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Thread: 400watt HPS vs. 400watts of cfls?

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    400watt HPS vs. 400watts of cfls?

    i am currently preparing a grow room indoors and i want to use cfl's, lots of them. i was just wondering if it would just be better to go with a hps lamp of the same wattage? sounds like a dumb question but does 400 watts of cfl lights cost the same amount of money toward the electrical bill that an hps liight would? i was planning to make an extremely well lit room with cfl's, but now im thinking i might as well just go for the real deal with hps. any drawbacks to the hps? any help would be great, thanks

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    Re: 400watt HPS vs. 400watts of cfl,s?

    HPS

    400w of cfl's, actual watts, not equivalent, will not only cost you more, but will generate WAY more heat than 1, 400w HPS bulb.

    DD
    If you own 28 different foods, 65 different additives and 14 jugs of molasses and not one single book on plants, then that is the problem. WB

    It's not the bow, it's the Indian. unkn

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    New Member Tulip's Avatar
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    Re: 400watt HPS vs. 400watts of cfl,s?

    I can hold a lite up 27, 65, 85 or even a 105 watt CFL burning bulb in my hand without it
    burning me. I put 1100 watts of CFLs in a closet with NO venting and the closet stayed 85 degrees. I was asked to do an experiment and see how far I could go with CFLs.

    Here is my closet CFL grow that yielded 18 ounces of dried manicured buds.







    http://www.420magazine.com/forums/co...r-harvest.html

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    New Member Tulip's Avatar
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    Re: 400watt HPS vs. 400watts of cfl,s?

    CFLs vs HID Lights

    If you want to start an argument fast, then visit an Internet Grow Forum or Chat Room and mention CFLs vs HID Lights. (HID Lights = High Intensity Discharge Lights)
    Let me just tell you a fact. HID Lights (High Intensity Discharge Lights) are much more efficient than CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lights) and they grow FASTER and penetrate a large plant much better than CFLs do. HID lights grow tighter denser buds too. That is a fact no one should argue. HIDs win easily.

    Wait a minute. What costs more to purchase? What requires a fancier Reflector and costs more to hang? What cost more to use and adds more to the electric bill? What cost more to handle the HEAT? What do I have to VENT? What will VENTING cost?

    HEAT? VENTING?
    I can touch a 200 watt CFL for ten seconds and not burn my hand. I can hold a burning 42, 65, or 85 watt bulb in my hand for five seconds and not get burnt. I can touch a HID bulb for half a second and have a serious blister and burn. Touching a HID bulb is like touching the burner on an electric stove. If you use HID bulbs, not only will you have to cool the bulb, you will have to cool the grow area too. Growing with HID lights requires VENTING the HEAT, and that cost extra money, BIG MONEY.

    If you are a large scale grower, or commercial grower, HID lights are best for you.
    If you are a small grower, a closet or tent grower, an occasional grower, a small scale personal use grower, then CFLs are your best, easiest, cheapest way to grow.

    As I mentioned, I like the cheaper CFLs because of their mobility and ease of use. When I did my first grow over three years ago, a 65 watt CFL bulb was the largest made and sold. Today I see up to 300 watt CFLS, but I do not advise using the larger watt CFL bulbs.



    Let me share a magazine article with you about Lighting.

    From Ed Rosenthal:

    In the new Skunk Magazine there was a question in the "Ask Ed" section that just made my night last night when reading it...




    The Question Was:

    I intend to grow a single cannabis plant in a space 1' x 2'. What light would you recommend? I was think of using four 30-watt compact fluorescent lamps. Will this be enough? Cost isn't an issue but I am deterred from getting a high pressure sodium [light] because of the amount of heat the bulb produces.

    The Answer Is:

    As you mentioned, you have several lighting systems to choose from, including compact fluorescents and high pressure sodium (HPS) lamps. Among HPS lamps you have a choice between a single 100-watt lamp which uses a total of about 120-watts and emits about 8,800 lumens(73 lumens per watt) or a 150-watt lamp, which uses about 180 watts and emits almost double that-15,800 lumens (87 lumens per watt).

    A 42-watt compact fluorescent (CFL) emits about 2700 lumens(64 lumens per watt). Four 42 watt CFLs use 168 watts and emit 10,800 lumens. Other size CFLs have a similar efficiency.

    However, that is only part of the story. Plants use mostly red and blue light. Yellow and green light is of little use to them, so light that is emitted in these spectrums is wasted energy. Most of the light emitted by HPS lamps is in the yellow spectrum. Only a small amount of the emitted light is in the orange or red spectrums, which plants use efficiently. Warm white fluorescents (2700 Kelvin) emit a greater portion in the red and orange sectors.
    Although fluorescents produce only about 75% of the light per watt that the HPS does, the amount of light usable by the plant is equal or probably higher with the fluorescents. You may wish to experiment to see if adding a single cool white CFL to replace one warm white results in shorter, stouter stems and more vigorous growth. The reasoning is that warm whites don't emit much blue light, which the plants use for photosynthesis and to regulate their growth. The cool white bulb supplies the blue light.

    My call for your unit would be to use several (three to five) CFLs with a total input of between 120-160 watts. Although the 150 watt HPS is a bit more efficient that the CFLs in total output, watt for watt the fluorescents provide as much useful light as the HPS lamp. Heat is another consideration. The HPS runs much hotter and emits more heat than the flourescents.

    Make sure to use reflective material around the garden so that any light escaping the garden is reflected back to the plants. Any light that doesn't get to the plant leaves is wasted.


    Look at a lumen/watt ration of various CFL's. The higher the wattage of CFLs, the lower the lumen/watt ratio. This chart was submitted by Jerry Garcia, a grow buddy from another grow site, and edited for typos.

    For example...

    the 200w listed at 9250 lumens for a lumens/watt ratio of 9250/200=46.25

    the 150w is listed at 7500 lumens for a l/w ratio of 7500/150=50

    the 125w is listed at 6500 lumens for a l/w ratio of 6500/125=52

    the 42w are listed for 2700 lumens, l/w ratio of 2700/42=64.28

    I have some 26w that give off 1700 lumens for a l/w ratio of 1700/26=65.38

    GE lists some 13w that give off 825 lumens for a l/w ratio of 825/13=63.46

    So, according to these numbers the most efficient bulbs for growing are the 26w that emit 1700 lumens. If you used 8 26w bulbs (208 watts total) you'd be getting 13,600 lumens...4,350 more lumens than a single 200 watt CFL. AND the eight 26 watt bulbs would cost less than the one 200 watt bulb.

    I suppose you need to purchase more sockets and cords and things to support 8 bulbs, but in the long run more lower watt CFLs seem like the way to go.

    A 27 watt CFL can be bought for $1 each. 42s cost about $6 each. 10 of them would be $60 = 420 watts.

    Look here:

    http://www.420magazine.com/forums/ca...-tutorial.html
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    420 Member Dacob's Avatar
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    Re: 400watt HPS vs. 400watts of cfl,s?

    Indeed!

    I would go with the CFL's too, personally, as ------- so effectively demonstrated -- there is almost no problem at all with heat when CFLs are used, not at all so with gas discharge lamps like HPS and MH systems.

    For small spaces in which heat can build up quickly, CFL's rock -- for a larger area, of course a nice HPS is great if you can afford the fans and AC to keep the garden temps below 85 or so.

    I use a series of 2700K and 6500K 42 watt CFLs, with some 90 watt UFOs for supplementary lighting, with great results. I pulled over a half pound from 7 plants, and I attribute a lot of that to the fact that my temps and RH were almost perfect for almost all of the plant's life cycle, because I was able to dial it in so nicely since I had no extra heat in my tent.

    I really like the 42 and 65 watt sizes right now, they are inexpensive and have a good operating lifetime. The larger sizes, like the 150 and 200 watt monsters that are offered now, are just too big and inefficient, I try to blanket my entire grow space with light, and I focus much more of my light in a horizontal direction, pointing in towards the center of the space from the sides, to provide plenty of light to the lower branches. This is diametrically opposed to the traditional way to use indoor lighting, IE as a point source light oriented vertically and positioned some distance from the plants.

    As noted by -------, you can touch a CFL. I can place my plant's leaf within an inch of a CFL and it will not burn in the slightest. In fact, I did manage to heat stress two colas on my last grow, but not with CFLs -- the LEDs I was using caused the damage!
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    ~Dacob


    I rarely subscribe to the threads I post in...
    so please PM me if you have a question!


    Click here to check my blog entries for my grows!

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    420 Member Green007's Avatar
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    Re: 400watt HPS vs. 400watts of cfl,s?

    Welcome to 420!

    ------- is right on with his info. When it comes to your electric bill, remember a watt is a watt and you pay by the watt. But CFL bulbs cost less, produce less heat, and don't need expensive exhaust systems. Hope this helps.
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    Re: 400watt HPS vs. 400watts of cfl,s?

    -------
    Boy, are you ever right about getting the discussion going!

    I'll just say what I'm running and let it go at that.

    90% of all the light fixtures in my house have CFL's in them. Cuts way down on the elec usage. I use none for growing.

    clones and mothers. 2, 2 bulb, 4' T-12 shop lights, suspended from a sawhorse. LOL about as ghetto as you can get, but works well.

    Veg- 2, 2', 2 bulb T-5 VHO fixtures. 10,000 lumens/fixture/110w. These use the PL-55 bulbs@5,000 lumens each. $70 from HTG. I love em.

    Flower-400w HPS and 400w MH, both in a large Adjust-A-Wing reflector in a GrowLab tent, 4'x4'. More than enough for my needs.

    Obviously, you can make the CFL's work, but if I had to ditch my HID's for flowering, I would go with the T-5 VHO's before I messed with the CFL's.

    But, as we used to say when shooting, "It's not the bow, but the Indian".

    DD
    If you own 28 different foods, 65 different additives and 14 jugs of molasses and not one single book on plants, then that is the problem. WB

    It's not the bow, it's the Indian. unkn

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    New Member Tulip's Avatar
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    Re: 400watt HPS vs. 400watts of cfl,s?

    Some, a very few of the smaller 15 watt and 27 and 42 watt bulbs do not have built in vents in the small ballasts to release the heat and they can get warm some.

    And, DD, I agree that T=5s (tubes) are the up and coming thing, replacing spirals in all the grow books and grow magazines..

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    New Member whitewidowr's Avatar
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    Re: 400watt HPS vs. 400watts of cfl,s?

    say you use 4-100watt cfl's, a 100 watt cfl only actually uses 23watts of power, totaling 92 watts. 400 watt hps or mh use 400+ watts depending on conditions.(how hot it gets, how long they're on, how old they are.) So, 400watts of cfl's is considerably cheaper to operate. just depends on preference of lights. I use cfl's myself, I have 10-100w cfl's which only use 230watts of power. also look at it this way, 400w hps=400w power, 4-100w cfl= 92w power. hps 400w draws about 3.5 amps, 4-100w cfl draws less than 1 amp. wattage/voltage=amps.
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    Re: 400watt HPS vs. 400watts of cfls?

    I am going to be using cfls for a small pc grow for when I am away at school. I've seen some great reviews, and saw a journal on a different site and it looks like it works fairly well, and any bud is good enough for me :D

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    New Member whitewidowr's Avatar
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    Re: 400watt HPS vs. 400watts of cfls?

    cfls working great for me!!!!! these plants from seed to where they are now were grown 100% with cfls.





    Last edited by Happy Kitty; 11-19-2012 at 02:56 AM. Reason: move photos; fix links
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    Re: 400watt HPS vs. 400watts of cfl,s?

    Quote Originally Posted by whitewidowr View Post
    say you use 4-100watt cfl's, a 100 watt cfl only actually uses 23watts of power, totaling 92 watts. 400 watt hps or mh use 400+ watts depending on conditions.(how hot it gets, how long they're on, how old they are.) So, 400watts of cfl's is considerably cheaper to operate. just depends on preference of lights. I use cfl's myself, I have 10-100w cfl's which only use 230watts of power. also look at it this way, 400w hps=400w power, 4-100w cfl= 92w power. hps 400w draws about 3.5 amps, 4-100w cfl draws less than 1 amp. wattage/voltage=amps.
    I registered just to post in this old thread just to correct this because I was surprised no one else did... (sorry for raising the dead, couldnt help myself) Those "100 watt" cfl's you are (were) using are actually 23 watt cfl's. They just provide the equivalent light to a 100 watt incandescent bulb.

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    420 Member theengineer's Avatar
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    Re: 400watt HPS vs. 400watts of cfls?

    in the very text you just quoted -"a 100 watt cfl only actually uses 23watts of power"...

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    Re: 400watt HPS vs. 400watts of cfls?

    So I am not a cfl guy but I am big user of t5 witch is Fluorescent same thing. So my ? to this tread is I see tons of pic from cfl grower with 4-6-8 cfl lights above there plants. Now why would you not buy a 4-6-8 T5 build fixture that has good light reflectors and directs way more light down on the plants.

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    Re: 400watt HPS vs. 400watts of cfls?

    The question shouldnt be which is better. The question should be which is better for your setup. If you don't have enough space or can't deal with the heat it's flourescents or LED's of some type as the correct choice. If you have the space and resources then HID or LED is the way to go.
    I agree with COFinest. It's funny how many people pile CFL's in their grow and they just add the wattage and say they have 400 watts of CFL but there are no reflectors and more than half of the light is wasted. It does surprise me what people can produce with CFL's in tight places though. I prefer to use T5 lamps for seedlings and early veg growth.

    I'd be willing to bet that anyone using primarily CFL's to grow is limited on either or both space and budget. Correct me if I'm wrong.

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