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

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

  1. #61 walnut, Apr 13, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2009
    What kind of materials are you using for multi-PL bulb reflectors? Anything a person can put together with mylar blankets? Would PVC pipes cut in half do the trick? Would heat from the 40W PLs be too much for mylar covered PVC as a reflector? Would flat white do a better job for reflectivity?
  2. what would one reccommend for a 4 foot tall and 2 foot wide dresser,about 1ft deep?
  3. 2 2700k and 2 6500k bulbs, they have the holder and the reflector premade and everything it comes with bulbs too but they suck. I have the correct bulb colors you need. I wont be using them too big for me. any1 like to take these off my hands? they are brand new
  4. Am I confused or what, I just came over to the hobby from saltwater reef tanks. I used Power compact lights awhile ago when I first got into the hobby and ditched them for 400 watt mh. But my main question is this PC bulbs are they the same as PL bulbs? They look much like the bulbs pictured + the link used in the first post links to a 96 watt PC light kit.
  5. That'd be "drawer" and "armoir" :)

    Nice Roor!
  6. Holy crap, this is the biggest post I've ever seen!:eek:
  7. I'm having trouble wiring the 2g11 socket
    Can anyone tell me what wire goes where ? [​IMG][​IMG]
  8. #68 wannabegrower, May 1, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2009
    go to and look at wiring diagrams.if your socket is wired the same as mine(looks similar)then each 2 hole goes to one pin of the connect pin 1 and pin2 together(one hole from first set of two holes and one hole from second set of holes) and connect to red lead from ballast.connect one hole from third set of two holes to one hole from fourth set of holes and connect them to the yellow lead from ballast.that is how i wired mine even though my socket looks a little differnt
  9. Dudes!

    Thanks for all the comments, feedback, and excellent information. I've just read through the whole damn lot. Now I know how you guys felt with my post!

    As I mentioned what seems like a lifetime ago, I ended up having no need of a stealth cabinet after all, and so didn't get around to building it (though for some reason, I haven't stopped slowly collecting parts and materials!). However, I DID get myself a 4x55W PL lighting system for my Veg chamber. The results?

    Fantastic. It's bright, cool and compact, and the plants love it. I use Philips PL865 (6500K @ CRI80) lamps, pretty much perfect vegging lamps. Under that lamp are, usually, half a dozen mums and dads, along with 12-24 clones and seedlings. Even at 12", young clones come on great. A great lighting system, and massive improvement over my previous Halide+Fluoro setup.

    HydroGanic deserves a special mention for thread-dedication and useful info. I second the "run a fan from the tip to the base" advice. I have a small (6") fan that blows cool air along the lamps. I can have plants within 2cm of the lamp surface without burning, which is just as well, because plants can easily grow this amount in a single day! It's a pity you've "left GC forever", HydroGanic. Oh well.

    On the bright side, literally, I see that my predicted 4x80W "Starlight" has made it to the market. At around £140 (or cheaper for DIY), you get 24,000 Lumens in a Two Foot square space. Very Nice! If I ever get around to creating a stealth flowering cabinet, I'll be looking seriously at these.

    while I'm here...

    NotExploded - take regular soil, and run two or three times its volume of water through it. Now you have "weak soil" - squeeze dry and use immediately. That should be fine for your seedlings and clones. When you pot them on to bigger pots, they should be strong enough to handle your regular soil. In another time and thread, I might get into how you should be considering coir+wormcast+urine - completely perpetual, and totally free - once you have some coir, which is literally "dirt cheap".

    walnut, I've been thinking about exactly this approach. Mylar seems pretty sturdy. Except I was thinking of using half-hexagonal guttering pipe, or perhaps roofing sheet, which seems almost like it was designed for DIY fluorescent lighting fixtures. And a can of spray-glue.

  10. #70 m4d, May 15, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: May 15, 2009
    Thanks, your ballast sounds different. I've found out I can use ether hole 1 or 2 en hole 3 is for unlocking the wires. Workin' on diy reflector now

  11. from what i read it seems like these would be the best lights to use in just about any situation.
    more lumens, better spectrum, less power and cheaper then a HPS and a HID. unless i read something wrong their. anyways GREAT POST. + rep
  12. [quote name='weed-meen']Actually, if he thought of a witty name for this, it very well could BE the novel. :) and i certainly would buy it.[/QUOTH
    Hell MU! Steely Dan here; a `newby` with an insatiable thirst for knowledge. Read your `info page` from start to finish; and although i am no where near ready experimenting with such a range of lights; the knowledge is now entered into my brain and i shall retrieve it, as and when needed. An education is `what you remember after you`ve forgotten what you`ve learnt` that`s one of mine; a little quote to go along with anything i`d like to say. Germinated ten seeds over the month of june, and because its summertime just `followed` the sun round the back garden. Seven out of the ten doing fine; looking to establish a mother plant rather than keep growing from seed. Much too long! Recently came across some "Osram warmwhites" just plug into light socket and grow. It `throws` out 1060 lumens and cost me 50pence; i bought four. I first thought, based on other people`s words that growni` was a `mystical process` attempted by the initiated few; what nonsense! Germinate and put in soil. You can help facilitate the whole growing process, but if left alone in right conditions, ie, sunlight the plant should grow. Only `playing` at it just now; end of summer time i will acquired the relevant knowhow to go forth and multiply; as i surely must. your essay was informative and useful. thanks for caring enough to write it. If poss the difference between: "Regular (non-feminised) and feminised plants" would make for good reading; for me anyhow. Once a female plant is identified, can it `morph` into a `hermie` or is that only males? Yours, Steely Dan!
  13. do we have pixs and a site i can buy bulbs i need and the thingy to make them work?

    im going crazy trying to figure it out google is failing me HELP???
  14. #74 RevNelson, Jul 28, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2009
    Thanks for all this great information! I have a few questions before starting my first grow. How many plants were used in the 4x55w system, and what was the dried yield?

    I am going to be starting with a 4x8x7 Grow Hut and 12 plants. I was originally going to use 2x1000w HPS lights, but am very attracted to the PL lights for their cost and efficiency. How many bulbs would I need to cover a 4x8 area? Since I have 7' of height, I was thinking I could even put in a shelf and have 12 plants on top (flowering @ 3000K) and 12 plants on the bottom (veging @ 5600K) with these lights allowing for closer proximity.

    My current estimation is 12x55w, which ends up being a 55w bulb for each plant. The plants and ballasts would be set up 3 columns deep and 4 rows long. That would cost a pretty penny in bulbs, but amount to 660w vs 2000w of HPS. Does this sound about right? That would give each shelf a total of 3.5' from base of plant bucket to top of light ballast.

    That way, in the same hut, I could have 24 plants growing under 24x55w PL lights for a total of 1320w instead of 12 plants growing under 2x1000w HPS. Of course, heat would be much less, meaning less time running the air conditioning.

    The initial cost for just the 12 flowering setup would be $379.98 for the 12x55w kit ( + $102 for 12 GE 3000K bulbs ( + various costs of mounting all the ballasts = ~$500

    That is roughly the price of 2x1000w HPS ballasts and bulbs, and the energy consumption is almost 75% less. Even if I doubled that to try the vegetation setup, energy consumption is still almost 50% less.

    Does this seem like a good plan? What would be the estimated yield on such a setup?

    I know this is a stealth thread, and a 4x8x7 isn't the most stealth thing in the world, but I'm quite curious to find out if it translates well to that scale. Thanks again everybody for the wealth of information here!

    P.S. - Because I've never grown before, I don't know if I should start out trying the ScrOG method, as it's a bit confusing to me, having never gone through the regular process. Does this setup work well for a standard, vertical grow? I assume I would need to raise the lights up as the plant grows for this to work.

    P.P.S. - On ( there is a PlusRite bulb for only $3.31 per bulb in the quantity I'd be getting. The next one up is $8.50 per bulb. I've looked at the spec sheets for both, and they're identical. Is there any reason to stay away from the PlusRite bulbs?
  15. Do yourself a really big favor and start with 1 or 2 plants under 110w or 220w of PL-L's/CFL's or whatever. Get yourself familiar with the plant itself and what it takes to make it happy. Learn how different things affect it in combinations. Different nutrient strengths, lighting intensity changes, temperature, humidity, maturation stage of the plant, and on and on.

    There's a ton of stuff you'll need to figure out on your own, unless you have a pro standing by your side. (Icmag helps a lot but is no substitute for an on-site professional) Starting with 2 1K HPS lamps and 12 plants is a great way to introduce a huge number of variables you don't need right now.

    Depending on how fast you learn, it may take you one grow to get it right and it may take you 12. If it takes you 3 grows, that's approximately 9 months with a sativa strain, not including initial seedling to mum time.

    So, start with a couple plants under some cfls. Maybe a 250w CMH lamp. I recommend learning the lucas methods with a simple Ebb&Flow system using lava-rock or hydroton. You can get the nutrients in a ton of different places very cheaply and the problems you'll have are few and easily identified and fixed.

    If you live in a hot climate.... stay away from bubblers (SWC/DWC) or any other hydro method that keeps the roots suspended in the nutrient solution. E&F or drip through hydroton (Do not use drip through lava-rock) is simple and provides excellent results.

    Scrog is very meditative and I highly recommend it. I used Lucas and scrog on my first grows and it was great. :D

    Above all..... READ, READ, READ, READ, READ, READ! You're better off reading this entire board and and first before buying a single piece of equipment. The more information you can absorb before you start, the easier and less expensive it will be for you to fix mistakes. Your also more likely to spot potential issues before they cost you yield or freedom. :D

    Hey everyone :wave: I know I said I was gone forever but I just couldn't let this post go by. Keep reading everyone and stay safe. I'm around, just not on here anymore. Toodles! :smoking:
  16. Sticky this.

    On my first grow I got 2oz in about a square foot. they are awesome.
  17. #77 Gluvbox, Aug 26, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2009
    Here is my 3x55w setup with reflectors.


    This pic kind of sucks. I'll get a better one later.
  18. Three 55W bulbs + reflectors = I can't hold my eyes open when I look at it.


  19. steelydan, I come back here to refer to the post myself, so I know how handy it is! YES to keeping good stock mother plants.

    While veering right off-topic, I'm here, so...

    Feminized seeds = Bad Idea. It's for lazy people who can't wait an extra forntight to sex their plants properly, and for some reason, don't give a damn about potential hermies (yes, females produce male pollen sacks, and WHAM! you got seeds, sometimes ALL SEEDS.). I guess if you had a to-the-date schedule to keep and some kind of disaster preventing planning, they may be useful. They are easy to make, too.

    Regular seeds = Good Idea, and what nature intended, and the best way for you to start creating some perfect genetics of your own, get more fun out of your grows. None of my girls get through the Autumn room without making a few seeds for me; there's always an interesting male around somewhere.

    devillover, check out that big post at the start - it's full of links!

    RevNelson, Listen to HydroGanic; start small. Also, in case you wondered, the "Lucas Method", is just a ratio of nutrients designed to produce good bud under all circumstances; initially using two of the three-part GHB nutes, though they now do it on a single bottle called "FloraNova Bloom". When noobs ask me what to start with, I point them to a bottle of that. For the scientists among us, it also provides an excellent "control" for our own nutritional experiments, a reference point, if you like; and a whole bag of things you don't have to worry about. Like HydroGanic, I recommend you start with the "Lucas Method".

    Also remember, when you "scale it up", this is a stealth lighting system. The penetration is good for 12" of optimum growth. Perfect for scrog and most SOG. If you aren't SOG/scrogging, expect reduced yields.

    lifelessheap, yup, crazy!

    Gluvbox, Vash, I possibly missed the information, but what are you using for reflective material?

    Keep em coming folks!


    ps. has anyone come across lamps with some decent amounts of UV-B in them, yet? For reptiles, maybe....
  20. amazing post!

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