Taking care of your grow lights and e-Ballasts means that they will operate longer and perform better. Regular grow lamp maintenance is an essential component of indoor plant growing.
Any time you are performing lighting maintenance on your lighting system, always disconnect the main power.
Stock sufficient supplies
When you’re initially setting up your grow room, consider stocking lamp replacements and spare parts. This will greatly reduce frustration when the time comes for lighting maintenance.
Inspect all cords
Frequently check all cords to make sure they are not coiled. A coiled cord reduces the power coming from your ballast which can lead to an under-performing lamp, lamp failure, and/or ballast failure.
Notice the coiled cord between the outlet and the ballast, and the coiled cord between the ballast and the fixture. A coiled cord can lead to many performance and failure issues.
Make safety a priority
For additional protection you can also disconnect your fixture cord from your ballast (if so equipped). This will ensure your safety from electrical shock in case someone turns on the main power while you are in your grow room.
When installing or replacing a lamp, wear eye protection and gloves just in case the glass breaks while removing or installing a lamp.
Inspecting the Lamp, Base & Socket
Remove your grow lamp from your hood/fixture. Check the base of the grow lamp for signs of arcing (see photos below). If there are any signs of arcing, black carbon buildup, bluing of the metal, or discoloration, you should replace the socket. This is an inexpensive part to replace and can be obtained at your local grow shop. Failure to replace the socket can result in catastrophic lamp, socket, and/or ballast failures. It does not make sense to destroy a $400 system over a $15 socket.
Make sure the reflector and lens are clean. Any dust/dirt build up can decrease the intensity of your light, ultimately affecting the quality of your plant growth.
Also make sure the lamp is clean. Glass wipes work perfectly for this application. Squeeze out any excess moisture and wipe down the reflector, lens, and lamp. DO NOT WIPE THE SOCKET OR THE BASE OF THE LAMP.
To finish, wipe everything down with a clean, dry, lint-free cloth or let everything completely air dry.