Amount of light/electricity bill

Discussion in 'Growing Marijuana Indoors' started by ReefaSmoke, Apr 18, 2006.

  1. I was just watching Jorge Cervantes DVD, and I have a few questions about lighting. I have heard that you should not have more than 8 plants under a 400w HPS, but he had 16 i believe under each light. Is this too much? Would it be better to have less plants?

    I was also wondering about the electricity bill. If I was running four 400w HPS, I assume my electricity bill would be very high and set off alarm signals to the cops. How many can you run in a small house without it looking strange on your electricity bill. Are there any forms of affordable generators that can be used to power some of the lights?
  2. Around here, last time I checked, 1500W in a small house is enough to raise suspicion. 4x400W = 1600W, so someone might notice. I don't know how well they actually look at the wattage, but I remember reading that number somewhere in a newspaper or something.
  3. Just sit In darkness 24/7 whilst your plants are livin it up!
  4. That wont matter. 1600 watts running for 18 hours would be the equal of having about 26 lamps with 60watt bulbs running nonstop for 18 hours. Pretty suspicious if you ask me.
  5. so does this mean that we are all screwed??

  6. WTF are you talking about?

    If you live in a small building with 3000W worth of lights running all the time, then it might.

    If you're not a dumbass, then no. Just don't use too much electricity. They won't notice things like single 400 or 600W lights, only if you try to use a lot all in a small house. If you've got some big house, or don't live in the suburbs where everyone's electric bill is going to look about the same (they also compare to neighbors), then it's not usual to have a huge electric bill. It's just people who live in small places have to make sure they don't use 5 times as much electricity as normally used.
  7. Hmm... well I'm a new grower so I'm still pretty 'green' when it comes to discussing possible scenarios as I have no experience with em.

    However, I've researched the electrical situation quite a bit as I was pretty nervous at first. Now, I have a new outlook on it. Here's how I see it:

    I use computers pretty much non stop. I rarely, if ever, turn a computer off. Normally I just leave it on and it hit's screen saver mode. My first computer had a 500w power supply, plus monitor, etc - I figure I was using way more than 400watt's.

    Then I added another computer...and another and another... Now with media servers, NAS devices, and wireless networks - more and more people are adding home computers to their living space. Each computer uses way more than 400w.

    I, at one point, had close to 4 computers and a laptop running 24 hours a day. I was never ever contacted by the power company - and my power usage was way higher than before...running 24/7.

    Now I'm not looking to run more than 1 light, but if I were - I'd simply start powering down computers one at a time as I added lights. If anything, my power bill would probably decrease.

    I still have yet to see/read anything on the forums about people being contacted about power usage. Chances are, anyone caught this way would have already raised suspicion some other way.

  8. I don't believe your power bill is reason enough to get you busted (unless you increased your bill 5 fold or something). IMO it's just something they would look at to get a warrant if they felt, for other reasons, they needed one.

    For instance, if you were under some sort of suspicion, the cops might pull a power bill to see if that would support their suspicion and possibly add information in hopes of getting a warrant.
  9. bringing up an old topic here, but i think its better to do this than create a new thread.

    About the generators. Are these a smart way to run the lights? Are they expensive to run? If anyone has experience using generators, please let me know.

  10. The 500W output powersupply of yours CAN output 500W. Most of these powersupplies will burn out of you actually draw 500W of power nominally/continously.

    It does not have to most of the time, it depends on the functions you use on the machine which corresponds to specific circuitries inside the box flaring up.

    Like a car with a 100KW engine in it : it doesn't generate/consume 100KW of power when standing still waiting for the stopsign to turn green.

    Just to let you all know, these power consumption estimates of Slypknow are off by a factor 4 or more!
  11. Wasnt aware I quoted any consumption estimates... :)
    But I didn't even think about how much power was being consumed, and I believe you are right that a 500w computer is not consuming a solid 500watts otherwise it would probably be set on fire.

    However.... my ONLY point was that I had 4 computers, 4 monitors, etc all running 24hrs a day, 7 days a week...and was never contacted by the power company about my consumption. This leads me to assume that if all those machines were turned off and a 400W HPS light was turned on for 24hrs a day, the power consumption would be somewhat less or equal - thus removing the extreme power surge which might bring unwanted attention.

  12. Not estimating?
    I see powerusage, quantity & timespan.
    Are you sure?;)

    Anyway, I'm pretty sure 400W is not gonna be a problem.
    0.4 Kw * 18 * 365.25 = 2629.8 KWh. Then we substract 1/4 to compensate for 12/12 cycles = 1972.35 KWh.

    In the Netherworld....uhhm...lands the average house hold uses 3700 KWh per year.
    I know that's low compared to an American or Canadian households.
    So here your run at about 150% of the average with one 400W lamp.

    If you consider things like family size, house size, attitude and wealth its easy to see the drawing 300% average shouldn't be a problem either. (1600W)

    I'm quite certain most people get busted because of other people turning them in and not because of some high tech gadget of the government.

    Hardcore growers (we have many of them over here) need so much power they bypass the meter. Simply drawing dozens of KW straight from the powergrid, forget the fusebox and meter. Those are typically the type of growers who get busted because the power company smells trouble.

    Some guy over here got busted drawing 90KW straight from the grid. This is VERY dangerous for people nearby because of the fire hazard. Not to mention the theft itself.
    So now big money is involved AND the safety of others. I'm glad powercompanies report problems like that to the police.

  13. really? my server pulls a continuous 523W of power all the time.
  14. Really! If you sure your server sucks up 523W all the time (which I highly doubt) you should check the ratings on the powersupply. Open up the box sees what it says. Either is says output power : alot more then 523W or it doesnt draw 523W.

    I'm a network engineer. I have openened HUNDREDS and HUNDREDS of computers, including badass multi-kilowatt machines.

    Trust me, if you have a powersupply in a computer that says max output power blabla-Watt and you actually draw blabla-Watt nominal it will burn out. More then 9 out of 10 times, its a capacitor which goes bust : expands in size, starts leaking and finally gets a crispy finish.

    ^^^ That's a chart of power usage by part. I assume that the numbers given are "peak" power, and not the amount used when the device is relatively idle.

    I did a quick sum of the middle of the range on each device, multiplied by the amount of each device (ie: 3 fans @ 3W = 9W) and came out to about 300W. Which also assumes 3 PCI cards and an AGP video card. That's also, I'm pretty sure, peak power usage, so if you're not playing some intense game I'm sure your graphics card isn't going to be using peak power, nor will a PCI card that's sitting there doing nothing.

    So my guess, is that the average home computer probably uses about 100W when it's idle, and 300W under heavy use (ie: networked gaming), with an average of about 150W per hour (I'm assuming that the user doesn't sit and play games all day).

    There are some other factors too, I'm not entirely familiar with the efficiency of power supplies but I know they're far from 100%.


    Found a page with some actual #s:

    ^ Keep in mind that those are older systems, with the fastest one being only 650MHz P3. So I guess that chart probably isn't that useful after all :*( I read somewhere else that someone measured their idle P4 2GHz system at about 145W. (I'm doing research on this because my roommate is an ass about the electric bill, yet used to keep his tower on all day)
  16. do people think a 1000w hps and a 240 w flouro is pushing it.

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