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Fixed or Dimmable ballast?

endive

New Member
Hi everyone,

I'm looking at lighting options for additional lighting, 400 watts would suffice for now.

Would I be better off getting a Lumatek or NextGen 600/400W digital/dimmable system and just run it at 400, then step up as needed, or should I just go with a straight 400w?

Any thoughts or theories appreciated.

e.
 

Droopy Dog

New Member
The thing I like most about my magnetic 400w HPS is being able to run CMH (Ceramic Metal Halide), bulbs, which give a better spectrum than HPS or MH.

DD
 

endive

New Member
Hi Droopy, It's funny you mention that... as I had pondered CMH, but had no idea of what or how to ask. The only negative I've heard on CMH is size and availability.

I like the 600w point as I found Dual Arc bulbs that will run MH & HSP in one bulb, lower lumen but higher PAR.

I think HID is more confusing than LED.
 

Batcave

New Member
I feel your pain bro. I originally started with a 250w mh/hps, then onto a 400w mh/hps dimmable, then to LED's. Of course now I wish I would have popped for the 600w dimmable since I have upped my ventilation and tent. My plants are really enjoying the 400w hps on the light mover at the moment, bulb is the enhanced spetrum PlantMax hps. The 400w on the light mover allows me to cover the area of a 600w. LED's are kicking it in the veg tent until the summer temps arrive.
 

Droopy Dog

New Member
Hi Droopy, It's funny you mention that... as I had pondered CMH, but had no idea of what or how to ask. The only negative I've heard on CMH is size and availability.

I like the 600w point as I found Dual Arc bulbs that will run MH & HSP in one bulb, lower lumen but higher PAR.

I think HID is more confusing than LED.

Yeah, right now, 400w is the max for CMH.

But a digi ballast is in the works, from GE, IIRC. We'll see what happens.

DD
 

paw-paw

New Member
phillips has those bulbs. they come in 250w & 400w only. the price is about the same for either size. i think GE is making one as well. u must use a magnetic ballast HPS. sounds screwy hps ballast for a metal halide bulb....but, that's what works in 'em. they're only priced about $2 diff. i think the price was $52-$56. a fellow grower in my area has a 400w & on identical grows (same seeds, nutes) he's doing a better grow than my 600w hps.
 

decrimCA

New Member
Hmm. I've currently been looking at the Bad Ass ballasts from Advanced Nutrients because they can power HPS and metal halide bulbs. That seems like it would save some money - always a good thing.

I don't know if I'd want a dimmable ballast...I don't think. That sounds like it might cause problems for the grow, but maybe I've always had dimmable ones and I just didn't realize it. I thought ballasts were supposed to work consistently to ensure your lights and the output of lumens is consistent when they're on.

Always learning, it seems.......
 

endive

New Member
Hmm. I've currently been looking at the Bad Ass ballasts from Advanced Nutrients because they can power HPS and metal halide bulbs. That seems like it would save some money - always a good thing.

I don't know if I'd want a dimmable ballast...I don't think. That sounds like it might cause problems for the grow, but maybe I've always had dimmable ones and I just didn't realize it. I thought ballasts were supposed to work consistently to ensure your lights and the output of lumens is consistent when they're on.

Always learning, it seems.......

For me, a dimmable ballast is nice because I can reduce the wattage on the hotter days. But if you have the environmentals under control, then I guess its kind of moot.
 

paw-paw

New Member
a dimmable might com in handy if u needed to use it for rooting some babies & didn't want to cook 'em. just a thought....& the thing about heat.
 

Icemud

Member of the Month: July 2012, July 2014 - Nug of the Month: July 2012
Having both I have up sides and downsides to both....

I have a 400w HPS magnetic ballast and a 600W switchable Lumitek Electronic Ballast

the magnetic..
stays pretty cool...
ability to run CMH

the electronic
runs cooler
supposedly saves you on energy slightly
allows you to run superlumens
In the event of power outage, my electronic refire's instantly, where the magnetic takes a good 15 minute cool down..
dimmable is nice for veg (lower lumen needs) as well as flowering(higher lumen needs)

I like my lumatek and eventually would like to replace my magnetic, however, I think I will keep it around for now...I would suggest electronic over magnetic... I read some real bad things about Nex-Gen and there company support, warrenty lies, so you might want to read a little more about the brands before purchase...
 
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