As a leader in greenhouse automation equipment, we are always looking to bring our growers new ideas on how to best utilize our equipment within their greenhouse. With the release of our highly coveted Universal Attachment, we are able to bring you new ideas on how to do more with less. The Universal Attachment is highly effective for attaching fans, insect mats, fans and lights. Boom lighting has been a common practice in greenhouse operations to promote or inhibit flowering and is the topic of today’s blog. Our friends at Total Grow have shared some ideas for the most efficient way to bring lights into your greenhouse via existing booms.
STRATEGY FOR ADDING LIGHTING TO BOOMS
Instead of installing stationary lighting within your greenhouse, a common practice is to install lights on irrigation booms. As they move across the crop canopy, the number of bulbs needed is reduced as they achieve daylight extension or night interruption through a moveable boom. When creating the design for the lighting, it’s important is consider the run length of the boom. Longer runs have tighter spacing and higher intensities because the boom moves faster and exposes the plants for less time. The most common way to provide long days to plants is with four hours of night interruption or day-extension lighting. Using a consistent lighting pattern is a popular way to achieve this, but there are also growers that use an intermittent pattern which is successful at inhibiting flowering of short-day plants.
GUIDELINES FOR USING BOOM LIGHTING
There are some general guidelines for using boom lighting in your greenhouse. It is suggested that the boom be operated at the end of the day or the middle of the night for 4 hours. Plants should also be lit at least every 15-20 minutes of the lighting period. The suggested total amount of light given to plants should be 3,600 µmol∙m-2 during the long-day lighting period.
RISK VERSUS REWARD OF BOOM LIGHTING
The investment cost is actually one of the most favorable reasons to utilize boom lighting. A grower can expect to reduce the cost of photoperiodic lighting by 60-80% when compared to a fixed lighting set-up. As if the savings of initial start-up costs were not enough, growers who choose to install boom lighting will also save money on installation costs when compared to the cost of typical overheard wiring set-ups.
Boom lighting is just one of the many ways to use the Universal Attachment from Cherry Creek Systems, but it is a very smart choice for growers who are looking to take their commercial greenhouse operation to the next level. All of our equipment is created and sold with the grower in mind, so if you have a unique situation, feel free to get in touch with us and see how we can help you do more with less!