Navigating The Everchanging World Of LED



Keeping Up with the Joneses


When it comes to LED lighting, it can feel hard to keep up with the latest and greatest technology. Like any leading supplier, it’s our job to ensure we’re on the cusp of research and innovation, which includes having the latest products available to our clients.


That’s why we thought we would spend some time discussing LEDs, where they came from, and why this technology just keeps getting better!


A History of LEDs


Produced in 1961, the first LED light was, in fact, an accident. Researchers, Robert Biard and Gary Pittman were trying to create a laser diode but instead discovered an infra-red light-emitting diode. However, the light was invisible.


The accident was replicated the following year, this time by scientist Nick Holonyak Jr, who tried to create a laser, but instead, he developed a visible light. His discovery earned Holonyak the nickname the “Father of the Light-Emitting Diode”. GE labeled the visible red-light diode “the magic one”, immediately seeing its potential. Later that year, GE began to sell lamps equipped with the little red light diode.


Adopting New Lighting Technology in Horticulture


LEDs weren’t used in horticulture until much later in 1988. At the time, NASA was investigating plant-based growth systems and was curious about the potential of LEDs. For the next decade, LEDs were confined to research. It wasn’t until 2000 when Japanese horticulturists tested out LEDs in the first commercial plant setting.


The last twenty years have seen dramatic advancement in both our knowledge of LEDs, and their technology. Today's lights have more lumens, we have a deeper understanding of the purpose of each wavelength, and we are learning how to tap into them to maximize the potential of the plant. We are excited about how far LEDs have come, and are looking forward to exploring ways to make this emerging technology even brighter.


The horticulture industry has embraced LEDs recognizing the extreme value that they hold for both energy preservation and mimicking the sun’s wavelengths. According to LEDs magazine, approximately 60% of cannabis growers use LEDs across all stages of growth, including propagation, vegetation, and flowering. Just five years earlier, Cannabis Business Times reported that this number was only 21%.


Today, LEDs are widely being adopted for growing, both in homes, small grow rooms, and large commercial spaces. The more people that grow with these incredible lights, the more we discover what they can do, and where they need to be improved. These lights are transforming the way that we do business, including improving the quality of the plants, consistency, and yield.

We are discovering that LEDs can not only improve growing, but they could also potentially be a solution for the food crisis as producers learn how to grow more food in small spaces (specifically vertical applications). The value of this light technology continues to be revealed as more growers make the shift to LEDs.


The Potential in LEDs


Research and technology in LEDs are continually evolving. There is no question that LEDs are currently the best solution for indoor growing, from an environmental, economic, and quality standpoint. However, this technology is still in its infancy, which means that there will be ongoing developments (and new products) to improve the growing environment.


Aelius LEDs new Clone Bar is the perfect example of a solution that was created to provide growers with a more efficient light during the propagation stage. This light will replace the standard T5 or T8 bulbs providing home and commercial growers alike to use LEDs across the growth cycle.


While not the first LED to assist growers with cloning, Aelius applied leading research to create a product that combined what we knew worked well, while adding in, what we know will make it better.


Aelius’s Commitment to our Customers