The Easy and Cheap Way of Adding UV Light for Plants

Harness the Enhancing Power of UVB in your Grow!

Ultraviolet light cannot be seen by the naked human eye but we can see the effects that it has. On one hand it can cause accelerated skin aging and even cancer. However, it can also stimulate tanning and vitamin D production. This is because our skin has compounds which react to ultraviolet exposure.

Many plants also contain a compound which reacts to ultraviolet exposure. The compound is actually a protein called UVR8. Once UVR8 has been exposed to ultraviolet light, its structure changes slightly. The altered UVR8 protein signals to the rest of the plant that it is being hit by possibly damaging UV light. This creates a slight stress response and the plant reacts by producing protective compounds. Different plants produce different protective compounds, but generally speaking they act against oxidative stress caused by the UV light.

UVB (ultraviolet band B) light in the right amount can transform the quality of the produce in your garden by stimulating the production of unique plant compounds. Not only that but UVB creates a hostile environment for many garden pests as well as infections like bacteria, viruses and moulds (such as powdery mildew) and their spores. As if that wasn’t enough, UVB can help to reduce plant stretch. Solacure Flower Power lights have been especially designed and developed to emit exactly the right wavelengths of UVB for maximum effect.

  • Solacure Flower Power – lights designed to produce high levels of UVB
  • Proven to Increase desirable plant specific compounds by 20% – 35%
  • Kills or greatly suppresses moulds, like powdery mildew
  • Kills or greatly suppresses insects
  • Destroys air-borne pathogens such as bacteria, viruses and mould spores
  • Can be used to reduce stretch
  • Lamp tubes include an integrated reflector on one side along their length
  • Use for just 2-6 hours per day for fantastic effects
  • 1.0m Flower Power lights fit comfortably in a 1.2m wide grow space and use 32 watts each
  • 1.2m Flower Power lights fit comfortably in a 1.5m wide grow space and use 40 watts each
  • WARNING – NEVER enter your grow-space when these or other UV lights are switched ON

How Solacure Flower Power UV lights work

Humans can see wavelengths of light between 380nm (violet) and 740nm (red). Ultraviolet light is a type of light that is invisible to the naked human eye because it has wavelength below 380nm and therefore outside of the human visual range. It is produced by the sun and it is what causes (amongst other effects) tanning of exposed skin in humans. There are 3 main types of ultraviolet light:

  1. UVA – This is ultraviolet light that is just outside the visible range to humans (320 – 380nm). In humans it causes skin tanning, as well as skin ageing and wrinkling. It accounts for around 95% of the ultraviolet light that reaches us from the sun
  2. UVB – This is ultraviolet light that is below UVA (and therefore well outside the visible range). It has a wavelength range of 280 – 320nm. It can be very damaging and can even cause skin cancer. It accounts for about 5% of the ultraviolet light that reaches us from the sun. Because it can be so damaging it needs to be treated with the utmost respect.
  3. UVC – This type of ultraviolet light has a very short wavelength (200 – 280nm). All the UVC from the sun is filtered out by our Earth’s atmosphere which is fortunate because it is even more damaging than UVB. Artificially produced UVC is sometimes used for clinical sterilisation purposes.

Solacure Flower Powers are powerful lamps and can produce much more UV than is provided by the Sun. 66% of the UV emitted by Flower Power lights is UVA. This creates a very hostile environment for most insects and lethal to some

The other 34% of the ultraviolet light produced by Flower Power lights is in the UVB region and this is where the magic happens. Apart from being even more lethal to pests, moulds, spores etc, it also stimulates a huge increase in plant specific compounds. Plants are particularly sensitive to UVB at 288nm. At this specific wavelength it causes many plant species to produce something called the “UVR8” protein. This particular protein signals to the rest of the plant that it needs to protect itself. So, when plants produce UVR8, the production of highly desirable plant specific oils, resins and other compounds (which help to protect it from UV) is ramped up by a proven 20%-32%. This makes a vast improvement to the quality of the final produce. Flower Power lights are optimised to produce as much UVB at 288nm as possible. This optimises the effect of stimulating the UVR8 response. Here is the output spectrum:

Flower Power lights emit negligible amounts of the highly damaging UVC. Thank goodness for that! However, remember they do produce lots of UVB which is still damaging.

Please – never tend your plants while UV lamps are switched on unless you are wearing UV protective goggles and sunblock on all exposed areas of skin as you will be at high risk of skin damage and cancer. It is simplest and safest to only tend your garden when they are switched off.

One other effect of UV is that it will help to keep plants short by reducing stretch. When UVR8 protein production is triggered by UVB, the plant diverts energy from creating upward growth, and into producing the protective compounds instead. This effect is particularly useful in the first 2-3 weeks of flowering/fruiting. This is when stretching can get out of control and can end up hurting the eventual yields.

How to use Solacure Flower Power UV Lights

For the best effect, use 2 Flower Power lights per HPS grow light.
For example, the following setups will work great:

  • 2 X 1.0m Flower Power lights alongside a 600w HPS in a 1.2m x 1.2m grow tent
  • 2 X 1.2m Flower Power lights alongside a 1000w HPS in a 1.5m x 1.5m grow tent

Hang the Flower Power Fixtures either side of your HPS grow light at about the same height, and spaced evenly between each other and the sides of your tent or grow space. The lamp tubes themselves have a reflective surface built-in to half of it along its length.

Always insert the tube so that the writing on it is face down. Otherwise, the reflective surface will prevent any UV from reaching your plants:

All plants are different and the amount of UV that they can cope with varies a lot, even between plants of the same strain. Because of this it is best to initially give your plants just 2 hours of exposure per day, split into 2x 1 hour stints. These 1 hour periods can be increased by 15mins every 2 days. When you see a little burn on the smaller top leaves reduce the exposure time by 30mins per stint. Following this procedure allows the grower to hit the sweet spot between giving as much UVB as possible but without causing detrimental damage to their plants.

Depending on the amount of hours of daily usage, Solacure Flower Power lamps will maintain their effectiveness for 3-9 months (9 months at 2hrs/day, 3 months at 6hrs/day). After this they should be replaced. However, the old tubes may still be useful for just pest and disease control for a few months after this.

We strongly recommend the use of a timer/relay setup to control the on and off times of these lights accurately. The ON times can then be set for when you are not going to be in your garden. This is the best way to avoid exposing yourself to damaging UVB light.

Products mentioned in the article

1m fixture only
Choose your Solacure lamp fitting:
Solacure Flower Power Lamp Fitting (1m)

£52.95 £52.95

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