Research paper re moving plant lights.

cardiocriniumJanuary 17, 2008

Some folks advocate using setups where the grow lights are mechanically moving. This idea makes for lively debate. The issue is moot for almost of us because it is so complicated and/or expensive to implement. However, if you are still curious about moving plant lights, this research paper might interest you. Campanula plants under moving lights had less increase in biomass and thinner leaves. I could only read the abstract because you have to pay (dearly) for the full article.

Anyone have references that contradict?

BTW - the Actahort site is a great place to find lots of horticultural research article abstracts. I enjoyed looking over the ones relevant to plant lighting.

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I always thought it was a stupid idea, mainly used by pothead growers because their light intensities are so stupidly high their cannabis crop would go up in smoke without a light mover. I grow my crop with less insanely powered lamps that have proper built in reflectors (like Gavita). The lamp itself takes care of the light being of a uniform intensity over the garden. Moving them around would have no effect because the garden intensity already is uniform, by design, without movers.
Paul Mozarowski.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2008 at 3:21PM
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Kind of disappointed to see all these posts dissing the mover.

I have one because I am strictly an an amateur with limited ability to follow complicated directions, and I didn't want to pay the NYC electric bill for a 1000 watt light. I have a 400 watt hydrofarm dual purpose light on a 5 foot track mover supplementing my south-facing semi-bay (one side only) window where I grow some citrus, gardenia, hoya, and jasmine -- (all houseplants essentially) with a fan and humidifier. The spillover lights my "office"-- or upstairs living room -- where I have my computer, garden books, a couch, and my pet rabbit who lives in a in a dog crate. The extra heat is not unwelcome, for we keep the thermostat at 65.

I got the lights and mover and the whole idea from the big hydroponics store off the LI Expressway in Flushing, Queens, where they for years have had a similar demonstration setup growing tomatoes (apparently successfully) in their storefront window. Someday, I'd like to give that a shot as well. (There is also an excellent smaller indoor garden store here in Bay Ridge where I am a faithful customer --not into hydroponics, though).

For a long time I was daunted by the idea of setting up my system because I have a lowered ceiling and had difficulty reaching the studs and drilling to hang this heavy affair, not to mention arthritic issues, but I finally got up my courage to do it; and my plants seem very much happier than before I got the light up. Setting buds like mad.

I also have a 4-bulb t-5 set up in an adjacent room so will be interested to see which does better. I have some paphiopedaliums [sp ??] and twinkle oncidiums in there and also watercress in a tub with an aerator. Not having the greatest luck with the orchids as yet. Don't know if they need r.o. water here in NYC, more humidity, or what.

Monarda in Sunset Park

    Bookmark   January 20, 2008 at 3:36PM
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I was looking for general information about moving lights as the motor for mine burned out and I wondered if it is worth while getting another one, since they are now very expensive. I am amazed that four years have passed -- almost five -- since I or anyone posted here.

I just happened to check out the paper referenced here at the beginning of the thread and it compares a setup with three high pressure sodium lights to one with one high pressure sodium light bulb on a moving track. Surprise, surprise, the plants under the three lights did much better. There is no info about the wattage in the summary at least. Needless to say, this is not a very helpful paper or at least only of interest to large commercial growers to whom the cost of electricity is not a consideration.

One would want to see a comparison between plants grown under one stationary light to ones grown under one moving light. I can't believe that no one has commented on this.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2012 at 6:50PM
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