Choose The Hydroponic Lighting System That Is Right For You
Posted by Lee G. Leissett | June 19 2012 | 5955 views | Comments ↓
Your growing space often determines the best lighting to use.
(Click to enlarge)
There is no shortage of lighting technologies available to the medical marijuana horticulturist. HID discharge lighting has dominated the marketplace until recently when LED, plasma, induction, and high output fluorescents were introduced as reputable lighting sources for growing medical marijuana. With all of these different technologies how does a grower even begin to compare them? The answer leaves you just as confused as you were before you asked the question.
Until spectrum specific PAR (photosynthetically active radiation) meters are introduced at a reasonable price comparing different lighting technologies to each other for horticultural purposes is impractical and virtually impossible. What a grower can do is determine the specific light technology that suits their needs and compare bulbs/fixtures within that specific technology to each other.
Pick The Lighting Technology That Will Work For Your Set-Up
Try to decide which lighting technology you should use based on its physical properties (size, radiant heat emitted, wattage draw, ventilation requirements, etc.) instead of the actual light output of the bulb/fixture. For example, a medical marijuana grower who has a warehouse space can easily handle the heat, physical space, and wattage draw of 1000 watt HID lighting fixtures. On the other hand, a grower with a small closet and limited ventilation would be unable to use a 1000 watt HID and may have more success with LED or fluorescent technologies that produce less heat, draw less energy and fit easily into smaller areas.
How To Test For Quality Hydroponic Bulbs
Once a grower decides on the actual technology to use then he/she is able to compare bulbs/fixtures by the manufacturer’s technical data or by using a light meter in a controlled experiment. Let’s say a grower has decided to use 1000 watt high pressure sodiums as their lighting source. By examining a manufacturer’s technical data they can compare the initial lumen output (brightness) and the Kelvin temperature rating (dominate color output) of every high pressure sodium bulb. Remember, this data is for comparing specific technologies; if you tried to compare a metal halide to high pressure sodium you would find very different initial lumen output and Kelvin ratings. Comparing the MH to the HPS by their technical specifications would not tell you which bulb is the higher quality bulb. However, when comparing like technologies a grower can see which bulbs are of higher quality and more suited for growing plants.
Learn To Read The Technical Data
Horticultural bulb manufacturers are starting to understand how technically advanced medical marijuana growers really are. They are including more information (some companies are even including PAR ratings) so that the consumers can make a more educated decision in regard to their lighting. Next time you stop by your local hydroponic store take a closer look at the technical data on the light bulb’s packaging. If you can’t find any information on the package, then check the website. Many bulb manufacturers’ websites are full of technical information. An in-depth look at the technical data supplied by light bulb manufacturers is the best way a medical marijuana gardener can compare like technologies and find the best bulb available.
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Tuesday, 19 June 2012
Article by Lee G. Leissett, on Jun. 19th 2012