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Overdriving Florescent Lights


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  #1  
Old 01-12-2010, 10:03 PM
Amigatec Amigatec is offline
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Default Overdriving Florescent Lights

I have found the wiring diagrams and the correct ballast to overdrive 4' florescent lights. I will doing this soon.

Pictures and details will be coming.

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Old 01-14-2010, 04:59 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Cool, I'm interested in doing this, also If you can document any difference between the over driven lights and the lights that are not over driven would be great information. During the summer I may be able to find a place to setup a small place for lettuce in the house, where I would be able to better control the air and nutrient temps.

P.S. Also the difference in energy consumption. In order to decide weather it's more reasonable to just double the lights rather than the ballasts.
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Old 01-19-2010, 07:23 AM
watercatwn6535nd watercatwn6535nd is offline
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Default ho'ing

Overdrive the heck out of them. use 8ft ballasts in the place of a 4 ft and you have ho. No secrets here. The best part is your use a f32 bulb and buy them for $1 each in the bulk pack at the big box store. then every 3 months you change them out tell the box is empty of new ones and return the olds one fro a exhnage of new ones. I have never had aissue at the box store returning them and getting another new box. its says there good for 10000 hours or so and i take them back when the lumens fall off a smidge at 3 months or so. this way i get new bulbs at no cost all the time and the guy that gets them next gets tested and run in bulbs. over driving a t32 at $1 cant be beat. t5ho is a waist of money. i would like to get a t12ho ballast and over drive a t32 that would be 96 watts or so i think cant remember. beats the t5ho at 54 or so.
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Old 01-19-2010, 06:49 PM
Amigatec Amigatec is offline
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Overdriving the lights is when you use a ballast made for 4 lights and use to drive 2 lights. It depends on the type and brand as well. Some ballast are not overdrivable some are.
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Old 01-19-2010, 07:33 PM
watercatwn6535nd watercatwn6535nd is offline
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Default overdrive

I have some of both styles. we just built a set up to sit over three 5 gallon buckets. we used a hood that was for a old 4 tube set up and installed 12 tubes in it. then installed to large computer style fans on top of that with all the ballasts. the fans are cut through to vent the top of the grow box that this fixture is the top of. it has temp sensor in fro the fan control and air pumps etc. the bulbs are all over driven the amount of light is amazing and were only about 6 inches off the strawberry pants tops. just panda plastic hangin on the sides to keep the light out of the room its in at night. I'll snap some pictures off. its about as simple a hydro system indoors can be.

One thing i found is that you need to be checking the amps being used by the ballast to know if it is overdriving. i'm not a eletricain just been playing with it for a while.

What is the difference betwen my set ups that are running 8ft ballsts to 4ft bulbs or the 4 light ballasts i have running 2 bulbs? We always have called it overdriving either way its done.

My current grwo room is running all new t32 ballsts with t32 bulbs. its is 2500 lumes right on the bulbs but its between 1200 and 1500 lumens in the middle between the tubes from the top to the bottom. i have up until the is grow room rebuild used 400 hids and went after the magic 5k lumens to the plants leaf. I can say i'm not really seeing all ath much difference but what it is i think is the hid had to penetrate the plants canopy. but with the tubes vertical the plant absorbs so much more light evenly and from the top and bottom of the leaf it seems to have found some cross over point where it balances it all out.

Home depot had these fixtures on sale all last year for $3.59 each so i bought about 200 of them. i have spare parts and ballast for ever i think. the ballst was $18 or the whole fixture was $3.59 and there electronic. i had thought i may need to add a 25o hid on top during fruiting times but now after seeing some growiing i'm all good. also as the plant grows up the lights its right on the bulbs geting the full 2500 lumens jacked right into or through the leaf so this is equal to a t5ho bulb at one ft.

the lumens at the bulbs are half at one foot almost always so getting the plant to the bulb really helps.
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Old 01-19-2010, 08:04 PM
Amigatec Amigatec is offline
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Here are the diagrams for the OD lights.
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Old 01-19-2010, 08:15 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Quote:
One thing i found is that you need to be checking the amps being used by the ballast to know if it is overdriving. i'm not a eletricain just been playing with it for a while.
I am wondering if you have been able to calculate how much it is costs to run your light setup. How many kilowatts it's using per fixture, and/or total, to be able to calculate the cost? Also if there is much of a difference in cost between the over driven lights and not over driven lights?
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Last edited by GpsFrontier; 01-19-2010 at 08:20 PM.
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Old 01-19-2010, 08:27 PM
Amigatec Amigatec is offline
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They say it should cost a little less, because the ballast is underdriven by 15%, it's the bulbs that are over driven. The ballasts I have say .94 amp max.
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Old 01-19-2010, 08:49 PM
watercatwn6535nd watercatwn6535nd is offline
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I should put in the numbers to calculate the usage and costs. i think i just did not want to know. actaully i use the grow room in the winter as my house furnace. it keeps the house at about 70 to 75f and uses a little less power over all than the electric furnace. So technically its free so i had not been all that worried about it. i'm running about 140 bulbs i think may be acouple more than that. the amp draw is about 25 amps for the lights i have meter in the room its been a while since i set it up and was testing the system. everything else is pretty small load. i think have like 3300 watts of light over 27 hydro containers.

Ive een screwing off growing flowers and stuff that i cant eat but the goal is to go into next fall with 60 differnt fruits vegetables and supply my food for the winter my self.

I just got permission from local all mighty to have a whopping huge flock of 4 hens and no cocks. so i'll probbaly start out with chicken layers and then fudge the rules a bit and add in some fryers and do a 8 week cycle on them. i'm going to growtronix them and trick them into 18 hour sunny days with climate control i already picked on a dehumidifier and window shaker for the climate control and have auto feeders to control food dosing. i fonud a bird that is like a turkey in 8 weeks and after that cant walk becuse he bulks up on meat so much. just perfect for the freezer and about the same cycle as my fruits and vegetables.

I also just got a hot tub and put it out on the porch for growing some fish. I think its 200 gallons or more. so i'm hoping to add that to the diet as well.

just need more money and day light and will be up and running in know time.
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Old 01-20-2010, 01:30 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Quote:
I should put in the numbers to calculate the usage and costs. i think i just did not want to know.
I am not sure what meter you have for doing that, but I was thinking of using a P3 "Kill A Watt"meter myself. They run about $30 and can tell you exactly to the penny how much it is costing you for any 110 electrical device. There is also other models like "Kill A Watt" PS that is like a power strip and can check multiple plugs at one time. But all you would need to do is plug on light into the meter then multiply it by how many you have. I want one of these to check household lights and the refrigerator, you can get these at most home improvement stores.
Quote:
I also just got a hot tub and put it out on the porch for growing some fish.
I like this idea. If I tried it, I would probably build a water pond in the backyard complete with a waterfall. Then get the fishing pole out to catch my dinner.
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just need more money and day light and will be up and running in know time.
I hear that...
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Last edited by GpsFrontier; 01-20-2010 at 01:33 AM.
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Old 01-20-2010, 02:39 AM
watercatwn6535nd watercatwn6535nd is offline
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Default power meter

The growtronix has this built into it. when you add a new device you tell it what its wattage is and what your paying for a KW and it calculates out the cost in more ways than you could ever want in charts. what i really need is to use the Jeti Knight move on the meter guy when hes here and tell him the meter is not really moving.

I have solar panels they offset a lot of it. LOL

I am in the market for a slightly used atomic reactor and some yellow cake. I'm currently negotiating with betty crocker.
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Old 01-20-2010, 03:30 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Quote:
The growtronix has this built into it. when you add a new device you tell it what its wattage is and what your paying for a KW and it calculates out the cost
I'm not surprised for the cost of it. But until I can afford the growtronix system I will get one of the "Kill a Watt" devices. You don't need to know wattage or amperage either, it automatically knows what it is when you plug the electronic device into it. That comes in handy if you don't know how many watts your toaster oven is, fridge, microwave, TV, computer, printer, electric razor etc.. The amount you pay for a KW is on the electric bill, and it's the same amount for every appliance. So it's real simple to use.
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Old 05-16-2010, 12:47 AM
KayBay KayBay is offline
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Default Cost

What's the cost of building your own setup? Seems like more than buying a simple hood.
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Old 05-16-2010, 02:43 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KayBay View Post
What's the cost of building your own setup? Seems like more than buying a simple hood.
Not sure what you are referring to. The growtronix system is not a build your own system, it's a computerized environmental control system. You can check it out in this thread http://www.hydroponicsonline.com/for...ix-system.html, and starts around $1000.

If you are referring to the "Kill a Watt" devices, they range in price from about $20 upwards to $200 depending on what you want with it. If you are referring to Overdriving Florescent Lights, a typical florescent light fixture contains 1 ballast (CFL's have them in the base of the bulb). The idea behind Overdriving Florescent Lights is to use 2 ballast instead of one in the same light fixture. So you still need the light fixture, then another ballast and wire it in correctly. I can only assume this adds extra power to the florescent light bulbs, driving up it's light (lumen) output. And likely it's power consumption also, as well as shortening the life span of the bulbs.
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Old 05-16-2010, 02:45 AM
KayBay KayBay is offline
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Thanks for that reply. I assume you would wire 2 400w ballasts?
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Old 05-16-2010, 03:51 AM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KayBay View Post
Thanks for that reply. I assume you would wire 2 400w ballasts?
I have not done it as of yet, although 400W for a florescent light sounds like a lot. But if that is what your florescent light fixture has in it that is what I would use (this only applys to florescent lighting). Just take the ballast out and take it down to the home improvement store and tell them you need another one to match. I'm not sure if you read this part of this thread but here is a link to a wiring diagram that was posted http://www.hydroponicsonline.com/for....html#post3904

P.S. I have never done it so I cant say if it's accurate, but it looks good to me.

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