Learn to make your own homemade hydroponics system to grow virtually any plant, vegetable and fruit without soil.
Never let your guard down when it comes to hydroponic grow lights, since they are the cause of numerous greenhouse accidents. Find out how to keep your greenhouse, your plants and yourself safe, with the help of a few easy tips.
Safety is one of the biggest issues regarding hydroponic grow lights systems, since they need to work heavy hours in tough environments, which often causes problems that range from minor mishaps like a burnt lamp, to serious issues such as devastating fires. Now, if you've worked in hydroponics a long time, there's probably a good chance that one of this problems occurred in your greenhouse or your home (hopefully not the serious ones), because they are very hard to avoid. However, with a couple of practical tips that I plan on giving you in the following article, you can reduce the frequency of hydroponic grow light accidents to a minimum.
I recommend you buy your lamps from a trusted hydroponics store that offers a large variety of lightning products.
Strangely enough, even gardeners that buy the best quality (thus safest) hydroponic grow lights, still experience a high rate of issues regarding them. But the truth is that the lights themselves are probably just fine. In a larger greenhouse though, you'll have to use a large array of accessories, such as extension cords, rails, power switches and so forth and it's these that cause most of the trouble, because they're not built with such intensity in mind. The most common trouble makers are extension cords which can cause fires if used incorrectly, or if they wear out. That's why it makes sense to replace the extension cords in your greenhouse on a regular basis, if you want to avoid all risks.
Most plants require around 14-16 hours of light per day, which means your hydroponic grow lights will be working full time to keep them happy. In a larger greenhouse, the intensity of power used as well as worn out equipment can easily cause power outages, which can easily ruin an entire crop, if left unattended. But it's not always easy to keep 24/7 watch on your greenhouse or homemade hydroponics system, so it's best if you have a backup power generator ready at all times. You can read more about standby and portable power generators here.
High intensity discharge lights such as metal halide or high pressure sodium ones operate on extremely high temperatures, which makes them very vulnerable to any form of moisture. For example, a metal halide bulb can operate at temperatures of over 1800F, so you can imagine the effect of getting it wet, with all that pressure pushing outwards from the bulb. If a HID bulb explosion occurs, fire can spread out quickly and there's little you will be able to do about it if you're not lucky enough to act immediately. That's why it's best to think ahead and prevent such fires by controlling the humidity level in your greenhouse or homemade hydroponics gardening system. If you want to find out more about hydroponic grow light general safety and the safety precautions regarding high intensity discharge lights, GreenhouseGazebos.com has a great FAQ covering these issues.
You should also be wary of placing any easily flammable materials in the vicinity of your hydroponics grow lights, especially if you're using high-temperature HIDs. Remember, these lights don't simply shine powerfully, they also exhaust a lot of heat and if that heat starts reacting with something flammable, you'll be eating fried strawberries next winter.