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Best 600w Ballast? in the
The Grow Room forums; What would be the best ballast for a 600w you could buy? I am looking to upgrade from my 400w ...
Best 600w Ballast?
What would be the best ballast for a 600w you could buy? I am looking to upgrade from my 400w hps to 600w. I a magnetic ballast guy but I would be open to digital or electronic ballast. I would want an efficient ballast not the one that would jack up the radio/electronic frequency as I am in an apartment and I want to keep it down low. The most expensive one is not necessarily better. Thanks ahead of time.
Good questions, Id like to know the same but for a 1000w.
Its so hard to know which way to go, I read alot of bad experiences with the digital ballasts, such as lower bulb life, emitting radio noise and faulty ballasts from the factory
I dont hear the same bad stuff about magnetic, but apparently they are less efficient, more noisey and dont burn as bright?
I want to hear some recommendation for ballast that people have been able to rely on over the years. What's your "old faithfull" ballast?
I have been thinking the same thing. I have no problem with my 400w magnetic ballast but they run hot. I use a fan in front of the ballast. The noise doesn't bother me. I have the 400w magnetic and digital but have no comparison since I haven't run the digital one yet.
Originally Posted by Thedillestpickle
Edit: I mean I have the Electronic ballast
Yes they do create quite a bit of heat, I didnt think it was so much until I tried stuffing the ballast into a small enclosed space where it got very warm. But compared with the light itself, I think it amounts to probably 10% of the total heat being generated(but I just made that number up) If your running your lights in cool tubes then it could be quite a big fraction of the total heat produced.
You can always keep the ballast on the outside of the grow room. but then your room is less stealth.
I think If I were to buy a ballast right now I would buy either a 600w or a 1000w MH/HPS 120/240V Magnetic ballast, because they are cheaper and from what Ive read more reliable. unless someone can convince me otherwise.
I watched a video once where a big time grower was talking about how he Hates the digital ballast because they strike too hard and it wears out bulbs way faster. He uses a light intensity meter and measures the initial intensitiy and monitors all his bulbs switching out when they get to only 60% initial intensity. He also buys the cheaper bulbs rather than the high end pricey bulbs because he feels its better to swap out the bulbs more frequently to maintain a higher intensity from the bulbs. These were oppinions of someone who had been growing for a long time and had learned things the hard way, but he may be a bit old school and biased towards older technology. Would like to hear some more oppinions based on experience
Edit: we all know how hydro store employees/owners like to convince you to buy all kinds of stuff you dont need... well I asked for a dimable ballast when I went into the Hydro store and he convinced me to go with a magnetic ballast because he said digitals burn out bulbs faster and especially the dimable ballasts. according to him dimming your lights hurts the bulbs drastically. He could have made more money by selling me a more expensive product, so I trust there must have been some experience going into his advice.
Last edited by Thedillestpickle; 01-23-2012 at 10:34 PM.
Originally Posted by Thedillestpickle
Those are the exact reasons why I am sticking with the magnetic ballast and letting the electronic ballast just sit and build up dust. I mean I do tons of research and always had stronger comfort feeling with the magnetic and its cheaper and easier to maintain if something goes wrong with it. I was suggested by my hydro clerk to go with Magnetic. So that is a good sign ha.
Interesting Theory about the blubs. I have grown with standard 400w hps but I just feel that it didn't produce the compact buds that I was looking for. I got the 430 Sunagro which I am glad I bought that as I have improved yeild and density but the buds were smaller in size, but compact. I don't see the necessity to buy the most expensive blubs. You can find a really good quality blub for 80 or less. No, need to go off buying the 150 dollar ones. I mean come on how much better would it be?
I just bought a 1000w MH bulb for 45$
I also just got myself a 1000W magnetic ballast... JUST plugged it in 5 minutes ago, and it buzzes way way louder than my 400 or 600... like 10 times louder... shit!
its a peircing noise I'm pretty sure I can hear it right now and im not on the same floor. I will have to find a way to silence it but I know you cant just smother it with padding or itll overheat. guess you wouldnt have that problem with 400's or 600's
I'm not trying to have a super "stealth" cab, but I have people that live above me, I don't want them to be bothered by any noise, or get curious as to whats causing it
Anyways it might just be the particular magnetic ballast that I got, but thought that would be a good heads up if you were at all thinking of going to a 1000w
You could create a box around it and put a small computer fan to vent the heat out of the box. That might help with the noise. What would I know anyways since I am hard of hearing ha.
I piled some old cardboard egg crates ontop of it! hahahaha its working reduced the noise by at least half. I am now a happy customer
I was thinking the same thing, create a soundproof box and have it vented by a fan.... ahh soo much work! I'll probably wait until I have all my ballasts purchased then create one big box with one good sized fan. and a decent amount of passive intake/exhaust to provide some extra venting in case the fan were to ever stop working. It sounds like a good way to make a fire hazard. Even if I can just smother 3/4 of the noise though I'm happy so I wont make it too enclosing
wow no one else is putting any input into the thread?
I may be wrong but arent the bulbs used for the digital ballast also cheaper? I mean I pay 40$ for a 1000w HPS, it may not be top of the line, but with the money I save I can replace it more frequently to keep it close to initial lumen output.
Also I know they don't make CMH, and I dont know if your interested in ever using a CMH(I think they should only be used as a supplement not a main light source) but the CMH bulbs only work in Magnetic ballasts. They havent made a 600w CMH yet, or a 1000w CMH, but I dont see why they wouldnt be coming out with them in the next couple years. If you get a digital ballast you wont have that option.
one thing Ive noticed is the pro growers you see online. In the really high end grow rooms you see its alwasy magnetic ballasts.
Alotaball now you got me worried there is something wrong with the ballast, It is the same make as my 400 and 600 from what I can tell. its nothing fancy doesnt have any fancy logo's or anything on it, just a flat white painted metal box with 120/240V switch, and MH/HPS switch. The 600 barely makes much noise. you cant really hear it over the fan, but the 1000 is really buzzing, its a sharp buzz that cuts through all the others noise. I will ask about it at the hydro store but I don't anticipate they will be too keen on the idea of replacing it for me... and I'm not too keen on hauling it to the hydro store... thats a 5 mile hike with my backpack and the thing weighs a shit ton!
I guess I'll just live with it. Ive heard that magnetics get louder over their lifetime too... soo I have that to prepare for too lol