HPS lights vs Fluorescents

organic_nutApril 28, 2006

Does anyone have any experience with HPS lights and hot peppers. I have been using fluorescents. someone told me the HPS is much better and not really more expensive in the long run. He says they output much more light for the electricity and the plants grow much better.

He suggested a 400 watt HPS off ebay.

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Start your plants and grow them to about a foot tall under your fluoros or till they start fruiting and put under the HPS. You should keep the light 10-18 inches above your plants and get about a 3'X 4' uable light footprint. That should get you a starting point. I think you will like HPS.

good luck

    Bookmark   April 29, 2006 at 9:25PM
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HPS is a good light source, but the spectrum is a little red. The best soultion is 1 HPS and 1 MH lamp that will give a spectrun very near daylight.

Daylight color temperatures is what chiles are looking for......

    Bookmark   April 30, 2006 at 9:18AM
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hotpepper(6b/7 NJ)

I agree, Most people think hps is te standard growing light, but it's for plants that like that spectrum in the fruiting stage. Check these puppies out!!!! 400w or 250W Ballast that;s switchable from Hps and MH, They also sell conversion bulbs. To my understanding MH is the best light for vegetative growth and hps is mostly used as a supplement to help flowering stages. I would use 1 of each at all times. I'd get a 200 watts(250?) of each or the switchable 400. Also, you should spend as much care on the refelctor you get. you can build pick and choose which ones you want. If I were you, I'd get a nice hood that you can attach venting to. This way you don't replace the cheap reflector in needs of a good hood with vents. some hoods project light into a consolidated place or will spread the light out over a wider area, so depending if you want 2 or 10 plants your reflecter is an important purchase. What good is a 1000w mh light if it's light is projected in a beam straight down?! right?>

Here is a link that might be useful: sunleaves reflector with hps/mh ballast.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2006 at 12:27PM
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hotpepper(6b/7 NJ)

oh and willard3. It looks like you really know what spectrum of light chilles want. My hood has been refurbished from an aquarium hood. I have a 175w 10,000k MH(ushio brand) I rigged a 150w HPS (standard from Home deopt)._ And the hood has 2 (not sure on the size 18 inch actinic VHO (very high output bulbs), and Im sure the spectrum on those is wayyy over 10000k verrry blue/purple light. I think I got my spectrums covered with over 350W of light. What do you think? Im just wondering if I should get those actinig flourescents out of there and get some white spectrum ones. I liek how the blue light keeps your plants very compact which i think is a plus for indoor gardening.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2006 at 12:34PM
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I want to grow outdoors. but I need to start the peppers indoors. I am in Mass and have a short season outdoors. Peppers want it warm and so that means about June 1 to start. it gets cool in Sept but by then the plant should have peppers on it and I only need for them to ripen if possible.

I only need the light for a few weeks indoors to get them going. but the HPS seems to cost less money. I dont have the money to get more than one. besides I will only use it a short time.

I am all set for this year as it is almost to late to start this project but I wanted to figure out if it is a good deal or not for next spring.

Michael if I grow them a foot tall they are ready to go outside. even now my peppers are a maximum of 3 inches or less. I dont expect them to get to a foot tall by the time i put them out. but maybe they will.

I guess my question would be. lets say I grew the peppers from seeds for 8 weeks before putting them outdoors. should I use fluorescent lights or HPS. what will give me the most growth. assume there are no flowers. I really dont want flowers indoors. I want them after the roots get set real good outdoors.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2006 at 2:50PM
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Organic Nut,

I donÂt feel that you will get much good use out of the HPS. There are several ppl around that do basically what you are doing and using only the shop lights and light from a window. I started seeds in January and can go outside with them the last week of May. Some of my plants are pretty tall and the lot of them take up a nice amount of room. Combine that with only 1 window that get any sun and I decided just best to get the big light. I started my seedlings under a shop light. When they get from six inches to a foot tall I move them to my HPS. I use a MH conversion bulb at first but switch back to HPS once they get bigger then.

In short you should stick with your fluorescents and you will be fine.
I donÂt like to post other ppl links but you should look at galleries for JohnF and cmpman. If either is reading, please the links for your germination seedling setups.


    Bookmark   April 30, 2006 at 7:08PM
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I kind of get your idea much better now. it now makes more sense. So you start the seeds real early. wow. in January. how early in January. that actually sounds like a pretty good idea.

Can I ask what state you are in. I am in Mass. you seem to wait until june 1 to put them outside the same as me so I like that. you will have good advice for me.

My first frost comes the first week in October. how about you.

I dont have any decent windows in my house for growing. none of them get enough light to grow anything. In the past I have carried plants outdoors in the day and back indoors at night. but that is a lot of work.

If I start growin in January and get one 400 watt hps how many plants do you think I can grow big. do you think that is better than twice the number of small plants.

My mind is going. I am getting into this again. I love peppers. well chilies more I guess.

Thanks for the help Mike. you are a good guy.

Organic Nut

    Bookmark   April 30, 2006 at 9:20PM
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I just now ran into John F picture gallery. I am blown away. incredible. Just amazing. and he does that up in Maine. Unbelieveable.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2006 at 10:06PM
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Like mike I use a conversion bulb, works just fine for me too.

All that humping boxes in and out sounds oh so familiar to me..LOL...I used to do a lot of that.

"If I start growin in January and get one 400 watt hps how many plants do you think I can grow big. do you think that is better than twice the number of small plants."

Thats depends on what you mean by big!!! If its just for say twelve inch plants to go outside, the 400 watts will cover effectively ten st ft maximum in theory. I use mine however over a larger area of about 15ft sq (3' x 5'), an oblong with shade lovers furthest from the light in back (pubescens, tepins etc). The results have always been fine for me.

I can fit about a hundred (4"-6") pots in there and have benn known to practise a two shifts of 12 hrs system, but thats just like lumping boxes in and out again. The 12 hrs is not enough continuous light per day for best growth of the plants either.

If you are wanting to grow plants and mature fruit indoors you will get a lot less plants under the lamp perhaps six to eight would be OK.

If you can plant out early June then I guess its best to start in January, for chinenses and baccatums in any case..perhaps the pubescens a bit earlier still and annuums in the first half of February. It depends what you want to grow.

All the best


    Bookmark   May 3, 2006 at 7:16AM
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someone said you can easy cover over 30 square feet with a light rail 3.5 say 4 ft by 8 ft = 32 sq feet and more on the outside if you only want transplants.

has anyone any experience with this. I was told to get the higher speed one. that it works much better.


    Bookmark   May 4, 2006 at 12:39PM
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You cant really go wrong with a HPS lamp, true that it puts out more red, MH puts out more blue, the HPS is perfect for flowering and the MH is great for vegative growth, but after doing lots of research on this years ago, i went with the HPS do to the fact that is has less "useable" lumens, but a helluva lot more lumens. If your concerned about the blue spectrum you could always buy a hybrid bulb for your HPS lamp. I bought a 400w years ago, but i just purchased a 150w HPS from Amazon. A Sun Systems brand, they are all made in USA. I will be using mine to grow some Trinidad Butch T Scorpion peppers AND some Red Carribean Habaneros. I just started the seeds so im gearing up for some winter growing

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 6:39PM
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I was looking at lights on amazon and found the Apollo glad led full spectrum 135 watt grow light for $89.00. All the reviews for it are good. They also make some higher watt and lower watt. I know nothing about lights but I am going to have to get 1 or 2 for this winter. The windows on this house are layed out weird (north and south facing) and the biggest are in the living room and kitchen and my girlfriend said no.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 11:40AM
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sjetski(6b NJ)

Randal it all depends on if you're trying to grow actual pods over the winter, and how cool their growing area will be.

If you are not looking for winter pods then a simple $10-$20 4ft shop light assembly is way more than enough, even with just a couple of hours light per day. Optimal light hours depends on how warm your over-wintering spot is.

If the area is cold enough ~45-50f (basement, garage, etc), then you would barely need any light at all during the winter months, the plants would just need to remain defoliated and watered every few weeks or so. But if temps will average 55f or higher then leaves will continue to form and the plant will need at least a 1-4 hours of light per day (again it depends on the room's average temp). Up the light hours as springtime nears and temps rise. This past winter i averaged 1 hour of light per day, temps were mostly between 50-58f. I only lost one plant, in March no less, it almost made it to plant-out.

And since most people lose a few overwintered plants, you may want to overwinter doubles of your favorites.


This post was edited by sjetski on Sun, Jul 27, 14 at 17:24

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 5:00PM
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Right on thanks Steve,
I'm going to have several plants. My girlfriend doesn't know it yet but I'm going to use the spare bedroom for my spot : )
We only have a wood stove for heat so I'll put a plug in heater with them and I should be able to keep it 50 to 60 degrees.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 6:16PM
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sjetski(6b NJ)

NP Randal.

If the room stays 45f or above, then i wouldn't do the plug-in heater if it were me. It just isn't worth the electricity usage imho, unless you are using the electric heater as a booster for the rest of your home.

Between 45-50f the plants will be dormant and *might* stay leafless, the stems ought to look green and alive. And you would be able to pinch off any leaf growth since it will look pale and sickly anyway.

Good luck either way though.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 6:57PM
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