Setting up grow lights for your hydroponic garden is a crucial element to the success of your grow. With so many different lighting systems on the market today, it can be confusing at first.
There are 3 main things to keep in mind when choosing a light system for your grow. Heat, size, and spectrum.
The amount of heat you light produces is an important thing to consider when choosing your lighting systems. Do you have the capacity for large ventilation fans to cool the lights? Would it be beneficial to have more heat coming from your lights to keep the room warm? Depending on the light system you purchase, you can optimise your grow in either of these directions.
For maximum cooling, we carry Aerotube enclosures for your MH or HPS lighting. These are duct-shaped reflectors designed to hook up directly to your ventilation fans to offer maximum efficiency when air cooling your lights. This is perfect for places where the heat is generally higher than desired, and allows you to place the lights closer to the canopy of your plants below without causing them to burn.
On the other hand, for grow rooms that could benefit from a bit of extra heat is helpful for maintaining the air temperature. Many people in the United Kingdom prefer to avoid the high efficiency fixtures and go with a raw-bulb reflector instead. The ventilation fans will still be able to control. The amount of heat in the room, but won’t be hooked up directly to the lights. By situating the ventilation fans lower down you can actively draw some of the heat from the lights down to disperse more evenly in the room.
For a smaller grow room (less than 1m squared), it wouldn’t make sense to buy a massive, 1000 watt light for the small space, it would most likely overheat and kill the plants you are trying to grow. On the other side, if you have a large grow with numerous plants and grow trays and you try to give them a measly 250 watts of lighting, you can’t expect them to do very well. The size of the light is a crucial part of choosing the right lighting system.
For a 1m x 1m area, a 600-1000 watt HID light is recommended. Sometimes for areas slightly larger than this, placing the lights on a light moving rail is sufficient.
The spectrum is the light balance being emitted from the light source. The 2 main spectrums are red and blue. Blue promotes leaf growth, and helps to thicken up the stems, making them stronger and more capable of holding up the weight of future fruits or flowers.
Red light stimulates stem and flower growth, making it perfect for the flowering stage of development.
Knowing this helps you optimise the lighting choices made for the grow. If the crop you are growing only has a vegetative stage (such as with a lot of vegetables), then a light with more of a blue spectrum is preferred. Try a CFL, MH, or blue spectrum LED.
For growers who are cultivating a crop where the fruits or flowers are desired, it’s actually beneficial to have lights that offer both spectrums. This is because the blue light is used in the vegetative stage to achieve the best growth traits and quality as possible, and then switching over to a red spectrum during flower to speed up and maximise yields of the flower and fruit development.
By considering the many variables of plant lighting solutions, all of which are offered by The Hydroponics Store, you can optimise your hydroponic grow. Talk to one of our experts today to get some personal insight into the best lighting solution for your grow.
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