This is the sort of thing we just love in the age of grow lighting for Smart Meters.
Somebody took an existing technology from your grow room and just about broke the mold in making it better, and on so many levels. This time it’s a four light HID digital lighting system that has got the skills to cut down on the power bills, yo!
To cut to the chase, here’s a great and highly efficient way to light your crop to get about 50% more yield potential using the same amount of electricity you might commonly use for an average sized indoor garden. This technique can work for all kinds of indoor cropping styles. The model outlined just happens to be THE bomb for big, heavy yielding large plants that make good use of vertical space.
Here, a single plant yields very big, and only one plant per 1000W HPS light is needed for the bloom phase to accomplish the yields you are accustomed to from a 4′ X 4′ area-but needing many more plants to do it. Note, most plants will require about 4 weeks of intensive vegetative growth for higher yielding potential-depending on the strain, of course.
At Twelve O’ Clock above each plant we have a horizontal reflector. And then hanging in between, broadsiding the plants at Three O’ Clock we have 1000W lamps in the vertical position. Just like the sun changes positions in the sky during daylight hours, so should the sources of your indoor grow lighting.
In this model we have eight lamps (four above horizontal, and four beside vertical) and four plants-while that might sound excessive for lighting, it’s not. That’s because only four of the lamps will be running at any one time during the “on” period. The lamps, via timer will switch which ones in the arrangement stay lit in random sequences-essentially moving light around all parts of the plant with the combined vertical and horizontal lighting while not increasing your power bill one bit over running four stationary plants.
Picture it the bulbs remain stationary in both horizontal and vertical positions around the room-which ones are on at any given moment while the photoperiod is set to “day” is what cycles, constantly re-positioning a strong light source so it reaches more parts of each plant.
Given adequate space and other inputs, most growers are typically yielding 50% more per large plant versus one lamp overhead or to the side only, versus combined lighting. The side lighting not only promotes higher yields, it creates better crop quality from top to bottom of the plant for healthier
crops that yield premium quality.
If for example, you already have four lights, you can install a timed relay/controller to flip the light load to the additional lamps that you install. Following the instructions supplied with your flip, simply connect your ballast(s) to the relay, and then the first and now second lamp to the plugs on the relay associated with the ballast.
But this is the old way-assuming you already had a light system. Now as for the BEST way, check out the new 1K4s from PurGro. This uses intelligent technology with four user-serviceable and dimmable digital ballasts to either run four lights constantly, or flip to whichever additional lamps you connect (up to four extra lamps for total of eight). No expensive wiring jobs required-it connects with three wires, and even comes with two plugs that work on both 110/220 to control the photoperiod and the flip setting, if you choose to use it. There are plenty of other great features too.
See them at http://www.purgro.com
Part of the genius in the 1K4 is that it likes to trick Smart Meters into thinking it’s something other than a hydroponic lighting system because it never does anything the same way twice with random and changing delays (built in) when the timed rotation/flip occurs.
Besides the stealth-fun factor, it keeps the light always moving around the room, avoiding hot spots and ensuring that your garden has no shadows in the canopy for superior (and stealth) yields.
You don’t need to imagine getting the yield equivalent of six lights from running four lights worth of power while using only four plants to do it-because you can with this master lighting technique;) Of course this is just one way to do it-we are sure you’ve already thought of a few ones using the principles you have read about here. Be safe and have fun!
Erik Biksa has been writing about and discussing hydroponics growing, related technologies and cropping methods since 1999 in a variety of professional publications and platforms globally Erik has travelled the world learning and teaching modern growing techniques and technologies and is appreciated by many growers for his informative yet hands on approaches. Presently, he is the Editor at Grozine Hydroponics Mag.