How many CFL's can I get without making my operation "HOT"?

Discussion in 'Growing Marijuana Indoors' started by Teddyburr, Feb 7, 2009.

  1. #1 Teddyburr, Feb 7, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 7, 2009
    How many can I get without putting a suspicious spike in my electric bill

    So far I have 4 plants and 4- 20w=70 cfl lights
    But I dont think thats enough

    I have 4 lamps

    SHould I buy some Y adapters?

    I'm going to lowes

    What should I get?

    I'm on a cheap budget btw
  2. I put four 20watts on each of mine.
  3. If you're only running CFLs to grow two or three plants, don't worry about your power usage... it won't go up more than a few bucks a month.

    It's the HID lamps over 1000w that will make your energy meter spin like a top.
  4. If you go around your house and switch out any regular bulbs w/ CFLs you will probably end up saving money even tho your growing with CFLs
  5. As long as you pay your electric bill and the power company doesn't think you're stealing power, you don't really have to worry about the increase electricity arousing suspicion. Generally, when people get busted it's because they told some one, and word made way back to LE, or they didn't cover up their smell effectivily, or something along those lines. Increase power consumption isn't something to worry about so much.

    As far as how much pure CFL wattage per plant, a good rule of thumb is 100 real watts for your first plant, and at least 50 real watts per plant after that. You have 4 plants. so at least 250 real watts. 300 would be a good number to shoot for. As long as you can keep your temps under control, go nuts.
  6. What exactly should I look for cause every where its like 26watt = 100 etc etc. the closet thing i see is real 60watt = 100.
  7. The equivalent watt/actual watt thing can be confusing at first. The bulbs you want for veg are 6500k (bright white or daylight). This simply means that a 26 watt CFL puts out the light equivalent to a 100 watt incandescent bulb, but only uses 26 watts of electricity. These CFLs will not cause ANY spike in your electricity bill. For the flower cycle, switch to 2700k bulbs, commonly called soft white or cool white. You are shooting for actual wattage, so for veg you would want around 8 minimum. Get some Y splitters and go for it. More light equals more bud.
  8. i'm not sure what you're asking here, but go for the 26watt daylight for veg times however many you can vent the heat for. 26x4 would get you in the ballpark for 1 plant.
  9. nailed it
  10. TexarkanaTim hit the nail on the head. When I say "real" watts - I'm referring to that first number on the package - not the incandescent equiv. If a package says something like 26w = 100w incandescent, that's using 26 REAL watts.

    For the rule of thumb I spoke of, you want at least 100 REAL watts (not incandescent equiv) of CFL power for the first plant, and at least 50 REAL watts of CFL power for each additional plant.

    Remember it won't hurt to double, triple, or even quadruple this. Each light you add will raise the temps slightly though. You may find it helpful to run your cab for a while with the lights on and no plants inside of it, so you can add/remove bulbs to keep your temps in check.

    CFL's will raise your electric bill slightly. Mine went up about $10/month running a little over 315 watts of CFL's on 18/6. To determine how much your bill will increase just take a gander at your last bill, find out what you're paying per kwh, and plop that in with your light schedule to determine the increase in electric bill. This will not, however, cause any sort of alarm at the power company, as long as you pay your bill :)

    Happy growing!
  11. Yeah, I run 6 bulbs = 156w of actual CFL wattage, and my bill only jumped 6 dollars lol which isnt noticable at all... Heat only at 77 max in a grow box

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