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Grow Light Automation Using Controllers, Timers, Movers, and Meters

Grow Light Automation Using Controllers, Timers, Movers, and Meters

Ever wished your grow room was something out of the box? Do you want to let your grow room work independently and you could relax without dabbling to and fro? Do you wish that your grow lights would turn on and off on their own, saving you from panicky situations?

If your answer is ‘Yes’ to all of the above, you have come to the right place. This article will teach you to take advantage of the latest technological advancements and let them work for you. We will discuss how timers, controllers, meters, and moving systems work for you.

As you may already know, grow lights need to be a part of a grow room to replicate the same environment your plants require. You will find all the possible tools and equipment available to aid you with your lighting system needs. With plenty of options to choose from, it can become tricky to settle for the parts you need. This article aims to reduce your stress and teach you the most comfortable way to set up your grow lights for automation.

Controllers and Timers for Grow Lights

Plants need adequate sunlight to function properly. For indoor plants, you need a dedicated light system to supplement the required sunlight. You need to ensure that the lights are functioning correctly at all times and that they are turning on and off at their fixed time intervals. By doing this, you create an artificial sun for your plants, after all.

If you use a single light fixture of less than or equal to 1,000 W, a simple outlet timer will work on a fixed schedule. However, adjusting more grow lights becomes impossible to manage and even unsafe. You can use a grow light controllers to function as the central unit to supply power to all the available lights in the growing system. You can plug all the lights in the controllers and then determine the system's schedule instead of using multiple timers. Commercial growers need light controllers because it is not easy to manage so many plants individually. They are used to control high power.

You may plug in as many ballasts as needed into a controller, and it will handle very high wattages safely and quickly. Generic timers that you can plug into wall outlets are not capable of handling power surges. However, it is best to hire a professional to install a controller directly into the power source instead of wiring it yourself. Safety is and should be your number one priority. One of the best light controllers available online is the Titan Controls Helios 11. Check our full list of grow light controllers at GroIndoor.com.

Maximizing Grow Lights Efficiency by Moving Them

Remember that your grow lights supplement the needed sunlight for your grow rooms. However, automating a lighting system with movement can improve light emission efficiency by 30% and reduce spending by about 20% on energy consumption.

How Light Moving Systems Work

The most critical steps you need to make sure are a correct schedule, and that light reaches all the plants as much as possible. The light and reflector alone will provide enough light to ensure plant growth but remain in just one position. A light mover solves this problem by moving your lights back and forth to reduce shade and reduce heat concentration, drying out the plants.

You should also be aware that stationary lights can burn your plants if they are close enough to the plants. Moving your lights around will avoid this issue altogether. You may also rotate the lights vertically, closer, and further away to increase or reduce their intensity. A light system has a rail and a motor. The light moves on the rail and a motor is used to power the rail. Rails can be found to be 3, 6, or 9 feet long. Which size is right for you depends on the number of plants you have or will grow. GroIndoor.com has the most popular variety of products for light moving systems, including brands like Light Rail. Check all the grow light moving systems here.

Calculating the Actual Amount of Light Falling on the Plants

You can have a light installed at 1,000 watts, but how would you determine how many watts are being utilized by the plant and the correct wattage emitted? It would be best to have a reliable tool for measuring the intensity of light.

Measuring the grow lights’ effectiveness

You adjust the distance between the light and the plants to perfectly fit the amount of light you want to shine on the plants. We have three units of measure: PAR, Lumens, and Foot-candles. They are to measure the intensity of light relative to the distance between the plant and light and the surface area of the plant it is hitting.

PAR

If you could only choose to have a single light meter, you need to select a PAR meter. It can accurately measure the electromagnetic radiation of light waves. You can use it to adjust the distance of the lights to prevent wasting any energy.

For photosynthesis, plants need light waves between the spectrum of 400 nm and 700 nm (The entire range of visible light is between 380 nm and 780 nm). The amount of light used in photosynthesis is called PAR, which occurs in that range.

Lumens

Lumens are the most common unit of measure for light. A single lumen is equal to the amount of light from one candle emitted on a surface area at a given angle. Lumens measure how bright your light is. Regular LED bulbs that you would use at home are typically 1,000 to 1,500 lumens and would consume roughly 15 watts of power. To fulfill the light needs of a plant, you need to provide 2,500 lumens of light. But you cannot measure the effectiveness of light solely on its brightness.

Foot-Candles

A foot-candle equals the amount of light (its intensity and brightness measured in lumens) falling on a surface area (one square foot). A foot-candle meter will only measure how much light is falling on your plants within a square foot. This information is not that useful because we don’t know how sufficient the light is.

While you may not see the benefit of having a foot-candle meter, you still need to keep one because they are affordable. You will need to measure the light spread on the plants accurately instead of relying on your instincts and what you see.

Ensuring Success for Automating Grow Light System

For the best environment for your plants indoors, you invest in light movers, meters, and controllers. How good your environment is will directly impact the quality and condition of the plants. Automating the entire process makes your life a whole lot easier and makes the process of plantation indoors fun. Once your system is working and set up as intended, you will save a lot of time being involved with the plants in your grow room.

Conclusion

All your work will be managed automatically, and you may reap the benefits by visiting them once in a while. If you want to know how to automate your grow room entirely instead of only the lights, read our guide on Mounting and Hanging Grow Lights. Your plants will continue to grow and harvest even if you go entirely away for some time. Having a garden doesn’t mean that you have to be near it 24/7. If you need further assistance from us, call 866-GRO-INDR, and we will be there at your service right away.

Sep 19th 2022

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