Any lamp can shine, but let’s be honest: a mushroom farm is a business where profitability matters, and in the case of lighting, profitability results from several factors:
Is the lighting adequate?
Better lighting for pickers means more efficient and faster mushroom picking, as well as easier and less exhausting work. The adequacy of lighting depends on several parameters:
Appropriate lamp length dimensions
A lamp that is too short means that more lamps need to be purchased in order for the light to be properly dispersed, and this unnecessarily increases the cost of purchasing lamps and the number of connections and electrical wires. According to our experience in cooperation with mushroom farm owners, the optimal size of the light element is about 1.5 meters.
Efficiency, i.e., the power and the number of optical lumens
Simplifying, we should choose a lamp that is as efficient as possible. This means that we choose devices that have the lowest possible power while obtaining the highest possible number of optical lumens. The best possible products on the market (e.g., GROWTIME lamps) have 185 optical lumens from one Watt, which means that 22.1 Watts gives 4100 lm.
Based on industry best practices, a range between 4000K and 6500K (this is the temperature most commonly used) has been adopted. Our practices based on experience with the largest mushroom growing farms in the world, however, say that 6500K is the best option assuming that the light source used is adequately diffused by the structure and design of the light source, and consequently isn’t blinding.
Is the lighting energy efficient?
The key to achieving cost-effectiveness is the use of LED lighting instead of traditional incandescent bulbs. To describe LED lighting in a nutshell: it’s more light at a lower cost.
What also counts is the excellent ratio of power to optical lumens, which allows you to achieve savings of up to 80% and more on energy costs compared to products from other suppliers.
Are the lamps durable?
It’s hard to find a company that doesn’t describe its products as durable. Durability, however, can be verified by the parameters it has and by durability tests, the results of which the manufacturer is able to provide or simply show. In the content below are photos of tests on the products of the author of the guide, GROWTIME.
Resistance to humid conditions
The international IP68 and IP69 (PC) sealing standards ensure that the lamps are safe for use in mushroom farm conditions, where, among other things, chamber steaming (disinfection) takes place. The IP68 standard means complete dustproofness and protection against prolonged immersion in water, while IP69 additionally means protection against high pressure and high temperature.
Resistance to physical damage
When choosing lighting, it is worth considering lamps with a polycarbonate (PC) housing (casing), which provides exceptional resistance to physical damage. In the case of such housing, for example, in GROWTIME products, stainless steel handles and a special coating to protect them from chemicals have also been used.
In the case of classic glass housing, it’s worth choosing those that have been protected with PET foil, which will prevent uncontrolled scattering of glass when the housing is damaged.
What else to pay attention to?
When deciding on lighting that is chosen for years to come, it’s worth looking at other details such as:
Ease of replacement and installation
If the light source becomes depleted, it is important to be able to easily replace the light source, which is possible thanks to the lamp’s detachable housing.
Life span of the light source
GROWTIME products ensure a high standard of light source life of 75,000 hours. In addition, GROWTIME provides a two-year warranty on the entire product.
Method of connection to electricity
In the case of lamps in a polycarbonate (PC) housing, GROWTIME offers two ways of connection:
- traditionally, by connecting the electric cable of the lamp with the cable supplying electricity to the chamber (junction box)
- through a connector (IP68), which allows you to connect lighting directly to the lamp (without the need to place a junction box in the chamber).
It’s particularly important to maintain the original length of the electrical wires of the lamps supplied with the lamps, because shortening them can cause the risk of water penetration at the connection point into the lamp and the loss of IP 68/69 (the problem doesn’t apply to lamps connected with a connector).
Lamps should be able to be mounted both on the ceiling and on the wall. What is worth paying attention to?
- In the case of wall mounting, the lamps should be mounted vertically to obtain the best light diffusion. As a preventive measure, installation should be done with the cable downwards to avoid water penetration through the cable gland.
- In the case of ceiling mounting, we should ensure routing of the electric cable in such a way as to obtain an overhang below the cable lead. Thanks to this, water won’t remain in the place where the cable is inserted through the gland.
- Additionally, if the chambers in the mushroom farm are disinfected by steaming, we recommend not to install the lamps in the immediate vicinity of the steam transport holes.
Alignment with market requirements
The lamps should be adapted in terms of voltage and frequency to both European and American/USA/Canadian markets. Lamps for mushroom farms made by GROWTIME have such an adaptation.
Advice and support
It comes in handy if your lighting vendor is able to advise you on the best solution for your mushroom farm. In the case of the author of this guide, GROWTIME, we will ask some specific questions and then point out the products that we think will be most cost-effective for your mushroom farm.
About the author
The author of the guide is GROWTIME – a manufacturer and distributor of equipment for mushroom farms that want to achieve maximum efficiency and profitability.
GROWTIME offers lamps for mushroom farms that meet all the above criteria and more 🙂
Take a look at our range of lamps using the link below: