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Lighting for New Indoor Mushroom Building


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#1 cwilli62

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 01:41 PM

Hello,

 

I have been doing mycological work for a short time now, but still have certain questions as far as scaling up to produce a bit more. Additionally, I have never done indoor/climate controlled work, which I am now wanting to practice in along with the outdoor work that I am doing.

 

I'm building a fruiting area for gourmet mushrooms (from scratch) that is 12' x 14' and an incubation area that is 8' x 14'. I live in South Texas where we get a lot of sunlight.

 

I am wondering if it would be better to build windows into the structure of the fruiting area and utilize indirect sunlight, or if I should just go ahead and use artificial lighting. After all of my research, I could not find a good answer of natural light vs. artificial light in an indoor grow room.

 

Cheers



#2 MrBiscuits

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 02:21 PM

Mushrooms LOVE natural sunlight. If you can provide that, it will certainly give you great results. If you want to keep it more low-key, use 6500K lighting, Edit: I would say one 4ft 2-bulb T8 light fixture would be adequate for that amount of space....originally thought it was in inch increments.


Edited by MrBiscuits, 02 February 2017 - 02:23 PM.


#3 MrBiscuits

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 02:30 PM

I'll also say that windows create the issue of air infiltration, convection, and conduction. So your climate will be more difficult to control and maintain. In Texas, I would guess that you would need to be either air conditioning or pumping lots of air through, which would then cause humidity issues. Where I'm from, nearly all of the commercial farms are indoors with no windows. And I come from a place that produces 63% of the nations mushrooms.


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#4 cwilli62

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 04:49 PM

Thank you for the recommendation on the T8.

 

I figured that natural sunlight may be good for them. And we have a crazy amount of humidity here. But I am for sure going to be air conditioning the space, so adding a good humidifier will be necessary.

 

You brought up my dilemma, indeed. I guess it is just a question of insulation loss and more difficulty keeping it cold/controlled due to the windows vs. using artificial lighting? It is seeming like it might be best to just go with the T8 fluorescents. I mean, it's not that big of a space anyway and it will already be hard enough to keep the climate controlled in our intense Summer heat.



#5 cwilli62

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 05:21 PM

Oh...also, do you have an opinion of fluorescent compared to LED?? As far as light quality for the mushrooms is concerned?



#6 MrBiscuits

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 10:23 PM

Artificial lighting will definitely give you great results and likely be well worth the headache you'll avoid trying to control the climate with natural light.

 

With the LED's, I don't know from personal experience, but I hear there is no difference. I assume with the recent advancement in LED technology what I hear is probably correct.. So, I would personally go for the LED's, seeing as they'll generate less heat and cost less to run - typically more upfront price, though. Also, LED's come in rope lighting, so, if you have tiers/shelves, you can adjust the light intensity to your needs. Just make sure they are 6500K



#7 cwilli62

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 10:36 PM

Right on. I am going to have metal shelves in there. So damn much to wrap one's mind around. I'll do some searching on amount of light produced, etc. by different styles of LED and see what may fit my space best.



#8 Ferather

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 08:28 AM

LED's are far superior, better lumens at lower watts (cheaper to run) by default they work in high humidity. Fluorescent have a shorter life span, cost more to run, break easy, not safe for the environment.

You can substitute some light by supplementing vitamin D in your substrate, since in terms of nutrition light causes mycelium and human skin to produce vitamin D from other materials.

 

If the light's are artificial you can go as high in spectrum as you like, LED's do not emit ultraviolet or infrared light. So 6500K or more, about 2000 lumen per 4sq meters.

 

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#9 MrBiscuits

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 08:30 AM

Yeah, I'm again not totally sure on the specifics of the kind of LED's you'd be looking for. other than the Kelvin temperature rating. I have indoor plant gardens running under LED's, but with a bit of research I found that the requirements are certainly not the same for mushrooms.

http://www.ledsupply...5050-led-strips- I'm currently looking at these, as I, too, am in construction at the moment. Though they are rated at only 6000K, I would guess that would be far enough in the blue spectrum of lighting to produce nearly-optimal results. At 2-3 watts per foot, I would also think that would be enough output. I don't see a lumen rating, but I believe that is irrelevant with LED's - again, just my knowledge of plant LED lighting. Plus they're waterproof, which gives a lot of peace of mind.

 

If using metal shelves, I highly recommend spraying/dipping them in some sort of Plasti Dip or similar sealant. The high humidity and the rigorous decomposition of mushrooms will likely tear apart even galvanized steel in relatively short time. Most of the farms where I'm from use wood, plastic, or hang them from rafters.



#10 Ferather

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 08:50 AM

I just retrofit my LED's, GU10 or "T" tube equivalents for current fittings, not sure about belts of LED's but the one you linked seems good.



#11 cwilli62

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 09:08 AM

The LED rope lights that MrBiscuits linked to says 180 lumens/ft. I will do some more research on those as well as the ones that Ferather mentioned.

 

I don't currently have the metal shelving, but thought that is what would be best....apparently maybe not! I can search for plastic shelving. I also have a lot of wood lying around that I could build shelving units from . I just thought that wood was a no-no in fruiting environments, because of the possibility of the spores inoculating and decomposing the wood.

 

One other question...slightly off topic (maybe I should have titled this thread "grow room considerations: lighting, air, etc.", or something): I'm planning on having a window A/C unit and a fresh air intake fan (200 cfm, I think). I'm wondering if I also need an air OUTPUT fan in addition to the intake fan to properly circulate the air. Or will the intake fan provide enough fresh air exchange?



#12 cwilli62

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 09:58 AM

Also, MrBiscuits....I just ran across a thread on shroomery where RR said: "Anything from 5000K to 7000K is going to give good performance." While I have also read elsewhere that 6500 K is optimal, it seems that 6000K will work.



#13 MrBiscuits

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 07:26 PM

You are correct with the wood shelves...most of the farms I have seen that use wood shelves also use plastic basins and have plenty of fruits growing out of the shelves! These are the more antiquated farms, of course.

Plastic shelving shouldn't be too difficult to come by, is much lighter with negligible loss in durability (especially for our application), and is much more sanitary. You'll be thankful you chose plastic, I'm sure.

 

For the air, I would think you will probably just want an exhaust fan and a filtered passive-air intake opening. The exhaust fan will draw enough fresh air in as should be needed, especially in conjunction with an AC unit. I'm sure it will take a bit of adjustment to figure out the proper size of the opening to maintain humidity and temperature, so something adjustable would be advised.

 

Thanks for the clarification on the lighting requirements! And catching the lumen rating. I'm willing to bet that will be adequate, but will certainly be shopping around more thoroughly. I will post here when I find the light I decide on



#14 kcmoxtractor

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Posted 07 February 2017 - 10:40 AM

i use LED, but you need more than 1x 4 foot fixture for that space. do a light along

the entire length, your fruits will thank you for it. oysters will produce less than optimally 

when there isn't enough light. those 5050SMD strip lights are ok, but they aren't always

waterproof and i've seen two people nearly burn down their mushroom grow from

using them. buy a light that's IP65 or IP67 rated, it's manufactured to be waterproof

and the design has to be submitted for testing and certification. 

 

lots of farms use treated lumber to build shelving, with conduit to support the bags. it's

not antiquated, it's smart, especially with the newer regulations set forth by the FSMA

(think mGAP to the second power) that seek to prevent food contamination through

proactive instead of reactive measures. rust on shelving is a possible post harvest

contamination source.  

 

don't build the space to be negative pressure, you will end up with bug problems.

 

 

You can substitute some light by supplementing vitamin D in your substrate, since in terms of nutrition light causes mycelium and human skin to produce vitamin D from other materials.

 

 

i'm just gonna come out and say it- don't listen to this guy. 

 

he has no clue wtf he's talking about and i've seen him give extremely

questionable advice in the last two weeks, i don't know why the mod staff is

even letting him say this shit.

 

MOD EDIT: He has every right to add his opinion just as much as you have the right to call him out.

if there is problem with behavior, report it. Personally I would be more inclined to edit the rude comments over someone's misconception. I know you can be more tactful with your comments and maybe attempt to help a guy out.


Edited by coorsmikey, 07 February 2017 - 08:25 PM.


#15 MrBiscuits

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Posted 07 February 2017 - 11:23 AM

Excellent, thank you for the clarification, kcmoxtractor!

I don't mean to be misguiding in saying that all farms using wood are antiquated, but the ones I have seen certainly are.

I have also seen a lot of indoor farms use passive intake. Do you think it would certainly create negative pressure? I understand if the draw is strong enough, it would, but, especially when the exhaust fan is only running intermittently and you're also forcing air in with the AC unit, would that not give a relatively equal pressure while avoiding excessive heat?

 

Edit: After rereading, I see that you're saying it will invite bug problems. I've not seen this when equipped with proper filtration.

 

http://www.mushroomc...&equipment.html

 

The first two items there (obviously a much larger scale!) seem to be equipped on the farms I refer. Many with intake fans equipped, many without. I'll inquire with the owners and take some pictures the next time I'm around there.


Edited by MrBiscuits, 07 February 2017 - 11:32 AM.


#16 kcmoxtractor

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Posted 07 February 2017 - 12:31 PM

for agaricus farms, yeah, wood shelves are relics of bygone eras. newer farms

who have financial backing are using the dutch shelving systems. all of the exotics

farms i know are switching over to treated and conduit. it's less expensive and 

treated, very unexpectedly, outlasts metal. 

 

if you're pulling more air out than you're putting in, it creates negative pressure. 

passive intake = negative pressure

 

the passive intake model is considered outdated because it lacks the precision

afforded to humidity conditioned air intake. most folks now are using the positive

pressure model, and putting a misting nozzle or ultrasonic fogger on the inside of

the fan, it makes a HUGE difference when the temperature is cold and humidity is 

close to 0. for example, if it's 30 degrees F outside, and 100% RH at 30F, that air 

is warmed to 60F by coming it into your space, the air will be in the lower 30%s RH

once it's inside. if you bring that air in through ducting and have a mid pressure 

misting nozzle angled to disperse with the air flow, you can achieve 80%+, given

enough turbidity to facilitate evaporation. 

 

here's a chart

humidity.png

 

and a graph

humidity2.png

 

to illustrate the relation of temperature and humidity. both are screencaps from the 

engineering toolbox website. 

 

the air filtered intakes are common on smaller scale agaricus farms (which most people

inexperienced with agaricus farms see as huge because they produce thousands of

pounds when the real scaled people produce millions) with huge amounts of buffer air

space, but the bigger guys (and the ones who will be more successful and eventually

buy out the smaller, less organized farms) don't leave it up to the environment and

maximize their space. 



#17 kcmoxtractor

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Posted 07 February 2017 - 12:36 PM

oh, and here are some pictures of treated and conduit shelving from my

friend who runs Mossy Creek Mushrooms in TN. the rounded shape of 

conduit also lends itself nicely to preventing mildew buildup below bags. 

i ran flat shelving for years, and mildew buildup beneath bags is unavoidable

if you're doing more than one flush, it takes a lot of extra time to scrub the

mildew off of all the rack pieces. conduit just requires you to run back and

forth once. 

 

16593816_10210464221235541_617688651_o.jpg

 

16593559_10210464222315568_1247733795_o.jpg

 

16650977_10210464224275617_858895816_o.jpg


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#18 MrBiscuits

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Posted 07 February 2017 - 12:39 PM

Well, fuckin' A. Thank you for that. I feel simultaneously schooled and, well... schooled! Very, very appreciated. I'll henceforth be restructuring my logical process when I go to construct.

 

By all means, cwilli62, listen to kcmoxtractor's input here.



#19 llamabox

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Posted 07 February 2017 - 12:40 PM

Our farm is using filtered intake fans coming into our prep area. There it is heated and then another filtered inline fan sends it through a fogger tub into fruiting.

#20 llamabox

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Posted 07 February 2017 - 12:47 PM

Hmm. Think I seen those pics kcmo.

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