Auto Light Dep Challenges: Cost & Timing?
Auto light deprivation systems can add 15% to 60% to the material cost of building a greenhouse depending on how decked out your structure is. This cost can be significant, so some cultivators elect to retrofit their greenhouses after a few harvests.
We highly recommend making sure your greenhouse manufacturer offers automated light dep kits directly to ensure it fits properly without light leaks. Be aware transitioning from manual light dep to auto light dep, or from no light dep to any kind of light dep requires vigilance and adjustment. The addition of vents, light traps, fans, and other components can impact your plants. The more attention to detail you put into planning your light dep greenhouse, the more it will pay off in the end.
Why switch from manual to automated light deprivation? That answer is easy, automated light deprivation saved a lot of labor and can be executed with more reliability and precision. The worst light deprivation set up is a greenhouse with manual light deprivation and natural ventilation from roll-up sides. This configuration requires you to manually pull the light dep tarps four times per day to ensure proper ventilation and light restriction. You need to pull tarps before sunset (and pull sides down), after sunset (and roll sides up), then pull tarps before sunrise (and roll sides down), and finally after sunrise when your plants are ready for their light cycle, you have to pull tarps back and roll sides up again. If that sounds like a lot of work, it is! At a minimum, by adding automation to curtains you will be able to accomplish this routine with less physical labor and more reliability. If you really want your equipment to do the work for you, you can customize your greenhouse with light dep automation and mechanical ventilation which can be automated entirely using controllers.
If you are looking to buy a light deprivation greenhouse, Hortitech Direct offers a variety of Light Dep Greenhouse Kits that you can compare!