Horticulture & Plasma Grow-Lights

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 looking to use plants for the development of new medicines.  The UV420 plasma grow-light will be an important element in Controlled Environment Agriculture systems to help deliver global food security.  In medicines, this new plasma grow-light outputting UV-A, UV-B, blue and green light is attracting interest as a cannabis grow-light as this market is deregulated worldwide.

Grow-lights, along with efficient horticulture procedures, enable accelerated plant development, extended growing periods and higher crop yields; and they can also influence plant physiology.  An increasing range of crops are 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 lighting technologies emit suboptimal-spectra. 

The Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR) was first explained in the 1960s as the band of wavelengths from 400 to 700 nm.  Today, scientists now understand PAR to encompass important wavelengths outside of this range, to include UV-A and UV-B and far-red light.

Cannabis growing under HEP plasma grow lights in a hydroponics facility
UV420 Plasma Grow Light in Cannabis Hydroponics Facility

Research shows that plants use blue-light, UV-A and UV-B to improve disease resistance, bio-mass, strength and leaf thickness.  These are essential for healthy plants and useful in plant taxa used for medicine.  These factors are facilitated by HEP plasma grow-lights; they are costly to employ in other lights.

Green light is now also better understood and its importance recognised for some plants more than others.  Green light with wavelengths from 520 to 560 nm affects photosynthesis, plant height, and flowering; and facilitates seed germination in some species.

HEP plasma lighting delivers high levels of illumination from a very small source.  The small source size allows design flexibility for luminaires to be compact and this minimises the shadowing from the units to maximise natural daylight.  Ceravision's UV420 plasma grow-light delivers a light spectrum from 280 - 550 nm: a band of wavelengths missing from most indoor lighting technologies.

In horticulture, HEP plasma grow-lights offer benefits in features, performance, and economics that demonstrate technical and commercial advantages over other grow-light technologies.  Plasma grow-lights are highly persuasive with enormous potential: 

  • Fewer failure mechanisms prolong life
  • Highly efficient with excellent illuminance 
  • Dimmable with no colour shift
  • Light spectrum that can be tailored to suit particular applications, or plants or targeted outcomes
  • Flexibility to tailor spectra economically to suit crops and to influence plant physiology
  • More energy efficient than conventional electroded HID grow-lights in the 300 to 550 nm region
  • 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.

Scientific Research into Horticulture Lighting Spectra

In terms of economics and sustainability, new lighting technologies are predicted to replace legacy lighting technologies in horticultural lighting systems and to revolutionise the ongoing development of Controlled Environmental Agriculture (CEA).

The impact on plants of UV-A and UV-B in particular, has been investigated by the global scientific community for several years and is ongoing.  There are huge opportunities for UV-A and UV-B to help improve the nutritional content of everyday foods and to increase the production of high value medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) to help improve the health and welfare of the world's populations. 

Ceravision is a member of UV4Plants, the recently formed International Association for Plant UV Research.  To visit the UV4Plants website click here.  The objectives of the Association are to:

  • Advance plant UV research by promoting and sharing knowledge and collaboration among researchers from academic and non-academic organisations.
  • Promote and foster a culture of research-excellence and good practice in plant UV research. 
  • Provide channels for members to inform the plant UV research community about activities or events of common interest.
  • Enhance the usefulness of plant UV research by facilitating the transfer of knowledge from academia to stakeholders and the general public.
  • Initiate and foster stakeholder contacts as part of an agenda of product development. 
  • Liaise with scientific funding bodies to inform their research agenda.
  • Liaise with other learned-scientific bodies for the benefit of the members.
  • Develop with its members the benefits of membership and the relevance of the Association.

It is hoped that Ceravision's new UV420 grow-light will, with its unique spectrum comprising UV-A, UV-B and blue light, be used:

  1. To further the knowledge of UV.
  2. Demonstrate the improvements that UV-A and UV-B can deliver in the production of MAPs.
  3. Assist the development of high value nutritional foods, the improvement of global food security and the creation of new medicinal and health compounds.

Markets & Applications for HEP Plasma Lighting

Energy efficiency is a global driver in lighting-related markets and HEP plasma light technology has the ability to address these issues.  By exploiting the flexible nature of the core plasma light 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.

Building on Ceravision's strong foundation of research and development, our scientists and technicians are continuing to develop the HEP plasma lighting technology to exploit opportunities in other applications:

  • Tailored grow-lights: for various plant crops, medicinal plants including cannabis, and other food production systems including algae and for the breeding of insects for high protein foodstocks for animals and human consumption.
  • Lighting for Reptile Houses to provide the essential UV-A and UV-B for reptiles in indoor habitats. 
  • Lighting for Artificial Coral Growth: HEP lights can deliver the blue-light, UV-A and UV-B that has been found to help promote coral growth in aquaria.
  • Stadium Turf Maintenance Lighting: using a lighting unit to encourage root growth and photosynthesis and assist grass recovery and growth after stadium events.
  • UV-C Treatments: for non-chemical control of plant diseases on crops to reduce losses; the protective effects of UV-C, which stimulate plant defences, can induce resistance against a range of pathogens pre and post-harvest. 
  • UV-C germicidal irradiation for Water Sterilisation: a physical, chemical-free process that efficiently reduces parasites such as cryptosporidia or giardia, which are resistant to disinfectants, and removes chlorine and chloramine species from water.
  • UV-C germicidal irradiation for Air Purification: to reduce airborne-mediated microbial diseases such as influenza and tuberculosis that present major public health challenges. 

Please contact us if you would like to discuss the possibilities of utilising HEP plasma lighting technology in these sectors, or indeed any other applications that you may have in mind; email:; or call us on +44(0) 1908 379444.

Further Information

Future Applications

Offering flexible spectral outputs, Ceravision's HEP plasma lighting offers added-value and economic solutions in horticulture grow-lighting and other commercial applications.

HEP Plasma Lighting Technology

Ceravision’s HEP plasma grow-lights, with a unique spectrum providing essential blue, UV-A, UV-B and green light, herald a new future for horticulture lighting; and they can be tailored to suit different plants and outcomes.

Intellectual Property

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

Featured News

Ceravision is now a member of UV4Plants - the recently formed International Association for Plant UV Research


Ceravision delivering the first of its UV420 plasma UVA and UVB Grow-lights to The Greenhouse Effect


Ceravision's new UV420 plasma grow-light is shown at Autopot Summer Social 18th - 19th August 2018.