With the help of a professional best essay writing websites, you can craft the perfect college essay. These websites have experts who can help you choose the right topic, format your essay correctly, and edit it for grammar and spelling mistakes.
The college essay is an important part of the college application process. A good essay can help you stand out from the rest of the applicants and get noticed by the admissions committee.
There are a few things that you need to keep in mind when you are writing your college essay. First, you need to make sure that your essay is well-written and free of errors. Second, you need to make sure that your essay is personal and unique. Finally, you need to make sure that your essay is persuasive.
If you want to make sure that your essay is well-written, you can hire a professional writing website. These websites will help you edit your essay and make sure that it is error-free.
If you want to make sure that your essay is personal and unique, you can use a personal essay template. This template will help you write an essay that is personal and unique to you.
Benefits Of Using A Professional Writing Website To Help With Your College Essay
There are many benefits to using a professional writing website to help with your college essay. First, a professional writing website can help you improve your writing skills. Second, a professional writing website can help you get ideas for your essay. Third, a professional writing website can help you organize your thoughts and fourth, a professional writing website can help you proofread your essay.
There are a few things to consider when choosing a professional writing website to help with your college essay. First, consider the quality of the writers. Make sure the site has writers who are experienced and knowledgeable in college essay writing. Second, consider the cost of the service. Make sure the site is affordable and within your budget. Finally, consider the turnaround time. Make sure the site can deliver the essay within the timeframe you need.
Examples Of Successful College Essays That Were Crafted With The Help Of A Professional Writing Website
There are many different ways to craft a successful college essay, but one of the most effective is to seek out the help of a professional writing website. By working with a site that specializes in helping students with their essays, you can get the guidance and assistance you need to create a piece that truly reflects your individual voice and experiences.
One great example of a successful college essay is one that tells the story of how you overcame a difficult challenge in your life. Perhaps you faced a financial obstacle that forced you to take on extra jobs while also attending school full-time. Or maybe you had to deal with a personal tragedy that made it difficult to focus on your studies. Whatever the case may be, your essay should detail how you faced and overcame the challenge, what you learned from the experience, and how it has made you a stronger and more resilient person.
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No matter what topic you choose to write about, your essay should be honest, personal, and reflective of who you are as a person. By working with a professional writing website, you can get the help and guidance you need to craft a successful college essay that accurately reflects your unique experiences and perspective.
Process Of Working With A Professional Writer
There are a few different ways that you can work with a professional writer from a professional writing website. The first way is to simply purchase an essay from them. This will give you a well-written essay that you can use as a guide when writing your own college essay.
The second way to work with a professional writer is to hire them to help you edit and proofread your college essay. This can be a great way to make sure that your essay is free of errors and flows well.
No matter which option you choose, working with a professional writer from a professional writing website can help you perfect your college essay.
Important Information You Should Know Before Buying Led High Bay Light
Thanks to their low power consumption, quick start times, reduced heat emissions, and superior light quality, LED lights are proving to be a revolutionary technology. These lights actually assist customers in reducing their energy costs and providing better lighting for their residences and places of business.
But most consumers are unsure about which lamp to purchase. Finding the proper light is challenging due to the wide variety of sizes, colors, and lumens of LED lights. You won’t have to worry at all if you use LED Light Expert. We will go through a thorough buyer’s guide in this article so you can locate the ideal LED lights for your high bay applications.
Businesses are seeking more affordable and energy-efficient ways to use LEDs as a result of rising power rates and falling LED light prices. Starting with new, energy-efficient high bay lights is a terrific idea.
How do UFO LED High Bay Lights work?
Spaces with high ceilings are illuminated with high-bay lamps. That often implies having ceilings that are between 20 and 45 feet high. On the other hand, 20 feet or lower ceilings need the usage of low-bay lights. A high bay is a strong, brilliant light source that can illuminate a huge area by definition since a high-ceiling site has more room to fill. The circular design of this kind of high bay light gave rise to the moniker “UFO.”
LED High Bay Light Fixture
Better lighting is crucial, whether it’s in your backyard workshop or a sizable retail location. Lighting is helpful while you’re attempting to work. You don’t have to strain your eyes to see little details or read tiny types. Additionally, it makes sense if you want to give the general public a comfortable environment. People favor brightly lit areas because they feel happier in them. Therefore, it’s crucial to consider appropriate lighting for both your home and your place of business.
UFO LED high bay lights are a good option for decorating a commercial area with high ceilings since they provide brilliant light and are simple to install. The energy efficiency of UFO LED high bay light products is enhanced by their clever design. These spherical high bay lights were designed with a fin shape to aid in more evenly transferring thermal qualities, enabling extensive and potent illumination.
Where are you can use UFO high bay light fixtures?
They may be used in a variety of settings, including factories, assembly lines, and workshops. High-bay lights are also used in big gyms and leisure facilities. LED lights provide more light and are great for lighting warehouses and storage spaces as well. Large conference rooms, event venues, or really any location that requires illumination from a height of more than six meters, can use them. Even hangars and other huge, opulent structures employ them. Here are some instances of possible applications for UFO High Bay lights:
Why choose LED high bay lighting?
Determine your demand for LED lights before we go into the specifics of selecting the best-LED lighting. There are a variety of benefits to using LED bulbs for high bay lights. Here is a list of a few of them:
- more durable lighting. Depending on the model, LED lights have a lifespan of up to ten years.
- Low to no heat is generated. Since the lamp is energy-efficient, no heat is lost during manufacture, keeping it cool to the touch.
- LED light bulbs require fewer replacements. This is especially helpful in an industrial setting where long-lasting lighting is required so that employees may concentrate on their work.
- More lumens are produced per watt when using UFO LED high bay lighting. Over time, this will enable you to reduce your utility expenditures.
Types of UFO LED high bay lights
This light has a safety retention cord and a hook mount. The hook features a metal locking pin and is constructed of the same plastic as the housing. This pin prevents the hook from detaching from the ring or other piece of hardware to which it is fastened. A 5-foot AC power cord that connects to any wall socket supplies the electricity.
There are four different wattages available for the high bay light: 100, 150, 200, or 250. The 100-watt version produces 14,000 lumens, and each extra 50 watts produces 7,000 lumens. That equates to 140 lumens per watt of energy efficiency, which isn’t too shabby.
The housing and light have an IP65 rating for weather protection. As a result, they can endure both intense, continuous rain and any amount of dust. This is supported by a 5-year manufacturer’s guarantee from Lepro. You can also view on Lepro. Additionally, the lamp may be plugged into a dimmer circuit because it enables dimming from 1 to 10 volts.
240W UFO LED High Bay Light by Lepro
In terms of the overall design, the Lepro 240W UFO LED High Bay Light are quite outstanding. At a 15-inch diameter and 8-inch height, it’s a little flatter and rounder. The fact that the housing is made entirely of aluminum is the most obvious change, though. This not only offers superior cooling but also greatly increases the light’s durability.
With a strong metal eye that may be attached to a hook on the ceiling, the Lepro light is installed. It has a 6-foot power cord with bare wire tips that are intended for hardwiring for power. Although a dimmer switch is not provided, it also comes with a 12-inch two-wire dimmer cable. Alternately, you may dim using a standard dimmer circuit from 0 to 10 volts.
With a brightness of 36,000 lumens, this light consumes 240 watts. With 150 lumens per watt, it not only has the highest power among the items on our list but also the highest efficiency. With a strong five-year guarantee and an IP65 weather resistance certification, it is also rather durable.
Growing in Pots: 9 Secrets to Successful Container Gardening
Growing your container garden is a fun & easy way to unleash your creativity & add some color to your outdoor space. The best thing is that container gardening is not limited to a balcony garden. You can have your container plants anywhere like patios, walkways, front doors, decks, etc.
Container herbs are your saviors when you want to grow your food but are tied up with limited time & space. You can grow anything from a mini-farm to a specimen tree with the right pot, soil, and place.
You have endless choices when it comes to container gardening. Railing baskets, fish tanks, cedar boxes, half barrels, resin pots, storage totes, and even kitchen sinks can grow vegetables. Below are some secrets to growing these versatile plants successfully.
Choose the Right Container/Pot
Your container should have adequate drainage. When you water your plant, the water should quickly move through the soil & effectively out of the hole in the bottom. The herb may suffer when the water sits in pots after heavy rain or simple watering. So having suitable drainage holes are necessary.
The growth of the plants largely depends on the soil mass as well. Small hanging baskets of 10-inch are tempting but they are quite inefficient to grow a healthy plant. Hangers with at least 14 inches of diameter are preferable.
Some plants require sunlight, and some don’t. For instance, plants like Bromeliad, Chinese Evergreen, and Dumb Cane don’t need sunlight to grow. It’s essential to put the pot in the blazing sun only if it helps with the herb’s growth. Try to know the amount of sunlight your plant requires and place the pot accordingly. That is a prime requirement for the health of your plants.
Feed the Right Soil Mix to Your Plants
If you fill the containers with garden soil, your plants will deteriorate. Your containers must contain lightweight and well-draining potting mix. A 50-50 blend of compost and potting mix is advisable, as the former will add nutrients and hold the soil moisture.
You can mix a slow-release fertilizer in your potting mix and continue doing the same every week. It will also give the plants the nutrients they need to grow.
Water Your Plants
Water is the most significant ingredient required by your plants, especially rainwater, it is warm, soft, and charged with oxygen. Ensure that you allow the container soil to dry between watering.
Watering is also necessary because after the water transpires through the plant, its space in the soil is replaced with oxygen-rich air.
Only Good Neighbors Should Stay Together
When you place multiple plants in one pot, you should consider if they will be good neighbors to each other or not. If you place multiple plants in one pot, they should require the same amount of water, sunlight, and moisture. Plants with different needs will not thrive together.
Read the Tag
Tags are crucial to know all about your plants. They will inform you about the needs of your flora, such as how much food, water, and light is required. It will help you provide them with everything it needs in optimum quantity.
Tags will also inform you about the structure, growth rate, shape, etc., which will help you arrange the combinations depending on the container designs.
It’s vital to know that container plants require more nutrients than garden ones. The high need for nutrients is due to the soil volume in the roots. Markets are filled with fertilizers that are organic or synthetic.
You should choose the one your plant needs depending on the tag. You can get to know about it through a quick internet search, or you can ask the salesperson as well.
Remove Dead Flowers
Removing the dead flowers will restore your plant’s energy and make the soil healthy. Along with improving the look of your plants, it will help grow more flowers, leaves, fruits & vegetables.
Get a Cure for Pests
Flower buds & leaves can be damaged when pests start to take place in your well-maintained plants. Snails, slugs, earwigs are just some of them. You should recognize the pest based on the trails and then remove them. For instance, slugs often leave a slime trail.
You can peel off the slugs easily & remove them. You can also spray insecticide directly on the insects (not bees and ladybugs). Just give the leaf-top and bottom a good drenching, and you are good to go.
These easy steps will take you one step ahead towards having the perfect container garden. It will give a colorful and aesthetic look to your home and the many health benefits that comes along.
Liven up Your Garden Area With Large Plant Pots
Gardening is an amazing hobby for most individuals. It takes you close to the beauty of nature. You get to raise plants that would remain seeds if you do not nurture them.
Many people use gardening pots to decorate their garden. If you have little or no space in your garden, gardening can be a challenging hobby. However, with 15-gallon pots, you can grow large plants and trees in a limited gardening area.
Gardening pots are available in different shapes and sizes. You need to consider the area and the type of plant you want to grow in the pot to choose the right one. These pots would enhance the beauty of any plant.
15-gallon nursery pots give you the pleasure of fulfilling your gardening passion by planting large plant pots. Big gardens around the city use these pots to grow large trees around.
Read on to learn what you need to know about gardening pots.
4 Reasons to use large gardening pots
Here are a few positive reasons to place large gardening pots in your garden:
Design and Beautification:
15-gallon planters add a sense of beautification and versatility to your garden. They allow you to lend instant color to your area. Large pots are placed indoors to add an artistic touch to your house. They add to the beauty of your home décor.
Whether you place them outdoors around the wall or mount them on the windowsill, they look extremely attractive. Not only do they add color and ambiance to your balcony but they also serve the purpose of having a welcoming decoration in your house.
You can either place a single or a group of pots on your outdoor patio or balcony. However, it is best to arrange small and large pots in a group. This would give a good visual effect to your house. Moreover, you can place different shapes of pots in a particular area to add more design and style to your house.
Easy to move around:
The best thing about 15-gallon plastic pots is that you can take them anywhere you want. Planting trees and shrubs in the garden without plant pots makes it impossible for you to move. You have to uproot the tree or plant to change its place. When you use plastic pots in your garden, you can choose to either place them indoors or outdoors. You can change the position of the pots whenever you feel like it. There is no risk to the survival of the plant.
Large plant pots allow you to have a beautiful garden on your terrace. You can place a few pots on your terrace in an organized manner and uplift the look of the house.
If you are planning to plant large trees in your garden, 15-gallon tree pots are going to prove to be quite useful. You’d be able to make your garden appear organized by positioning the pots in a proper manner.
Moreover, if you have limited space in your garden, you can manage the growth of large trees with 15-gallon plant pots. You can plant a couple of pots with single rosemary species and put them in a unique way to add a touch of beauty to your terrace.
Oftentimes if you plant trees in your garden, they grow in an unorganized manner making the garden appear unattractive and shabby. With tree pots, you can make your garden look beautiful and adorable.
Large plant pots hold more soil:
You can plant flowers, shrubs, and trees in any size and shape of the pot. However, if you want to plant something that requires enough root space, you should consider buying a large plant pot.
You need to choose the size of the pot carefully. During hot summer weather, the small pots tend to dry up quickly. You need to water them often. If you want to resist temperature fluctuations and keep the soil moist for long, you should choose large plant pots for your garden. Moreover, to keep the soil cooler, you should opt for light color containers.
It is essential to have a drainage hole in the pot you choose. Without a drainage hole, the plants might die. Make sure that the holes are large enough to drain the water out.
You can bring so many variations to your garden with large plant pots. Different varieties of plant pots are available that cater to every style and taste. Lots of pots can also be customized according to the size and color you want.
Whether you want to seed a few herbs or you want to plant large ferns, garden pots are a must-have. They become the center of attention in your garden. You need to make sure that you water them properly and feed them on a regular basis. Remove the dried-out leaves and deadheads of the flowers. If you want to keep the pots looking beautiful, cut off the plants that don’t grow properly.
Hempwood: Laying Down the Foundation for a Greener Future
Hemp is the low-THC-bearing cousin to the marijuana plant. Since the 1800s, fiber hemp has been utilized for everything from rope to textiles. With the re-introduction of hemp in 2018, hemp products have flooded the market. From clothing to plastics, it is all being done with hemp. While there are many hemp-based products in the industry, there remains only one manufacturer of HempWood®.
HempWood® is a hardwood alternative that is made from full-length hemp stalks with both the fiber and hurd included – no decortication required! HempWood® can be used for making lumber, flooring, woodturning blanks, and even DIY kits. This hardwood alternative is sustainable, healthy, durable, and all American-made.
HempWood® starts within 100 miles of the factory located in Murray, Kentucky. All of the hemp used for production is sourced from local farmers. “By keeping the hemp close, we support the local agriculture community and cut down on transportation cost, which we can pass along savings to our customers,” Plant Manager Tommy Copeland said. After the hemp is received, this is where Fibonacci, LLC -the parent company of HempWood®- gets to work. From seed to flooring, it only takes 150 days. For traditional domestic hardwoods, it takes anywhere from 60 to 100 years to produce hardwood flooring. HempWood® is about 100 times faster and it even sequesters carbon from the atmosphere.
“No, this building material won’t get you high if it burns,” CEO Greg Wilson said. “It doesn’t even smell like marijuana.”
In addition to hemp, another healthy material is utilized – soybeans. Once the hemp is put into production, it is submerged into the soy-based adhesive, which has no-added formaldehyde. Fibonacci, LLC opted for this adhesive, so the health of its consumers is not sacrificed. Unlike other building materials, HempWood® Natural Flooring has no detectable VOCs levels, meaning that you are not subject to illnesses such as sick house syndrome. “It has been said that LVT makes up 50-80% of new floors in the US,” Parsons Healthy Designs Lab said. While LVT is a popular option many are unaware of the negative impacts on their health. For more information about healthy flooring materials, go to Healthy Materials Lab | Flooring.
“Get good in, you’ll get good back is our philosophy,” said Wilson. In addition to the good materials and responsible manufacturing processes, HempWood® Natural Flooring is durable. This flooring has a Janka rating of 2,200 lbf, which is about 20% harder than American white oak. HempWood® Natural Flooring can even be refinished up to four times. This flooring option not only matches your lifestyle but will uphold for your lifetime.
HempWood® Natural Flooring is going beyond the stigma of marijuana. It is an American-made, sustainably sourced hardwood that offers both durability and peace of mind. For more information on the newest hardwood on the market, go to www.hempwood.com.
8 Important Things To Check When Buying LED Grow Lights
There was a time when we had to rely only on sunlight before our crops can grow. But with more studies and research, it has been discovered that, LED grow lights can help the plants grow naturally. Today, many farmers and agricultural professionals have come to embrace this latest trend.
And there is a reason for it though; LED lights offer you the following:
- Energy efficiency
- Stimulated growth
- Adjustable wavelength
There are many LED grow lights that are on sale and not every one of them really works. You can easily get distracted by different models and end up choosing the wrong LED lights. Here are 8 things to look out for in LED Grow Lights
- Electricity capacity and consumption
If you have to run your LED grow light for up to 10 to 11 hours every day, make sure you choose a LED light within 300W to 500W with high output so that you get good result without having your electricity bill shooting up.
- Durable materials and built
Good quality LED grow light can last up to 10 years. Preferably, US products have more durable grow lights than many other products.
- Low heat production
Too much heat can damage your plant and give the adverse effect. You want to protect your plant even as they are encouraged to grow. Therefore, choose a LED grow light with balanced heat output that uses less energy.
- Full spectrum
Some plants do better with the blue and red spectrum light present. Full spectrum also includes ultraviolet and infrared lights too. With these present, your plant will have what it requires to really grow.
- Take your plant into consideration
There are different lights for different plants. You must make sure that the LED grow light you are going for is suitable for the plant you intend growing. Flowers need lesser grow lights than tomatoes. You also need to find out if the light will serve you for the first cycle or the total growing cycle.
- Flexibility and ease of use
A good quality LED grow light is easy to use and yet, very efficient. You won’t need to spend the whole day trying to figure out how to best position it. Look for the one that its light intensity and wavelength can be adjusted.
LED grow lights are very durable when you get the good one. So, if yours if offering anything less than 10 years warranty, it could be an indication that the manufacturer is not sure of the quality of his product.
- Good semiconductor chip
Semiconductor chip in LED grow lights is what helps them convert electrical power to grow light and also determines the right wavelength. If the light’s chip is at least up to 3 watts, you can be sure that it will give your plants enough illumination.
The 4 Types of Grow Lights
Of all the hardware used in an indoor garden or greenhouse few compare in importance to horticultural lighting. For indoor gardens, horticultural lighting is the sole energy source for the plants. In greenhouses, artificial lighting supplements the sunlight and gives the plants enough light energy to perform up to the grower’s standards. Whether a gardener is looking for a primary or supplementary lighting source, he or she should take the time to examine the lighting technologies available for horticulture. When making a choice, gardeners need to take into consideration the space they wish to illuminate and the cost of operation and maintenance. Currently there are four technologies used by horticulturists: high intensity discharge (HID), light emitting diodes (LEDs), fluorescents, and induction lighting.
High Intensity Discharge (HID)
High intensity discharge lighting includes both metal halide (MH) and high pressure sodium (HPS). HID lighting consists of three components: the ballast, the reflector or socket, and the bulb. Ballasts can be specific to the type of bulb (MH only or HPS only) or they can be switchable, or “smart” ballasts, which have the ability to operate either type of bulb. Most ballasts are specific to wattage; although some of the newer, digital ballasts can operate different wattage bulbs. The ballast connects to the power supply and acts as a power converter so the bulb receives the proper current. The reflector, or socket, is the component that connects the ballast to the bulb and the bulb itself is the component that actually emits the light. After receiving the proper current from the ballast, the bulb converts that energy into light. HID lighting is still the most popular choice for horticulturists for a few reasons. First, this technology has been around for a long time and is used in other industries. This means there are many manufacturers which helps lower the cost. Initial cost is not the only reason horticulturists continue to choose HID lighting. High wattage HID fixtures are very powerful and have the capability of penetrating a plant canopy along with covering a large area. For example, an indoor horticulturist who is using a 1000 watt HID light can adequately cover 25-50 square feet of garden space. Greenhouse growers looking for supplemental lighting can cover even more space with that same 1000 watt fixture. It is not uncommon for greenhouse gardeners to have a 1000 watt HID cover 100+ square feet for supplementary lighting purposes. Long story short, HID lighting has a low initial cost for a relatively large coverage area. This is the main reason HID lighting has remained so popular among horticulturists.
Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs)
Light emitting diodes, or LEDs, have been steadily gaining acceptance since their introduction within the horticultural community roughly ten years ago. Unlike other lighting technologies used in horticulture, LEDs are a solid state device which makes them extremely durable. LED fixtures usually consist of the panel of LEDs and a circuit board (generally housed within the lighting fixture). Many horticultural LEDs contain a heat sink and/or fan to help dissipate heat and increase the fixture’s life span. The biggest advantages of LED technology are longevity and the ability to customize the light spectrum. Plants have a heightened response to particular light wavelengths and LED technology has the ability to provide higher amounts of the particular wavelengths plants desire. LEDs are the only technology that has the potential to manipulate the ratio of these wavelengths into the perfect ratio for photosynthesis. The first few generations of horticultural LEDs were somewhat of a disappointment to the horticultural community because they lacked the intensity to compete with HID lighting fixtures. Many of the original LED fixtures contained only two wavelengths of light (red and blue) and utilized low wattage diodes. LEDs have made great strides since the first generation and today’s horticultural LEDs have the ability to compete with HID lighting in many ways. Many of the new LED fixtures contain more advanced wavelength ratios along with higher wattage diodes which allow for a greater penetration into the plant canopy. When comparing this technology to HID lighting, coverage is still somewhat of an issue. LED fixtures, unless they contain a special lens, are generally light-directional and the light will not spread out and cover a large area like a HID light. However, LEDs’ higher energy efficiency combined with a lower heat signature has many indoor horticulturists, at the very least, giving LEDs serious consideration. There are also many greenhouse gardeners who have had success using LEDs for supplemental lighting.
Fluorescent lighting has been used in horticulture for many years. Thanks to some of the newer fluorescents that are much more efficient than the shop lights from your dad’s basement, fluorescents still have a solid place in horticulture. High efficiency fluorescents, like the T5 style, are still very popular among indoor horticulturists for vegetative lighting or for seedlings and clones. Fluorescent tubes, like the T5, automatically disperse light evenly throughout the entire length of the bulb. This is ideal for keeping young plants even in growth. Young plants grown under HID lighting (or any light source that is emitted from a single focal point) need to be continuously rotated to remain uniform. Unfortunately, as with the early generations of horticultural LEDs, fluorescents generally lack the punch needed to penetrate deep into a plant canopy for fruiting or flowering plants. Although some gardeners have had success fruiting under fluorescent lighting, HID lighting is a far more popular choice for fruiting plants. The light coverage of fluorescents is also limited to pretty much directly under the fixture which makes them less desirable for larger areas. Fluorescents can be a solid choice for supplementary lighting purposes in a greenhouse, especially when the grower is trying to limit heat in the greenhouse. When raised high enough above the plants, fluorescents can give adequate coverage in a greenhouse for supplementary purposes. However, if the garden requires more than four hours per day of supplementary lighting (like in a year round greenhouse) HID lighting may be a better fit.
Induction lighting is a technology that has recently been making headway in the indoor gardening industry. Induction lighting is unique in that it utilizes a sealed bulb design. This differs from HID and standard fluorescents because these technologies rely on electrodes which bring electricity into the bulb. Induction lighting utilizes microwave or radio frequencies to pass through the sealed bulb and excite the metals and gases sealed within. There are two types of induction lighting currently used in horticulture: induction fluorescents and sulfur plasma.
Induction fluorescents have all of the advantages of standard fluorescents but will not degrade as quickly. This allows them to retain a high CRI (color rendition index) and high amount of PAR (photosynthetically active radiation) for a long time. What this equates to is more uniform growth in the garden and much less maintenance. The initial cost of these fixtures is high but the gardener will not have to pay for bulb replacement throughout the entire life span of the fixture (usually 10-15 years). Like the T5 fluorescents, induction fluorescents are a great choice for vegetative growth or clones and seedlings. Induction fluorescents also have a coverage limited to almost directly under the light source. To combat this problem, some indoor horticulturists will place multiple fixtures close together to get adequate coverage.
Sulfur plasma is an induction technology that emits all its light from a small quartz sphere. The most promising thing about sulfur plasma is that it has the intensity of HID lighting with a more suitable light spectrum for plant growth. In fact, sulfur plasma lighting has the closest spectral light output to that of the sun than any other artificial light source. As with HID lighting, coverage and plant canopy penetration are not issues for sulfur plasma. Sulfur plasma is the newest lighting technology to be introduced to the horticultural industry and is currently very expensive. As more manufacturers produce sulfur plasma lighting, there will be a reduction in cost and, hopefully, a continued increase in efficiency. Sulfur plasma lighting could be the ideal lighting source for both indoor gardens and greenhouses in the future. Another advantage of sulfur plasma is longevity. As with induction fluorescents and LEDs, sulfur plasma lighting can last up to 10 years and will lose very little PAR and CRI over the course of the fixture’s life span.
When purchasing a horticultural lighting system and facing all the choices, gardeners have their work cut out for them. As the old saying goes “there is more than one way to skin a cat”. This could not be more true when it comes to horticultural lighting. All of the previously discussed technologies work well to grow plants. Some are more efficient with a higher initial cost while others are inexpensive and lose more energy to heat. Personal preference, an individual’s budget, and the specific use for the fixture are all things that a grower must weigh heavily before making his or her final decision about a lighting system. Some gardeners want to experiment with the latest and greatest in horticultural lighting technologies. Some gardeners want a reliable lighting system that will not break their budgets. In the end, it is ultimately up to the gardener which lighting fixture is the best fit for his or her garden.
What is Wrong With Transplanting
I hear a lot of indoor and container gardeners speaking about how transplanting is bad, and that you want to minimize it. They also complain that it damages and stresses the root zone and causes the plant react poorly and be sad
None of Us Want Sad Plants
Mangling and abusing the root zone it is not a good idea – trauma is not good for anyone or their plants. I don’t care what they say about “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” it isn’t accurate, because a maiming is not something that any plant wants, and it’s not the way to help a plant thrive.
Transplanting is Different
Transplanting is a form of plant management that considers the optimal and most efficient environment for a plant’s root zone at any stage of growth. Transplanting is:
- A way of controlling growth
- A way to reduce costs
- A way to reduce problems caused by environmental excesses
In the root’s environment, an excess of moisture and the absence of oxygen will have an effect on the susceptibility of a plant to pathogens.
When you are container gardening and growing indoors start small with your plants because small works in almost every situation. In a small container, the roots can grow into it without stagnant pockets where no uptake occurs. Let the plant grow into its container, and then give it some time. At each interval, when the roots have filled in, give it a bit more room and energy by transplanting.
A good rule of thumb I learned from a mentor is to double the container size every couple of weeks. You can modify that schedule, if needed, to control the growth – hold it longer and keep it from exploding, in the right conditions it will thank you. Plus, smaller pots mean we use less water, fewer nutrients and lower costs.
If you follow this process you can keep the substrate moist and the roots can handle it. If a container that is too large is used for a root mass that is too small, over-watering can cause death or stagnation. When this happens the plants suffer and a grower only wastes money and time.
At each transplant interval, give the plant what it needs and when it is time to move the plant do it gently. This process can be made easier by using containers that facilitate easy removal – graduated and conical shapes are best. Start by massaging and whacking the outside of the pot to break off the limpet-like roots, and then hold the soil with the stalk as you remove the old pot. The plant will barely notice.
Emulating nature is great, but urban gardeners do not have the luxury of sunlight in the best latitudes, constant fresh air and water, microbial and fungal networks, thriving ecosystems of predators and prey, etc. it just isn’t available in a contained setting. But you do have the ability to coax plants into their optimal states in indoor and container gardens. With the right conditions and proper care there is some certainty that horticulture can bring out more from a plant than nature can alone.
Troubleshooting the Magnetic HID Light System
This information can only be applied to “conventional” magnetic ballasts. Digital/electronic ballasts, which are becoming more common all the time, have some important differences regarding internal inspection, replacing parts, and matching bulb type to ballast. If your magnetic HID light system is giving you problems you can follow a few basic steps to identify the problem.
Isolate the problem by checking on a few things. Is the ballast receiving electricity? If you plug the lamp in and hear humming noise then it is a good bet that the ballast is working. If you do not hear humming noises check the plug and the outlet for a good connection. The next step is to check the transformer for burns; it is the large, dark steel box. If the transformer I burnt then it must be replaced.
For HPS units you can also check the starter and the capacitor which look like an oblong tin can. The sealed lip around each end of the can should be completely smooth and have no wrinkles. If the ends are pinched out then the capacitor, the starter or both are burnt out and will need to be replaced.
If you have verified the ballast is working then the problem is probably with the bulb or the wiring. Check to ensure that the bulb is correctly and firmly screwed into the socket. This sounds simple but it by far the most common reason for bulb failure. With the bulb in place check all the connections for heat and firm contact. Make absolutely sure the ballast is unplugged before touching any bare wires or connections. Inspect thee arc tube inside the bulb. If it is dark, or if the bulb is over two years old, then it could be burnt out.
If a fuse or breaker switch is thrown when you turn on the light then the circuit is being overloaded. For safety reasons you never use more than 80 percent of the amps available on a circuit. The amp rating should be printed on the breaker fuse.
Do not worry if the lamp is flickering or pulsating. It takes approximately 100 hours of operation for the lamp halogens in the arc tube to stabilize and pulsate less. Color changes are also normal and do not affect the life or lumens of the bulb.
Handle the bulbs gently and wipe off any fingerprints. Allow the bulb to cool for 15 minutes before restarting the lamp.
Facts about High Intensity Discharge Bulbs
- It is common for small pieces of glass or metal to be inside an HID bulb
- The HID lamp must run with a ballast of the corresponding and type of bulb. For example you should use a 1,000 watt Metal Halide ballast when you are using a 1,000 watt Metal Halide bulb.
- The light from the lamp will oscillate during the first few hours of use and decrease in intensity during the life of the lamp.
- The HID lamp takes approximately 3 minutes to warm up and reach 80% brightness. If the lamp is shut off after reaching full intensity it will take 10 – 20 minutes before it can restart.
- It is normal for the lamp to shift color during the first few hundred hours of use.
- HID lamps should be replaced after 12-18 months of use. The life span of the bulbs is dependent on how many times the lamp is turned on and off and frequent on-off cycles will shorten the life of the lamp.
- Do not look directly into the bulb during start up or operation.
- Turn the unit off immediately if the exterior glass of the light bulb cracks, punctures or breaks. Ultraviolet radiation from the HID lamp can cause serious skin burn or eye inflammation. They may still work but it should never be used in that condition.
- Inspect your bulb periodically for scratches and discard the bulb if scratches exist. Scratching the bulb or subjecting it to undue pressure could cause it to shatter.
- Use caution when watering foliage beneath lighting units and do not foliage when the lights are on or have just been turned off. Functioning or recently functioning bulbs are hot and may shatter or crack if contacted by water.
- Never remove or insert the bulb while the power is on
Selecting a Smart Pot Size
Once all of the great benefits of growing in a Smart Pot fabric container have been experienced, a gardener will never go back to plastic potting containers again. Fabric containers offer more oxygen to the roots which automatically enables the roots to work more efficiently. Smart Pot containers also “air prune” roots which creates a series of lateral roots within the container instead of the spaghetti-like mess of tangled roots commonly found at the bottom of plastic potting containers. After growers have made the decision to use Smart Pot fabric containers, they must determine which size will best suit their gardening needs.
With container gardening, it is possible to grow any size plant in any size container. However, just because something can be done, doesn’t necessarily mean it should be done. Growing basil in a 100 gallon pot or a giant pumpkin in a one gallon pot would be far from optimal and the grower would most likely be disappointed with the results. A plant grown in a Smart Pot will typically grow faster and larger than a plant grown in a traditional plastic container; however, growers who have experience with plastic containers can start using Smart Pots that are the same size as the plastic containers they are accustom to. In other words, if a gardener is currently using a three gallon plastic container, a three gallon Smart Pot can be substituted for the same purpose. If the gardener has no experience with plastic potting containers, he or she should consider the following before choosing the container size:
If you need or plan to move your planting container around, get a Smart Pot size you can handle. For example, a 10 gallon Smart Pot can weigh close to fifty pounds once filled with soil. Smart Pots are durable enough to be slid around for transport but the overall weight of the container should always be a consideration (especially for your back).
Fitting a Smart Pot
Many gardeners like to use Smart Pots as inserts that fit into other potting containers. This way he or she can receive all the benefits of growing in a fabric container while still displaying a decorative planting container. Just remember, Smart Pots have straight sides (no taper). If you plan on placing the Smart Pot inside another container, make sure the bottom diameter will fit and that you can lift it out if necessary.
Genetic Potential of the Plant
The type of plant you plan to grow will be a determining factor of the size container you should use. Plants that typically grow large in size will not perform up to their genetic potential if they are grown in a container that is too small. The same is true for smaller plants; they will not always perform as well in containers that are too big.
Smart Pot Sizing Recommendations
There are always exceptions (like the grower’s physical growing space) that will contribute to the decision when choosing a container size. That being said, there are general recommendations that can help a grower determine which size Smart Pot to use. The following are recommendations of which Smart Pot size to use for some commonly grown vegetable crops:
7 Gallon Smart Pot
Garlic, leeks, shallots, lettuce, spinach, arugula, chard, endive, escarole, basil, parsley, rosemary, thyme, oregano, sage, beans, bok choy, kale, peas, parsnips, and small annuals
10 Gallon Smart Pot
Peppers, artichoke, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, strawberries, onions, beets, turnips, carrots, radish, patio cucumbers, patio tomatoes, and larger annuals
15 Gallon Smart Pot
Cucumbers, potatoes, summer squash, zucchini, patty pan squash, crooked neck squash, eggplant, and tomatillos
20 Gallon Smart Pot
Tomatoes, muskmelons, watermelons, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, winter squash, acorn squash, butternut squash, and hubbard squash
Hydroponic gardeners who use Smart Pots will follow slightly different guidelines for determining the best size container for their gardens. The type of hydroponic system, the fertilizers being used, and the type of soil mix will all be factors to consider when choosing the correct size Smart Pot for a hydroponic garden.
For more information visit Smartpots.com
Cleaning and Reusing Smart Pots
Many indoor horticulturists are reaping the benefits of growing in Smart Pot fabric containers. Not only do fabric containers give a plant’s roots maximum exposure to oxygen, but they also naturally “air prune” the roots. Once “air pruned” these roots create multiple lateral, fine roots which, in turn, enhance the entire root structure and increase the plant’s ability to manage moisture and nutrients. Once a garden cycle is complete and the plants have been harvested or transplanted, Smarts Pots have one more trick up their sleeves: they can be cleaned and reused.
In order to reuse a Smart Pot the first thing a gardener should do is let the container dry out completely. The best way to do this is to remove the medium from the container and let the container sit somewhere in low humidity for a day or two. The goal is to get the container itself and any medium, root debris, etc which remains stuck to the fabric to dry out completely. Once dry, the Smart Pot can be rubbed against itself in order to remove as much debris as possible. After removing as much sediment as possible, the Smart Pot can be sterilized.
One common way to sterilize a Smart Pot is to put it in the washing machine with a sterilization solution. It is important to choose a sterilization solution that is capable of killing bacteria. Hydrogen peroxide, OxyClean, or a bleach solution all have the capability to sterilize a fabric planting container. Be sure to rinse thoroughly after the sterilization process to ensure all residuals from the sterilization agent are removed. Growers with a large number of Smart Pots may want to utilize a laundry mat for the sterilization process. Please be sure to remove all soil from the Smart Pots before bringing them to the laundry mat. For gardeners with few containers or for those who do not have access to a washing machine, Smart Pots can be soaked in a container of sterilization solution and agitated manually.
Drying is a very important part of the cleaning process. Do NOT put Smart Pots in the dryer. Smart Pots should only be hung to dry or fluff dried.
Gardeners who experience excess salt buildup on their fabric containers can rectify the problem with a vinegar-water solution. Salt encrusted Smart Pots can be soaked in a vinegar-water solution which will break up the salt and remove it from the fabric. Be sure to rinse thoroughly after this process as well.
One of the best things about the Smart Pot brand of fabric containers is its durability. Smart Pot containers are truly built to last and can withstand many washings and growing cycles. Some growers may be timid about reusing Smart Pots. Don’t be. Smart Pots are built to withstand the abuse of use and reuse. While other fabric containers fall apart during the cleaning process, the Smart Pot fabric container will hold strong and be able to be used time and time again.
For more information visit Smartpots.com.
Most New Lighting Technologies Still Struggle to Compete with Yields Produced by HPS & HIDs
Revolutionizing the 1000w Fixture: The HSE NXT2
Although there is no shortage of new lighting technologies being introduced, high intensity discharge, or HID, lighting systems are still the staple for indoor horticulture. Most of the new lighting technologies are still unable to compete with the growth rates and yields produced by high pressure sodiums and metal halides. While many manufacturers are concentrating their efforts on reinventing the wheel, other companies are putting their efforts toward improving the efficiency of HID fixtures. This is exactly what P.L. Light Systems has done with their revolutionary HSE NXT2 1000w fixture. In fact, the HSE NXT2 could very well be the pinnacle of 1000w horticultural fixture designs.
When designing the HSE NXT2, P.L. Light Systems took everything they learned from developing past models and set out to develop the most technically advanced fixture available to the horticultural market. The HSE NXT2 has an electronic driver which allows for quiet and efficient operation. The HSE NXT2 also utilizes an all-new custom aluminum ballast compartment with built-in heat fins which reduce the electronic driver’s operating temperature by 6%. The reduction of operation temperature increases both the efficiency and longevity of the unit. Another change to the ballast itself is a hinged compartment which makes servicing super simple. P.L. Light Systems also incorporated a breathable membrane in the HSE NXT2 which keeps dust and dirt out but still allows for excellent ventilation. This ventilation around the ballast equates to even cooler operation and increased longevity. P.L. Light Systems redesigned the lamp holder assembly as well. The new single-part casting with lock sockets makes bulb changes much quicker and easier.
Double Ended Lamp
The HSE NXT2 utilizes a HPS 1000w double ended lamp which has increased light levels by up to 20%. Double ended bulb technology has actually been used in other sectors for years but only recently has been introduced to the horticultural industry. There are many benefits to double ended (DE) technology. The most significant benefit to horticulturists is extended lamp life. In fact, DE bulbs degrade about half as fast as standard mogul-based bulbs which means they can be used for horticultural purposes twice as long. The other huge advantage of DE bulbs is an increased light output level.
To best meet the demanding needs of indoor horticulturists, the HSE NXT2 has two distinct reflector options: the Alpha or the Beta. The Alpha reflector is designed for uniformity and the most even dispersion of light levels possible. The Beta is designed to produce a more focused output for increased light levels.
There are many light technologies for horticulturists to choose from. High intensity discharge lamps, especially double ended bulb fixtures, are sure to remain the industry standard for some time. The HSE NXT2 may very well be the best lighting option currently available to horticulturists. If you are going to grow, you might as well grow with the best. Check out the HSE NXT2 today!
For more information about the HSE NXT2 and other P.L. Light Systems products, please visit: Urban-Gro.com.
Not All Fabric Potting Containers Are Created Equally
Over the last few years, many indoor horticulturists have discovered the benefits of using fabric potting containers. These containers are designed to maximize air exposure to the root mass. Maximizing the exposure to air creates a couple of significant advantages when it comes to root growth and development. First, roots love oxygen. Oxygen helps to promote white, vibrant roots. Because of their breathability, fabric potting containers allow the roots to receive heightened access to oxygen. Fabric potting containers also naturally “air prune” the plant’s roots. As a root reaches the side of a fabric planting container, it gets exposed to air and naturally prunes itself. When the root tip is air pruned, a multitude of lateral roots stem from that root. This creates an unmatched fibrous root structure. When compared to a plastic potting container, where the roots wind upon themselves and become a tangled mess, a fabric container filled with healthy lateral roots reigns supreme. The healthy lateral roots are more efficient at nutrient and moisture uptake which means plants that are grown in fabric containers usually experience accelerated growth rates and larger yields.
Due to all the advantages offered by fabric potting containers, it is no wonder that so many indoor horticulturists are incorporating them into their gardens. However, some of the growers who are using fabric containers may be doing themselves a grave injustice as well. In truth, not all fabric containers are created equally. In fact, there is a large variance between the way fabric containers are manufactured and this can have a significant effect on the quality of the product and the safety of the plants grown within.
The folks at High Caliper Growing have their fabric containers (Smart Pots and Big Bag Beds) manufactured in the USA and have ultimate control over the manufacturing process. When a horticulturist purchases a Smart Pot or a Big Bag Bed it will be the same quality product day after day, year after year. On the contrary, when companies do not have control over the manufacturing process, they have little control over the quality and consistency of the fabric. Many of the fabric potting container suppliers probably do not even know what is in their fabric.
High Caliper Growing has tested their fabric to ensure a high level of consistency and safety. They proudly boast that their fabric containers contain absolutely no BPA. High Caliper Growing independently and scientifically tested four of their leading competitors for BPA. Guess what? Three out of the four have BPA present in their fabrics. I don’t know about you but I don’t want anything I plan on consuming growing in a container that leaches BPA into the most sensitive area for plant absorption (the root mass).
For indoor horticulturists who want to gain all of the benefits of a fabric container and also want a safe, consistent product, Smart Pots by High Caliper Growing are the way to go. For more information visit Smartpots.com.
Cleaning and Maintaining a P.L. Light System Reflector
The light energy emitted from a horticultural lighting system is the driving force behind every indoor garden. This is why indoor horticulturists spend a lot of time and money to ensure the lighting system is operating properly. P.L. Light Systems offers some of the best reflectors and these reflectors are designed specifically for high performance indoor gardens. Countless hours of research and development have produced some of the most comprehensive light systems for horticulturists. In order to maintain the highest level of performance, it is recommended that the horticulturist clean the reflector and bulb periodically. It is estimated that light output can be reduced by as much as 15% due to dirt, dust, and other residues that build up on a reflector. Even in gardens where the environment is seemingly clean, reflectors have a tendency to collect dust and dirt over time and should be cleaned.
In order to clean the bulb and reflector, the horticulturist should first make sure the fixture is unplugged (or power is disabled) and the bulb has been given sufficient time to cool. Next, the gardener should carefully remove the bulb with gloved hands or a cloth and set it aside for cleaning. With the bulb removed, the horticulturist can follow P.L. Light System’s reflector cleaning instructions.
P.L. Light System’s Reflector Cleaning Instructions
1. Carefully remove the reflector from the fixture. Flush the reflector with water both inside and out to remove residues or environmental contamination. Spraying the reflector with a low powered hose works great for this step. This initial step removes the majority of the dust and dirt found on the reflector.
2. Fill a large basin with vinegar and water at a ratio of 1:100 (1 part vinegar to 100 parts water). Submerge the reflector and clean with a very soft brush. This step removes the grime and residues that could be the result of foliar sprays, pesticides, and condensation.
3. Fill a second large basin with clear water. Rinse the reflector in the clear water to remove the cleaning solution.
4. Lastly, fill a third basin with distilled water. Rinse the reflector in the distilled water to remove any hard water residues. Skipping this step could result in hard water spots remaining on the reflector’s surface. If there are any remaining residues after this step repeat steps 1-4.
The electronics within the fixture are extremely sensitive to dust and other outside influences. This is why all of P.L. Light System’s fixtures include a special membrane that prevents dust from entering while still ensuring excellent ventilation. The membrane also protects the electronic components from moisture. The protective membrane means a long, problem-free life for the electronics and is one of the reasons why P.L. Light System fixtures outperform and outlast other light systems on the market.
Cleaning the HID Bulb
After cleaning the reflector and placing it back in the fixture, the horticulturist can clean or replace the HID bulb. In order to clean a HID bulb, the horticulturist can use isopropyl alcohol and a clean, soft cloth. Be careful not to touch the bulb after it has been cleaned because the oils from your fingers can cause a “hotspot” on the bulb which could lead to bulb failure or worse. Using gloves or a cloth, place the bulb back into the reflector.
Mark the Calendar
Reflector and bulb maintenance should be performed at least once a year. For many indoor horticulturists bulb and reflector maintenance is part of their cyclical maintenance. In other words, the horticulturist will perform these tasks after every garden cycle. This way, the horticulturist is sure to continuously provide his or her garden with the highest light output levels possible.
For more information about P.L. Light Systems be sure to visit Urban-Gro.com
HID Lighting Has a Low Initial Cost for a Relatively Large Coverage Area
High intensity discharge lighting includes both metal halide (MH) and high pressure sodium (HPS). HID lighting consists of three components: the ballast, the reflector or socket, and the bulb. Ballasts can be specific to the type of bulb (MH only or HPS only) or they can be switchable, or “smart” ballasts, which have the ability to operate either type of bulb. Most ballasts are specific to wattage; although some of the newer, digital ballasts can operate different wattage bulbs.
The ballast connects to the power supply and acts as a power converter so the bulb receives the proper current. The reflector, or socket, is the component that connects the ballast to the bulb and the bulb itself is the component that actually emits the light. After receiving the proper current from the ballast, the bulb converts that energy into light.
HID lighting is still the most popular choice for horticulturists for a few reasons. First, this technology has been around for a long time and is used in other industries. This means there are many manufacturers which helps lower the cost. Initial cost is not the only reason horticulturists continue to choose HID lighting. High wattage HID fixtures are very powerful and have the capability of penetrating a plant canopy along with covering a large area. For example, an indoor horticulturist who is using a 1000 watt HID light can adequately cover 25-50 square feet of garden space. Greenhouse growers looking for supplemental lighting can cover even more space with that same 1000 watt fixture. It is not uncommon for greenhouse gardeners to have a 1000 watt HID cover 100+ square feet for supplementary lighting purposes. Long story short, HID lighting has a low initial cost for a relatively large coverage area. This is the main reason HID lighting has remained so popular among horticulturists.
Fabric Containers for Indoor Horticulture
Lighting, atmospheric conditions and nutrition are some of the most important garden variables that new growers must master in order to be successful. After a grower has a good understanding of the basics behind the operation of an indoor garden, he or she can begin searching for other ways to help maximize performance. There are numerous variables that make up a well functioning indoor garden but examining the potting containers is a good place to begin.
For many growers, plastic potting containers have become the norm because that is what their friends use or they do not understand that there are other options available. The truth is, plastic potting containers are not necessarily the best option for indoor horticulture. Fabric containers, like the Smart Pot, are changing the way indoor horticulturists view planting containers. There are multiple benefits to using a fabric planting container in an indoor garden; all of which can help a grower to maximize his or her return.
The biggest difference between a fabric container and a plastic container is breathability. A plastic container is non-permeable and will not allow any air to reach the side portions of the planting container. With a Smart Pot all of the soil within the container is exposed to air. This “breathability” creates two distinct advantages over plastic potting containers: air pruned roots and increased oxygen to the root mass.
Air Pruned Roots
After branching out from the center, the roots will eventually reach the wall of the potting container. In a typical plastic potting container, the roots will reach the wall and turn. This creates a circling of roots within the container. The roots in a fabric container behave differently. As a root reaches the wall of a fabric container, the exposure to air causes the root to air prune. The tip of the root is “pruned” and stops growing. As the tip of the root stops growing, a series of lateral roots grow off the main root. This creates a more uniform root mass within the potting container. A plant with a uniform root mass is more efficient at up-taking nutrients and moisture. It is the natural air pruning from fabric containers that creates a healthier, more uniform root mass. As many growers know, a plant with a robust root mass will be healthier and produce better yields.
Aside from the benefits of air pruning, the increased exposure to air provides the roots with a higher oxygen content. Roots love oxygen. When a plant’s roots are provided with increased oxygen levels healthier, brilliantly white and fuzzy roots with lateral branches are created. The increased oxygen is also a safe guard against many root-borne pathogens. Root rot (pythium) is a common problem for indoor horticulturists. This nasty disease is capable of wiping out an entire garden in a matter of just days. By using a Smart Pot, indoor gardeners automatically protect themselves from pythium or other anaerobic pathogens that breed in oxygen depleted environments.
Indoor gardeners who are still using plastic potting containers to house their soil should definitely give a fabric container, like the Smart Pot, a try. If the science behind the fabric containers doesn’t convince you, try doing a side by side comparison. Grow one plant in a fabric pot right next to a plant of the same variety in a plastic container. Once you have experienced the increased growth rates and the healthiest root masses you’ve ever grown indoors, you’ll be switching every plastic container to Smart Pots before you can say, “air pruned”.
For more information regarding quality fabric containers and the Smart Pot, please visit Smartpot.com.
Premium Lighting Systems for Indoor Horticulture
Of all the components that make up a successful indoor garden none are as important as the horticultural lighting. Although it is a combination of many variables that ultimately determines the success of a horticulturist, the single component responsible for providing the energy for growth comes from the horticultural lighting. One of the most important parts of a lighting system is the reflector. It was not long ago that indoor horticulturists hung bare bulbs in a large room and let things grow wild. As more advanced light reflection technologies were developed, indoor horticulturists started to pay closer attention to the light energy and how to maximize its use in the grow room. Although the first few generations of reflectors would be considered inefficient by today’s standards, they were a big step forward from hanging bare bulbs. Reflectors, like other hardware used by indoor horticulturists, have evolved rapidly, especially in the last 10 years or so. One company that stands out in terms of research and development is P.L. Light Systems.
P.L. Light Systems develops and manufactures innovative fixtures, lamps and reflectors designed to optimize light distribution. P.L. Light Systems realizes that different crops have different lighting needs and so they have developed multiple reflectors for varying crops and applications. All of P.L. Light System’s reflectors are high performance reflectors and are a product of extensive research and development. Each reflector has its own associated applications and specific properties. When examining a P.L. Light reflector it doesn’t take a light scientist to see that these reflectors would outperform the boxy reflectors commonly sold within the industry. Remember, a reflector with corners means a reflector with dead spots. This equates to less light reaching the plant canopy.
As our knowledge of plant physiology has increased, the way we measure and calculate light energy relative to plants has changed. Until fairly recently the indoor horticulture community viewed lumens per area or watts per square meter as a valid way to calculate light intensity. It has now become almost common knowledge that plants do not see light in the same way humans do. There are particular wavelengths of light that affect photosynthesis and those don’t necessarily correspond to the light that the human eye is sensitive to. In other words, we have learned that lumens are for humans and that photo synthetic active radiation (PAR) is what horticulturists should be concerned with. For indoor horticulturists, one of the most accurate representations of light energy is expressing the amount of micromoles (µmoles) per meter squared.
Unfortunately, providing cutting-edge light calculations is not common practice for most lighting manufacturers. Few companies understand the need for high quality equipment and comprehensive lighting advice. Many indoor horticulture companies sell products that are generic and not tailored to any specific purpose. Companies that sell the same outdated technologies make companies like urban-gro stand out even more. Not only is urban-gro a licensed distributor of P.L. Light Systems but they also provide custom light plans to help their customers achieve the optimal light levels for their indoor gardens. The detailed light plan can be developed for a specific crop and a given space New indoor gardeners looking to set up their garden or experienced growers looking to retrofit their growing facility should visit Urban-gro.com to take a closer look at P.L. Light Systems. Urban-gro will provide a scientific light calculation which includes a light uniformity percentage and average micromoles at a given distance from the light source. In other words, a grower will know exactly how much usable light will be reaching the plant canopy.
The more information a grower can gather about a light fixture’s light energy output, the more efficiently the garden can be set up. Comprehensive light plans, like those offered by urban-gro, help growers maximize return and fully understand the variables that go into optimizing an indoor horticultural lighting system. After all, Isn’t it a functioning lighting system that drives the production of any indoor garden? Growers who set up their horticultural lighting in the most efficient way possible are sure to receive abundant yields and the highest return on their investments.
Do your homework. If you have questions feel free to contact urban-gro. Don’t your plants deserve the best?
How LED Grow Lights Have Changed and Can be Used by Today’s Grower
Light emitting diodes, or LEDs, have been steadily gaining acceptance since their introduction within the horticultural community roughly ten years ago. Unlike other lighting technologies used in horticulture, LEDs are a solid state device which makes them extremely durable. LED fixtures usually consist of the panel of LEDs and a circuit board (generally housed within the lighting fixture). Many horticultural LEDs contain a heat sink and/or fan to help dissipate heat and increase the fixture’s life span.
The biggest advantages of LED technology are longevity and the ability to customize the light spectrum. Plants have a heightened response to particular light wavelengths and LED technology has the ability to provide higher amounts of the particular wavelengths plants desire. LEDs are the only technology that has the potential to manipulate the ratio of these wavelengths into the perfect ratio for photosynthesis.
The first few generations of horticultural LEDs were somewhat of a disappointment to the horticultural community because they lacked the intensity to compete with HID lighting fixtures. Many of the original LED fixtures contained only two wavelengths of light (red and blue) and utilized low wattage diodes.
LEDs have made great strides since the first generation and today’s horticultural LEDs have the ability to compete with HID lighting in many ways. Many of the new LED fixtures contain more advanced wavelength ratios along with higher wattage diodes which allow for a greater penetration into the plant canopy. When comparing this technology to HID lighting, coverage is still somewhat of an issue. LED fixtures, unless they contain a special lens, are generally light-directional and the light will not spread out and cover a large area like a HID light. However, LEDs’ higher energy efficiency combined with a lower heat signature has many indoor horticulturists, at the very least, giving LEDs serious consideration. There are also many greenhouse gardeners who have had success using LEDs for supplemental lighting.
Why High Intensity Discharge (HID) Grow Lights Remain Popular
High intensity discharge lighting includes both metal halide (MH) and high pressure sodium (HPS). HID lighting consists of three components: the ballast, the reflector or socket, and the bulb. Ballasts can be specific to the type of bulb (MH only or HPS only) or they can be switchable, or “smart” ballasts, which have the ability to operate either type of bulb. Most ballasts are specific to wattage; although some of the newer, digital ballasts can operate different wattage bulbs. The ballast connects to the power supply and acts as a power converter so the bulb receives the proper current.
The reflector, or socket, is the component that connects the ballast to the bulb and the bulb itself is the component that actually emits the light. After receiving the proper current from the ballast, the bulb converts that energy into light. HID lighting is still the most popular choice for horticulturists for a few reasons. First, this technology has been around for a long time and is used in other industries. This means there are many manufacturers which helps lower the cost. Initial cost is not the only reason horticulturists continue to choose HID lighting.
High wattage HID fixtures are very powerful and have the capability of penetrating a plant canopy along with covering a large area. For example, an indoor horticulturist who is using a 1000 watt HID light can adequately cover 25-50 square feet of garden space. Greenhouse growers looking for supplemental lighting can cover even more space with that same 1000 watt fixture. It is not uncommon for greenhouse gardeners to have a 1000 watt HID cover 100+ square feet for supplementary lighting purposes. Long story short, HID lighting has a low initial cost for a relatively large coverage area. This is the main reason HID lighting has remained so popular among horticulturists.
Advantages of Fabric Containers for Outdoor Growing
Choosing a planting container for outdoor gardening is a decision that will have a direct impact on the yield and quality of the finished crop. After all, the plant’s root mass will be housed within that container and the roots are a plant’s direct connection to water and nutrients. Without a flourishing root system, a plant will never live up to its potential. Many outdoor gardeners are starting to realize the vast benefits of quality fabric containers for outdoor cultivation. The biggest advantage of fabric containers is a healthier root structure. A healthy root structure equates to healthier growth and more abundant yields. Fabric containers, like Smart Pot, create a healthier root structure because of the increased aeration created by a permeable, fabric material. Seasoned gardeners understand that a well aerated root zone will stimulate growth and increase plant health. Aside from the general benefits of an aerated medium, using Smart Pots for outdoor crops offers other distinct advantages.
Unlike plastic containers, which are notorious for trapping and holding heat, fabric containers offer a heightened “breathability” that allows the heat to escape easily. Heat trapped around the root zone can create a perfect breeding ground for pathogens and may end up being catastrophic for the plants. A fabric container, like a Smart Pot, has increased aeration and will actually allow evaporative cooling to occur within the container. This creates a more uniform soil temperature (regardless of the side of the container facing the sun) throughout the entire container. Plastic containers will develop a “hot spot” on the side of the container which faces the sun. The hot spot on a plastic container can create a temperature that is too warm for any root growth to occur. When temperatures are too high around the root zone, the plant will slow its growth or stop altogether. A fabric planting container’s ability to release heat allows plants to continually develop healthy root growth, even on hot summer days.
Air Pruning and Lateral Root Growth
Perhaps the most significant advantage of a fabric pot is the way it alters root growth. In a plastic container, roots will grow out until they reach the side of the container. After hitting the side of the container, the root will follow the wall around and around. This creates a ball of circled roots. Any gardener who has transplanted from a plastic container has seen the evidence of the circling roots. The roots of plants grown in fabric containers do not circle but instead get “air pruned.” When the root reaches the side of a fabric container, the root tip stops growing and the root develops a series of lateral roots. The roots created by air pruning are extremely fibrous and increase the root’s surface contact area. Plants with vibrant, fibrous roots will grow strong, healthy plants which produce prolific yields.
Outdoor growers are always looking for ways to increase crop production. Smart Pots are high quality fabric containers that offer many significant advantages to outdoor horticulturists. The unique aeration qualities provided by a fabric planting container create a root mass unmatched by any plastic container. Heathy roots are the key to a productive garden. Outdoor growers looking to increase root health and, in turn, the garden’s production can visit SmartPots.com for more information on Smart Pot fabric planting containers.