Author Topic: Tips on keeping the electricity bill down with an indoor grow setup  (Read 255 times)

Offline 420SA

  • Admin
  • *
  • Posts: 1780
  • Thanked: 129 times
These pointers are pretty much related to saving electricity in general but will definitely come in handy if you find your electricity bill is getting excessive since you started growing. These pointers are obvious but believe me some probably are unaware  :-blazed

  • Convert all your household light bulbs to energy saving bulbs such as Fluorescent, CFL and LED. Your ultimate goal should be LED
  • Switch your geyser on for about an hour or two a day and then switch it off. Most of us only really need the geyser for showering or bathing so plan your geyser on-time around when those activities are going to happen and then switch the geyser off. Getting a timer for your geyser would be ideal!
  • If using HID, keep track of your bulbs age and time it has been used. Older HID bulbs reaching the end of their lives will cause a ballast to draw more power to keep the bulb at the same intensity

This is a working thread in progress. Others feel free to provide your input on this matter :thumbups
 

Offline Totemic

  • Breeder & 420SA Sponsor
  • *
  • Posts: 504
  • Thanked: 8 times
Re: Tips on keeping the electricity bill down with an indoor grow setup
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2015, 12:14:35 PM »
Something else that few consider is keeping that PC running all day and night. It draws as much power as a 250w setup.
 

Maxwell

  • Guest
Re: Tips on keeping the electricity bill down with an indoor grow setup
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2015, 04:09:18 PM »
At this rate just use what you can when you can.  :-hilarious :-hilarious :-hilarious If you have an old-school power meter, a strong enough magnet can turn it back, if you have a smart meter (Geeeezuz they are another fuck up of tenders, you should see what happened in Cali with the same units!) just use a foil tray and stick it over during your lights on. In the end of it tho, how many of us actually need to worry? Sure any saving is saving, but say your entire set up is 3kw, that's still like less than R1000, the price of 10g of indoor right? So for your (call it .5g/w) you're paying 4k (4 months of growth/work) for 1.5kg of bud. Sounds like a bargain to me....  :poke

Go digital, magnetic ballasts are power guzzlers.

I still cannot wrap my head around this? How does a digital ballast use less electricity?
 

Offline Toby

  • Forum Mod
  • *
  • Posts: 908
  • Thanked: 64 times
Re: Tips on keeping the electricity bill down with an indoor grow setup
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2015, 06:50:22 PM »
Cool guys, I am of the same opinion on saving energy not just for monetary sake but for environment as well.
First thing I did in my house was change over to LED and quality geyser timer. My geyser runs 3 hours a day. The 1st month alone I saved about R250. I am currently running a LED grow light. I am using about an extra R80 bucks a month running my grow cab. So far so good. Want to try and find out want I need to run my setup on solar power?

All useful energy saving tips most welcome.  :-peace
 

Offline Green Leaf Organics

  • Early Flower
  • ****
  • Posts: 644
  • Thanked: 56 times
Re: Tips on keeping the electricity bill down with an indoor grow setup
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2015, 10:26:00 AM »
@420
Hi bud point number 3 you make about bulbs using more power as they age is only true on digital ballasts , on magnetic ballasts they just put out less light.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2015, 02:24:21 PM by 420SA »
 

Offline Green Leaf Organics

  • Early Flower
  • ****
  • Posts: 644
  • Thanked: 56 times
Re: Tips on keeping the electricity bill down with an indoor grow setup
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2015, 11:38:48 AM »
@Maxwell
Digital ballasts use roughly half the power of magnetic ballasts.  It all come down to there design. Magnetic ballasts use magnets and coils which is a very inefficient way of converting power so a lot gets lost to heat. Digitals are the other end of the scale and utilise microchips to controller and convert the power with is a lot more efficient and produce very little heat.
Cheers
Reaf
 

Offline 420SA

  • Admin
  • *
  • Posts: 1780
  • Thanked: 129 times
Re: Tips on keeping the electricity bill down with an indoor grow setup
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2015, 02:29:23 PM »
@420
Hi bud point number 3 you make about bulbs using more power as they age is only true on digital ballasts , on magnetic ballasts they just put out less light.
Thanks for that Reaf. Say for instance you're running a 600w bulb on a 600W digital ballast. Would the ballast start using more than 600w if the bulb is getting old? and can the ballast handle drawing more power?

What would be a good guideline to knowing if a bulb is nearing the end of its days?
 

Offline Green Leaf Organics

  • Early Flower
  • ****
  • Posts: 644
  • Thanked: 56 times
Re: Tips on keeping the electricity bill down with an indoor grow setup
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2015, 02:43:34 PM »
Hi bud
On digital ballasts there are chips that control the power sent to the bulbs , they can read how worn a bulb is and compensate for that by sending more power to the bulb . Therefor a the bulb will output a constant lumen output never getting less. The drawback to this is as the bulb ages you will use more power and you will have a much higher failed rate on bulbs at the end of there lifespan  due to the high power being pumped into them by the ballast to keep the lumen output constant. On a digital ballast you can test bulb age with a amp meter but you need to know what they pull with new bulbs then you can keep an eye on there age because as they get older they will draw more amps.

Magnetic  ballasts are pigs. .. they eat power and waste half of it. There only redeeming fact is that they are bullet proof. Magnetic ballasts are as tough as nails and last years. As a bulb ages on a magnetic ballast it will drop in lumen to a point were it's only outputting 50% of it's original lumens , you would think they eye would notice but it doesn't.  Best way to test a bulb on magnetic is with a light meter or an app for your phone. Once again you need to take a starting reading with a new bulb to have something to reference it to. 

I have done extensive testing between digital and magnetic and found on average magnetics pull twice there rated power output while digitals pull there rated output. All tests were done with new bulbs and ballasts.

Cheers
Reaf
 

Maxwell

  • Guest
Re: Tips on keeping the electricity bill down with an indoor grow setup
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2015, 02:45:00 PM »
:-hilarious :-hilarious :-hilarious
« Last Edit: June 10, 2015, 02:51:08 PM by Maxwell »
 

Maxwell

  • Guest
Re: Tips on keeping the electricity bill down with an indoor grow setup
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2015, 02:59:15 PM »
And don't forget to ensure you use the correct MH bulb with magnetic/electronic ballasts. Pulse vs Probe start, the former for the latter and vice versa.
 

Offline Dabtzar

  • Mid Flower
  • *****
  • Posts: 728
  • Thanked: 32 times
  • *****420/710*****
Re: Tips on keeping the electricity bill down with an indoor grow setup
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2015, 03:19:53 PM »
I still stand by using the 12-1 method that I posted on (see below)

http://http://www.420sa.co.za/index.php/topic,457.msg3455.html#msg3455

You save +-55% on your electricity use,increases yield by 30-40%, shortens flower period by 10-14 days..

:-peace
« Last Edit: June 10, 2015, 04:37:28 PM by 4207365 »
 

Offline 420SA

  • Admin
  • *
  • Posts: 1780
  • Thanked: 129 times
Re: Tips on keeping the electricity bill down with an indoor grow setup
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2015, 11:12:44 PM »
Hi bud
On digital ballasts there are chips that control the power sent to the bulbs , they can read how worn a bulb is and compensate for that by sending more power to the bulb . Therefor a the bulb will output a constant lumen output never getting less. The drawback to this is as the bulb ages you will use more power and you will have a much higher failed rate on bulbs at the end of there lifespan  due to the high power being pumped into them by the ballast to keep the lumen output constant. On a digital ballast you can test bulb age with a amp meter but you need to know what they pull with new bulbs then you can keep an eye on there age because as they get older they will draw more amps.

Magnetic  ballasts are pigs. .. they eat power and waste half of it. There only redeeming fact is that they are bullet proof. Magnetic ballasts are as tough as nails and last years. As a bulb ages on a magnetic ballast it will drop in lumen to a point were it's only outputting 50% of it's original lumens , you would think they eye would notice but it doesn't.  Best way to test a bulb on magnetic is with a light meter or an app for your phone. Once again you need to take a starting reading with a new bulb to have something to reference it to.

I have done extensive testing between digital and magnetic and found on average magnetics pull twice there rated power output while digitals pull there rated output. All tests were done with new bulbs and ballasts.

Cheers
Reaf
Super info shot Reaf :thumbups sometimes you read up on ppl saying that digital ballasts are just money making tools that aren't worth the extra money over magnetic ballasts. I reckon that's been debunked now
 

Maxwell

  • Guest
Re: Tips on keeping the electricity bill down with an indoor grow setup
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2015, 10:20:49 AM »
So essentially a 400w system has nothing to do with the actual power consumed, rather what power is needed to ignite and run the bulb, provided it is new/not compromised?
 

Offline Green Leaf Organics

  • Early Flower
  • ****
  • Posts: 644
  • Thanked: 56 times
Re: Tips on keeping the electricity bill down with an indoor grow setup
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2015, 10:44:58 AM »
@max
The 400w it's it's output , draw can vary hugely . Digitals will draw close to there 400w output while magnetics waste a lot of power to get to 400w output so it has to draw more.
 weather it's magnetic or ditigal they both pull more on startup. Digitals at startup are a lot more efficient as they have what's called a soft start were the microchips controlled the startup to just let the bulbs ignite. For example my 1000w digitals start of by only pulling a small amount to of power to get the bulbs ignited . Then after about 40 seconds you can actually see the bulbs kick I to a higher wattage and then at about 1 min they kick I to full 1000w mode. They do this for a few reasons , but it's mainly to help controlled the startup draw especially  if you turning g on multiple 1000w at a time. It takes about 10min  for a digutal hid to get to full lumen.
Magnetics on the other hand go balls to the wall from the start drawing insane amounts if power to get going , for example my 400w magnetic runs at 989w when it's been on for 20min but at the start it draws 1450w , now imagine switching on multiple magnetic ballasts at once and the wiring you would need to support it all.

It's a joke actually that my 1000w digital actually draws less on startup and the same after 20min. Well almost the same , Magnetic 400w pulls 989w while digital 1000w pulls 1005w....

Here's a nice little fact about prepaid meters I found out yesterday that if you type #1# on you metres it will tell you exactly how much you are drawing of the grid.

Hope I answered your question max as I can waffle on a bit.
Cheers
Reaf
« Last Edit: June 12, 2015, 10:48:28 AM by Green Leaf Organics »
 

Offline Green Leaf Organics

  • Early Flower
  • ****
  • Posts: 644
  • Thanked: 56 times
Re: Tips on keeping the electricity bill down with an indoor grow setup
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2015, 10:51:49 AM »
@420
I had the same issues  with what read on the Internet and at one stage I was also one of those guys that said digitals were a con and a money making thing.... I was wrong. I got a 400w digital from a friend and started doing my own tests and man was I so wrong.... personally I will never again run a magnetic... might as well just set fire to my money...

Cheers 
Reaf