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View Full Version : High end CFL bulbs for Hydropoics/Aquaponics/mood lighitng


redrex
11-15-2011, 12:57 AM
So I was all set to do an inside setup and my son got diagnosed with asthma. The doc says "no growing plants or aquariums inside". It's like she freaking knew what I was planning to setup.

So I've gotten rid of all the other indoor only equipment but I still have two large 15,000 lumens (250 watt) CFL's from Feliz with reflectors. For those who aren't familiar with CFL this is the equivalent of a 1,000 watt traditional lamp. But it uses so much less power and runs much cooler. Meaning it can be closer to the plants.

They cost me about $150 each with the reflector. I have one still in the box and the other was setup and tested but never used.

I'd like to trade for other "prepping" kinda stuff. Let me know if anyone is interested.

covertcombatant
11-15-2011, 8:38 PM
What is the color temp of the bulbs?

redrex
11-15-2011, 8:49 PM
What is the color temp of the bulbs?

It's 6,500K. For vegetative growth.

Super Spy
11-15-2011, 8:58 PM
I have Asthma, indoor plants, and an aquarium....

Rhythm of Life
11-15-2011, 9:11 PM
With CFLs you use actual wattage to determine power not equivalent.

And when you compare CFLs to MH and HPS you cannot even compare wattage as the performance of CFLs is crap in comparison.

CFLs effective range are within 5 inches only and loose a lot of light "power" from the curls used to make it compact. Compared to a 150watt HPS bulb which can handle a 18in square area and have depth penetration to undergrowth. HPS also produce full color spectrum better replicating sunlight.

And OP you can buy carbon air scrubbers that will remove any crap in the air.

**Thought I'd add 2 250 watt CFLs are actually equal to a 2000watt incandescent not 1000 watts as you said.

redrex
11-15-2011, 10:41 PM
With CFLs you use actual wattage to determine power not equivalent.

And when you compare CFLs to MH and HPS you cannot even compare wattage as the performance of CFLs is crap in comparison.

CFLs effective range are within 5 inches only and loose a lot of light "power" from the curls used to make it compact. Compared to a 150watt HPS bulb which can handle a 18in square area and have depth penetration to undergrowth. HPS also produce full color spectrum better replicating sunlight.

And OP you can buy carbon air scrubbers that will remove any crap in the air.

I've heard these argument before and as I have grown extensively with both I'd have to say that I just don't agree with most of what you say.

As for the wattage and equivalent I'd say that when you are looking at the area of coverage that you can use a specific CFL bulb for then yes, it's very fair to say that CFL's of this or that size are the equivalent to X in a standard bulb. And your comment about "crap in comparison" and loss of power from the curls makes me wonder if you are familiar with this type of CFL grow lights. These are not house lights or tiny curley Q bulbs. These are foot long monsters. (see pic below)

And your comment about effective range? They don't "need" to be closer but because of the lower temp the "can" be closer, thus giving you that improved penetration, should you want it. But who does? If you are doing proper hydro and you want optimal yield you will be training your plants. i.e. SCROG'ing. So you don't need penetration.

And while MH and HPS may produce a fuller, more sun like spectrum, the plants don't care. They only use part of the spectrum anyway. That's why these are color coded (6,500k for veg). All you are doing with the other style of lights is spending a bunch of money on extra heat that isn't needed for the process.

Heck, past CFL development, LED's are fast approaching a usable state. If they can just get power up and price down a bit, that will be the way to go. Probably about 5 years away.

As to fans and filters. Yes, if I wanted to do this all, in a spare room or tent. But I don't AND then there are the fish. See, I'm setting up aquaponics and it would be a mess trying to put all of this in a confined space. So I moved it out to the deck and I'm going to do a cheap greenhouse setup I guess.

Actual length is about 1.5' total.
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/416hvVvfpxL.jpg

Rhythm of Life
11-16-2011, 12:39 AM
You can say what you want, I've grown under 525 watts of CFls and a 150 HPS kicks the **** out of it.

Any indoor gardener would agree.

If you notice the tube reflects light inside the CFL.... wasted light. But what the **** am I bringing common sense to the argument?

1.5 ft total? I have a vented HPS bulbb thats smaller and does more....

And it doesn;t use multiple spectrums?

http://img167.imageshack.us/img167/9474/bulbcomparisonsf7.gif

Amateur....

redrex
11-16-2011, 3:02 AM
You can say what you want, I've grown under 525 watts of CFls and a 150 HPS kicks the **** out of it.

Any indoor gardener would agree.

If you notice the tube reflects light inside the CFL.... wasted light. But what the **** am I bringing common sense to the argument?

1.5 ft total? I have a vented HPS bulbb thats smaller and does more....

And it doesn;t use multiple spectrums?

Amateur....

Talk about epic troll fail. Have you ever even grown anything, much less indoors?

Wasted light inside the bulb? Do you understand how bulbs are rated? Or how light output is measured. When they say 15,000 lumen that's total output, not some sort of "potential" output measured from inside the bulb. But your right, what is science when compared to your vaunted "common sense".

And if anyone else wonders who's right about this. The bulbs I've been talking about are high output CFL in the 6,500k spectrum. This is the cool blue spectrum for vegetative growth. Now do a google search on his HPS lights and see what they are used for :)


It's ok I'll wait....


Yep, you have probably figured it out by this point. He is comparing my CFL's in 6,500k to HPS lights in the 2200k yellow spectrum. ie. He is talking about the wrong kind of light. HPS's are FLOWERING LIGHTS! Dude, your 150hps that kicks the **** out of CFL's is IN THE WRONG SPECTRUM!!!

You don't use HPS for veg. If you didn't use CFL's you would use metal halide or MH! Now you can use that line... "Any indoor gardener would agree." There is no way you can know what you are talking about and make a mistake like that.

So.... Much..... Fail!!!!

As to the size of your "bulb", yes, we all believe that it's smaller then mine and I'm sure you think it "does more". Most guys have to believe that they are special too. And that's the show folks, good night, drive safe!

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_yz4SxWW-qHU/TTBESMUVQoI/AAAAAAAAAE4/b5_IRpXiBwk/s1600/darth-vader-epic-fail.jpg

Hopi
11-16-2011, 7:23 AM
Redrex, slow down a bit. Rhythm of Life is right.

The CFLs are only really worth using for small leafy veggies and compact flowering plants. They are not sufficient to grow fruits, budding vegetables, nor taller/denser growing plants.

First,

The lumen output of 15K is not even close to providing the energy needed to sustain fruit/veggie production. Not even close. You need intense energy to grow density (fruits, veggies, plant height and node spacing), along with the proper spectrum (blues, reds, uv-b).

For example, you mentioned about these 250 watt lights: "For those who aren't familiar with CFL this is the equivalent of a 1,000 watt traditional lamp". That is not true at all. A 1000 watt lamp (MH or HPS) emits about 110,000 lumens/bulb. That is exponentially more powerful than even the most powerful CFL. For example, using a 250 MH or HPS lamp would give you nearly double the light intensity of the CFL using the same exact electricity consumption. So not only does your CFL cost you more to use because it uses more energy to produce less light, but the up-front costs on the CFL units are pretty comparable to similar sized (wattage) REAL grow lights.

You need to pay attention to the lumen/watt efficiency AND make sure to give enough intensity to support growth.


Second,

The majority of indoor gardeners use HPS lamps throughout the entire grow cycle, both veg and fruiting/flowering. This is because HPS is much more efficient lumens/watt compared to anything on the market, MH included. The modern (any made in the last 15 years) HPS lamps also include a more robust spectrum spread to include some blue light, but that isn't even necessary. Being more cost effective, considering the HPS will give you greater yields due to the red spectrum and you don't have to buy more gear to switch when you're ready to fruit, most gardeners don't mess with MH anymore unless they are master growers and add MH to their HPS gardens to supplement the UV-b light that the HPS does not produce. UV-b light increases the production of plant terpenes and sugar/brix. But again, most gardeners will sacrifice the extra uv-b light and go with all HPS lamps because the yields are dramatically bigger.




What does this mean for the real world gardener?


I could see using these lights if heat is a concern in your grow space or you're just messing around and don't care to harvest anything edible. Otherwise, if you're dead set on using them for some reason, CFLs would be good for starting seeds/clones, growing the early stages of vegging plants, and using as supplemental blue spectrum lighting when using the more appropriate HPS lamps.

For anything like tomatoes, peppers, beans, strawberries, peas, etc, you wil need a minimum of 40,000 lumens and a penetration depth of not more than 4-5 ft in a 3x3 square area. That is at least a 250 watt MH/HPS, but I would recommend nothing less than a 400 watt MH/HPS, especially if you're trying to provide food.

If you're growing basil, oregano, parsley, and cilantro, the CFL will work fine for a very small plot, and you won't have to really deal with any environmental dynamics due to heat from the light source.




I've used just about every light on the market (both commercial and retail), with the exception of induction and plasma (too new and expensive), from CFL to LED to MH to HPS, from 100 watts to 1000 watt lamps, in grow areas using everywhere from 1 lamp to 30 lamps at a time, indoors, outdoors, in greenhouses, and in barns. I've grown award-winning hydroponic tomatoes, 8- foot tall brugmansia trees, a pumpkin, and corn, just to name a couple, all under lights.



And yes, any real indoor gardener with experience would agree with everything I just wrote.