Which should I get? Multiples of the 400 or the one 1000?
I want to grow fruiting vegetables. I hear 3 400w's sufficiently beat out the one 1000 but how would the ideal setup be? What about a light mover?
Any tips or help is appreciated.
What vegetables are you planning to grow?
I want to start with bush beans and lettuces. I'd like to work my way up to cucumbers and tomatoes. Possibly some brassicas.
Well in that case it would be better if went with few light fixtures instead of one because they have different light needs plus you'd get more coverage of growing space this way
So the 3 400w would be ideal? What about light placement and arrangement above and around the plants?
I can't tell you if it's "ideal", it all depends on what you will be growing underneath those lamps. I'm just saying that it's more versatile if you use 3 lamps instead of just one. Since you want to grow different varieties of plants it will be more beneficial to have few lamps because you can adjust each lamp's height separately as needed. For example you can grow tomatoes underneath one lamp. They grow tall and you will raise the lamp fairly often. You can have smaller leafy plants under another lamp and midsize plants under the third one. Some plants will require less light than others so you can do all those adjustments if you have more than one lamp.
Keep the lights above the plants. If you have taller plants like 3.5 feet and above than you might think about adding some side lighting.
How you arrange those 3 lamps is completely your preference. These will e 3 separate growing areas if you want to grow different varieties. So you could arrange them inline or in a triangle, it doesn't matter but do have them next to each other so you use as much of the light as possible. Light from lamp#1 could go out of growing area and hit growing area of lamp#2. See what I'm getting at?
I understand. I guess I should point out that I plan to grow each crop at once for canning purposes. Meaning one crop of beans for canning then moving onto tomatoes etc. Aside from my citrus tree I wouldn't grow different things all at once. Does that make any difference? Is there any chime in on the light mover?
Either way it will cover more growing area with three lamps. If you can afford it than buy 3. You don't need a 1000watt lamp to grow beans. I've never used a light mover but in my opinion it's pointless. You bring the light over one plant for a period of time than you take it away to another plant and the first plant doesn't get light during that time. So you might be using just one lamp instead of 3 but each of the plants gets only fraction of full power intensity of light in intervals so it will grow slower. These rail systems are not cheap either so I really don't see the benefit. I might be wrong but I think it's just another product that only benefits people who sell this stuff to make a profit.
Just because you have one powerful 1000watt lamp running back and forth it won't be better than having three 333watt stationary lamps. Plants only take in so much light for production and it's more important to give them steady light period of 12-14 hours than trying to push more light in them with times of interruption throughout the day every time that lamp moves away.
Very informative. Thank you for your help. You actually saved me a great deal of money.