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

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

  1. After a recent PM, I had another look here, and I noticed, among other things, someone linking to ahsupply's reflector kits...

    No! Remember, those reflectors use MIRO, which is desgned to NOT reflect UV light. There is little enough UV in the average CFL as it is, and our future grow lamp will have lots more of it. In short..


    And in those recent pics, the reflectors look very very shiny. IS THAT MIRO??


    It's probably the most reflective material you can get, but not not so much as to warrant the ZERO UV REFLECTANCE, or pretty darned near zero - check their spec sheets. Very clever, very high-tech, but NOT FOR CANNABIS, which thrives on UV, which is what basically makes bud potent.

  2. mu what did you use for reflective material in your veg chamber
  3. yeah, what is one suppose to use, if not Milar? Looks like 4x55 w system is easily assembled, and enough for two to three sq.ft. The 4x96w seems a little pricey, still.
    If anyone has some cheaper links to them, please share!
    Ok, my main doubts these lights are ideal, but you mentioned growing in soil. Since that is less maintenance, quieter, than a bubble bucket, and yields just about as much, I would prefer it. You mentioned a size of roughly 8" deep, 12x12". Is that just some plastic box that size, without the lid? Would you use a drip water system to keep it alive? I have never seen one installed inna stealth system..
    Also, on this stealth box, what did you have in mind for odor control? A homemade carbon filter in front of the exhaust fan? Does anyone have a link to one that fits in such a small space, cheap?
  4. #85 ricard0, Oct 9, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 10, 2009

    PLL lighting kicks ass :D
  5. richard0, where did you get those reflectors? Do you know what material they are made out of?

    good looking grow!

  6. #87 ricard0, Oct 11, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2009
    There's several links in the OP's 1st post i found handy. The whole kit came from AH Supply, but they do sell the reflectors separately ---> A H Supply - Easy Ordering

    The reflector material is called "MIRO". They're currently sold out of the 55w kits & reflectors but they should have more by the end of the month :wave:

    I'm still looking for a pre-made reflector that'll take full advantage of these bulbs though. The MIRO stuff apparently doesn't reflect UV light very well/or not at all.

    On a side note: Has anyone found UVB PL bulbs? Also, i've been using the 26w Reptisun UVB 10 bulbs to supplement the "dank" spectrum with moderate success. They just don't hit many budsites. Has anyone considered using the larger, 2' T5 UVB bulbs? Thoughts?

  7. I Use Mylar. However, I only use Mylar because I got a huge sheet of it for a song. For anyone's money, the best reflective material, by far, is flat white paint. Shiny materials are great, but they need to be absolutely flat, and set at precise angles to really get your money's worth from them.

    But if money is no object, and you do the math, some of the next generation aluminium/mylar materials are excellent, and maybe even worth the effort and expense they incur, though I doubt it. Flat white paint FTW!

    Mylar is NOT MIRO, and vice versa. MIRO is a specialised product produced only by Alanod Gmb. Regular Mylar reflects all spectrums of useful light. MIRO is *specifically* designed to NOT reflect UV light. In lots of situations this is what you want. Growing weed, not so much.

    If you already have MIRO, don't sweat it. Be happy that you get more reflected light than anyone else, and make the most of the direct light, maybe even add some UV Lamps into the mix (spots, shining across the light plane - photons can "piggy-back" on more energetic photons - very useful info to know)

    Didn't you read the main article? Avoid those round grow lamps, they are not efficient, not compared to PL lamps. As for PurPLE (or however it's capitalized) lamps, I haven't seen these in PL fittings yet, but I haven't looked for a while. I expect UVB is available in PL now, though. That would be definitely be worth having.

    Image of my veg chamber attached, mamas, papas and some babies, as well as a few clones vegging up, of course. Note how badly I hang my Mylar! Not quite flat.


    Attached Files:

  8. Excellent info ...Thank you
  9. #90 HappyFish, Oct 21, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 21, 2009
    Wonderful thread, this has answered so many questions I've had since discovering these lights. I just wish I had found it before ordering 3000k tubes, at the time they were all I could find.

    +1 Rep
    Deserves Sticky

  10. #91 ricard0, Oct 21, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 21, 2009
    Great lookin' setup -mu. Did you make your own fixture/housing? It looks a bit like the pre-made setups i saw at HTG. Just curious.

    ^^Could you be so kind as to provide an example of this?^^

    Ha ha, didn't we all try the emergency blankets 1st? After replacing a few times, i broke down and bought some 2mil which stands the test of time a little better.
  11. I bought it that way. I like to make stuff, for sure, but that's too large a project for something so reasonably priced, anyway (time = money, dude!). Also, rather than build a 4x80W version, I "suggested" it to the manufacturer. Within a few months, TADA! Also, their finishings are far nicer than mine. Haven't you SEEN pics of my D.I.Y HID RIG? :smoking: hehe

    Re: Photons. Highly unlikely; it's just one of those factoids I remember coming across during a research binge. I remember it was a dull white paper. If I come across notes, I'll report back. Something like this might get you started, though...


    It does seem reasonable, and my experiments with UV lamp positioning bear it out, too - you can put a small amount of UV in, or just above, the path of a large amount of HID, and get a big spread of UV.

    My flowering chamber is on a stepped system, height-wise, plants move along, young girls at the front, old gals at the back. One single 2' T8 UVB tube provides a noticeable potency boots for all the plants in range (the second half the garden, particularly the last row)

    And the proof of that is that even though I am typing here at my keyboard, I am really flying through the Solar System at light speed, bouncing around like a photon, thanks to some shit I dare not even name (I'm calling it Kamikaze, for now). Also, everyone who smokes any of my shit says it's the best they ever smoked. Period. People keep saying shit like, "You da man!", and "I kneel before the master" (and then they fall sideways), which is nice and all that, but I say, "dudes! it's sooooo easy to do yourself, just get a furkin garden of your own and I'll give you some of these exact seeds!".

    WhatIamsaying, in a roundabout, self-glorifying sorta way, is, it works! Try it.

    Hey! I bought that shit from a grow supplier! It's just that, for some mad reason, it came folded into tiny packets, and I haven't quite gotten around to flattening it out properly.

    I planned to do this when I took everything out to fix the big gap at the back, (out of sight, there's a powerful PC fan pulls air out the top-right of that chamber, but not 100% efficiently, because of the gap), but currently, everything is tuned *perfectly*, temperature, humidity, the works, so I'm happy to have it a bit wrinkled.

    Truth is, I have way too much light in there as it is, and if I wanted to, could produce enough clones for another three or four gardens like mine. I do like having lots of strains available at any one time, though (seven, currently), and the ability to go from cut>>flower in under a week, if I really need to.

    PL FTW!

  12. Ok so after eading over everything i am still left with several questions .

    1st) What exactly must be bought in order to have a system ready to go . I read that the most efficient system will use via 4X55w system will be four separate reflectors and not just a trough . my question is ... am i suppose to buy the lights, ballasts, ect. and build a light system from scratch or is there a system that I could just buy that would already be ready to put into my grow setup.

    2nd) My question is are the 4X55w systems that ARE trough reflectors worth buying and will they give a similar output to the 4 relector 4X55w systems .

    3rd) And lastly if the systems that are offered for the 4X55w systems contain MIRO how much supplemental UVB light would be suggestible to make up for what is lost to the MIRO reflectors.

    I am extremely excited to put together a PL-L Light system but just have a few things that I need resolved before i am to invest time, money, and effort. Thanks MU for all the information and research in this topic.

  13. My work is done! ;)

    It is unlikely that any manufacturer is about to create a 4xtroughed lighting rig. They would need to sell the idea that it would be more efficient, and that that efficiency was worth the extra cost. The extra cost is the reason it's unlikely to happen. If you want a troughed lighting rig, for ultimate reflection, you will probably need to build it yourself.

    Then, yes, you would need to build a case, buy control gear, fittings and lamps, cable, and put it all together. Some parts are available in kit form, to bypass certain aspects of assembly, but however you go about it, be prepared for a serious project.

    In the real world, the difference in output is going to be far less than the overhead such a high-output lighting rig produces, anyway. In other words, if 2x55W isn't enough for your needs; whatever they are; then you need to go 4x55W, and unless you are flowering with that, you now probably have more light than you need. Adding troughs to that will only exasperate the situation.

    I bought my 4x55W system. For the price (a shade over £100) is was a good deal. It would have taken me at least 10 hours to do such a good job (the build quality is quite excellent), and while I would have had a nice DIY rig to point proudly at, I could afford the Canatronics Star-Lite 4, and it was cheaper, time-wise, than building it myself. nuff said.

    I note that it wouldn't take much to retro-fit my flat-plane reflector with "V"-ish shaped strips, effectively adding troughs to it. Maybe some day.

    Firstly, UVB light is available in only very small amounts in current PL tubes. For a fixture not designed for flowering, MIRO is a good choice, because it will maximize light output like no other surface can. No UVB is really "lost", because it wasn't there to begin with.

    However, in the future, PL lamps will be available in all sorts of interesting spectrums, and with added UVB, for sure. These will be great for adding to flowering setups, and in there, under that lighting, MIRO makes less sense. If your lighting rig could have the individual troughs switched out, now that would be handy; you simply switch in a regular dimpled aluminium trough for the UVB lamp, and use MIRO for everything else.

    If you are flowering, remember, the predicted 4x80W units are now very much a reality, and quite reasonably priced, too.

  14. #95 ricard0, Oct 27, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 27, 2009
    There's a fair contingent of ic'rs that find the PL bulbs (even the 36watters) of great value when flowering a micro grow. Although i don't personally feel like it's enough light for my girls, some folks have gotten stellar results despite my feelings.

    Let's face it, if you can't accommodate an HID, your next best bet is CFL's. PL-L's just happen to be Top Dog in the land of the compact fluorescent. That's fine by me :D

    Lets not ignore the 96w bulbs that are also available. Under 3' long to boot ;)
  15. Mu- I appreciate the help tremendously. I am planning on growing no more than three females under one of the 4x55w from start to finish. Is this enough light for a decent yield ?

    Oh and also before i forget I am going to order the 4x55w Kit from AHSupply... guess ill use the instructions they have posted on thier website on how to install the light because I deffinitly am not a Lighting expert. Do you think it will be overly difficult Mu ???

    Also I saw a UVb reptile light . Does UVB light add to cannabis potency ? Thought i heard someone talking about increased resinous production or something but dont hold me to that last statement because I cant find the thread im thinking of .

    Ricard0 - I heard the 96w and even the 80w systems are stronger but at the same time are less efficient at producing Lumens per watt so i think i am going to stick with using a 4x55w system .
  16. #97 ricard0, Oct 28, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 28, 2009
    tblog, If you get the kits from AH, they are easy to assemble & wire. They provide printed instructions with the kit as well. :)

    From what i understand, the "lumen loss" you mention is more of a 3 sided problem. As you increase the wattage (and by virtue the lumens), you also increase the heat the bulbs produce. It's simply a matter of application. I don't personally know what the lm ratings are for the 96w bulbs or even the 80w'ers for that matter. However, they are the same type of bulb, so i couldn't see any lumen-loss being too drastic. :confused:

    Could you perhaps provide a link to the info. stating the lumen-loss associated with the increased wattage? Or at least expand your explanation? I've read similar statements elsewhere, but with no facts to back it up, so i'm curious if you're basing your comments on someone's opinion or something more concrete. Thanx :cool:

    Lots of growers use UV bulbs to replace what spectrum/wavelength is all but eliminated by traditional lamps. There's some interesting science behind the practice, as well as a ton of controversy ;)

  17. It depends what you mean by "decent", but I would expect to pull at least 1oz/week (dry bud weight) out from under it. Certainly enough to keep most tokers happy.

    As ricard0 mentioned, a lot of controversy surrounds this topic, but also a lot of science and anecdotal evidence (which is just data from people without (or not advertising their) Ph.Ds) to suggest that it most certainly does make a difference. I've tried with it, and without it. Now I use it always.

    I currently have no facilities to test THC levels, but I know that the plants closest to the UVB (or longest under it) are always the most potent.

    Remember, if you are buying a lamp/tube, get the strongest type (for desert reptiles, 8% or more UBV, preferably 10%+). And replace the lamp every year (it functions just fine as a regular tube thereafter, but the UVB level tapers off quite quickly, and at £15/year is pretty good for uberweed).

    I dunno the exact lumens efficiency of the 96W PL Lamp, but I do know that anything over 80W is probably way too much light for plants (in the small 2' space occupied by lamp+reflector). The Watts would be better used elsewhere, by placing another 55W/80W unit to the side, if possible, and growing more plants.

    A 4x80W unit would produce some killer weed. Sitting over a well-trained Scrog, it could power serious yielding. 4x96W would be overkill, and would just mean having to move the lamp so far away that you are wasting light and energy.

    I haven't run the numbers for a while, but do I remember thinking that 4x55W is a nice sweet spot, and 4x80W, while a bit wasteful, is the ultimate stealth weed growing kit, producing insane yields, if you can control the heat.

  18. why is this not stickied yet?
  19. that is some deeply researched, well put together shit there as fuck ;)

    +rep n all that malarky :smoking:

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