Actually, we see this mistake a lot. And, the grow equipment thinking is that more must be better, right? If light equals yield, then let’s just go crazy with our indoor plant lights. But wait. Would we then have too many grow lights? Is there a down side to having too many grow lights in our grow rooms? The answer is absolutely yes, and the scientific reasons are below along with one smart solution.
First, if we are doing this as part of our grow room design, we are doing the opposite of what is cost-effective and ecological. That’s a lot of grow lights and a lot of ballasts that will need to be purchased up front. And, all these grow equipment components will need to be replaced over time. Plus, we have the ongoing replacement costs of all those grow lamp bulbs. And, as a huge grow room design factor, we have the monthly electrical costs of all of this excess. No matter the grow light numbers and stats, stationary setups will let us down.
Cut our costs by how much?
Conversely, we can use grow light movers and get rid of about 30% of our grow lights just like that. Maybe even fewer indoor grow lights if we are seriously overdoing it to begin with. Either way, this is a huge potential savings in grow equipment up-front costs. And, this gives us major savings in the area of grow equipment replacement costs. And, as important as anything, we can reduce our electrical usage proportionally. Important note: The actual LightRail Motor uses only about 5 to 9 watts of electricity, so it’s negligible.
Natural sunshine does this
In addition to the fact that using too many grow lights in our grow room setup is horribly expensive and icky for the environment, we see this. We actually get substantially poorer results by using too many grow lights. And, here is where the science comes in. In nature, the sun interacts at angles and it varies throughout the day. So, plants have adapted to this reality over millions of years. In the indoor grow room, plants actually receive the indoor plant light at a better rate if indoor plant light can mimic the sun. That’s because the plant receptors actually open more when the indoor grow light is very intense, but with this caveat. The grow light then has to go off center a bit and then come back, and again be very intense.
Are we wasting with too many grow lights, then wasting trying to undo?
So, it’s really two grow light events that need to happen at once. The grow light system needs to first have sun-like intensity. We can’t do that with grow lights positioned too far away from the canopy. It’s an Inverse Square Law thing, and that’s geometrical as it affects light with distance. For instance, at 5’ away, all of our grow light quality numbers are exactly cut in half. Then, at 7’ we are operating at about 25% of our grow light potential. At 9’, we are at about 10% strength for our indoor grow light realized output. And, chances are we are doing this very thing if we are using too many grow lights. We are first wasting by having too many. And, we are then wasting again by trying to undo the damage by keeping those grow lights lifted too high in our grow room setup.
Grow lights overhead, then offset, then once again overhead
So, let’s not be that guy. How about we go back to the grow room design of using fewer indoor plant lights. And, let’s get each of our indoor grow lights to better mimic the sun. To do that, we first need sun-like grow light intensity. And, we can get that by getting our grow light systems closer. So, let’s shoot for a 3’ (1m) distance to the plant canopy at the most. It’s even better at 20-24 inches for that distance. Then, for optimum Leaf Area Index, we need our indoor plant light to be overhead, then offset, then once again overhead. The plant receptors respond positively to those variations in our grow light systems. And, LightRail light movers give us that needed movement.
We can create this sun-like, grow light system morph very effectively by using grow light movers. And, we’re not moving our indoor grow lights very far. So, just about one meter (3’3”) of grow light system movement will likely be just right. And, this grow light stopper setting will likely fill up about two meters (6’6”) of indoor plant light coverage. That’s because each stopper setting correlates to the center of the grow light. And, that’s with half the grow light going beyond, and that’s for both directions of travel.
Fewer actual grow lights giving us much better results
When we use too many grow lights, we create unneeded indoor grow room issues, But, when we move our grow light systems on LightRail light movers, we get fewer actual grow lights to give us much better results. So, LightRail 3.5 Kits, LightRail 4.0 Kits or LightRail 4.20 Kits will give those results including faster growth, more even canopies, better light penetration and much higher yields. You can only get this with LightRail. Intense, sun-like grow light interaction that gets to more leaves at just the right amount of time per surface is what we want. In other words, nature is typically right. So, getting as close to nature as possible in the grow room setup will give us the best results. This, by the way, is the exact opposite of using too many grow lights in the stationary grow light system setting.