Now is the time to choose the right light deprivation cover for your cannabis crop. That requires weighing the pros and cons of the most popular cover materials that are on the market: Panda, Woven, Breathable, and Americover’s BOLD® (Black Out Light Deprivation). We have compared the four by answering questions customers typically ask about light deprivation covers.
1. What is the product made of?
- Panda black white film is a 4-6 mil lightweight polyethylene film. Typically, Panda is made of coextruded premium-grade outer layers and select recycled resins in the core, but depending upon the manufacturer, some can contain regrind resin. Panda is black on one side with a 90 percent reflective white on the other side.
- Woven coated polyethylene is an 8-12 mil product, black on one side with UV inhibitors added to the white side. Typically, narrow ribbons of high-density polyethylene are woven together and extrusion coated with an impermeable layer of low-density polyethylene.
- Breathable is a multi-layered poly-woven breathable fabric. The permeable lightweight fabric is sewn together, black on one side, white on the other side.
- Americover’s Black Out Light Deprivation (BOLD®) is made of 8 mil scrim-reinforced polyethylene. The diamond woven scrim reinforcement is coated with coextruded layers of virgin polyethylene, black on one side and 90 percent reflective white on the other side.
2. What is the intended purpose or most common use for this product?
- Panda was not made for light deprivation. It is commonly used a silage film, as a reflective film for indoor grow rooms, or as a hydroponic liner.
- Woven is typically used as environmental containment liners, remediation covers, or as temporary stockpile covers.
- Breathable is ideal for indoor blackout curtains and curtain-style indoor blackout systems. It is not recommended for outdoor use.
- Americover’s BOLD® is the one cover that is specifically designed for light deprivation growing techniques and automated light deprivation greenhouse systems.
3. Is the cover truly light blocking?
- Panda’s light-blocking properties depend on the manufacturer, but since it isn’t made for light deprivation, it tends to be not 100% light blocking.
- Woven’s light blocking can diminish with daily covering and uncovering, which can cause the coating to rub off and allow light leaks.
- Breathable is not truly light blocking. The triple layers of fabric prevent most light leakage, but without a solid layer, light leakage is still possible.
- Americover’s BOLD® blocks light. Triple layers of polyethylene and no pinholes or micro-perforations ensure total darkness.
4. Is the cover durable?
UV protection, tear resistant structure, and thickness all combine to create cover durability and expected outdoor life span. UV protection is standard in the four popular compared materials. Tear resistance and thickness, however, varies.
- Panda is not tear resistant, so small punctures can easily become large rips. The poly does come in a variety of thicknesses, however, from 4.0 to 6.0 mil, depending on the manufacturer. As a result, its expected outdoor life span in fully exposed conditions is rated up to 1 year.
- Woven is highly tear resistant, but the impermeable coating may wear off due to daily covering and uncovering. Woven is a thicker material at 12.0 mil, and this extra thickness gives it up to 2 years outdoor life span in fully exposed conditions.
- Breathable, too, is highly tear resistant. Breathable is available in 6.0 to 30.0 mil thicknesses. However, breathable fabric is typically designed to be used inside the greenhouse.
- Americover’s is highly tear resistant, for BOLD® diamond scrim reinforcement surrounds tears to prevent further damage. BOLD® is available in 8.0 mil thickness, and its expected outdoor lifespan in fully exposed conditions is up to 2 years.
5. Will I have to ventilate the greenhouse when it’s covered?
Greenhouses, especially those covered by a light dep cover, require proper ventilation. Ventilation systems circulate the air to replace CO2 and oxygen, control humidity, and maintain proper temperature. Panda, Woven, Breathable, and BOLD® all require ventilation when covering a greenhouse. Although Breathable is used inside the greenhouse and may reduce excessive heat and humidity build-up, it too, requires ventilation.
6. What is the comparative cost? (Average square foot cost)
- Panda $0.10
- Woven $0.25
- Breathable $1.32
- Americover’s BOLD® $0.23
Weighing these product descriptions, purposes, light deprivation capacities, durability ratings, and costs, it becomes clear that Americover’s BOLD® is your best choice for a greenhouse cover that will multiply your annual harvest yield and help you grow stronger, healthier plants. Plus, you can automate the daily task of covering and uncovering your greenhouse with the BOLD® EZARM, a product specifically designed to work with Americover’s BOLD® tarps.
Learn how simple light deprivation can be with Americover’s BOLD products. For more information, call our experts at (760) 747-6095.