Should I go with cfl or hps for flowering?

Discussion in 'Growing Marijuana Indoors' started by aceofspades941, Nov 25, 2011.

  1. Hi there, I've been researching stuff on GC among other places for a while now, I currently have one plant vegging under 95 watts of daylight cfl combined with two small LED panels. I've read that you don't need as much light for vegging as flowering, and I plan on starting one more plant as soon as I successfully germinate another seed. My plan has been to increase the lighting once I start flowering to about 150 watts. Almost all the grows I've seen on here use a much higher wattage, but I don't want to go much higher than 150 because of electricity costs mainly. I was just going to add prolly two more cfls and change them all to the red end spectrum bulbs for flowering, but I've also been thinking about buying a 150 watt hps setup instead and using either my two 14 watt LED panels or maybe 2 cfls as supplemental lighting. My question is would it be worth it to buy a hps setup for about $80 or just buy cfls for about $20? I realize that 150 watts is not much for any type of lighting system, which is why I propose the question. I know the lumens on the hps are much higher than that of the cfls and LEDs that I'm currently using, so it seems like that might be a better deal. I'm just wondering if I would notice a difference in bud size and or quality from cfls to hps of that small a watttage?
    Any thoughts/advice/experience you can impart on me would be appreciated :)
  2. get the HPS but be warned you will want a bigger light once you see the difference but hey a 150 could be good supplemental or mother lighting down the line. So just do it.
  3. I use cfls but from what I hear hps are great. Also heard it best to go with 400watt. Unsure of ur setup but heat starts to b a problem with hps so that something u will need to consider.
  4. Thanks for your comment spacejerk, I've only used cfls when growing so far so I've never seen a hps setup up close and in action. My plan has been to veg my two plants for 6-8 weeks while LSTing and supercropping along the way to really let them develop under less than favorable lighting, and eventually throw a screen over the top. That way I can hopefully get a somewhat larger yield than if I just veg for about 4 weeks.
    Any thoughts?
  5. Get the 150w HPS man or maybe even go 250w or something it wont increase your bill much. Use your CFLs for veg, but HPS for flower you wont regret it.
  6. Thanks a lot Love, the more I think about it and talk with other growers the more I'm leaning towards the hps. 150 watts isn't that much, I only have 2 plants to split the light between, and I can add a couple cfls if I need to. I would love to go with a 250 watt or 400 watt but I just don't think I can pay for the electricity. I tried a cfl only grow about a year ago and with only using about 130 watts the electric bill still doubled. At that time though there were all incandescent bulbs in the apt and I changed them all to cfl after the fact. But even with that change I'm still not sure it could work. I'm having to pay the bill by myself for now, that was the only way I could convince my gf to let me grow weed in the apt, and I don't want to pay a $300 electric bill every month
  7. The HPS is definitely a good idea, if possibly I'd use your LED's and CFL's too though, and if possible add more cfl's on the daylight color. Maybe like if the bill doesn't jump too much, then add more lights for the next month. You could calculate the costs of your grow lights too so you could know your limit
  8. Def. go hps. You just can't match it. No cfl set up will ever do the same as hps's. I just got 4.37 oz. off of 1 NL auto. I challenge anyone using cfl's or fluoro's to match that. Oh yeah she was under a 400watt.
  9. Nice haha thanks for the advice/thoughts
    @Dissec, how could I roughly calculate the electricity cost of a 150 watt vs. 200-250 watt system?
  10. Calculating The Cost Of Electricity

    Its easier to refer you to that than explain it myself, I'm trying to build a fort sorry
  11. Its all good man haha thank you for the help. Good luck with your fort :)
  12. So I was looking at how to calculate the electricity cost, it said:
    If you want to find the cost of all items:

    1. Total up all the watts per day for each item to get total watts/day.

    2. Divide total watts/day by 1000 to get the total kilowatt hours (Kwh) per day.

    3. Multiply the Kwh/day times the cost per Kwh to get your total cost/day.

    4. To find out the average total cost per month, multiply the total cost/day by 30. (Power company monthly billing cycles vary from 28-33 days)

    Example: 1 inexpensive regular-sized human heating pad = 50 watts, calculated at PG&Es standard rate, averaged:

    50 x 24 hours/day = 1200 watts 1200 divided by 1000 = 1.2 Kwh 1.2 x 0.12 = $0.144/day $0.144/day x 30 = $4.32/month

    So that seems like you'd be able to run a several hundred watt system for less than a dollar a day especially if electricity is a couple cents cheaper
    Maybe a slightly larger wattage isn't out of the question! :D
  13. Grab the HPS but at the same time add about 8-12 CFL's for supplemental and side lighting. You can do 4 plants and get good results this way wit a 150w HPS. Also mix spectrum your CFL's.
  14. I was looking at a hps setup on ebay, it was for a 150, 250, or 400 watt system and it had a similar calculation to the one above:

    " The following table goes over the electrical costs of operating these different light systems. The calculations are based on 10 cents a kilowatt hour (please check your rate) and having the light on for an average of 12 hours per day during a 30 day month. 150 watt HPS$6.20 a month250 watt HPS$10.35 a month400 watt HPS$16.56 a month"
    That really doesn't seem like too much, even for the 400 watt system
  15. Yea they're really not too expensive, it would probably be worth the upgrade especially in the long run if you do more grows
  16. Yeah I may actually end up getting a 250 or even 400 watt after all. I'm thinking about buying some worm castings and making a tea with them, would that be beneficial to a dwc type setup? I'm only running basic nutrients right now, I thought it could only be a good thing
  17. I have a question for GC. I am planning on only growing two plants for now, but I will need to prune onn them some no matter what. Would it be a good idea to maybe take a couple clones and if nothing else just pot then in some soil, and just kinda stick them in the corner(I have a 5'x5' tent) while the two big plants are flowering, just to keep them alive, and then move the little plants under the lights after I harvest my two big ones?
  18. I am going to add a different opinion with regards to low wattage HPS lights. Anything less than (I really want to say 600) 400w, unless you are doing micro or even semi micro grows, or have a good eye for SCROG or optimal training, is a waste of money. I have tested 252 watts (6-42 watt cfl's)of cfl against a 250 watt convertible HPS and the 6 42's under a flat white reflector penetrated the canopy nearly 2:1 over the 250 HPS which had a dimpled aluminum reflector. The cfl growth was tighter and with more dense buds than the 250 HPS that was right beside it and both plants were clones from the same mother, in the same soil that was boxed together before being put into pots.

    This was also true during veg stage. When using the MH bulb in the same convertible light, the plant stretched more than the one under the cfl's when it was being used with 6500k bulbs.

    I have no opinion of straight HPS or MH only type lights but the gang of 42w cfl's outdid the convertible MH/HPS light.
  19. Hmmm that is really interesting. Doesn't the hps light give off a lot more lumens than cfl light? I thought the much higher lumen number would mean much brighter light that would penetrate better and light more of the plant. I've never completed a grow before though so I don't know what I'm talking about :) that is interesting though. I've been planning on getting several more cfls to put on my plant I have vegging right now. I only have 95 watts of cfl on one plant at the moment, maybe ill bump it up to 150-200 and see how that works. My plant is only a week old though so it should really start taking off in the next couple of weeks. Thank you for the insight Bud

  20. Tbh this is one of the best ways to utilize everything, better than a singer large light from the top. But it is labor intensive to keep your cfls positioned right

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