More cost effective way to run grow lights
A more cost effective way to run grow lights
How most breaker boxes work these days is that 220 volts comes into your house. That's for the big appliances like electric clothes dryers and stoves. If you go to your breaker box you'll notice that the breakers are divided, some on the right side and some on the left side. What they've done is split the 220 volts that comes into the house into two, 110 volts on either side of the box. Now when they install the wiring in your house they should balance the loads, but they seldom do. The balancing is important though because your electricity bill is based on the side (right or left) that is using the most current at anyone time.
For example, say that you are only running two appliances for the whole house, a hair dryer 1500 watts and a coffee maker 1000 watts. The hair dryer uses more power or wattage. Both appliances are run at the same time for one hour. At the exact same time is the key here.
Scenario A: The hair dryer is plugged into an outlet that goes to a breaker on the right side of the breaker box. The coffee maker is plugged into the same or another outlet that also goes to a breaker (or the same breaker) on the same right side of the breaker box.
The power calculated by the meter will be 1500 watts + 1000 watts or 2500 watts for the hour or 2.5 kwh. And based on a total cost of 13 cents per kwh = 32.5 cents
Scenario B: The hair dryer is plugged into an outlet that goes to a breaker on the right side of the breaker box, same as in scenario A. BUT, this time the coffee maker is plugged into another outlet that goes to a breaker on the opposite or left side of the breaker box.
The power calculated by the meter will only be 1500 watts total for the hour or 1.5 kwh
And based on a total cost of 13 cents per kwh = 19.5 cents
Electricity meters determine power usage by which side of the breaker box is drawing the most current at any given time. Because in Scenario B the load is balanced the coffee maker running at 1000 watts is basically running for free.
So it is possible to run two fluorescent grow light fixtures for the price of one, if you wire it correctly or use different outlets that go to different sides of the breaker box. OR four grow lights for the price of two.
Remember though, this only applies to power used at the exact same time.