LightRail FAQ’s

LightRail FAQ’s2018-07-12T15:44:29+00:00
Why are the light mover rails 6’6” when we only need a grow lamp to move three feet?2018-07-12T15:45:04+00:00

Very young plants don’t need as much grow lamp interaction. The same is true for certain lettuce plants and herbs.  In any of these instances, a person could move their grow light system a little farther so the Rail is there if needed. But yes, typically moving a grow light up to 3’, Switch Stop to Switch Stop, might be just right with half the grow light going beyond that stopper setting and that’s for both ends of the run. So, that light will fill up about 6′. Check out this article for more on how this works:  https://www.lightrail3.com/light-mover-rails-grow-lamp-move/

How long does LightRail last?2017-04-13T15:20:49+00:00

LightRails are dynamic, continuous duty devices that can operate in very harsh environments. At 16 hours a day, 365 days a year, it will typically last three to four years before it might need a refurbish service, as an example. Trolley Wheels and Drive Wheels might need to be replaced every year or two, however, and those are inexpensive items and very easy to do. Extreme Duty Trolley Wheels are recommended for heavier loads and they have a lifetime warranty. LightRail is the light mover made in the USA and designed to last, with many LightRails from the 1990s still in service today. Brand matters. Here is an article that covers this:   https://www.lightrail3.com/lightrail-brand-indoor-grow-systems/

Tell me about the rails of my LightRail and can I change the length?2018-07-12T15:45:04+00:00

LightRail 3.5, 4.0 and the older 3.0 all use the same rail which is 6’6” (2 meters) in length. LightRail 5.0 has a different rail width so is NOT compatible with the others for interchanging and its length is 8 feet (2.4 meters). Yes, the length of travel can be set by you with the adjustable switch stops and for tight spaces, the length of the rail can be cut to fit. There are other options, as well, so here is that link:  https://www.lightrail3.com/lightrail-light-mover-rail-can-change-length/

Why an adjustable time delay and what’s a good setting for that?2017-04-13T15:28:56+00:00

Without this feature, your light would spend more time traveling in the middle compared to time spent on the ends. By setting the 0-60 second time delay at the ends for about 35 seconds with a run of about 3′, Switch Stop stopper to Switch Stop stopper, you get more even light time for the whole run. Experiment and see what works best for you. For more specific information: https://www.lightrail3.com/light-mover-rails-grow-lamp-move/

Can I move my light the whole length of the room?2017-04-13T15:32:13+00:00

You know better. Moving just three to four feet (1.2 meters) from Switch Stop stopper to Switch Stop stopper (that’s equal to about 6 feet or 1.8 meters of light, considering the hood goes out farther than that and the light pattern goes out farther still) is about right for light loving plants. Farther than that and your plants might be waiting too long for the light to come back and of course, lower light plants can have a longer run. Check out this read to see if you have your watts per square foot in line with what works best:  https://www.lightrail3.com/three-biggest-myths-light-movers/

How much weight will LightRail carry?2018-05-29T12:34:38+00:00

The answer to this is twofold. For LightRail 3.5 and 4.0 let’s first talk about the strength of the rail then we’ll talk about LightRail Drive Motor that moves your grow light. If only mounted by the mounting holes at the ends of the rail, the rail will begin to deflect when 35 lbs. (16kg) is in the middle of the rail. If all the rails mounting holes are used when mounting the rail first to a board, and then the board to the structure above your garden, it will easily handle 75 lbs. We recommend the board mount method and here is a step by step link to show how that is done:  https://www.lightrail3.com/free-shareable-ebooks/how-to-set-up-your-lightrail-3-5-or-lightrail-4-0/
Next, the LightRail 3.5 or 4.0 Drive Motor can easily move 75 lbs (34kg). However, more weight equals accelerated wear and tear mostly on the Trolley Wheels. Our testing has shown that the Trolley Wheels on a LightRail 3.5 or 4.0 Drive Motor will last between 12 and 16 months moving a load of 35 pounds (16kg). Our Extreme Duty Trolley Wheels have a lifetime warranty at 60 pounds per set of four. Plus they have very low drag co-efficiency so they are the best choice for moving heavy or multiple reflectors. And beyond weight, dimensions might matter so specialty grow light systems with very long wingspans should be used with LightRail 5.0 exclusively.
LightRail 5.0 will hold and move 100 lbs (45kgs) per cross arm (limit 3 cross arms) but again, needs to be mounted to a structure properly. Note: The greater the weight, the more frequently trolley wheels will need to be replaced. Trolley wheel kits are available on our website for LightRail 3.5, 4.0. 4.20, the older 3.0, and LightRail 5.0. For any other serviceable work, we make that easy and with a quick turnaround time.

Can I hang my ballast on the mover?2018-07-12T15:45:04+00:00

Typically the answer is no but the exception is the Gavita style, all-in-one, light with ballast. Those work great with LightRail.

Here’s a YouTube video showing how to incorporate a RoboStik for turning a reflector perpendicular to the direction of travel.

How can vent tubing work with LightRail?2017-04-13T15:43:55+00:00

Our Auxiliary Trolley can carry your vent tubing and move along your rail in unison with your motor and this works best to have the vent tubing in line with the rail. For LightRail 5.0, balance is key and if the unit isn’t completely balanced and that’s with the addition of vent tubing, you will likely have trouble. Still, there are a few tricks to help, so contact us for schematics. For more information including photos, check out this article:  https://www.lightrail3.com/lightrail-light-mover-trolley-three-clever-hacks/

Can I power the unit from my ballast?2017-04-13T15:46:39+00:00

Don’t even think about it. This will burn out the circuit board. Also in general, you need to use a proper surge protector and power strips are rarely real surge protectors.

How does an Add-A-Lamp Kit work and how many lights are we talking about?2015-07-27T21:39:16+00:00

With the use of a second rail, an auxiliary trolley and an extension rod hooked to your 3.0, 3.5 or 4.0 drive motor, you can add a second light. You can also have a second Add-A-Lamp Kit going off in the other direction. That adds up to three lights moving in-line with just one motor.

Why do I want to move my light?2017-04-13T15:51:04+00:00

By moving your light and getting the light in there at angles to the mid and lower leaves, more of the leaves are working for the plant. In addition, by moving your light, hot spots are eliminated so you can now run your light much closer to your plants for a much more efficient use of your wattage. These two advantages combined make for much healthier plants and much better yields. Here’s an article that tells you what those specific differences are:  https://www.lightrail3.com/grow-lamp-bravery-indoor-grow-equipment/

What’s the difference between LightRail 3.5 and 4.0?2018-07-12T15:45:04+00:00

They both have 0-60 second adjustable time delay for the ends and they have the same rail but the 4.0 has the added feature of a two to four feet (.6 to 1.2 meters) per minute adjustable speed control as it travels along the rail. The 3.5 and 4.0 are compatible with using all the same accessory items including drive wheels and trolley wheels.

Can I hang LightRail in a tent or greenhouse?2017-04-13T16:22:04+00:00

Yes, we have Rail Hangers which are rail hanging brackets for hanging LightRail 3.0, 3.5, 4.0 and 4.20 rails in a tent or greenhouse. In this instance, we recommend a one-piece rail or a “splinted” two-piece rail. You can make a splint by screwing the assembled rail halves onto a common, single piece of wood. Further information on that along with information on how the Rail Hangers specifically work can be found here:  https://www.lightrail3.com/rail-hangers-greenhouse-grow-tent/

 

What’s the difference between 10 rpm and 6 rpm?2015-07-27T21:22:30+00:00

10 rpm equals 3.9 feet (1.2 meters) per minute and 6 rpm equals 2.4 feet (.73 meters) per minute.

Can I hang a LightRail 5.0 crossbar or a long wingspan style grow light LightRail 3.5 or 4.0?2018-07-12T15:45:04+00:00

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 “no”. If you want to cover a wide space, consider two LightRail 4.20 Kits, parallel to each other, and each moving two lights in line. Here is how that works:  https://www.lightrail3.com/lightrail-4-20-industrial-light-mover/

If you have a specialty large wingspan style grow light or long light bars, it is recommended that you use a LightRail 5.0 exclusively. LightRail 5.0 comes with a crossbar so is a logical match for these wide-span LED light bar style grow lights.

How many lights can LightRail 5.0 move?2017-04-13T16:08:38+00:00

9 smaller hoods or 6 larger hoods and that’s with a total of three crossbars (one comes with the kit), and an auxiliary rail. Here is more information:  https://www.lightrail3.com/lightrail-5-0-side-by-side/

Why LightRail and not some other brand?2017-04-13T16:11:00+00:00

Don’t get me started. Made in America Matters and we’re solidly built to last. Chinese knockoffs are inferior and absolutely don’t last. They run at very high temperatures and yet their electrical enclosures are likely made of flammable plastic. They often use electrical motors and components that carry no approval credentials or electrical ratings and the overall size and quality of the materials are inferior. In contrast, here is important information to know about LightRail and the LightRail brand:  https://www.lightrail3.com/lightrail-brand-indoor-grow-systems/

How much power does LightRail consume?2017-04-13T16:13:12+00:00

LightRail 3.5 and 5.0 run on just 5.5 watts/ .05 amps @120 VAC. That’s about the same as a night light. LightRail 4.0 runs on 9 watts/ .75 amps @ 12 VDC. Check out the details that make LightRail an efficiency product:   https://www.lightrail3.com/light-mover-power-consumption/

Can I get replacement parts or service?2015-07-27T21:43:02+00:00

Yes, through our website for the harder to find items or through your favorite hydroponics store. Also, you can contact us through sales@lightrail3.com or 970-761-2596 for any service work and we can usually get repaired motors back very quickly.