Experimental Grow

Discussion in 'Hydroponic Grow Journals' started by uNuNuNiuM, Sep 25, 2011.

  1. Hey all, second overall post to GS so be patient with me. I've been a long time enthusiast, yadda yadda, grow indoor and out, dirt or hydro. So I am starting a new grow, new house, new room, all from the beginning...again. After much debating regarding which system to use, I have posted in the hydro section, so that's that. However, I'll probably use a combination of both once things get rolling. SO, I am seeking some advice regarding a few things. Please feel free to participate, but please no bashing. I would prefer you all help me with suggestions than crowd up the thread with flaming each others growing practices. Please, speak out of experience, I know HID as well as the next guy, so when I ask a question about LEDs, I would hope to hear from those who have seen both, or at least tried LED vegging.

    Section 1: Lights
    My room will function as a germ/clone site (seperate light) as well as two spaces for veg/bud. First, I am looking to experiment with LED. I have been into the idea for years and all these journals really help fuel my curiosity. I have had great luck with soil and hydro, as well as HID and CFL grows. However, I am hoping to find a suitable LED for vegging stout plants, as they seem to produce short node lengths. I would prefer two units ~150W (if feasible), each being hung side by side, above only two plants. More about that next.
    SO, thoughts for this section regarding any of the following? 300W on two plants, is this reasonably good for vegging? small areas (see ScrOG, below). MAY use LED as supplement for flower, but mainly aiming for veg here. (hoping to spend $300 for the two panels, and I'm not very interested in building it myself)

    Section two: Ladies...
    The first female (hopefuls) I will more than likely force to assume the ScrOG position. I am toying with the idea of a SOG, although it seems reminiscent of every other over-crowded grow I did, but with stronger lights, haha. So, it will be two scrog girls, on screens smaller than 2x2 ft, hopefully with two LED panels above them, for veg only. In the case I can't choose any LEDs in the next week or two, I will be in the market for smaller HID lights, maybe a couple 150W HPS. I have some 400s as backups, but I really don't want to run all of them in here as I must maintain some discretion.

    SO again, does it make sense to run two scrogs on LED veg? After that I will run HPS with supplement if needed (CFL, LED) for flower.
    If I don't choose the LED, can anyone suggest a decent HID light, 150-250W I can veg with? Only have my CFL (too slow) and the HPS for flower. So veg must be LED or MH, unless something new has come out I don't know about.

    Section 3: NUTES
    So just to berate you more, I have not picked out nutes yet. By the end of this week I hope to have this all in the mail and ready to move in by the following week. I had decent luck with previous hydro nutes, but I want something standard, decently clean, easy to manage, and not super expensive. By standard I mean I do not want twelve types of bud boosters and blah blah, I like NPK numbers, and I have a pH, TDS, EC, everything else meter, when needed. I would prefer the nute to have built in buffers, although I do not mind adjusting pH myself if needed. Not super expensive..ah, I just prefer to get good lights and be meticulous, it seems to work for me. So again, nutes must be pretty standard, easily managable, and not cost a fortune.

    The Hook:
    SO, while I spend all week hanging my mylar and light screens, setting up hydro and ventilation, you can all write great responses with useful ideas and suggestions. Then I can order stuff and start updating some pics. I want to eventually compare my yields with another grow not using LED for veg, but both flowered on HPS...best of both worlds perhaps.

    Suggestions appreciated, facts even more so.

  2. LED's do work great for veg. Another great option would be t5's. I personally have not used them, but would have if the LED hadn't worked so well. I still may use them for my cloning tent, when money allows for it.
    The only bad thing I've noticed so far with the LED's is that you really can't put them a couple inches above the plants without a light mover. At such a close distance, the light the plants get is very concentrated, and doesn't provide good coverage. This led to a lot of bleaching of the top leaves, and some die-back on the lower leaves.
    The temps are great, and do make it possible to keep the lights closer than most HID setups. I scrogged mine during veg, keeping the lights about four inches away. I used an Ebb & Aero setup, and each top from each plant was growing around an per day.
    I am also flowering under LED due to temperature constraints. I never raised the light when I made the switch in an effort to keep internodal length to a minimum during stretch (which I've read can be problematic given most LED's do not have much penetration). The tops grew up to the lights over the course of three weeks. The longest nodes are directly above the screen. Most are about an inch, some are an eigth to a quarter inch longer. As you move up from there, the internodal length shrinks pretty drastically.

    At this point, I am confident saying these produce superior results during veg. And, at least up to week three, produce comparable results [to hid] in flower, while far outperforming cfl's. I'm using a 357 Magnum as well, with output of 180 watts. When I eventually upgrade, I'll likely be using these: Penetrator - X The prices are intimidating, but when you factor in the savings in electric for the lights and your cooling system, as well as the savings on replacement bulbs (should last 10+ years), it isn't so bad.

    Best of luch to you, I hope any of this was informative. If you've got any other questions I may be able to help with, please ask. :smoke:
  3. I am partial to the idea of a LED only as a second choice to MH. If the cost of the light is the issue, I would prefer a MH only because I know what to expect and ventilation, heat and humidity are not an issue for me. For now I am going to post a thread in lighting to source some good deals on decent MH light, and if LED is a cost comparative option, I'll splurge. For now, I need to see how one 250W MH/HPS fixture (with ballast) compares to an LED, not of similar wattage, but capable of producing what a 250W MH/HPS would. Are there any suggestions? Otherwise, suggest a good deal on MH/HPS ballasts (especially the safer, switchable type).

    So...LED or traditional?
  4. You won't likely find a cost comparative option for a quality LED. LED's are much more expensive up front for equivalent usable light output.
  5. Yeah, it really seems I am going to stick with what I like in HID lights. No point in attempting LED veg at this point, I need results, not another big bill.

    I'm going to source some decent prices on MH and HPS and see whats out there.

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