Question: If I have several 4x4 tables, let's say 6 of them running down one side of a room, where I use one 1000 watt HPS grow light per table....how would I space the lamps if I decided to switch them out to 600 watt grow lights? Will the 600's last as long as the 1000s? Or will I end up replacing them more often? Rumor has it that the 600s don't last as long. Thanks, G
Answer: G- I've seen 4'x 8' gardens lit by one 600 watt grow light on a 24" light mover that have done very well. In my opinion, one 600w light over each 4'x 4' area should be just fine. It comes out to 37.5 watts per square foot, which is a little less than what I usually recommend as a bare minimum (which is 40w/sq.ft.).
The more efficiently you are using the light, the better the garden will perform under these light conditions obviously. To make the best use of the light in an indoor garden, I normally use ventilated lights with glass in the bottom. This allows the gardener to remove more of the heat from the lamp, and therefore place the lights closer to the tops of the plants.
Also be sure to check out this hot tip, where I discuss exactly why I prefer 600w grow lights over 1000w lights. Don't get me wrong- in a grow supply shop here in Denver the other day I was talking to a shop clerk who said it was the 1000 watt lights they couldn't keep in stock, and it was the 600 watt lights that they had trouble getting rid of. She was talking about the used equipment, but I thought the comment was interesting anyway.
Besides the HOT TIP above, here's another thing to keep in mind. On an average 15 amp electric circuit, you can run one 1000w grow light. If you are using 600w lights, you can potentially fit two lights onto the same 15 amp circuit.
I have been gardening for over 22 years now, as of 2015, and in my experience there is very little to no difference in the life of the lights when compared to each other. I use Hortilux bulbs in my lamps, and whether they are in a 1000w light or a 600w light they tend to run about 24 months before having a significant drop in usable light requiring their replacement. This may not be the case if you are comparing one particular brand of 1000w bulb to a different brand of 600w bulb, and this is exactly the kind of comparison you end up with when you get a bunch of gardeners together all talking about their equipment and their experiences.
So my advice would be to change out those 1000w lights with the 600w lights and, at least for the first garden after that, stick to the original spacing of the 1000w grow lights. I think you will be pleasantly surprised....Happy Growing!
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Hi everyone, Jason from Jason's Indoor Guide here. When I got started with hydroponic gardening more than 24 years ago, my first garden used rockwool cubes and B.C. Nutrients....and I remember thinking to myself yeah, sure, there may be a lot of advantages to gardening with hydroponics, for example there are very few pest problems, therefore very little pest control, no weeding, no plowing or tilling the soil, no soil testing or having to add things into the garden soil, no watering the garden....but for someone who just wants to grow their own vegetables and have more control over their food supply and the quality of the food that they eat, the cost of constantly having to buy grow media and hydroponic nutrients makes this an expensive hobby for most people...
I suppose when you take into consideration how much money you save NOT
having to buy food at the grocery store, it is surely cheaper to grow
your own food hydroponically even with the cost of high quality
nutrients. Nevertheless, I didn't have a whole lot of money to work with
and I needed to make my efforts as affordable and effective as
possible....and in the last 24 years I HAVE learned a thing or two!
As you browse through Jason's Indoor Guide, you will notice all of the systems that I use personally are homemade systems. As I got 3 or 4 years of experience under my belt, I quickly adopted a preference to standing water systems and systems that use expanded clay pellets or lava rock, because the media is re-usable and it eliminates a huge operating expense. So once a hydroponic system is built, garden maintenance is minimal- check and adjust the nutrient solution daily, and to change it completely every 2 weeks....and the biggest operating cost is the hydroponic nutrients. (and the electric bill, lol)...
And, regarding the cost of the nutrients....I experimented for about 3 years with making different compost teas and nutrient teas, but there is still a lot of expense $$$ associated with making high quality nutrient teas....like kelp meal, liquid seaweed, rock dust, bat guano, un-Sulfured molasses, worm castings. You can eliminate a lot of this expense by becoming an expert at making high-quality colloidal humus compost, and use your properly made compost as the basis of your hydroponic nutrient solution.
Unfortunately, I have been gardening for over 24 years and I have only
just recently mastered this difficult skill....and even then, only
because I happened to find a very easy to follow, high quality technique
and decided to follow the instructions to the letter. I produced more
high quality compost in just one week than I was able to use in a whole
year! If you can master the technique, I highly recommend it. It is one of the top 3 things you can do to
increase the productivity of your food production efforts, while at the
same time decreasing the amount of effort required to grow all of your
own food, and decreasing the total cost of operating your food
And when I say decrease operating costs, I mean decrease them to almost ZERO, especially if you are producing your own nutrients...
The ultimate solution to eliminate the cost of your hydroponic nutrients: Imagine a hydroponic system that does not require you to buy any nutrients, does not require you to make your own compost, and does not require you to brew your own nutrient tea. Seriously! No cost and no effort as far as providing nutrients to your plants! Plus, at the end of the gardening cycle you harvest all of your garden vegetables, PLUS YOU HARVEST FISH from the system--->
This solution is aquaponics. If you are serious about producing all of your own food and being self-sufficient, this is the ultimate solution for reducing expenses (as much as possible), reducing the total amount of work required, and maximizing the productivity of your gardening efforts. I have been gardening for over 24 years, and it is the perfect food production solution in my opinion.
Besides mastering how to make high quality compost, learning aquaponics is one of the top 3 things you can do to increase your garden productivity, reduce your total costs, and reduce your total work. The product that I learned from is called Aquaponics4you. With all of my hydroponic gardening experience, the first time I came across the Aquaponics4you product I knew immediately that it was something very special! Place an aquaponics system outdoors and use the sun instead of grow lights, and you have reduced every garden expense to nearly ZERO!
The Same System/ 10 Weeks Later!