Reflectors

Tips for Hanging a Grow Light in Your Closet

Turning a closet into a grow room is an ideal choice because it's secluded and out of the way. You are not wasting an entire room of your house for cultivation. Instead, you have set aside a small and sufficient space to practice indoor gardening. One of the first steps you’ll want to undertake for converting the space is to hang grow lights in your closet.Turning a closet into a grow room is an ideal choice because it's secluded and out of the way. You are not wasting an entire room of your house for cultivation. Instead, you have set aside a small and sufficient space to practice indoor gardening. One of the first steps you’ll want to undertake for converting the space is to hang grow lights in your closet.

Here are a few tips on hanging a grow light in your closet...

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8" OG Vertical Reflector vs. 8" Raptor Reflector by Hydrofarm

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The new OG Vertical Reflector from Grow Lite piqued our interest when it first came out. The OG Reflector has a unique design in that the bulb hangs vertically and the inside is lined with a combination of pebbled and mirror-finished aluminum. As this reflector came out, it was said that this reflector concentrates light more intensely than traditional reflectors, making it the most efficient and effective reflector for a 4' x 4' grow area. We wanted to test these claims and compare it against one ouf our favorite reflectors, the 8" Raptor from Hydrofarm (this reflector won our Large Reflector Comparison Test).

Grow Lite mentioned that their OG Reflector with a 400 watt HID bulb is comparable to a traditional reflector with a 1000 watt bulb, so we decided to test the reflector with a 400 watt, 600 watt, and 1000 watt Maxlume HPS bulb. To our surprise, they were correct. This reflector has an amazing ability to concentrate light over a specific area, that being 3.5' x 3.5' or less. We did notice that as we worked out from the center of our footprint, beyond 3.5' x 3.5' the Raptor reflector was reflecting more light. So our conclusion is that if you want to intensely light a 3.5' x 3.5' or less, use the Grow Lite with a 400 watt or 600 watt HID bulb. This will save you money and you'll see results comparable to a 1000 watt bulb in a traditional fixture.

If you're growing footprint is 3.5' x 3.5' or larger, you may want to consider using the 8" Raptor reflector for a more even spread of light. If you use the OG Reflector over a larger area than 3.5' x 3.5' then you will notice the plants outide of 3.5' x 3.5' getting little to no light. Whatever your growspace, use this information to make sure you light up your footprint properly.

How did we run our test? -- We  drew out a 5.5' x 5.5' square footprint, and collected Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR) readings from 33 points inside our footprint. We used a Sun System PAR meter. To see the footprint at different heights we measured the reflectors at 18", 24", and 36" above the footprint. We used a PAR meter instead of a luxmeter because measuring lux or lumens only measures the light visible to the human eye. Lumen measurements are used for HID bulbs when they were used as street lamps (their original use), to translate the brightness to the human eye, not necessarily the brightness in the spectrum that plants use to photosynthesize. The PAR meter measures the intensity of light within the spectrum 400 nanometers to 700 nanometers, which encompasses the wavelengths--both red and blue--that plants use to photosynthesize.

[caption id="attachment_338" align="alignnone" width="386"]OG Vertical Hood vs. Raptor Horizontal Hood OG Vertical Hood vs. Raptor Horizontal Hood[/caption]>

Best Large Reflector Test Review: 8" Raptor vs. 8" Magnum XXXL vs. 8" Massive

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At Growers House we wanted to know how well reflectors emit light in comparison to each other. So this is what we did: We chose three of the most popular large reflectors on the market, drew out a 5.5' x 5.5' square footprint, and collected Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR) readings from 13 points inside our footprint.

How did we run our test? - We ran it using a Sun System PAR meter. We used this meter instead of a luxmeter because measuring lux or lumens only measures the light visible to the human eye. Lumen measurements are used for HID bulbs when they were used as street lamps (their original use), to translate the brightness to the human eye, not necessarily the brightness in the spectrum that plants use to photosynthesize. The PAR meter measures the intensity of light within the spectrum 400 nanometers to 700 nanometers, which encompasses the wavelengths--both red and blue--that plants use to photosynthesize.

[caption id="attachment_119" align="alignnone" width="450"]PAR Spectrum with Nanometers for Photosynthesis PAR Spectrum with Nanometers for Photosynthesis[/caption]

The three reflectors we used for the test are:

1. Quantum Massive 8"

2. Sun System Magnum XXXL 8" (The Ocho)

3. Hydrofarm Raptor 8"

We hung each of these reflectors over our 5.5' x 5.5' area and took PAR readings at designated points. We measured each of these lights at three different heights: 24", 36", and 48." We used a 1000w Agrosun HPS bulb with 146,000 initial lumens. We used this bulb on a Quantum 1000w digital ballast. Before measuring each reflector, we let the bulb warm up for 30 minutes to reach its normal operating intensity.

Final Notes - We attached athe raw data collected to this test below, and although we have added some meaning to those numbers, we realize that much more can be done with them. If you feel so inclined, please make more meaning of the numbers below by whatever creative means you think up. The more knowledge we have for indoor growing, the better growers we'll all be.

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