600s vs 1000s

by G
(Sacramento CA)

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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