Here are some factors while choosing grow lights for your garden.
How much area are you looking to light?
It’s good if you start with finding square footage of the area where you are trying to light. No Doubt, plants like tomatoes need high-light so you need at least 40watts per square foot for finest growth and fruit creation. For herbs and lettuce which are low light plants needs only 20 to 30 watts per square foot. While figuring you don’t need to figure the whole room you just need to measure only plant area that you will be growing in. For instance, your grow room is 5 X 5, but you only want 2 X 2 for growing so you just need to figure out how many watts light you require in order to cover the 2 X 2 area. As we are growing tomatoes so we need 40 watts per square foot.
Width x Depth = Square Feet 2 X 2 = 4 sq. ft.
Watts x Square Feet = Desired Wattage 40 X 4 = 160 watts
As a grower we know 160watts grow lights are easily available in the market.
Do you guys really need HPS (High Pressure Sodium) or Metal Halide grow light?
Usually gardeners use HPS fixtures and Metal Halide fixtures for flowering and vegetative growth. As per some hydroponics gardeners we can also increase 20% of flower volume and fruit growth from HPS lights. However Metal Halide is very impartial and good for leafy vegetables like lettuce and herbs. Few years ago, switchable ballasts were introduced in 400watts and 1000 watts configurations, which allocate you to run a HPS or Metal Halide bulb off the same ballast. As we are growing tomatoes so we expand most of the time flowering, so we will select High Pressure Sodium system.
Which is the best reflector I can get and why?
Reflectors play an essential role in grow lights. This factor depends upon the amount of light reflected on plants and how consistent the light is. The entire grow room area wants an equal amount of light in whole area. Horizontal reflectors are the most resourceful reflectors and are popular amongst growers. While Horizontal lamps position increase light up to 40% over a lamp, burning in the vertical position. Smaller reflectors light reflect at a higher intensity because light fails to travel as far as before it is reflected. Then the size and shape of your garden is important. For larger garden areas, growers with low light plants, larger reflector is the best choice. But for 2 X 2 garden with tomato plants will go for small reflector to get the maximum amount of light on the plants. Almost all of the lights we carry have air-cooling flanges and tempered glass as add-ons for your grow lights. Air-cooling makes keeping your grow room cooler easy, by exhausting the heat emitted by the bulb before it escapes the reflector.
So, be a wise grower and choose your grow lights wisely in order to yield bigger plants!