In light of addressing existing issues and drawbacks of traditional LED lighting systems, manufacturers, like Fluence and Luminus developed Chip-on-Board LED lighting, or COB LEDs.
Table of Contents
In commercial, indoor cannabis cultivation, many producers hesitate to switch to traditional LED lighting. Most state LED lights simply don’t create enough light energy to adequately grow a quality cannabis crop on a large scale. As such, traditional HPS lights are usually the first choice for growers; however, in the quest for cost savings, energy efficiency, and space savings, LED manufacturers continue to evolve into the cannabis space.
The Benefits of Using Chip-on-Board LED Lighting
Chip-on-Board LED lighting may be smaller, but they utilize new technology that allows them to still pack enough power for the majority of vegetation and flowering cannabis plants. But, besides having the size advantage over the more traditional LED lights, COB LEDs also have a number of other benefits; which include:
- Improved Lumen Density – The improved COB design means more LED chips can be incorporated than in other options, such as SMD. Therefore, COB lights provide a greater uniformity as well as a strengthened intensity.
- Greater Focused Light – Aside from stronger and more uniform light, the Chip-on-Board LED lighting energy is also more focused. The COB LED’s design condenses the LED light chips into a smaller space, due to the reflectors which support them. Therefore they provide light that is not only focused but extremely dense as well. Furthermore, the reflector enhances the light spectrum to make it more vibrant, which is ideal for plants needing to reach the flowering stage.
- Smaller Size – As already mentioned, due to the intelligent design, the COB is space efficient. For many, this is a highly attractive quality. A COB LED lumen and an SMD lumen may have the same lumens, but the COB will be much smaller.
- Lowered Heat – A simple design, COB LEDs contain minimal components. Inside the COB, the thermal sink points towards the circuit board. These characteristics allow the COB LEDs to emit less heat than other LED lighting methods. However; the material used for the substrate, the board circuit, as well as the heat sink components, are all responsible for enabling the COB LED’s heat distribution efficacy.
The Potential Downsides of Using Chip-on-Board LED Lighting
The COB LED lights are known as being a space-efficient, focused light source. However, there are some advantages other, more traditional LED light sources have over their more compact counterpart.
- COB Lights Lack Versatility – While COB LED lights have a higher number of chips on one array, the SMD can process a higher number of contacts. The COB is designed to hold only one. For this reason, the SMD can emit blue, red and green colors whereas the COB LED emits solely one wavelength of color.
- COB Lights Lack Distribution – The SMD light provides more widespread light than COB lighting systems, which provides greater coverage over the plants as well as deeper penetration through plant canopies. Therefore, outdoor cultivations may benefit from SMDs over the COB LEDs.
Chip-on-Board LED Lighting Could Cultivate Growth in the Cannabis Market
The cannabis market requires higher crop yields in order to meet increasing consumer demand. Because of the COB light’s innovative efficiency in providing plants with grow light, this new technology could address this need.
Luminus Devices, Inc.
Luminus Devices, Inc., a worldwide manufacturer of light sources, recently released COB LED lights designed specifically for cannabis cultivation. According to a September 2018 Luminus press release;
“Horticulture COBs are perfectly suited to replace HPS lamps for growing ‘light-hungry’ crops such as Cannabis as they offer high PPF output combined with excellent efficacy. Additionally, COB’s broad ecosystem makes it easy for fixture manufacturers to develop new lighting solutions for any indoor operation,” said Yves Bertic, senior director of global product marketing. COBs typically outperform HPS lamps when it comes to power consumption, spectrum, efficiency, and lifespan.”
The press release went on to explain why the COB LED lights are essential for the growing cultivation industries, “Beyond the cannabis market, the need for improved crop yields is more important than ever, and our new horticulture COBs enable innovative luminaires that directly address the market’s needs.”
A division of Osram, the Fluence patented COB lighting solution, the SPYDR Series, provides precise and uniform levels of photosynthetic flux density (PPFD). Ideal for cannabis applications, the lights work in both multi and single-tier applications including vertical farms, growing chambers, and tents.
The COB lighting systems could replace the traditional HPS lamps often used for cannabis cultivation which requires a high amount of quality light energy. Providing a more cost-effective and customizable solution for commercial cannabis operations, companies like Luminus and Fluence may take a larger portion of the market in the industry.