Revolution DEva HPS light systems give growers high efficiency high yield crop lighting that as an option, may be managed or tuned via Controls (RLC1) to improve growing conditions and make more efficient use of power for lighting and related cooling purposes.
Revolution DEva HPS light systems use DE HPS technology (Double Ended High Pressure Sodium) to deliver grow lighting intensities in a safer and more reliable horticultural lumiere (lighting system and fixture) versus others .
Revolution DEva HPS light systems are the only systems to pass the FCC’s Consumer Rating—meaning that your iPhone is more likely to cause you Radio Frequency Interference Problems than a room or greenhouse full of DEvas operating at full tilt, according to Revolution Micro’s Greg Richter.
Revolution DEva HPS light systems are the only DE HPS systems that operate on low frequency (50-100 Hz) versus the hundred of thousands of hertz that other units operate it.
Low Frequency operation makes life much easier on critical electrical components improving durability and reliability. Revolution DEva HPS light systems are the only systems to pass the FCC’s Consumer Rating—meaning that your iPhone is more likely to cause you Radio Frequency Interference Problems than a room or greenhouse full of DEvas operating at full tilt, according to Revolution Micro’s Greg Richter.
Further, low frequency operation helps avoid harmonic distortion that can create colour shift in some lighting systems i.e. your plants are getting the best spectrum for growth and flowering.
RevMicro’s RLC1 (Revolution Lighting Control) control helps to make a great thing even better. And of further good news is that the RLC1 is compatible with other E-Ballasts that can connect to phone-jack type terminals, which includes all Deva and Phantom Series.
The RLC1 can control up to 512 E Type ballasts in two independent zones, as is, straight out of the box. BTW, it can also control your existing lighting system—you just won’t be able to use the temperature activated dimming function, but it allows you to replace existing lighting as budget and time allow i.e. you don’t have to switch your whole operation over to start using the controller.
We have more background on the DEva and RLC1 controller right HERE. However for the purpose of this article, we want to talk about how to use this technology to reap the maximum benefits for your indoor or greenhouse crop.
Light = Heat
Experienced growers know the close relationship that their crop lighting and cooling requirements play together. Let’s face facts. DE HPS grow lighting systems run HOT, as one might expect, giving off the amount of light that they do per watt of power consumed. This can put a big demand on cooling systems for indoor gardens or greenhouses. While sometimes the extra heat can be a good thing seasonally, most of the time it needs to be removed i.e. exhaust fans, air conditioning or venting.
Common Limitations for Growers
Some days, your cooling system may not be able to keep temperatures in the growing environment optimal, for example below 85Deg F with the lights operating at full wattage.
When the cooling system can’t keep up, plants suffer. In extreme instances, i.e. a failure of cooling equipment, entire crops (and investments) can be lost in a matter of hours.
Keeping your plants in poorly lit conditions or in the dark to avoid heat issues is not a productive solution.
Integrated Lighting Solutions
The RLC1 co-ordinates these two very important (and power hungry) factors in your growing equation perfectly, i.e. the relationship between lighting intensities and temperature in a given part of the day or season.
Here’s a practical example:
It’s midsummer and you need to mind temperatures in the grow room towards the end of the flowering cycle—your crop achieves best quality and yield when it ripens in moderate temperatures—but also prefers strong lighting for heavy and dense yields.
With a controller like the RLC connected to E-Ballasts, the lighting intensity can begin to dim incrementally if temperatures rise past the grower programmed set point, say for example over 80 Deg F. So what happens is that when things get past optimal, the temperature sensor tells the RLC what’s going on—the RLC then sends a signal to ballast to dim down by 25%. If the temperature continues to rise past optimal, the process will repeat until the ballast or lighting system has dimmed sufficiently to ensure the temperature set point is not exceeded.
In a worst case scenario where there is a failure in the growing environmental cooling system, grow rooms can heat to temperatures high enough to kill or ruin crops—or even worse.
Thankfully, growers can also program in a “chernobyl” temperature set point i.e. 95 Degrees Fahrenheit where all of the lights will shut down once that critical Red Zone (high temperature) results. It cannot be overly stressed how invaluable this function is—especially where somebody is not around 24/7 to observe conditions in the growing environment.
Beyond Temperature Control
There are other benefits beyond the very important ones we have addressed to this point in using a modern integrated lighting system. Cost is always important—controllers like the RLC1 don’t cost much compared to mechanical timers and the very expensive to buy and install heavy wire gauges they require to control and operate grow lights.
The RLC uses simple phone type and audio type cords to sense temperature and send operational signals to each of the lumieres in the lighting system (and the Phantoms and Devas send signals back to the RLC1 also).
This integrated lighting system is “Pennies to the Dollar” versus traditional grow room timers and wiring. The temperature cord can remain accurate extended to one hundred feet from the controller unit. Naturally, this allows growers to see the temperature and make changes to the lighting cycle or temperature set points from outside of the grow room or greenhouse.
In our case here at Grozine, we can observe and control the lighting and temperature in our hydroponic greenhouse from our adjacent office—day or night from our desk—or anywhere within arm’s reach from where we choose to mount the control unit.
Ramping Light Intensity
The RLC1 allows growers to gradually ramp up and down lighting intensities with E-Type Ballasts. This means you can program a Sunrise and Sunset to wake your plants gently, saving you power, avoiding flipped breakers from big power ups while keeping your plants more productive.
Connect to Your Standard Equipment
Each of the two independent zones also allows you to connects a 6 V trigger wire for lights ON, lights OFF and High Temp. In practical terms, the control trigger wires can activate higher amperage relays for things like other standard ballasts (sorry no dimming), air conditioners, de-humidifiers or warning systems and operator alerts.
Is an integrated crop lighting system hard to install?
No, it’s much easier and friendlier to install versus traditional wired controls, timers, high amperage relays, etc. Basically, just hang the ballasts, connect the phone cords (daisy chanied with multiple ballasts), connect the temperature sensor cords, check the set points, then plug in your ballasts to your power supply—they won’t come on until the RLC1 tells them to once connected to a programmed controller.
Is it more expensive?
In the case of the DEva DE HPS lighting systems and RLC1, no, it is not more expensive than other DE lighting systems and standard controls when factoring in the cost of heavy gauge wire, high amperage relays, mechanical or digital timers, etc.
What about reliability?
RevMicro has built in safety factors nobody else has. Further the DEva HPS light system operates at low frequency, putting less stress on electronic components. Truly a plug and play system—just follow the easy instruction in the guide included; you can program two zones in just a few minutes. The lighting control trigger cords and sensor cables operate at extremely low voltages for a further degree of reliability and safety.
Can I use the RLC to control my other lighting system?
If they aren’t data port equipped Revolution or Phantom Series, the RLC1 will not be able to Sunset/Sunrise or Dim, however, you CAN use the 6 volt trigger relays to tell your gear come ON/OFF/or High Temp Shutdown Trigger—so adding or replacing your ballasts as you can with DEva or Phantom series is possible while starting off after switching to the RLC1.
Want It! Where Do I go?
Check out Revolution Micro’s WEBSITE Listing for preferred resellers or ask at your favourite hydroponic suppliers