Light is a necessary component of the successful growth yields. Regardless of the size of the indoor operation, light matters. Even though light is vital to any production, often times a lighting system is left up to incomplete knowledge or guesswork. The fact of the matter is, with correct lighting, indoor yields can exceed current expectations. This, however, requires thorough planning for light fixtures.
Note your current quality and quantity of light. Is it working for your grow rooms, or holding you back? Inadequate light can be detrimental, as can too intense light after initial flowering stages. What should be sought after is detailed uniformity between all primary or sole-source grow lighting, and natural light spectrums from supplements fixtures.
The Importance of Grow Light Uniformity
Uniformity is critical to any production in a controlled, indoor environment. When considering light, we must factor in not only the quantity of light spread (the potential spectral distribution) from the fixture but the dimensions of a room, daylength needed for each plant, and most importantly, the quality of light. An often ignored or undermined factor to grow rooms is the uniformity of the lighting setup. It’s simpler to assume that the intensity of light will compensate for less than even distribution, but this is rarely the case. With substantial planning, a grower can consider the effect that light orientation, shading, and supplemental versus sole-source grow lights can have on potential yields.
Assuming that orientation, shading, and various other factors have already been decided, today we’ll focus solely on lighting; specifically, how to create uniformity and control with lighting. Light quality is a vital component to a healthy crop, but light uniformity should never be thrown to the wayside. Uniformity will highly impact the rate of growth throughout a crop’s developmental stages, as well as their water consumption.
Unequal or Uneven Light Quality
If you’ve ever experienced irregular crop growth patterns, your issue may lie in unequal—or uneven—light quality, as well as quantity. Simply put, your lighting could be negatively impacting the photosynthetic intervals of your crops. Unbalanced light will trigger differing responses from your plants. For example, an area in which light intensity is irregular enough, a disruption can begin in flowering stages of photoperiodism sensitive crops.
If you’re concerned that your current lighting configuration may be causing stress to your crops, it’s time to work with an experienced design team to create a lighting layout map for your sealed grow room or greenhouse. By building an initial lighting layout, you can forgo the common issues associated with varying light intensities, whether they be caused by sole-source or purely supplemental fixtures.
Greater Supplemental & Primary Lighting Control
Although it’s important to assess your supplemental lighting quality, it’s even more crucial when considering sole-source grow lights. Whereas supplemental lights generally have fewer intensity fluctuations, any primary lights can vary to extremes. We always recommend speaking with a professional service about the particular dimensions of your grow room to get an adequate picture of what is possible within the space, how much intensity you’ll need for your current crop size, and energy-saving options.
Having a tested and trusted lighting source can help you enhance your current production, of course. And as such, our team often recommends lighting fixtures from the Luxx Lighting Company for various sole-source and supplemental grow lighting. They have proven positively impactful for rooms of many sizes and are engineered with energy savings in mind.
Sole-Source Double-Ended Grow Lights
Hover to enlarge image. Click here to download.
Growers looking to explore quality lighting options for larger areas should take into account spread intensity as well as building canopies. For such rooms, we suggest a double-ended light, such as the 1000w DE from Luxx Lighting Company. With dimming options that range from 600 to 1150, this light holds a high level of performance at an output voltage of 208-277v. As the framework of a double-ended light is both simple and elegant, light omitting from the system is impressively unhindered.
As an even spread of light quality and quantity should be the utmost priority, choose a light fixture that can easily incorporate within the canopy of your grow area. This trustworthy fixture will actively provide similar quality outputs from ballast to ballast, without dipping in quality during longer day lengths.
Full Spectrum Lighting in Confined Spaces
Hover to enlarge image. Click here to download.
Your aim, however, may be to reduce unnecessary heat correlated with higher wattage fixtures. If a grower is seeking an uncompromised light spectrum that mimics sunlight, we suggest a ceramic metal halide light, such as the 630w CMH from Luxx. This broad spectrum fixture simulates daylight, working ideally as a supplemental fixture for larger operations. In the case of smaller operations, the 630w CHM can act as a full-spectrum, sole-source lamp. Reduce heat without a loss of quality.
Overcoming Lighting Errors
The NX-1 Controller from Luxx offers greater power over your lighting systems. Experienced growers understand that errors are more likely to happen when running off of memory alone. Control over ballasts and temperatures should be as simple as pressing a button. Crops on 12 by 12 rotating schedules and flowering cannabis in mature stages will be happy for the individual attention that a valuable controller can provide.
Replacing guesswork with consistency can assist any operation or struggling crop flourish. By using a timed, temperature sensing controller, potential lighting errors lessen significantly. The NX-1 has the ability to control output levels from 50% to 115%, contains a sunrise/sunset period, and can control room 80 ballasts (or 40 over 2 separate rooms) total. A controller like this will you ample time to enjoy the growing process without the fear of significant human errors.
Keep in Mind
Whether your plan is to overhaul a lighting map or make arrangements to update a current map, take care to keep the light intensity, light spectrum, and daylength in mind for differing strains and hybrids. Building a perfect lighting system isn’t impossible, but it does take accurate planning and patience. Our hope is, with the help of this article, you’ll be well on your way to discovering which lighting methods will work for you. We’re here to help you reduce everyday issues, and bring forth a high-quality yield.