One of the most important things you need to learn in your horticulture business is learning how to properly hang your LED grow light for maximum productivity in growth. However, a large number of growers consistently get this wrong.
When you are learning to hang your grow lights correctly, you will want to:
This article has been designed to help you save time and cash while hanging your grow lights and ensure you get the entire process done correctly.
Ready to hang some lights? Let's get going!
Consider Light Consistency When Hanging Your Grow Lights
One of the most important elements of grow lights is ensuring that every plant is going to get an adequate amount of light. This is known as light consistency. Having proper distribution is an essential ingredient in the growth strategy.
Why is Light Consistency Beneficial For Your Business?
Having proper height distribution will ensure:
While some of those benefits may not seem as though they are tangible, they will help create consistent plant products, which ultimately leads to a better quality for your customers. Consumers are looking for the highest quality plants, having the best will bring about higher profits and lead to loyal customers.
One of the first considerations you need to make is the overall dimension of your grow room, grow box or grow tent. This will include the benches, racks, aisles, perimeters, and crop canopy. It is important to optimize the light consistency of the crop canopy. Any of the light that falls into the aisles or shines on equipment is ultimately lost. Additionally, this is light that you will be paying for that is lost, only adding to your energy bill.
One of the easier ways to consider this project is to imagine it as an irrigation system. If you had overhead sprinklers, and they simply spewed water everywhere but where you wanted it to, you would know this is highly inefficient.
Now that we understand how vital uniform lighting is for planting, we need to consider the right amount for optimal growth.
Put Together a Grow Light Plan
A growth light plan is going to help you understand how many grow light fixtures are required for your space and how you can create the best strategy for hanging the lights.
As a commercial grower or home grower, it is best to have a professional plan in hand before hanging lights. A professional lighting plan is going to take into effect your crop canopy and the target light intensity or lumens.
How Far Should LED Grow Lights Be From Plants?
This is actually one of the most common questions when getting ready to hang grow lights. However, the hang height is only a minor factor when planning lighting for a commercial space.
In fact, the distance in which your grow lights are to the plants will have very little effect on the lighting of the crops receive due to the overlapping of the light beams.
Once again, go back to the water analogy, and think of water pouring from the ceiling. The higher the water is dropping from would have little effect on how much was hitting the plants.
The difficulty in deciding on how high to hang a light has more to deal with when considering the aisles and walls.
Determine The Proper LED Grow Light Hang Height
Every environment is going to bring a number of challenges when trying to create the best lighting plan. If you have low ceilings and small crop canopies, you may experience improper consistency. This lack of consistency is what is known in horticultural circles as "hotspots".
Whereas a high ceiling is going to bring the opposite effect as much of the lighting will be lost into the walls and aisles, creating an effect known as the "edge effect." Many growers are all well too versed in edge effect due to crops on the edge of the canopy growing inferior to other crops and plants.
Choosing the best distance between the grow lights and plants is never going to be a one size fits all scenario. The best thing you can do is contact your LED grow light company and ask for recommendations.
If you are working with a small canopy, we would recommend that you reduce the overall light spacing in the above calculation by about 15%. This should be enough to reduce an edge effect due to the fact that there is now a higher ratio of wall and floor space to the plant canopy.
Ensure efficient grow light installation
The vast majority of commercial cultivators will hire an electrical contractor to install the grow lights. However, this can be a significant expense that is not always needed.
Today, most companies offer led grow lights that will help reduce this expense by featuring a quick-connect system that allows you to easily install or replace LED grow lights without the need for expensive electrical work.
Additionally, it is essential to offer your grow light system to an electrician ahead of time to help minimize the cost of materials and labor. The electrician will be able to use the light plan to map put any electrical work ahead of time as opposed to trying to figure it out while on site.
Ventilation is something you must consider when figuring out your grow light plan. To much heat and humidity, and you will kill your plants but not enough and your plants won't grow. To learn more, check out our article on grow tent ventilation and humidity.
We're Always Here to Help
We understand that planning out your grow lights seems like a huge task, which is why we are always available to help.
Our light planning specialists have years of experience with a number of lighting environments. When you are ready to begin a grow light plan, we have a helpful team ready to help you get started.