What Size Light Should I Buy For One Plant?

Discussion in 'First Time Marijuana Growers' started by skeletorsuncle, Aug 14, 2014.

  1. I hope this topic hasn't been covered before. I searched and was unable to find an answer to my problem. I am contemplating a grow tent that is 4' X 4' x 7'. I only want to grow one plant at a time, because I don't smoke much, have NO intention of selling anything, and don't want to build up a massive stash
    \nMy question is thus: what size light should I get? I was gifted a 400 watt HPS/MH switchable ballast, but the last time I plugged it in it sparked, started buzzing loudly, and shocked me pretty bad when I touched the case of the ballast. This is when it is in the OFF position (as opposed to the MH or HPS position). It also has trouble starting the HPS bulb (sometimes it will start, sometimes not). So I don't think it's safe.
    \nSo I have to buy a light, I'm trying to decide whether I would benefit from buying something larger than a 400 watt, considering I will only have one plant at any given time. I've read a lot about lighting, and the consensus seems to be that a 600 watt is perfect for a 4' x 4' room, but everyone talks about how many plants you can cover with that wattage and area. I have no desire to achieve a maximum yield for my space. I simply want to achieve a maximum yield from one plant at a time, while wasting as little electricity as possible.
    \nWhat I've been looking at thus far is a dimmable ballast (either 1000 watt or 600 watt), or a regular 600 watt, or possibly the new 860 watt Philips ceramic metal halide. Or if it would work, even the 330 watt ceramic. I've read good things about the ceramics, but I don't know enough about lighting to make a decision. Thanks to everyone for any assistance possible!
    \nTLDR: What wattage and type of light should I buy to maximize yield from ONE plant (and only one plant at a time) in a 4' x 4' x 7' tent while minimizing electrical costs. Thanks!

  2. I would use 400w. Lower electric costs, plenty for one plant, has a good reach, easier to cool than 600w.

    Last time I grew one plant under 600w I got a half pound.
  3. Try to figure out how much you smoke on average so you can estimate what your needs for 4-5 months (in terms of grams) so you can grow that size plant.
  4. I personally smoke about 1 ounce every 5 months or so. But I have friends that always want to join in and of course never want to chip in, so with that added to it I would estimate maybe 2 ounces every 5 months.
    My goal, however, is more to find a point where diminishing returns from adding more light won't add much more yield, and I'm just not sure if that's at 400 watt, 600 watt, or 1000 watt. I would prefer to maximize each plant and grow less often than to have a substandard yield from each plant and grow more frequently, while at the same time not wasting money on electricity that isn't adding to my yield.
  5. Using just a 400 watt you should be good to cover you and your friends. Focusing that on a single plant you should easily get 2-3 oz of some quality bud, some popcorn at the bottom.
    Popcorn bud isn't useless, it just depends on a few things. If you have time and enjoy growing you can learn about cutting off smaller bud sites that won't make it, or about something like scrog. That will help maximize large, generally evenly sized buds with little to no popcorn. If you just wanted to grow a plant without much tending you can use the popcorn bud for something like butter or oil, while still having a few ounces of dank.
    I'm happy to hear you aren't using the ballast you were given. A 400 watt cool tube setup with two bulbs and ballast is around $150, no reason to risk something like an electrical fire for that money.
    • Like Like x 2
  6. So it seems like the consensus here is probably to go with another 400 watt. Let me pose the question one more way, do you think swapping to a 600 watt would give me a 50% increase in my yield without increasing the number of plants?
    I should probably mention that this isn't my first grow, I have had a few with varying levels of success (starting off using CFL's and moving on to the current, broken, 400 watt HPS).
    That was my point, half pound off a 600w is pathetic. I'd have gotten the same weight with a 400w under the same conditions. But I'd never get that off my 250w. IMO, 400w is the sweet spot if growing a single plant for personal use.
  8. Ooh Ok I misunderstood you, I thought you were first suggesting a 400 watt and then touting the qualities of a 600 watt lol.
    • Like Like x 1

Share This Page