As an indoor gardening enthusiast, you must know and appreciate the importance of an effective grow lighting system. A great lighting system ensures your plants have a healthy growth, due to photosynthesis.
So, if you’re stuck and aren’t sure how to go about hanging your lights in an indoor grow tent, worry no more. This article gives you an in-depth guideline on how lighting systems work on grow tents (intensity on plants), and how you can best hang them.
Basically, lighting in grow tents has come a long way from ten years ago. We thought that the brighter it is, the better it is for the plants. Well, that wasn’t the case back then. And it isn’t today. Instead, it is all about picking the best lighting system for your grow tent.
You also need to have the perfect distance between the lighting and the plants, which is best achieved once you learn how to hang light in grow tent.
What You’ll Need Before Hanging the Lights
There isn’t much that you’ll need. Once you have the right lighting panel for you, the only things you’ll need are:
- Ratchet rope for holding the lighting panel in position
- Screwdriver for tightening things around
- PAR Meter for measuring the right height for your lighting.
How to Hang Light in a Grow Room – Step-by-Step Procedure
1.) The first step is to familiarize yourself with the rope ratchet because some people don’t really how it operates.
**Basically, the ratchet rope (or rope hanger) consists of an attachable pulley and a securing clamp. The clamp is looped on the grow tent’s pole at the top. The attachable pulley is the one you’ll attach to the lighting panel or light reflector.
The pulley is opened flipping a switch, which is held down to allow the rope to slide through, and then released to secure it.
If you want to raise the height, you’ll simply run the string attached on the pulley side of the ratchet rope. You can also check out the tutorial on how to use a ratchet rope to raise grow lights
2.) You need to loop the ratchet ropes on top of the grow tent, but remember to consider the distance from all sides of the tent.
Make sure the ratchet ropes are in such a way that the lighting panel will be at the center of the tent. At the same time, if you’ll be using more lighting panels, perhaps due to a spacious room, measure the poles such that the panels are in the center.
3.) The next step is to attach the ratchet rope to the lighting panel. Simply bring the panel inside the grow tent and attach the rope by clamping it to the panel’s hooks.
4.) Now slowly raise the lighting panel by drawing the ratchet rope until you reach a height that’s appropriate for the plants.
What’s The Grow Lighting Panels You’ve Got
Since grow lights come in diverse types of panels, the setup procedure is going to be different. For instance, there are grow lights that come as panels, which consist of high-quality lighting bulbs embedded in them (quantum bord led grow light). This doesn’t require bulb replacement, because they’ve been made to last many years.
For such grow lighting panels, the installation procedures for hanging them on the grow tent are straightforward. That is, they come with hooks on the four corners where you hook the ratchet ropes. These are then hang on the tent’s bars at the top.
On the other hand, there are grow lights that aren’t panels but use the bulbs. These are high-intensity discharging enclosures for grow tents. The enclosures act like reflectors whereby lighting from the bulbs are reflected to direct light to the plants.
With such a type of lighting setup, you’ll need to hook the ratchet ropes on the enclosures or reflectors and hang at the top of your grow tent. Then, you’ll screw the bulb onto the enclosure. Just make sure to use gloves when holding the bulb.
The oil from your skin can leave hot spots on the bulb, and this affects its effectiveness. If you don’t have gloves, you can use clean towel, particularly when changing the bulb.
Getting The Right Height/Distance
The simplest way to determine the right height is to use the “hand” test. This is when you place the back of your hand just below the light and leave it for like a minute or so. If you feel uncomfortable, then it’s best to raise a little bit higher.
The problem with the “hand” method is the inaccuracy. That’s why I recommend using a PAR meter to measure the right distance.The PAR meter gives you accurate figuresof the PPFD (photosynthetic photon flux density), which is the amount of photons absorbed by the plants from the lighting system you’ve installed.
Basically, the PPFD figure (which is noted by the PAR meter) is the amount of photons needed by your plants for easier photosynthesis.
The average figure is 400 to 700μmol/m2/s. For smaller plants, the recommended figure is around 200. The figure can sometimes go up to 900 for larger plants, especially when you are nearing harvesting stages. However, don’t go beyond the 1000 figure, which can hurt your plants.
So, how do you use the PAR meter to measure the right height?
How to Use the PAR Meter?
You first switch it on, then remove the remote sensor cap and hold the sensor level with the plant’s canopy. Most meters usually have two settings – the outdoor mode and the electric. Use the electric mode, which is meant for indoor planting.
You need to do the measurement when the lighting system is on. Now, you’ll notice that the further away from the light, the lower the figure, and as you move the sensor closer to the lights, the higher the figure.
Therefore, if the plants are just starting to sprout and are still small, the right PAR meter figure should be somewhere between 250 and 400μmol/m2/s.
You’ll notice that hanging light in a grow tent is an easy-peasy process, and the only tricky part is the measurement of the PPFD or the lighting density. You just need to get a PAR meter for measuring the right height for the lighting panel in your grow tent.
Also, once you know your way around using ratchet ropes, hanging the lighting panel is straightforward.