Maintaining your light systems for optimum performance

Jillian Whitehead

Helpful Tools, Light Maintenance | June 21, 2019

You may not realize it, but it’s estimated that light output can be reduced up to 10% due to dirt, dust and buildup on a reflector.  If not properly cleaned and maintained, it can mean a loss of quality in your crop, as well as possibly increasing your crop cycle and reducing overall yield.  To maintain the highest level of performance for your luminaires, we recommend that you clean the reflectors and lamps regularly.   Ideally it should be part of your cyclical maintenance routine.

Many horticultural lighting companies out there manufacture their luminaires using inexpensive materials that need to be replaced frequently.  P.L. Light Systems builds their products in North America, using only the highest quality parts and materials.  Our light systems are more resistant to the elements of the greenhouse and are less corrosive, leading to an overall longer lifespan.  So our reflectors don’t have to be replaced every year, but rather easily be maintained with a simple cleaning.

As part of the LightCare service offered by P.L. Light Systems, customers can send in samples of their lamps and reflectors so we can determine the efficiency of their luminaires.  Our lab technicians can scientifically measure the efficiency of your reflector and provide a valuable analysis to whether a cleaning or replacement is necessary.   Regular cleaning and maintenance are essential for optimum performance and we recommend that you check and clean your reflectors every year if possible.

Cleaning your reflector is easy and can be done using a simple 1:100 vinegar water solution. Try to incorporate this as part of your regular routine when you are cleaning other parts of your greenhouse as well.

Cleaning reflectors with a vinegar water solution

Regular replacement of the lamps is also critical to maintaining the light output of the HID horticultural luminaires.  Every 1% loss of light means a 1% loss in growth and this can have significant outcomes on your crop and yield.  For high pressure sodium lamps, replacement is recommended after 10,000 hours of operation.  Some lamp failure will occur before this recommended interval and single lamp replacement should be considered where necessary.  Metal Halide lamps depreciate in output much quicker than HPS lamps – group relamping is recommended after 8,000 hours of operation (under normal operating conditions).

For more information on maintaining your luminaires check out our maintenance guide

And our how-to video on cleaning your reflectors and luminaires.

Contact us to schedule your LightCare testing so your plants are always receiving the maximum amount of light possible.