How light affects plant growth outside of 400-700 nanometers
Efforts are underway to establish minimum lighting requirements for indoor cultivation of plants. Lighting fixtures will have to produce a minimum PPF (Photosynthetic Photon Flux) of 1.6 μmol/Joule to meet this new standard. While this may sound like a step in a positive direction, this metric does not represent the full impact lighting has on plant growth nor does it address how light affects different stages of plant growth.
Indoor cultivation of cannabis has exploded over the past two years. With that, energy consumption in states where cannabis is legal has also sky rocketed. The practice of growing cannabis was estimated to consume 1% of the nation’s overall energy production in 2012. Indoor cultivation of cannabis is now the nation’s fastest-growing energy-intensive industry.
A new grow lamp lighting standard could drastically affect licensed commercial cannabis growers.
A subcommittee of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) has recently defined Photosynthetic Photon Flux (PPF) as the main metric to measure lighting for plant growth. Many organizations and utilities will likely adopt a PPF Standard of 1.6 µmol/Joule as the minimum level for lighting systems at which occupancy permits may be issued and rebates may be offered to licensed growers. This new standard has many limitations and does not take into account how spectral quality affects plant growth or what different qualities of light are needed for the vegetative and flowering stages.
If you are a grower, then you know how harsh the elements can be both inside and outside.
While indoor growers can stay away from unpredictable weather, hostile climate and pesky animal issues, there are several considerations to make sure you are handling the elements when growing indoors.
Some of the elements you can control in an indoor grow include light, temperature, humidity and air flow.
Lighting is often an overlooked aspect of indoor gardening. If there is a noticeable drop in yield, many growers look at their nutrients, room temperature or humidity as the cause. In most cases, the loss in yield is directly due to not keeping a consistent grow lamp replacement schedule.
It is important to understand the limitations of DE HPS grow lamps and not buy into the hype that says they will grow effectively for two years. The facts and the physics do not support this statement.
Correctly Installing Double Ended Lamps is Important
Double Ended HPS grow lights have been gaining popularity over the last couple years. They burn brighter and have proven to be great for large industrial grows and smaller rooms with very high ceilings.
That is, if the lamp is installed correctly.
Too many dangerous issues are being experienced in facilities using double ended lamps. Most of these problems could have been prevented by making sure the lamp was properly installed in the fixture.
People dim their houselights for a number of reason, from saving on energy to cooling down the house. Some indoor growers apply this idea to their lighting setup in their grow room, which can be problematic for their plants.
Can you dim your grow lights? Yes, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. When it comes to whether or not you should dim your grow lights, the answer should be “no.”