400W bulb on 600W ballast

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by DoNo, Aug 2, 2012.

  1. Hi folks. I have a pretty sweet custom dual-600W ballast that I bought a month or so back off my local ebay service. The problem is, the bulbs I'm looking at buying are 400W (600 aren't available, period.)
    I've read a lot of conflicting info online regarding mismatched bulbs and ballasts, and for the life of me I can't find a good explanation on how they work (either too simple/no real info, or way over my head.)
    Is there an electrician on the boards who can give a straight answer on using a set-up like this? Not just if it should be done or avoided, but why? Or just someone to point me to a good source so I can look it up my self would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  2. What ballast do you have that you can't find a 600w bulb for it?
  3. it will probably work in a pinch esp if you are using what i think you are... is your "custom dual 600" really a 1000W ballast with a splitter? if so here's what will most likely happen: the bulb will probably fire and just run a little brighter and a lot hotter than it is meant to and will last about 1/5 as long. If its an actual 600W ballast then you will probably fry that bulb in a few hours. Its dumb. dont do it.

    What fluffykush said!?!?
  4. @fluffykush - I said the bulb I want is not available in 600W
    @zippy - No it is a homemade ballast.
    TY both for the replies.
  5. hmm.. well i do know if its a standard 600W ballast you just cant run a 400... ive never tried it, but thats because every warning label says not to. At the very least your bulb will run super hot, super ineficiently and degrade super quickly. What bulb you looking at man? i dont see what could be so special lol... ANY 600W HPS will outperform ANY 400W bulb.
  6. The HPS bulb in my other thread. Any input on why that would be a bad choice would also be greatly appreaciated :p
    Thanks again

  7. It's a bad choice because a 400w bulb just isn't made for a 600w ballast. It's like putting bullets into a gun that aren't meant for that gun. Even if it's the same caliber, there's a possibility it could blow up in your fucking face. High-powered lights really aren't something you should be toying with if you aren't knowledgeable in electrical workings.

    I would just buy new equipment if I was in your situation. Or not grow at all. It's better than burning your house down.
  8. Should have bought a ballast to suit your needs first off. The optimum use of a dual 600 watt ballast would be either two 600 watt HPS bulbs spread out or 1 MH and 1HPS used close together which would be insanely awesome and still cover 3 times the area you are using it for. Answer peoples questions no matter how out there they seem and you may be surprised by how much people will be able to help. FluffyKush I'm sure got that nice green bar above his name for a reason!
  9. #9 DoNo, Aug 10, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 10, 2012
    Clearly. But here we are.

    I was originally thinking of running 2x400 of the exact same HPS bulb. Would you recommend two different bulbs to mix spectrums, or a MH/HPS mix (I'm assuming we're talking flowering here?)

    I totally answered everyone's questions :p
    Look at my previous replies above ^^

  10. #10 DoNo, Aug 10, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 10, 2012
    Ok so I missed a reply :p Didn't notice two posts on the same day!
    I am most definitely not growing yet, and won't be until I'm certain my setup is as safe as possible. That's why I was asking about the bulb/ballast issue. I have read on forums (in the same thread) that A) the bulb and ballast must match and B) the ballast will regulate the current to the bulb as required, therefore you can mix.
    So really I guess I was just hoping to get lucky here and hear a good technical explanaton of why this can or can't be done, or at least pointed to something I can read for myself that would answer my questions. I've had a hard time searching for this issue online, pretty much everything I come across is just hearsay.
    Selling or swapping the ballast is certainly an option, it's not like I would come out behind downgrading to the 400W units that I need. I didn't know enough about the relationship between watts/amps/volts when I bought mine, I thought I could easily run 2x600W on the available outlets. So no worries on the whole house-fire thing ;)
    I also have a Fireball automated fire-suppressor, and the room is clean and free of clutter, no cables on the ground etc, plus the location is totally secure from prying eyes and nosey neighbours, so I think I'm good on the safety front in general.
  11. Here is the question you chose to disregard.

  12. Here is the answer you chose not to read :p

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