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Discussion forum for the various methods and structures used for getting an early start on your growing season, extending it for several weeks or even year 'round.

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Old April 20, 2016   #16
murihikukid
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonnyhat View Post
A great idea to maximize grow space with less light is using light movers or light track, basically you purchase a HPS or MH grow light fixture that mounts on this device, it is basically a moving track that the grow light housing is afixed to. The ballast still sits on the ground but you gain a lot more grow area while pulling a lot less electricity. you spend less on bulbs, less on electric but still have significantly more grow space.
Thankyou ...I welcome any info ....I must look it up... Regards Ron
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Old April 20, 2016   #17
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Would a screw type switcher help at all with the power requirements? It's seems to me you could run all the LED's you ever wanted to with one. You could run the led lights at 12v for a much brighter display or @ 5v for a dimmer display. @ 12v they would burn out a little quicker but the led bulbs are mere pennies in the arcade world. They pop in and out of the old style fixtures with a push and twist.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Happ-15-AMP-...IAAOxyKsZRvz5Q
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Old April 20, 2016   #18
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I’ve read all the posts of that thread with great interest, I’d just like to mention one or two tracks that haven’t been explored :
The more power you use the more problems you may get with heat. Adding more lights may mean moving them away from the seedlings making the extra lighting inefficient or you may have to add a fan.
Worth’s equipment is simple, reliable, efficient, not overpriced. You must be competent to undertake its wiring safely.
As murihikukid is starting from scratch he could have a look at the latest techniques French growers use : 20 '' long 7020 LED bars (10 bars are recommended = 8000 - 10000lux). The cheapest ones should be avoided, as well as the cheapest Chinese transformers which are often short lived, the safest solutions are found with computer transformers.
Safety problems have been stressed : don’t play with 110 /220 VAC if you are not qualified. With a low voltage watch the number of amps, select the right size of wires and a transformer with a big safety margin. Keep us posted when you have made up you mind. And built your nursery !

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Old April 20, 2016   #19
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Hi...My friend in Canada that being honest I totally rely on contacted me the other day on Skype and he went through the posts and he is going to contact one of his friends about issues raised ..I am hoping this will be soon ?? I have my fingers crossed....
Meantime I will point out that my idea was not for seedlings but to supplement the light in my greenhouse...I live at the bottom of the world and we never had a good tomato summer.Yes it may well be my Tomatoes are not ripening due to heat issues but I feel light is also a big factor...Now its the end of the season here and I have been hit by blight etc so all I can do is try and ripen what I have , plan ahead and up my game for next season ...There are so many conflicting opinions out there on the internet re lighting ....I showed my friend the two Server PSU's I bought ...the 12V rail is rated @ 47A on each and he said they were perfect ...
I have nine 230v 5 foot LED T8 Tubes in reserve which I could use but as I have already pointed out ..it seems to me there is no definitive opinion particularly on colour temperature although it seems to me that one needs lights to cover the spectrum of what natural daylight is...and LED's looked perfect for this and I had access to reflecter units (free) namely car headlights ....It never occurred to me that the wires would be a problem......My friends initial idea was to get a complete Fusebox/ Harness/lightswitch in fact everything from a car and with Relay switches etc a safe circuit could be put together ...At this time just normal car headlight bulbs were in the design but then LED Headlight bulbs at a cheap price and available for the different sockets and in a wide range of Kelvin became a much better option ....
Anyway I am so inept at this that I still cannot get round the issue of how a few 12V LED's used in a car and fed by a 12v battery has no problems yet the same bulbs when put in a greenhouse and fed 12V via a 240 Power supply unit /transformer becomes apparantly an insurmountable problem ...I can only put this down to (at my age) inadequate schooling which I know was my own stupid fault... Keep the comments coming as I am really loving these... Regards Ron.....
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Old April 21, 2016   #20
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Hi....OK I may have had a stroke of luck..I came across these lights ...there maybe over 20 of them undamaged ?? they are 80W bulbs which is pretty low...I wonder what trype they are?? each has a transformer inside ..I was allowed to bring one home to take photographs of so I am hoping for a response by morning NZ time to enable me to talk turkey with them re price etc ...
I presume my photos will establish what they are and if any good for a greenhouse ...they have metal cases with a clear lens but some len's are broken ......as are some bulbs ..I presume one can buy new bulbs but can one put a higher wattage in them ...
Thanks Ron..
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Old April 21, 2016   #21
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Don't buy them. They are Mercury Vapor. It's the lowest efficiency of the high-intensity lighting types.

It's not that they won't work - they will - but you will burn a lot more energy than is necessary. A metal halide or high-pressure sodium would be much better. Some old indoor fixtures like those are metal halide. You can find HPS bulbs used outside for security lighting.
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Old April 21, 2016   #22
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They are junk ready to start a fire.

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Old April 22, 2016   #23
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Hi..Thank you very much I get the message ..I now know what a MBF Lamp is.....the fittings could be worth more than scrap value...with the transformer removed one could put CFL Bulbs in them but I will talk to the scrap owner re what he wants to do with them....Thanks Ron
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Old April 22, 2016   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murihikukid View Post
I live at the bottom of the world and we never had a good tomato summer...but I feel light is also a big factor...There are so many conflicting opinions out there on the internet re lighting ....
I don't think there are conflicting opinions about lighting on Tville, only different approaches by quite reliable experts.
As you live "at the bottom of the world" you may be interested by a study published by the University of Alaska - another place" at the bottom of the world". It was updated in 2014 and will give you the basics, course 101, about lighting etc. Good luck !
http://www.uaf.edu/files/ces/publications-db/catalog/anr/HGA-00336.pdf


Best regards
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Old April 24, 2016   #25
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Muhirikukid must still be thinking hard about choosing the right equipment for lighting his tomatoes I'll just suggest a track to explore : if the lamps are not a good choice their sockets look in good condition and are easy to fit on any kind of frame. I can't say anything about the wiring, it would be safer to use new wires. A fast calculation of the price of new sockets would show him how much he could resaonably pay the scrap dealer.
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Old April 25, 2016   #26
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Hi..Exactly....I have stripped one and will be taking it back to the scrap metal depot tomorrow to weigh the alloy content ..That will determine his asking price ...I presume the transformers may have some copper in them but if I can get the housing/reflector /E27 socket and even the bulbs at a price above alloy scrap .......I will be on a winner and so will they....The alternative for them is that they just get crushed whereas I pay cash and they are gone and not lying around ...I am buying CFL bulbs (most new) from a charity shop for 50c to $1 each every week and if I do use these in the next Tomato season I will have proper housings for them ...Regards Ron
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Old April 25, 2016   #27
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Ron I have pulled engine parts from metal yards at the price of the scrap weight.

Look on line for price per pound for scrap metal this will hep you.
No way are you going to be able to separate the copper from the transformers without way too much work.
Right now in the US transformers are going for about 20 cents a pound.


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Old April 25, 2016   #28
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Hi..You have misunderstood me (they can have the transformer and the other round thing clipped into the housing) I will "allow them" a margin above scrap for the alloy housing ..They are good to me and I know they have to get a return on anything I see thats been dumped on them and I want to buy...Its just incredable what I see there......The reflector and the bulb socket is probably of no value to them and of course I require them if I use the housing for CFL or LED lighting...The mercury bubs?? Well they might sell on NZ's auction site..Seeing I will have to dismantle everything they (the bulbs) may give me a small return for my time....if not they will be destroyed..
They are a wrecker ..a sledge hammer or crusher is their screw driver ..I understand this but I do not mind stripping things to get a good deal .....EG Car headlights?? or Alloy light housings etc.

Regards Ron

PS I think I have some Scottish in me???

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Old May 3, 2016   #29
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Hi....It has been suggested to me that I could use 2 x 12V Batteries ( together ) with a ripple battery charger to run say 4 pairs of headlights .... Would that be feasable?? Thanks Ron

PS sad to say the Scrap Metal merchant has completely closed down ....So thats the end of getting steel ,headlights etc ...
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Old May 3, 2016   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murihikukid View Post
Hi....It has been suggested to me that I could use 2 x 12V Batteries ( together ) with a ripple battery charger to run say 4 pairs of headlights .... Would that be feasable?? Thanks Ron

PS sad to say the Scrap Metal merchant has completely closed down ....So thats the end of getting steel ,headlights etc ...
Ron 4 pairs is 8 headlights.
I dont think a small battery charger is going to put out enough power to charge a battery to run one light much less 8.
I see what you are talking about but I would think you would need more batteries.
Plus a strange effect, a bank like that is only as good as the weakest battery.
They would also have to be deep cycle batteries to handle the discharge time while they are on.

Remember that is an unbelievable amount of amps coming from a bank of batteries.
You can always give it a try and see what you get isfyou have the stuff already on hand.

Remember just to toss out a wild number.
If you have two 12 volt batteries hooked up to make 12 volts and both are 1000 amp batteries you will now have 2000 amps.
If you hook them up to make 24 volts you will still have 1000 amps.
You can cook some very big wire with either one.

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