The right lamp for your purposes
When choosing the best type of lighting, the size of your grow is of course an important factor. For small areas, light sources such as energy saving lamps or compact fluorescent lamps can be used. As they generate hardly any heat, these lamps can be mounted close above the plants to increase the luminous efficacy.
However, if you want to illuminate larger crops efficiently, you should choose a lamp with more power. Metal halide lamps such as CMHs, MHs or high-pressure sodium vapor lamps provide sufficient light even for larger areas. With these lamps, low wattage models save costs and generate less heat.
Those who opt for a more powerful version depend on the use of an efficient ventilation solution that transports the heated air to the outside. Specially developed, cooling reflectors can help to remedy this situation.
LED lights are more expensive to purchase, but are characterized by the fact that they combine the positive properties of the light bulbs listed above. On the one hand, they are highly efficient and supply the plants with a lot of energy, whereby the lamp itself consumes little electricity and the operating costs are kept low. On the other hand, the heat development is low and the LEDs can be placed closer to the plants.
What do I need to illuminate a growbox?
After you have chosen a suitable light source, you also need the appropriate ballast to connect the lamp to the power circuit. You will also need a suitable reflector that radiates the light back onto the plants and contains a socket for the lamp. If you don't want to have to wire and mount the lamp, you can choose a complete system instead. These usually consist of ballast, reflector with integrated lamp socket and a matching light bulb.
A suitable lighting control system can be used to regulate the lighting intervals and create an even day/night cycle. From simple time switches to functional timer boxes allowing several light sources to be activated simultaneously, there are many possibilities.
Getting the most out of your plant lighting
Grow tents developed for plant breeding are equipped with reflective inner material. However, if you want to build your own grow room, you should line the walls with reflective foil to reflect the lamps light from the walls back onto the plants.
Light movers can be used to increase the illuminated area. Programmed sensibly, they move your light source back and forth over the plants, maximizing the efficiency of the lamp.