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The Aspen Growbox Lighting System: Design Decisions

Posted by Team Aspen on

Have you ever purchased a plant only to find that it has problems growing, or worse, ends up dead?

One major reason why plants have a hard time growing is that they don’t receive enough lighting.

Why Lighting Is Important For Your Plant Growth

All living organisms need energy to grow, and just as we eat food to sustain our growth, plants require light to photosynthesize.

Remember reviewing the color spectrum in science class in high school?

Well, plants are mainly affected by the “blue” spectrum of light which helps control growth levels.

Additionally, amount and intensity of light will also lead to changes in plant growth.

With lighting in mind, we set out to design the very best automated hydroponic home grow system possible.

The OG Aspen Lighting System

The original Aspen Growbox lighting system was one of the first components finalized.

We designed the lights with every plant need in mind: color spectrum, energy levels, and ability to time lighting cycles for optimal growth.

It was the first thing we prototyped and confirmed its function for growing plants. We worked with a light manufacture and selected high power 3W LED chips from a light that they’d done extensive grow testing on and had success with.

These LEDs provide a lot of light output, but also produce a lot of heat. We fitted the grow box with a heatsink and fans that were sufficient for cooling them.

In order to ensure that we equipped the grow box with the quietest fans possible while keeping the grow box cool to the touch, our manufacturer recommended using a higher quantity of lower power fans that would be overall quieter while also using a larger, custom heatsink.

This performed extremely well and exceeded even our beta tester’s expectations.

However, these LEDs were normally in a grow light housing with cheaper, but louder fans for cooling in industrial grow systems.  

But because industrial groweries do not have the same noise requirements (low noise) as our grow system, we decided that we would need to adjust the LEDs to lead to greater performance and quieter fans, and overall, a better user experience for you.

Where We're at Now

To ensure that we could create the BEST automated hydroponic home grow system while maintaining the comparatively affordable price of the Aspen Growbox, we did a complete redesign of the light.

This would ultimately help reduce the amount of heat and noise output while maintaining the levels of light needed for our plants to grow quickly, beautifully, and become strong.

Our lighting system now uses a greater quantity of LEDs (120 vs 63 LEDs) consisting of highly efficient, 0.2W LEDs.

While the LED chips are going to cost more overall, we were able to reduce the number and power of the fans for cooling and were even able to remove the heatsink altogether!

In addition, we will be using two smaller power supplies (one for light and one for the other electronics) instead of one large power supply.

We’ve done a TON of testing with new prototypes since then (you may have seen them if you’re in our private Facebook group) and the plants have grown very well and noise levels kept down.

The new lighting system:

  • Keeps unit costs low to allow us to sustain our affordable price and make growing more accessible to everyone
  • Is more efficient, using less electricity for the same, if not better growing results
  • Saves weight by removing fans and the aluminum heatsink

We know how important lighting is for a plant to grow, and have done everything possible to ensure that we provide you with the highest quality lighting system for the price.

And with these changes to the lighting system, we believe that the Aspen Growbox will truly provide amazing growing experiences for you anywhere, anytime.

What type of lighting have you found to work best for your plants?

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