To go LED or not to go LED...

Discussion in 'Grow Room Design/Setup' started by stunbox, May 20, 2010.

  1. Hello all,

    I am new to this forum and dont really post on any forums so here we go.

    Thanks everyone for all of the information on this subject. Here is my situation and i would appritiate anyones two pennies. After i start building my setup I think i might actually keep a journal here so anyone can learn from my mistakes.

    I am building a large grow room in the basement of a house in colorado to house 96 to 99 plants. I am pretty sold on the rasta grow ebb and flow system and using a water cooled co2 generator.

    If i go the HPS route I will hang 12, 1000 watt lights on movers with 8inch cooling ducts and pump the air through them to try to get a head start on keeping the room cool. I will also need a seperate airconditioner just for the basement. Thats around 80 watts per plant

    If i go the LED route I plan on having 12, 300 watt (the guys who make the lights say 300 watts equals 1000 watts hps... i find that hard to believe) lights on movers. I also plan on using 36, 28 watt (allegedly equal to a 250 watt hps) lights to come in from the sides to make sure there are no shadows anywhere because i know the LEDs wont get thru like HPS will. I also plan on suplimenting this with cool white florecents at various places. The leds alone around about 48 watts per light.

    I guess the total cost to start up will be a little more with the LEDs but when you factor in all the duct work, and the extra air conditioner it gets a little closer. Then after a few months of factoring the electric bill and the LEDs look cheeper. I just wonder if the yeild would be terrible.

    I have seen comparisons of 1 UFO vs 1 400 watt hps... and for the most part the hps wins (i did read one in a high times where the UFO was only 5 percent behind in yeild) I guess I am wondering if anyone has ever done a comparison of 1 hps vs 2 or 3 leds and some floros. I know that that is 1 light getting ganged up on by a few lessor lights... but it might be closer in a watt to watt comparison. I figure this way I am only spending electricity on making light... insted of making light and heat, and then moving the heat out of the house because i didnt want it in the first place. Makes sense right?

    Could that 5 percent shortage, or the much bigger shortage shown by rump, and some other people, be made up with tons of LEDs.... or is it still all about the HPS?

    Thanks everyone for your opinions.
  2. Search for "rumple's led challenge".
  3. #3 CareFreeLivin, May 20, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: May 20, 2010
    I have just switched over to LED, and although my grow is much smaller than yours, I am really pleased with the decision. One common misconception in regards to LED lights is that all of them are the same. If you choose to go with LED look into Hydro Grow LED. They are the leaders in LED technology and their lights are specifically designed for the cultivation of marijuana. I have their 345w panel, and it destroys the 400w HPS i was using before not only in yield but in electricity usage and heat production. You should look at the forums over at icmag as they have a forum dedicated to the hydrogrow LED lights.

    edit: Here is the link to their forum. Check out the thread about the new 504w light they are releasing soon.
  4. Mrgoodsmoke.

    I did read rumples led chalange... and it was not a huge grow like i am considering. he also did not use any cfls. if memory serves me (forgive me ive read a lot of forums latly and have just started typing in them) he had 2 UFO led lights hanging above the plants.
  5. Carefreeliving,

    thanks for the info and links to new sites to explore.

    Do you have any data comparing your 345 and your 400 hps in a head to head compitition? How would you think it would compare to a 1000 watt hps?

    I will definitly start reading over those sites.
  6. I've read several journals, read all the literature, emailed several of the guys who have done them and watt to watt LED can't keep up with HPS in flowering, forget about the 3 and 4 to 1 they advertise.

    You've also got to consider how much these LEDs cost.
    You can get a 400W HPS system with reflector for under 250.. 2 180W UFOs are going to run you 1400.

    If I was just using it for Veg or trying to be stealthy and keep heat down I think LED is great. I'm planning on setting up an LED veg room but stay with HPS in my flower room.

    You're obviously not worried about being discreet because unless you're stealing hydro or planning on running a generator 24/7 a grow of that size is going to throw up all kinds of flags.

  7. They have head to head challenges, and some people are yielding 1.30-1.40 gpw. They say that the 205w LED is equivalent to a 400w hps and a 345w LED is equivalent to the 600w hps. I haven't yet completed my first grow with LED, but so far it is miles ahed of where I was with the hps in veg. It's not even close. The folks at hydrogrow LED have done a ton of scientific research on the subject of LED vs. hps, and they all point to LED being superior. The main deterrent at this point is price and the fact that people are averse to change. It is important to note again that ebay LEDs are not even close in quality and results to the hydrogrow LED lights.
  8. #9 Bohbo, May 21, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: May 21, 2010
    See this

    Perfect answer to your question. Save yourself a huge headache and most likely disappointing waste of money since...

    If LED Doesn't work as well as you had hoped then you still have to run ducting and cooling. Costing you 2x as much.

    It sounds like you are doing this for profit (I don't know rules in CO). Then from a business stand point HPS makes more sense because you would make enough after 3 grows (or when you decide to change bulbs) to be able to afford the upfront cost of LEDs and then you only would lose 1 grow and still have ventilation and cooling to control temps exactly. Go with HPS experiment with LEDs in a year.

    If you then like LED and you convert you can likely mix in HPS to find ideal coverage and maxes and with that amount of plants even a 10% increase over just hps (yield / cost per grow) or just LED alone would make up for the added cost of dual systems.

    But from a cash flow stand point your endeavorer would be much more valuable in as little as 2 years.
  9. Moose,

    No, i am not worried about being discreet. That is not one of the reasons I am thinking LED. The biggest reason I wana go LED is to avoid dealing with the ducting required to cool 12 1000 watt HPS lights.

    I understand that leds will not keep with up HPS but I am considering buying twice as many lights as I would have bought if i went HPS. I know this will cost A LOT more to start up... but i will not have to bust up the house for ducting and eventually I think the electric bill costs will offset the initial cost. I am just wondering if the yeild with 2X the led lights will be similar to the yeild of the HPS.
  10. You would need at least 3/4 of the wattage with current tech LED I think to even come close to what you would be able to pull on an HPS imo. I own what was a $700 LED, I use it on my mothers now....
  11. Actually I would LOVE for you to go LED and pull off a great grow... if you could I would switch myself I think. Truly, when I was advising you not to, in the back of my mind I was rooting for you to not listen to me because I really really would love to see a grow like that. So if you do go LED please have a journal just update it once a month even but please keep us updated if you do a massive LED grow.
  12. Yeh, I second the journal for sure. Ultimately, you should go with what you are most comfortable with. An hps/led hybrid is also a possibility. I would contact the folks at hydrogrow led with a list of questions so you have an idea of what you would need in terms of lighting and cooling. They were really good answering a long list of questions I had before I bought my light.
  13. Bohbo,

    I am trying to do this for profit. I am not worried about being discreet with the electric bill but I dont want my neighbors knowing so the house will look just like every other house on the block... just with a 4 didget electric bill. haha

    My original thought was to go 75 percent HPS and have a 25 percent LED experiment.... but here is my thought on that....

    I can afford to buy the LEDs now... so if i do one grow with LED and CFL and they suck... i can probably sell them on ebay and recoup most of my money. I figure i should be able to get enough of a discount for buying 20-25K worth of lights in one purchase to at least break even if i had to sell them. How ever... if i bust up the house for ducting and the LEDs actually do work I would want to replace all HPS with LED... I could sell the HPS and try to get my money back out of them... but the bulbs would be used (have less life in them then the LEDs percentage wise) and id have to eat all the ducting and sheetrock used to vent the heat... and id have to eat all the repair costs to remove the now unnecasary ducts.

    I read that about 60 to 65 percent of the light a HPS light kicks off is not usable to plants anyways... so that knocks a 1000 watter down to 350 to 400 watts of usuable light right? So then if thats true, and LEDs actually do work.. you would think that 2 300 watt LEDs would beat 1 1000 watt HPS. Yes, i know i could get the HPS for about 4 or 500 bucks and the two LEDs might cost me 2K.... BUT i wont have to run all the ducts and have an air conditioner going so I should save that back on the electric bill.

    thoughts everyone?
  14. Your argument is sound, the fact that it sounds like you are renting or you would just leave ventilation. So, yeah go for it. I say you give that journal and a few others. I have seen LED grows work, maybe you can too. Don't they have some big LED grow lights ...

    Found the ones I was thinking of LED Grow Lights from ProSource Worldwide - LED Grow Lights w/ 5-Band Tri-Spectrum design. Newest technology available.
    LED Grow Lights from ProSource Worldwide - LED Grow Lights w/ 5-Band Tri-Spectrum design. Newest technology available.

    Not sure how they compare but i figure if you were dropping that kind of cash any quick pricing alternatives would be welcome.
  15. I just went to the website that supplied the UFOs for that test

    they claimed that 1 of their 180 watt ufos would keep up with a 600 watt HPS.... Thats total BS because two of them couldnt keep up with the 400 watt hps... altho they did have the heat up there pretty high.

    Ugh.. this is not simple.
  16. I am not thinking getting 700 watt LEDs would be the way to go... even if the manufacturers claim of being equal to 2400 watts of HPS were true... you wouldnt put all 2400 watts at one place.

    I was thinking of having some 300 watt leds on light movers above the crop then have a lot of smaller 28 watt (claimed equal to 250 watts hps) coming in from the sides. I am just thinking spreading the light around would it more flexable and i could move things to eliminate shadows.
  17. bohbo,

    I am actually not renting a house. I actually bought a brand new house to do this. It is the model in the neighborhood with the biggest basement. I think it has an upstairs, maybe some toilets somewhere, whatever, hahaha

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