what is the best digital ballasts available for the money

Hello overgrow, i havent grown in about 9 years, and am not up on the latest and greatest. may be setting up a legal commercial grow in the near future if everything goes right, and i need to know what are the best digital ballasts for the price. i am familiar with the lumatek brand, but have heard they arent any good anymore, i dont know, haven’t looked at anything, and am wanting suggestions, especially from the people i knew at opengrow; but will take them from any grower up on the new stuff. I logged in there the other day for the 1st time in several years, and later got a message from santero that the sight was hacked and sannies dont even use it anymore, and i should check out here. so any input would be nice. Thanks!

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Welcome to OG @ChiefRunningbud!
Why don’t you head over and introduce yourself

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LED lights are way better than HIDs now. cheaper, use less energy, better spectrum, better coverage. theres just no competition anymore.

do some reading in the equipment section here, there are many options depending on your space, theres even a thread to bud your own high quality fixtures on the cheap here:

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btw i still use mh/hps because i have all the stuff. all of my digital ballasts are nextgen brand (400/600 switchables and some 1000w) and ive never had a problem with them

lumateks were the king years ago, but i also heard theu fell off in quality. back in the day we used to have problems with lumatek ballasts fucking with neighbours am radio signals lol

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welcome to OG enjoy

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If your going to for sure use hid lighting for commercial use I would say gavita and nobody else…

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that’s just it, im not for sure, i was hoping beyond hope i could maybe find suitable LEDs for growing tree style in order to keep the AC bill lower. it can get in the 80’s F in december sometimes as we are a sub tropical climate along the coast. i intended to grow open bulb metal halide/HPS hanging amongst the trees because we will be growing sat doms since most will be growing faster flowering indica doms and we really want to hit the nish market for the older heads that grew up with pure sativas but need some pain relief too. in mississippi you can only buy 21 grams a week from the dispensaries, AND the weed cant be over 30% total THC; so the market is going to be limited for sure. im hoping to draw all the people like me that are sick and tired of watered down not even any good kush hybrids that are on the black market. i know there is a market that would keep us sold out between grows and that’s what im shooting for. probably in the end will be running a combination of led, natural sunlight and HID; but was hoping for LED. but we need to keep costs down to start and that’s why i was thinking dimmable 1000W digital ballasts. so they would be versatile and could be used also with 400W or 600W lights in combination with natural sunlight for veg. we are in the process of designing the grow space, when we start we will be retrofitting an old warehouse. we can have 1000 square feet in flower with the license we’re going for, believe it or not that is the smallest tier. lol you can spend 150 grand and get a 100,000 square foot license. i think the people that do that are going out of business if they spending their life savings and not super rich already. gonna be a limited legal market because of the amounts allowed per week; you can only buy an eight at a time up to six a week, and 24 a month. 24 eights i mean. so we dont want to go real big. most likely on the 1st grow, because i havent grown in 9 years, we will be utilizing about a 3rd of the grow space and then scale up with each grow depending on how everything goes. who knows we may stay that small if the market isn’t big. or we may go to the next tier, it all depends.

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I can tell you right off. Stay away from single end hid. They are super old tech now. Double end hid are much more efficient. If your doing the commercial thing you shouldn’t consider anything other than 1000w, specifically for your “tree” style growing. Turn off some of them if not needed in early Veg or when sun is strong enough.

If not buy any electronic ballast you find cheapest. They are all made in China at the same factory, or factory next to that one…

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Fair enough but LEDs are cheaper to run by far.

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led is cheaper in the long haul

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can you guys point me in the right direction for the LED’s, as when i was still growing 9 years ago they still weren’t quite good enough for commercial use. i know they have improved but have no idea what brands to use etc.

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Many options but I have a Mars and I like it.

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I’ve also got an HLG and I like that one too

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krusty bucket style? i love big plants like that

you could hang led strips in between plants for sure, and they wouldnt be as scary as hids. you know what im talking about if youve ever seen an open hanging 1000w hps staring you in the face lol

if not leds on top and 400s hanging in the alleyways would be a killer combo and still save you alot of heat and $

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way cheaper, especially when you factor in cooling costs. besides that a decent 1000w digi ballast has got to be a few hundred bucks still? throw in $100 for a hortilux and youre in for $400. you could put together a sweet led rig for that

edit: on and a shade , which the chief might not need. and the fact that they you usually have to rewire most houses to run any serious amount of hid lighting

Imagine your energy costs were 75% of what you expect. You’d be laughing all the way to the bank.

Save this money for a year or two and you’ve broken even and the rest is gravy.

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i think eventually i want to do the krusty buckets but to start im going with what i know which is the peat/perlite/compost mixture i used for years, even outdoors. Once we get a few large indoor grows under our belts and the money from those grows, i will be expanding to an aquaponics system for vegging the clones to flower stage, but definitely want to do some kind of krusty bucket system for flowering once i get more experience doing large indoor grows. my biggest indoor grow in the past was 4’X4’ lol; so there is definitley a learning curve here. i dont want to bite off more than i can handle at 1st, so like i said in another post, we’re going to start small, probably about a 3rd of the total flower area to start.

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sounds like a good plan. are there limits on plant numbers?

This is exactly what I was thinking, maybe just use Solstrips with the heat exchanger already on it and bolt them to a circular tower, 12x would be 672 watts of power should be equivalent to a 1000w HPS:

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there is no limit on plant numbers as long as no part of the canopy extends past the 1000 square foot limit for flowering. that’s with the tier 1 micro cultivator license that we are going for. I dont think a bigger license is prudent right now until we get more experience, and or there is a market for that kind of product. I don’t believe there is right now and many dispensaries are going to fail. Part of the reason we are going kind of small. Also even though i said tree style, they wont be natural trees, they will be heavily bondaged bent over LST’d girls that have to submit grown kind of tree style with multiple tops that fill the space between the lights. but big like trees. of course we will experiment with the number of tops and the size of the trees to see what yields the best for the strains we run.

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