wiring a HPS light (help!)

Discussion in 'Advanced Growing Techniques' started by wengmastachung, Jan 10, 2010.

  1. HEY Hey! so i had bought a 250 watt hps ballast and bulb but didnt realize that you needed to buy MORE to get it to work. ( i know im a stoner) ANYWAY, i got this ballast here, i realize i need to get a socket, prob from home depot ( im gonna feel so sketchy asking for that ), and then what else am i gonna need for it?

    Also, i can kind of make sense of the diagrams they give me but the set up it came with sucked, so does anyone know anywhere i can find a easy to read wiring diagram, or maybe even a step by step guide for this. Ill be able to figure out how connect the wires from the ballast to the ignitor and what not but my main concern is going to be wiring the voltage shit to a plug. ( ive only done that with cell phone chargers and computer fans)

    Thanks guys!
  2. hope these help ;)
  3. Oh man, just bought a 600W Lumatek Ballast today and the guy told me I'd need a cord to go the bulb so he got me that too. I haven't bought the bulb yet but I wanted to check it out so I unpackaged everything. One cable plugs into the wall. Simple enough. Other cable has a black, white, and green cable. So I expect the white and black go to the socket and the green gets grounded close by.

    But then I'm lost so... my question is, not only do I need a socket and a bulb, but I also need a starter/ignitor and a capacitor too? What did I get myself into?! :p
  4. Ummm, what did you get yourself into???

    Buy a lumatek ballast, buy a hood to plug into it, that has the socket and everything wired, and buy the bulb you want. Hood, ballast, bulb, that's it. You can even just buy a hydrofarm cord that has a plug and a socket with no hood, but also no wiring needs to be done. Forget all the custom wiring. I'm not sure what you bought that has any open ended wires, but there's no need to make something simple so complicated...
  5. Hi MfBaker, thanks for the reply. I bought a Lumatek 600W Digital Ballast. It's all enclosed and everything. I think the pictures above don't really apply to me and seeing them irked me a little. I suppose the ignitor and capacitor shown in the pictures above are for a DIY Ballast setup.

    As for the cable I was given when I bought it, I'm assuming I would connect via the black and white cables to a socket and then ground the green wire to the hood if the hood itself wasn't pre-wired for a socket, etc.

    I'll go buy a hood I like today. Hopefully it has the socket and is already pre-wired with everything I need to connect it to the ballast and that way I just plug it all in and I'm up and working.

    And that way I can return this other cable and not have to worry about anything else.

    Thanks again.
  6. #9 MfBaker, Sep 7, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2012
    Yeah the lumatek has all that built in, easy.

    Now as for the cord, I have no idea why the hell the guy at the hydro store would sell you an open ended cord unless you specifically asked for it. It's not that hard per se to wire up, but if you are just looking for your first thing there's no reason you need to worry about custom wiring and stuff.

    Just about any decent brand hood will plug into the ballast and you will lever see those inner three wires, it should be true plug and play operation. Any brand hood that requires you to wire a cord to to yourself is cheap shit. I recently cheaped it on a flourescent fixture and went cheaper. When I opened it it didn't even have a power cord, you have to buy it and wire it yourself. Fuck that. I returned it and spent a few bucks more for the proper brand, which plugs in right out of the box. Same applies to hoods. Unless you are trying to save money or make a custom setup there's no need to deal with wiring a grow light.

    My advice for a hood is to get a XXXL or raptor. The XXX2 or mondo are ok too for the giant hood level. If you don't want that big or are more concerned with efficiency I would recommend the Melonhead hood by Advanced Nutrients. I have also heard good things about the new OG vertical hood, but they are the most expensive out of any of them. Any of those should plug right into your ballast, some will require a $5-10 adapter but that's it. Screw in bulb, plug into ballast, plug into wall and you will be shining.

    Also fwiw my advice is to always buy the 1000w ballast. Now that they are dimmable, you can run 600, 750 or 1000w bulbs with them. Now I'm sure one may say I'm not doing 1000w though. Well, if you ever decide to you will be ready to go without needing a whole new ballast. Even the 600 is a lot, the 1000 isn't all that much more. If you decide to go 1000w later and sell your used 600, chances are the price you will get will be a bigger difference than the cost between the 600 and 1000 new, if that makes sense. Also, when running a 1000w ballast at 600 you now have bigger cooling fins and more bulk, so it will stay cooler than a 600w ballast with less cooling capacity. You will not be pushing.it and in theory it should last longer than a 600w at its limit all the time. Even if that's debatable the versitility is not. Just my two cents for ya.
  7. Amazing post, thank you. Going to look at hoods right now and I'll see what they have in terms of connections.

    I really appreciate the advice on hoods since I've researched everything else and even looked at the style of hood that's best but I haven't actually read up on any brand names. Nice to have a couple to look into.

    As for the ballast, for some reason every shop I've been into didn't think there were switchable ballasts, just dimmable ballasts and most of them didn't recommend using it. Although, most stores were pushing their own ballast that was essentially a Quantum made at the same manufacturing plant with a different fan and a different name on the product.

    My original idea was to try to find a 1000W Ballast that supports 600W and 400W Bulbs and start at 400W in a smaller space and eventually move up. However the room I'm currently in the process of building is 4'x'4'x7' and will not be bigger than that for a very, very long time so I'm going to just stick with the 600W for now and if I ever get a new space I'll get a 1000W and use the 600W for veg.

    Thanks again for all your help.
  8. Yeah, any hood worth its salt will have a 15 foot pre wired cord and socket. If you only have 4x4 and doing only one light I would say for sure get a giant size hood. They are worth it.

    I would suggest the SunSystems XXXL magnum/ocho first and formost, and the hydrofarm Raptor second. What you don't want is something like the Big Kahuna, which does not come with a socket or anything. The raptor is slightly bigger but I feel the magnum XXXL is better made and easier to deal with the glass personally, which is the one bitch about these giant hoods. Make sure to get a hinged design, having to slide the glass out really sucks. There is an even bigger one now called the king cobra, but I haven't seen it in person and it uses a mogul style socket, which I don't mess with.

    Lol about the ballasts. The lumateks are the best ones I've found. The dimmer works great. Never buy a ballast with a fan in it! Only buy the gel sealed like lumtek, never the air cooled like the quantums. The 1000w does not go down to 400w, but both the 600 and 750 dimmable do. The one you got is not dimmable? It must be older stock cause all lumateks are now dimmable. And keep 750 in mind too, they are not that easy to find any more, but I grew for years with 750s and amazing results. Just nice to know you don't have to jump all the way to 1k.
  9. On this site (Lumatek Electronic Digital Ballasts Metal Halide High Pressure Sodium HID Transformer 1000 watt 600 watt 250 watt) the second 1000W from Lumatek says it supports 1000W, 600W and 400W. But it's air-cooled. I really wanted to stay away from air-cooled if possible. If I need to, I'll put an external fan towards it to keep it cool.

    The model number I got is the LK600 and it supports 600W and 400W HPS and MH Bulbs. I originally was going to buy one of each type 600W but they had HPS bulbs there that cost like 20% more than the regular kind but covered some of the veg spectrum as well (like Hortilux but quite a bit cheaper) so I bought 2 of those.

    I can't wait to get my room setup and move my plants in there. Guess I'll cover the setup of the room in my armoire grow journal... even though it's not exactly that anymore.

    By the way, I did buy a wing, and it had the shape I liked (think it's called Adjust-A-Wing) but it didn't come with a pre-wired cable so here's hoping I can wire up the socket properly and after that I should be in good shape.

    All around time they had really limited selection. There's only a few places that sell stuff. I got the one closest to what Jorge Cervantes recommended in his Ultimate Grow video. :p
  10. Ah, looks like lumatek is now phasing out 750 too :/ bummer. Air cooled is crap; let's expose the sensitive electronics to dirt and moisture in the air, and even better let's put a fan to blow even more dust into it! Brilliant! Lol! The 600w doesn't get all that hot. If yours is adjustable then it should also have a 12v output on it, small circle on the side with the dimmer. They have the lumatek ice pack, which is a fan that mounts on the ballast to keep it cool and plugs into the 12v outlet so no extra cords. Pretty cool, no pun intended, lol. I am.planning on buying them for mine cause the 1000s do get warm. Who knows how well they work, but at around 10-13 bucks it can't hurt!

    Make sure you by the right socket for the bulbs you purchased. They should have thrown it in at the store really. The adjust a wings are ok and should be doable with only one 600. I have never used them because you cannot air cool them, which is more important when you have several 1000s. If you decide to upgrade in the future to air cool it will be easy since you have the good ballast. From the ones I've used I've found hortilux and lucalox to be the best bulbs. The hortilix super blue is very awesome, but very expensive also.

    And yeah, I figured if they weren't already trying to push a magnum hood on you that it was probably pretty limited selection where you are. I forget not everywhere is the bay area, lol. But honestly if you are not paranoid I would suggest shopping online. Places are super competitive and you can get cheap and even free shipping on huge hoods and stuff even usually. Also watch cl for legit gear, you never know what you will find.
  11. I saw the little 12v outlet (covered in plastic) when I unpacked it to take a peak. I was curious what it was for so thanks for explaining it.

    I didn't buy the bulbs from the same store because one store had only Quantum air-cooled ballasts but cheap bulbs and the other had Lumatek ballasts (as well as the Quantum air-cooled ones) but their 600W bulbs were more expensive than the 1000W variety oddly enough.

    This is costing me a mini-fortune to get all set up so I wanted to save a few bucks where I could hence buying the bulbs at a different shop. I can't see them not working though. They are 600W and they would work fine in their Quantum's so no reason they wouldn't work fine in my Lumatek right? I scare easy! :p

    I'm a little paranoid ordering stuff online. Not so much from Canada but from the States because then it needs to go through customs, etc. I'll order things like neem meal but not ballasts, etc. The paranoia is probably unwarranted but I'm one of those better safe than sorry types.
  12. Yeah, metal halide costs more than hps, and since that's the veg spectrum 600s can indeed run more than 1000s. That hortilux super blue runs about $250 a bulb! Which is why I never by 600w bulbs anymore, I just use the old 1000s run at 600w.

    You will be fine with the bulbs and the lumatek. Most ballasts on the market nowadays support any bulbs.

    And oh yes, customs, lol! You still may have luck even from Canadian companies online.
  13. Just an update. I didn't realize I had to open up the socket to get access to the black and white cables. Once I cracked her open I saw everything needed including the ground. :p

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