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Lighting Your Hydroponic Indoor Urban Garden for Maximum Yield

Side lighting helps top lighting give you maximum yield Side lighting helps top lighting give you maximum yield

When you want to get creative about lighting for producing maximum yield in your indoor hydroponic urban garden, it doesn’t take long to realize that top lighting your garden is an incomplete approach to getting your maximum yield.

If you’re only growing a sea of green indoor garden with dwarf main stem plants that are not bushy and never get more than a foot or two tall, you can get away with top lighting as long as you’re using sufficient HID lighting that provides powerful light to the entire length of your plants.

This assumes of course that your hydroponic indoor urban garden has proper spacing so intense light can penetrate 360 degrees around each plant. In some sea of green gardens plants are too close for light penetration or for adequate aeration.

Not only do crowded hydroponic plants lack enough air circulation to breathe, they also lack enough light to give you maximum yield photosynthesis.

If you’re growing plants that are bushy or get more than a couple of feet tall, you can easily see how light doesn’t distribute evenly on all your foliage or flowers, even with enough HID lights per square foot.

Part of the reason for this is because HID lights generate a lot of heat that can burn your plants, and even kill them.

You can’t let your plants get closer than about 18-24 inches to your HID lights. And since light intensity drops off across space, by the time you get to the bottom half of a four foot tall or taller plant, your urban garden plants are kind of in the dark.

Somebody figured this out and I’m glad they did. The first time I saw creative lighting was when I saw HID lights hanging from chains and fasted at angles from the corners of the indoor urban garden.

There were also HID lights hanging from the ceiling in normal configuration. Together, the angled lighting and ceiling lighting provided more light penetration than regular top lighting.

But what really impressed me (and inspired me to change my lighting array) is when I saw a sealed room with angled lighting, ceiling-hung top lighting, and T8 high-output 48-inch fluorescents combined.

Fortunately, this hydroponics urban garden was in mid-bloom, so I could see that the side lighting was definitely powering unusually bounteous top to bottom blooms and creating a more evenly distributed bloom profile.

Here, the side lighting is the sun

Not only that, but the T8’s were a special type warmer in color temperature than the normal bright-white color you often see in fluorescents, and better for flowering.

The bottom line is that as long as you handle the extra electricity costs, urban garden infrastructure changes and heat that comes from creating a vertical-horizontal lighting array, you get better-distributed light that ravishes your hydroponic plants with bloom-boosting maximum yield light from top to bottom.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 09 October 2012 09:59

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