hps/mh maze........

northerndaylily(z3b-4a)March 15, 2009

Sure gets confusing attempting to buy a new light. Some have warranties.. the price differences... gets annoying. :)

I do have a 400 HPS system which I am happy with.. I want more coverage. Considering a 1000 watt system. I see no value in electronic ballasts.. I see no warrantly on them.. and how often do electronic boards to AWOL.. often IMO.

Seems like.. ?... Sun Grow Lights are the only US manufacture.

Appears a switchable ballast is the way to go.. using MH staring out for growth.. [?].

The voice of experience is welcomed per comments... Thanks!

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"I see no value in electronic ballasts.."

No value? Longer ballast life, longer bulb life, no bulb cycling, greater efficiency, and on and on down the line?

"using MH staring out for growth.."

Well, they are bluer.

"Considering a 1000 watt system."

I assume you've considered ventilation? That's a lot of heat you'll be adding. That's basically like having a small space heater running 24/7.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 3:28PM
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Pipedreams... for over double the cost and the same electrical use.. your asssertion is just manufacturer literature. Unfounded by real data... ask the maker what a new board costs.... :)... when your electronic goes out.

I guess heat sure is the bad guy... windows do open.. that heat can be employed as a heat source for air temps. Double useage.....

At over $200 added cost for the electronic ballast.. when does that cost come back?

It doesn't.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 9:06AM
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"your asssertion is just manufacturer literature."

Um, I've talked with people who've used them, and love them. And they've been widely independently studied. Random example:

Fluorescent lights require ballasts, which help start and then control the current flowing through the lamp. An annoying flicker, hum, and energy loss are infamous hallmarks of the magnetic ballast, the industry standard for decades. More than ten years ago, LBNL played a catalytic role in developing the high-frequency electronic ballast and in encouraging its market growth. Electronic ballasts not only eliminate flicker and hum, they also save energy by reducing electrical losses in both the ballast and the lamps. Electronic ballasts can also be designed for dimming, and can be made smaller and lighter than standard ballasts.

When our research on the electronic ballast was just beginning in the late 1970s, LBNL contracted with three small companies to produce commercial models of high-frequency electronic ballasts for conventional fluorescent lamps. (At that time, no electronic ballasts were commercially availableeven though the high-frequency operation of fluorescent lamps was known to improve energy efficiency.) The intent of this early effort was to accelerate the availability of electronic ballasts by demonstrating the energy efficiency and reliability of these new, energy-saving products in typical building environments. After the ballasts were tested by LBNL to assure compliance with specifications, they were installed at a demonstration site in a utility office (PG&E) in San Francisco. The results of these early demonstrations were widely publicized at technical and trade conferences and showed that electronic ballasts could operate satisfactorily in a typical building environment and reduce lighting energy use by up to 30%.

As a result of research efforts and continued quality improvements, the electronic ballast has developed from a laboratory curiosity to a proven and successful energy-efficient lighting technology. By 1993 electronic ballasts represented 23% of total ballast sales, and the electronic ballast is now an accepted mainstream product. They will likely replace magnetic ballasts in more than 75% of applications by 2015 as a consequence of utility and other incentive programs, and federal programs and standards.

The federal investment in electronic ballast R&D is about $3 million, leveraging a cumulative energy savings attributable to electronic ballasts from 1988 to 1993 of $400 million. Based on energy savings "in the pipeline," i.e., for technologies installed as of 1993, businesses and consumers will ultimately save $700 million (net of their extra capital investment), which will grow to $13 billion for technologies installed through the year 2015. In 2015, environmental emissions of approximately 73 million tons of CO2, 157,000 tons of SO2, and 144,000 tons of NOx will be avoided through the use of electronic ballasts.

(LBNL is Lawrence-Berkley National Laboratory, one of our nation's most prestigious scientific research labs)

So believe reality is false all you want, but it remains reality. 1000W is about $700 a year (depending on your power rates and grow cycle). Even a small percentage efficiency improvement would pay for a new electronic ballast *every year or two*. Just ignoring the longer bulb life.

But again, your call.

that heat can be employed as a heat source for air temps

I take it you're in a cold climate? Well, just be sure not to burn your plants :)

    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 12:07PM
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"Um, I've talked with people who've used them, and love them. And they've been widely independently studied."

The many will never admit to making an error spending coin on something that is a waste of money... human nature.

NO electricity savings... no need to bother with the concerns of replacing expensive boards that burn out.

Obviously your pimping for some manufacturer... nuff said.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 9:46AM
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Oh, give me a freaking break. If all you're going to do is question the motives of people you ask for advice, why did you even bother to come here?

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 12:47PM
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I had a fire at my apartment building. Just in case, fire fighters went into my apartment, and doused my electrical ballast with water. About two months later, I opened it up, dried it out, and it still works! I love this thing.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 7:33AM
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