The world’s food production systems face major challenges in meeting the demands from rising populations whilst dealing with scarcities of land, water and energy and issues of globalisation and climate.  In addition to food crops, biotechnologists are increasingly using plants to develop new medicines.  

Grow-lights, along with efficient horticulture procedures, enable accelerated plant development, extended growing periods and higher crop yields; they can also  influence plant physiology.  Around the world, an increasing range of crops is produced under grow-lights.  Whilst this may have improved production, it has sometimes been at the expense of product value (eg taste).  This is because some technologies emit suboptimal-spectra.  

It was believed that plants use only light from within the Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR).  Research now indicates plants make use of UV-B to improve disease resistance, bio-mass, strength and leaf thickness and could be useful in plant taxa used for medicine.  These factors are facilitated by HEP but are costly to implement in other technologies including LEDs.  

The ionCORE™ lighting system delivers high levels of illumination from a very small source.  The small source size allows design flexibility for luminaires to be compact.  This enables installations to minimise the shadowing from the units and make the most effective use of any natural daylight.

In horticulture, HEP’s flexibility in features, performance, and economics provides technical and commercial advantages over other grow-light technologies and makes it a highly persuasive technology with enormous potential: 

  • Fewer failure mechanisms prolong life
  • Highly efficient with excellent illuminance 
  • Dimmable with no colour shift
  • More complete light spectrum, including UV-A and UV-B (this version is concentrated in the 300 to 550 nm range primarily to supplement the  HPS lights ubiquitous in horticulture)
  • Flexibility to tailor spectra economically to suit crops and to influence plant physiology.
  • More energy efficient than HID grow-lights
  • Excellent illuminance provides light that penetrates plant canopies more than fluorescent and LEDs
  • High output maintenance factor prolongs output over time compared with HID or HPS.

Ultraviolet and Plants

WHO NEEDS UV? Plants do! Unfortunately, plants grown indoors under artificial lights are not exposed to proper Ultraviolet (UV).   Plants have evolved under sunlight for millions of years and have adapted to the natural UV transmitted through our atmosphere.  Our High Energy Photon lamps have been specially designed for those growers who require supplemental and UV light.  Plants that are exposed to UV radiation have higher photosynthetic rates, increased yields, improved quality and disease resistance. 

Plants require photons for growth and development and have evolved to exploit sunlight’s full spectrum.  Historically, grow-lights that provided lots of photons at the ‘red-end’ of the spectrum were the solution but recent research reveals that plants also need higher energy photons from the ‘blue-end’.  

Focussing on providing energy purely in the Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR) 400nm to 700nm region, may not have provided the spectral content essential to the development of plant characteristics - germination, flavour enhancement, flowering, disease control etc.

UV is believed to induce the synthesis of proteins in crops that improve disease resistance, fragrance, taste and potency; it also promotes coral growth.  Plants grown outdoors are subject to varying amounts of UV-A and UV-B radiation depending on their geographic location.  New research postulates that this, together with blue radiation, influences photomorphogenic responses including gene regulation, flavonoid biosynthesis, leaf and epidermal cell expansion, stomatal density, stress and increased photosynthetic efficiency. 

Exploiting the flexibility of HEP technology, our scientists have created a new horticulture light-source - a ‘blue-light’ spectrum with UV-A, UV-B and visible components.  This new spectrum, concentrated in the wavelength range 280 to 550nm, is intended to trigger blue light photoreceptors in plants to increase biomass, influence growth, enhance resistance and improve nutritional values. 

This unique grow-light is attracting interest from horticulturists worldwide.  



Bespoke Grow-Light Development

Ceravision is keen to work with interested parties to develop and optimise spectra for different types of plant characteristics.  The electrodeless discharge chamber has fewer of the chemical constraints imposed by the materials in traditional light sources.  This allows numerous spectral ranges to be designed, which in turn could help biotechnologists to create spectra with the ability to engineer ‘designer’ plants without genetic modification or chemical usage.

Ceravision would like to collaborate with companies and institutions whose expertise lies within these fields, to exploit the benefits of plasma lighting in horticulture and other specialist markets including ultraviolet sterilisation.  Ceravision can offer bespoke research as well as the design and build of bespoke grow-lights tailored for a particular crop or outcome including spectral development, dosing, lamp design and manufacture.  Ceravision’s scientists are able to optimise the key variables of dose, spectra, power, reflector materials and optics to deliver light output that can economically enhance the production of high value crops. 

For further information please contact Stuart Stoddart, International Business Development Manager on 01908 371463 or email him at



Energy efficiency is a global driver within many markets and Ceravision’s core technology has the ability to address these markets.  By exploiting the flexible nature of the core technology we are able to facilitate a variety of power levels (400W to 2.0kW) and spectra ranging from visible to UV light.

The following are just a few applications that are being addressed; however the markets for High Efficiency Plasma lighting technology are limitless:

  • Ultraviolet for Sterilisation: Water shortages and industrial demands for sterilisation treatments are driving the need for new innovative UV systems.
  • High Mast lighting: Ceravision's high power lighting is suitable for this area with potential heights above 15m.  
  • Film/Studio lighting: Flicker free lighting is one of the main drivers in this area.
  • Architectural lighting: Modern buildings are increasing in size and the need for lighting to reach heights of over 40m is becoming more common.  When working at these extreme heights ease of maintenance is a key factor.
  • Sports Stadia lighting: Sports events are increasingly being televised, therefore the demand for a quality light which is flicker free is essential for HD TV, slow motion broadcasts.

Further Information

Future Markets & Applications

Energy efficiency is a global driver within many markets and Ceravision’s core technology has the ability to address these markets. Due to the flexible nature of the technology we are able to facilitate a variety of power levels (400 W to 2.0 kW) and spectra ranging from visible to UV light.


Ceravision’s High Efficiency Plasma (HEP) light is particularly suited to medium and high power applications. The light is emitted from a very small source, which enables Ceravision to accurately focus and distribute the light. This in turn facilitates significantly greater optical performance.

Intellectual Property

Ceravision maintains an extensive Intellectual Property (“IP”) portfolio comprising Patents, Trade Marks and Design Rights.

Featured News

The testing of Ceravision’s High Efficiency Plasma (HEP) lamps in Rothamsted has been underway now for four months. The testing compares Ceravision’s HEP lamps with legacy metal halide lamps and new LED systems and their impact upon the growth of wheat.


Ceravision are delighted to announce the much anticipated debut of ionGROW, the world's first High Efficiency Plasma grow light, at the upcoming infoAgro exhibition taking place from the 10th - 12th May in Almeria, Spain.


Ceravision's Horticultural Growth Light Solution ionGROW™ is set to begin trials at Rothamsted Research.