“All electronics have to reduce the carbon footprint they press into the Earth," says Gregory von Richter, CTO and Managing Director of Revolution Micro Lighting, a company active in building for the horticultural sector for well over 10 years now. That goes for coffee machines, refrigerators, and phones, but certainly also for lights. "Most horticultural fixtures have to be replaced every 3 to 5 years. If we could make them last for 25 to 30 years, it would drastically decrease the environmental impact they make."
Revolution Micro Lighting's range consists of various lights, for example, lights specifically for lettuce or for cannabis. However, Gregory adds, they do not just provide plants for these crops, but for most plants. Although the situation sketched above is, unfortunately, an ambition for the future, Revolution Micro Lighting is very concerned with sustainability, and tries to make its lamps as efficient and sustainably manufactured as it can.
“One of the ways in which we do that is by optimizing our efficiency. While most lamp manufacturers quote an electrical efficiency in the low to mid-90s, CSA tests prove that our lamps have a conversion efficiency of at least 97%. We have managed to achieve that by using higher frequencies, smaller inductors, and new, higher-efficiency switching transistors.
“Moreover, our lamps, on average, last 150.000 hours, whereas most other lamps last about 55.000. That means that our lamps are three times more sustainable when it comes to the use of raw materials to produce new ones. Moreover, we also use ethically sourced materials; in that way, we do not support unethical suppliers using child and/or slave labor.”
Of course, there are many different lights, and it can be rather overwhelming to find out which one is best. The biggest advantage the Revolution Micro Lighting lamps offer is their programmable spectrum. Gregory explains: “When the plants are stretching, you can adjust the lights to stop it. When the plants are suffering from shock, you can adjust the lights. No matter what happens, you can adjust the lights to react. Light drives every reaction in the leaf, and the ability to tune and adjust that light is an extremely important ability to have.”
Gregory shares that they test every fixture they manufacture four times to ensure it works as it should. “We are ISO 9001 certified, which means that our process is required to be documented and repeatable. That gives us an advantage; contrary to factories that test just one if fifty lamps, do not have fixed processes, and have varying suppliers, we know for sure all our lights work.”