View Full Version : Sharing the Best Lighting methods.

12-21-2007, 11:12 AM
Hi everyone,
I am preparing to give a lecture on the practical and the economical ways of providing indoor lightings for growing leafy vegetables Hydroponically, the issue is the cost of the equepment and the cost of operation, and I am asking you from your experience the best way you reached so far to provide the proper lights to the plants at the least cost. I appreciate your great input.

12-21-2007, 11:48 PM
my methods may not be the most cost effective but they work very well:

indoors for seedlings i use 12 standard 26watt cfls 6500 kelvin temp , they are about 3-4 dollars each. and pump out 1600 lumens each. i custom made a reflector out of a sheet of aluminum. the light bulbs are all one inch apart and i have actually flowered tomatos underneith my blue cfl power house.

for growing and flowering i use an air cooled 1000 watt switchable. Also 2600kelvin temp cfl that are 1750 lumens each for side lights. no reflectors on the side lights and flat white paint on the walls.

-Ricky from southern illinois bonsai

12-22-2007, 12:02 PM
The best bang for the buck and lowest operating costs are HID lamps, Metal Halide and high pressure sodium; most lumens per watt for all sources except LED lamps which are not really commercially available yet. HID luminaires are expensive but, over the whole crop cycle are the least expensive to buy/operate.

Reflectors that work properly are supplied by luminaire manufacturer. Design of reflectors is highly numerical for optimum reflector shapes.

12-26-2007, 12:29 PM
Does any one use smaller HIDs? i would like to try them but i think i will go for an 600 something xtrasun. happy holidays eone!

Ricky from -southern ILL. Bonsai-

12-30-2007, 08:09 AM
There are 50 watt HID lamps available both in HPS and MH.


01-15-2009, 09:27 AM
I think the T5's are the way to go, they are the cheapest to run, easiest to use, self contained, and run alot cooler. They dont need time to start up, or time to cool down, they can be turned on and off without worrying. You can touch them when they are on, and getting water on them wont make them explode. You also dont have to deal with the bulky reflectors, and ballast. They are also alot easier to change your color spectrum from grow to bloom, or you can run both at the same time. At 54 watts per bulb x 4 is 216 watts total. Each bulb is 4800 lumens making 19,200 total lumens.

Compare that to a 250 watt 15,000 lumen bulb. Then theres that start up time, and the 15 minutes cool down.

HID lamps arn't the way to go, and soon after T5's make their full intro, HID will be like the TV tube. Its just not efficient.

Wait till LED's come and are reliant enough, and we can really start thinking about going to space. :)

01-17-2009, 11:02 AM
Fluorescent lamps. T5's included, produce about 100 lumens/watt.

Metal Halide produces 120 lumens/watt and HPS produces 150 lumens/watt and up.

HID is significantly more efficient than any fluorescent lamp.

How many T5's have you seen lighiting roadways where lighting efficiency is paramount?

02-10-2009, 12:14 PM
is this the light you had on that link that doesnt work anymore?
Feit Electric
50 Watt Clear Halogen MR16 GU10 Base Bulb

02-22-2009, 05:26 PM
I was reading through this FAQ:


have been using 400 Watt HPS for a while now, has there been a lot of progress with the LED grow lamps? The energy savings should be pretty significant....