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Old 08-02-2011, 08:17 PM #41
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Originally Posted by txskunk View Post
What if I were to cut the light and the a/c on at the EXACT same time. Somehow wire them together so that when A/C comes on the lights come on too, when it goes off lights go off... Would it appear as one large spike or would the timing have to be absolutely perfect for it to work?

.....

Why are so many "hung up" on spikes?

I thought I already covered well enough it is NOT THE SPIKES which are raising the flags!

It is the excessive usage raising flags.


Not in all states but in some.

And most of us will never know which ones those are.

And by the time we do find out...some will already have gone "down the drain".
Just because "your buddy" has "gotten away" with his crazy electricity bill that doesn't mean it'll work for you.
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Old 08-02-2011, 10:31 PM #42
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Originally Posted by Strainhunter View Post
Paying the bill and still>>>
I doubt that they will go after paying customers without being FORCED to do so by LEO.

That guy who pays his $1000+ bill every month makes up for a lot of people who don't pay their $100 bill on time.

Just wouldn't make sense from a business perspective.
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Old 08-02-2011, 10:45 PM #43
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I doubt that they will go after paying customers without being FORCED to do so by LEO.

..........

Just wouldn't make sense from a business perspective.

Electricity companies in @ least one of the states I used to live in (FL) actually have BATF trained employees for recognizing potential indoor pot growing ops.

And of course it makes no sense from a business stand point.
But so don't many other "legal" things related to growing pot.

After all it's a game.
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Old 08-02-2011, 11:26 PM #44
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Fantastic article, good info Strainhunter. We have talked about these many times and you brought much of that information and more research into one spot. Much appreciated by many I am sure

If you want to cut down on your primary electrical usage & related cooling costs it's time to start looking into LED and get away from the power hungry HID lights. Be safe out there!
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Old 08-02-2011, 11:36 PM #45
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.......

If you want to cut down on your primary electrical usage & related cooling costs it's time to start looking into LED and get away from the power hungry HID lights. Be safe out there!
Thank you SOTF420!

Since you are the LED man on ICM and have supported your claims by beautiful pics there is still one thing I don't get about doing a grow with LED's:

Say I were to "jump on to the LED train" wouldn't I need the same wattage in LED's I have now with my HID lights?
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Old 08-03-2011, 12:20 AM #46
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Most likely not, the totaly yields "per watt" with LED light is normally higher than HID in most reports from growers here on this forum. LED light is primarily only produced in the specific spectral range that is used by the plants to power photosynthesis, an HPS light for instance produces tons of wasted light in the form of IR heat energy and other wasted spectrums that we can see clear as daylight but the plants do not process for the most part. This is not written in stone and of course the best light for any plant is the kind of lighting that most closely mimics the light produced in nature from the sun but this is not always in our best interest indoors when trying to save energy & avoid detection by LEO.

Like any other technology it has it's pro and cons just like HID does. The major benefits are greatly reduced heat load, reduced total electrical usage & consumption, and greatly reduced fire risk. (LED is very very safe) There may be some performance tradeoff compared to HID but you can absolutely grow big fat mature heavy plants under high output LED growlights. You are not going to be able to do so with cheap junky units you buy for $100 off ebay though so be warned if you want quality you are going to pay for it right now with LED.

I hardly consider myself to be the resident expert here on LED but I can say firsthand that I succesfully use them and grow big healthy awesome plants with LED and even big healthy seed crops using the technology also so it is far from a novelty or tech hype. Again LED is not perfect but if I was just starting out and had money to buy lighting it would most certainly be invested into LED instead of HID. There are a number of quality lights coming to the market as of present and many of them can closely match the results of HID. I recommend the Lumigrow ES which is readily available and I know for a fact works well. Each 330 watt model can realistically replace a 400 to 600 watt HID. There are alot of variables involved when talking about yields and since I am only a personal medical grower it's not the top of my list (quality is) and in this department I can say without a doubt that LED grown Cannabis is of very high quality, and more potent imo than the same plants I have grown under HPS. This is likely due to the lack of infrared & massive radiant heat that can affect plant terpenes & degrade THC levels.

LED still produces some heat but it is a much different warm air type of heat from the unit itself which runs warm to the touch and not the tons of infrared heat energy like HPS that can be absorbed into your growroom and detected easily by FLIR scanning. This is what makes your growroom glow on the FLIR camera, not just the escaping heat itself. When you think about IR light think about the heat lamps they use to keep food warm at a buffet or cafeteria these are IR heat lamps and the same heat energy is being produced in large quantity by your HID growlights and thus causing your entire set-up & cooling system to compensate for it. If it is allowed to shine on any surface such as wood, concrete or drywall those IR light waves are being then absorbed into that structure and heating it up just like the food under the IR lamp. Same thing with heat lamps in a bathroom that warm you up on a cold night so you don't get chilly after a shower they are producing large amounts of IR which is a wavelength of energy that penetrates surfaces. The more IR heat energy you have then the more power you are using to cool your grow. The electrical savings benefits from LED are on a much larger "big picture" type of scale the savings do not just come from the consumption of the unit itself.

If you had a growroom with all thing being equal and thermostat set at 75F, one identical room lit with a 1000 watt HPS and one with an equal wattage of LED the total cooling costs and heat energy being produced would be much lower from the one lit by LED. As a result it would consume less total energy and save you money in the long term. LED also has a very long lifespan rating and the Lumigrow units for instance come with a full 5 year warranty on the unit and 50,000 hr rated lifespan on the emitters so you won't be changing out HPS bulbs either which have a much shorter lifespan and cost good money also. The savings add up and you also don't have to worry about the fire risk nearly as much with LED, if they fell into your plants or something touches agaisnt them they are not nearly hot enough to start a fire. You can touch them and hold them they are not going to burn you. LED lighting is probably the absolute safest possible method you can use for growing Cannabis indoors and for more reasons than just reduced fire risk.

So the light from LED itself on the plants does not have the IR hotspots and intense heat energy that HID can produce because again you are only giving them the specific light ranges that they need to power their growth, namely in the mid 400 nm range and mid to high 600 nm range (blue + red in basic terms). Because you are not using all the normally wasted energy to be producing all the other visible & IR light that humans see & feel but plants do not absolutely need to grow then your overall total power usage and heat load is much lower with LED because it's a much more efficient & green process of illuminating your grow. I am absolutely certain that 3 Lumigrow ES units using 330 watts each will signifigantly out yield one 1000 watt HPS fixture all things being equal and the total power usage for the lights themselves would be roughly the same. The one HID would set you back a few hundred bucks though and the 3 LED fixtures would run you about $3500 or so total. So you are going to pay for it in the front or in the back as they say. The reasons for the 3 LED fixtures being superior in this illustration is more total coverage area from multiple points of light, more total PAR light being produced, and less total infrared heat to name a few.

A good grower can actually get up to around a pound per light with larger plants in hydro with just one of these units and high yielding strains. Again, LED is not perfect and it's main drawback is cost which is several times that of HID of comparable wattage but if you can afford it I would highly encourage people to check it out because LED is a very real viable method of growing and can produce some outstanding results if you use high quality equipment. Ultimately you will be able to likely reduce your electrical footprint & usage, IR detectability by LEO and in my opinion most importantly signifigantly reduce your risk of fire indoors. All good things and all very well worth the investment if you ask me.

Lastly, LED lights do not have the start up voltage spike that is normally present with HPS lighting (more present with older style ballast and less with newer digital ones) The LED's are instant on and have a very different less easy to identify constant electrical usage that will blend better into your overall consumption with no tell tale spikes like HPS can produce. So to anyone who is looking at your usage that would commonly identify an HPS signature as a Cannabis growlight they will see none of that with your LED unit. Electrical use is still electrical usage though and with the reduced heat loads from using newer technologies like LED you can likely reduce your usage so you are much less likely to have any issues because of what is plugged into your wall socket.

You might even come out ahead of them game on this and end up with some higher quality smoke too! Some of the most frosty & delicious buds I have ever grown have come from under LED lighting. The trichomes just seem to flourish for some reason under these lights but maybe it's just what I'm growing. That could have something to do with it too! Keep it Grapefruity!
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Old 08-03-2011, 02:29 AM #47
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Fantastic grapefruit-powered dissertation on the benefits of LED. Thank for taking the time, much appreciated.
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Old 08-03-2011, 03:45 AM #48
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Penetration....one problem with LEDs
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Old 08-03-2011, 04:14 AM #49
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Penetration....one problem with LEDs
Although I haven't used LED's yet I would say that can easily be overcome with a thorough trimming or even SOG/SCROG.

I am sure SOTF420 will have a much more valid input on this.
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Old 08-03-2011, 08:00 PM #50
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led are way too expensive still and you cant grow bigass trees. when the price drops i want 4k worth
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