do it yourself hyroponics
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Hydroponic Grow Lights System

Hydroponic Grow Lights systems require five basic components. These are the ballast, HID bulbs, the reflector, a timer and a hanging system.

Hydroponic Grow Light Ballasts

hydroponic grow lightsHID or high intensity discharge bulbs are not your regular type of bulb. They require a ballast to function. Quality ballasts will allow for consistant wattage, come with safety features and will be dimmable. Dimmable ballasts allow you to lower the heat and light intensity during hot days or provide less intensity light for clones or seedlings.

A high quality Yield Lab digital ballast provides all these features as well as a “super lumens” setting to increase output by 15% which will increasde your garden size and harvest yield. Using this feature will decrease the life of the bulb but depending on your situation the higher yield will offset the costs to replace your bulbs after every growing season.

Hydroponic Grow Light Bulbs

For best results it is recommended to use two types of HID hydroponic grow lights bulbs. HPS or “high pressure sodium” and MH or metal halide bulbs. The MH grow light bulb is used during the growing stage as it simulates spring and summer conditions. The HPS grow light bulb is used during the flowering stage because it produces intense yellow and orange spectrums which simulate late summer and fall light.

Hydroponic Grow Light Reflectors

A twenty four hour timer is required for proper hydroponic grow lights light set up. The timer is used to emulate seasonal changes that are needed for proper growth and production. The first stage uses the MH growlight set at 18-24 hours for rapid growth and vigor. The MH spectrum produces strong stems and stimulates leaf and root growth. To simulate flowering and fruiting season the HPS grow light is used at a setting of 12 hours light and 12 hours darkness. The seasonal change triggers chemical changes whithin the plant and signals the production of fruit. A quality timer arrangement is essential to indoor growing.

HID hydroponic grow lights produce 360 degrees of light. A reflector is needed to focus the light where you want it rather than wasting it. Grow light reflectors come in two basic types open and sealed air cooled. Open types are the winged reflector or umbrella reflectors. Open type relfectors are great for smaller wattage systems. Open type reflectors are best where a higher ceiling is available to dissipate heat. Higher wattage hydroponic grow light reflectors may require a sealed air cooled reflector to allow for drawing the heat away from your plants thereby providing a cooler growing area.

Hydroponic Grow Light Hanging Systems

The final component for hydroponic grow lights is the hanging system. The hanging system allows for proper distance adjustment to get optimum light distribution and heat dissipation.

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