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HPS and MH light, I hope I made finally made the right call


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  #1  
Old 04-02-2011, 05:20 PM
cable24601 cable24601 is offline
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Default HPS and MH light, I hope I made finally made the right call

At about 9 weeks in to this experiment I am a little disappointed by the results that I am seeing. Don't get me wrong, I have some great growth from my lettuce and dill but everything else is growing at a snails pace. In fact my tomatoes look like they have stopped growing all together. So what is the problem? I had a long conversation with the owner of my local hydroponics store and he thinks that I just don't have the amount of light needed to grow anything more than small leafy plants. As many of you know my goal is to grow all of the fruits and vegetables that my family's needs. In the last few weeks I have looked in to the expansion of my hydrofarm and knew that lighting would play a big roll.

The big question know is what to do about it. I chose led in the start do to the low power cost and heat. I then added on T8 florescent to the project to grow out some seedlings. Here are some of my impressions so far.

The 2 13 watt LED red blue panels have been above 4 4 inch dirt pots full of herbs. These have done a nice job of keeping me supplied with chives, oregano, and chives. The 4th pot is rosemary but not much action there. I am happy with these lights but wonder if I would get more from T5 HO.

The 1 240 watt LED 7 band panel only seem to cover a 1 foot by 2 foot square and once the plants got to 18 inchs high they started to die off near the bottoms. This thing will grow but I would need quite a few to work for what I want. If they did work as advertised this could have been a different story.

This bring me to high pressure sodium and metal halide. In the start I was against this type of system. I was thinking high power bills, heat and the cops stopping by to raid my tomatoes however when I look at it now I think alot of this is a misconception. Yes hps will be more power but not much and the heat will be more but that is nothing better ventilation can't deal with. As for the cops I would have to expand to using about 6 600 watt lights before I may get a visit and then I will make some BLTs for their troubles. Even then if I had to buy 4 more 240 watt LED panels to cover my grow area, all the above problems would be a factor anyhow. I wonder if there would even be much of a difference at that point.

I the end this project is an experiment and I do feel like I have some good results. So I will try HPS and MH to see the results and as always let you know what happens.

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  #2  
Old 04-02-2011, 08:08 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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The 1 240 watt LED 7 band panel only seem to cover a 1 foot by 2 foot square and once the plants got to 18 inchs high they started to die off near the bottoms. This thing will grow but I would need quite a few to work for what I want. If they did work as advertised this could have been a different story.
Hello cable24601,
Sadly this is the same exact type of comment I hear from just about everybody that try's LED lighting time and time again. For small low light requirement plants like lettuce there is some potential, but for growing anything substantial and/or a descent quantity of plants they just don't work as the manufactures advertise them to. The reality being that by the time you get enough LED panels to grow what you want, your simply better off using MH and HPS. That's why I always say LED's just aren't ready for prime time yet.

Even if you bought 4 of those 240 watt LED's, you still wouldn't be able to grow a tall plant, unless you placed them around the plant at different heights, and you would still be using almost 1000 watts of electricity. A watt is a watt no matter if it's a LED or MH light, it still costs the same. You would get much better coverage, light penetration, and growth by using 2, 400 watt MH or HPS lights, and only be using 800 watts of electricity.

Sure you will need some ducting, and couple of fans for ventilating the heat generated by the HID lighting. But ducting is not very expensive at Lowe's, and/or Home Depot. And you don't need expensive inline fans from the hydro store either. Even one $40-$60 dollar blower fan can circulate enough cubic feet per minute (cfm), to exchange the entire volume of air in a 20 by 10 foot greenhouse (200 square feet), that was 10 feet tall (200x10=2000 cubic feet). A blower fan with a 2000 cfm would be plenty for that space. The ducting would just help to pull the air from near the lights, or top of the room first (the warmest air). But a $15-$20 bathroom ventilation fan can be placed inline at the end of ducting coming from each light, and should have plenty of cfm to circulate enough air as well.

I'm just guessing here, but I guess the 240 watt LED's cost about $300 each. Probably about the same for a 400 watt MH and ballast. So that basically cuts the cost of equipment in half (buying 2 MH, instead of 4 LED's), and uses less wattage to boot. As well as MH and HPS provide much better coverage, light penetration, and thus plant growth. Of coarse you need to add the wattage for the ventilation to the mix, but I think that's a wash. Simply because either way you'll want/need enough ventilation, or the plants will use up all the co2 in the room then stop growing. By circulating fresh air in the room, you replace the used co2, so you need good ventilation either way.
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Old 04-02-2011, 10:19 PM
Twilly Twilly is offline
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Just throwing this out again, But check out Craigslist for used MH high bay HID lighting.... I got 2 for $50... Still going strong and if you want HPS you can get a conversion bulb
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Old 04-03-2011, 05:26 PM
hydrophotobio hydrophotobio is offline
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I'm willing to bet the 240w isn't a 240w at all. You might have 240w worth of diodes but not in power drivers.
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Old 04-04-2011, 01:00 AM
CAPT38 CAPT38 is offline
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Default low cost lghting

Hey cable,
If you are looking for low cost lightning lowes sells a 85 watt cfl that's equivalent to a 300 watt incandescent for around. 16 bucks, I bought two of them with two brooding lights in all I spent 60 bucks, I was using 25 watt cfls ( my plant growth seemed to slow at the 6th week)
After I set up the new cfls, my plants growth exploded, but the do get some natural sun light throughout the day. I have transfered all my tomato and pepper plants outside into a wicking system and started new seedlings inside, I haven't seen how their doing under the larger cfls. ( @ work ) , but the wife says they are growing pretty good........from what ive read you are going to need a mh and hps one. For veg one for flowering...but don't take my word on that, ( my toms flowered under the cfls I didn't get alot of flowers but my grow room has a window and the plants get some sun light. As far as I am concerned the 300 watt cfls work very well and are a low cost alternative to to mh hps and led and tube fluorescent fixtures. ( I'm not saying that they work better just cheaper over all ) as a beginner in hydroponics I have had very good success with my home built system, admittedly I was somewhat skeptical about hydroponics in the beginning.
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Old 04-08-2011, 04:09 PM
cable24601 cable24601 is offline
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Default So here is what I went with

I just got my new grow lights in the mail yesterday and so far I think I made the right choice. I got a 600 watt digital ballast, fixture, high pressure sodium and metal halide bulb on ebay for $200. After putting this thing together I notice right away that amount of light was far greater than what I had with the LED system. I also noted that the coverage area was about 5 times grater than before. I had to install some ducting to help with cooling as the light was much hotter than what I had in the past and after moving the air pump to the outside of the tent I am only 1 degree hotter then before. The move to the new lighting has given me the option to really start expanding with more plants so I know that I will be busy in the next few weeks adding more hydroponics systems to the grow tent and may even finally see some tomatoes.
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Old 04-15-2011, 04:36 PM
ProZachJ ProZachJ is offline
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You have to buy a pretty expensive LED to be able to match the intensity and coverage of a 400W HID...they are out there, but not on ebay or other cheap sources.
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Old 05-11-2011, 04:52 PM
WeeGogs WeeGogs is offline
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Originally Posted by cable24601 View Post
I just got my new grow lights in the mail yesterday and so far I think I made the right choice. I got a 600 watt digital ballast, fixture, high pressure sodium and metal halide bulb on ebay for $200. After putting this thing together I notice right away that amount of light was far greater than what I had with the LED system. I also noted that the coverage area was about 5 times grater than before. I had to install some ducting to help with cooling as the light was much hotter than what I had in the past and after moving the air pump to the outside of the tent I am only 1 degree hotter then before. The move to the new lighting has given me the option to really start expanding with more plants so I know that I will be busy in the next few weeks adding more hydroponics systems to the grow tent and may even finally see some tomatoes.
i dont want to butt in but i dont understand, why would you use metal halide and hps lamps at the same time. when you can buy a dual spectrum 600w or1000w lamp.
you can also buy them with cool tubes or units that have ducting flanges on to vent the heat away with an extraction fan from the lamp itself, instead of the room.
i have never liked metal halide, the spectrum is the very top of the vegetation scale, it will cause very tall and thin tomato plants etc, the hps is at the very top of the flowering scale. it is like changing seasons, use the metal halide to grow the plant, and once you want to bear fruit swap it with the hps, you have tricked your plant in to thinking that the season or time is right to bear fruit. led lights are a waste of time, to copy our sun you need very strong light with lots of power behind it.
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Old 05-11-2011, 07:04 PM
hydrophotobio hydrophotobio is offline
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"led lights are a waste of time"

Oh, really? I think these plants in my home garden would beg to differ.

April 30th vs May 11 - 11 days of growth.

Beating summer sun production rates, ahead by two weeks on this dill and Parris Island Romaine.
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Old 05-12-2011, 01:12 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Although I don't have any doubts that LED's can grow healthy plants (that is when your using good quality LED panels). But good quality LED's are not cheep, and only have an effective distance of about 18 inches. So unless you only want to grow a few lettuce plants, LED's just aren't cost effective yet.
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Old 05-12-2011, 12:05 PM
hydrophotobio hydrophotobio is offline
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"But good quality LED's are not cheep, and only have an effective distance of about 18 inches"

I can pop 2,000 umol (sunlight intensity) near 10 inches. The low range of high light levels begins around 150 umol. With umol count halving with each doubling of the distance, 250 umol is therefore 80 inches away.

Bear in mind most fluorescent lamps don't even hit that output from 24 inches, that includes T5 and Induction. A 200w Induction lamp won't even hit 2,000 umol from the surface of the tube itself.

I have a 12w spotlight with lensing, 2,000 umol is 20+ inches away.
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Old 05-12-2011, 01:33 PM
cable24601 cable24601 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WeeGogs View Post
i dont want to butt in but i dont understand, why would you use metal halide and hps lamps at the same time. when you can buy a dual spectrum 600w or1000w lamp.
you can also buy them with cool tubes or units that have ducting flanges on to vent the heat away with an extraction fan from the lamp itself, instead of the room.
i have never liked metal halide, the spectrum is the very top of the vegetation scale, it will cause very tall and thin tomato plants etc, the hps is at the very top of the flowering scale. it is like changing seasons, use the metal halide to grow the plant, and once you want to bear fruit swap it with the hps, you have tricked your plant in to thinking that the season or time is right to bear fruit. led lights are a waste of time, to copy our sun you need very strong light with lots of power behind it.
I am not using the MH and HPS at the same time. I have one fixture and two bulbs one MH and one HPS. The idea is that I would start with MH until I am about to hit the flowering stage and then I would run HPS for the rest.
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Old 05-12-2011, 04:33 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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I can pop 2,000 umol (sunlight intensity) near 10 inches. The low range of high light levels begins around 150 umol. With umol count halving with each doubling of the distance, 250 umol is therefore 80 inches away.
First, I and most people are interested in growing plants larger than 10 inches. As well as a wide varieties of plants, not just low light requirement plants like lettuce. Second, for the sake of argument (because once again there is no research data to support your numbers, the equipment, and costs), but if one simply has plenty of money they can get a lot of light output from LED's, and even florescent. If I wanted to I could get good plant growth from florescent lighting, and from 8 feet away. I just need to use enough of them and place them at different angles. I could even use double ballasts and overdrive the florescent lighting. But between the cost of equipment and electricity (total wattage), it simply wouldn't be cost effective compared to MH and/or HPS. That's the most important part, and the part you always choose to ignore.
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Old 05-15-2011, 12:07 PM
hydrophotobio hydrophotobio is offline
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"First, I and most people are interested in growing plants larger than 10 inches."

You aren't understanding what the umol is about. Let me make it a bit more clear.

That's the same distance a 600w HID bulb hits the 2,000 umol range. Does a 600w grow plants a mere 10 inches tall? ABSOLUTELY NOT. Will the LED grow plants much taller than 10 inches? ALL DAY LONG, and with HEAVY YIELD.

http://i.imgur.com/8PN4x.jpg

So heavy the very plant itself is about to break under the weight.

"But between the cost of equipment and electricity (total wattage), it simply wouldn't be cost effective compared to MH and/or HPS. That's the most important part, and the part you always choose to ignore."

I've run the math over and over. The long-run cost is actually LESS. That's why I'm enjoying $40/mo power bills without needing to ever run my AC, out near the desert, in CALIFORNIA. You are choosing to ignore that multi-ton multi-kilowatt-hour AC unit you have to run to compensate for those HIDs.

Were it not worth it, I wouldn't be running pure led in my OWN HOUSE.

Instead of asking for the numbers you could've taken the 5 minutes to do the research and to run them off in excel and come to the EXACT same conclusion.

You don't get to my level by being spoonfed everything.
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Old 05-15-2011, 09:08 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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You don't get to my level by being spoonfed everything.
You can claim to be anything you want, but that doesn't make it true, and/or wont make me believe it either. That's the exact type of statement you get from people who make up things and call it fact. They think it puts the responsibility of verifying their information on the other person, and if the other people come to a different conclusion from what they find when they do, they will just say other person is stupid and/or doesn't know the "real" facts. And by refusing to share where they get their information from, they think they can keep up the illusion of knowing something other people don't, and they think that makes them creditable.

When the truth is the exact opposite is true, and I wont buy into that illusion, sorry. Demanding people just believe you may work on some people, but it wont work on me. The more you demand people just believe on faith, as well as refuse to share information sources, the less credibility you have with me. People who have legitimate information to share, generally don't mind sharing their information sources, as well as explaining how they come to the conclusions they have. Well that is unless their just selfish, and just don't like to share anything. But that's not a very good personality either, nor does it portray credibility.

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Instead of asking for the numbers you could've taken the 5 minutes to do the research and to run them off in excel and come to the EXACT same conclusion.
What the bleep are you talking about??? First I don't have EXCELL, us poor peon's aren't rich like you. We have to watch what we spend, and don't have an unlimited source of funds. Just what conclusions are you referring to? The conclusion that if you had all the money you need you can create a LED lighting setup to grow just about anything??? I already came to that conclusion well before you ever joined the forum. So what, nothing new there? Like I said many times, us poor peon's need to watch spending, and don't have unlimited supply's of money (no matter what claims manufactures make).

The video you posted in the other thread only illustrates my point to the "T." Those LED grow lights/panels are not cheep and must range between $400 and $500 each. With one led panel needed every 2 feet on center, being conservative and assuming each light panel was only $400, to outfit a 10x20 grow space would cost $20,000. For a small 10x10 space would cost $10,000. Depending on the wattage used, one MH light, or 2 smaller wattage MH lights would be plenty of light for a 10x10 grow space, and cost far less than one tenth the cost in equipment. Even half that cost for LED is way to expensive to consider (for people that care about their money anyway, and for people who are looking for less expensive produce than what's in the market). I'm not interested in growing a $20 tomato.

Quote:
That's the same distance a 600w HID bulb hits the 2,000 umol range. Does a 600w grow plants a mere 10 inches tall? ABSOLUTELY NOT.
Let me make it a bit more clear, does 600w HID bulb and light system cost ten grand? ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! Who cares if you can create a 2,000,000,000 umol light, unless it cost less than what's already available. Who cares, (except the manufacture, or sales person trying to sell a product).

And NO I'm not "choosing to ignore that multi-ton multi-kilowatt-hour AC unit you have to run to compensate for those HIDs." That is just a way overrated claim that manufactures use to sell their high priced LED's (that I'm sure you work for). Good ventilation is all that's needed in most all cases, and the cost for ventilation is fairly cheep. A box fan like the (18 inch wide) one I use every day during the summer only cost me one penny to run per hour. Even for large grow areas with many HID lights, good ventilation is easy to do. Some venting can even be done without using any electricity at all, using roof/attic ventilation fans that allow the heat to escape as it rises.

Cost to run my 18 inch fan
1.1 amps, 120 volts (1.1x120=132) 132 watts
Calculating The Cost Of Electricity (scroll down to the "Calculating Energy Costs" section)

Our total cost per kilowatt hour is $0.09.29 (9.29 cents), this is easy to find on your electric bill, and make sure to include both the base charge, as well as the surcharge for using more than 400 kilowatts a month. 9.29 kilowatt hr (is our total), 132 watts running for 1 hr comes to $0.01 per hour, or $0.29 per (24 hr) day. These numbers are running full blast on high (max output of the fan). Electricity Cost Calculator

If for some reason ventilation alone wont keep the area cool enough, there is no need for a "multi-ton" ac unit. A small window AC unit that I use to cool my approx 15x15 bedroom (to 72-78 degrees F) during summer, and I rarely run on high would more than suffice for a 10x10 grow space, and would probably be fine for a 10x20 grow space with good air circulation and air flow (that it should have anyway). My small window AC is:

5,350 BTU
500 watts (listed on the sticker)
4.5 amps, 115 volts (4.5x115= 517.5 watts going by volts and amps)

And I only paid $99 for it over 10 years ago when I lived in Calif. But you can still get these small ones at Home Depot for $100 or less, and I'm sure their more energy efficient these days too. But going by my 10 year old AC unit, this window AC unit only costs me 5 cents per hour to run on full high per hour. Or $1.11 per day (24 hours). If I left it on turbo all day long, and for the entire month, it would cost me a total of $33.30 (for a 24/7 30 day month).

Now assuming I needed to to run the AC full blast for 24hr a day, and all year long. Witch of course would be way over kill, but Ill use that for the numbers anyhow. HID lighting for a 10x10 space would cost well under $1000, but assume it was $1000 to make the math easy. It would cost $9000 more to outfit the same small 10x10 space with LED. Running that AC full blast 24/7 all year long, it would take 270 months to break even using LED instead ($9000 divided by $33.30= 270.2 months). Or in other words 270 divided by 12= 22.5 years just to break even. Putting your spare money in a CD account is a much better investment, and you get it back quicker.

LED's can (can, but not necessarily) generally use less overall wattage, but adding up all the wattage from the 25 LED panels needed for a 10x10 grow space wont be that much significantly less overall wattage than just using 2, 400 watt HID lights. Even if it cuts the wattage used by the HID lights in half, that would be 400 watts a month savings (and the LED's would only be 16 watts per LED panel 16x25=400). That's only saving $0.67 a day in lighting costs for 18 hours per day, or $20.10 a month, or $241.20 a year. It would take 37.31 years to break even from the lighting energy cost savings at half the energy consumption than HID. When you compare it to the the extra $9000 up-front costs in equipment for LED to outfit the same 10x10 grow space. Is LED a viable option? Yes if your rich, have money to burn, and don't care if that tomato cost $20 to grow.

Quote:
Enjoying $40/mo power bills
2, 400 watt lights would only cost me $40 a month to run too ($1.34 for a 18 hour day, $1.34x30= $40.20), and would cost less than 1 tenth of the $10,000 in equipment for LED. Even if LED's saved half the electrical cost, I would still need to wait almost 4 decades just to break even from the equipment costs. And even if using AC with HID, LED's will still take over 2 decade to break even. Again, is LED a viable option? Yes if your rich, have money to burn, and don't care if that tomato cost $20 to grow.

Quote:
I've run the math over and over. The long-run cost is actually LESS
Ya, but I'm not going to wait 20-40 years before "the long run" happens.

P.S.
If you would have taken the 5 minutes to do the research and run the numbers you would have come to the EXACT same conclusion. You don't get to my level by being spoonfed everything. But unlike you hydrophotobio, I don't mind spoon feeding (if needed), and helping people. Nor do I have anything to hide either. Politely asking someone (who you don't believe in the first place) to explain how they come to their conclusions, is only giving them the opportunity to give them credibility (or at least explain how they got to that conclusion). If they refuse to show credibility, so be it, that's their choice. In school it was called showing your work, and the teacher wasn't about to believe you unless you were able to show your work (at least in my schools, even if you had the right answer). The people who knew what they were doing (or at least were genuine in their effort) had no problem showing how they came to the conclusions/answers they did. The ones that had something to hide, simply refused every time. I gave multiple opportunities, and I now have no doubts anymore which type you are.
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Old 05-19-2011, 04:19 AM
WeeGogs WeeGogs is offline
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Originally Posted by GpsFrontier View Post
You can claim to be anything you want, but that doesn't make it true, and/or wont make me believe it either. That's the exact type of statement you get from people who make up things and call it fact. They think it puts the responsibility of verifying their information on the other person, and if the other people come to a different conclusion from what they find when they do, they will just say other person is stupid and/or doesn't know the "real" facts. And by refusing to share where they get their information from, they think they can keep up the illusion of knowing something other people don't, and they think that makes them creditable.

When the truth is the exact opposite is true, and I wont buy into that illusion, sorry. Demanding people just believe you may work on some people, but it wont work on me. The more you demand people just believe on faith, as well as refuse to share information sources, the less credibility you have with me. People who have legitimate information to share, generally don't mind sharing their information sources, as well as explaining how they come to the conclusions they have. Well that is unless their just selfish, and just don't like to share anything. But that's not a very good personality either, nor does it portray credibility.



What the bleep are you talking about??? First I don't have EXCELL, us poor peon's aren't rich like you. We have to watch what we spend, and don't have an unlimited source of funds. Just what conclusions are you referring to? The conclusion that if you had all the money you need you can create a LED lighting setup to grow just about anything??? I already came to that conclusion well before you ever joined the forum. So what, nothing new there? Like I said many times, us poor peon's need to watch spending, and don't have unlimited supply's of money (no matter what claims manufactures make).

The video you posted in the other thread only illustrates my point to the "T." Those LED grow lights/panels are not cheep and must range between $400 and $500 each. With one led panel needed every 2 feet on center, being conservative and assuming each light panel was only $400, to outfit a 10x20 grow space would cost $20,000. For a small 10x10 space would cost $10,000. Depending on the wattage used, one MH light, or 2 smaller wattage MH lights would be plenty of light for a 10x10 grow space, and cost far less than one tenth the cost in equipment. Even half that cost for LED is way to expensive to consider (for people that care about their money anyway, and for people who are looking for less expensive produce than what's in the market). I'm not interested in growing a $20 tomato.



Let me make it a bit more clear, does 600w HID bulb and light system cost ten grand? ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! Who cares if you can create a 2,000,000,000 umol light, unless it cost less than what's already available. Who cares, (except the manufacture, or sales person trying to sell a product).

And NO I'm not "choosing to ignore that multi-ton multi-kilowatt-hour AC unit you have to run to compensate for those HIDs." That is just a way overrated claim that manufactures use to sell their high priced LED's (that I'm sure you work for). Good ventilation is all that's needed in most all cases, and the cost for ventilation is fairly cheep. A box fan like the (18 inch wide) one I use every day during the summer only cost me one penny to run per hour. Even for large grow areas with many HID lights, good ventilation is easy to do. Some venting can even be done without using any electricity at all, using roof/attic ventilation fans that allow the heat to escape as it rises.

Cost to run my 18 inch fan
1.1 amps, 120 volts (1.1x120=132) 132 watts
Calculating The Cost Of Electricity (scroll down to the "Calculating Energy Costs" section)

Our total cost per kilowatt hour is $0.09.29 (9.29 cents), this is easy to find on your electric bill, and make sure to include both the base charge, as well as the surcharge for using more than 400 kilowatts a month. 9.29 kilowatt hr (is our total), 132 watts running for 1 hr comes to $0.01 per hour, or $0.29 per (24 hr) day. These numbers are running full blast on high (max output of the fan). Electricity Cost Calculator

If for some reason ventilation alone wont keep the area cool enough, there is no need for a "multi-ton" ac unit. A small window AC unit that I use to cool my approx 15x15 bedroom (to 72-78 degrees F) during summer, and I rarely run on high would more than suffice for a 10x10 grow space, and would probably be fine for a 10x20 grow space with good air circulation and air flow (that it should have anyway). My small window AC is:

5,350 BTU
500 watts (listed on the sticker)
4.5 amps, 115 volts (4.5x115= 517.5 watts going by volts and amps)

And I only paid $99 for it over 10 years ago when I lived in Calif. But you can still get these small ones at Home Depot for $100 or less, and I'm sure their more energy efficient these days too. But going by my 10 year old AC unit, this window AC unit only costs me 5 cents per hour to run on full high per hour. Or $1.11 per day (24 hours). If I left it on turbo all day long, and for the entire month, it would cost me a total of $33.30 (for a 24/7 30 day month).

Now assuming I needed to to run the AC full blast for 24hr a day, and all year long. Witch of course would be way over kill, but Ill use that for the numbers anyhow. HID lighting for a 10x10 space would cost well under $1000, but assume it was $1000 to make the math easy. It would cost $9000 more to outfit the same small 10x10 space with LED. Running that AC full blast 24/7 all year long, it would take 270 months to break even using LED instead ($9000 divided by $33.30= 270.2 months). Or in other words 270 divided by 12= 22.5 years just to break even. Putting your spare money in a CD account is a much better investment, and you get it back quicker.

LED's can (can, but not necessarily) generally use less overall wattage, but adding up all the wattage from the 25 LED panels needed for a 10x10 grow space wont be that much significantly less overall wattage than just using 2, 400 watt HID lights. Even if it cuts the wattage used by the HID lights in half, that would be 400 watts a month savings (and the LED's would only be 16 watts per LED panel 16x25=400). That's only saving $0.67 a day in lighting costs for 18 hours per day, or $20.10 a month, or $241.20 a year. It would take 37.31 years to break even from the lighting energy cost savings at half the energy consumption than HID. When you compare it to the the extra $9000 up-front costs in equipment for LED to outfit the same 10x10 grow space. Is LED a viable option? Yes if your rich, have money to burn, and don't care if that tomato cost $20 to grow.


2, 400 watt lights would only cost me $40 a month to run too ($1.34 for a 18 hour day, $1.34x30= $40.20), and would cost less than 1 tenth of the $10,000 in equipment for LED. Even if LED's saved half the electrical cost, I would still need to wait almost 4 decades just to break even from the equipment costs. And even if using AC with HID, LED's will still take over 2 decade to break even. Again is LED a viable option? Yes if your rich, have money to burn, and don't care if that tomato cost $20 to grow.


Ya, but I'm not going to wait 20-40 years before "the long run" happens.

P.S.
If you would have taken the 5 minutes to do the research and run the numbers you would have come to the EXACT same conclusion. You don't get to my level by being spoonfed everything. But unlike you hydrophotobio, I don't mind spoon feeding (if needed), and helping people. Nor do I have anything to hide either. Politely asking someone (who you don't believe in the first place) to explain how they come to their conclusions, is only giving them the opportunity to give them credibility (or at least explain how they got to that conclusion). If they refuse to show credibility, so be it, that's their choice. In school it was called showing your work, and the teacher wasn't about to believe you unless you were able to show your work (at least in my schools, even if you had the right answer). The people who knew what they were doing (or at least were genuine in their effort) had no problem showing how they came to the conclusions/answers they did. The ones that had something to hide, simply refused every time. I gave multiple opportunities, and I now have no doubts anymore which type you are.
took me ages to read all that.
anyway it makes sense, we, as the user of the materials we buy, and not being able to experiment at the expense of some university or college paying for the equipment, we have come to the same conclusion. it simply does not pay us to buy led lighting at the price it is being offered at, in my view anyway, it is well overpriced, a bit like paying 6.50 ( $10.51 ) a gallon for petrol ( gas ) back in the uk.
the people producing the product sell it very very cheap, but the middle man supplying it to the public hike huge profit margins on top.
i bet led is actually very cheap to produce in china, and my theory is : there is going to be a huge reduction in cost by 2015.
i then may decide to throw my hid lamps in the bin.
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  #17  
Old 06-18-2011, 08:10 PM
local local is offline
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well, the good stuff!
GpsFrontier Tnx!
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  #18  
Old 06-18-2011, 09:42 PM
crad crad is offline
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wow GPS lol that was a mouth full there. Now like cable, HPS and metal halide are my last resorts.

So far I have been able to grow everything with t-8's and yes there are a lot of fixture but I got them for $10 and they use 800ma bulb cost for 8000 kelvin bulbs were $7 so I can afford to buy several light fixtures at that price. yes they are adjustable and if the plants grow into them they do not burn the plant and no ventilation equipment to buy.

I also use 6 bulb high bay t8's with chrome reflectors and they are adjustable as well. they work fine and cost me $78 and $21 dollars for bulb each. I really like these fixture and they do a good job but again i keep them 6 inches above my plants.

Just for the record I am a master electrician and one of my specialties is lighting. I also specialize in industrial controls, scada and do some robotics as well. which sounds cool but the manufacturing in the area I live in is all but dead only one wood plant remains. so it is tough economy right now. I survive but not getting rich or younger, So I venture to a new market.

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