150 Watt HPS – Small Gardens Start Out With Small Lights
You may have a flat or two of seedlings you want to get out in the spring. You do not need a full grow room to do that. The standard measurement you need for sizing your grow light is approximately 40 watts per square foot. Now, how to you calculate that and figure out what size fixture you need? First, figure out how big an area you want to cover with light. Let’s say you have two trays at 12″ by 18″. When you put those two together, you will have 3 square foot of need. So, multiply 3 by the 40 watts per square foot. That makes 120 watts. A small 150 watt HPS can do the trick.
Okay, what is an HPS bulb anyway? HPS stands for high pressure sodium. These bulbs use electricity to get sodium to an excited state where it begins to produce light. There are low pressure forms of these bulbs. However, the color rendering of the light increases with more pressure is part of the equation. These lamps have an excellent longevity and are often a choice for outdoor lighting. Due to their excellent color rendering as well as long life, many governments and home owners use them for outdoor lighting. For a small starter garden, a 150 watt HPS is perfect.
Make sure the light fixture containing that 150 watt HPS is adjustable. When you start seeds, you want a light source hanging about 2 inches above the soil. That will help warm the soil and give the seeds the perfect place to germinate. As the seeds begin to emerge through the soil, the warmth and the light will help the seedlings get a good start. As the seeds begin to grow, however, you need to keep the light between 2 and 4 inches above the tops of the plants. That will give them the best amount of light. The ideal situation is a light fixture on either a pulley or a chain for easy adjustment.
When you put the seeds out in the garden, all you need to do is pack your grow light up for next season. If you use a temporary setup, everything will break down quickly and pack away in the garage or shed until next season. Many homeowners find they need no more than a single 150 watt HPS for their purposes. These lights are a perfect option for getting children started in gardening as well.
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