Need some introduction for setting up CFL lights

Discussion in 'Growing Marijuana Indoors' started by GreenShrine, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. I'm going to use CFL lights for my grow, but I'm pretty lost when it comes to making it work. All my life I've just screwed bulbs into lamps and thought nothing of it, basically. I've tried to figure this out myself, but I am still confused.

    What is a ballast, and for what bulbs is it needed?

    How are grow CFL's different from household ones? Are they cheaper per amount of light?

    What is something like a lamp in its simplest form called, just a fixture I can put a bulb in and light it up?

    Anything else I should know?
  2. Id study electricity 101, Google "how a light fixture works"

    You have a DC (direct current) which in the USA is 120v. Most lighting fixtures will work by simply plugging it into the wall, some lights, such as HID will require a ballast. Think of a car audio system, the car battery is your power supply, the amplifier is the ballast, and your light is the subwoofer/speakers, the ballast will amplify the signal because the power supply by itself is not sufficient enough to run that piece of equipment by itself

    Luckily for CFL you don't have to worry about that since they are low wattage bulbs.

    Google "how to wire a light switch," I'm sure you'll find 10000's of easy step by steps. If you've ever made a potato light bulb in elementary school you can wire a light switch.

    Or what I've seen many do is buy a surge protector extension, which looks like a block with multiple outlet plugs on it, then you buy adapters for $2 a piece at home depot which have a female light socket on one end a 2 prong male electric connectors on the other. It's pretty plug and play with that.

    Hope this helped
  3. I'll look into it then, thanks.

    Are grow CFL's cheaper than ones for the household per amount of light?
  4. They are the same thing
  5. How many watts are you looking to run? I have used cfl's veg plants. I have never flowered with them but I know a few people that have. They say it's great as long as you use enough watts. I get the 45 watt Brits white to veg. Soft to flower. Get the biggest cfl's you can get no smaller than 45 actual watts. The smaller ones don't work for shit. If you are not mechanical you can get a light stringer from home depot for 40 bucks. It works good just plug it in and skrew your bulbs in and hang it up. Keep your lights as close to the plant as possible without burning them. I can Post a few pics of my setup to give you a few ideas.
  6. I'm much more of a t5 fluorescent fan if you need to get something cool and small

    look at this chart

    cfl's are in the 60's for lumens per watt, t5 fluorescents are 100 lumens/wat and run super cool, the bulb can be an inch away from growth without burning it. This is VERY important for any fluorescent/cfl, since they don't have the penetrating intensity of a HID bulb (mh/hps), so they must be RIGHT NEXT to the flower to be their brightest.

    Anyways, check around on amazon/ebay. I'm running a 4 bulb T5 setup with 4x 26w 6000k veg bulbs, by that formula I'm outputting 10,000+ lumens over 2 sq/ft (similar to light intensity on a decently sunny day), and you can be 1" away instead of a foot or two like the hot bulbs need, don't have the heating problems that may require AC, etc

    anyways... 50% more lumens per watt. Definitely look into T5 for veg.
  7. Good idea, it would be much smarter to use these tubes rather than the compact bulbs. On the chart, it also mentions t8 bulbs. How are they different?

    Alright, then post your setup. I'm not sure about watts, but I plan on having a large grow and a lot of lumens per plant provided, so efficiency is definitely important.

    I meant cost.
  8. Everyone is kinda guessing to answer you you should let us know how many plants you want to run and the space you plan to use. If you give us that info it would really help us help you.
  9. look at my thread READ all i use is common cfls from wal-mart think my biggest is 55watt i just use 8 to flower after a 30 day veg pull them down and flower get an oz per plant this way in around 3 mths
  10. Yup. I use ten 40-watt cfl's, got 'em at Lowes. If you go that route, pick up a handful of Y-splitters. I put 5 bulbs in 1 socket, so I have 2 light sockets. I use those shop lights with the clamp,so you can either clamp them to something or if you are using a growbox like I am (two 52-gallon rubbermaid's stacked-up), remove the clamp and hang them from a coat hanger punched through the top of your box.

    If you go the CFL route, make sure you get the 'daylight' 5500K or 6500K for vegging, and 'soft white' 2700K for flowering.

  11. With CFL's you do not need ballasts they simply screw into or push and twist for B22/bayonet fittings but you will have no trouble finding cfls with the correct kelvin spectrum as well as fitting. eBay seems to be a great place at the moment

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