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Grow Light FAQ's

Useful Facts For
Starting Your Indoor Garden


Home gardeners and commercial growers can now grow 12 months a year with high intensity Grow Light Systems. Metal halide and high pressure sodium Grow Lights are the most efficient and productive lighting system available from seedling to maturity. An important concept to remember as you read the information below is that in general a High Pressure Sodium (HPS) system may only use HPS bulbs and Metal Halide (MH) systems may only use MH bulbs. Alternatives to this general rule are explained below under the Conversion Lamps section and the Switchable Systems section. Below you will find more information relating to the categories in Blue.

  • Metal Halide Light: Grow Lights featuring metal halide lamps provide high lumens and primarily blue/violet spectral energy for seedling and vegetative growth. Metal halide lamps are available from 2600░ Kelvin (increased red spectrum) for enhanced flowering to 6500░ Kelvin (higher blue/violet spectrum) for enhanced vegetative growth. Continue on for more information on each of these lamps to determine which is the best system for you.

  • HPS Light: Grow Light systems featuring high pressure sodium (HPS) lamps provide high lumens and primarily red spectral energy for growth during a plants budding, flowering and fruiting stages. HPS lamps are available from 2000░ Kelvin (red spectrum) to 3000░ Kelvin (enhanced blue spectrum). Contuinue on for more information on HPS lamps to determine the best grow light system for you.

  • Switchable Systems: Switchable Grow Light systems allow the use of metal halide during the vegetative growth stage and HPS during the budding and flowering stages with the simple flip of a switch. These systems are more expensive than single wattage systems and are available in 400W and 1000W only but they eliminate the need for conversion lamps.

  • Conversion Lamps: Conversion lamps are available in limited wattages for either metal halide or HPS grow light systems. Metal halide conversion lamps operate on an HPS ballast during the vegetative growth stages and HPS conversion lamps operate on metal halide ballasts systems during the budding and flowering growth stages. Conversion lamps may also be alternated in multiple fixture, commercial growing environments to achieve a balanced spectral output during all growing stages. Conversion lamps are available as a separate purchase and are not included with a grow light system.

  • Wattage Most gardeners use at least 25 watts per square foot of garden space. You may need less if your light is used to supplement natural sunlight, or if you are growing a plant that does not require as much light (i.e. lettuce). However, many gardeners prefer to double or even triple the recommended wattage to achieve faster growth rates. There is really no such thing as too much light, but using a big light in a small space will sometimes result in high temperatures that are difficult to control.
    H.I.D. Average Coverage Area By Wattage
  • 150/175 watts covers approximately 2' x 2' area

  • 250 watts cover approx. 3' x 3' area

  • 400 watts cover approx. 4' x 4' area

  • 600 watts cover approx. 6.5' x 6.5' area

  • 1000 watts cover approx. 8' x 8' area

  • NOTE: Coverage area may be reduced if this is your primary light source.

    Keep in mind that plants need periods of darkness too. Most indoor gardeners use lighting from 12 - 18 hours per day.
     
    Hanging HeightA general guideline for the proper hanging height of an H.I.D. lamp would be 12" - 48" depending on the wattage. Make sure to check for excessive heat at the top of your plants by placing your hand (palm down) over your plants. If the top of your hand is hot, you need to move your lamp up higher. If the light source is too close to your plants, you can burn them. Remember that as your plants grow you will need to adjust the height of your lamp.

    When you raise the light up & away from your plants, you need to be aware of the light levels at your plant will be significantly reduced. As light moves away from its source (the lamp) it diminishes as follows: 1/Distance2. For example: 1ft = 1000 FC, 2ft = 250 FC, 3ft = 111 FC, 4ft = 63 FC, 5ft = 40 FC, & 6ft = 28 FC.

    Fluorescent lights A fluorescent fixture can be placed much closer to plants than an H.I.D. fixture because it produces very little heat. You should place your fluorescent lights as close to the tops of your plants as you can without excluding the outside perimeter of your garden.
     
    grow lights

    Standard HPS Grow Lamps (See Graph Above)

    • Standard HPS lamps produce orange-red spectrum light in the 2100░ Kelvin 21 CRI range that promotes extensive budding and flowering in plants. HPS produces high yields and faster budding than metal halide.

    • HPS grow lights are recommended for use as a secondary lighting system in greenhouses and where natural sunlight is available as the primary light source.

    • HPS lighting also encourages the stretching of internodal lengths (the part of the stem between the leaf and branch junctions) during vegetative growth. While the result is a taller plant, the number of flower sites are increased.

    • We recommend using a metal halide conversion lamp on an HPS system during the vegetative growth stages. Metal halide produce blue-violet light that promotes compact vegetative growth.

    Hortilux HPS lampsHortilux HPS grow lamps produce up to 10% higher lumens and up to 36% more blue-violet spectrum than standard HPS for maximum yield during the budding and flowering growth stages.

    Iwasaki Hortilux HPS Lamps
    • Grow light systems that utilize Iwasaki Super HPS lamps provide greater light intensity and spectral energy designed for higher yields and to grow a wider range of plants.

    • Super HPS systems are recommended for use during the budding and flowering stages to promote higher yields and enhance vegetative growth that is deficient in standard hps
      systems. The ultimate growth enviornment is achieved when using a metal halide conversion lamp during the intial seedling and vegetative growth stages

     

    MH and HPS Conversion Lamps (See Graph Below)


    Conversion lamps are available in limited wattages for either metal halide or HPS grow light systems. Metal halide conversion lamps operate on an HPS ballast during the vegetative growth stages and HPS conversion lamps operate on metal halide ballasts systems during the budding and flowering growth stages. Conversion lamps may also be alternated in multiple fixture commercial growing environments to achieve a balanced spectral output during all growing stages. Conversion lamps are available as a separate purchase and may be substituted for the standard lamp for a modest price increase. Contact us for details and order over the phone or through an email.

    Iwasaki MH Conversion Lamps
    Iwasaki metal halide conversion lamps produce high lumens with an enhanced blue spectrum (up to 4500░ Kelvin)for seedling and vegetative growth stages

    • The 250 watt conversion lamp operates an a 250 watt HPS system and produces 21,000 lumens at 4200 kelvin

    • The 400 watt conversion lamp operates on a 400 watt HPS system and produces 40,000 lumens (4,000 more than standard universal MH lamps) at 4500 Kelvin

    • The 1000 watt conversion lamp operates on a 1000 watt HPS system and produces 118,000 lumens (13,000 more than standard universal MH lamps) at 4500 kelvin

    Iwasaki HPS Conversion Lamps
    Iwasaki HPS conversion lamps produce high lumens at 2100░ Kelvin with an enhanced blue-violet spectrum for seedling and vegetative growth stages.

    • The 150 watt conversion lamp operates an a 175 watt MH system and produces 15,000 lumens at 2000 kelvin with an enhanced blue-violet spectrum

    • The 220 watt conversion lamp operates on a 250 watt MH system and produces 25,000 lumens at 2100 Kelvin with an enhanced blue-violet spectrum

    • The 360 watt conversion lamp operates on a 400 watt MH system and produces 45,000 lumens at 2100 kelvin with an enhanced blue-violet spectrum

    • The 940 watt conversion lamp operates on a 1000 watt MH system and produces 130,000 lumens at 2100 Kelvin with an enhanced blue-violet spectrum


    grow lights
     

    Metal Halide Lamps


    Grow Lights featuring metal halide lamps provide high lumens and primarily blue/violet spectral energy for seedling and vegetative growth. Metal halide lamps are available from 2600░ Kelvin (increased red spectrum) for enhanced flowering to 6500░ Kelvin (higher blue/violet spectrum) for enhanced vegetative growth.

    Standard Metal Halide Lamps emit balanced light similar to a 4000░ Kelvin source, imitating the natural white look of sunlight.

    • This lamp type is low cost and available in both universal and horizontal versions in all of our metal halide grow light systems; we recommend the horizontal version due to its higher lumen output and longer life since most grow lights utilize a horizontal reflector.

    • Use this lamp type during the vegetative stages of plant growth .

    • Not recommended as a single light source but may be used in conjunction with an Iwasaki HPS conversion lamp to provide the proper spectral output during the plants budding and flowering stages.


    Daylight Grow Lamps emit light from 5000░ to 6500░ Kelvin, imitating the natural look of daylight. They are an ideal light source for the seedling and vegetative stages of plant growth, while still emitting a wide spectral distribution
    • This lamp type produces less lumens than standard metal halide but substantially higher blue/violet spectral energy and is available in most of our metal halide grow light systems.

    • High blue/violet makes this an ideal lamp type for use during the seedling and vegetative stages of plant growth .

    • Not recommended as a single light source but may be used in conjunction with an Iwasaki HPS conversion lamp to provide the proper spectral output during the plants budding and flowering stages.



    Red Burning Metal Halide lamps are ideal for vegetative growth but can be used in all phases of plant growth while ensuring that more natural growth patterns occur in most species. The enhanced orange-red component promotes flowering, stem elongation and germination while a rich blue content assures healthy vegetative growth.
    • Red burning systems provide a balanced spectrum for use as a primary lighting system when natural light is available.

    • You can also use this lamp type in the Sun System VI switchable light system with the Iwasaki Hortilux enhanced spectrum HPS lamp for optimum growth during all the plants
      growth stages.


     

    Switchable Systems


    Switchable Grow Light systems allow the use of metal halide during the vegetative growth stage and HPS during the budding and flowering stages with the simple flip of a switch. These systems are more expensive than single wattage systems and are available in 400W and 1000W only but they eliminate the need for conversion lamps.
     

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