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Light Deprivation Greenhouses

A light deprivation/blackout system for greenhouses offers affordable growing solutions for various crops and is an essential way to maximize annual yields, particularly when the market demand is high for your specific product.

The ability to trick the plants to start developing before the natural light cycle outdoors reaches 12 hours of sunlight and 12 hours of darkness in a 24-hour period, produces multiple crops each year. Flipping crops indoors has always been easier in this respect, but Slip Tube Enterprises has been developing and perfecting an external light deprivation system for over 10 years. Ongoing feedback and observations have helped Slip Tube evolve from our first generation of blackout (one-piece 6-millimetre poly with chain assist gears) to our current three-piece manual/automated light deprivation system outlined below.

Slip Tube’s Third Generation Blackout System

Mechanical cranks and chain assist gears manage the manual system, and a control box with a timer and four tube motors operate the automated system. Both systems can be fully deployed or retracted in six minutes or less with minimal effort.

The advantage of the automated system is its ability to deploy in your absence; it is a self-operating method. It’s not always feasible to have someone on site for the 12-hour period required to deploy and retract the light deprivation cover. The automated system does the work for you at prescheduled times, and as a result, is becoming increasingly popular. However, the manual system is less expensive and can always be retrofitted for automation with ease at a later date.

Slip Tube's Light Deprivation System Features

  • Two side curtains typically roll-up to 9' off the ground on both sides of the greenhouse
  • One roof curtain fastened at the peak rolls down to overlap the side curtains
  • Manual system consists of a mechanical assist crank with a 5:1 gear ratio to easily raise and lower the side curtains
  • Chain assist cranks on telescopic poles allow the roof curtain to be raised and lowered by a person on the ground; this also has a 5:1 gear ration for relatively effortless operation, even on a 100'-long greenhouse
  • 12 millimetre woven black/silver polyethylene cover for durability
  • Non-stretching properties allow for a nice tight roll and minimal shadowing
  • Retracted pipe pockets sewn into the covers allow a 1-3/8" diameter roll-up tube to slide inside and be fastened using our black PVC clips
  • These pockets were introduced to allow equal amounts of fabric along the entire greenhouse for a tight "evenly" rolled fabric, leaving a 6" to 8" shadow to allow maximum light to enter the greenhouse
  • The cover's inside surface is black to eliminate the light, and silver on the outside, which helps reflect the sunlight away from the greenhouse and minimize heat
  • 12"-wide black membrane with adhesive to black out 12" of roof poly on both ends of the greenhouse, eliminating any light entering when heavy winds are present; it doubles as a protective barrier to prevent roof poly from wearing, due to the curtain's constant up and down rolling
  • PVC protective arch cover for both ends of the house to protect roof poly from excessive wear
  • Blackout straps run from the ground on one side of the house to the ground on the other; these adjustable straps with buckles allow tightening and loosening, and are to primarily protect against wind and hold the cover down for a secure fit
  • Front and back "ends" of the greenhouse are typically blacked out permanently; however, it's optional to remove the black/white layer for optimal sun exposure when necessary

Light Deprivation Greenhouses

Optional: Light traps are available for fans and intake louvres to keep light out when fans are switched on and light attempts to enter. These light traps reduce airflow by about 15%; however, any shroud/hood used will also reduce airflow.

The external light deprivation system is ideal to keep maximum space inside your greenhouse. Additionally, it does not create a microclimate, like the interior blackout systems, which can lead to condensation issues and difficulty in maintaining proper temperatures and humidity levels.

Our light deprivation system is relatively inexpensive compared to overly complex systems. Your budget will determine which light deprivation system is best suited for your application. Slip Tube’s third generation light deprivation systems have helped hundreds of growers optimize their space and ability to harvest beautiful, high-yielding crops all year round.

Please refer to our page on Cannabis Greenhouses to learn more. If you have any questions related to our greenhouses, or to receive a quote for a greenhouse and light deprivation system to suit your growing needs, send us an email or call a Slip Tube expert at 604.580.2177 (toll free 1.877.876.7681).

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