How Light Movers Work with Different Grow Light Systems

By Nancy Hamilton
Published: November 1, 2016 | Last updated: March 27, 2019 09:57:40
Key Takeaways

Light movers help you maximize your indoor growing equipment, regardless of what type of lighting system you’re using. Let’s take a look, starting with fluorescent lights.

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Lighting is the single most important aspect affecting the overall health of a plant. It facilitates its growth rate, affects the number of nodes and flowers it produces and effects its overall yields.


This is why understanding the different types of grow lights on the market and how to maximize each one is so important.

Each of the different grow light systems out there is unique in what it offers, but all grow lights benefit when they are moved with light movers.


Light movers help you maximize your indoor growing equipment, regardless of what type of lighting system you’re using. Let’s take a look, starting with fluorescent lights.

Fluorescent lights, requiring little electricity, are primarily used for seedlings and young plants as they enter the vegetative stage.

They can also be used for plants that require less light, such as herbs and lettuce, but they cannot provide the light needed to bring any flowering plant to mature growth or fruit.


For early growth, fluorescent grow lights are fine, and with a compact fluorescent light on a light mover, you can see much better coverage.

A compact fluorescent light on light mover is a natural combination that is perfect for the needs of young plants.


High pressure sodium and metal halides are the most widely used grow lights. They are powerful lights that require a ballast. MH lights have more of a blue spectrum, mimicking the light of spring, and are perfect for the growth (vegetative) phase of plants.

HPS lights have more of a red spectrum, mimicking the light of fall, and are perfect for the bloom phase of plants.

Both HPS and MH are hot lights, and when they are stationary they shine intensely on the canopy directly under the grow lamp, leaving the majority of the plant shadowed.

Putting any type of HPS or MH grow light on a light mover spreads the light more efficiently, getting rid of hot spots and shadows while delivering a better quality of light to the leaves for an optimal leaf area index.

Increasing the leaf area index is the single most important factor in increasing a plant’s yield.

A light mover makes all the difference in faster plant growth and increased yields when growing with HPS and MH lights.

Double-ended grow lights can be HPS or MH. The advantage of DE lights is that, without a frame wire inside the lamp, there is no shadow in the grow lamp, so more of the indoor grow light can get to the plants.

There is also a more stable, even output of light along the length of the grow lamp.

A DE grow light uses a specific DE ballast and when used in conjunction with a light mover, the results they provide are hard to beat.

Some of the best yields result with this combination and that’s because a really good grow light turns into a great grow light when you move it on a light mover.

LEDs come with many advantages, including using less electricity and throwing off less heat than their HPS and MH counterparts. Their customizable spectrums can also greatly improve the quality of a harvest.

For these reasons, many growers use them in conjunction with HPS and MH grow lights. LEDs have a defined light beam, and this quality, focused light is efficiently spread using a light mover for even more light penetration.

Ceramic metal halides are a fairly new technology to hit the market and offer impressive results. They are basically a newer version of the MH.

What’s unique about them is in their ceramic tube, which allows the grow lamp to burn at a higher temperature.

This makes for a more natural, sun-like light, which is what all indoor growers are shooting for. Like all of grow lights mentioned here, the performance of CMHs is improved greatly when they are moved on a light mover.

Whatever style of grow lights you’re using, the single most important way to increase their efficiency is to move them along a motorized rail to deliver the best light to all the leaves from end to end.

Think of your grow light and your light mover as a combined indoor grow system that works best as one unit.

Getting the best quality grow lights by moving them on a light mover is the easiest way to deliver the correct light intensity to all the leaves. By maximizing your grow light, you can maximize your results.


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Written by Nancy Hamilton

Profile Picture of Nancy Hamilton

Nancy Hamilton is executive vice president of Gualala Robotics, the manufacturer of the LightRail brand. LightRail robotic light movers are instrument-grade light movers, rated for continuous duty and made in the USA since 1986. The company headquarters is based in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

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