Used Air Cooled Lights in Hydroponics Applications

When you are growing in a hydroponics environment, it is important to have light and lots of it. In hydroponics the more light you have, the better your plants will grow. However there is a trade-off. More powerful HID lights will use more electricity and also give off more heat. So there is always a compromise between high-powered lights and dealing with the heat. The idea is you want to use the most powerful light you can, but not raise the temperature in the environment of your hydroponic system higher than what the plants are comfortable with. Plants are usually comfortable in the same temperature range as humans. For this reason you need to have clever ways of dissipating the heat away from your garden.

This article will deal with the most efficient ways of keeping your high-intensity lights cool, so that your plants can maintain a healthy rate of growth.

Probably the most common and easiest way to keep your lights cool is to use an air cooled light reflector. These types of air cooled reflectors house the bulb inside of a reflective housing, and also has a piece of glass on the bottom separating the bulb from the plants. Essentially the glass on the bottom of the reflector holds all the heat from the bulb and keeps it from reaching the plants. So any heat that is generated by the bulb will stay within the reflector, and not be allowed to interact with your plants.

Often with this type of air cooled reflector set up, you will have a fan blowing cool air over the bulb, as well as another fan that will often pull hot air out of the environment and move it somewhere else. Generally you want to get that heat as far away from your plants as possible, preferably into another room. That way only a cool air from the room is being passed over your bulb. By trapping hot air inside the reflector you can keep the light closer to your plants, and therefore maximize the light without burning your plants. Essentially the closer the light is too your plants the more efficient that light will be. By using an air cooled reflector you can easily achieve this and gain maximum yields.

Lately a new invention has come into the market place that will surround water around your lamp. Essentially your light bulb is enclosed within two glass tubes. Coldwater from a chiller is then passed over your bulb keeping it cool and dissipating the heat. This will allow you to keep your light extremely close to your plants with no temperature issues whatsoever. However it is really dangerous putting this much water and weight on top of your garden. Hot lights and cold water and electricity do not mix, so this I technique for dissipating heat is not recommended. However if you want to take the risk be prepared to have to suspend a lot of weight of the water. And also operate a large quarter horse power water chiller to keep plenty of cool water surrounding your lamp.

Instead of using HID lights you can also opt to go with either LED or fluorescent lights. However neither type of light will produce as many lumens as a high pressure sodium or metal halide lamp. Even though these lights will run a lot cooler and generate less heat they will not give you as big of a yield. You are much better off using HID lights with an air cooled reflector to achieve maximum yields. Do not believe the hype of the LED and fluorescent light manufacturers. The pros do not outweigh the cons of a smaller yield.

You will get your best yields by using an air cooled HID reflector.

The Croton Plant Will Transform Your Garden Or Home Into an Explosion of Color

Plant Type) Houseplant, Shrub

Light Needs) Partial Shade to Full Sun

Height) 4 feet to 8 feet

Width) 3 feet to 6 feet

Grow Zone) 9a — 11

Foliage Color) Green, Orange, Pink, Purple, Variegated, And Yellow

Pros) Attractive multi-colored leaves

Cons) Some plant parts are poisonous.

Croton plants can be grown inside the home or planted outdoors if you have favorable climate conditions. In the warmer climate of the South, the croton plant is grown side by side or used as a stand alone ornamental plant.

These colorful leaved plants belong to the Codieaum family. Depending on the species, its leaves can be red, yellow and green. Reaching 6-8 inches in length, they point upwards and look and feel as if coated in wax. Common varieties include Croton Petra and Croton Mammy.

Caring for the Croton

Adequate lighting is important to the croton. Whether grown indoors or outside, place the croton where it receives bright light a minimum of 3 hours a day. Inadequate lighting will cause its vibrant colors to fade.

The croton will do best when provided plenty of water and occasional misting. The soil or pot used to grow the plant should be well drained. Do not allow the plant to stay in saturated soil for long, as this can lead to some fungal diseases.

Ideally you want to keep the croton warm, which is around 80 degrees F. When grown in warm, sunny locations you’ll find the croton colors and foliage sparkle with life.

This lovely shurb is relatively easy to grow and has few pest or disease problems. The plant can recover from a hard freeze, although it many take many months to do so.

Garden Waste Recycling – What to Do With Your Green Waste Surplus?

Every home gardener or commercial gardener knows how hard it sometimes can be to compost all garden waste materials that have accumulated over a season or even years.

Especially in New Zealand it is hard to keep up with home composting in urban areas like Auckland as plants grow 365 days a year and the garden waste just will take up useful space on your property.

So, what can we do if we have an excess in garden waste without necessarily dumping it into our landfills and cause environmentally harm?

Actually mentioning the latter, a lot of organic waste gets thrown away in precious landfill sites. This can lead to running out of landfill space in the future.

Another worry is the fact that green waste does not compost naturally in landfill sites, for the reason not being piled up in a proper compost heap, instead the green waste materials are often trapped in plastic bags. That leads to a release of e.g. methane gas and other noxious gases which can have a negative effect on our environment in too high concentrations.

To prevent the issue of organic waste getting “wasted” on our landfill sites, it is wiser to recycle garden rubbish professionally on bigger composting sites that have the equipment to deal with huge amounts of green waste. On these special sites garden debris gets processed naturally and it turns into nutrient rich compost. Nothing will be wasted on landfill sites; everything is recycled and can be reused as a great garden product.

If you have a surplus of organic debris in your home garden or you are dealing with garden waste commercially you can always get a local garden waste collection company to pick up your green waste.

They will provide you with a green wheelie bin (often of 240 l volume) or a garden bag (in different sizes) or even skip bins (often measured in m3 capacities as a one off garden waste removal) to fill up for collection.

The green waste collection service will then bring the load to an approved composting site in your area, where everything gets processed in an environmentally friendly way.

Another good thing about green waste recycling is that it does not cost the earth, literally.

You can always search on the internet for green waste collection companies in your area by using the following keyword examples: garden bins [your town/city], garden bags [your town/city], green waste collection service, garden waste removal.