400 Watt Metal Halide Grow Light – Avoid These Mistakes in Selecting Your Grow Light
Don’t select a energy source until you know what you want to grow. Plants have different needs when it comes to light. When trying to grow inside, you have to take these needs very seriously. Some plants, like tomatoes, need a great deal of light. Others like small leafy herbs and lettuce can work with lower levels of light. For leafing, many swear by metal halide fixtures. For flowering, some want the color of a high pressure sodium bulb. You need to take all of this into consideration when selecting a bulb. Many gardeners feel that a 400 watt metal halide grow light gives a great spectrum for most plants.
Don’t set-up a fixed grow light that is non-adjustable. As plants grow, you will need to be able to adjust the height of the unit. Optimally, you want to keep the light about 2 to 4 inches above the plants. This offers the best spectrum coverage as well as a measure of warmth that plants need to thrive inside. Many choose to install their lights on chains that are easy to adjust as the plants grow. That means if you choose a 400 watt metal halide unit you will want to choose a reflector and fixture you can easily install on a chain.
Don’t use the wrong reflector. Reflectors are actually the most important part of your grow light. In order to get an even distribution of light, you need a reflector that will evenly reflect the light downwards. Having lights horizontally will increase light up to 40% over those installed vertically. Small reflectors actually focus light down more intensely than larger fixtures. When starting tomato plants, you would do best with a small reflector with a 400 watt metal halide grow light. Nevertheless, larger plants or those with more leaves than fruit will do well enough with a larger reflector.
Don’t setup a noisy unit where you want quiet. If you are setting up a temporary power supply to get seedlings started, make sure you do one of two things. Put it in a room that you can close. On the other hand, choose equipment that runs quietly. You might think that a grow light just sits there and shines. However, the ballast and cooling system of a 400 watt metal halide grow light can make some noise. Your choice of equipment needs to consider your needs. Avoid these mistakes and you will have a grow light of your dreams.
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