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White light in horticulture - supplemental vs non-supplemental products

Horticultural LED lighting is used to support and boost the growth of plants by illuminating them with artificial light. Plants then absorb this light and convert light energy into chemical energy through the process of photosynthesis. The most commonly seen LED wavelengths used in horticulture are blue and red.

Intelligent Horticultural Solutions (IHS) is a solutions provider for a wide range of horticultural LED applications. IHS was formed to support the development of products in the fast moving and exciting area of horticultural LED lighting. We bring together key horticultural LED manufacturers such as Osram Opto Semiconductors, and leverage our 20+ years of experience in general LED lighting in order to offer developmental platforms as well as standard and custom growing solutions.


So, why use white LEDs? White LEDs offer a full spectrum of wavelengths and can be used to mimic natural daylight. White light can supply plants with a combination of blue, red and green. Although it tends to work best when paired with other key wavelengths, in order to produce an output that the plants will thrive under.

A white LED has a high peak in blue (455nm) and covers other key wavelengths such as hyper red 660nm and far red 730nm, as well as some green and yellows. This can be seen in the spectral radiation graph below which is based on a 4000K white LED.


Which applications benefit from white light? White LED light is well suited for applications where there isn’t any existing daylight, such as a container farm or any indoor farming application where sunlight is limited. LEDs produce a range of wavelengths that can replace the natural daylight by emitting a spectrum that covers almost all outputs from the sun. White LED lighting is also perfect for extending the daylight hours for plants, for example during the winter season when plants receive less sunlight, additional white light and key wavelengths can be provided to plants to prolong their growth periods.

When is white light not required? White light is not as necessary in applications where there is existing sunlight as the plants will already be benefitting from the wavelengths received from natural light. The sun produces wavelengths across the entire visible colour spectrum, as well as infra-red and ultra-violet. Therefore, plants that have access to daylight may only require specific wavelength colours to supplement the light they are already receiving, such as blue or red. The type of plant being grown also defines which specific wavelengths need to be supplemented.

These additional boosts of key wavelengths help enhance processes within the plants such as photosynthesis and thereby improve the growth rates and quality. Supplemental lighting products, with no artificial white light, are ideal for use in greenhouses.


Supplemental & non-supplemental lighting products

IHS has created two ranges of grow light products based on these individual lighting requirements – supplemental and non-supplemental.

Capture_two_fb22e3fdb1778493b412f40248b55f8ffc719bef.jpgHorticultural LED Grow Light Modules

These recipes are currently available in the IHS Ready to Grow Florence Lamps. The Florence range of products has been designed to support 4 different horticultural growth objectives; Biomass, Seeding, Flowering and Fruiting.

There are currently 4 unique grow light modules available, one for each growth objective, for each of the two growing environments, 1) with daylight (non-supplemental) and 2) without or with limited daylight (supplemental), thus 8 in total.

The IHS LED grow lights use the Florence optic from LEDiL, offering a wide beam angle of 90˚. Our standard Florence range already has many options in terms of LED recipe, however custom light recipes can also be designed and manufactured. IHS offers a simple online customisation tool called Pick Your Own (PYO) , which allows you to choose any combination of white, colour and UV LEDs, in any position, on a selection of different PCBs.

LED Recipe

RS Buy Here

Biomass Non-supplemental


Seeding Non-supplemental


Flowering Non-supplemental


Fruiting Non-supplemental


Biomass Supplemental (with white)

Coming Soon

Seeding Supplemental (with white)

Coming Soon

Flowering Supplemental (with white)

Coming Soon

Fruiting Supplemental (with white)

Coming Soon


The two graphs below compare the difference between a supplemental and a non-supplemental Florence ‘flowering’ module. The LED recipes for each of these modules have been specifically designed for Flowering, however, the level of white light they provided differs, so they align perfectly with the application and the setting in which they are deployed.



New Horticultural recipe-specific LED modules

IHS has also introduced a new family of Horticultural recipe-specific LED Modules to RS Components. These recipes were devised in conjunction with experts from LED manufacturer Osram Opto Semiconductors who are market leaders in the supply of quality LEDs for the horticultural lighting sector. The LED modules come in various sizes, from a 12 LED Petunia MiniFlood, to a 16 Flood and finally the 33 LED Florence Flood.



These products use mid and high power LED components from Osram Opto Semiconductors. The OSCONIQ® and OSLON® families are high performance, with a long lifetime even in humid environments. These small footprint LEDs allow for very compact clustering, design for professional top-lighting, inter-lighting and multilayer applications, making them easy and efficient to implement.

IHS is a LED Light for You (LLFY) Partner, which draws on world-leading quality LEDs from Osram Opto Semiconductors and combines them with other quality components, materials and in-house expertise to provide the LED solution you need.

For any enquiries or further information, please contact +44 (0) 1635 294606 or   Or alternatively refer to our website


ILS is a division of Intelligent Group Solutions Ltd, a well-established industry leading display and opto-electronics solutions provider. ILS offers high level technical skill, professionalism and commercial understanding to companies requiring market leading optoelectronic and LED solutions. ILS is a franchised stocking distributor and agent for amsOSRAM, OSRAM Digital Systems, Inventronics, LEDiL, Stanley, TSLC and Showin.