Jump to content
Cultural Healing and Life
Sign in to follow this  
JJ the Gardener

Section I - Understanding light, photosynthesis and how to select grow lighting

Recommended Posts

Lighting

~A Cultural Healing and Life Compilation and Writing.

:good-afternoon-smiley-emoticon:

Emoticons are safe bonus links, most youtube, click them.

  1. Advanced Section I - Understanding light, photosynthesis and how to select grow lighting
  2. Advanced Section II - Lighting & Reflector Section
  3. Advanced Section III - Plant Growth and Light
  4. Advanced Section IIII - Understanding Light Measurements
  5. Advanced Section IV - Advanced Lighting Information and formulas.
  6. Indoor Garden Environment

 

Section I

(Section 1 is an introduction and a shortened version of bigger document)

 

Understanding light, photosynthesis and

how to select grow lighting

~with recommendations and calculators.

When people start to plan a grow they typically will think it is all about the light and the brighter and bigger wattage the light the better.  However this is rarely true when it comes to practicality and efficiency.

The biggest factors for grow lights is electricity use (budget) and heat.  It is common for new growers to not appreciate the heat aspect and only consider the affordability factor.  Additionally, their are people who are able to afford the best lighting but are typically more influenced by marketing than light and plant knowledge and what they do know is typically partial truths due to marketing information now received as truth but this influence is often for marketing and not instilling knowledge that could enable you to make better choices. 

Regardless of budget or seriousness in growing all classes outside of professional agriculture specialist will typically misunderstand grow lights and how best to use them.  Look at most internet forums (never mind this one :icon_clever:) and you can often see this illustrated.  The typical growers lighting knowledge is commonly driven by marketing information and not wholly true information.  This library of information is us planting the flag saying knowledge rules and not manipulated information.

I see lights as a tool and nothing more. 

  • Some people can get too attached to a light and believe only one type of light is the best
    • Their is no best in realistic terms,
      • only in black and white at best under controlled conditions. 
      • This is due to the differences in environment from one grower to another.  The biggest factor again is typically electricity cost plus bulb (no bulb for LED) cost and any heat management cost.

Their are many lights to choose from such as light bulbs, cfl, high output florescent, VHO florescent, Induction, LED (various types), Metal Halide and HPS to touch on the most used.  Determining what is best for your setup can vary from what is best for another persons set up and this is what I will largely be talking about.  How to choose a grow light for your real needs and parameters.

Ok, so we know their are many light types to select from but lets understand what light quality and spectrum is needed and how to measure the quality of a light.  Once we understand that we can find the ideal light for any growers setup based on their needs from optimum plant growth to efficiency depending on your informed decision.

  • Light Strength + Quality + plant needs/stage (mothers, veg, flower) to the more (advance  options to include customized lighting for transition, early flower, mid flower and late flower light spectrum's) + environment conditions + budgetary constraints + management = Type and strength of light = your effective lighting.

We will be discussing and giving recommendations as to best assist with reasons why for various sizes and we give you the tools for you to determine what is best for your growing needs.  From agriculture plants to the hobbyist gardener.  This knowledge is written in two forms, a basic get to it quick writing and a more in depth writing in attempt to address those of varied interest and we take it to the science as best we can. 

Below you will find information in regards to light and photosynthesis, light measurements, formulations for advanced workings and a summary of my advice for lighting for certain situations.  Regardless of ones personal agreement with or against these writings, I have created this document so people can determine for themselves and/or understand that process.  PS: click on the emoticons for bonus, from neat bits of information to music, most are on youtube.

 

 

:nerd2:

The Get to It Quick Part,

Ok, not everyone wants a class in a post and for most the bulk of this information is overkill and will also not truly apply to most home gardeners outside of specific advanced hobbyist.  The following is a practical guide to selecting a light and understanding the basics for lighting.

  • Select grow area size and understand ambient environment for the period of time during which you will grow.  (spring, summer, fall, and winter temperatures if applicable.)
  • Understanding what the ambient temperature is.
  • Understand the heat imprint of any fan motors or aspects that will add additional heat.
    • Not as big a deal as it sounds for average grower.
    • More of issue in micro-grows.
    • More of issue in temperature sensitive locations.

Once the location size is determined, tent size, room size, closet size, garden size, acres, etc.  We can determine what size light to select that will at best practice give us even par ratings at levels for optimum plant growth, development and yield.

The reality is this for most growers, a standard selection of lights (discussed above), a standard selection of light quality (discussed below) and affordability/budget (unique to you) limited to options from a grow shop and/or the internet shops.

 

 

:5a75e3173d6b3_readingbook:

Hempyfan's light determining factors formula.

Light Strength (penetration)

+

Quality (spectrum & par)

+

Plant development stage (mothers, veg, flower)

Advanced secondary lighting options include customized lighting for transition, early flower, mid flower and late flower light spectrum's)

+

Environment conditions (ambient + non light added heat such as fan motors, pumps etc)

+

Budgetary constraints

+

_____management style_____

= Your effective lighting.

 

 

The following is a section on light recommendations and why.

 

  • Micro grows
    • CFL, HO florescent type, LEC Metal Halide or LED lighting
      • Heat is biggest issue
        • 250w = 853.250 BTU/HR+ environment temperatures (fans, pumps etc and normal temperature)
    • I would not consider traditional Metal halide or HPS
      • LEC Metal Halide is less heat than traditional metal halide light.
    • Best practice is full spectrum light.
    • Hempyfan pics
      • LED lighting for this style due to heat aspects.
        • Refer to model specifications for heat information.
      • CFL if budget and unable to manage heat well.
        • 200w = 682.600 BTU/HR + environment temperatures (fans, pumps etc and normal temperature)
        • 250w = 853.250 BTU/HR + environment temperatures (fans, pumps etc and normal temperature)
      • HO floroescent if on budget but can manage heat better.
        • 250w = 853.250 BTU/HR + environment temperatures (fans, pumps etc and normal temperature)

 

  • 2x2 Grow area
    • HO florescent, 400w metal halide, or 250w, Plasma, 400w HPS, LEC Metal Halide or LED up to 300watt range.
      • 250 and 400w HPS most common.
      • Heat aspects to consider.
        • 250w = 853.250 BTU/HR+ environment temperatures (fans, pumps etc and normal temperature)
        • 400w = 1365.200 BTU/HR+ environment temperatures (fans, pumps etc and normal temperature)
        • LED = check your model and manufactures ratings.
      • Style of grow, penetration vs even coverage considerations.
      • Best practice is full spectrum light.
        • Second best practice is a blend of blue and red spectrum using 2 lights, LEC halide or Plasma and HPS.
    • Hempyfan pics
      • LED with acceptable high par rating, full spectrum and for the selected grow style.  (300w range generic with penetration or coverage type of lens)
      • Seconded by LEC Metal Halide (pending better spectrum and par compared to first choice)
        • May not require additional cooling
      • HPS and Metal Halide for budget concerns (heat management concerns)
        • Cooling aspect as required, metal halide is cooler than hps so figures may be favor the cooler end.
          • 250w = 853.250 BTU/HR + environment temperatures (fans, pumps etc and normal temperature)
          • 400w = 1365.200 BTU/HR+ environment temperatures (fans, pumps etc and normal temperature)

 

  • 3x3 Grow area
    • HO florescent, 400watt metal halide, Plasma, 400watt HPS, 600watt HPS, 1000watt HPS, LEC Metal Halide, LED 300 Watt full spectrum
    • Heat aspects to consider
      • 400w = 1365.200 BTU/HR+ environment temperatures (fans, pumps etc and normal temperature)
      • 600w = 2047.800 BTU/HR + environment temperatures (fans, pumps etc and normal temperature)
      • 1000w = 3413.000 BTU/HR + environment temperatures (fans, pumps etc and normal temperature)
      • LED = check your model and manufactures ratings.
    • Best practice is full spectrum light.
      • Second best practice is a blend of blue and red spectrum using 2 lights, LEC halide or Plasma and HPS.
    • Hempyfan pics
      • LED with acceptable high par rating, full spectrum and for the selected grow style.  (300w range generic with penetration or coverage type of lens)
      • Seconded by LEC Metal Halide (pending better spectrum and par compared to first choice)
        • Potential secondary light role.
        • May not require additional cooling
      • The use of 2 lights with spectrum similar or varied as applicable for the grow needs.
        • 400watt metal halide and 400w or 600w HPS depending on heat management.
        • 600w HPS with budget but can handle effectively manage the heat.
        • 400w HPS with budget concerns and cannot manage heat as well for 600watt HPS

 

  • 4x4 Grow area
    • HO florescent, 400watt metal halide, 400watt HPS, 600watt HPS, 1000watt HPS, LEC Metal Halide, LED 300 Watt full spectrum
    • Heat aspects to consider
      • 400w = 1365.200 BTU/HR + environment temperatures (fans, pumps etc and normal temperature)
      • 600w = 2047.800 BTU/HR + environment temperatures (fans, pumps etc and normal temperature)
      • 1000w = 3413.000 BTU/HR + environment temperatures (fans, pumps etc and normal temperature)
      • LED = check your model and manufactures ratings.
    • Best practice is full spectrum light.
      • Second best practice is a blend of blue and red spectrum using 2 lights, LEC halide or Plasma and HPS.
    • Hempyfan pics
      • LED with acceptable high par rating, full spectrum and for the selected grow style.  (300w range generic with penetration or coverage type of lens)
      • Seconded by LEC Metal Halide (pending better spectrum and par compared to first choice)
        • Potential secondary light role.
        • May not require additional cooling
      • The use of 2 lights with spectrum similar or varied as applicable for the grow needs.
        • 400watt metal halide and 400w or 600w HPS depending on heat management.
        • 1000w = 3413.000 BTU/HR + environment temperatures (fans, pumps etc and normal temperature)
      • 600w HPS with budget but can handle effectively manage the heat.
        • 600w = 2047.800 BTU/HR + environment temperatures (fans, pumps etc and normal temperature)
      • 400w HPS with budget concerns and cannot manage heat as well for 600watt HPS
        • 400w = 1365.200 BTU/HR + environment temperatures (fans, pumps etc and normal temperature)

 

  • 5x5 Grow Area
    • HO florescent, 400watt metal halide, 400watt HPS, 600watt HPS, 1000watt HPS, LEC Metal Halide, Plasma, LED 300Watt plus full spectrum.
    • Heat aspects to consider
      • 400w = 1365.200 BTU/HR + environment temperatures (fans, pumps etc and normal temperature)
      • 600w = 2047.800 BTU/HR + environment temperatures (fans, pumps etc and normal temperature)
      • 1000w = 3413.000 BTU/HR + environment temperatures (fans, pumps etc and normal temperature)
      • LED = check your model and manufactures ratings.
    • Best practice is full spectrum light.
      • Second best practice is a blend of blue and red spectrum using 2 lights, LEC halide or Plasma and HPS.
    • Hempyfan pics
      • LED x 1 or 2 budget with acceptable high par rating, full spectrum and for the selected grow style.  (300w plus range generic with penetration or coverage type of lens)
      • Seconded by LEC Metal Halide or Plasma (pending better spectrum and par compared to first choice)
        • Potential secondary light role.
        • 2 LED lights of this quality may require additional cooling
      • The use of 2 lights with spectrum similar or varied as applicable for the grow needs.
        • 400watt metal halide and a 400w to 1000w HPS depending on heat management.
          • 1000w = 3413.000 BTU/HR + environment temperatures (fans, pumps etc and normal temperature)
      • 600w HPS with budget but can handle effectively manage the heat.
        • 600w = 2047.800 BTU/HR + environment temperatures (fans, pumps etc and normal temperature)
      • 400w HPS with budget concerns and cannot manage heat as well for 600watt HPS
        • 400w = 1365.200 BTU/HR + environment temperatures (fans, pumps etc and normal temperature)

 

 

VIDEO SECTION

1000 watt coverage video

 

Information on Heat in grow room

 

Video for when its too cold

 

Additional air cooling aspects to consider

  • Often air cooled hoods are used in heat management. 
    • This is not best practice but is trade-off for better cooling in some situations.
    • required inline fans and/or ducting fans are used and also generate some heat in their operation adding to ambiant room temperatures.
      • Insulated ducting could assist with heat management in certain situations.
      • Insulated hoods or water jackets can also be helpful in certain situations.
  • It is generally better to go with a lower wattage light and manage a better grow environment than add more light and subject the plants to an uncomfortable grow environment.
    • A hoods glass cover diminishes the effectiveness of the bulb output.

 

Video about glass or no glass

 

Air Cooled light setup Video

 

Light Movers

A light mover is option that tends to be in one of two groups, either you love em or hate them.  I believe this is all foolish and that this option should be understood as the tool it is.  With that said, I rarely see this as a viable solutions for most gardeners but this does not mean it is not an option for you.  By understanding this option without prejudice we can see the benefits and limitations for which an informed opinion can determined.

  • A light mover basically moves the light over the canopy via a motor at a consistent speed. 
    • This is as simple as set track sizes or as customized in size as needed.
    • Typically operate in a forward and reverse direction, distance is either preset or customized.
    • Aspects
      • Moving parts
      • Additional motor and electricity requirements and weaknesses.
      • Potential track issues
      • Height aspects due to track
        • If you have height this issue can be removed.
      • Track and motor maintenance for "best practice."
      • Can help with evening canopy and removing dark spots in growing area sometimes associated with plant growth and stationary lights.
        • Compromise option to even canopy when adding additional lighting is not an option.

 

Not a company endorsement, used for explanation purposes.  I thank and appreciate them for the video.

 

Video Example of light mover

 

Video example of light mover

 

Video showing one model being built

 

 

Growing Calculators

  • Grow Calculators should only be used for a general range in figuring.  Consider it a good general estimate.

 

 

maxgrowlogo.png

Click to visit Calculate at Maximum Grow Gardening Site.

What's in The Calculator

  • Wattage Calculator: Use this to determine the light wattage you will need for your size grow room.  
  • Parts Per Million Calculator: Use this calculator to determine accurate solution mixes.  
  • Carbon Dioxide(CO2) Calculator: Calculate how much CO2 will be needed to fill a grow room to the optimum level. 
  • Temperature Converter: Use this to easily convert between degrees Celsius and Fahrenheit.  
  • Air Exchange Calculator: Enter your grow room dimensions, and this will tell you how powerful of a fan you will need for optimum air flow.  
  • Estimated Cost Calculator: Predicts how much the cost for electricity will be monthly.

 

What's that light cost you?

dssheader.gif

Click to visit the calculator located at Dark Sky Society

You can calculate results for up to four types of lights.

  • http://www.darkskysociety.org/lightcost/index.php
  • Select the type of lamp (i.e. Incandescent, Fluorescent, etc.)
  • Select the lamp wattage (lamp lumens)
  • Enter the number of lights in use
  • Select how long the lamps are in use (or click to enter your own; enter hours on per year).

Finally, click submit on the calculator at the site and find your answer.

 

EYE Hortilux

BTU Calculator, click Eye Hortilux to visit their calculator.  (the recommendations in heat was based on this calculator.)

  • A BTU, also known as a British Thermal Unit, is a measurement of the energy needed to cool a substance. Grow lamps generate a lot of heat. By converting your wattage into BTU per hour, you’ll have the information you need to keep your plants cooled so that they don’t burn up from the heat of the grow lamps.

 

 

Get to it Quick, Summary

This brings the get to it quick section to an end.  I hope the above helped in some way.  The above will largely assist with new growers and the inexperienced with lighting subjects.  It is intended to help people make informed decisions rather than marketed ones from companies and grow shop salesman.

If not I apologize and wish you well.  I also ask if their is any information that is incorrect, please address it with us as we will look forward to learning from merited input.  We appreciated and are thankful for such corrections and input.  

If you are new to growing or looking to possibly expand on your lighting knowledge I invite you to check out the advanced lighting sections below.  It is basically a class in a post and covers a wide range of lighting issues and how to begin to professional calculate for best practice with your lighting. 

I thank you for your time and if this helped you, it is not me to thank as this is a combination of many who helped educate me in this art.  Puff puff and give that knowledge as you pass to others is all we ask and that is the pat on the back I gladly take. 

 

:giving-thumbs-up-winking-smiley-emoticon:

You earned for finishing Section I

 

 

Next Section

Advanced Section II - Lighting & Reflector Section

http://culturalhealingandlife.com.www413.your-server.de/index.php?/topic/7-section-ii-lighting-reflector-section/

 

medium.58da54cd58d95_treeinbook2.jpg.362bfa5211e8d6f369c095c6000893fc.jpg

Hempyfan, A proud HD writing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×