MH conversion bulb VS switchable ballast

Discussion in 'Growing Marijuana Indoors' started by Jamesdouglas, May 13, 2010.

  1. whats the difference
    looks like i could save a few bucks going with an hps and using the mh conversion bulb
    also since i am about to enter flower i wouldnt even need the bulb for a while
  2. a search returns no useful information

  3. Look at the difference between the costs of the bulbs, the lumen output, the color spectrum and then think about the idea that digital ballasts are being sold as more efficient and reliable then decide what you wanna do.

    I got a digital one from ebay that runs both for $150. It's 400w, but the reflector sucked and couldn't be cooled, so I bought a cooltube and switched it for the reflector for $90, then sold my old reflector for $30, which means I paid a total of $210 and both bulbs were included. Pretty good deal I think, and I can get a cheap bulb on ebay for 20-30 bucks.
  4. so to elaborate on his question. i have additional question does your digital ballast automatically detect it and how do you know your really getting a switchable ballast and not just a conversion bulb.
  5. Yes the digital somehow "knows" and handles both types of bulbs.

    Don't understand your question "how do you know your really getting a switchable ballast and not just a conversion bulb" -- they are two different things. As far as how you know, a switchable ballast will have a switch on it, a MH conversion bulb will say so on the package.

    MH conversion bulbs are expensive. If you already have a magnetic HPS ballast then they are a good choice to consider, but if starting from scratch I definitely recommend getting a digital ballast and "regular" MH and HPS bulbs.
  6. Hello,

    Over the past month an a half I have been going over the best deals online to find the best lighting system for my money and my grow room. It was looking like the HPS/MH conversion system was going to come out on top. Then I did more research into the individual bulbs. It seems that all the MH conversion bulbs that I found would not put out as much as the regular MH's. I might of just been a very lucky individual. Took a trip the Hydro store and they had a 400watt switchable balast and a nice reflector and HPS bulb for 150$. Definately worth a trip to the store to look around at least before you make your decision. And also, the way I looked at it, you might spend a little more money on the better system but in the long run it will most definately be worth it. Anywho, enough stoned rambling. Hope you find what you are looking for.


  7. If you want 1 bulb for flowering and vegging look into Ceramic metal halides. They only make 600 watt I believe and they are like a metal halide that is used in an HPS ballast. They were made to replace the yellow HPS lights in factories that use magnetic HPS ballasts. These bulbs cannot be used with a digital ballast (will destroy the bulb) but from what growers have reported is they get better results from 1 of these 600 watt ceramic metal halides than a 1000 HPS. Search around the internet. Lot of people are talking about these bulbs. It is not a grow light per se but the spectral output is very close if not exactly what is needed for growing. As far as getting a switchable ballast or a conversion compromise bulb that is up to you but I would go with a switchable. They are not all that more expensive and conversion bulbs tend to be on the pricey side. I know a guy who uses a 600 watt CMH bulb for vegging and flowering and he loves it, but personally I use 2 1000 watt EYE HORTILUX HPS to flower and Sun Master Cool Deluxe to veg and I have had fantastic results. I use Sun System switchable magnetic ballasts and while not as efficient as a digital they do they job.
  8. More than that, it will save you money.

    Most of us bought what we thought would be just enough to meet our needs, only to find later that we wanted the better equipment so we upgraded, effectively buying it twice. Cheaper to buy it right the first time.

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