Unfortunately, a jagged and uneven canopy is the norm for too many of us. And, that’s typically looking at specific areas of our grow room setup. Or, it might be more the perimeter for our under performing indoor grow system locations. Either way, it creates major grow equipment frustration. Here is what we know. Every time we have an uneven canopy, we need to look at our grow light system for the cause. So, as to how to get an even plant canopy needs to always include a hard look at the grow lights. In other words, we need to look at the overall grow light systems of our indoor grow setup. Specifically, how does our grow light coverage look?
A drastic reduction in grow lamp output just two feet off center
How to get an even plant canopy really revolves around how we achieve perfectly even indoor plant light. The issue many growers have, however, is they see that grow equipment variable as impossible. They are correct if they are thinking in terms of stationary grow lights. With stationary grow lights, we have very intense grow light coverage just under the grow lamp. But, just two feet off center, we have a drastic reduction in that same grow lamp output. That is because there is really no such thing as effective grow light spread. We simply lose too much indoor grow light intensity and ppfd numbers even slightly offside from the grow lamp.
One common mistake is to then raise the grow lights, but we then diminish our grow light strength overall. That’s an example of Inverse Square Law, with a geometrically diminished grow light output realized the farther away the grow lamp is positioned. To demonstrate this with a double ended grow light at 1,000 watts and positioned at just over three feet away (1m), we have these ppfd readings. In the middle and under the grow lamp we have 353 ppfd. But, at just two and a half feet offside we have a ppfd reading of only 163. Of course, all grow lights are different and readings may vary but the proportional differences will remain.
Harmful grow equipment reading in the middle and ineffective on the ends
So, let’s get the indoor grow light closer to the canopy to see how that changes these grow light system readings. To show those ppfd numbers with a stationary grow light system using the same double-ended grow light at 1,000 watts, we see the following. At 20 inches above the canopy, we have a ppfd reading of 1472 under the grow lamp. But, we only have a ppfd reading of 122 just two and a half feet on either side. We can see that it’s a harmful grow equipment reading in the middle and extremely ineffective on the ends.
Indoor plant light reaching more of the leaf surfaces
There is one and only one way to get real indoor grow light spread and in an even way. And, this is precisely how to get an even plant canopy. When we move our indoor grow lights with LightRail light movers, we now see this. We can get a much more even indoor plant light reaching more of the leaf surfaces. And, that’s at just the correct period of time per plant surface.
At 20 inches, LightRail ppfd readings of 460-616-614-616-460
When we move our grow lamps along a light mover rail, we only need to move that grow light about three feet (1m). And, at each end of that grow light system run, half the grow light will go beyond the stopper setting. So, with a three foot run, we will likely fill up a six foot area with indoor plant light effectively. So, with this in mind, here are those same ppfd readings but now on a LightRail light mover. At 20 inches, we have ppfd readings of 460-616-614-616-460. And, that is the spectrum from one end to the other measuring a five foot length. That, right there, is how to get an even plant canopy. It’s one simple change of going from stationary grow lights to moving grow light systems.
A more natural indoor plant light interaction and more sun-like
The key to success with getting a more even plant canopy is to get the grow lights close and powerful. But, at the same time, we get those grow lamps to shine intermittently. So, they are intensely on, then offside just a bit, then back overhead just as intense. That is a more natural indoor plant light interaction and more sun-like. So, as a secondary advantage to moving our grow light system, we have this. The plant receptors will actually open more with this more natural, moving indoor plant light intensity. And to the opposite, we would see those receptors shutting down when bombarded with never changing, overly intense overhead lighting.
How to get an even plant canopy includes aiming for a more even indoor plant light coverage
The best take away for how to get an even plant canopy for our indoor grow room is to strive for even indoor plant light coverage. For grow light time per canopy surface together with grow light time under the canopy as angled indoor plant light; nothing comes close to grow light movers for results. Those results include a much more intense but intermittent, even coverage. And, how we see that for affect is we now get faster growth and increased yields. Our first sign that we are on the right track is we will now see more even growth rates with a perfectly even plant canopy. We can only get this with LightRail.