Hanging a grow light correctly improves safety and proper coverage.
The perfect hanging position provides a good core coverage area. This ensures that the grow room gets optimal PAR that can effectively meet the normal growth requirements of your plants. The ideal hanging position is supposed to provide a PAR value that is greater than 100 µmol/m²s.
Each growth stage (germination, growing, flowering, and fruiting) has a different hanging position. This usually ensures optimum and effective illumination through a plant’s growth cycle. In this post, we will discuss how to hand a grow light in steps to help make the process easy.
How Far the Grow Light Should Be
Regardless of what grow light you buy, make sure you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. This is so because each grows light has a very specific angle at a very specific height. The manufacturer’s design covers a certain area at a certain height.
If your grow light has a fixed power level, then your only way to change the light intensity at the plant level is to raise or lower the light. In this case, you have to consider the distance about the light index. The light index changes whenever you change the distance (lower or raise) between your plants and the lamp. PAR and PPFD affect the light index.
PAR refers to photosynthetically active radiation. Lumens are normally weighted to measure the light that people see. This light; however, isn’t particularly useful to plants. This means lumens are not good indicators of expected total production. The better indicator; therefore, is PPFD, which stands for photosynthetic photon flux density.
Why is PPFD important when determining the height of your grow light? The first P stands for photosynthetic (the process by which plants use light to produce sugar for building cellular structure). The second P stands for photon, which is the term that is used to define the particle of light. Light particles usually move in different wavelengths. Blue photons are known to have shorter wavelengths compared to red photons. Plants absorb photons between 400 and 700 nanometers (these photons are considered photosynthetic).
The F stands for flux, which refers to the number of photosynthetic photons over time. Imagine photons to be raindrops, then flux would be the number of raindrops falling over time. PPFD is often used to describe the emission from a light source. The D stands for density, which adds the element of space. If you use the equivalence of photons as rain, then the flux density would be the number of drops of photons falling within the grow room over time. Here are examples of PPFD at different hanging heights:
- At 11 inches high the PPFD is about 364 µmol/m²s
- At 24 inches high the PPFD is around 118 µmol/m²s
- At 35 inches high the PPFD is approximately 54 µmol/m²s
- At 47 inches high the PPFD is about 30 µmol/m²s
- At 59 inches high the PPFD is around 21 µmol/m²s
The PPFD is directly affected by the wattage of the lamp and how far you hang it from the plants’ canopy. Here are a few recommendations:
150-watt lamp – hang the light 24 inches (flowering or vegetative state) and 36 inches (seedling) from the canopy.
250-watt – hang the lamp 24 to 32 inches (flowering or vegetative state) and 36 to 42 inches (seedling) from the canopy.
400-watt – hang the light 36 to 42 inches (flowering or vegetative state) and 48 inches (seedling) from the canopy.
600-watt – hang the lamp 36 to 42 inches (flowering or vegetative state) and 54 inches (seedling) from the canopy.
1000-watt – hang the light 48 to 54 inches (flowering or vegetative state) and 60 inches (seedling) from the canopy.
How to Hang a Grow Light – Step By Step Guidelines
There are various types of hanging gear you can use for hanging your grow lights. The most popular ones are:
Using an Adjustable Rope Ratchet Hanger
An adjustable rope hanger is ideal for hanging grow fixtures in your grow room. Make sure the rope hanger you choose is highly abrasion-resistant and strong. It should be able to withstand ambient and harsh weather conditions. The ratcheting mechanism should be able to offer effective hosting and securing. The ideal weight capacity to consider should be at least one hundred and fifty pounds. The rope needs to be long enough, approximately seven feet.
Take the carabiner not attached to the ratchet and wrap it around the support pole on the roof of your grow room or tent. Then release the lever to adjust the ratchet to the ideal height. The setup of the grow light should adequately cover the canopy of your plants concerning the wattage of the light and the growth stage of the plants.
Attach the other set of carabiners to the metal hangers on your light fixture.
Once you have attached the carabiners. Use the ratchet to adjust the height of the grow light. The ratchet works as a pulley system. All you have to do is grab the loose ends of the rope and lift the grow light until you reach the ideal height.
You can easily lower the grow light by pushing the position lever that is integrated into the pulley. Then pull the rope by using the carabiner.
You can use q-hanger hooks to hang your grow light easily along the roof of your grow room. But you need to choose a safety design that is equipped with a buckle to help prevent any accidental falling. The design should be made of at least four-millimeter thick metal that is highly rust-resistant. Choose a model with a screw that is easy to install into the wood. Also, make sure the q-hanger hooks come with plastic tubes for installing on hard surfaces.
You will need one or two sets of q-hanger hooks to effectively hang a grow light. For a simple LED grow light with four metal hangers, you will need at least two q-hanger hooks. You will need to install wooden poles at the top of your grow room. Drill a small hole for each hook, insert the hook into the hole, insert a screwdriver into the q-hanger and tighten.
Attach ropes of equal length to the metal hangers at the back of your grow light. Then attach two ropes to one q-hanger hook and the remaining two to the other q-hanger hook. You can use any configuration, depending on your preference.
A standing rack is a perfect choice for hanging a grow light when the plants are still young. The best design is one that is compact as well as easy to assemble. This will ensure that you spend less time hanging a grow light and more time growing your plants. Choose a standing rack that allows for easy and quick height adjustments. It should be super easy to lower or raise the fixture.
Place the standing rack at the position in the room for maximum coverage and illumination. Preferably at the center of the grow room.
Attach the adjustable ratchet ropes to a T5 fluorescent lamp. Use the ratchet to lower or raise the lamp. This is a good hanging system for the seedling stage.