard emphasizes the overall electrical and mechanical safety of the installation. IEC 60364-7-705 focuses on protection against water ingress, promoting a minimum ingress protection of IP44.
The IEC 60598-1 and IEC 60598 Part 2 apply where IEC 60598-1 specifies the general requirements incorporating electric light sources. IEC 60598 Part 2 provides the supplemental descriptions for the different and generally recognized luminaire types.
The safety and performance requirements for grow lights can also be tested according to UL 1598, and its supplemental parts.
UL 8800 provides a set of safety requirements specific to lighting equipment intended for a horticultural environment. It serves as a supplemental to UL 1598 and its add-ons.
The importance of the various sections of IEC 60598-1 and IEC 60598 Part 2, as well as UL 1598, depends on the installation used. For example, lighting for greenhouses will have different requirements than those intended for vertical farms. Luminaires for greenhouse applications my have to put more emphasis on the stability of the mounting, while luminaires intended for vertical systems would focus on shock protection or inaccessibility of live parts.
The structure of vertical farming systems brings high-powered LEDs into close proximity with the human eye. The testing for photobiological safety will therefore play and increasingly important role. IEC 62471 provides guidance for test methods and evaluation of photobiological safety for sources of optical radiation, where the potential hazards of exposure must be evaluated for an exposure duration of 8 hours, under the assumption of a working day/
Working in close partnership with clients, we deliver customized solutions including:
Understand the role of grow lights in indoor farming
Find out why DLC qualification is important for LED-based horticultural lighting producers
An overview of the available standards and common evaluation practices applicable to indoor farming and horticulture lighting.
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