Understanding the Roles Reflectors Play in Growing Environments
Grow lights are used in environments where no or insufficient natural light is available. Today’s growers raise a huge variety of plants in settings that would not allow plants to thrive without the use of specialty lighting equipment.
There are numerous types of grow lights now available, with each one designed to provide specific advantages. For example, some types of lighting are best for early growth while others are more beneficial during a plant’s fruiting stage. However, all horticultural lighting fixtures have one element in common—a reflector.
Why is a Reflector Important?
Grow lights are important, but their efficiency is limited without having a properly designed reflector. Reflectors are responsible for distributing the light in a focused manner, but they also ensure the light is uniformly dispersed.
Top lighting companies like Sun System, Iluminar, and Gavita all carry reflectors designed to meet growers’ unique needs. At Argon, we carry lighting equipment designed and manufactured by those companies and others to ensure our clients have easy access to the products they need to succeed.
Who Needs Grow Lights and Matched Reflectors?
Grow lights are used for a variety of crops. Vegetables and flowers have long been grown using indoor grow light systems, but there is a new user that’s finding grow lights greatly improve their crops. Today, marijuana is being grown in many areas for both medical and recreational use. Grow lights make it possible for anyone raising plants indoors to enhance both the quality and quantity of their crops.
Different Types of Lights Meet Unique Needs
It’s important to remember that horticultural lighting systems need to be matched to specific crops if the maximum yield is to be achieved. While it’s possible to find lights that provide a full light spectrum, most tend to be tailored to specific parts of that spectrum
At the same time, different crops favor some types of light, so matching a lighting system to the crop is of utmost importance. That’s not always as easy as it might seem, so take the time to conduct the research needed to make sure the best type of lighting is purchased and installed.
Dealing with Maintenance
Nothing lasts forever, and that’s certainly true with agricultural lighting systems. Bulbs fail, ballasts quit functioning properly, and fixtures deteriorate. That means it’s important to stay on top of maintenance tasks. Simply cleaning fixtures and reflectors will extend their useful lives, but there will still be times when it makes sense to replace a fixture component, especially the reflector. Corroded reflectors won’t function properly, which threatens a user’s yield.
Rather than risking lower production levels, it pays to replace aging or deteriorated fixture components before yields are threatened. If you’ve got any questions about when or how to replace reflectors or other components, our staff experts will gladly suggest appropriate solutions.
Upgrading Old Fixtures Makes Sense
In the rush to bring facilities online, many growers originally chose lighting that isn’t really ideal for controlled environment agriculture (CEA). For example, a large percentage of growers still rely on high-pressure sodium (HPS) lamps. Those lights were never intended to be used for agricultural purposes. Yes, they work, but they don’t cover the full light spectrum.
In addition, HPS lamps generate a significant amount of heat, which is often difficult for growers to dissipate properly. That means the ultimate results are not always what they could be. Remember that reflectors focus the light where it’s needed, but that means the heat will also be focused as well.
Other fixtures are too costly to be practical for growers to use. If profits are eroded by higher-than-necessary overhead expenses, no one but the utility company wins. That’s why Agron encourages growers to review their current grow lighting system to determine if upgrading would be beneficial.
Considering the Best Options
Today, high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps and light-emitting diodes (LED) are the go-to lighting choices for many growers. However, fluorescent lights, and metal halide (MH) lights are also used in addition to those HPS lamps mentioned earlier. Always remember that the type of lighting selected must match the crop to achieve the best outcomes.
We’re here to help you determine which lamps would provide the best results for your crops. We encourage all growers to consider the environment where the lights will be used in addition to the type of crop. Once you’ve determined the best type of lamps to use, it’s also important to select the best reflectors for those fixtures.
Out Top Reflectors Meet All Growers’ Needs
That’s not an idle claim. At Agron, we handle reflectors designed to match each type of light you may need. That’s why we market products produced by the industry’s top manufacturers. That selection includes:
- Double-end reflectors from Gavita. That company takes great pride in producing some of the best reflectors available anywhere. You can be assured their quality levels will always be second to none, and the company’s reputation for efficiency and uniformity would be hard to challenge. The company’s HortiStar 600 SE includes a reflector that can be replaced without having to remove the bulb first. That can’t be said for most fixtures.
- Sun System’s offerings also provide growers with reflectors that are designed to meet unique requirements. For example, the Adjust-A-Wing Avenger DE reflector offers versatility that many reflector models can’t hope to match.
- Iluminar enters the fray committed to making your job easier. Their fixtures and reflectors include features that make maintenance simple and fast. That means less of your time is wasted dealing with routine upkeep. Pay special attention to the company’s 1,000W DE, 750/600W DE, and 600 W DE models.
Of course, there are many other double-end reflector options available as well as fixtures, ballasts, and other lighting equipment. The Agron team of experts will always be here to help you determine which double-end reflectors and other components will generate the highest yields while still keeping costs under control. If you’ve got questions, take the time now to contact our team for advice and product recommendations.