What's your lighting setup?

What’s your lighting setup like? HPS? LED? CMH? Conversion? What lighting controller do you use?

What are you using for lighting for propagation, veg, and flower? Are you satisfied with your current lights, or are you interested in switching to something else?


I’m building a new setup and planning my lighting schematic as we speak. I’m sticking with the tried and true T5 fixtures in vertical racks for propagation. I like using the wire racks often used in commercial kitchens.

At this particular space we have to make good use of the sq. ft. because we’re limited. To maximize it, I’m going with a vertical vegetative grow as well. We’ll be using Greenhaus tray systems that have a tilted flood table for easy draining, and are built on pallet racking, so they’re very sturdy. It will end up looking much like the image below. For the veg space I’m going to go with low profile ceramic metal halide fixtures, like the Sun System Diamond Series LEC in either 315 or 630w.

For the flowering space, we’re going to be using 1000w 277-347v Gavita DE E-series units (coming out January of 2017). These are the high voltage gavitas that can run off their e-series controller so that you can effectively network all of the units together.


Bumping this topic for the new folks who’ve joined since December. What lighting are you using in your setup?


Although we primarily produce outdoors and in greenhouses, for our winter production we use a range of LEDs and HPS for flowering, and T5’s in our propogation with LED for pre-season veg before we put our girls outside.


I have a question for @Theo or anyone that might know the answer.

I’ve seen quite a few pictures of commercial grows with lights mounted up high but in an evenly spaced grid pattern. I’d assume that because of the height the PAR is more spread out over a larger area but together with all the other light overlap it produces the appropriate intensity with a more even coverage? Is this the case or am I just seeing pictures with the lights raised up?


One of the growers I spoke with (for a future Spotlight) likes using high-up lighting and diffusing reflectors to allow light to permeate below the canopy and increase the overall light that each individual plant had access to.


Bumping this topic for the newer folks. Let us know what you use for your lighting.


We have started a project to study all lighting and optimize light type, amplitudes, placement, distance, frequencies, on off timing, etc.

We are using a wirebot (like the skycam at football games) to take PAR and photo density by frequency. This will provide a 3D power map under lighting configuration being tested.

We are going further by measuring the plant response to light whiie altering all the plant inputs and stresses.

We are also doing 3D reconstruction of the plants and have 3D meashes over time for each plant and the entire canopy. This gives us the data needed to calculate the total leaf aera and the angle to the light sources.


Those are HID/HPS lights. The get hot. Burn plants of too close. Also, they have wide angles of incedent. So you seem to get it.

Since 70+% of the light emitted by HPS lights is IR light which the plant does use (well not a lot), we figured out how to filter and capture the heat from IR that can be used to heat the grow room in winter. This lets you bring the lights closer and eliminate AC and dehumidification costs.


Are you measuring PPF/PPFD in relation to which wavelength is more effective? As in, more blues in the 400nm range or more reds in the 600nm range? Are you using any supplemental light sources beyond your HPS? Sorry for all the questions. Would love to see the data you are collecting.


We are measuring PPF/PPFD for every fixture vendor we can get a smaple from. Our wirebot produces a 3D map of both PAR moules/mm2/s and every 2nm spectra from 300 to 900 nm range.

But that does not give the best results. We are measuring photosynthetic quenching, florescence, reflection, etc. to provide feedback as the the opitimal light. We use genetic algorithms to change all plant inputs and stresses to evolve the system to the high chemical profile and dry weight yield per dollar.

If you bring lights half the distance to the canopy you get 4 times the photons hitting the plant. If you hold ever thing the same you will probably get light stress and damage. But if you bring the light half the distance and up the CO2, raise temp, air circulation, reduce nutrient concentration (greater water transpiration get more nutrients to the plant) you could get 40% more yield.

We also figured out how to filter and capture the heat from IR in HPS lights. 70+% of HPS light is IR. This reduces AC and dehumidification energy costs as well.

Looking to growers to try this out.

Have twointerns working on the light optimizer now. Looking for growers to try it out.


t5 for seedling and propagation.
This went to an LED bar by same company that makes the t5s. (Not thrilled actually like the metal halide 400w better, after germination chamber.)
Single row of diodes. Very laser like. I also had it quite close before getting a par meter and seeing how highphoton that light could produce at close proxy (plants twisty leaves otherwise not many issues, 900-1400ppf :flushed:) That close wasn’t very early maybe couple leaf stage. And cold temps even.

Currently am using a metal halide for veg. Will be adding the LEC into that room as well. With the full spectrum bulb not the flower bulb. I really liked the Phillips elite agro. But with a metal halide, full led as a supplement.
I’m really curious to try a 630 with one of each type of bulb staggered. Vented and supplemented with my new found fandom in @Fluence.

a metal halide for veg
I purchased a 315 LeC(cmh) sun system for flower. Will move to veg. As my next plan has been ordered.

Now I will be using
Vyprx+ High light intensity. Bar light.
Spydrx±close proximity high ppfd area (scrog style)
-RayzrX -propagation
-Ray 44" with pfr spec (far red, will be playing with pre night conditions. Along with cooling pre night. And lowering light intensity.
(Currently fluence controller is not adjustable beyond the wattage/dimming of the driver) so I was using the LeC to start the day.
This warms the room without beying brought to full photon delivery. (Day light integral is more easily achieved with these awesomely powerful lights)
I run an 11-13 cycle currently.

(That spectrum peak of 630nm ish seemed very interesting to me. Also great responses in my opinion).

I was so happy with why I saw from the tester Vyprx+ that I ordered that I decided to commit the artillery to a full fluence line up for now.

I’m talking to another manufacturer about a test. Now they will have something to try to stand up to. (Long story short, hire a quality salesperson,that won’t rely on “sales tactics”.
Tho they were willing to let me try one.

So I will do that trial before I make judgments because from what I had seen before the fluence, was impressive and full spectrum. :).

Either way full spectrum LED has proven itself to me after a years worth of reaserching and getting fortunate enough to attend the “Grow-Up conference” in Niagara Falls Canada. Where they had just released quite a bit of new information on LED. And fluence was on par or ahead of said research.
Other brands quickly became obsolete IMO. (Also the opinion o many phd and top world lighting specialist) no more blurple!!
Though it likely has its place somewhere.

I like the idea of diffused light. As in greenhouse as well. I have an idea to use the high lights vyprs with this new type of greenhouse thermal film to diffuse all light after the film later.

I find that the light block from leaves is significant but at the same time so is removing all the area where the plant is gathering energy for growing.

(Defoliating science was just started to be discussed. Would love to have a convo in that area, I’d like less leaf in flower myself. )

With this light diffusing the spectrum could be easily controlled. As well as the environment within the lighting area. (Self vent the whole area) and then the plant area would be separate and not affected by the thermal or air moving.

I want to say the film was made by a Swedish company but the name is not coming to me.
Was the most translucent thermal blanket on market at the time.

I haven’t tested the spydr yet so when it comes will have a better idea of that. From what I’ve seen and heard online. It should work very well for flat canopy bulk product. Or that’s my thoughts. But I’m also clumsy and tend to work on the plants under lights. So will have to learn to pull them out of the way for that.
Vyprs got the trial run for that reason.
I’m always up for learning/trying new things.
But I wasn’t ready to invest in LED until I saw science that even the greenhouse guys were happy with.
And I’ve never like the funny spectrum for cultivation. And like fertilizer. There is never just a “oh it only needs these few things we found out”
The whole reason cannabis works is the enterouge effect. And yet we want to try and separate all the enterage effect of nature to grow this medicine. (Or rec for those that are)

So as you can tell I’m now a Fluence fanboy. And can’t wait till my order placed yesterday is built. :). In Texas. :+1:

Little bit of “kiss ass” but the construction on the units themselves (vypr) is beautiful. Looks like a race car. And I like to have quality over quantity.
Quality parts even if not top bin (I’ve heard,unsure) but these are also rated for wetter environment.

Still want to try a 630 for some reason but likely LED from here in out.
I will be adding more spectrum i.e. The early morning start in red and possibly UV treatment tests in future. But for now
Ramping daylight start finish (with temps and co2 ramping)
High ppf for DAylight integral for several hours in middle of ramping. Higher temps and co2 at this point. (This control I don’t have yet. One day)

Remember I call myself

The plant “opinion”. :).
Beyond Belief Farms.
Happy growing.@ plantopinion (on instagram)
New thing starting.


Has it not been know for a long time that one would need to raise heat, co2 and light as a three in one ratio. (Enter fancy word from school that’s slipped my mind. :joy:).

Greenhouse used to be limited until supplemental lighting and co2 addition in summer. And too cold and no light in winter. :p.

I like the idea of using the HID lights for heat. As in Canada winter is actually a real thing. Though this year is been very up and down snow , rain, freezing.

Depending on environment control or hvac I would still implement HID for easy heat.
But it’s incredibly inefficient. And the high power LED will produce enough heat as well.



yes most experienced growers know which inputs to give a plant, but without real time feedback from the plant exactly how much and when is the problem. Also, when heat increases so does transpiration and a higher percentage of the water goes into the air and not to make plant tissue. I haven’t seen any commercial fertigation systems automate reduction of nutrient concentration with increased air temp.

Also, root zone temperatures can mitigate the effects of air temperature and can be controlled to save energy used to heat and cool the air. Hot air cooler roots and visa versa.

Depending on the heat dissipation system used, LEDs generate roughly 60% of the the heat from HPS lights.

I am currently building a led system where the leds are mounted on a metal tube and use water through the tube to remove the heat from the ambient air in the grow room/chamber. This heat could be stored for use in heating in the winter time or dissipated with outdoor radiators or geothermal loops.

Also, since 70% or more of HPS radiation a heat absorbing filter could remove most of the radiant heat allowing the grower to bring the light closer to the canopy. Half the distance yields 4 times the photons hitting the plant, So you could have the same yield at upto 1/4 the cost of electricity.

I have two interns working on a light meter to measure photon flux in several frequency bands.

High pressure metal halide lights are now becoming popular. They are more red shifted/hotter and more efficient then regular MH.


Sounds amazing as no I don’t think many fertigation companies care about the variables. Or maybe unaware or maybe cost too much to implement that into low cost technology.

In greenhouse all of this type of crop management exists does it not,
There are grows now using light sensors and dynamic LED to make the same spectrum year round for example.

Just like fancy gaming PCs. Water cooling systems. I believe this has merit. But IMO the heat generated is almost wanted from the LED. Otherwise at 1200ppf there is too much light for the plant compared to temperature or heat “blackmans law?”

Unless. You have the driver in the unit. I don’t know why some people are going to route. Those create a ton of heat relatively to the light unit.

I ran metal halide quite close to canopy and really like the results. Interested in this "high pressureMH. LEC/cmh peaked my interest before LED. I may still play around with a hybrid lighting type one day.
IMO there is something to the "radiation and non visible spectrum that LED cannot recreate. But I love the results from full spectrum LED as well.

Plasma + hps + MH blue + cmh (Phillips agro elite with 630nm spike) and then a full spectrum LED to control the photon power and show white.

Dim/diffuse this through a thermal blanket. (Greenhouse poly )
Ultimate daylight simulator. ;).
I may do just one HID and LED tho.
It’s very situationally dependency.

I bought a fluence spydrx+ for scrog and vyprx+ for highlight big plants.
High light is easier to hybrid and manipulate.

Having a par meter has been a whole new world of control with the light. Along with the use of a digital temperature device for leaf temperature.
And then vpd + co2boost and one is cruising right along.

Will your meter be a dynamic par meter? More than just all available photons for photosysnthesis. ?


We are making both and par spectrum light and per frequency photon sensor to measure total PAR and individual frequency bands to optimize the various frequencies of light and control for specific desired effects. ie. applying UV at end of grow to enhance resin//TCH production.

lighting_proposal…docx (323 KB)


That sounds amazing. Did u hear spectrum kings new claim about a number system to measure light output.
Was just in a video I think from canna con. Hadn’t heard it. This last year I learned umols and ppf and par.
He was claiming a new “better standard that even more closely measures what plants use”

Is this similar to what you are saying? In this depth I’m not much use anymore. Haha.

Your light meter sounds fantastic. And would make wonderful test videos to clear the market on the garbage bulbs/units people are buying still today.



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We are working on a product that does this! Check out PARspec