Best grow lights for my setup?

wjason777April 5, 2014

Hello everyone, Ive been really doing some research on the proper light to buy. I have a aquaponic system setup in my outside shed that has no windows, or ac ( plan to get a window ac unit to sit on the very top of a shelf thats close to the ceiling, since heat rises). I have a 4x3 grow area. would like to grow pretty much any kind of vegetables. with heat and power comsumtion being a big factor what type of light would really be worth getting. I was looking at this led ligh. http://www.gothamhydroponics.com/led-grow-lights/lighthouse'>lighthouse-hydro-blackstar-480w-led-grow-light-uv.html

I came across this ad for a HID, dont know the quality of it and never herd of the name, but everything is new and hes willing to take $220 for everything.
http://greenville.craigslist.org/grd/4403080548.html

What would be the best route to go hid or led? I dont mind spending $500 on a led light that would save me on in the light bill and also puts off very little heat. Just would like to know if i would get the best quality of plants,
can someone point me in the right direction ?

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kkamm

Jason, I am new to hydroponic growing under lights, so keep that in mind!

I researched alot before building my setup and found a lot of mixed reviews on LED lights. Im growing in my garage with no A/C so we are in the same boat.

I looked at HID lights, but with the heat they put off, you would have to be able to vent them outside of your grow area. If only looking at efficiency (output per watt) HID lights actually are more efficient, but the light they provide is not exactly in the perfect spectrum for your plants, so some of the light is not usable.

LED's are cheaper to run and put off far less heat. I bought a Black Dog 450 watt LED for my setup and it covers my 3x3 area perfectly. The only issue with LED is that it projects light out in more of a focused area. That can be problematic if you want to get the light really close to plants. The closer the better normally, but the closer you get, the less area you can cover. I have found that out with my LED.

Also, with LED you pretty much get what you pay for. I spent a lot of money on mine ($1100). I figured I would bite the bullet and get something i knew was proven to work. Im sure that there is something cheaper out there, but I didnt want to experiment with them.

The important thing to look out for is the spectrum of the lights and the intensity that you can put on your plants. I am going to document my grow on here and see how well a first timer with a good LED can do. My thread will be under the hydroponics section.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 5:06PM
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kkamm

One last thing. Ambient temperature in my garage right now is about 75 degrees. With my light where it is in the picture, the temperature on the thermometer in the pic hits 89 degrees tops with the grow tent closed up and no fan on. With a fan i can keep it about ambient to the garage.

If you want to use HID, you will need a good exhaust system vented outside or the heat will be too much.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 5:09PM
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wjason777

Hey kkamm I went with the blackstar v2.0 480w. I see what you was saying about the closer the light is to the plants the less area it covers. I also looked into that blackdog you have and the kind 600l. Thinking about sending the blackstar back and maybe getting something that have has a better area coverage. What are you thoughts on light movers?

    Bookmark   April 13, 2014 at 9:13PM
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kkamm

The local hydro store here has a bd450-u on a light mover covering about 18 square feet. The are growing very nice looking plants in an aquaponic system moving the one light back and forth over the two trays. However, the trays are also positioned near the window to the shop, so its hard to say if the light mover and LED are solely responsible. I have read mixed reviews on light movers, but was also thinking about getting one.

General consensus is moving the light a foot or so in either direction is good, but moving further than that can be confusing to the plant.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 5:09PM
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wjason777

How are things going so far with your led? Are you plants looking happy?

    Bookmark   April 14, 2014 at 9:45PM
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