Hanging Your Shades Part 2

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Use a zap strap to fasten your hanger onto an open hook.

Ever see someone bump a shade and it falls off the ceiling, only to realize a large open hook was used allowing the chain to slide easily off? It costs very little to ensure a safe mounting with closed loop hooks and a quick-release chain fastener or snap hook. This prevents any chance of your shade slipping off, and is easier to disassemble than using s-hooks and closing the loops with pliers. I have seen self-tapping screws holding chains into shades for hanging, and this is incredibly unsafe. Use nuts and closed-loop bolts to fasten your shade hanger to your shade in the cases where the shades have no mounts.

Good items for hanging shades.

If not already obvious, it is also not safe to hang a shade by the wire that powers the lamp. If there is any concern of hanger failure a grower should have a secondary safety chain securely mounted overhead with enough length to give the shade mobility, but without allowing it to actually crash onto the plants or floor. HID bulbs contain mercury and growers should not be exposed to vapors resulting from breakage. The last link in the hanging apparatus is fixing your hanger to your ceiling, however devised, so your shade is securely mounted to a stationary joist or frame.

Tip: if you use open hooks on the ceiling and s-hooks to connect your hanger, a small zap-strap will usually fix the hooks together without having to close the s-hook.

Framing and Supports

Not as good as closed loops.

Never screw a hook intended to bear a weight load into drywall. Drywall anchors intended on hanging a planter or house lamp can work with a small shade, but this is not secure. Overhead framing should be utilized, but that’s not always easy to configure into the design of a grow room. In some cases, where the ceiling is drywall, the studs can be located and a board (2×4 for example) can be mounted across the ceiling, screwed to the studs. Shade hooks can then be mounted onto the board, and the weight will be distributed along the studs. In other cases an entirely new room frame can be built inside an existing room, and shades or light rails can be mounted to the top studs. The grower has to determine which is best in their circumstances, and structural integrity should be the main concern.

Fix your hanger to your shade well. Not like this.

String to hang shades FTL.

Rectangular shades that have mounting loops on opposing ends are often hung using two separate hangers. In some cases two or three shades such as this can be mounted onto a single length of board in a horizontal row. The board can then be mounted to overhead studs by heavy gauge cable, so the height of the row of shades can be adjusted simultaneously by adjusting the board they are fixed to. This is useful for air-cooled shades where a grower does not want a lot of slack in the flex-pipe connecting the shades, or if Plexiglas has been used to join them. Lamp wires can also be strapped or hooked to the manifold board, with slack on one end for mobility. Creative framing can be used safely and effectively to ensure your shades are mounted securely – just remember to design the weight capacity of your framing to be able to handle a lot more than you intend to load it with.

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