CFL How much do I need exactly?

Thread starter #1
Hey, sorry if I'm over-asking questions...recently I've been convinced to go with the cheaper CFL option rather than an expensive LED light because I'm a new grower.

I know I need 6500K Veg & 2700K Flower.
My small grow box will have 3 square feet (2x1.5ft).
I've read so many different things on how much lumens per square foot, that I don't really know what to do.

I'm looking at 200W/2800Lumen/6500K and 150W/2800Lumen/2700K.

I'm thinking 6 CFL's of 2800Lumen at a time. 3 Reflectors with 2 CFLs each.
For Veg: 4x 6500K + 2x 2700K
For Bloom: 4x 2700K + 2x6500K

Will this be sufficient, too much, too little?
 

Antics

420 Member
CFLs really aren't cheaper. Especially when the power bill comes.

You can mix your 6500K and 2700K spectrums. I used both when growing with CFLs.

Ignore lumens. I've never seen good guidelines to use for them, and I've seen a few experiences growers saying that lumen measurements are useless for plants, as they use the PAR scale, not lumens.

If you want to grow with CFLs, I suggest a minimum of 100 watts per plant in Veg, 150 watts per plant in Flower. Make sure you are counting actual wattage, and not the *Incandescent Equivalent* wattage listed on the package.

The bulbs you're looking at are 42 watts. Not 200w/150w. You'd need 2-3 for Veg, and 6-7 for flower, for each plant.
And that's only the minimum that I suggest, mind you. I personally grew 2 plants with 361 watts, and yielded a little over 3 ounces on 2 plants.

Total the cost of bulbs alone, and you're looking at $50 for the bare minimum of bulbs. Plus fixtures, wiring, splitters, and time to assemble it all.
Or LEDs start at $100.
 

nobodyuknow

Well-Known Member
You should look at TopLED's Reflector series, they start at $97.99 and there are a lot of grow journals here using them with great results. Also their "older" 100X3 model starts at $104.99 and I see a lot of people using those too. I just bought my 2nd Mars II 400 watter today to add to my grow closet, I was so happy with my first one. For the money they work really well. Look at Antics grow he has in his signature. His plants look so healthy!

:goodjob:
 

jinn

New Member
For the record though, CFL is totally an option for those looking to stay off the grid or live in places where getting LEDS/HPS lights isn't possible.

There are some nice DIY CFL set ups on this site, and if you shop around you tend to find better prices. I bought 12 23w(actual) bulbs and did a 2:1 ratio for 6500k to 2700k, Ill be using 6 on one side of my tent, 6 on the other to supplement my mars II 1200.
Once I get my Platinum Leds though, Ill move my CFLs to my clone/mom tent, and the mars II 1200 to my veg tent.

Pretty much anything you buy grow related, that is quality, will be reused in its lifetime. MANY times over =p
So anything bought/made/etc... is another lesson learned, and another tool for your future grows.
 

Antics

420 Member
You should look at TopLED's Reflector series, they start at $97.99 and there are a lot of grow journals here using them with great results. Also their "older" 100X3 model starts at $104.99 and I see a lot of people using those too. I just bought my 2nd Mars II 400 watter today to add to my grow closet, I was so happy with my first one. For the money they work really well. Look at Antics grow he has in his signature. His plants look so healthy!

:goodjob:
Thanks :)

The Power Flower and Cali Jack were grown under 14 CFLs, 383 watts at first, which was later reduced to 361 watts after a 45w bulb blew, and was replaced by a 23w. 2 plants, FIMmed/Topped, lots of LST, 5.5-6 gallon pots, 3 part nute system, molasses in flower @ every other feeding, and I yielded 3.15 ounces total.

Buuuuut, switching to LED uses less than half the power of my CFLs, with brighter lights.