Hi - new to this forum. I'm usually over with the orchid growers.
I was just calculating the electricity costs of installing 2 400watt HPS grow lights (fantasizing about future winter setups). I feel like two of these suckers would allow me to maintain my current modest collection pretty comfortably. Anyway, I was always under the impression that powering these things for 8 hours a day would result in atrocious electricity bills...but I was reading up on current rates of electricity in Ontario (around 7 cents/kilowatt) and I realized that if I run two of these for 8 hours a day, 31 days a month:
(2*(400watts)*8hrs a day * 31 days a month)/1000 = around 200kilowatts.
200kw * 7 cents = around 14 dollars
Which actually isn't that outrageous...especially if this is only for 5 winter months (around 70 dollars a season). Am I calculating this correctly? I mean, of course you have the initial investment of the lights and ballasts which can cost $200+. But then again, hopefully in a few years I'll be out of my current 'poor student' rut.
The other thing I was wondering is how damaging this kind of behavior is for the environment. We all talk about saving energy and turning off lights when we leave the room. This counter-productive activity of maintaining grow lights fills me with guilt. Has anyone experimented in using ecological energy sources (solar, human powered) to generate electricity?