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CFL Light Tutorial

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Grandpappy Sr

New Member
i use the reflective clamps so you can give them side light and position them where ever you want. i have a mh and a hps w/ cfls 6500 42 watts kelvin for the sides i get as close as i can . my mh is 7500k opti blue, hps 2100k and 4 42 watt 6500k cfls for the corners. a lot of blue and red, violet and orange.
for flowering 2 400watt hps. and cfls:tommy:
Exactly the info I was looking for. thank you sooooo much for it . I don't know where i would be in my grow without all of you.
 

Purple Goose

On Vacation
If I have a 1000 watt hps what exact type of cfl should I use to hang vertically next to my plants so that my plants can get light on the side and lower portions of the plant so I can get my lower parts to bloom better ( the bloom cycle ) any info is greatly appreciated. I'm a nooby! Thanx!
If you really want to get light down inbetween the rows of plants why not build a bunch or rails that hold T5 vho flourescents and just wire them for a remote ballast, that way if you use 1" strapping to mount the lamp sockets on you could put a 4' T5 bulb between each row and have it take little space or cause any type of shadowing.Not sure if you can picture what I am suggesting but if you can the same idea can be applied to cfl's just mount socket every 6" inches along whatever length of 1" strapping you need and make as many as you require to provide needed light,
 

TJGrow

New Member
I'm very intrigued with the CFL rigs folks have uploaded here. I did some work with the light level formulas to calculate the output of the lights I have. Lumens are the measure of light output from a light source. Lux is the measure of light falling on a given area. It would be definitive if I could measure the Lux levels directly. Light meters aren't cheap so I have to calculate the light levels. I can't accurately account for the reflected light levels.
On the right are the Lux output by my lights at ranges from 0ft out to 3 feet. On the left I am calculating the light level and the power consumption of each light at optimum range. The 1000w at 2 feet, the 600 at 1 foot, the 4 by 4 florescent can be targeted at less then a 4 by 4 area, and the CFLs at are deployed right next to the plants.

If my math is right the CFLs are the biggest bang for the buck. The main reason for this is how close they can be to the plants. I've had plants in contact with my 125 CFL that didn't burn right away. (I didn't leave them that way when I saw them.)
The problem is getting a large number of light bulbs close enough to be effective. Once they are a foot they away they aren't going to shine enough light. The reflected light should be similar in that the reflective surface has to be right next to source.
The light is going to shine out in 360 degrees in the shape of the bulb. You need to get the whole cluster of lights with in 6 inches of the plant. The fixtures pictured here are deploying all the lights in a level cluster pictured on the left which isn't going to get all the lights close enough. If the lights are deployed around the plant you get much better coverage pictured on the right:

If this hypothesis is correct it might also be possible to groom the plants into a wider bud zone:


Questions for the group:
Is my math right?
Does anyone have light meter readings from any of the grow lights?
 

Namaste

New Member
You could also use reflectorized CFL flood lights, which have a much more focused and directional beam pattern.

These can be placed a bit farther away without losing as much intensity.
 

TJGrow

New Member
Thanks for the feedback Sun. The reflectorized CFL flood lights look like they are 19-23 watts. It would take quite a few to get a good grow. I was thinking of building reflectors from mylar.
For me, I'd be losing valuable grow room space in the middle of the bud zone for the side lights. I'd need to increase the bud zone vertically to get that space back.
 

Namaste

New Member
yeah, they're generally better for supplemental lighting as opposed to primary, but if you used enough of them and made 2 or 3 socketed lightboard arrays, you'd have nice tight beams.
 

MzDankity

New Member
I'm so glad I found this thread. I've just started reading this thread and its all coming back to me now.

My first grows were using cfl's and I had some successful grows with them. Then I upgraded to 400 and 600hps and mh. Well I had forgot how to work with cfls as I had taken a break from growin for a while. This thread is so refreshing my memory and because of it, I'm about to revamp my entire grow for 1/1/11.

Thanks for the awesome tips so far. Continuing the read.
 

bob1962

New Member
I am using a grow tent that is 24 x 48 x 60 inches. 100% Reflective Mylar will be useing Dual Spectrum ------------® Complete Kit with Dual Spectrum II Lights. Plus 6 X 125 watts cfls for the top of the plants and 6 X 42 watts clfs and the Dual Spectrum II cf Lights for the sides is this enough light? Dual Spectrum II I think is 8400 lumens for both. 6 125 watt is 39,000 lumens and 6,42 watt is 16,200 lumens it comes to 7950 lumens per square foot if my math is right. Thinking about using 6 6500k and 2 2700k for veg then switching to 6 2700k and 2 6500k for flowering does this sound right? Also is this enough light for 2 to 4 plants? Also want to use a small oscilating fan inside the tent pointed away from the plants to cause a air current. should i put some smaller watts for the bottom of the plants? Or will heat be a issue? With that many lights?. Thank you for any help you can give me Bob.
 

MzDankity

New Member
Yes. God does smile.....but he also laughs.......alot. Because I awoke to the sound of tap tap tap......OMG rain.....this is los angeles....it is not supposed to rain here.
This was not part of the plan.....

Nothing wakes a person up like moving about 30 pieces of drywall into the garage first thing in the morning.

SO.....the next point........

If one does buy that lottery ticket. And God does smile on you. And you have the winning ticket......take it out of your shirt pocket before you toss your clothes into the washer machine.


Keeping me laughing. As life does.

origami joint
Absolutely loved this!:popcorn:
 

faderharley

New Member
I am using a grow tent that is 24 x 48 x 60 inches. 100% Reflective Mylar will be useing Dual Spectrum ------------® Complete Kit with Dual Spectrum II Lights. Plus 6 X 125 watts cfls for the top of the plants and 6 X 42 watts clfs and the Dual Spectrum II cf Lights for the sides is this enough light? Dual Spectrum II I think is 8400 lumens for both. 6 125 watt is 39,000 lumens and 6,42 watt is 16,200 lumens it comes to 7950 lumens per square foot if my math is right. Thinking about using 6 6500k and 2 2700k for veg then switching to 6 2700k and 2 6500k for flowering does this sound right? Also is this enough light for 2 to 4 plants? Also want to use a small oscilating fan inside the tent pointed away from the plants to cause a air current. should i put some smaller watts for the bottom of the plants? Or will heat be a issue? With that many lights?. Thank you for any help you can give me Bob.
You should do well w/your CFL set-up and selection for 4 plants, might get a bit crowded tho w/4 plants, when the plant goes into flowering it really takes off in growth, don't veg for more than 5 weeks...you going in the right direction tho, good luck
 

Namaste

New Member
mmmmmmmmm, lookin' good CaneyeBus ;)

CFL's, as you've discovered, work quite well.

Wish we had had them back when we were trying to grow in closets with T12 shop lights, lol.
 

billmoe93

New Member
Great thread.

Quick question.


On the first page it says to use an extender to use the dual bulb adapter. How neccesary is the extender? If you were using 26w CFLs could you get away with just using the dual bulb adapter? Thanks
 

Tmac12

New Member
Bill, you did not quote what you read on page one...

Note: To use a large CFL bulb of 105 watts in a Clamp Reflector, you should and have to use an Extender like this, to get it to properly work and to get a good connection.
Is this what you are referring to??
 

billmoe93

New Member
Thanks for the quick response

Sorry, I was referring to the 5th post with the pics. It shows pics of the extender and the dual bulb with the 42w bulbs connected to it.

Can I get away without using an extender if I plan on making my own reflector?

Edit: lol sorry im high....I reread it and I think I answered my own question. The extender was for using 2 42w with one reflector right?. So I can go without? Thanks Tmac
 
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Tmac12

New Member
I think I would have to see it to say for sure, but put one together and you should see if it fits alright. We have so many connectors of different types... can put almost anything together now!! I do love a well stocked hardware store!!! :):):)
 

WillyBudz

New Member
Anyone have any info on those Euro 2100k CFLs?

:peace:
WillyB
 

TJGrow

New Member
I've been doing some research to try to determine if I can replace a 1000w HPS with CFL lighting. I calculate you can run 7-8 125w CFL lights on the same power as a 1000w (watts*Amps*hours/1000) = Kilowatt hours
My next big question is coverage. The light level is going to fall off on a decreasing curve and not a straight line. The light shines in all 3 dimensions. So the less light the faster the light level hitting the plants is going to fall over distance.

I broke down and bought a light meter. This is the only real way to measure light levels reaching my plants. Remember lumens are a measure of the light that shines off a given source. But how much light shines on any part of the canopy is a function of lumens and the distance. The level of light hitting a point is measured by my meter. The meter does foot candles in 10x increments. Here's graphs on my readings:

I'm giving my 1000w light 2 feet and my 600w light 1 foot of space so they don't burn the plants. Added cooling would allow me to use some of this space. I'm giving my 125w only 2 inches distance from the plants. I'm figuring from observation that less then 1000 foot candles is too little to flower plants. I take out the hot zone around each light and measure from that to the point the light hits 1000 foot candles and this give me a grow area for my bud zone.

1000w 2 feet, 600w 16 inches and the 125w CFL is 10 inches. The 125w CFL at 2 inches does rival the output of the 1000w light at 2 feet but just 4 inches pasted that and the CFL is way behind.
From my readings I'm figuring that you could get a yield similar to a 1000w light from CFL lights with less power. The problem is getting the lights close enough to the target bud zone. The small coverage areas make for a lot more volume wasted on the lights. You could use a bunch of small plants with 10 inch bud zones. The volume would come from a large area. I don't think stacking lights under water is a good idea and I've seen nobody with what would be a crawl space sized grow. You could put the CFL lights on more then one side of the plants. This would waste lot of the available space right in the bud zone for the lighting.
I'm very happy with my CFLs for vegging. The light levels are just fine for the smaller plants. I just can't come up with a configuration capable of replacing my 1000w with a set of CFLs.
 

faderharley

New Member
Great info TJGrow....
I hear what your saying. I am in last few weeks of my second grow, I grow from seed to harvest w/CFLs. Light placement/penetration w/CFLs are a major factor in achieving Grade A bud. I am thinking of trying a hps set-up down the road, but because my grow area is a 12 sqft closet, w/no-way of venting out, I choosed CFLs.
Also the method of growing w/CFLs truly helps. With an aero-hydro growing set-up w/CFLs it's alittle more work but, again light placement is a major factor. I am burning over 1200+ watts, +90,000 lumen for 4 plants....


 

TJGrow

New Member
Cool setup faderharley. It looks like you can use those clip ons to adjust the lights as the plants grow. A very good solution. Keep your friends close and your CFL lights closer. :slide: I've noticed that the camera "sees" the differences in light level better then my eyes. Its a handy way to see how well the lights are placed.

Very nice looking plants. They all look so happy! How many days into flowering were they when the shots were taken?
 
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