The best stealth lighting system? ... PL FTW!

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by -mu, Nov 23, 2007.

  1. This time ;) ...

    For reasons which are outside the scope of this post, I was faced, about a year ago, with the prospect of tearing down my entire grow operation, and relocating into some stealth cabinets. With this in mind, I set about how to SCROG in very small spaces, and importantly, how best to light these spaces efficiently, in my bid to build the "Ultimate Scrogging Box".

    Fortunately, this didn't come to pass (I probably won't post about that adventure, because no one would believe me), I still have my Big Ole Growroom, and all this research was left unused.

    I hate to waste good work and text, and when I got a notification today about a post in the SCROG thread, someone was asking "what's the best type of fluoros for Scrog (or words to that effect)", I thought, "AHA!" I'd almost forgotten about this! So here it is. If lighting interests you, it will repay a full read, though I realize most of you won't have the patience.

    Most of the links should still work, but if any don't, justfeckingoogleit! Okay, here goes..

    Lighting my stealth scrog box with revolutionary PL fluoros.

    The perfect scrogging box will be self-contained, and look entirely like something else. It will be no more than two feet high-ish, and two feet deep, and contain a ScroG soil grow. It will be fed by a single mains cable at the rear, will have integral ventilation, lighting, timers, fans, carbon filtering, etc. It will run silent.

    I plan to build more than one of these self-contained units, a three or five feet long version for a veg chamber (I have aquired a 5' office desk to convert to a veg chamber - metal framed and very sturdy), and a two foot long flowering box. And then another two foot flowering box, and so on. Various items of furniture will start appearing around my apartment. :) Just how long this will take to realize, is anyone's guess.

    Because these boxes need to be near silent, the first major hurdle is getting enough light to do the business, and yet keep temperatures within acceptable limits without massive amounts of noisy ventilation.

    Cannabis needs lots of light, around 2,000-7,000 lumen per square foot. Below 1,000 lumen/ft², plants cannot function correctly, cannabis less so; above 7,500 lumen/ft², plants will make extraordinary, usually unmanageable, demands on other environmental factors and generally bleach out and suffer. 3,000-6,000 is optimum.

    HPS provides mainly yellow 570-590 (nm), orange 590-630 (nm) and red 630-750 (nm) light. For reference, here are the Lumen output figures for regular (higher output) HPS lighting...
        HPS Lamp        lumen        Approx ft² coverage
        ---------        ------        -------------------
        HPS 150W        16,000        6-11
        HPS 250W        28,500        8-18
        HPS 400W        50,000        7-25
    I'm looking to produce 300g+ per harvest, so a 250W is probably too small, and the trouble with a 400W HPS inside a stealth box is a) heat, and b) distance-to-plants. With a regular 400W HPS lamp at only 12" from the plants, you have just under 16,000 of your original 50,000 lumen (and of course, at 12", plants will likely burn). In a 1M² garden, that's only around 1,800 lumen per ft², which is at the lower end of our desired scale. Though the plants do get this light most of the way down the canopy, the above coverage figures are generous, to say the least.

    To get the lamp close enough to even retain half of the lumen output (9.5") requires serious ventilation and oscillation, not to mention extremely inefficient use of the lamp - the outside areas will be very under-lit. 18" is the optimum distance for a 400W HPS, and now we only have 7,000-odd lumen total on the canopy. A good reflector and efficient ballast/lamp might take this back up to 10,000 lumen or more, but clearly this isn't very efficient. Effective, but not efficient.

    And anyway, 18", even 12" is way too much wasted air-space for my stealth box to keep its two-foot-odd height, and getting an HPS any closer means using cooltube(s) and losing out on overall growing area, as well as having to provide lots of noisy, bulky ventilation into the bargain; HID is very hot. This cabinet needs to be small and silent. It looks like HPS is out.

    Also, To do a ScroG that best utilizes the HID light, you really should curve the screen, and this has some side-effects on the growth patterns of the plants, introducing a whole new set of minor issues, as well as using up height. For an ideal ScroG, both screen and light source would be absolutely flat. I'm not for playing with LED's yet, so fluoros it is...

    Traditional fluorescent lighting has many advantages over HID lighting, but lacks HID's sheer intensity; the light isn't thrown very far, being spread out over a larger area; so plants need to be kept very close to the lamp to be within useful photosynthetic range. But with the right training techniques, or SOG, you certainly can get yields from regular fluoro tubes, and many do. Not as big as from HID+training, but still enough to make it worthwhile. Fluoro tubes are also available in pretty much any desired spectrum, even UV (most tubes emit a little, anyway), and have a useful lumen output...
        T8 Lamp                lumen            Approx ft² coverage
        -------                ------            -------------------
        2'    (18/20W)        1,100-1,200        0.5-1
        4'    (36/40W)        2,800-2,960        1-1.5
        8'    (75W)            5,800            2-3
    It isn't massive, but the lighting has a higher PAR rating than HPS, and with modern Triphosphor coatings and what-not, tubes are available in almost any spectrum you can imagine, so the plant gets more light that it can actually use, and of course you can mix-and-match luight spectrums.

    There isn't the raw intensity of an HPS rig, so plants need to be real close to the lamp surface, but it's fairly cool, so that's okay. Over six inches from the tube, there isn't enough available light to be really useful. There are even older T-sized lamps (T12, etc.), but T8 are the most common.

    I've got a shit-load of T8 ballasts and fittings kicking around the flat, too, but really, I think it's time to upgrade this dodgy technology. Fluorescent lighting has come a long way since T8's, though they work great in my propagator chamber. By the way, the "8" is the tube diameter, in eighths of an inch. T8's are 8/8ths, or exactly one inch.

    T5's are 5/8th's of an inch wide. These newer tubes are brighter, more intense versions of the regular T8 fluoros that can throw plant-usable light 12" or more from the tube. To be awkward, they come in slightly different lengths from T8s, so you can't use your old ballasts (though special adaptors are available to enable this: Their higher output is mainly due to them being thiner, and available in "HO" (High Output) versions (ratings vary, but figures below are the highest currently available, afaik - there are also "VHO" tubes, but ballasts and lamps are rare)...
        T5HO Lamp            lumen            Approx ft² coverage
        ----                -----------        -------------------
        22"     (24W)        2,000            0.5-1
        34"     (39W)        3,500            1-2
        46.5"     (54W)      5,000            2-3    
        58"     (80W)        7,000            2-4
    Lots of people veg and flower under these things, and create nice buds. Period. You can fit lots of tubes into a small space, and really pump up the lumen figures (up to a point - reflector size will be the limiting factor - it would need to be around 4" wide per lamp), but while T5's are widely considered the most luminous fluorescent lamp, they are also among the most costly. Lots of specialist lamps are appearing in T5 fittings. Recently developed "PURple" lamps are almost exclusively available in T5 fittings; when you look at the spectral graph of a PURple lamp, you know straight away that these things are the business...

    T5 Luminaires and fittings are also costly, though those costs are coming down slowly. Interestingly, T5 tubes are more efficient at 35C (compared to 25C for T8's) and the fixture itself will always be at *least* this temperature in your grow room, so electrical efficiency is improved. A 12" canopy is plenty for my ScroGging needs, so five or six 22" T5 tubes look like the best solution, so far.

    Then there's CFL's. Like regular fluoros, Compact Fluorescent Lamps can be designed in almost any spectrum, and are highly efficient, not to mention small. We know that you can veg and flower under these, but you do need a lot of them, because, let's face it, the aren't designed for growing; too round. They were conceived to replace regular incandescent lamps; hence the shape; and need large, highly efficient reflectors to be really useful for gardening, not so wasteful.

    "Envirolites" are the same as CFL's but bigger, but with their reflector, take up quite a height. This Envirolites bit is here for reference only; I'm not a fan of these big CFL's; costly, inefficient shape, etc. Like all fluoros, the spectrum is capable of being quite excellent, high PAR, etc., and you can now buy them with external ballasts, which is a step in the right direction, but they are still that inefficient shape.

    "Envirolites" are available in Blue 6100K (350 – 500 nW?), and Red 2700K (600 – 700 nW???)
    WTF is a "Nana Wave"? ... Is that like nanometers?
        Envirolite      lumen
        ----------      ------
        125w            12,000
        200w            18,000
        125W: £19.95: [url][/url]
    I don't see the point of using fluoro technology if you waste all that space with bulky bulbs and reflectors. This is a major down-side in a stealth box. As well as being more bulky, a 200W Envirolite system won't produce as much usable light as a nice flat T5 system of comparable Watts, though it would be cheaper to setup initially. Using multiple CFL's is an option, but they take up way too much space for my box. Designing an efficient reflector for these things is a battle with the law of diminishing returns.

    In an ideal world, you would have a fluoro tube with all the advantages and none of the disadvantages of current fluoros. Our ideal fluorescent lamp would have a relatively short, compact, flat profile, massive lumen output with excellent lumen maintenance (meaning fewer replacement tubes), cool running, low replacement lamp costs, be available in all common spectrums, and fairly cheap to setup...

    Enter the "PL" Lamp.

    I first noticed these things when some local street-lights got changed. All serious indoor growers can tell you the exact type and wattage of any given street-light, and these things I didn't recognise at all, but was immediately drawn to the a) beautiful colour of the light. The CRI is very high; the red and green car parked beneath were, red and green, and b) intensity of the light; where the old 75W HPS streetlights ended and this new 55W PL fluoro streetlight began was the border of two totally different worlds, one dreary and yellow, the other vibrant and clear. I got home and Googled for a long time.

    The are called by many names, "Dulux L", PL-L, LYNX L, LYNX-LE, PLL, High Lumen Biax L, PL, FT, FDTL, etc, but are all the same beast; a flatish, 4 pin [2G11 base] fluoro [triphosphor as standard] lamp of two improved T5HO-like parallel tubes joined ("kissed") at the end (aka "single turn", or "U-Bend"). Technically, it's a CFL lamp.

    PL tubes are available in Colour temperatures from 2700K ("Very warm white, aka. "Interna", "Home Light", etc.) to 6500K ("daylight"), are *very* intense, cool running, long-lived, and produce a lot of useful lumen, overtaking the T5 as the most luminous small fluorescent.

    To get usable lumen in a two foot space with T5's, you'd need to use two 22" (24W) tubes, giving you 4,000 lumen. A single, smaller 55W PL tube will give you 4,800 lumen of more intense light, with a smaller lamp size, and better penetration...
        PL Lamp                       lumen       Approx ft² coverage
        -------                        -------    -------------------
        PL 55W                         4,800        2-3
        PL 110W (2 tube)               9,600        3-6
        PL 220W (4 tube "brightwing")  19,200       6-12
    I recently spotted 4-tube PL lighting systems popping up as propagation grow lights; the blurb implying they are superior to Metal Halides, and cooler, too. Well, you can make nice buds with Halides. The colour temperature isn't perfect for high-yield flowering (halides provide primarily Violet 380-430nm, Blue 430-490nm and Green 490-570nm light), but it works great, makes very potent weed. Following the logic, if these were fitted with the correct coloured tubes, they would make ideal stealth lighting systems for *any* stage of growth.

    A veg chamber with a two or three tube blue/white system, and a separate flowering chamber somewhere with a 4-tube mostly-red system seems to me like an ideal perpetual harvest stealth setup (and those without the space could do it all in one box with just a simple change of lamps). My scrogging units would comprise of a roughly 26" square box, 8" deep soil compartment, with each corner elongated to 12", with the 23"x23" screen attached (filling the whole space). 7.5" deep of soil is plenty, leaving a half inch to play with, then 3 or 4" of space under the screen, then 6-11" of buds above the screen.

    Well ScroG'ed plants produce many short fat buds, not tall. 9-11" should be plenty. I've allowed 4" for the light fitting, though it could be constructed to 2" or less, giving us 13" for buds (more forgiving of ppor training techniques!). The whole tray (with screen attached) slides out for moving from veg to flower chambers, as well as easy maintenance, etc. It will be 24" or less deep. You could build them as small as 18" deep for truly stealthy boxes. Smaller than the average chest of drawers.

    The currently available 4-tube PL systems are around £95-£140, with reflector and electronic ballasts built-in. They usually come with "Cool White" (4000K) or "Daylight" (6500K) tubes, for propagator/veg room use. Simply swap most or all of the lamps for "Very Warm White" (2700K) versions (which are already as cheap as £2.80 each) and you're flowering! A single 4-Tube system could do it all.

    One grow shop ad stated that they'd actually flowered with them, but with reduced yields, though I suspect they will play down the potential of these low-maintenance systems, which as I see it, is huge, and would prefer us to shell out for (higher maintenance) HPS rigs instead (as well, rather). I also suspect they didn't ScroG. This is most definitely a Scrogging lamp.

    The PL lamp has it all: low profile (2.3cm for the lamp, and as electronic ballasts are even thinner, you could potentially build a lighting rig two inches thick!) The light is high PAR, high lumen, intense, good spectrum, and flat. Add to that high lumen maintenance, high CRI, cool running temperatures, two year useful lamp life span, low cost replacement tubes, etc., etc., and I'd say we have a winner.

    High CRI might not seem important, but a low CRI will mean a lamp is gaining it's lumens ratings, and colour temperature from fewer, more pronounced "spikes". High CRI means the lamp will have a wide mix of phosphors, and a more even spectral distribution, which plants will enjoy.

    Judging by the online catalogues I've seen, these things are gaining some traction in the vivarium market, and 55W versions have popped up for "deep vivaria", and are sold for plants with high light requirements. And if that wasn't good enough, wait for it...

    An 80W PL tube has recently appeared on the scene, blowing away all the previous numbers. For only another 35mm length, you get 1200 more lumen!

    T5's just can't compete with PL80W lamps for sheer lumen-per-inch; we're getting into serious HPS intensity competition territory, except with better spectrum, higher PAR, cooler running lamps, way stealthier profile, etcetera...
        PL Lamp                          lumen       Approx ft² coverage
        -------                         ------      -------------------
        PL 80W                           6,000       2-3
        PL 4x80W (320W system. I wish!) 24,000       8-16
    Think about it. A 4xPL80W lighting system would deliver 24,000 lumen of cool, high PAR light that we could sit inches from the plant-tops, delivering a massively intense plane of light particularly suited to a ScroG or LST growing style. PL tubes can deliver usable light at two feet or more, but by using ScroG or LST, we won't need to use even half that distance, meaning our ScroG'ed buds will be sitting in a 6,000L/ft² bath of optimal spectrum light. Also, with the 80W lamp being so small, it's still possible to design a luminaire that could fit into a two foot wide space.

    "OSRAM DULUX L 40 W, L 55 W and L 80 W have been designed specifically for square and short-run luminaires with 600 mm sides." -

    At the end of the day we can have a rig using only 320W of electricity, producing more usable light than a 400W HPS system (even the 220W (4x55W) system would compare with a 400W HPS, for usable light in a ScroG), of a higher PAR, better spectrum, and running much cooler, therefore requiring far less ventilation. Electronic ballasts are also cool running. I'm looking to use a single silent 25cfm PC fan for my entire stealth cabinet. Perhaps two, for Summer operation (or more likely, a single 50cfm fan run at 7.5V/12V). Although relatively cool, my box will have 6,000 lumen per ft². Not bad.

    I read in a light therapy catalogue ( that a 4x80W PL system will deliver over 10,000 lumen at a distance of 70cm. In other words, there is still sufficient light for good plant growth at over two feet from the lamp! But with ScroG, I'll only be using the first 30cm, where there is double that. I read in a vivarium catalogue "The 80 Watt Dulux L gives still 5000 lux at a level of 100 cm from the top." which doesn't seem possible. Whatever, it's a helluva lot of Lux in such a small space!

    Being so compact you could, in fact, put eight lamps in a two foot square space, giving you 48,000 lumen right there on the plant-tops, producing a completely ridiculous, plant-killing 12,000 lumen per square foot! In practice this wouldn't be possible, because the narrow reflectors wouldn't be efficient, and you'd get more like 36,000 lumen and lots of heat. But a five, perhaps six tube system would be feasible, and would doubtless produce some extreme bud. And a well designed 6xPL80 luminaire could be only two foot square and just over two inches thick. Man! Gimme Stealth!

    My current plan is to get a 4x55W system with 2700K lamps and test it on a batch of ladies, and meanwhile build my improved 4x80W luminaire. The 4x55W test should give me a good idea of what to expect from a 4x80W unit. Later, I can use the 4x55W for my veg chamber, or another smaller flowering chamber somewhere. Here's a few currently available 55W systems...
    2-Tube Bright-Wing £79.99
    4-Tube Bright-Wing £135.00
    Canatronic "Starlite" £130.00 [PL 4] (reflector as Bright Wing)

    Canatronics: or
    same prices as above
    PL 2 - £80.00 (even worse reflectors, more strictly propagator lights)
    PL 4 - £120.00
    2 x 55W unit for £64.50 (shiny reflector)
    Nebula light systems at good prices. Nebula 4 (4x 55w lamps) £140.00
    4x55W Starlite @ £110 Nice!
    (if you speak to Justin, he may sell you one with warm lamps at no extra cost)
    another £110 deal.

    And again...
    (if you speak to Tobi, he may sell you one with warm lamps at no extra cost)

    So, don't pay £140! And don't accept daylight lamps! (unless you want them)

    Ho! £95 for a 4xPL55W Starlite from 3C in Dundee...
    (Good guys, but they rarely answer their bloody email! Also watch for postage charges)

    More Luminaires... Grow Lights

    The trouble with most of the systems is their inefficient reflectors. The stated lumen output for these luminaires is about as accurate as taking the lamp's data sheet lumen rating and multiplying it by the number of lamps. Really. A well designed reflector makes a world of difference, which is why none of the manufacturer's provide figures for actual lumen measured below the fixture. But then, almost no lighting manufacturer does that. But read on...

    You really want to provide a separate reflector for each lamp, four troughs, as opposed to one wide trough, as most systems have. I scouted around for a long while looking for reflective sheeting to make such a reflector, and came across some stuff called "MIRO", with various types, MIRO4, MIRO27, etc., with slightly different properties. I was to build the "perfect" reflector with this stuff until I discovered that someone already did! And they even sell them as kits for 55W PL Lamps. You lucky Americans! 4 x 55 watt Bright Kit™ for $124.99! You supply the lamps.

    Even if you aren't buying, the above page has an excellent section on why good reflection is crucial to enclosure design. clue: restrike. Here's another document you might want to check out... (their luminaires are nice, too)

    You could make a lovely DIY hood with a few of those reflectors; they are simply excellent. Perhaps surprisingly, these can be purchased separately: The 55W 22" reflector ($15.99) would be plenty for an 80W fixture, I reckon. Who knows, they may even have an 80W range planned. ;)

    Note: I have since got the datasheets and sample pack from the MIRO mfr's, very nice, BUT... MIRO does not reflect UV Light! It is specifically manufactured to NOT reflect it, in fact. This won't matter much for regular PL lamps, but for a "fifth lamp", or some future "ideal growing PL lamp", this could be a problem. You would still get the direct UV rays, of course, but reflected rays can almost double the output, or not, in the case of MIRO. Damn!

    Trying to track down suppliers of reflective materials in the UK is a nightmare, and getting spectral data for those materials even more so. The guys at alanod (MIRO) are cool, though. They also do not-so-hi-tech anodised aliminium sheeting, but, not cheap. YOur local hardware store may do sheets of dimpled reflective aluminium.

    Because PL Lamps are fluoros, they are cool. So, it should be possible to make a reflector from "diamond-gro" or reflectragrow, or even plain mylar. This would also make for quick, inexpensive luminaire prototyping. This is the route I'll probably take first. If the dismand sheeting was glued directly to a sheet of metal, there may be little or no heat issues. I'll need to find a good metal bonding glue that also conducts heat well, which most glues seem designed *not* to do.


    Some PL80W DIY kits have already appeared (no reflectors here, though):

    1 x 80W system (inc. lamp) £42.99 (they do lots of ballasts, etc.) ...

    Another, very similar, 1x80W system ...
    [€59.80 is around £40]

    £160 for a 4x80W setup. eek! And I'd still need to buy 2700K lamps. I would probably be cheaper sourcing a pair of 2x80W Ballasts (£50-ish), 4x2G11 base caps (about £6), 4x80W lamps (under £30), some case and reflector materials (maybe £40), and fittings (say, £10).


    Interestingly, these are marked as "PL-L/T5", so you can see that PL lamps really are like two improved T5HO lamps strapped together!

    Ignore the image on the general page, that's not PL-L ballasts. These babies are long and thin (LxWxH:235x30x26mm) enabling a clever luminaire designer to put the ballasts on the same plane as the lamps, in the dead spaces under the reflector sheet. The whole thing could be 2" thick...
           L = Lamp           B = Ballast
    -----------------------------------------------  <- strong steel sheet
    | /-LLL-\ BBB /-LLL-\     /-LLL-\ BBB /-LLL-\ |  <- Lamps and ballast on same plane
    |/       \_ _/       \_ _/       \_ _/       \|  <- (inside reflector 'dead' spaces)
    | anodised aluminium sheet (focused around 1" beyond the front surface)
    Check out for the shape a reflector should be.

    More ballasts...

    1x80W: [AU-SIS180: £35]

    2x80W: [AU-SI280: £46.67]
    1x55W: [£28.99] 1x80W: [£28.99]
    dartfrog also do a complete kit (ballast, base, clips, and lamp) for £42.99. As their lamps as quite expensive, I wouldn't be surprised if another supplier could hit the £30-£35 price point with a cheaper "warm" light, which would suit my flowering chamber just fine. You don't get a reflector.
    £56.24 !!!

    If any T5 ballast will work (and I suspect it will, same HF requirements, etc.)

    dunno about prices here: (2x80W ballasts available)

    1x80W: [£21.00]]

    &nav=Null&loc=Null&tt=Overview [you will need to re-join this]

    Note, many of these ballasts can run multiple lamps. You might be fortunate enough to buy a luminaire where you can swap the 55W lamps for 80W no problem. But do your homework first; check out the ballast data sheet, etc. This would be unlikely, however.

    Replacement lamps are already cheap...
    ["MASTER PLL Lamps" 55W £2.50 / 80W £3.25] (2700K - 4000K) lumen? I think this is Philips lamps]
    [only cool (840) available 55W £2.80 / 80W £3.20]
    [various manufacturers: £5.52]

    Genuine Dulux Lumilux (4800 lumen): ...
    55W: £3.68 (all, from daylight (6500K), thu White (3500K) to "interna" (2700K))
    80W: £5.52 (only available in cool (4000K) and warm (3000K) white)

    Almost all kinds, excellent selection, but not the cheapest...

    They also have "very warm white" [2700K] 80W tubes £7.10 (excl. VAT) ...

    The same lamps, when sold as grow lamps, are more expensive, e.g... [£9.50!]

    Full spectrum PL Lamps...

    As yet, there are no ready-built 2x80W or 4x80W plant growing luminaires available, so I'll be looking to rig up my own hood. As well as the 4x80W PL lamps, I'll likely add a single 2' T8/T5 fitting in the centre for a UVB+daylight tube (at least until PL equivalents arrive, anyway a T socket would be handy, for experiments, perhaps with PURple tubes). The whole thing will need to be built onto a sheet of strong steel with another of reflective anodised aluminium. The steel will probably be the hardest part. Getting the stuff is tricky enough, shaping and drilling it is quite another thing.

    If anyone knows of good metal sheeting suppliers with real prices, and small-scale machining services, please let me know! Hmm. This looks interesting... I might use a strong steel flat sheet, and shape thinner reflective sheeting over it. Dunno yet. I might end up importing four reflectors from AH Supply, mounting them somewhere.

    Sheeting: (EU) (Canada)

    I'd say LED's are the future of growing, but realistically, that's medium to long-term future. For now, the near future and beyond, PL Fluoros have it all. You could put a grow chamber inside a small filing cabinet, kitchen shelf, under your bed, wherever. You could ScroG under your floorboards! The possibilities for personal growers are endless. Stealth cabinet designs can be taken to the limits. I've ran the numbers over and over; no other lamp can give you so much light in such a small space.

    And as well as the usual range of spectrums, already "other" types of interesting PL-fitting tube are appearing on the market, including UVA sun lamps and UVC germicidal lamps. It probably won't be long before a daylight UVB tube appears (those reptile keeping dudes, for instance, may want one) and makes a perfect "5th lamp" for our killer PL hood.

    I guess, if someone suggests it to the right people; that's you; someone will manufacture a lamp specifically for (cannabis) plant flowering, with just the right amount of red, blue, UVB, PURple, etc. and we'd just fill our luminaires with these babies and BALLA-FUCKING-BANG! They could market it as a "herb" growing light (essential oil producing herbs, like Basil, have requirements very similar to cannabis). Makers of "PURple" lamps use this sales approach. Do check out the PURple lamps, they rock.

    "Fluorescent's create light in a completely different way to HID's. You should not expect HID bulbs to emit anywhere near the QUALITY of light that fluorescent's do, and you should not expect fluorescent's to emit anywhere near the INTENSITY of light HID's do." -

    Well, that's changing, and high intensity fluoros are here. After a lot of research and study, I think I have found my perfect stealth lighting system; cool, powerfuly intense, and compact. But will it make dank buds? We'll see.

    PL fluoros FTW!

    For reference, here's what's coming next, sorta. A T6 hybrid PL-like lamp, 96W, and check out the beautiful reflectors. A 4 lamp setup (you lucky yanks, you!) for $214.99 I wonder if you can get warm tubes for those? :) You never know, a regular PL 96W lamps may yet appear. Imagine! If you are making a 3' box, you might want to consider these 96W (GY10Q base) lamps right now. Serious lumen output in a 34" PL-like lamp. Expensive to replace, though.

    Hey! I just realised, "PL" could stand for "Plant Lighting"!


    ps. other possibly useful items for the stealth box...


    One of the guys (a gal) at A.H. Supplies told me that the 80W Lamps run relatively hot (compared to the 55W PL Lamps). Fans will be required to keep a constant flow of air moving through the cabinet, and move the air around inside, ensure there are no dead spots.

    Zalman 92mm Quiet Case Fan: FAN&doy=5m1

    NoiseBlocker SX1 UltraSilent 120mm Blue Fan:

    Evercool Ever Green 120mm Fan:
    (browncoats shop here exclusively! hahah)

    Arctic Cooling 120 mm Case Fan 25 mm Deep:

    Arctic Cooling Fan 3 TC 80mm Case Fan:

    Thermaltake A2330 Silent Wheel 130MM Fan:

    Or something from here: like...

    NF-S12 1200 RPM 120mm Quiet Case Fan:

    Probably 92mm would be best, then I could use my 100mm ducting to duct air into the units from the next room.

    Fan soft-mounts:

    120mm fan noise killer: Killer for 120mm Fans&rndstr=2006-1213-665

    High-load digital timer (plenty for fluoros):

    Possible silent 5V-12V fan power pack (kept in cool side area)...

    Metal sheeting (reflective):

    These guys take PayPal, and have good prices. Sadly no useful images on the pages.. [US]

    Metal sheeting (general): (also have a reflective materials section, and mesh, and lots of stuff) (also do a nice temperature controller for soldering irons - handy for a home made vap - also got a lovely temperature controlled soldering station @ 65-450C)

    have fun!


    Although technically, I no longer *need* this information, I may go ahead and build them anyway some day, and perhaps use my large setup to bring some monster Sativas to maturity in a non-Scrog grow. I have seven feet of height in my flowering chamber, you see, and though Scrog is the most efficient way to use *any* space, I'd love to see some moster thai colas in an indoor setting. Sure, they yield less non-scrog, but it's nice to see, if you know what I mean. Beautiful.
  2. Great post with great resources and links -mu! Rep for you and many thanks!! I'll be using this guide when I upgrade my lighting in my little stealth grow.

  3. Nice post. This should definately be a sticky.
  4. Here is my question for you.

    I am going to be growing two plants in a DWC system. The space I have is about 3 feet in height and 2 in depth and width. I am using the smallest Bud Box on the market.

    What lighting would you suggest for that space size and only two plants? Is it worth getting the PL's? I was thinking about buying some CFL's but I will wait to hear your advice.
  5. thanks for all the info, I got the t12's at the moment, but the t5's seem to be the way for me to go.
  6. Great info...."thanks mate".

  7. PL lamps are CFL's!
    Only more intense, and the right shape, to boot.

  8. What do you plug the PL lamps into. i did an image search kuz i wanted to see what they look like, and they kinda have a weird end on 'em. Here's a pic of one, and i kinda would like to know what they plug into:

    Thats an Osram 80 watt Dulux-L (PL-L) Compact Fluorescent Lamp. you think a couple of those would work for a 3'x4' grow room? I'm planning on using a ScrOG thing with a type of dutch bucket/ebb n' flow hybrid system underneath. Unfortunately, i'm stupid when it comes to lumens, efficiency, and just about everything else that has to do with lighting. so do you think a couple of these (warm whites) will work for veg, and then a couple of daylight ones for floweing, or what?
  9. Sounds to me like pwn thread.

    Excellent guide dude...! :hello: i'll definitely be using these if everything is as good as you said.
  10. +rep dude, great thread.
  11. good god man. might as well have written a novel while you were at it :p
  12. + rep on this one great post :hello:
  13. jesus man, A+ for research and effort ;) I agree this should be be a sticky, thanks alot for sharing all the info and for all the links. +rep!
  14. Actually, if he thought of a witty name for this, it very well could BE the novel. :) and i certainly would buy it.
  15. wow man great post!! +rep
  16. Bump! Sticky this beast mods! +rep to you too for all the info on PL lights
  17. My only question is why haven't people already begun to use these babies like hell? I mean i can't find even 1 grow which states that it used Dulux L (PL Lights) ... That's the only thing that scares me a bit.. From the theoretical side these lights are perfect but why don't people use them ? :eek::eek:
  18. No it isn't a phillips invention it says tht tht bulb is "their version" of it and down below GE and a few other companies have em...

    What site can I purchase one of these in the US I can't find any

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