Hawthorne Gardening Company takes the role of “leader” in horticultural lighting very seriously. We make every effort to deliver what we believe are the best performing lighting products on the market. In doing so, we thoroughly and rigorously test all of our products, as well as competitive products so we know exactly how ours’ and other’s perform under real world conditions. To that end, significant expense has been made in testing equipment and personnel to assure the accuracy of our claims and the information we provide in supporting those claims. Hawthorne Gardening Company has made substantial investment into a number of light measuring devices including: a Spectrometer (GL Spectis 5.0 Touch); a 2 Meter Integrating Sphere (also known as an Ulbricht Sphere); and an Irradiance/Illuminance Head capable of measuring Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density (PPFD) within a 200nm – 1050nm wavelength range. Utilizing all three configurations Hawthorne Gardening Company is able to accurately measure Lumen and Lux Output, Photosynthetic Active Radiation (PAR) measurements, Color Rendering Index (CRI), a full colored spectrum and much more to put forth the best available product on the market.
The function of a sphere is to carefully integrate radiant flux. Light has to bounce off the reflective material (Barium Sulfate ~ BaSO4 in our case) to create an equal distribution of light on any surface. This coating creates a greater than 97% reflectivity on the internal parts of the sphere. When taking the measurement at a specific port in the sphere with the GL Spectis 5.0 Touch spectrometer and utilizing the GL Spectro Soft Pro software it can calculate (by performing the radiance equation) that the measurements taken at the one particular port is the exact output of the lamp itself. The Spectrometer is calibrated with the Integrating Sphere to make sure that all measurements are within a 1.5% accuracy rate. The Spectrometer is designed to measure an entire spectrum between the 200nm and 1050nm wavelength. When utilized with the sphere it will perform all lumen, par, and ppf measurements. This will calculate the micromole per watt the light will emit.
In order to assure the most accurate results possible Hawthorne Gardening Company tries to eliminate all variables possible. To make the nominal voltage precise (120/240V) a variable autotransformer is used (also known as a Variac), with a calibrated power analyzer to make sure that the product is coming to the full wattage that it is designed for. All testing is done on controlled lamps after they have been seasoned for greater than 100 hours.
Hawthorne Gardening Company is always striving to produce the best products available. The only way to accurately do this is to perform the testing ourselves. We do not rely on outside manufacturers to tell us what works best or to show us a particular graph/measurement. We have the capabilities to fact check everything that we sell and manufacture. We can instantly show that what we have is not only accurate, but presents real world situations. We are determined to be the best and in order to do that we must have the best products using the best components. And for all new products or products that have been updated, we typically rely on third party sources for various certifications that replicate and validate the testing we’ve already performed. Again, our objective is to be completely accurate in our representations and to provide the information our customers need to make educated purchasing decisions. This extra effort helps us deliver what we believe are the best performing lighting products available.
When the spectrometer is used with the Irradiance/Illuminance Head it can measure Lux and PPFD at a particular point directly under the reflector. Hawthorne Gardening Company utilizes an 8’x 8’ grid with 1 square foot squares to accurately determine the photometric layout for each reflector that it produces. We can determine the maximum and minimum distances that the reflectors should be used in a grow environment and within each other. Another valuable attribute lies in our ability to test the different reflectivity of materials and designs so that Hawthorne Gardening Company can be sure that only the best products will be manufactured.