Lighting advice - 400W HPS bulbs

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by DoNo, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. #1 DoNo, Jul 30, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 2, 2012
    Hi all. I've been looking at bulbs for weeks now and think I've finally found one that should suit my needs. I'm thinking of picking up one a pair of these (the NHT400DX/PN model). It's a 400W HPS bulb that boasts 85CRI (not sure how this is possible), ~21000 mean lumens. The spectrum can be found here. It looks pretty badass for the red end.
    Can anyone tell me if there is anything obvious that would be an issue with these bulbs? I think I'm all set for the Halides, going to use two different ones that will (hopefully) cover most of the blues I need. Or would you guys suggest a mix (MH and HPS together) of some sort?
    My grow space is roughly 2x4', height and ventilation aren't an issue. Cheers!
    Edit: I just noticed my name is not, in fact, DrNo. That's unfortunate...
  2. I'd go the 600w for better to lm/watt ratio, does 1sq. yard or meter really good, 400w same heat issue less lumen.

  3. A rectangular growing area isn't nearly as efficient as a more square one when using a single bulb. For maximum growth & potency, use a 2.3' square area with a 400w or a 3.5' area with a 600w.

    I'm a big fan of enhanced spectrum bulbs. The better ones can veg just as well as they can flower and imo are well worth the extra cost. I've tried at least half a dozen different types and the GE Lucalox PSL/XO is far and away the best I've ever seen. It emits an amazing golden-white light that's second only to the sun and is great for both vegging and flowering.
  4. Im not sure if this is your first grow or your looking to spend a certain type of dollar amount for bulbs. After I read rumples thread on how to make a bubble bucket in the diy thread i decided to do what he does. He just buys his 400 watt bulbs from lowes or home depot forget which one. There not crazy priced and its convenient for most people.
    [​IMG] $28.00



    Anyway you get the point. Sorry if I intruded on your thread I just thought Id throw up another options.
  5. @vostok: I don't see a 600W version of the HPS Bulb listed - is there one you know of available somewhere else?
    @Jellyman: I'm growing in a bathroom over the tub, so I can't do a square area. Thats why I was looking at breaking up my wattage into two bulbs, to have them both positioned off-centre.
    @Lowd - thanks for the suggestion, but the German/scientist in me cringes at the thought of all the wasted photons those bulbs are just throwing at my plants. I want to use lighting that will really benefit my plants. That being said, man there is a huge difference in lumen output from 400 to 600 watts!

    Thank you all for your replies so far!

  6. I have to ask; I have generally read that the two most important wavelengths for cannabis are 460 and 660nm. Specifically, 460/662(A) and 453/642(B) (and 449/475, can't forget the carotenoids!)
    At the very least, you want peaks of light in this region, as it is the most photosynthetically receptive part of the spectrum. Lots of the light that most bulbs put out is nigh-useless to the plant. Look at the spectrum of the GE Lucalox PSL/XO. Compare that to the spectrum of the Eye Aqua2 MH bulb and the Eye Specialux HPS bulb.
    I would think a combination of bulbs like those would be significantly more useful to my little green friends, would it not? If not, please educate me :D

  7. So you think that this GE Lucalox PSL/XO HPS bulb is the best grow light for veg and flowering?
  8. well that info page on the bulb says its only putting out 24000 lumens... that doesnt make sense. I dunno man they just seem sketchy. Just get one intended for grow. CRI doesnt really mean anything esp in HPS lighting (if you wont just take it at that, google what it really is, or ask and ill explain it). a 400W bulb should put out 50000+ lumens and aside from that, if you can get a spectral distribution and compare it to a graph of active photosynthetic wavelengths it would be helpful to you.

    Simple answer though is they are all the same and if you want to be safe and certain you are getting a good one, just get one intended for growing.

    1000 600 400 250w watt Super HPS MH Grow Light Bulb Lamp For Ballast by iPower | eBay

    i use these and they are the best MH and HPS bulbs i have seen both performing and spectrum wise. Im not sure about these HPS for veg, but im fairly certain it will work fine, if only not optimally (you want MH for quickest/most efficient vegging). just get that 600W and trust that i did a whole lot of searching and buying (i have no less than 10 HID bulbs laying around that arent my favorites lol) to arrive at these for price/performance.
  9. Yes lol! obv MH for veg and HPS for flower is ideal. even 'more ideal' is that with some supplimentary lighting in the opposite spectrum of your main bulb. Like, when you are running your MH it is said to be good to add some 2700k CFLs to the mix and when you are running your big HPS, try adding some 6500k CFL to the mix.

    If you are only running one bulb, and you really want the best stuff get the eye hortilux dual arc... its like 100 bucks even online, but its an HPS bulb with a smaller arc tube of a MH bulb crammed in tehre (like two filaments). basically it adds a bunch of blue light for the hps... i usually dont recommend it simply because a 600W electronic ballast and one of each bulb is a slightly better combo, is cheaper combined than just the bulb, and you only use each bulb half of the time so the lives are longer.
    but this bulb is the mac daddy if you have an HPS magnetic ballast and just want to use one bulb throughout.


  10. That is a downside, but that light will basically be focused one a 2x2' area, so I think it should still be adequate.

    Grolux has a nice one

    All bulbs are not created equal :p
    Like I said before, this one really seems to hit the spectrum of light the plant wants. If spectrum doesn't matter, why doe people focus so much on certain wavelengths with LEDs? They can literally fine-tune the bulbs to any nanometre wavelength they want.

    I trust nothing! Seriously though I don't want to spend money on a halfway decent product instead of the best (reasonable) choice available.
  11. #11 zippy657, Aug 3, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 3, 2012
    the spectrum matters a lot man, its just that HPS only puts out one pattern more or less... im not going to argue with you, but you arent the first person to consider what lights to buy lol. if you want a significantly different spectrum you have to use a different gas. sodium gas puts off red light.. if you want blue you need MH.

    the real difference between the 20 dollar bulb and the 100 dollar bulb is made in china vs made in america. you will find this out in time.

    the only ones with truly different spectrums are the dual arc ones and they are crazy expensive. All 400W HPS only bulbs are pretty much the same... some are 50000 lumens and some are 56000 lumens which they call super HPS, but the spectrums are all very very close. if you want the best set up it's a digital or an magnetic switchable ballast and one each cheap MH and HPS bulbs. you will not do better than that with anything. If you dont believe me ill stop wasting my breath, but when you run 400W through sodium dominant mix of gasses you get basically one color and one intensity. a few variations here and there with the mix changes things slightly, sure. but in the end HPS is red and MH is bluer... and you just cant make a blue hps bulb or a red MH nomatter how many spectrums you look at.

    I would also like to add that all HPS bulbs have that huge wasted spike in the 550nm range... basically does nothing for growth and its the highest output for the bulb, but somehow HPS is still the best light to flower under in practice, so its not all so simple as the science would make it seem.
  12. #12 DoNo, Aug 3, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 3, 2012
    To be fair, I was using the data sheet for the Lucalox XO, not the PSL/XO. However, google image searches for the psl/xo turned up pretty much the same thing (this is the only relevant result I could find.) Looking through their data sheets I can find bulbs called XO, and PSL, but not PSL/XO..
    EDit* Aww why'd you delete your post? It was actually a pretty good endorsement :p
    I would still love to see a graph if you're able to dig anything up without too much hassle.

  13. 1. Thats half the "photons" for the same power expenditure... i dont care if they are literally 660nm LED, thats not going to be cost effective. you spent all this time and thought worrying about what color the light is so your plants can use all of it, but you are ok with only getting half the total light for the same power? sorry but thats just fucken retarded.

    2. they focus on certain wavelengths because they can lol. LED's only put out one wavelength... to get a good mixed spectrum LED you have to use all kinds of different diodes, but not for growing... for growing, as you know, we only need the optimal... BUT then why do led's on their own still not perform as well as HID lumen for lumen (and they dont)?? nature is a funny thing man... even if it seems like the plants dont need that middle range light because it "isnt the most photosynthetically active" it still seems to play a big role in producing the ideal healthy plant. It may not be the most active light spectrum, but completely removing it has its issues. And speaking of CRI lol. Check out the CRI on the grow LED lights you are touting!! some of them are under 10.

    HID does not give us the luxury of picking the spectrum... we just tried gasses until we found a couple that gave off reasonable spectrums and stuck with them. Cant change the physics that determines the spectrum you will get from turning a gas to a plasma. its simply specific to that gas or combination of gasses.

    Lastly, are we getting anywhere or am i talking to myself lol?

  14. All good! Not trying to argue, but get some advice on which lights are better and why, that's all. I know I'm not the first person to ask about lighting, I've been lurking on this board for a looong time reading before I felt I was finally educated enough to ask the right questions.

    Once again all good! I've heard that he 550nm spike isn't necessarily a waste as it helps plants absorb more reds, but there was no real data to back that up. I figure its going to be there anyways, at least it's also in the bulb I'm looking to buy.
  15. #15 DoNo, Aug 3, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 3, 2012
    Who said anything about LED? These are HPS bulbs. And yes, this has been helpful information to me, no idea where all this hostility is coming from on your end, I'm just trying to get educated dude.
    Edit* Apparently I said something about LED :p
    Not touting them, just using them as an example of how much that part of the spectrum seems to matter to cannabis. If I thought they were so great I wouldn't have gone with HID.
  16. #16 zippy657, Aug 3, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 3, 2012
    Yea, thats how i look at it... the more you can get into those active ranges the better, but that spike clearly does someting because if we were to just take that out of what we say the bulb puts out...

    Like say of the 50000 lumens the bulb puts out 15000 of them are in that "wasted" zone then the bulb would have an effective output of like 35k lumens, but we know that a 50000 lumen HPS bulb slaps the shit outta any 35k lumen LED with all optimal output, so clearly that 550 range is doing SOMETHING.

    I just think if it was 1/4 as much green/yellow it would be just as good. Its when you try to completely remove it as with LED that there are issues, or if you are using like 4200Kelvin flourescents and practically your whole output is in that range... that wont work either lol
  17. not hostility lol... just sometimes ill say all this stuff and its just on dead ears. Wanna make sure you are learning or trying to learn rather than just arguing. And in that one post you contradicted a few things i said, so im just trying to explain why all bulbs really kinda are created equally until you make a big price/tech jump to dual arc. And that accepting 24000 lumens when you could be getting 50000 for the same energy expenditure is just never ever ever going to be the right call nomatter how perfect the spectrum and etc...

    ...all that stuff.
  18. #18 DoNo, Aug 3, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 4, 2012
    Maybe, I really haven't looked much into LED grows, but I have read pretty much everywhere that you need less wattage than HID with the right LED set-up. This definitely doesn't translate to lumens but the two usually go hand-in-hand.
    However, I'm not sure that 550 range is doing anything at all. The reason so many lights put out so much energy in this spectrum is because the human eye is most receptive to light in and around the 550nm wavelength. Compare the output of the sun to our photoreceptor sensitivity. Now compare again to the photosynthetic action spectrum.
    I've read that most HPS bulbs are emitting in the ballpark of 15-25% useable light, and I wouldn't be surprised if this was reasonably accurate. I've also read that the 550nm range does help (I think I mentioned this before) the plant absorb more of the deeper reds, which is good, so it might not be entirely without use.

    On the other hand: While I think it's fair to note that the 24000 lumens figure is the mean lumen rating, and the initial rating is up around 32000 iirc, but the difference between that and most other 400W HPS bulbs is still significant, and even moreso when compared to the 600W. Something to think about.
    On the other, other hand, I am set up in a high-rise, so I am limited to 120V. I could run one 600, but I think I could also get away with 2x400W, which would be better for my 2x4 space. Running something like a 600 and a 250 seems clunky, and 2x600 is out of the question.

    Possibly, all I can speak to here is what I've seen online. I have never grown a crop to completion (or even close, my cat ate my first plant -_-)
    This is, I think, an awesome example of what can be done with only two wavelengths of light. So that 550 might not be so crucial.
    This monster thread shows what can be done with aquarium lighting, pretty impressive stuff!
  19. No doubt LED setups are more efficient. Not only are they putting out more lumens per watt, but more light is useful... My point was just that lumen for lumen they dont tend to outperform HID (at least not significantly), but if all of that yellow light in the spectral distribution for an HPS bulb was really being wasted, then they would prove MUCH more effective. Watt for Watt though obv LED is the better performer. The only reason i dont go LED is that im still not sure its enough better to save me the cost buying the setup over the life of the LED... im sure sometimes it would be, but id rather pay as i go with the power and use the cheap stuff.
  20. Ah yes, ok I follow that completely, makes sense.

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