More cost effective way to run grow lights

jimmyjojoNovember 30, 2007

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.

-Joe

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jaro_in_montreal

I have asked some experts about this, and they tell me that this advice is bogus -- no way to fool the electricity meter, sorry to say....

    Bookmark   December 18, 2007 at 7:02PM
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jimmyjojo

Your experts are wrong. Have them email me.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2007 at 12:22PM
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radovan

jimmyjojo, it's wrong! you are misinformed or how do you have the guts knowingly to make a joke like this? tell us Sir?

please, tell us a bit more about your theory, elaborate a bit more about it; that 2+3=4 and not 5?

*****be careful how to prove your theory since here are many experts in that field.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2007 at 5:33PM
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runningtrails

My meter is on the other side of the split. It measures all incoming power from the one main lne.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2008 at 6:11AM
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glaswegian(5b, Ont)

Am in the amrket for grow lights in southern Ontario, can someone that knows about these, please point me in the right direction as to what to get, where from and any other info needed to get me going? Canadian tire, wal-mart or HD?

I am after a setup like this:

http://www.flippygirl.com/growlights.html

    Bookmark   January 2, 2008 at 7:13AM
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ottawan_z5a

As someone mentioned, the meter is placed on the powerline side before the phase-split takes place in the house switch box so it will register the total consumption irrespective if it is balanced or not on the house side.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2008 at 8:31PM
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