Why are vegetative footprints larger than flowering footprints?
Our flowering footprints are based on the light intensity needed to grow, flower and fruit high-light plants when the light is only on for 12 hours per day.
Our recommended vegetative footprints are based on running the light for 18 hours per day- 50% more time per day than the flowering footprint assumption.
For plants sensitive to the length of the day (photoperiod sensitive), it isn't possible to provide them with more light by just running the lights more hours per day-- but for non-photoperiod-sensitive plants, running the light more hours per day will give them more light. For example, increasing from 12 hours to 18 or 20 hours per day will provide 50-67% more light to the plants, so it is possible to cover 50-67% more area with the same wattage light. Additionally, purely vegetative growth generally requires less energy than flowering or fruiting, so plants can get by with a little less light intensity.
Because our recommended vegetative footprint is assuming 50% more hours per day the light is running, the vegetative footprints are 50% larger. The extra hours of light will give the same total amount of light to the plants as a shorter photoperiod with more intense light.
If you are using the same PhytoMAX-2 light for both vegetative and flowering growth, we recommend using the recommended flowering footprint size and hanging height for both vegetative and flowering growth to give your plants the most light possible.