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Thread: Help With CFLs

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    420 Member Slayer84092's Avatar
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    Question Help With CFLs

    Hey I was hoping you guys could help me out with some info on using CFLs. I happen to find a shitload of CFLs for cheap at costco the other day so I got em. I know HIDs have much better results, but is it possible to grow some good bud with just CFLs? Do they make blue or red spectrum CFLs or do I just work with the regular ones? Also, I know i'm gonna need to have quite a few of em if I do use them, so what are my options as far as fixtures go? Are there practical multiple socket options or am I gonna end up with a crapload of lamps all around my grow room? Sorry for all the questions at once, but I don't wanna mess it up. Thank you for your time and I hope to hear from you guys soon.

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    420 Member Slayer84092's Avatar
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    Re: Help With CFLs

    So I read somthing online about "warm white" being more red spectrum at 2700k-3000k, "cool white" being neutral on the color spectrum at 3500k-4100k, and "daylight" being more blue spectrum at 5000k-6500k. It's all off of a random site, so I wanted to see if you guys could confirm or deny it.

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    420 Member Tokensmoke10's Avatar
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    Re: Help With CFLs

    Confirmed, and yes you can grow some good bud with CFL's. It all depends the watts, lumens, and how far away they are to the plant.


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    Re: Help With CFLs

    As for fixtures, have a look in past threads as there was a really good posting on wiring etc, Biggest issue I've found is alternating between vegetive and flowering stages...seems to me like a different balance between warm/cool is required or hours for 5000K. Can be done with some good results.

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    420 Member 2hiegh4u's Avatar
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    Re: Help With CFLs

    i ant take credit for this i just copy paste here you go

    Tutorial to Growing with CFL’s by Doctor Chronic

    What is a CFL?



    A Compact Fluorescent Light is a type of fluorescent that was originally designed to replace the standard E26 Edison Incandescent Lamp. The reason being, CFL’s will put out the same amount of visible light using much less power and a significantly longer rated life span. Even though the price of the CFL’s is higher than Incandescent bulb’s, they are generally rated to run anywhere from 8,000 to 15,000 hours. There many advantages of using CFL’s. Maybe you are growing personal smoke, or you can’t afford an HID system, or an HID system just isn’t practical. For some, HID lights aren’t available in their area. However, CFL’s are sold almost anywhere (Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart, etc…). CFL’s are in general a much cheaper growing solution, and their just plain simple to use –self-ballastedand it screw’s into a regular light socket. I’m NOT saying CFL’s are better for growing than HID‘s, but in some cases it’s the only thing that will work.


    CFL Wattage

    Now sometimes there can be a lot of confusion when it comes to power of the light due to poor labeling but we will do our best toclear all of that up. Normally light manufacturers that make CFL’s generally will put two numbers on the box your CFL comes in. One is Actual Wattage and one is the Incandescent Equal. As you can see here on this CFL the Actual Wattage is 23 Watts, and it’s Incandescent Equal is 100 Watt’s. You need to totally ignore the Incandescent Equal and pay attention only to the Actual Wattage of the Bulb.



    Color Temperature

    You might see a lot of different labels when shopping at the store for CFL’s. Label’s including Soft White, Warm White, Cool White, Bright White, Halogen White, Daylight White, Full Spectrum. And also label’s like 2700K, 3000K, 3500K, 4000K, 5000K, 6400K, and 6500K. These are all the color temperature of the light you are using. This is a measure of how warm or cool the light given off by a lamp appears, with warmer colors having a yellowish tinge and cooler colors being tinged with blue. What confuses some people is that the warmer a color is, the colder its color temperature is. (ex. Warm White = 2700K). Bulbs ranging in the 2700K-3000K spectrum are usually labeled Warm White or Soft White, bulbs ranging in the 3500K – 4000K spectrum are bright white or cool white, 5000K is labeled Full Spectrum, and finally 6400K – 6500K is labeled Daylight. You can grow an entire crop with CFL’s if you chose the right spectrum of bulb’s. For Vegetation you will want to use 6500K or 5000K, and when you flower you will want to switch to 2700K or 3000K . The reason being, throughout the year the plant’s outside receive more 6500K light because the day’s in summer are long and hot and as Autumn/Winter get’s closer the day get’s shorter, and gradually receives less 6500K light and more 2700K light as the plant flower’s. Do what you can to avoid bulbs within that 3500K – 4000K because they emit very little light that Is useful to your plant. Notice here the difference between the CT of these lamp’s



    How to use CFL’s?

    In order to efficiently use CFL’s to grow your MJ you will need to position the lights around 2 – 4 inches from the foliage of the plant. If you place the light too close, then your plant will have nothing to vertically stretch to and it will remain short and stocky. (Ex. My First Grow and FarmingToronto’s) Some people combat this by addingCFL’s to the side of foliage instead of on top of it. On the other hand if the light is too far away from the plant, the stem will suffer elongation (stretching), which will result in loose and fluffy bud’s.It is very important to note that when using CFL’s it’s a daily “battle” to have lights in the right spot. Many of us are in our grow areas at least once a day anyway, so to move your bulbs a bit really isn’t that big a deal. Also many people wonder is it better to have many low watt CFL’s or just a few high watt CFL’s. Both way’s are capable of provided you a good harvest but I suggest you chose the configuration that is easiest for you and your grow area.

    Where can I get these CFL’s?

    Many low wattage (23-42) CFL’s can be bought at locate retail giants , such as Wal-mart, Lowes, Home Depot, and just about any hardware store you can find. If you are looking to purchase higher wattage (42 – 200) CFL’s I would recommend ordering them online. 2 to 200 Watt Compact Fluorescent Bulbs : 1000Bulbs.com has very good prices on CFL’s ranging from 2 – 200 Watt’s. Non-Dimmable Compact Fluorescent has a good selection ranging from 5 – 200 Watt’s in a wide range of spectrum’s. I have used both of these sites several times and I would recommend them to anyone that plan’s to grow with CFL’s.

    In the end there are many different GOOD setup’s so don’t set your mind on the ONE perfect CFL setup. Just apply these basic tip’s when starting a CFL grow and you WILL see success. If you have any questions or comment’s I would greatly appreciate it. I want to thank the one and only, FarmingToronto for editing this Tutorial. Sincerely

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    420 Member Kingdiamond's Avatar
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    Re: Help With CFLs

    Yes you can grow some really good bud using cfls alone but the buds will be airy and loose at least thats how my entire cfl grow went.

    Get yourself a cheap 250- 400 watt hps you wont regret it will almost double your overall yield .

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    420 Member Lil Neutrino's Avatar
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    Re: Help With CFLs

    Yes, you can get a good yield and good smoke with CFL's....check the later pages of my first journal in my sig (~13" plant and ~1 oz dry) for evidence I have read that some people have had fluffy, airy buds with their CFL grows but mine were almost as dense as a rock. I would easily compare it to higher grade bud that I have smoked and paid excessive amounts for at times ($60-70 for 1/8) in terms of buzz quality, potency, and bud presentation. It's an alternative to HO lights if temperature or immediate price is a problem imho...in the long run you'd be better off with a HO light but in some cases it's simply not feasible for one reason or another.

    http://www.420magazine.com/forums/co...tml#post858249

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    420 Member Linkorien's Avatar
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    Re: Help With CFLs

    My grow is using cfls a lot there to read
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    Re: Help With CFLs

    my first grow was with CFL's. I only had 160 watts of tubes and 134 watts of CFL's. I vegged 6 and flowered two plants and got about an ounce all together dried, without any nutes through the whole cycle. It's not the best way to grow, but it's the cheapest, and I ended up with an ounce of great smoke. Definitely worth trying if you're just starting out. Once you have it down, you will be ready to upgrade to an HID.

    Check out my first grow journal in my sig for some pics of the grow.

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    New Member spyvy's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: Help With CFLs

    Sure would run CFL`s I use them and they are cheap and do the job.. You can use the 65k and the 27 k . More like a multi spectrum.....I use 6 65k 26 watt = 100 watts normal light each/ cfl`s...& and 6 27k 26 watt cfl`s
    Each one does 1700 lumes per bulb/
    Works out to be 20,400 lumes / 312 real usage watts & takes the place of a 1,200 watt light set up . Then you get the best of multi spectrum with the use of both 27 k & 65 k bulbs at the same time 65k more for Vegging and 27k for flowering/budding mix them up and you get some great lighting for both worlds


  11. #11
    420 Member Lil Neutrino's Avatar
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    Re: Help With CFLs

    Quote Originally Posted by spyvy View Post
    Sure would run CFL`s I use them and they are cheap and do the job.. You can use the 65k and the 27 k . More like a multi spectrum.....I use 6 65k 26 watt = 100 watts normal light each/ cfl`s...& and 6 27k 26 watt cfl`s
    Each one does 1700 lumes per bulb/
    Works out to be 20,400 lumes / 312 real usage watts & takes the place of a 1,200 watt light set up . Then you get the best of multi spectrum with the use of both 27 k & 65 k bulbs at the same time 65k more for Vegging and 27k for flowering/budding mix them up and you get some great lighting for both worlds
    Always nice to see other people using CFL's, I haven't tried the multispectrum thing yet to see what results I get. I did try 2-3 6500K bulbs in with 9-10 2700K's but it was a bit late in the flowering cycle and I had nothing to compare to anyway. Personally I would split it with more light spectrum towards 6500K color during veg and more towards the 2700K during flowering just to help simulate natural light cycles throughout the grow BUT...that's just me, I'm not saying it's better or anything. Plenty of people out there experimenting with color spectrum during the grow cycles...even people with HO lighting.

    I also have just a couple comments regarding some info in your post

    65K is not the same as 6500K no matter how you slice it (maybe you were just shortening it, I don't know...but I would type it all out here, lots of new growers read these posts and they're confused enough :D)

    Your 1700 lumens per bulb is most likely initial lumens...go to the manufacturer's website and see if you can find the mean (average) lumen. I have some GE CFL's rated the same lumen as yours on the package but upon further inspection on GE's website I found that the mean lumen intensity is actually about 1300. That's roughly a 25% difference and this can add up fast when you're using multiple bulbs. Is there something wrong with your bulbs (or mine even)? Nah...just one of those technical things that are often overlooked and I'm a stickler for details and technical stuff

    12 bulbs X ~400 lumen reduction = 4800 lumen reduction

    That works out to 15,600 lumens once the newness of the bulbs wears out (you'd have to ask GE how many hours this would take). This is also partially why people who have saltwater aquariums change their bulbs out on a somewhat regular basis (color spectrum shifts and reduced output).

    I would really hesitate to say it takes the place of a 1200W setup. Actually, I wouldn't say it at all. 26W CFL's are roughly equal to 100W incandescents for those who were wondering where the 1200W (100W X 12 bulbs) came from. Incandescents can't grow a plant so there is no point in comparing them as you'd never have that setup to replace. People get confused enough about CFL wattage ratings and incandescents, no reason to perpetuate the confusion You can not compare apples to chinchillas...they're not the same thing. I would say however that I'd rather be paying electricity for 312W than 1200W!!!

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    Plant of the Month Winner - December 2011 YardDog35's Avatar
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    Re: Help With CFLs

    I used cfl's to veg with great success. I did switch over to a 250w hps for flower but still use 2 65w 2700k cfl's for supplemental lighting.

    For light setups I used one clamping fixture, one light socket with a pull cord and plugs on it (to extend the bulbs out so they would not hit the hood) and 3 Y sockets. I bought all this at Lowes, the whole thing costs under $35.

    I ran 4 23w 6500k cfl's with this set up. Works great to get light to smaller plants early in veg. Be careful not to over do it with the lights when the plants are young. I know with cfl's the more the better but add light as the sprouts or clones grow.

    Here are some pics of the 4 light set up





    Hope this helps! With cfl's you just have to be creative. I also used a surge protector strip to get more light, you can also hang them around, ect.

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    420 Member Slayer84092's Avatar
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    Re: Help With CFLs

    Would there be any pros or cons to using 5 200 watt cfls vs 10 100 watt cfls? The cost is about the same.

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    Plant of the Month Winner - December 2011 YardDog35's Avatar
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    Re: Help With CFLs

    Quote Originally Posted by Slayer84092 View Post
    Would there be any pros or cons to using 5 200 watt cfls vs 10 100 watt cfls? The cost is about the same.
    I would go with the 10 100 watt bulbs for two reasons. First, it will most likely be easier to cool your area using the smaller bulbs. Second would be light distribution to your plant. You can position the 10 around your plant a lot easier than the 5 larger bulbs, especially when she gets larger.
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    420 Member GimmieGreenie's Avatar
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    Re: Help With CFLs

    I used 150watt cfl lights in the same way till i found these 300watt CFL lamps on ebay for my last grow. It worked great, it was super bright and my baby put on some nice buds right away. thinking about buy a second one for my next grow.
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