If you’ve got a grow room (or tent), you need grow lights. They’re non-negotiable. Knowing which lights will work best for your set-up, crop, and budget and then hanging them correctly is critical to productive indoor plant growth.

Grow lights are designed to simulate growth by emitting specific light spectrums at specific intensities. But if grow lights are designed to mimic sunlight, a free and renewable resource, why even bother growing indoors? 

Well, there are some obvious factors. For example, you might prefer that your friends, family and neighbours not know what you’re growing, making an indoor set-up the ideal solution. 

The main draw of growing inside is creating a blank canvas for plant growth. The perfect environment for THE most incredible harvest.

You can create a lighting schedule that hand delivers light at the perfect intensity. You can customise your nutrient regime, meaning your plants get the right amount of potassium, calcium, nitrogen, and phosphorus. You control the temperature. The humidity. CO2. The list goes on.

And what this all adds up to is healthy, happy plants that reward you with a crop that looks and tastes better than anything you’ll find at the grocery store.  

When choosing the proper lighting, you have a few options. Let’s run through the main ones. 

HPS Globes: 

HPS (High-Pressure Sodium) globes come either single or double-ended. For decades, they were the go-to lighting choice for growers globally. HPS lights are well suited to both the bloom and grow phases and are affordable for people just starting their growing journey. On the downside, HPS globes tend to emit a high volume of heat, so additional equipment like ducting and fans are usually necessary. 

CMH Globes: 

CMH (Ceramic Metal Halide) is a high-intensity discharge (HID) grow light filled with a mixture of metal halide gases to produce light. The construction of the tube itself allows the globe to operate at higher temperatures, making it more efficient than a traditional metal halide bulb. CMH lights can deliver a full spectrum of light and are known for their affordable price point and extended lifespan. Much like HPS globes, CMH lighting runs hot. They are also typically heavier than other choices on the market, so additional equipment may be needed to remove excess heat and alleviate weight. 

LED Lights: 

LED (Light-Emitting Diode) lights are the latest and greatest revolution in grow light tech. When they were first created, LEDs could only emit blue and red light spectrums primarily geared towards vegetative growth. Now, LEDs have evolved to produce a full range of light, effectively supporting both grow and bloom phases. In addition, LEDs run incredibly cool, which negates the need for additional equipment and means they can be hung closer to the garden canopy. LEDs are more expensive to purchase outright but are far more energy efficient than alternatives delivering long-term savings off your power bill. 

Now. Different lights will require different hanging methods, so it’s time to break those down too. 

Rope Ratchets:

For most of our customers here at Aquaponics WA and Hydroponic Xpress, Rope Ratchets are the way to go. Light Grip’s heavy-duty rope ratchets are only $19.99 and feature a strong carabiner hook capable of supporting up to 65 kilos. Use them to mount your light fixtures, inline fans and even carbon filters. When mounting your lights, push the carabiner hook to clip in and secure your equipment. Then, as your plants grow, all you have to do is pull on the rope, which raises the fixture automatically. 

Yoyo Hanger: 

Yogo hangers function similarly to a traditional rope ratchet, except instead of rope, these hangers use a coil of wire housed inside an external yoyo-shaped casting. The top of the yoyo is mounted directly to the ceiling with a hook, while the other end uses a carabiner that attaches directly to your light fixture. Growers can loosen or tighten the wire using a dial outside the yo-yo’s casing. 

Motorised Light Movers: 

Motorised Light Movers are the ideal choice for larger-scale commercial growers. By motorising your lighting system, you can raise and lower your lights for an entire warehouse at the push of a button. We love the Jupiter II Rotary Light Kit – although it’s more expensive than a manual hook or hanger, a motorised light mover can pay serious dividends when it comes to grow room labour. 

Of the multitude of technologies used throughout indoor gardening, lighting is by far the most complex. Depending on your budget and existing infrastructure, there are plenty of options for hanging your light fixture. Naturally, most growers opt for something more affordable, to begin with. Still, in the end, you will almost always get a better result by utilising equipment engineered for grow rooms and tents. 

That’s all we’ve got for today’s newsletter; we hope you’ve learnt something. As always, good luck and happy growing!