Double ended lights are by far the most productive plant lighting technology on the market right now and people are having great results with them. The double ended lamps are definitely unique, though, and not what we're accustomed to seeing or using. The first time setting up a double ended lighting system can be a bit confusing when you've only used the conventional mogul-base bulbs in the past. Here are a few tips to avoid having a potential problem:
This is a double ended lamp. It doesn't have a threaded base that screws into a normal mogul socket. It has two braided wires coming off of either side of it. These lamps are made of quartz so you NEED TO WEAR GLOVES WHEN HANDLING. Unlike normal High Pressure Sodium and Metal Halide bulbs, you cannot touch the glass on these bulbs with bare hands. If you get moisture or oil from your fingers on quartz glass, when the bulb heats up it can heat up the oil and cause the bulb to break.
This is how the double ended lamps sit in their sockets. The "flat" ends must sit flat inside of the bracket (not straight up and down at a 90 degree angle). The metal wires NEED TO BE STRAIGHT. They bend very easily so if you notice they are bent or curved, bend them back into place so they are straight. They must sit inside of the two pieces of metal (see diagram) and make full contact with the two pieces of metal. In this diagram, the wires are bent slightly and VERY CLOSE to NOT making full contact. If full contact is not made, arcing will occur. When an electrical current arcs, heat is built up and you can burn or melt your fixture or, even worse, START A FIRE. After making sure that the wires are in place, slide the socket FULLY forward until it can't slide anymore.
This is what can happen if your lamp is improperly installed. In this case, the wires did not make full contact with the metal and the socket was not slid 100% forward to hold the bulb in place. The electrical current arced, burnt up the lamp and melted the socket. This is the best case scenario, it could have been much worse.
Canna Coco (the best-selling premium coco coir growing medium) is now available in a brick. Same superior quality as their bags of Coco, only more compact and easy to transport. Each 40 Liter package comes with 2 bags that contain one brick each. Each brick expands when wet to 20 Liters (approximately 7.5 dry gallons) and can easily be broken in half for 10 Liter portions. This product is the perfect solution for people who want the ease of transportation of a coco brick but without sacrificing the quality of their coco medium itself, plus it is very cost-effective. Visit Canna's website for a more in-depth look.
If you've been to our Nyack location any time over the past fourteen years, you've probably seen our Dwarf Cavendish banana tree. It's growing in the front of the shop in a General HydroponicsMegaFarm that we converted a few years ago to a water-force recirculating system (instead of the standard air-force drip system). We've gotten bananas a few times in the past but it's always been very sporadic due to our fluctuating climate in the store. Back in June it started to flower again and today we started to harvest. We have local, New York-grown bananas! Hydroponics and indoor gardening make ANYTHING possible.
This past weekend was Maximum Yield's Indoor Gardening Expo in Boston. This was the first year that it's been on the east coast so it was nice to be able to attend without flying across the country. Almost all of the major companies in our industry were there and I know we didn't get a chance to document the whole show, but here are a few highlights:
Foxfarm rolled out two new products, Kelp Me Kelp You and Wholly Mackerel, which are, respectively, seaweed and fish emulsion formulas. They smell as bad as you would expect, which means that they probably work great. We'll be trying these out in the shop and update you on our results.
Cutting Edge Solutions is rebranding their products (same formula, just updated labels) and coming out with some new ones (to be announced later...)
Max-Fan had every size of their top-quality fans on display, including this 28" monster (over 5000 cfm)!
Secret Jardin has a tent that is lined with Orca reflective material, which is supposed to be the most reflective and thermally protective material.
General Hydroponics has come out with 1 oz. bottles of four products for smaller gardens and applications.
Gavita had all of their lights on display, didn't see too much that was new but we had to stop by. The results that everyone is getting with these lights are incredible, 20-50% increases in yields alone.
Autogrow is a long-standing company that makes hydroponic pH and nutrient dosers as well as complete room and greenhouse climate controllers. Their customer service might be the best part of their company, they know that their products are in-depth so they have people who you can call who will walk you through the entire installation and set-up process, as well as troubleshoot any problems you may encounter later on.
Gorilla Grow Tents were there to show people the difference in quality between their tents and those from other tent manufacturers. They definitely have the strongest frames and thickest material, plus a included 12" height extenstion (making their tents available in heights of 7'11"). We are currently running a special at both locations, 10% off all sizes of Gorilla Grow Tents.
Botanicare had a few new products on display. They've come out with Growilla, a organic powderized one-part nutrient, a new rooting gel and root stimulator (Rhizo Gel and RhizoBlast), and a Low Tide Clone Tray that can hold four 10"x20" flats (great for microgreens/wheat grass, seedlings or cuttings)
At the end of the weekend, we came away with a lot of product samples and promo material (shirts, hats, stickers, etc.) so if you see anything you want, stop in to either location and ask.
Canna has a new product coming out soon. Stay tuned, we should have more information for you guys by the end of the month! Also, check out this month's issue of Maximum Yield for a chance to win free Rhizotonic.