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Photoponics - Research & Development

Welcome to the page where things that we think need to be mentioned or referenced, are.


become PURple

All following text content is based on my opinions and I invite all to criticize, but please by email first. - Clive Wing in 2004

Clive & Tom Wing 2007

Photoponics means "light works" - For me, so it's just my current opinon, before there was mass or energy there was light. Light is both a "mass" (particle) and "energy" (waveform). So perhaps all mass and energy was once light and that's why I am facinated by the stuff, the way it creates life and all our realities.
When all else fails I suggest watching Monty Python or taking a walk in the woodlands.
(Songs below can take a while to downlad but it worth it)

The first music I ever purchased myself wasa new single Rolf Harris - Two Little Boys in 1969, and also a second hand album Deep Purple - Shades of Purple, my whole life changed when I listened to Mandrake Root

What I dont like: Insects, dangerous & deadly creatures & dangerous sunlight.

The Australian Prime Minister, John Howard was in England meeting the Queen at Balmoral. They were discussing Australia and Howard's plans for the future.
Howard asked the queen if it was possible to turn Australia into a Kingdom to increase its force in the world market. The Queen replied, "One needs a King for a Kingdom and you are most certainly not a King." He then asks if it is possible to turn Australia into an Empire. The Queen replies, "For an Empire one needs an Emperor you are most certainly not an Emperor." Howard thinks for a moment and then asks if it is possible to turn Australia into a principality. The Queen replies, "For a principality one needs a Prince and you Mr. Howard are certainly not a prince." The Queen adds further, "Without meaning to be rude Mr. Howard I think Australia should remain as a country."


If you wish remain an ignorant waste of space, don't read here:
BBC 2002
| The Inquirer 2004 May | BBC 2004 June | PhysicsWorld 2006 | Softpedia 2007 | Q Optics
Just Photoponics, the humans forgot & are learning again

The Big Plasma Question - to Screw or to Spin ?

A simple example of quantum transport in a classically chaotic system exists in a single state lying on a regular island (a stable primary resonance island) which may tunnel into a chaotic sea and further escape to infinity via chaotic diffusion.
Twisting the light away
Pitch your photon like a corkscrewing curveball and you can push bandwidth through the roof, flummox eavesdroppers and perhaps even talk to aliens. So do you want to screw the waves or spin the crystal ball? Well, the answer is here & nowhere else.

Me & My Plasma - our first shagtastical day together in the mini - The Movie 23Mb

Warning - I was so happy I started singing

Nutrients - free as the air you breathe

95% of plant nutrients come from
the atmosphere

5% of plant nutrients come from
the soil

How plants feed on Inter-continental cuisine served by solar powered winds harvesting from Forest Fires in distance lands

[more on nutrients here]

 Your DNA animation  (Note: The truly extraordinary animations begin in "Slide" 5 and build to a "climax" as the series goes forward. Animations 10, 13, 14, and 18, are particularly mindbending.)
What To Put In Your Pot by Clive Wing 2004 download the pdf here


started by Clive Wing in 2004

3-Dimensional Lighting for plants - The nurturelite Sabre is pioneering the next generation of fluorescent light application. Finally, the place for fluorescent lighting to be most effective for plants can be reached. Now you can safely hang the power of PURple right in amongst your plants and pets. The photoponic effect exceeds all other lighting for plants we have ever tried and we are very excited about our initial results. The unique poly carbonate sabre sheaf distributes the heat for safe operation, surface temperature is below 25C, plants can grow round and up the sabre using it as support.


Essex, England first in world to pioneer phototherapy for newborns (nothing to do with 460nm effect on circadian cycles).

LEDs from

nurturelites are being developed for humans before plants.

Germany first in world to have 300w CFL

World's first air-cooled 10U lamp

nurturelites are now making the worlds first air cooled self-ballasted T5HO lamp. Fitted with thermostatically controlled internal fans, this is the ultimate T5HO lamp. When the going gets hot (>35C), the nurturelite air-cooled range cools things down.


Significance of Ambient Temperatures - T5HO lamps produce their maximum light output at 35C or 97F, while T8 lamps give their maximum light output at 25C or 78F (T5 max lumen is about 30C). Both lamp types have bell shaped lumen output curves that slope off quickly on either side of their optimum temperature. A difference of 20C either way from optimum working temperature will decrease lumen output of all fluorescent lamps, regardless of type or brand, by 20% or more. T5HO lamps will perform better in non-conditioned warehouse spaces since heat accumulates at warehouse ceilings and temperatures are often 15-20F higher than at floor level. T8 lamps will perform better in air conditioned spaces or cooler conditions. T5HO fixtures (like our dome reflector and nova) can be equipped with sealed lenses for use in refrigerated storage areas and zero temp storage areas. It should be noted that both T5HO and Hi-Lumen T8 fixtures generate a great deal of heat, so selecting a properly designed, well ventilated fixture is very important. Poorly designed fixtures will retain heat that will significantly shorten ballast life and decrease lamp lumen output. When high ambient temperatures are expected on a routine basis, a T5HO ballast with a 90C or 194F case temperature rating should be specified, rather than the standard 70C or 158F case temperature rated products used for T8 and T5.

The PhotoCat (Photocatalytic Air Cleaner) was developed in our UK labs for air cleaning and cooling methods, by creating a photo-plasma from the specially adapted CFL 200w lamp. When used internally the nurturelite PhotoCat (Photocatalytic Air Cleaner) can reduce waste organisms in the air of a hospital room with an area of 144-180 square feet and a height of 2.8 meters to under 3ppm (parts per million) in 30 minutes. Perfect for cleaning air, removal of all odors and bacteria before exhausting to another room "clean" and perfect for humans and animals.

nurturelites PhotoCats are more efficient than activated-carbon air cleaners or "scrubbers" For plants the nurturelite PhotoCat system should be used to exhaust from a grow area. Beware that cleaning the air with a PhotoCat or any scrubber can remove many of the essential nutrients a plant needs in the air.

Watt for Watt - what watts are the ones I pay for?
In practice, it is the energy used for environmental control that can be reduced when using Energy Saving Lamps, this is reality, there is no need for the false claims of incredible savings some might make, the truth is easily good enough.

Compare actual power usage of both ballast and lamp and watt for watt comparison can make most people think about electricity costs properly for the first time.
nurturelite 600w HPS Lamp + 600w ballast = 635w actual system power usage
nurturelite 200w T5HO Lamp + 200w ballast = 161w actual system power usage
Thus, watt for watt, 600w HPS is roughly equivalent to 800w (4x200w) T5HO. We see comparison between HPS and T5HO as a similar comparison between Hydro and Terra. The first will probably give you higher quantity, the latter will give you better quality. So, the word "equivalent" is used by us in the context of quality and quantity balancing each other. A synergy of both technologies is the nurturelite suggested way forward.

No doubt this is another debate riddled with incredible claims, but often common sense is all you need. We try to emulate nature to nurture well, often that which looks most like nature is the best for use to nurture.


200w Self-ballast 6U or 8U or 10U ? We've tried and tested every type of CFL shape available and have confirmed that 6U is the most superior of all shapes for horizontal application. If the lamp is mounted vertically, may be using an umbrella shaped reflector, the 10U is easily most superior. This is why we are now using the 6U, for superior photoponics, with any conventional horticultural reflector (horizontal mount) on all 200w lamps.
In 2004 we were using the 8U, but we continued to suffer many breakages during delivery. So now we have developed the 10U 300w nurturelite for those that want strong vertical lamps and/or a lot more than 200w in one T5 lamp. (Please note 300w currently available only in Germany DE).
Mini HQ Reflector - British/Chinese Design, German reflective materials. Easily strong enough to hold the nurturelite 300w and heavy 200w of the poorest quality (Envirolite) self-ballast completely horizontal.--------- (Pictured example has one wing removed)
300w (10U) nurturelite
Identify Soft-Start, distinctive "phased" and increasing 3 steps, so only 95w, for example, initial power, less aggressive to circuitry, thus increasing life span of whole lighting system. nurturelite for the highest quality.
Poor Quality Envirolite


Please note, the 172w lamp is an original Chinese model, made in same factory as the others. It is not a German branded copy, it is not made in Germany and never has been.

Lamps and ballasts have different ratings and the only true measurement of power consumption is the the combined lamp and ballast wattage.

The 3 lamps on the left are self ballasted, these use poor Power Factor (PF) ballasts of between PF 0.6 and PF 0.7, using more power does not necessarily mean more light.

The 3 lamps on the right are separate ballasted these use high power factor PF 0.98 to PF 0.99 separate ballasts.

Compare front left self-ballasted with front right separate ballasted, it's physically exactly the same glass lamp, but the high PF separate ballast means less power, lower running costs, but more light! Please note that the source of data used and displayed is from tests we carried out in a room 4mx4m with ambient temperature of only 12 degree centigrade. In normal use all of the lamps would operate in warmer environment and Lm/W performance would improve for all of the lamps.

75 Lm/W x 150W

= 11,250 Lm

85Lm/W x 142W

= 12,070 Lm

Dont bother with the last millenniums technology, stop using old CFL's
Start using T5HO Linear Tubing which is massively geometrically superior.

The best shape ( for those that prefer horizontal ) is a grill or rack of single tubes, This is why we have developed the PS1, Tray, Rack and Wing systems , all using the T5 (VeryHighOutput) tubes. The 55cm tubes are easily placed (and replaced) in ballasted reflector strips. This allows for extremely efficient use of space in the growing area, crops can be layered, with the heat being used to warm roots of the crops above which could also be on a different lighting schedule (day length). It is the Growers and practitioners that have demanded this shape of lighting system and no explanation is needed to see why, if not the best, then it is at least the most efficient "shape" for using T5 tubes.
288w (550mm)

12 x 24 w PURple Photoponic Tray System (PTS1)



Fluoro and HPS (HID) - The Truth

The difference between Fluorescent and High Intensity Discharge lamps, and it's significance in the application to plant growing seems rarely understood and/or explained honestly.

So, we've tried to do this, nurturelite manufacture and supply all types of lighting, so we do not have favorites, in our opinion, all photon generators (lamps) are are equal & beautiful.
Like people, some light types may be better at different applications to others.

Fluorescent's create light in a completely different way to HID's.
You should not expect HID bulbs to emit anywhere near the QUALITY of light that fluorescent's do, and
you should not expect fluorescent's to emit anywhere near the INTENSITY of light HID's do.

If you look at the SPDs' of many HID lamps (sodium or metal halide), actually they all look very much the same... in terms of PUR or PAR or proportional distribution of wavelength energy.
If you look at a SPD of fluorescent lamp, particularly customized like the nurturelite PURple range, they all look very different. [more SPDs]

Fluorescents create light by passing an electrical current through mercury vapor, producing UV light. The UV causes the phosphor powder coating on the inside of the tube to fluoresce, thus emitting light in the visible spectrum. With different phosphors generating different wavelengths of light, the colours can be controlled and customized by varying the combinations of phosphors used. Because the light is emitted from the phosphors, which are spread over a large surface area, coating the entire inside of the lamp, the light is not intense.

HID's produce light by passing electrical current through different metal vapors, NO coating of phosphor in the way , but only gases which are controllable, safe and reliable can be used. So, the colours (different wavelengths of light) are severely constrained by the limited types of metal vapors that can be used. However, the radiation that is emitted is very INTENSE and often includes copious amounts of Infra Red for you to burn things with, like plant tops.

Now, also consider Infra Red heat is not effected by convection or conduction cooling technology, (electric fans and water cooled"cool tubes") it is radiation, not conduction or convection. This is why the INTENSITY of the (poor light quality) HID lamp can be used to cover large areas, if you bring the lamp too close you will radiate your plants with horrid IR heat, HID lamps and all ballasts must be kept a safe distance away from the plants to avoid IR radiation damage.

Type of lighting
Average distance between light and plant tops
Fluorescent - T5HO - any wattage
3cm to 10cm
HPS 400w
30cm to 40cm
HPS 600w
50cm to 60cm
HPS 1000w
70cm to 80cm

Distance: The quantity of light rapidly diminishes as the distance increases in relation to the light source. If the lights are too far away, the plants will grow tall, less sturdy and will be less productive. If the lights are too close, growth is impede, the plants will wither and dry and may even be burned if the area is poorly ventilated.
Reflective Material: Another topic riddled with fairy tales, it might help you to know percentage of reflection for Aluminum foil, white enamel paint and white plastic is 70 to 80%, for Matt white paint it is 85 to 90% and for Mylar it is 90 to 95%.

Fluorescent lighting needs more attendance from the grower than HID because the light needs to be moved up, often on a daily basis, so that the optimum distance (about 5cm) can be maintained as the plant grows. Because most of us have the electricity, space and environmental equipment needed for the "big rough" HID, that's what most people use.

Fluorescent lighting appeals to HID users as a way of supplementing the colours lacking in HID lighting systems

Strictly nurturelite fluorescent only example: 10 x 200w (2000w) nurturelite PURple red lamps produced same yield as crop did with 3 x 600w (1800w) HPS, but the grower reported that although quantity/yield was fractionally down, the QUALITY was up massively, because there is so little heat, all of the "qualitative" characteristics of the plant tops are not "evaporated" by IR heat. this is especially relevant during the flowering stage when plant surfaces in the flower region are particularly photoponically sensitive and vulnerable to humidity and over-heating problems.


Nanometric Scale - Visible Light Spectrum

The visible light spectrum is from Violet to Magenta with Green in the middle, measured in nanometers (nm). Purple is not a single colour of visible light, it is 2 colours, blue and red.

Colour Rendering Index - Not for measuring critical light for Plants

"We are Ladies" - Little Britain- BBC
As soon as you see the picture above, know that it has nothing to do with plants, unless you are particularly concerned about what humans see, it is the root of all ignorance and "creative salesmanship". This chart is frequently used by those wishing to mislead plant growers into buying "gay & pretty looks" rather than useful radiation.

CRI rating is important when checking your clothes, especially separate tops, trousers or skirts and to ensure that the colours are not influenced by the light source, and the general "made-up" opinion of what good colour is. Anyone who knows their CRI is also well qualified to distinguish the subtle tonal differences found in navy blue blouses and dresses.

To help indicate how colors will appear under different light sources, a system was devised some years ago that mathematically compares how a light source shifts the location of eight specified pastel colors on a version of the C.I.E. color space as compared to the same colors lighted by a reference source of the same Color Temperature. If there is no change in appearance, the source in question is given a CRI of 100 by definition. From 2000K to 5000K, the reference source is the Black Body Radiator and above 5000K, it is an 'agreed upon' form of daylight.

An incandescent lamp, virtually by definition, has a Color Rendering Index (CRI) close to 100. This does not mean that an incandescent lamp is a perfect color rendering light source. It is not. It is very weak in blue, as anyone who has tried to sort out navy blues, royal blues and black under low levels of incandescent lighting could tell you. On the other hand, outdoor north sky daylight at 7500K is weak in red, so it isn't a "perfect" color rendering source either and would just ruin subtle contrasts in your Pinks, that just wont do. Yet, would you believe it, it also has a CRI of 100 by definition.

CRI is useful in specifying color if it is used within its limitations. Originally, CRI was developed to compare continuous spectrum sources whose CRI's were above 90 because below 90 it is possible to have two sources with the same CRI, but which render color very differently. At the same time, the colors lighted by sources whose CRI's differ by 5 points or more may look the same. Colors viewed under sources with line spectra such as mercury, metal halide or high pressure sodium lamps, may actually look better than their CRI would indicate. However, some exotic fluorescent lamp colors may have very high CRI's, while substantially distorting some particular object color.

Technically, CRI's can only be compared for sources that have the same Color Temperatures. However, as a general rule "The Higher The Better"; light sources with high (80-100) CRI's tend to make things look better to humans than light sources with lower CRI's.

Why still use CRI if it has so many drawbacks? It's the only internationally agreed upon color rendering system that provides some guidance. It will be still be used until the scientific community can develop a better system to describe what we really see. It is an indicator of the relative color rendering ability of a source and should only be used as such. Plants, even lady ones, are not concerned with CRI ratings.

Kelvin Scale - Not for measuring critical light for Plants

People talking about black body's and radiators ? What are they talking about? Usually they don't really know, and even more worrying , they never explain it properly.
Based upon the definitions of the Centigrade scale and the experimental evidence that absolute zero is -273.15°C, thus 373.15K is the same as 100°C. The Colour Temperature represents the colour that Carbon is when heated to that temperature. So when carbon is heated to 2000K it looks "red" hot. Carbon does not look green at any temperature, if it did, it's what we would call "white Hot". So remembering that Kelvin is used to measure an 'overall' colour, it's ok as a guide only, to differentiate between PURple and Green, Kelvin is useless.


Even the Diamond & Gemstone industry has "seen the light" when it comes to Kelvin [more]


LUX Meters - Not for measuring critical light for Plants

In 1924, the Commission de l'Eclairage (CIE) created a standard photopic luminosity function or 'standard observer' for photometric measurements. For the human eye, an efficiency of 1 was assigned to the wavelength of 555 nanometers (nm). The logarithm of this function is the 'relative visual brightness'. Nothing to do with plants, all to do with the response of the human eye.

All LUX meters are biased, measuring power and lumens based on the phototropic curve. On the PURple chart below you can see the large phototropic curve (the green line) peaking at around 550nm. So when you put a lux meter under a green light (white & bright looking to humans) you get a massive reading on your LUX meter. The less well informed assume that lots of lumens here are good, and over look the fact that all plants reflect at least 50% of this away, which is why plants look green.

Now if you put the same LUX meter under a blue or red light, which is the same power e.g. 200w, instead of 20,000 Lumens you will measure 10,000 Lumens. The red or blue light will actually look dimmer to you, because you are a human. But in reality, the red and blue light is most useful to plants, so the lumens rating is useless for measuring useful plant light. Micro-Einstein's are a better way to measure useful light but even these measuring instruments suffer from (more linear) biasing [more]. We recommend 300 to 500 microeinsteins/square meter/second (umol/m2/s) for growing plants.

Illuminance: the luminous power incident per unit area of a surface. One lumen per square meter is one lux. One lumen per square foot is one foot-candle.

Lux: an illuminance equal to one lumen per square meter.

Lumen: by definition there are 683 lumens per watt of radiant power at a wavelength of 555 nm (wavelength for green light).

Lumens are for humans to judge and measure the brightness of mainly green light (that looks bright white to humans), which is also the the colour that plants reject the most, that's why chlorophyll is green.



Green (~550nm) for humans and plants like it blue (~450nm) and red (~660nm), with a bit of yellow to make chlorophyll. Always more than 50% of greenish light is reflected from plants and not useful.

Green Lumens are for humans, PURple is for plants

[more SPDs]

plant growth | PURple | human Sensitive

The nurturelite PURple chart

The Photosynthesis Action Spectrum is commonly accepted to be between 350 to 700 nm, thus most fluorescent lights made for domestic use emit near 100% PAR (Photosynthetically Active Radiation). Study of Photosynthetically Useful Radiation (PUR) created an evolution in nurturing light technology, applying absorption theory and combining unique techniques for preparing phosphors, the PURple nurturelite. PURple is generally accepted by the experienced as “the best" fluorescent plant light. nurturelites emit most of their light in the wavelengths that are more efficient for photosynthesis, namely the red and blue ends of the visible spectrum. As expected, because we all really like green, these light sources can look dim to the human eye and consequently have poor lumen ratings. Also, their colour temperature (K) and CRI ratings have little, if any, meaning [more]. PURple nurturelites were not designed to be "seen" by humans, but to efficiently stimulate plants with Photosynthetically Useful Radiation (PUR).

"why the green spike?" - Phosphor/metal prices in China are 3x more for red than blue and cost of production would increase to reduce the green spike. Also, without the green spike, the light would "look" so "dim" to humans they would not want to buy it. So, the green spike is to keep the costs competitive and make it look bright to humans.

More Reading:

Why is everything going PURple? Why Trees are Green

PUR ? What a lot of FA PAR ! (Fraction of Absorbed Photosynthetically Active Radiation).

Estimating PUR requires knowledge of the spectrum of light and the absorption spectrum

Absorption spectrum of plants

Photoponics - SULPHUR PLASMA 1000w compared with 6 x 400w (2400w) of METAL HALIDE


advanced light source project 94 - SULPHUR PLASMA

Learn all about Artificial Lighting On-Line - see chapter 3

Osram Sylvania SPD's

Nutrients in the Air only 5% in the ground, how did you think they got there in the ground, huh?:

We have not added the flowers so that you work with light for this information. We continue to argue that Sun, Sky and some Rain is really all any plant needs to grow and grow good. We all need soil or earth (or some sort of medium) simply so that we can stand up! Living with gravity is something we all have to do.

nurturelite products are all about light and air - the atmosphere. Photoponics is a science yet to be rediscovered by mankind, for surely the question should always be "HOW....?" and not "WHY....?"? For we know how the sky is blue, don't we? Because 3ft of water will filter nearly all colours from sunlight except 460nm blue. Which is also the wavelength for circadian cycles and most light therapy for all forms of life on this planet. Could be a clue for 'why' we are spending all our hard earnt money on research into light and air. Indeed, research off the planet has shown that plants do not require any soil providing the atmosphere around the plant, roots'n all is the right mix and temperature. Our advice is simple, when growing plants always remember the 2 most important factors:

95% or more of any plants nutrients come from the atmosphere and 5% or less come from the soil.

Photosynthesis means "making things with light".

Any tree is a good example of a plant that has taken nearly all of it's nutrients out of the atmosphere, not the soil under it. Especially when you consider it's been standing in the same soil in the same place for the last 50 years!

A rainforest is almost self-sufficient in nutrients because trees extract most of the useful nutrients from leaves before dropping them, and even then what remains of the leaf falls to the forest floor and decomposes.

When a forest fire occurs up to 91% of of the entire burnt forest's nutrients are retained by the atmosphere. They travel with the wind & rain to new destinations, all over the world, including your garden.

Phytoplankton produce about 50 per cent of the atmosphere’s oxygen and take up about 25 per cent of its carbon dioxide. That was Phytoplankton, not trees, please consider this while you can still breathe, its little photon harvesters in the water that keeps us all alive..

Everything moves around this planet using the atmosphere, generally speaking, when it's in the soil it has stopped moving, it won't find the plant and to be of any use to the plant, the plant has to spend energy to find it first.

Even soil gets it's nutrients from the atmosphere!

Sixteen chemical elements are known to be important to a plant's growth and survival. The sixteen chemical elements are divided into two main groups: non-mineral and mineral. All can be taken from the atmosphere, however, mankind is not proving to be so 'clever' in that department of thought, so its perhaps best to consider foliar application or adding nutrients during watering. Sometimes its difficult to know until its too late if the atmosphere needs changing.

Non-Mineral Nutrients
The Non-Mineral Nutrients are hydrogen (H), oxygen (O), & carbon (C).

These nutrients are found in the air and water.

Add carbon dioxide (CO2 - carbon and oxygen) and (H2O- hydrogen and oxygen) to the plant's atmosphere and most expensive nutrient/fertilizers become virtually redundant. But only a lighting manufacturer would say that?

In a process called photosynthesis, plants use energy from the sun to change carbon dioxide and water into starches and sugars. These starches and sugars are the plant's food.

Photosynthesis means "making things with light".
Mankind must look again to the atmosphere, consider light pollution, and if artificial light has to be used, then use more nurturing light. Since plants get carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen from the air and water, there is little else farmers and gardeners can do to control how much of these nutrients a plant can use. See the light.

Mineral Nutrients
The 13 mineral nutrients, which can come from the soil, are dissolved in water and absorbed through a plant's roots. There are not always enough of these nutrients in the soil for a plant to grow healthy. This is why many farmers and gardeners use fertilizers to add the nutrients to the soil.

The mineral nutrients are divided into two groups:
macronutrients and micronutrients.


Macronutrients can be broken into two more groups:
primary and secondary nutrients.

N-P-K The primary nutrients are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). These major nutrients usually are lacking from the soil first because plants use large amounts for their growth and survival.

Ca-Mg-S The secondary nutrients are calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and sulphur (S). There are usually enough of these nutrients in the atmosphere so fertilization is not always needed. Also, large amounts of Calcium and Magnesium are added when lime is applied to acidic soils. Sulphur is usually found in sufficient amounts from the slow decomposition of soil organic matter, an important reason for not throwing out grass clippings and leaves.

Micronutrients (Trace Elements)

Micronutrients are those elements essential for plant growth which are needed in only very small (micro) quantities . These elements are sometimes called minor elements or trace elements, but use of the term micronutrient is encouraged by the American Society of Agronomy and the Soil Science Society of America. As most of this page was based on their writings, it seems fair and correct to use their preferred terminology. The micronutrients are boron (B), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), chloride (Cl), manganese (Mn), molybdenum (Mo) and zinc (Zn). Recycling organic matter such as grass clippings and tree leaves is an excellent way of providing micronutrients (as well as macronutrients) to growing plants. The Comfrey plant is used in England for its ability to extract N-P-K from the soil with deep roots and fill its leaves with all of the the most powerful ingredients needed to make a truly organic fertilizer just add water and air !

In general, most plants grow by absorbing nutrients from the atmosphere and supplement deficiencies in the atmosphere with nutrients from the soil. Their ability to do this depends on the nature of the soil. Depending on its location, a soil contains some combination of sand, silt, clay, and organic matter. The makeup of a soil (soil texture) and its acidity (pH) determine the extent to which nutrients are available to plants.

Soil Texture (the amount of sand, silt, clay, and organic matter in the soil)

Soil texture affects how well nutrients and water are retained in the soil. Clays and organic soils hold nutrients and water much better than sandy soils. As water drains from sandy soils, it often carries nutrients along with it. This condition is called leaching. When nutrients leach into the soil, they are not available for plants to use.

An ideal soil contains equivalent portions of sand, silt, clay, and organic matter. All soils vary in their texture and nutrient content, which makes some soils more productive than others. Sometimes, the nutrients that plants need occur naturally in the soil. Other times, they must be added to the soil as lime or fertilizer.

Soil pH
(a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of the soil)

Soil pH is one of the most important soil properties that affects the availability of nutrients.

Macronutrients tend to be less available in soils with low pH.
Micronutrients tend to be less available in soils with high pH.
Lime can be added to the soil to make it less sour (acid) and also supplies calcium and magnesium for plants to use. Lime also raises the pH to the desired range of 6.0 to 6.5.

In this pH range, nutrients are more readily available to plants, and microbial populations in the soil increase. Microbes convert nitrogen and sulfur to forms that plants can use. Lime also enhances the physical properties of the soil that promote water and essential air movement.

It is a good idea to have your soil tested. If you do, you will get a report that explains how much lime and fertilizer your crop needs.


Nitrogen (N)

* Nitrogen is a part of all living cells and is a necessary part of all proteins, enzymes and metabolic processes involved in the synthesis and transfer of energy.
* Nitrogen is a part of chlorophyll, the green pigment of the plant that is responsible for photosynthesis.
* Helps plants with rapid growth, increasing seed and fruit production and improving the quality of leaf and forage crops.
* Nitrogen often comes from fertilizer application and from the air (legumes get their N from the atmosphere, water or rainfall contributes very little nitrogen)

Phosphorus (P)

* Like nitrogen, phosphorus (P) is an essential part of the process of photosynthesis.
* Involved in the formation of all oils, sugars, starches, etc.
* Helps with the transformation of solar energy into chemical energy; proper plant maturation; withstanding stress.
* Effects rapid growth.
* Encourages blooming and root growth.
* Phosphorus often comes from fertilizer, bone meal, and super phosphate.

Potassium (K)

* Potassium is absorbed by plants in larger amounts than any other mineral element except nitrogen and, in some cases, calcium.
* Helps in the building of protein, photosynthesis, fruit quality and reduction of diseases.
* Potassium is supplied to plants by soil minerals, organic materials, and fertilizer.

Calcium (Ca)

* Calcium, an essential part of plant cell wall structure, provides for normal transport and retention of other elements as well as strength in the plant. It is also thought to counteract the effect of alkali salts and organic acids within a plant.
* Sources of calcium are dolomitic lime, gypsum, and super phosphate.

Magnesium (Mg)

* Magnesium is part of the chlorophyll in all green plants and essential for photosynthesis. It also helps activate many plant enzymes needed for growth.
* Soil minerals, organic material, fertilizers, and dolomitic limestone are sources of magnesium for plants.

Sulphur (S)

* Essential plant food for production of protein.
* Promotes activity and development of enzymes and vitamins.
* Helps in chlorophyll formation.
* Improves root growth and seed production.
* Helps with vigorous plant growth and resistance to cold.
* Sulphur may be supplied to the soil from rainwater. It is also added in some fertilizers as an impurity, especially the lower grade fertilizers. The use of gypsum also increases soil sulphur levels.


Boron (B)

* Helps in the use of nutrients and regulates other nutrients.
* Aids production of sugar and carbohydrates.
* Essential for seed and fruit development.
* Sources of boron are organic matter and borax

Copper (Cu)

* Important for reproductive growth.
* Aids in root metabolism and helps in the utilization of proteins.

Chloride (Cl)

* Aids plant metabolism.
* Chloride is found in the soil.

Iron (Fe)

* Essential for formation of chlorophyll.
* Sources of iron are the soil, iron sulfate, iron chelate.

Manganese (Mn)

* Functions with enzyme systems involved in breakdown of carbohydrates, and nitrogen metabolism.
* Soil is a source of manganese.

Molybdenum (Mo)

* Helps in the use of nitrogen
* Soil is a source of molybdenum.

Zinc (Zn)

* Essential for the transformation of carbohydrates.
* Regulates consumption of sugars.
* Part of the enzyme systems which regulate plant growth.
* Sources of zinc are soil, zinc oxide, zinc sulfate, zinc chelate.


Plasma News & Feedback Futuristic Fusion from nurturelite is now in UK! SULPHUR PLASMA - Watch a nurturelite SP, it's PURple Fusion in the UK, listen and watch the magnetron start the most powerful plant light in the world!


1000w Sulpur Plasma Microwave Lamp

1000w Sulphur Plasma and 300w T5HO CFL

"Making Plasma"

SULPHUR - The spelling of sulphur is "sulfur" in the USA and now that IUPAC has decided it has jurisdiction over the British English language (as distinct from American English) as well as nomenclature, so we in the UK are expected to use the f word. Indoor Sunrise
Download the DivX .avi 4.5MB "Diatomic Action" movie now !

Diatomic Sulphur inside the bulb

Sulphur is diatomic when it is in the fundamental state of plasma.

Microwave energy is absorbed, temperature increases during expansion.

Photons Out

Temperature decreases, photon is emmited during contraction


We have an Electric Sun, a bit like a Plasma International Light Bulb absorbing microwaves, it absorbs energy from the Universe, its time to remove the blindfold so tightly tied upon your head by Fusion Scientists, open your eyes and your mind to the Plasma Age and FFS learn about Tesla (click here).

Please enjoy these 4 short movies:

Sun Movie - Energy Sink | Sun Movie - Hotter Outside | Sun Movie - Ye Old Fusion Model | Sun Movie - Nuclear Blindfold

Technological Plasmas Research:
It is estimated that 99% of the visible Universe is in the plasma state. Plasmas can be thought of as a gas of positive ions (or atoms with missing electrons) and free electrons. This soup of electrical charges can generate and interact with electric, magnetic and gravitational forces producing fantastic phenomena such as stars, solar flares and supernovae. The remaining 1% is attributed to asteroids, comets and planets where solids, liquids and gases dominate. On earth the ionosphere, the aurora borealis and aurora australis (the northern and southern lights), St Elmo's fire (a ghostly glow observed at the top of ship masts) and lightning are examples of naturally occurring earth-bound plasmas.
Technological plasmas are quite different from space plasmas. They have boundaries (sheaths) that completely surround the plasma. Their low fractional ionization means the charged positive ions and electrons are a small fraction of the background neutral density. Technological plasmas are almost never in thermal equilibrium with the electrons much hotter (typically 4x104 oC!) than the ions and neutrals (approx. room temperature at 23oC). It is these features that make technological plasmas so useful to industry. They can be found in every household inside light bulbs, as candle flames and on the streets in fluorescent neon shop signs. Plasmas are also used as display devices such as plasma TVs, as thrusters for satellites, to sterilize medical and bio-technological equipment, to treat the toxic emission of environmentally harmful gases and to recycle waste products. By far the main application is material processing where they are used to alter the properties of materials such as surface hardness, to deposit thin optical films for filters, in the fabrication of microchips and electronic components found in every electronic device.

become purple


This page started as interest in the use of nurturelites, particularly T5HO type, becoming a popular alternative to the outrageously expensive specialist brand manufactured lamps, used in Terrariums, Vivariums, Paludariums, Tropical and Marine Aquariums. Rob met me when my baby boy was under some blue LED grow lights, but that's another phototherapy story, he revealed his hobbies of snake keeping and specialist plant growing and the experiments began!


Technical and Aim: When all is said and done, so much more is said than done. So, there's no telling what will happen next, but we start with analyzing the PURple light looking for things that snakes might like. The aim is to "Make Snakes Happy", because happy snakes are healthy snakes ...and that's about as technical as we really want to get, but here goes:

Spectral Power Distribution of nurturelite PURple

Spectral Power


W/nm per 1,000 lm

Light Wavelength - nm

Is all UV light good for reptiles then? UVB. the wavelength range that mainly contributes to vitamin D3 photosynthesis (UVB-1, 280-304 nm) and (UVB-2, 305-319 nm) and UVA range (320-399nm) contain another range that may potentially destroy vitamin D3. this range 290-310 nm is known as ”D-UV”. The ability of a lamp to efficiently produce vitamin D3 can be evaluated by comparing values shown in undoctered SPD's. The higher the irradiance of D-UV is in comparison to other UV, the higher the probability that D-UV radiation will start destroying cutaneous vitamin D3.

Will my reptile benefit from a PURple lamp? We assume reptiles that need UV to photosynthesize vitamin D3 should really be happy with a nurturelite PURple lamp!

Do I need Special Expensive Reptile lamps? Further study seems to indicate strongly that all snakes get all the D3 they need from their food and do not need any UV light at all. Fortunately our aim is to make snakes happy so we haven't completely wasted our time, because we know that we have avoided nasty D-UV which is frequently present in many so-called "Specialist Reptile" lamps.

I thought these lamps were made for plants? nurturelite PURples were designed for emission of Photosynthetically Useful Radiation (PUR) and consequently the needs of plant life were considered the most. Other lamp manufacturers have made the effort to explain their different point of view and opinion, not ours, this can be looked at Many hold the opinion that all UV light is bad for plants, we have the a different opinion, its that a little bit of something naughty is sometimes nice!

UV light is used and/or seen by Reptiles, Birds, Insects and Plants
All humans can not see UV light. Most humans are unaware of the world below 400nm, where our eyes can't see with out the aid of technology.

Krill using their own built-in sunscreens, or if you prefer, their high concentrations of "mycosporine-like amino acids." Algae and fungi can make their own sunscreens in the form of mycosporine-like amino acids (MAAs), which absorb very well in the UV and are produced in response to it. MAAs are very common in marine species, especially so in tropical coral reefs and the Antarctic, two areas which are routinely savaged by high UVB.
Algae are especially good producers of MAAs, and it is from the algae that krill can acquire their sunscreens, although it seems that some sunscreens are taken up more readily than others. This means that krill can "piggy-back" on algae’s natural response to high UV: when UVB is at its highest, the algae produce high concentrations of sunscreen, the krill eat them, and survive UV better than krill low in MAAs.
Pygoplites diacanthus
A as seen by humans, B with UV filter.
The blue-white stripes (A) reflect UV.
Some prawns (the mantis shrimps) have the world's best colour vision, in some respects, four times better than humans. These lowly crustaceans also have complex colour communication systems and understanding how animals see their own colours and those of the animals around them is a major research theme today
Germanodactylus Soft Tissue Crest Close up of a color UV photograph of the crest and posterior part of the skull on the part slab

Flowers photographed in normal daylight Same flowers photographed using only nrUV & UV light
Dinosaurs and Fish, the Birds & the Bees, all common sense isn't it! Now those that would have you believe all UV is bad for plants might have difficulty explaining this!

Landing Lights for Hawk-Moths
Often cultivated and known by its vernacular name "Four O'Clock", has fragrant flowers pollinated by hawk-moths and other nocturnal pollinators. The UV markings of the corolla are indistinct, but a high degree of UV fluorescence of the entire perianth and the pollen is a noteworthy feature.

Those who only want to know about plants first should skip to "UV for shorter plants with power flowers"

Rob's Snakes
More on Plants & UV - flavour, scent & colour

COMMERCIAL APPLICATION - UV light slows foliar growth and stem length. Bedding plants are often grown from seedlings in greenhouses. The growing conditions in a greenhouse cause many plants to outstrip their containers, growing too tall to be easily transported by the time their color matures. Plants overly tall for their containers may also be aesthetically displeasing, which can hinder their marketing. Height control of greenhouse-grown plants has long been an issue in the bedding plant industry. Chemical growth regulators are often used on ornamentals but are not considered safe on vegetable crops. Using UV light (particularly UVB) to regulate growth is a relatively new, but much safer alternative that works on several bedding plant species as well as select vegetables, exposing plants such as impatiens, tomatoes and cucumbers to UV treatments for a few hours slows their foliar growth and stem length without reducing color or other favorable characteristics.

Why do plants need UV light?
UV increases the level of essential oils in mints & the production of resin by trichomes of relatives, UV is used for maximum yield and quality of these oils.
UV induces color development in flowers, essential for beautiful red veins in green Kale or Chard.

Full Power Flower - UV light needed to fully fill the glandular trichomes of basil. Plants of Ocimum basilicum L. were grown in the absence of UV light, both peltate and capitate glandular trichomes were incompletely developed in both mature and developing leaves, the oil sacs being wrinkled and only partially filled, there was a large decrease in the number of broken oil sacs among the peltate glands as the mature glands broke open, releasing volatiles. the number of glands and the qualitative or quantitative composition of the volatiles were badly affected by the lack of UV light.

Tasty Sunscreen?.With added UV light, an increased level of essential oils yields a more powerful scent and flavour. The essential oils also aid in the absorption of UV light , thus a sunscreen for plants. Plants in the wild produce their own kind of “sunscreen,” called flavonoids. Flavonoids screen out some of the more dangerous UVB-type radiation.

OK, what are these Flavonoids? Flavonoids are antioxidants in fruits, vegetables, tea, and wine - plant nutrients that belong to the polyphenol family. They are really good for you. Flavonoids are responsible for brilliant blues, purples, and greens, as well as yellows, oranges, and reds which cannot be attributed to carotenoids (found in carrots). Carotenoids are fat-soluble, while flavonoids are predominantly water-soluble. Flavonoids are found in more concentrated forms in beans and berries, but also red wine, green tea, and soy products, as well as many common fruits and vegetables. Products are have been developed using these molecules to battle cell and DNA damage involved in cancer, heart disease, diabetes and possibly brain degeneration, by neutralizing"free radicals". Research links them to reduced risks for cancer, heart disease, and other age-related degenerative diseases, as well as antioxidant protection of body fluids such as blood. They also may help prevent stroke, flu, tooth decay, and other ailments. Apple skins rich in flavonoids are discarded in all food products such as juices because the flavonoids in the skin cause cloudiness in the juice. A waste, when you consider the antioxidant activity in apple peel is potent enough to stop cancer cells growing. Flavonoid content is highest in the leaves of St. John's wort (you must know about this flower), and is at maximum concentration during full bloom. In the flowers, the content of flavonoids is highest at the start of flowering, falling during flowering. In tests, St. John's wort (flowers) had the highest content of flavonoids (11.71%) of any of 223 species tested.

Several hundred flavonoids can be found in plants, they are the compounds which affect colour, aroma and flavour.

Colour of plants - where's that pigment from?

Pigment Class Compound Type Colors
Porphyrin chlorophyll green
Carotenoid carotene and lycopene xanthophyll yellow, orange, red yellow
Flavonoid flavone yellow
  flavonol yellow
  anthocyanin red, blue, purple, magenta

Colour depends on if your Sunscreen is sweet and on Acid? (not forgetting hydroxycinnamate) Anthocyanin production requires light for photosynthesis in the PAR range. Anthocyanins, such as cyanidin, provide a natural sunscreen for plants. Because the molecular structure of an anthocyanin includes a sugar, production of this class of pigments is dependent on the availability of carbohydrates within a plant. Anthocyanin color changes with pH, which is why soil acidity affects leaf color.

Arctic research reveals new and unexpected effect of ozone depletion

Research in northern Sweden revealed very striking impacts of enhanced UV-B on the nutrient budgets and microbial populations below ground.

A team of scientists, including Dr Dylan Gwynn-Jones (IBS), studying the effect of increased UV-B radiation (as a result of the ozone hole above the North Pole) on sub-arctic plants have discovered that microbes living below ground are significantly affected, even though they are not exposed directly to sunlight themselves. The team, whose findings were published in Nature, believe that this completely changes our viewpoint about the impacts of ozone depletion in terrestrial ecosystems.

Bats Scan The Rainforest With UV-Eyes

Source: October 17, 2003
Bats from Central and South American that live on the nectar from flowers can see ultraviolet light (Nature, 9. October 2003 p. 612-614). This was discovered by York Winter, a German researcher at Munich University and the Max-Planck-Research Centre for Ornithology together with colleagues from Germany and the University of Guatemala. As bats generally lack cone pigments in their eyes, the flower bats capture the ultraviolet with the rhodopsin of their rod pigments. This mechanism was unknown in mammals until now. The researchers discovered this ability while keeping the bats in an environment with computer controlled artificial flowers equipped with small signal lights. Flower visiting bats seem to need UV-vision, because the flowers they visit in the rainforest are characterised by a strong reflection of UV-spectrum light at night. It remains open whether the unusually high UV-sensitivity found in these bats involves a further photo-mechanism that is as yet unknown for mammals.

Modern mammals lost their ability to see ultraviolet in the course of evolution, contrary to birds and lower vertebrates. Of the originally four cone pigments of ancestral vertebrates, the higher mammals have retained only two. Therefore, most mammals are dichromats and have an only limited colour resolution. Only the primates have regained a third cone pigment by gene duplication and hence, tri-chromatic vision with high colour resolution. In night-active bats the reduction of the visual system went even further: they lost functional cones altogether and retained only the rods as photoreceptors. Rods are also present in the human retina for black and white vision during low levels of light intensity. The ability for UV-vision in some other mammal species is due to one cone pigment.

There is only little light at night. But compared to daylight, the colour spectrum is shifted towards short, UV-wavelengths. The flowers that are pollinated by bats in the central and south American rainforest utilise this fact by having their petals strongly reflect UV radiation. But what does a mammal do, if the need for UV-vision arises again, but the necessary anatomical structure has been lost? The flower-visiting bats use their rod receptor for UV-perception and catch the UV-photons with the so-called beta-band of their photoreceptor, a peak of minor sensitivity for light absorption. In these mammals, therefore, only a single photoreceptor is responsible for the perception of light radiation over the whole wavelength spectrum from about 310 nm to 600 nanometres. Interestingly, bats achieve an absorption efficiency in the UV bandwidth of nearly 50 percent of their photoreceptors major peak of absorbance (alpha-band). This is nearly five times the value expected from in-vitro measurements of beta-band absorption in rhodopsin molecules. Whether this indicate a novel mechanism for light perception in the bats eye that is still unknown for mammals remains open.

The researchers discovered that bats can see UV-light in so called psychophysical experiments that only involve behavioural observation. The animals learnt over several months in a computer-controlled artificial environment that only flowers with a small signal light will also give food. The researcher made use of the bats ability to react to the lit flowers by changing the wavelengths of the signal lights and varying their intensity. This showed that the bats could still see the signal lights on the flowers far into the UV range. All the same, bats are colour blind. Attempts to teach them colour discrimination remained unsuccessful.

© nurturelite 2008