The Lumatek Zeus Pro grow lights are very impressive and have a great spectrum and footprint. With an output of 2.7 µmols/Watt they also boast fantastic efficiency.

Considering that the very best HPS grow lights can only manage an efficiency of 2.1 µmols/Watt (and most only manage 1.9 µmols/Watt) the new Lumatek Pro LEDs have truly taken over by quite a margin!

As if that weren't amazing enough, Lumatek have gone one step further and created an LED grow light that kicks out a whopping 2.9 µmols/Watt. That's about 40% more light for the same amount of electricity as an equivalent wattage HPS. The new LED grow light is called the Lumatek ZEUS 1000W Xtreme PPFD CO2.

At first glance, it seems like an unnecessarily long name but there is a good reason for the PPFD CO2 bit at the end. We'll take a look into that here.

Limiting Factors on Plant Growth

To get to the bottom of the name, we need to consider that In order to perform photosynthesis plants need 5 things:

  • Light
  • Water
  • CO2 (Carbon Dioxide)
  • Nutrients
  • A good environment (good air temperature and humidity) 

Plants can only photosynthsise (and therefore grow) as quickly as the limiting factor that is in the shortest supply will allow.

For example, if a plant has plenty of light, water, CO2 and a good environment but not enough nutrients then it will be the lack of nutrients that will be the limit on the speed of growth.

As growers, we like to make sure that our plants have plenty of water and nutrients. Those 2 are not usually the problem. So, the main limit on the speed of plant growth (and eventual yields) is usually the environment and the amount of light and CO2 that they got.

Explaining the PPFD CO2 bit

Assuming that you are giving your plants plenty of water and nutrients, and you're giving them the best environment that you can, then quite often the limiting factors will be the amount of light and CO2 .

PPFD stands for Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density. It is a measure of the intensity of plant useable light.

The Lumatek ZEUS 1000W Xtreme PPFD CO2 is so intense and produces so much light that they decided to include "PPFD" into the name.

In fact, when this grow light is used in the suggested size grow space (1.5m x 1.5m) this Lumatek maxes out the amount of light that plants can use without CO2 supplementation :

As we mentioned, plants need CO2 to perform photosynthesis. The unfortunate reality is that plants can use much higher levels of CO2 than is in the air around us.

The normal ambient level of CO2 in the air is around 300-400 PPM. Photosynthesis and plant growth can be increased by enriching the air with CO2 as long as there is enough water,nutrients, and most importantly light for plants to be able to use it. Otherwise, without CO2 supplementation, plants will quickly reach the limit of how much photosynthesis that they can perform:

As you can see from the graph, growth can be pretty much doubled by boosting the CO2 level from the normal 400 ppm up to around 1200 ppm. Unfortunately, this won't double your final yields, but you can expect to get at least an extra 20% and probably more.

This is why Lumatek have said that to make the most of all that light from this grow light, you need to be supplementing CO2. That is why they have put PPFD CO2 in the name.

Boosting the COLevels

When you boost the COlevels in your grow space you can (and should) increase the grow space temperature up from a maximum of around 28º C up to around 32º C. This allows the plants to increase their metabolism to use the extra CO2 and grow faster.

This usually means turning down the rate of extraction to allow heat to build up. This also works in your favour because the extraction system will slowly suck out the CO2 enriched air and draw in non-enriched air. Turning down your extraction will help increase the grow space temperatures and reduce the amount of CO2 enrichment being wasted. This can be done by using a fan speed controller.

We stock a range of products to help you increase CO2 levels.

At the economical end of scale there is the TNB Naturals Enhancer CO2 Canister. You just add warm water and shake to get 2 weeks of enrichment in a reasonable size grow space.

An alternative to that is the popular Exhale Homegrown CO2 Grow Bag. It uses fungi to produce CO2 and lasts for 4-6 weeks. It is enough for a small-medium size grow space. It is also available in an XL size. This costs a little more but can treat a 2m x 2m grow space for up to 6 weeks.

For a larger grow space, or for something that is effective for a longer time, there are 2 options.

Firstly, there is the Gas bottle and a Regulator such as the Ecotechnics Evolution PPM Controller and Regulator.

An alternative to the CO2 bottle, there are the Autopilot CO2 Generators. These burn gas to produce the CO2. They are available in either versions for either Natural Gas or Propane.

However you choose to enrich the CO2 in your grow space, the Lumatek ZEUS 1000W Xtreme PPFD CO2 will help you make the most of it to increase plant growth speed, increase your yields, and make the most of your electricity.