In 2022, companies released the Smart Grow System, its name for a number of products that connect to one another through the GrowHub Controller, which acts as a single hub for synthesizing smart equipment. The Smart Grow System has made a significant impact on the growing market since its release – it has demonstrated that the previous technology has a lot of room for improvement in terms of automation, customization, interconnectivity, and mobility. These are the strengths of the Smart Grow System: it establishes a new baseline of what consumers should expect from future equipment and does so in an easy-to-use way. In particular, this ease of use is expressed best by the VIVOSUN App, but the AeroLight and the GrowHub Controller can be rolled into singular functionality. The AeroLight showcases a new, intuitive style of automation that is designed for the next generation of growing technology. The system, and other systems like it on the market, show that the grow equipment industry has clear steps which it can take to continue to make products more convenient and easier to use and more accessible to everyone.
Growing at home requires perfect simulate the best of outdoor growing while eliminating the worst. This means providing the perfect environment: the perfect temperature, the right humidity, the right light and dark periods, and the perfect light spectrum at various stages of growth – blue light during vegetative and red (and far-red) light for flowering. Grow lights are designed to emphasize light waves that encourage specific kinds of growth. For example, High Pressure Sodium (HPS) lights produce a lot more red light than blue light (although they do produce some blue light), so they excel at encouraging plants to produce flowers. But why do specific colors encourage different types of growth? Light waves have a length that is measured between peak and trough in nanometers. Shorter lengths inhibit cell elongation, translating to thicker leaves and shorter stems while longer wavelengths do the opposite while also stimulating the development of phytochrome – plants elongate and biomass development is increased, including flowers. Most plants need at least a small amount of blue light throughout its entire lifespan while it also needs a lot more red light. Red light is particularly important during flowering because, as we see in nature when autumn arrives and days become shorter and the sun sets there is far more red light in the sky; during longer nights, plants have more time to convert sugars into flowering structures and these sugars are produced in relation to the amount of red light the plant receives during the day. The AeroLight has a number of key features that address these principles and more: the integrated circulation fan; the adjustable spectrum; automatic operation; scalability; and its ability to be integrated into the GrowHub and other smart products.
Physically, the integrated circulation fan may be the most notable feature of the AeroLight. Positioned in the center of the fan, the circulation fan is situated to provide airflow directly towards the canopy of plants. Proper air circulation has numerous health benefits to plants. A gentle breeze, as that found in nature, stimulates plants by flexing stems and leaves, which causes the plant to produce auxin, a chemical compound that improves cell development, stimulates new growth, and to produce chemicals that help plants fight pathogens. Breezes also help refresh carbon dioxide and balance humidity within the canopy where it can be trapped by foliage, which in turn raises the potential for fungal growth.
An adjustable spectrum has become a common feature for a lot of grow lights because of how much flexibility it offers. A light that contains an appropriate distribution of colored diodes can meet every stage of plant growth – blue light for vegetative development and red light emphasis for floral growth and a full spectrum for any stage, which provides a balanced light spectrum for plants. Adjustable spectrums are almost always matched with adjustable light intensity so the same light can be used for seedlings or flowering plants.
What stands out about the AeroLight system, in addition to the aforementioned, is its automated operation, which includes everything from changing between spectra to match stage of growth, automatic photoperiod adjustment and light intensity, and automatic fan operation. Automatic operation indeed has been possible for years through auxiliary equipment such as timers that are able to control on and off periods, but the extent of control stops there – no spectrum adjustment, no intensity adjustment, and timing is limited to just preprogramming. New smart systems like the AeroLight (for VIVOSUN’s smart products a “GrowHub” Controller is required to make these changes) offer so much more control than was possible before; now, these systems are capable of controlling all equipment in a tent and providing specific parameters that are designed to make growing easier. That said, much of the specifics of these operations have necessarily been designed by companies out of necessity. Parameters like spectrum can come in numerous patterns and each manufacturer has preferred spectral patterns, but since cannabis has become such a common crop, researchers have isolated the specific spectrum range that provides the best yield results. The AeroLight, when paired with the App and the GrowHub, utilizes designed operational parameters, including photoperiods, spectrum coloration, and light intensity. They call these different operations “Grow Recipes” which make the whole growing process easier than ever before.
The AeroLight is designed for a 2-foot by 2-foot space, so in a way it is a bit limited but it is designed to connect, or daisy-chain, to other AeroLights in such a way that makes expanding coverage by 2-foot increments easy. This has patented what they call an “H-Bracket,” a connecting support bracket that stabilizes multiple AeroLight systems together (which needs to be used in addition to cables). Multiple AeroLight systems can be daisy-chained together and controlled by the GrowHub Controller, giving growers complete control over a grow space without having to monitor individual units. This allows large grow spaces to be automated, cutting down on time monitoring and adjusting equipment. The AeroLight even has specialized functions that allow it to react to changes in the environment that are outside of the preset parameters.
In all, the AeroLight presents a new face to the growing equipment industry, one that has vast adjustability, personalization, and automation capabilities. It marks a revolution in grow lighting equipment that growers have been waiting for for decades. The AeroLight is no longer the only smart lighting system on the market, but it is the most remarkable, winning the Red Dot design award in 2022 for its performance and innovation, leading the industry towards a new type of equipment that defines what is possible for the smart technology era. This new era will include equipment that reacts automatically, “speaks” to other equipment seamlessly, and operates by itself as the technology improves. The AeroLight is the perfect example of the progress the industry has made and it shows the dedication the industry has for improving this type of equipment.