Ceramic Metal Halide Reflectors.
Almost all types of grow rooms, greenhouses or grow tents ups benefit from incorporating lamp reflectors where artificial lighting sources are utilized, and ceramic metal halide reflectors are no exception. Grow light reflectors help to direct and focus light where it is needed, ie to the plant canopy rather than letting light escape to places where it will not be used, for example the sidewalls or ceiling of the growing environment.
Ceramic Metal Halide Reflectors, The Basics:
-support the lamp
-provide a safe operating position for the lamp, ie preventing fire or injury
-directing light to the crop, ie not “wasting” light
-allow for easy installation and adjustment of the lighting source relative to the crop height in the grow room
Why Do Some Ceramic Metal Halide Reflectors Orientate the Lamp Vertically?
The short answer is because they are borrowing the simple design from inside of a flashlight reflector. This design is great for concentrating a weak light source into a narrow beam—remember, most flashlights use a tiny bulb to try and create bright light in dark conditions, ie what’s good for the human eye.
Truth is, even smaller wattages of ceramic metal halide grow lights produce LOTS of light that is highly usable to plants. Trying to focus all of this photosynthetic light energy into a narrow beam that provides less coverage is best for selling more fixtures, not getting more grow light coverage for the same amount of electricity used.
Not only this vertical design of ceramic metal halide reflectors inefficient, it actually produces less crop uniformity and ultimately less yield and quality potential in your favorite crop of plants.
If you look at images of crops grown under this type of reflector you’ll often see a stretched out taller spot right in the middle, under the light, with the surrounding portion of the canopy being shorter and getting shaded by elongated area, in the centre right under the light.
Horizontal Ceramic Metal Halide Grow Light Reflectors
A high quality finish that offers great reflectivity and diffuses light evenly while maintaining LEC (light emitting ceramic lamps AKA Ceramic Metal Halide lamps) in a horizontal position is considered by those in the “grow know” to be the most practical and useful design for growing plants.
Growers using ceramic metal halide lighting for crops aren’t trying to impress lighting standards and measurements for their latest pamphlet or Ad campaign. Rather, they demand that their ceramic metal halide reflectors provide the most usable lighting to as wide an area as the wattage of grow lamp they choose will allow, so that they may achieve the best crop quality and yields.
Tightly cramping one or several lamps into an enclosed reflector (like a flashlight) creates a “hot spot” in the cropping canopy below that hurts both the quality and yield potential. An “open” style horizontal ceramic metal halide reflector allows more air flow to circulate around the lamp for cooling, eliminating hot spots and prolonging the working life of the lumiere (crop lighting system).
Ceramic Metal Halide Reflector Take Away?
Don’t fall for “FlashLight” designs that are intended to produce high readings in a very in a limited area for marketing purposes. Think about what your plants respond best to while getting the most coverage for the ceramic metal halide reflectors you install in your growing area. Live in the real world—your plants do too, afterall.
Our goal at Summit Lighting, Inc is to continue to bring the most innovative products to market that allow the professional agriculture community to produce higher yields while consuming less energy and using fewer nutrients and additives.
We do this by constantly trying to create an environment that is closest to what the sun produces naturally. This approach reduces the amount of stress placed on the plants and allows them a chance to grow as natural as possible in an artificial environment.