When considering the maintenance surrounding your grow room’s lighting, think about what your plants would experience if they were outside. Different plants need a different amount of exposure to lighting in order to thrive. Certain plants, if placed in a semi-shady spot, will not grow correctly. And, all plants crave the consistent, life-giving rays of the sun.
While artificial lighting can succeed in growing a successful indoor garden, there is one main difference between lamps and the sun – the sun never wears out. Lamps do.
And, while you may not notice when your lamps begin weakening, your plants will be able to tell, and they will suffer for it. In order to avoid the side effects of weak lighting, your lamps should be replaced BEFORE they start to dim or weaken.
As different lamps burn at different intensities, when you change them will depend on the lamp type. But, burning lamps for 12 hours every day diminishes the intensity and spectrum of all lamp types. So, lamp replacement should be a part of your regular maintenance schedule.
Below is a schedule, based on the type of lamps you are using:
HPS– 9-10 months
High pressure sodium bulbs are most often used to initiate the budding, flowering and fruiting stages of your garden.
Metal Halide– 6-8 months
Metal Halide bulbs are often favored by gardeners over any other bulb. They have a high spectral distribution and best simulate a bright summer day. These lights come in all spectrums from bulbs that are meant for early vegetative growth, to bulbs that target the flowering cycle.
e-start Metal Halide– 9-10 months
E-start Metal Halide bulbs are gaining popularity. They offer high initial light intensity and consistent output of the EYE HORTILUX spectrum.
While this is a general maintenance schedule, your bulb replacement will depend on the stage of your plants and their growth cycles.