What can the Luciscan do for you?
You’ve spent tons of money on lighting, space, and power but is it actually producing what it should? Do you know? How can you tell?
Light is really complex. The interaction between plants and light is even more complex.
Plants use light as an energy source but they also use it to modify which genes they express. Plants know when it’s time to grow or create seeds based on light and environmental factors. The amount of light they get and the “color” spectrum of the light help the plants decide where they are in their lifecycle.
Plants use light to produce chlorophyll. Plants only perform certain chemical reactions when they have the right spectrum of light. If you don’t know the exact spectrum your lights produce you don’t know what signals you are sending. Will plants grow and produce in stressful conditions? Absolutely. Will it be optimum production? Nope.
When you buy a light you may look at the PAR graph in the spec sheet to make sure it’s the right spectrum. The spec sheet doesn’t take into account any of your environmental factors. Height, angle, reflectivity, light type, wiring, and age can affect the spectrum a light produces. (LED lights aren’t affected as much by bad wiring or age. But, they may not produce the spectrum you need.)
During a visit to a grow shop John had a conversation with one of the employees about being able to check if lights were still functioning correctly. The employee told him there wasn’t a good way to do it so most people just bought new lights every year or so.
What a waste!
There has to be a way to find out if you are wasting money.
There’s an entire scientific field called “spectrometry” that deals with the light spectrum. Until recently these devices have been too expensive and too big to move around. Paying thousands of dollars for a machine that can’t be used where your lights are just doesn’t make sense.
After John left the grow shop he started looking at what was available. Nothing really met what we thought were hard requirements: portable, affordable, easy to use, and being able to save data to analyze later. And, being the fantastic hardware engineer that he is, he decided to look at the available light sensors.
After 4 months of research and development John had built a functioning spectrometer. He spent another 3 months testing, verifying, and refining the hardware.
The result is the Luciscan spectrometer.
The Luciscan spectrometer connects to your mobile device and allows you to visualize the light spectrum. The data is synced to your Android (iOS coming soon) device via BlueTooth Low Energy.
It looks and works like a stud-finder. Keep it flat where you want to measure for a second or two to get the best reading.
Best of all it is completely open source and hackable. Source available on GitHub.