CFL vs 70w HPS vs 150w HPs vs 400w HPs

Discussion in 'Indoor Lighting' started by headshake, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. headshake

    headshake Registered+

    sorry for the confusing title but this is a battle royal of lumens, if you will. i am in the planning stages of a new frank (for those of you not following the grows, frank is the name given to my pet project by my wife, a la frankenstein, a mix-mash pile of parts i put together).

    the dimensions of the new box are gonna be 45.5" x 21" x 24" (l x w x h). i was thinking about using two 6 bulb (~36", each bulb is ~1600 lumes.) light bars with Y splitters and 26w CFLs of the appropriate temperature. then while at lowes i saw a 70w HPS security light for $35 (forgot to check the lumens). they also have a 150w HPS for $85 (~16,000 lumens).

    and i guess the final option would be a 400w HPS found online for around $130.

    my question is with the dimensions that i'm working with, what lighting would work best? i was thining possibly two of the 70w or 150w HPS'. or the one 400w HPS. i just don't know how well the one bulb will cover the dimensions.

    any thoughts, ideas, input or suggestions? thanks in advance.

    and yes, i'm aware new cooling will be needed!

  2. bigtopsfinn

    bigtopsfinn Registered+

    400 HPS FTW!

    my closet is 22.5" x 22.5" x 67.5", and I have a 400w HPS with cooltube and 129 cfm inline fan pulling air through a carbon filter first, then the cooltube, then the fan which is outside of my closet. Temps are a little high but within range, so for your dimensions I'd get a stronger fan than mine... Second link in my sig has more info. Good luck!
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Loafyboy

    Loafyboy Registered+

    Hi Shake,
    My grow area is ~ 28" x 18" (w x d) which is 2 1/3 foot by 1 1/2 foot. in total this makes ~ 3 1/2 square foot (2.33 multiplied by 1.5)

    I aimed for 7500+ lumens per square foot so went for a 250watt HPS with 28000 lumens. So I get around 8000 per square foot (28000 divided by 3.5).

    Yours would be 3.75 foot x 1.75 foot, so ~ 6.5 square foot.
    6.5 sq ft x 7500 lumens = 48750 lumens total.

    So a 400w HPS should be good as they put out around 50000 lumens. :thumbsup:
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2009
  4. Loafyboy

    Loafyboy Registered+

    Just thought 24" doesn't sound very high. Unless the 45.5" dimension is the height, in which case you have around the same sq ft as me, so a 250w HPS would be good!

    Sorry if I am confusing things....:stoned:
    • Like Like x 1
  5. headshake

    headshake Registered+

    lofa, i'm going for a sea of green perpetual harvest. so as soon as the ladies get roots they will be going directly to flower, do not pass go, do not collect $200! lol. so i don't think the 24" height is a problem. it will be a flood and drain system.

    i am currently using an ~27" tall box. i grew 4 plants in there and pulled a little more than 2 ounces using only CFLs. i appreciate the input. and i might have to revamp the dimensions, aka find a new box. lol.

    my concern with the 400w is that the footrpint won't cover the entire footprint of the box. i hope that it will, because that would rock!

    thanks for the input guys and gals. keep it coming!

  6. bigtopsfinn

    bigtopsfinn Registered+

    The 400 should have no problems covering the footprint, especially with flat white walls, you will get a lot of reflection. With my Scrog, I did a stadium-type because I thought the buds on the edges wouldn't get as much light, but it turns out now that the buds on the edges are the biggest! No worries with the footprint, IMO, but if you feel necessary, just throw a couple of those cfls toward the edges.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. bigtopsfinn

    bigtopsfinn Registered+

    LOL... I just noticed the L x W x H part... my bad! I would say if you want a 400 in there, you will need a little more head room, even with a cooltube. Any chance you could turn it on it's side? You can still fit a lot of small plants in that area, and they will be getting tons of light. Otherwise with such a low ceiling, the cfl's might be the best way to go...
  8. headshake

    headshake Registered+

    i can orientate it anyway neccissary. i am just trying to get a perspetual SOG going. i don't know. it's obviously still in the research phase. i appreciate all of the feedback though! i'll keep everyone informed. i've thought about it and i just can't justify paying for the two 150w HPS' when i could pick up the 400w.

    decisions, decisions.

    thanks again!

  9. Shovelhandle

    Shovelhandle Registered+

    a 400 watt hps can grow up to one sq meter area. You describe a .33 sq meter area. I would not go with less than 150W HPS. remember when using the florescents that they may not put out the watts per lumen of the HPS. Also, specific HID lamps designed for plants should generally be more efficient.

  10. irydyum

    irydyum Registered+

    If you are worried about the footprint of your growspace not matching the footprint of your light, you shouldn't be. If you haven't purchased the light and reflector yet, talk to the people you purchase it from and let them know what shape your space is so they can get the right reflector for your application.
  11. FatSean

    FatSean Registered+

    Only 24" of height? Will the bulb and reflecter be within this space? If so, I'd go with two 150 watt lamps. Maybe one MH, one HPS and swap plants arround to get a fuller spectrum.

    My 400 watt MH hood is easily 10" tall, and then the plants can't get closer than 12" to the bulb or they scorch.
  12. sobekobe

    sobekobe Registered+

    Is that with or without a cooltube?
  13. Dutch Pimp

    Dutch Pimp Up in Smoke

    12-15 inches is about the minimun distance from the canopy; with a 400 watt light...IMO.

    With a cool tube; you can get closer without heat damage, but you still have to watch for light bleaching, when real close. Closer; is not necessary, or better....IMO.
  14. headshake

    headshake Registered+

    thanks dutch et al. i decided to use the box in the "tall" position. so i'll now be working with a height of 45.5". and with the other dimensions i should be working with 3.5 sq feet (if my math is right).

    i just decided to add more CFLs for the time being. until i can build a proper box (or get a closet or something). i picked up two, 4 light vanity bars at home depot for $8.00/each. so i'll have 16 26W CFLs, pushing 1600 lumens apiece. that's using parts from the original frank. with the two new light bars i'll just be running one bulb in each spot for the time being. once money allows, i'll add Y splitters and more bulbs.

    1600 * 16 = 25,600/3.5 = 7314.29 lumens per square foot.

    once the Y splitters are installed i should be pushing just under 11,000 lumens per. i might get froggy and get some of those huge CFLs that plug into a normal socket. who knows.

    thanks again everyone!

  15. BeFree

    BeFree Registered+

    Those huge ones that fit into a normal lampsocket aren't really worth it. I 'had' a 65watter. Only put out 3900 lumens, at 3100k, not the typical 2700k. Multiples of the 26 watters seem more efficient. I'd figure the more surface area and the more coils of bulb would help deal with heat.

    Buy Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs:

    Take it easy shakezoola.:hippy:


    ((edit)) Was Frank introduced from Donnie Darko? I'm curious to why the Mrs. chose 'frank'. =P
    Last edited: May 15, 2009
  16. headshake

    headshake Registered+

    be, you are probably right. although, i did find some at home depot that were 2700K, that put out like 4000 something lumens for $15/each. something like that. they aren't listed on the website for some reason.

    i'll just stick with these until i get my 600W HPS!

  17. frostedwonder

    frostedwonder Registered+


    Hey, I went with a switchable digital 400 galaxy lamp and sun system2 hood and am loving it so far but with my box I had to add some cfl to help with some corners of the box having a bit of darkness. I would switch to two lamps with low head space next time for myself. I dig the vanity bar thing your talking about. Seeing it used more and more on here and other places. Look forward to seeing frank..:thumbsup:
  18. headshake

    headshake Registered+

    thanks frosted! i've been meaning to check out your log, i just caught it so late and it had so many responses already! i did glance at it a bit. and as soon as i get done i'm gonna read through it (because i want to!). the title sparked my interest (and i've also read some of your posts, and you seem knowledgable so that peaks my interest even more). and no this is not some kind of e-stroke job. lol.

  19. Balkey

    Balkey Registered+

    Honestly head, I wish you would have gone with any type of hps. With 16 27watters you using more than 400 watts of power and getting HALF the lumens of a 400 watt hps. That's a major difference.

    The other aspect of an hps vs. cfl is light penetration. An hps will penetrate MUCH more than cfls thus giving you more bud on the lower and side branches. After about an inch from the cfls, the light intensity/lumens drops dramatically for cfls. The difference when switching from cfls to an hps, is very noticeable and VERY attractive.

    BUT, cfls do work, I used them for over a year. 10 cfls to be exact 27 watters. Results were satisfactory but not even close to the plants potential. I tried those bigger cfls from home depot, 65 watter, 4000+ lumens last time and had 3 of them to replace 6 27watters and it worked out not too bad, but still not even close to what an hps would have accomplished.

    My 2 cents. :stoned:
    Last edited: May 15, 2009
    • Like Like x 1
  20. headshake

    headshake Registered+

    thanks for the info balkey! agree with everything that you said!

    my problem is that i dove head first (halfway kidding/not knowing what to expect) head first into this little hobby of ours. so like many others (and against all logic and reason in the long run) i started with a few CFLs (actually a cheap walmart tube fluorescent) and continued to add more as opposed to intially investing in an HPS to begin with. and yes, i've probably spent more than a 400W HPS would have ran. ah, to be young and foolish....

    actually in my defense, i didn't know better (aka didn't do my research before hand, cause how difficult or how much could be involved in growing a plant). also, my wife would have never went for that. she hated me doing this at first, although she has grown to accept and even support me. it just goes to show what passion can pull off, eh!?

    so i have learned my lesson and do wish i had about a 600W HPS. but i don't and am working with what i have. it's amazing what can be done in a cardboard box with a little ingenuity.


Share This Page