Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

I couldn't find this anywhere on the forum, but correct me if I am wrong...I am building the Friendly Aquaponics Micro-System 64 with 2 - 4'x8' beds in my basement with no natural sunlight access.

 

What indoor lighting system will be the most effective, yet easy on the wallet and monthly wallet electric bill.

 

Any advise would be great.

 

Thanks guys,

 

PS - I just joined, and the positive energy on this forum is awesome, so I hope not to ruin it with an elementary question here...

 

Josh

Views: 246

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

For your situation keep in mind if you do Florescent, you basically need fixtures to cover the entire foot print of the beds so don't assume they will be more efficient.  (If you were to use the 2'x4' 4 bulb T5 fixtures you would need 4 of them over each bed so a total of 8)  Florescent fixtures need to be really close to the leaves of the plants to be very effective.  If you want to grow a variety of plants you might be better off getting one or two metal halide lamps you can place further away from the plants.

Lights like these will work well and are energy efficient.

http://www.specialty-lights.com/new-wave-t5.html

I would recommend running like 8 of them for such a system though.

 

I'm not great at math, but $250 x 8 is a lot of money in lights.

 

Am I really looking at 2 g's in light???

 

 

Do a bit of research as when you are trying to light a larger foot print, a metal halide light can cover a far larger foot print from further away then the floros can.  I believe the total wattage used to light per square foot tends to come out close to even.

The floros are fine for growing things that are all the same size so you can put the light down really close to the plant but the stronger grow lights are probably more appropriate to the kind of square footage you are planning.

 

grow light guide

don't know how good it is but it was high on the list when I did a quick google search

 

I expect you could get by with only two or three of the High intensity lights depending on what you get which you should be able to manage well under 1 G

 

Well, after a trip to the local Brew & Grow store, he recommended 2 of the following:

  • Hotilux 1000 Bulb
  • MAgnum XXXL 6" Ref w/ Socket
  • 1000 Elite Ballast

I was quoted $1,144 total.

 

Whattyal think???

 

If you want to get exceptional plant growth you probably need something at least close to that.  You will also need to think about proper ventilation and air movement in the room.  Humidity could also be an issue depending on your climate.  The lights will help keep the room warm at least.
you could probably light it with 4 400w Halides.  These can be found pretty cheaply on E-bay.    The thing is that you will probably want more than you think. With 8 of the 4tube T5's or 4 of the 400 watt halides you could still see more stretching of your plants than outdoors.  The sun is an amazingly powerful machine and most people underestimate how much power it takes to imitate it.  There will be no easy on the wallet way to light a system that size.  25 kilowatts a day is a good estimate, not sure how much a Kilowatt is where you live.

Ill put my 2 cents in...   First of all, one thing i have learned about indoor lighting is that you really do get what you pay for(excluding LED's, which i have no experience with). My background on the subject is that I have been growing with indoor lighting for over 4 years now, and have a group of friends that run their own hydroponics store. Now the type of lighting is going to be subject to which plants you intend to grow.  So which type of plants are ya thinking about Josh?  Looking at the suggestions from the guys at Brew and grow, i would say there is no way that is enough light for 2 4'x8' beds.  Now if you add a light rail you could get away with that amount of lighting. If you don' use a light rail u will need at least 2 more complete HID lighting systems.  Light rails, they are about $250 a piece i believe, which is alot less than another HID setup.  Now if you dont want to have light rails u would suggest going with 4 600W or 4 400W (as Richard said) instead of 1000W which will save you money compared to 4 1000W systems, but still cost more than light rails and 2 HID lights.  As for the reflector, "bigger is better" is so American and is rarely ever true.  I personally believe those giant reflectors are a waste.  I like the super sun original, but the only have 4" air cooled fittings.  There are other reflectors that are good but i would suggest staying away from any of the XL type stuff.  On the ballast side of things, if you have any ability to get the extra cash, go with DIGITAL!  They are unbelievably superior to the magnetic C&C ballasts. Try the brands, galaxy, quantum, lumatek, etc.  The websites to those companies will explain why electronic ballast are better, and their are quite a few legitimate reasons. Lets just say I will never buy a non-electronic ballast ever again. 

 

T5 florescent lights are great lights but pay attention to what TC said about them; ie they have to be close to the top of the plants, they have a small footprint, and canopy penetration is not that great.  I personally prefer HID lighting on light rails(they move the light back and forth.) I have had a 1000W on a light rail over a 4x8 and a 400W over a 4x8.  If your are growing leafy greens then you could use a 400W w/ a light rail if you are on a low budget, and i believe that to be legitimate.  Now the best would be to get a 1000W which has dim-able capabilities w/ a rail.  This way you can adjust the amount of light to suit your particular situation. Also i would suggest Metal halide (with a balanced spectrum if possible, such as a digilux brand) over HPS.  But once again this depends on what plants you intend on growing.  Hope this helped, feel free to ask for more info. 

 

Also i saw you went to Brew and Grow,  it looks like u live in rockford,  did you go to the rockford Brew and Grow ?  If so, i stopped going to that location years ago because i know more about growing then any of the employees (which is sad since i love talking hydro to people who know their stuff to share information with each other), their selection is weak, and their prices suck.  It is a drive to go somewhere else, but i highly suggest, Paradigm Gardens or the Brew and Grow in Madison, WI.  The size of those stores will blow ones mind!  My buddies run paradigm gardens and if you make the trip they will definitely treat you right.

I'll have to remember to send Lighting questions to you now AJ.  Heck, is there a lighting group yet or perhaps a lighting thread we should be pointing people to?

Right on. Thanks for the input. I am only 45 minutes south of Madison and visit quite frequently.

To answer your question - I just want to have salad greens for my family for dinner on most nights. Bibb Lettuce, Swiss Chard, Romaine, ect.

 

PLEASE give me your advise on this.

 

 - Josh

 

   

AJ Grottke said:

Ill put my 2 cents in...   First of all, one thing i have learned about indoor lighting is that you really do get what you pay for(excluding LED's, which i have no experience with). My background on the subject is that I have been growing with indoor lighting for over 4 years now, and have a group of friends that run their own hydroponics store. Now the type of lighting is going to be subject to which plants you intend to grow.  So which type of plants are ya thinking about Josh?  Looking at the suggestions from the guys at Brew and grow, i would say there is no way that is enough light for 2 4'x8' beds.  Now if you add a light rail you could get away with that amount of lighting. If you don' use a light rail u will need at least 2 more complete HID lighting systems.  Light rails, they are about $250 a piece i believe, which is alot less than another HID setup.  Now if you dont want to have light rails u would suggest going with 4 600W or 4 400W (as Richard said) instead of 1000W which will save you money compared to 4 1000W systems, but still cost more than light rails and 2 HID lights.  As for the reflector, "bigger is better" is so American and is rarely ever true.  I personally believe those giant reflectors are a waste.  I like the super sun original, but the only have 4" air cooled fittings.  There are other reflectors that are good but i would suggest staying away from any of the XL type stuff.  On the ballast side of things, if you have any ability to get the extra cash, go with DIGITAL!  They are unbelievably superior to the magnetic C&C ballasts. Try the brands, galaxy, quantum, lumatek, etc.  The websites to those companies will explain why electronic ballast are better, and their are quite a few legitimate reasons. Lets just say I will never buy a non-electronic ballast ever again. 

 

T5 florescent lights are great lights but pay attention to what TC said about them; ie they have to be close to the top of the plants, they have a small footprint, and canopy penetration is not that great.  I personally prefer HID lighting on light rails(they move the light back and forth.) I have had a 1000W on a light rail over a 4x8 and a 400W over a 4x8.  If your are growing leafy greens then you could use a 400W w/ a light rail if you are on a low budget, and i believe that to be legitimate.  Now the best would be to get a 1000W which has dim-able capabilities w/ a rail.  This way you can adjust the amount of light to suit your particular situation. Also i would suggest Metal halide (with a balanced spectrum if possible, such as a digilux brand) over HPS.  But once again this depends on what plants you intend on growing.  Hope this helped, feel free to ask for more info. 

 

Also i saw you went to Brew and Grow,  it looks like u live in rockford,  did you go to the rockford Brew and Grow ?  If so, i stopped going to that location years ago because i know more about growing then any of the employees (which is sad since i love talking hydro to people who know their stuff to share information with each other), their selection is weak, and their prices suck.  It is a drive to go somewhere else, but i highly suggest, Paradigm Gardens or the Brew and Grow in Madison, WI.  The size of those stores will blow ones mind!  My buddies run paradigm gardens and if you make the trip they will definitely treat you right.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

© 2019   Created by Sylvia Bernstein.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service