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HID supplier & cost

Posted by intercessor (My Page) on
Thu, Mar 1, 07 at 16:07

Hi,
I would like to have some intense lighting for my lily seedlings that I grow over the winter for 6 to 7 months. I am on a tight budget however. I considered bolting 10 overdriven
Home Depot fixtures together for about a 4'x4' light panel. However at a cost of $250 this seems to be approaching the cost of the a low wattage MH HID, and lacks the flexibility of
a HID unit, since it would be 4'x4' and be heavy.
I would like to know if there is a place I can get 1000 w MH HID light fixtures and pay $200-$300 dollars? I looked on the web and have seen a huge range in prices. Not really sure why a metal reflector and a $15 MH bulb would cost $400-$600 when sold as a grow light.
Also could someone explain why there is such a big difference in pricing for 1000w MH setups? I couldn't really tell what the feature differences are.

Thank you!
Andrew


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: HID supplier & cost

The cynic in me says the specialists add 50% simply for printing "plant light" on the side. The rose-tinted spectacles say that you do get quality equipment designed for the job in mind, even if it may sometimes be possible to source down the individual components yourself for less.

Setting up lights on a budget, there is one thing that everyone forgets. The biggest cost is the electricity. If you don't pay for your own electricity then feel free to buy a metal halide garden floodlight for $30, or two if you need more light. You absolutely want to avoid overdriving if you are running on a tight budget, efficiency drops and the electricity used goes up.

If you pay for your own electricity, then 1000W will cost you about a dollar a day to operate. Pretty soon you'll be wishing you spent a little more on a more efficient lamp to make that 50c/day. Still, the technology that makes a metal halide plant bulb is the same as the technology that makes a metal halide factory bulb, although there are many attempts to create special plant spectrums at added cost.

Look for a digital ballast, the metal halide equivalent of the fluorescent high frequency electronic ballast, they are more efficient. Look for pulse start, again more light for less electricity. Consider how much light you really need, 1000W should be able to light up about 50 square feet for overwintering. Make sure you get the light onto the plants, an expensive reflector is one way, but white walls and a bit of mylar on the ceiling is virtually as good. And replace metal halide bulbs every year, the light output drops as they get old. Investigate whether your seedlings will be happy under HPS light, 750W gives about the same light as 1000W metal halide.


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RE: HID supplier & cost

Thanks again shrubs. I am looking for something that will help the lilies mature faster from seeds and cut a year or two off first flowering. So bright light is a good way to get bigger bulbs over the winter. I have to pay 11 cents(USA)per kilowatt :*( Anyway...
I suppose ebay might have something and I found BGhydro.com seemed to have "a little" more reasonable prices.

Thanks again,
Andrew

Here is a link that might be useful: BGhydro.com


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