Is It Time To Replace My Lights?

3 months ago

I've been forever in search of the best way to up my yield of every crop I've planted and harvested and over the weekend I spent a little time planning out my 2020 regular garden and I was just searching through some gardening websites when I came across one that led to me to another and so on.

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I remember my first grow (Sour Diesel) using the VIPARSPECTRA light (image above) a few years ago. It was, to date, probably my best grow. The buds were large and dense; and quite plentiful. Since that time, I have expanded my grow room (four tents now) and added more lights. But it seems as though no matter how attentive I am to the plants, they just aren't producing as much as I want. So...I am starting to eliminate potential reasons.

Last week I wrote a post about nutrient additives and was questioning if this was the culprit. I have yet to make it to the hydro store but am planning a trip this coming weekend when my husband can drive me there. Watch for another post coming about some new alternatives I found in my recent searching.

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This Phlizon is one light that I've added; as well as two more.

I've had these two lights for almost two years now; and they have seen dozens of cannabis plants go through the grow tents. So this got me thinking... should I replace them?

I also have two of these HPS lights. These are great for added light (and warmth) in the grow tents; but they can cause your power bill to go up more than you care for. Aside from the electric bill increasing, I also discovered that replacing the bulbs is not super easy. The first time I needed to replace a burned out bulb caused me to order (twice) from Amazon; only to have to return them as they were incorrect. I ended up at the hydro-store with the original (burned out) bulb and had to have them order it specially for me; as they didn't carry that type (the screw in portion of the bulb was a unique size).

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Types Of Lighting For Indoor Growing

Before we can get into how long a lighting system will work to its best capabilities, you have to determine which type of lighting you are using; or want to use.

  • T5 Fluorescents
  • LED
  • High Intensity Discharge (HID)
  • High Pressure Sodium (HPS)

While there are more options, these seem to be the most common.

So above I showed the types of lighting I use. The 150W HPS I'm not so concerned about replacing; as I only use this during the veg state. What I'm having issues with is the longevity of the LED lights I use for flowering. See, I use the LED lights combined with the HPS during the veg state, so these lights (just as with any light bulb) are getting far more hours of light time.

While looking into pricing, and the possibility of purchasing new lights, I discovered that both brands (Phlizon and VIPARSPECTRA) offer two year warranties. So I contacted both companies about their individual warranties to see if they could help before I order another $400 worth of lights.

While reading some of the below quoted resources, I did discover that over time (just as with regular light bulbs) the intensity and output does weaken; seems pretty common sense really, but I never took that into consideration.

So regardless if the companies will honor a warranty for this or not, I will be getting some new lights in the next week or two.

How about you? How often do you update your lighting system(s)?

Resources

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Image Banner by @mrspacely

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I added lights but haven't replaced any panels yet and after this grow I am taking a break because of other opportunities and taking unnecessary risks has to be put on hold for a minute. I am sad about that but I will be back at growing before we know it. I am finishing out the plants currently growing but when they are done I am packing up the grow stuff for a bit.

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Oh no! So sorry to hear that you need to stop, but i can understand.

Hopefully all will work out sooner than later.

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yeah it sucks but this opportunity has me actually getting my meds for free so it is working out for me currently either way just too many risks at once isn't something I want to take.

Two things I have always found helped the most for yield which I believe many people overlook, c02 & oxygenated(err maybe it’s called carbonated water)... I have made c02 bombs with bakers yeast, water and sugar with decent results just gotta shake it daily and replace weekly... for the water I had an additive which was basically really strong hydrogen peroxide h202 I think... it’s been awhile 😅

In short if you feel the lights are adequate and nutrition is available last options are the air and water specifically...

PS my experience with c02 in grow rooms tells me global warming is bullshit, plants thrive with higher levels of c02 and will become accustomed to intaking the higher amounts the longer they are exposed to it... on the other side I have “shocked“ my plants when forgetting to refresh the c02 bombs

Yes it makes sense to use good LEDs for growing.

VIPARSPECTRA are not doing well with growing hemp, because they only use low efficient LEDs.

Take a look at:
https://horticulturelightinggroup.com/collections/lamps/products/refurbished-hlg-550-v1

You really should look into the newer mid-power white LEDs. They're far more efficient than blurples, and the price has been coming down. You can get them for just over a buck a watt now.

A couple vendors are Mars-Hydro and BudgetLED.

They'll last 50,000 hours without fade or failure. I've had mine for 2 years now and still haven't read about a failure of any kind.

My 2 Full Spectrum and Red Spectrum LED light bulbs have been running strong for 2 years now.