High bay metal halide lights for DIY aeorponics. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-14-2011, 06:21 AM Thread Starter
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High bay metal halide lights for DIY aeorponics.

After doing some reading, I've decided to build an aeroponic system using the plans from "How to Hydroponics" by Keith Roberto. It's basically what you see here, but with some modifications.

I've been looking around at lights and trying to decide between CFL, MH, HPS. They're all really expensive!!! However, on craigslist I came across some 400w MH high bay lights (multi tapped 120v, 240v, etc). This guy has a bunch of them, including bulbs, for $5 a piece!

I was wondering if anyone has any experience using this type of light for growing and if there are any tips or tricks to keep in mind. For this price, it's hard to pass up. I will post pictures once I buy them.

Thanks,

Ben
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-14-2011, 06:44 AM
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They are the same thing as any other mogul base MH. I can't see any reason why they wouldn't work. You might need new bulbs but I'm sure they will serve their purpose.

I used to have one that grew tomato plants just fine. Much better than cfl for sure. And set up like your planning they grow at an alarming rate. Soil grown doesn't even come close.


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-14-2011, 02:55 PM
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I've been doing hydroponics for about 2years now. Hopefully you have some experience already as aeroponics is much less forgiving. I have a 250w mh that just spreads enough to fill the corners on a 24" x44" tray Hung at heights of 4-6ft depending on plant life cycle.

A couple of points:
1. Organic nutrients are a no go for fine mist sprayers, no experience with nebulizers. This includes your fish poo laden used aq water.
2. The lens cover is your friend!! The plants will eventually try to reach into the light, scorching themselves and risking a fire.
3. Use only ventilated reflectors. With the lens and ventilation your plants can grow right up to the light with no damage. Plus you can pipe a good bit of heat directly out of the room.
4. Be prepared for 90+ degree room at 75% humidity...and bugs. You may need a reservoir cooler.

Imho, if the set up doesn't look nice and take more than 4hrs maintenance per week I tend to ignore it and the plants suffer, hence my move toward tanks and away from hydro. Besides, lights are expensive and soil-less is much more touchy. Those tomatoes get expensive!

Oh, chili peppers have been more forgiving than bells for me, and they're a good stout plant to learn how to enduce flower. Good luck!
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 03:47 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice guys.

The $5 metal halide bay lights were gone before I could drive out to buy a few. So that's too bad. However, I did find a hydrofarm 400w hps for $90 on craigslist.

30 gal tub
10 net pots 3"
6 microsprayers
185 gph pump
400w HPS ballast

I think I have everything worked out. I used a flexible hose to run to the pump and the pvc pipe is run through rubber grommets at each end, suspending itself. This way I added a nice on/off faucet for draining. At first I put everything together without any glue, and there were a couple drip leaks. Now that I have everything glued together, it seems to be fine. I reinforced the side with some metal and bungies because the tub was bulging.

I realize that 10 pots may be a little excessive and not give the plants enough room to grow, but I tend to go big or go home. If this doesn't work, I have another lid.





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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 06:20 PM
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Holy!!! Thats a slick setup. I need to make me one too. I like the cart. Are you able to wheel it around freely? (unplugged of course) you could move it outside when it's nice.


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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, it wheels around freely. That way I can take it over to the sink to drain/fill it. I would be able to take it outside, but I live in a 5th floor studio loft.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 09:42 PM
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Awesome! If you don't mind me asking.......what are you planning to grow?
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-19-2011, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gitusukka View Post
Awesome! If you don't mind me asking.......what are you planning to grow?

Haha, everyone seems to be asking that. I'm going to be growing bell peppers, chiles, tomatoes, thai basil, maybe some lettuce. It's kind of funny. Much of the information on how to build these setups and maintain them are on marijuana growing forums...
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