What is the Best Way to Hang Grow Lights?
Grow lights are a critical part of your growroom. Knowing which lights work best for your setup and knowing how to hang them properly is essential for a productive indoor garden.
With grow light technology changing so quickly, it can be tough to know the best practices for using different types of lights. For example, the shift from SE HPS lights to DE HPS lights had a major impact on how cultivators mount fixtures in growrooms.
Whether it be to account for new technologies or just simple preferences, there are a number of options for hanging grow lights available. Your choice of fixture-mounting hardware will be largely dictated by how close your chosen grow lights must be positioned from the garden canopy. Similarly, your decision to use either a growroom or grow tent will impact which mounting equipment is viable for your operation.
Different Lights Require Different Hanging Methods
Due to such factors such as light intensity and color, different grow light technologies require unique hanging methods.
SE HPS fixtures are the most traditional style of grow light. Since the intensity of usable PAR light diminishes quickly with SE HPS lights, they must be positioned close to the garden canopy. In turn, SE HPS lights must be consistently raised to account for new plant growth during both veg and flower.
Released in the late 2000s, DE HPS lights quickly took the cannabis scene by storm. Due to the intensity of the light emitted by DE HPS fixtures, most growers mount them in a stationary position directly on the ceiling.
Focused Spectrum LEDs
Focused-spectrum LED lights utilize specific colors of light to stimulate plant growth in different phases, such as veg and flowering. Generally speaking, these lights are not very intense and need to be hung close to a garden canopy and moved regularly like SE HPS.
Full Spectrum LEDs
Most full-spectrum LEDs on the market today are used in a fashion similar to DE HPS lights. These high-powered LEDs are usually mounted directly on the ceiling in a stationary position. Since they are hung up high, PAR light has ample space to mix and spread out evenly throughout your room.
Chains, Hangers & Hooks
The best do-it-yourself (DIY) option for hanging grow lights is to use chains, hangers, and hooks. Start by screwing a large hook into the ceiling where you want to mount your light. Next, cut a piece of chain to the lowest height you want to hang your lights. Finally, attach the hook to your fixture hanger with the allotted piece of chain.
While chains, hangers, and hooks are a bit more labor-intensive than other systems designed specifically for grow lights, this setup is highly affordable and can often be pieced together with materials you already have at home. If you are just getting a new growroom started and have to purchase new equipment across the board, saving money with this simple system can be a great idea.
Rope Clip Hangers
Rope clip hangers are the preferred grow light mounting method for most indoor cultivators. For example, AC Infinity’s Rope Clip Hangers feature heavy-duty carabineer hooks as well as a stainless-steel locking ratchet to adjust the rope’s length. Even more, since these rope clip hangers are engineered to hold up to 150 lbs. per pair, they can also be used to mount other growroom equipment like inline fans and carbon filters.
Since rope clip hangers are designed specifically for grow lights, they are made with convenience and ease of use in mind. When mounting your lights, simply push the carabineer hook to clip-in and secure your equipment. As your cannabis plants grow and you need to raise your lights, all you have to do is pull on the rope, which automatically raises the fixture while also locking the stainless-steel ratchet mechanism.
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Steel Wire Yo-Yos
Steel wire yo-yos function similarly to rope clip hangers. However, instead of ropes these hangers use a length of steel wire coiled inside of an external yo-yo-shaped casing. The top of the yo-yo is mounted directly to the ceiling with a hook, while the bottom has a durable carabiner that attaches directly to light fixtures.
Using a dial on the outside of the case, you can loosen the coiled wire to move your lights. After your grow lights are in the right position, simply turn the dial to tighten the wire again. Growers enjoy steel wire yo-yos due to their durability and ease-of-use.
Motorized Light Mover
While certain methods for hanging grow lights like chains, hangers, and hooks are used almost exclusively by hobbyist growers, other methods like motorized light movers are designed specifically with commercial producers in mind. By integrating your lighting grid with a motorized light mover, you can raise and lower lights for an entire warehouse with the simple push of a button.
Especially in commercial operations that use focused spectrum LEDs that regularly need to be raised and lowered, a motorized light mover can pay serious dividends with growroom labor. Instead of having employees constantly fidgeting with lights to make sure they are properly spaced above a garden canopy, you can simply press a button and move all your lights in a uniform fashion.
Of the many diverse technologies used in indoor gardening, horticultural lighting is by far the most complex. When it comes to sophisticated equations such as the Inverse Square Law, it’s critical that you know the correct distance to mount your lights from the garden canopy. If you position your lights too close, you can burn foliage and bleach flowers. In the event your lights are mounted too far away, you will waste electricity on usable light that spills off the edge of the garden.
Depending on your budget, infrastructure, and chosen grow light technology, there are plenty of equipment options on the market today for hanging light fixtures. While many growers opt to use something affordable like chains and hangers early on, it usually makes sense to upgrade to hardware like rope clip hangers as you get more experienced. In the end, you will almost always get better results from equipment engineered specifically to be used in growrooms and grow tents, as opposed to repurposed materials.
AC Infinity is the foremost name in air delivery systems, designing and developing the latest innovations in cooling and ventilation technology. They offer a suite of quiet inline fans that automate the growing progress and track key metrics. Visit acinfinity.com or contact [email protected] to learn more.
Written by Kent Gruetzmacher | Writer, Owner of KCG Content
Kent Gruetzmacher MFA is a Colorado-based writer and owner of the writing and marketing firm KCG Content. Kent has been working in the cannabis and hydroponics space for over a decade. Beginning in California in 2009, he has held positions in cultivation, operations, marketing, and business development. Looking specifically to writing, Kent has worked with many of the leading publications and marketing agencies in the cannabis space. His writing has been recognized by such icons as Steve D’Angelo and Rick Simpson.