Pictures of your HID Systems...

almax881September 2, 2008

Would you all please post pictures of your HID systems? I am thinking about creating my own system, and it would be helpful to actually see how other systems are arranged. (I tried to do a search for "pictures" but virtually all of the pictures are no longer available).

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TT, zone 5b MA

Hi -

Not sure this is ideal, and I defer to experts on this forum and welcome opinions, but this is my setup:

1000 watt MH:

600 watt HPS:

400 watt MH:

Tom

    Bookmark   September 17, 2008 at 4:31PM
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lermer

I would recommend instead, two 400w CMH (ceramic metal halide). This would give two angles of light, resulting in fewer shadows and better distribution of light unto leaf surface.

I notice your plants are of different heights. This is another reason for using two lights instead of one.

You would also save 200watts.

The CMH is a much better spectrum, with more blue and red. The spectrum of CMH is more continuous than the spiky MH. Using the Digital Maximum ballast would improve bulb performance and life, relative to magnetic ballast.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2008 at 6:43PM
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almax881

Wow, Tom, what an impressive setup. Do you receive sunlight from the windows during the day and supplement the plants with the lights in the evening? Or do you have the lights on for their typical 16/18-hour time periods?

Really, I appreciate you posting this. Now, I can see the difference in the "look" of HPS light and MH light.

Lermer, would you post a picture of your setup as well?

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 10:16AM
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TT, zone 5b MA

I leave my lights on for 11 hours per day throughout the indoor growing season. I have just started bringing my plants in - I have more to bring in tonight as they are forecasting temps in the upper 30s!

I do get sun coming in through the windows now, and I have three skylights in the room as well. The amount of sun gets less and less as we enter winter though. The room also faces north, so the lights become more and more important.

That said, quite a bit of my stuff goes dormant over the winter, even under the lights - I force a dry dormancy for my African succulents, and my tropical bonsai typically just slow down. Just trying to keep them going over the winter, and hope that there is enough light available when they start waking up.

Under the fixtures, in the brightest spots, I measure about 6-6500 foot candles to the tops of the closest plants, lower around the fringes and lower down (4-5000 ft candles), and brighter when the sun sneaks in to supplement. The HPS fixture, seems to penetrate lower down better than the MH, but the MH color is more white.

Lermer - I don't think I will be changing my components this season, but I sure would like to know if there ever is going to be a 600 Watt CMH bulb available. That, I would guess, would run in on an HPS ballast, correct?

T

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 10:39AM
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arizona_pepper_man(phx, arizona)

Tom-
Your setup looks bad a$$! I'm eventually getting to a similar setup, but with mostly pepper plants. I'm officially hooked on this hobby and your plictures push me to invest more and more and more. I currently have a single 2x4 setup using a discount-hydro 2x4 grand stand and an 8 bulb t5 but i've got my eyes open to for a 600 or 1000watt dual setup ballast and hood setup for later down the road.

Your room looks really really really cool! nice work! please send me any additional pictures you might have, I'd love to see your any other setup you. I grow "herbs" inside as well. It's really clean looking. Thanks for sharing. brandon in arizona

    Bookmark   September 19, 2008 at 11:49PM
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TT, zone 5b MA

Thanks, Brandon. And, now that all of my plants are in for the season, I feel like I should add on! But I am out of real estate...

T

    Bookmark   September 20, 2008 at 11:49PM
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arizona_pepper_man(phx, arizona)

You can always design and build a very nice and classy looking "hanging" shelf or something that can add layers and additional dimension to your room. Yup, that's called addiction, but we are all here for you :)

Add til' your heart's content!

b

    Bookmark   September 21, 2008 at 9:00PM
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lermer

Lermer - I don't think I will be changing my components this season, but I sure would like to know if there ever is going to be a 600 Watt CMH bulb available. That, I would guess, would run in on an HPS ballast, correct?

(Lermer) You can run a 400w CMH bulb at 600w with a 600w HPS ballast (magnetic only). This may shorten bulb life,
but they are inexpensive and should always be replaced well before their end of life (because the bulbs depreciate most in the first few months).

There are no electronic ballasts at 600w that run CMH, because CMH requires low frequency and none exist at that wattage.

Generally you are better off using more 400w lights because the more points of light, the more angles of light and the fewer shadows on leaf surface. This results in better distribution of light.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2008 at 9:09PM
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hydroponica(5-6)

That's really interesting Lermer, I'd like to learn more about CMH. Do you have any links to material you recommend? What about buying, know of any particularly good deals?

One of the main reasons I haven't wanted to get HID just yet is because trying to pick between MH and HPS just annoyed me. One bulb to rule them all... sounds like my kinda light.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 5:29PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

I know I would be interested in learning more about CMH, I'm not finding much on the web.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 2:49PM
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scienceguy

I found some info on the CMH bulbs when a called a company that deals specifically in full spectrum lighting. The company is Life Light Technologies.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 1:06AM
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balian

Hello Tom,

Those are great pictures and great plants. I was wondering, are you a professional photographer? Because whenever I try to take pictures with the lights on, the pic turn out all wonky, what kind of settings do you need to set in order to take such fantastic pictures?

I think your setup is great BTW, no need to change components. One thing with multiple 400watters, is you can also bring the lights closer to the plants without burning.

Thanks in advance,

Balian

    Bookmark   December 4, 2008 at 7:01PM
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hautions11(6)

Here is my sun porch converted to grow room this winter. Some outdoor plants wintering over, tomatoes getting ready for a screen horizontal grow, a few peppers basil spinach. The light shown is a 400w Metal Halide, but I have 2 400w HPS that I will mix in with the MH. I also get 6-7 hours of nice sun in the winter.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2008 at 12:35PM
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yellowthumb(5a Ontario)

Hi Tom,

Your setup looks fantastic. I have always been trying to make the HID systems look less industrial, but it's hard.

I like your reflectors, they all have vents for fans, I am wondering what you use for the ventilation. Do you have any inline fan for each reflector? They are so costly.

Thanks

YT

    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 8:56PM
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ozzz(5b AZ)

I just got started with indoor gardening, for now I am simply using a spare bathroom. I have 5 tomato plants (which are fruiting as of this morning!) lettuce, and basil, as well as a green pepper plant that just sprouted. Its a 400w HPS

    Bookmark   January 7, 2009 at 10:43AM
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