I’ll keep it short and sweet. The following is a bit of information meant to keep you out of the way of a few mistakes that could hurt you or your plants.
Two Basic Tips
By themselves, these two tips will save you time and possibly heartache. They’re both safety precautions, but they also help with being able to access your electrical equipment easily(and more efficiently).
- Keep your plug area clean: You’ll want to keep your wires untangled, tied up if possible, and it’s always a good idea to avoid plugging extension cords into extension cords…etc…
- Keep your plug area dry: A lot of surge protectors come with holes in the back so they can be mounted to a wall in your grow area. This keeps them out of your way, and lessens the chance of water being spilled on them.
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter(GFCI)
Many indoor grows involve having water somewhere near electrical outlets. GFCIs will stop power from flowing to the plug in the event of current leakage(current leakage can mean that you’re being electrocuted!). You can get extension cords with GFCIs built into them for times when a GFCI outlet isn’t readily available. These are especially good to have when using bubbleponics, aeroponics, Deep Water Culture, or any other water-based soilless medium.
Basically, you want to make sure that your plugs are going to stay dry at all times. In the case that you have plugs running from water to an outlet, make a loop in the cord so that water will have a place to drip off before the outlet. Placing the plug higher than its pump is another simple yet very effective way to keep water from running down the cord and into an outlet.
High Pressure Sodium/Metal Halide Lights(HID)
High Pressure Sodium and Metal Halide lights(commonly referred to as HID, HPS, or HPS/MH) are very effective at plant growth, but they also produce a great deal of heat. You will want to make sure that you keep all cords away from the bulbs, as well as the ballasts for the lights.
Compact Fluorescent Lights
CFLs can be placed in swiveling lamps so that they can be placed at angles other lights wouldn’t reach. Some bulbs are not designed to withstand so much movement, so it’s a good idea to check them every so often to make sure the glass isn’t sliding out of the housing. If you see this happening, it’s best to replace the bulb as soon as possible(see below).