Combining HPS with LEDs?? Seeking advice on Grow room

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by Johnmon, Jun 30, 2017.

  1. Hey all,

    So I currently have a 12x7 Veg Room with two 600W LED and three 300W LED Mars Hydro lamps (Purchasing more soon). My Flower room is 14x10 with two 600W HPS (Purchasing more soon). I am considering either buying more LEDs or Metal Hallides for the flower room to get a fuller spectrum and more coverage as I understand that would increase yield and potency in the Flower room. However, I am uncertain how I would set up the LED's and the HPS bulbs as they each need to be at different heights. I know the LEDs need to be closer and do not have as much penetration. Does anyone have any experience or suggestions for this? We are leaning toward LEDs as they are cheaper on the electric bill!

    Any advice appreciated. Thanks!
  2. #2 canadian1969, Jul 2, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2017
    This is actually a much bigger question than you realize, but I will give it a go.
    • LEDs do not need to be closer, they can be closer. The power of the light will determine its height. I can use many lower power LEDs to achieve the same ppfd at close range (like a quantum board) or I can use higher powered LEDs (like Vero 29 COBs) at longer range.
    • LEDs can be distributed in many flexible ways, unlike HID; Distribution of LEDs in scenarios such as side lighting or stacked horizontal or vertical grows are basically impossible with HID
    • LED luminaries can be spectrum divergent as well as dimmable (e.g. you cant change your HPS spectrum throughout the grow, but you can with a well engineered LED panel).
    • Combining HPS and LED is fine. It is more common than you think and a great way to gradually change over to entirely LED without messing your grow up.
    Now you said you had 2x600 watt LEDs and 2x300 watt Mars hydro panles, so blurple, the trend and for very good reasons is away from blurple towards high CRI, high binned 3000K-4000K COBs, or Samsung LM561c chips (light strips like the Birdgelux EB series or quantum boards / sun boards).

    At this point you simply need to research some of the tech I have mentioned here and if you can calculate exactly what your required PPFD is at canopy it will go a LONG way to helping you choose the right lights.

    Those blurple panels are still good to use, however I would recommend your next set of LEDs be white. Blurple is not full spectrum despite their claims. Only white light is full spectrum.

    So taking your veg room into consideration, thats 84 sq ' and the "actual" wattage of those panels is more like 250 watts. So you are vegging with 500 watts actual or 6 watts / sq' which is crazy low, but perhaps you only use a portion of the grow space. The other consideration is coverage. You have to mount a 300 watt LED light pretty high to cover a 4x4 area (just as an example) and the higher the luminary gets the lower the ppfd will be on the canopy.
    Definitely watch:
    growmau5 - YouTube
    Smart Grow Systems

    I dont recommend these guys (Suncloak), but just is an example of side lighting Suncloak Grow Light LED Systems - Maximum Yield | Maximum Efficiency

    edit: I should also note that most HID growers are moving to Ceramic as it gives a good UV profile. This is not possible yet with LED. You will need to supplement with floro UV tubes and far red diodes to give the plants everything they want.
  3. I've been reading up on the lighting spectrum and found something interesting the other day. One of the guys from NPK University suggested using the LEDs with more blues in them for the flower cycle and also suggested running some red lighting every day for about 15 mins before the lights go off. The red spectrum was to mimic the sunset and the blues were meant to enhance the blue of the sky. We currently just use HPS but after listening to this guy, am considering adding those colors in with LEDs just to see what happens. It's just making the cycle more like natural sunlight and actions of the daylight hours. But LEDs do burn hotter to plants than other forms of lighting so you have to be sure not to go so close that they burn your plants. Keeping really good strong air movement going around your all levels, will help with dispersing any heat that might build up from the lights. Depending on how many plants you think you want to flower, you need to plan for the same even lighting coverage of light for every plant and give each space to spread during flower so light can penetrate the canopy of the plant and develop out the lower buds on the plant. No light is going to penetrate more than 18-24" down into the plant, so we trim ours up pretty high on the stalk so we don't end up wasting energy finishing out popcorn buds that pop up at the bottom of the plant. Proper technique tending the plant, high enough wattage in the correct spectrum and enough space to accept the light, and you'll finish out a nice plant. But you really have the high wattage to force them to produce. Otherwise, they'll just do a lot of stretching if you're short on light. Best of luck with your grow. TWW

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