Is it ok to Frankenstein light mover growing equipment? The short answer is, absolutely! Sure, we wouldn’t go as extreme as Ikea hackers, but we can get creative. The important thing to keep in mind for any indoor grow systems is to know what they are capable of. And, we need to know grow equipment weight limits, and that’s 75 lbs for LightRail light movers. And, that’s if it’s mounted correctly to a board first and then to the studs/joists. Also, we should have a general idea of the way our grow equipment functions. LightRail light movers are powerful in what they are capable of doing and they are unique that way. Still, we have to know what works for our indoor grow room setup and what doesn’t. So, here are some grow light system questions and answers. And, these will give us a feel of what the limits are for Frankensteining light mover growing equipment.
Crossbar on a LightRail 3.5; Absolutely not!
Question: Can we put a homemade crossbar or even a LightRail 5.0 crossbar on a LightRail 3.5 Kit or a LightRail 4.0 Kit? Then, can we hang two indoor grow lights side by side on our very clever creation? Answer: No! And this is a perfect example of what not to do. We looked this one up on the FAQs page and the exact reply was this. “The lateral stability isn’t there for that and there are balance issues. It would lead to accelerated wear and maybe even catastrophic failure…..” So, we believe them and we are saying it’s a bad idea. And, this is an example of Frankensteining light mover growing equipment that goes beyond the intended function and product capability.
Smart idea to split those light mover rails
Question: Can we use our light mover growing equipment as two halves for the light mover rail? In other words, we would buy a LightRail 3.5 indoor grow kit or a LightRail 4.0 indoor grow kit. And then, could we use a half a light mover rail for each grow lamp? Answer: Yes, and that’s one clever grow light system hack. So, we take our light mover indoor grow kit and we use half of the light mover rail with the LightRail motor that comes with. Then, we take the other half of the light mover rail and we buy a LightRail light mover motor only for that half. That is super smart. Then, we have turned our light mover into two grow light movers. And, this works especially well because most people move an indoor grow light about one meter (3’3″), Switch Stop to Switch Stop.
Gavita style is the exception
Question: Can we hang our ballast from our moving indoor grow light? Answer: No, we can’t. And, how wobbly does that sound? To function, we need our grow light system to track evenly. The exception to this “no” answer is the Gavita style, all in one indoor grow setup. Those grow light systems work really well with LightRail light movers. Here is an article that talks about these two indoor grow systems combined and how to hang Gavita grow light systems.
Don’t have those plants wait too long
Question: How about putting the light mover rails end to end and moving an indoor grow light farther? Maybe we could move our indoor grow light along five light mover rails?
Answer: Maybe and it depends on your intent. For regular grow light coverage, your plants are going to be waiting way too long for the indoor plant light to return. It’s as if they have no indoor plant light interaction at all. In other words, each indoor grow light is intended to stay on its own light mover rail. And, it might move maybe three feet (1m) along the grow light mover. As we picture this, when it stops on the rail at the stopper setting, half the indoor grow light goes beyond that stopper. And, that is true for both ends of travel. So, this means we are likely filling up a six foot indoor grow setup section really nicely. The exception would be for low light plants that might have a travel length of 9 feet or so. Or, the exception would be for greenhouse lights, so grow lamps in a greenhouse tent with some natural light can travel farther. The greenhouse grow light setup can have two full Rails end to end, pinned for travel across the seam. And, that can come in a LightRail 4.0 Extreme Duty Version, as well. As another exception, full spectrum grow lights or UV grow lights that can do a glancing blow for effective coverage can get a longer run.
We are covering about 30% more grow equipment area with each indoor plant light
As another way to see the basic travel length intent, we are turning a 4 foot by 4 foot indoor grow setup, as one example, into a 4 foot by 6 foot indoor grow setup. So, we are covering about 30% more grow equipment area with each indoor plant light. And by the way, the light mover motor is not even able to cross the seam from one rail to another. We’re thinking that’s a manufacturer reminder not to even try this. The exceptions are Extender Rails at 3’3″ (1m) and those are pinned, and the Greenhouse packages are exceptions, linked above. For other special setups, there is a way to do it and that is with Rail Alignment Pins So, if you are that person with a greenhouse tent or special UV grow lights (UVA/UVB grow lights) contact the LightRail people and ask them for rail pins. And, for everyone else; just forget I said that because you do not want to move your indoor grow lights too far.
Frankensteining light mover growing equipment with trolleys
Question: Can we use Auxiliary Trolleys to hang vent tubing?
Answer: Yes and they work really well for this specific grow light system hanging/movement need. Here is an article that describes this growing equipment use. So, as the grow lamp goes in one direction, the tubing is gently pushed out ahead while it also pulls the vent tubing from behind. And, our grow equipment movement then reverses direction. So, what was pushed is now pulled and vice versa. The way to make this work is to use a tie or a bungie to festoon the tubing. Also, we want to make sure our Auxiliary Trolleys are positioned on the outside of the stopper settings. That’s an important grow equipment detail.
Frankensteining light mover growing equipment is a creative way to go with our grow room design and planning. Typically, the average Frankensteining of the light mover growing equipment is more about the support structure than in the actual grow light mover. And, even in that support structure of the grow equipment, we want to be sure our light mover rail is straight and level. But, for the rest of the Frankensteining of our light mover growing equipment, we just want to use common sense. More often than not, our eye will tell us how we are doing and if we are on the right track.