By Adam Jacques

When it comes to light deprivation, the biggest obstacle to overcome is the regular placement and removal of the black-out medium. With a small hoop house/green house/tarp support structure a grower can manually deploy the curtain alone simply by standing on a ladder and pulling the ends over one at a time. As the grow gets larger, however, so does the job of installing the light dep apparatus.

Today, a grower has a few choices. Most solutions use 4 black out curtains, one on each end, and the main length of the structure having a cover medium which is divided in two halves each rolled up and centered on the roof. Another option is a single tarp which is attached to mechanical arms placed at each end of the structure and hinged on center, such as Americover’s EZarms coupled with their BOLD black out system. This system allows a farmer and a helper to each grab an arm and guide the tarp in place using mechanical advantage. With either manual system, however, a grower may find themselves in a position where they would like a bit more automation or at least the ability to place the blackout curtain without the assistance of a helper. In either case, systems can be ordered which operate using hand cranks or an electric winch and a series of cables and pulleys, which guide the blackout medium with little physical input from the grower.