Frequently Asked Questions
Induction Lighting Principles FAQ
The following questions pertain to induction lighting systems and their principal operating characteristics.
The following questions pertain to induction lighting systems and their principal operating characteristics.
Light is essential to our vision and plant growth but the way our eyes and plants react to this light are entirely different processes. While the overall physics and science of lighting can be complex we're going to reduce it to it's bare elements here and primarily concentrate on the important plant/light interactions and how we measure that light.
WAVES: All light consists of electromagnetic waves in a spectrum that range from the low end ultraviolet (UV) to the high end infrared (IR) of the spectrum. The wavelength is measured in nanometers (nm) and consists of both visible and invisible light.
PARTICLES: Light is measured in PHOTONS which are a quantum or individual unit. Since individual photons possess tiny amounts of energy, photons are measured in units of moles (mol), which are 6.02 x 1023 photons. Micromoles (µmol) are one-millionth of a mole.
QUALITY: Photons have different amounts of energy, determined by their wavelengths. Light quality is the relative number of light particles at each wavelength. Light quality refers to the spectral distribution of light, or the relative number of photons of each portion of the spectrum, both visible and invisible that our light emits.
PAR LIGHT: During the photosynthetic process where the plant turns light into its energy it requires certain wavelength spectrums which we refer to as Photsynthetic Active Radiation or PAR for short. While PAR light spectrum ranges between 380-720 nm the region brightest to human vision (555 nm - Green, Yellow and Orange) has the least effect on plants. Consequently lightmeters that measure human vision levels (lumens,lux,footcandles) are not as effective as quantum type meters in determining if plant lighting levels (YPF, PPF) are actually being met.
MEASURING PAR: Quantum light meters differ from visible light meters in that they will tell you how much many photons are striking a square meter per second. This can be taken as a moment in time 'incident reading' at the plant and the unit of measurement will be measure in micromoles and expressed as µmol/m2. To give you some reference, using a quantum meter, sunlight on a cloudless day would measure 2,000 µmoles at the leaves.
Plant growth and development is significantly influenced be both the quantity and quality of the light it receives in turning that light, through a process known as PHOTSYNTHESIS, into the energy which the plant requires to successfully mature.
Proper indoor grow light can also mitigate disease pressures that are often seen with plants grown outdoors. These plants are naturally affected by the number of cloudy days versus sunny days, humidity and leaf wetness where lack of solar radiation may subject the plants to disease cultivation that the indoor grower can influence with lighting and irrigation schedules.
An induction lamp system uses a technology of light generation that combines the basic principles of induction and gas discharge. Void of electrodes this technology delivers 100,000 hours of natural sunlight light spectrums with rare earth horticulture blend phosphors for full PAR spectrum photosynthesis for plant growth.
The system is comprised of 5 components:
Typically 3 minutes warm up time is needed for 100% Lumen Output. The lumen output for the induction lighting depends on the mercury vapor pressure in the lamp which in turn is determined by the ambient temperature. These lamps use an amalgam system which results in low mercury vapor pressure before starting. However, an auxiliary amalgam is located in the discharge to ensure fast lumen run-up. When turned on, this auxiliary amalgam heats up, releasing mercury into the discharge. Light output quickly peaks and then dips slightly as mercury vapor pressure increases above optimum. After a few minutes, the mercury begins to go back to the main amalgam. The time required for the thermal equilibrium depends on ambient temperature and fixture design.
The lumen output of an Inda-Gro induction lamp is expected to have depreciated after 100,000 hours to no less than 70% of the initial rated lumens. When any lamp is new, its light output is at the maximum. As the lamp operates, various processes (plasma, chemical, and thermal) within the lamp causes a gradual reduction of its lumen output. The degree to which the actual light out put decreases with operating time is referred to as lumen maintenance.
Inda-Gro Induction Lighting Systems are designed to have an average rated life of 100,000 hours at a maximum driver case temperature of 149 Deg F/ 65 Deg C. After 100,000 hours 50% of the drivers will be surviving (at 60,000 hours, 10% failures are expected).
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 celcius 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 vegative 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.
We're very excited by the benefits and efficiencies of the electrodeless lamp technologies. As it pertains to plant lighting technologies we do not see the current state of plasma after factoring purchase costs, lamp lifespan, PAR ranges, canopy penetration and lack of reference grows would give us reason to endorse plasma as a replacement over fluorescent induction grow light systemswhereby phoshpors blends can create UV/IR ranges that are delivering 95%+ PAR levels at less cost and for longer life spans then plasma systems.
Low Pressure Argon Gas
NO. Lamps runs at 250 KHz which complies with FCC rules with no interference under normal circumstances. INDA-GRO fixtures also utilize frequency dampening materials to prevent corona outside the fixture driver compartment.
An induction lamp can be operated in any position. In most cases though, the lamp should be mounted with the amalgam tip in the downward position. Because operating position has a slight effect on the amalgam tip temperature this should be considered when mounting the fixture.
Lamp: Although a very small amount of mercury is used, it is recommended to treat as small chemical waste. The lamp can be recycled together with other low-pressure mercury discharge lamps. Follow local regulations for disposal of this type of light source. Driver: This component is a RoHS compliant electronic device, which can be disposed of with normal care. It is recommended to dispose of the driver as normal electronic waste, according to local regulations.
The lamp's amalgam fill technology allows for output over a wide range of ambient temperatures, maintain at least 85% of nominal lumens from 30 Deg F to 130 Deg F.
Driver: temperature should never exceed 149 Deg. F (65 Deg C). Thus to maximize system life, ambient temperature of the driver should be kept as low as possible.
Lamp: temperature of the lamp mounting base of the induction core should never exceed 212 Deg F (100 Deg C). Amalgam tip: temperature must be within the range of 131 Deg F to 257 Deg F 9 (55 Deg C to 125 Deg C) for optimal light output.
We construct our lights so they may be installed in DAMP LOCATION environments such as in greenhouses. The following information applies to any type of light, HID, Induction, LED, or Plasma that would be installed in a greenhouse environment.
NATIONAL ELECTRICAL CODE (NEC) defines a DAMP LOCATION as a location where equipment will be installed that is between a DRY and a WET location. Electrical equipment mounted in DAMP LOCATIONS are protected from weather and not subject to saturation with water or other liquids but ARE subject to moderate degrees of moisture which require luminaires to be rated for that environment.
NEC SECTION 110-3B is critically important code rule because it states that manufacturers MAY NOT SELF-CERTIFY their products for the installation and application. SECTION 110-3B requires third party testing, verification, limitations, certification, listing and labeling of that equipment so that the end user, the building owner and the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ), such as an electrical inspector, can easily verify that the equipment meets the minimum safety standards for that application.
OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION (OSHA) requires that any luminaires that are installed in a damp location be third party certified that they meet the criteria for installation in that environment. Once passed the manufacturer must mark and label each luminaire that it is rated for damp locations. This allows the Authority Having Jurisdiction (inspectors) and the property owner to confirm the product is suitable for installation in that environment. OSHA takes listing and certification of luminaires very seriously as they see the increased risks associated with unlisted products as preventable. Accordingly OSHA empowers the electrical inspectors to reject jobs with unlisted products and can place heavy fines on building owners and employers when unlisted products are found.
ELECTRICAL INSPECTORS AND OSHA: Electrical Inspectors have an ally in enforcing their local regulations and the National Electrical Code where there are requirements for products to be Listed and Labeled in accordance with Section 90-7 of the NEC. Electrical Inspectors are required to assure that all products installed in their jurisdiction are safe and comply with the NEC. To assure this compliance many Inspectors must rely on a label that appears on the product to make their determination of compliance. When the label does not appear the Inspector is usually left with the unpopular option of turning down the product or the installation.
This requires the Electrical Inspector not only to be very observant about the installation he/she is inspecting but also the products that are being installed. Additionally, he/she must also determine that the label is acceptable in his/her jurisdiction and the product is compliant with Section 110-3b of the NEC. If an unlisted product goes undetected and it is a Hazard, the Electrical Inspector could be held accountable. This is an unreasonable burden to be place on an inspector.
OSHA Electrical Standard (Subpart S) requires that all electrical products installed in the work place be listed, labeled or otherwise determined to be safe by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL). OSHA places the responsibility of this squarely on the Employer. OSHA, defines the building owner, facility or property owner as the employer.
The Electrical Inspector can require the contractor to remove an item not labeled in accordance with Section 90-7 or prevent the facility from opening, etc. OSHA, however can impose fines on the Employer of $7,000.00 to $70,000.00 per day for each violation. Often the Employer does not even know that a violation exists. OSHA’s involvement would be more effective than the authority an inspector may exert and would also be a major benefit in assisting an inspector with his/her legal responsibilities. The best thing an inspector can do is defer to OSHA the determination that a product legally complies with the standard and Section 90-7 of the NEC. Assuring that as many cord connected or installed devices are properly listed and labeled during an inspection is deferring a lot of the inspector’s responsibility over to OSHA.
These are some of the UL and OSHA recognized third party testing agencies. AHJ and end user confirmation of the certification can be found on the third party testing agencies website with which the manufacturer has listed that equipment.
Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL)
Intertek Testing Services (ETL)
Canadian Standards Association (CSA)
To confirm which agency the manufacturer has listed their products it is required that the manufacturer label their lights with the identity of the listing agency and the following marking information that would correspond with the same information that would be found on the listing agencies website:
Manufacturers Company Name
Factory Designation or Code
Date of Manufacture
Environmental Suitability (i.e. dry, damp or wet location)
Rated current or wattage
There are some fan cooled LED panel manufacturers who assert that they do not require damp location testing and certification of their products since they use listed components in their panel construction. This is not true. As you can see by the CSA STANDARDS for LED EQUIPMENT link these LED panels must be tested and listed for damp location environments as a whole product or in its End Use form. This is described in detail in section 1.3.1 (end use testing), 9.12.1 (humidity exposure), 9.4 (dielectric voltage withstand test for LED panels marketed expressly for damp location installations, and lastly section 10 where each fixture must bear SPECIFIC MARKINGS which proves the product has been tested and verified as acceptable for the environment it is being installed in. Without DAMP LOCATION certification and labeling these products are DRY LOCATION rated only as per OSHA, NEC and third party testing and verification processes.
Click here to see CSA Standard C22.2.250-13-12EN
Click here to see UL 1598 Standards for Wet and Damp locations Luminaires
Click here to see OSHA Standards for Construction Materials Safety and Health Workplace Inspections.
The built-in pre-conditioner (+/- 20v) in the generator provides for a stable internal supply voltage. Light output, consumed power and system efficacy vary by less than 2% as a result of voltage fluctuations. Additionally Inda-Gro Induction Grow Lights offer a .99 PF and less then 10% THD.
Our fixtures come with a standard NEMA 5-15P Plug. If you require special configurations, Please contact us with the NEMA Configuration identified on this chart.