Is this a good light?

Discussion in 'Grow Room Design/Setup' started by skeeter, Mar 3, 2003.

  1. I think I may have lucked into a top notch grow light. Installed in the house we bought is a grow light. Th eprevious owner was an orchid growing MD. Here's the info on the light:

    P.L. Light Systems of Canada.

    Some numbers: LR48877
    June 1993 (date of manufacture?)
    PL90N (Model #?)
    400 Watt High Pressure Sodium

    The bulb is a Son Agro 430 Watt.

    I looked online for other PL brand lights, and they all seemed to have the ballast as a separate module from the light bulb holder and reflector. My setup has the ballast and the light bulb socket as one unit, made from aluminum.

    I tried the light, it works! It lights up when I plug it in, but after 2 or 3 minutes, it gets REALLY bright, kind of a warm orange or yellow color light. The reflector slides onto a rail that the light hangs from.

    Is this perhaps an industrial light, or just an older hobby light? What's it worth?

    Lastly, if I plan to grow stuff with this, should I buy a backup bulb in case this one burns out?

    Thanks for helping a neophyte!


    p.s. I can include a photo if it would help anyone ID this light!
  2. Wow you really lucked out...PL lights are what Dutch growers use and are the best quality out there IMO. Only thing is you don't know how old the bulb is and how many hours it has left.
  3. yeah that is a hell of a thing to be left behind. that is definatly a bit of luck there.
  4. nice, you already got some good growin karma :D
  5. Great!

    Thanks for the reassurance. It is great to know that this light is a good one for growing!

    Does anyone else have an older light like this? Maybe someone knows more about it?

    Just curious!

  6. Bulbs are cheap. I would invest in a spare and keep an eye on things so your plants don't go dark for too long. You should grow, it looks like you have good luck.
  7. wow.. congrats on your find!
  8. #8 __black_water__, Feb 9, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 9, 2009
    yea yea enough of that.... does anyone have actual details on the bulb please?

    I am interested in purchasing some Son Agro 430w myself, and wanted to know more about the dual-spectrum, but no one on the forums seems to know about it.

    is the 6000K spectrum going to give me more vegetative growth during flowering? by that, i mean taller stalk growth, more nodes, etc. i believe the numbers are these 430w bulbs have 30% more 6000K spectrum than a standard 400w HPS.

    Now the question... are these only good if you don't want to buy MH bulbs AND HPS bulbs..? In the end, I will have 2 MH bulbs for veg, and 2 HPS bulbs for flower. SHould I go straight HPS for the flower, or use these "mixed" 430w bulbs?

    EDIT: holy shit.... this thread is really old. i wonder if that guy found any success growing... hahah
  9. To answer your question (and yeah, 6 years old, don't you love it) the 430 are actuall designed to keep stretch to a minimum. THe enhanced blue spectrum in those bulbs help to keep plants short, while still providing red spectrum for flowering. If you can afford the extra dough, get it.
  10. #10 LumperDawgz, Feb 10, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 10, 2009

    I've used the P.L. Light Systems, Inc. products for 21 years. You're right - the original lights (developed in 1975 in conjunction with the Hortilux Schréder Company in Germany) were a single unit, i.e. the ballast & the reflector are all one unit. This type of configuration is still manufactured today. Your PL 90N is now the PL 2000

    The one that you are considering has a 'plastic' cover on the ballast, correct? And there are 3 different reflectors that were available at that time though today there are about 6 I believe. These units are designed to work in greenhouses around the world to extend the daylight period in areas where you have very short days in the fall and winter months - like Holland for example.

    It was Hortilux Schréder who developed their reflectors that are still used today. They reflectors are made from 99.9% pure aluminum which maximizes the reflecting capability of the hoods. They were doing a patented anodized-treatment to the hoods over 30 years ago. I smiled when I saw some of the grow store reflectors in the late 1990's advertising that they had discovered the mysteries and benefits of anodizing the inside of the reflector. How innovative! Breathtaking for the implications for indoor gardeners, eh?

    For many, many years, the 400 watt HPS was the only product that they produced. They finally added 600 watt HPS in the mid-90's and later a 1000 watt system. Eventually they even added some MH systems to the mix to satisfy the long-held urban myth that MH is a better way to veg than full-spectrum bulbs developed by Hortilux & Philips.

    RE: Philips Son-T Argo 430 watt HPS full(er) spectrum bulbs

    These are very fine bulbs. Hortilux offers a model as well and I would 'surmise' that they're probably both made at the same factory knowing how tight the P.L./Hortilux/Philips relationship is.

    Another bulb that I would suggest you take a look at is also from Philips Horticultural Lighting - Philips SON-T Master GreenPower Lamp

    Lots of reasons why but the main one is that Philips has learned a lot about horticultural lighting since the release of the 430 watt bulb 20+ years back. This new bulb is a huge hit in Europe but hasn't gained a lot of traction with the grow store industry. The 400 watt bulb runs about $53.00 and the 600 watt is about $90.00 so they're about in the middle of the so-called 'premium bulbs'

    Bottom line is that you can't go wrong with P.L. Light Systems' products. They were designed for industrial installations for long-term use and not for the grow store industry. They cost 2x what the 'latest and bestest' ballasts from 'Stuff I Growed' but I have 2 units that have been working flawlessly for 20 years.

    Try that with a SunSystems ballast and see how that works out, eh?

    Best wishes with your purchase and garden plans.


  11. Skeeter

    These P.L. Light Systems products are worshipped by orchid growers. The main reason is how well their hoods disperse the light.

    Take a new bulb and fire it up. Take even a cheap light meter and for your 400 watt light system, measure off 42" (basically a sq. meter with side room centered under the reflector) and see how consistent the light meter reads as you move from side to side, top to bottom centered under the light, etc.

    You'll see why they're so highly regarded.


  12. lol nice bump on a 6 year old post lol

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