Off Grid Home Forums Technical Discussion Energy saving light bulbs

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    CLF’s use gas, mercury particles and phosphor to create light. The gas becomes excited by electricity, and when combined with mercury particles, produces invisible ultraviolet light. The UV light then hits the white phosphor coating inside the bulb causing it to fluoresce and emit white light. There is circuitry inside the base of the light that stops it from flickering like in old fluoro lights.

    Most CFL’s have a charge up time usually using about 5 times the bulbs wattage rate for roughly 10 minutes, making them inefficient for areas where fast switching is needed and where lights are frequently switched on and off. They also take around 30-45 seconds to reach full light output from a cold start.

    The main issue with CFL’s is the large amount of energy and materials that go into manufacturing them. Fluorescent tubes can contain up to 15mg of mercury that is an extremely toxic element, especially dangerous to pregnant women, babies and children. One fluorescent tube contains enough mercury to pollute 30,000 litres of water. It is essential that all CFL’s and Fluorescent tubes are recycled appropriately.

    LED lights and tubes use diodes instead of gas or heated filaments to produce light making them the most energy efficient lighting option available. LED technology has increased dramatically in recent years and LED Lights are now bright and efficient enough to power an entire home while enabling saving of up to 90% on lighting bills. For more information on LED lights see or for led specific products,


    Is there a LED light or combination of light’s that will

    replace a 400 Watt metal halide backed with 34 watt

    daylight floro’s for plant growth


    Check with the major hydroponic garden suppliers. Some of the local grow op guys are switching to these type of lights because of the low heat emissions and low power consumption. Be warned these LED lights are not cheap. Some guy was trying to advertise on this forum with ads for LED lights including grow lights. Trouble was his company was in China and they did not have a retail sales outlet in North America. If you wanted to buy a whole container load that was okay. However there must be some retailers selling high power grow lights or the grow op guys would not be able to buy them.

    Ever since the law in this province was chaanged so the utility company was forced to report to police any household with a sudden high rate of power consumption the LED lights have become more popular. Locally hydroponic equipment suppliers also have to give the police a list of their customers so be careful who you buy from. No doubt other jurisdictions have similar regulations.


    The stores have to report what? How in the world would they

    stay in business and what happen to our constitution?

    You couldn’t go to a judge and get a search warrant based

    on a store saying they sold you a lamp. What do they do

    ask for photo ID. Do the Electrical suppliers have

    to report the sale of the same lamps. Know of no law here

    and if I went into one of those stores it would be cash

    and no I don’t show ID. We went through this for

    CT-Pat certification ( Partners against terrorism )

    this is governed by the americans, they say we have to ask

    for photo id. The Canadian law says we have no right.

    These are construction workers, suppliers ect entering

    our site. If they refuse or cannot provide photo ID

    we risk a lawsuit for refusing entrance on that bases,

    for their loss of earnings ( according to our lawyers )

    It cost us $50,000 extra on a parking lot for LED lighting

    even though it was less fixtures. Heat emissions are high

    for this amount of light ( replacing 400watt high pressure

    sodium) the entire top of the fixture is a heat sink.

    Haven’t been up to one yet to gage the heat emitted but I

    could get the specs


    A lot of the smaller stores did go out of business because they were in fact supplying grow ops. The bigger stores who supply the industrial green house industry in BC can prove their customers are legitimate food growers. BC Hydro reports unusual and excessive use of power then other people take over surveillance of the premises to see if there is other evidence of suspicious activity. Lately grow ops have been placed in industrial buildings having historical high usage rates. This slows down detection rate so they get about a year’s use from premises then they leave. Light fixture purchases from electrical suppliers on a cash basis also does not seem to be a problem. Few if any records are kept. So far it seems to be the Hydroponic shops getting all the attention. If you circulate the air with fans,the heat emitted from the lamps can serve as building heat in colder climates.


    That’s why grow ops should be looking off-grid

    Loved the frenengi comment- but all kidding aside

    I’m really looking for to pick fresh strawberries for

    breakfest in January and can’t afford the hydro bill so

    off-grid I going


    hey, you could always move to South America. Should be easy to grow strawberries in January there :)


    @ TRM Gee how much power do you think you need for a few strawberry plants? Most of the countertop hydroponic setups I have seen would suffice for a couple of decent size strawberry bushes Lots of people grow herbs and such without a big power drain. Are you just speculating or have you actually measured how much power it takes? unless you are into the wacky tabacky you don’t need the big circulation pumps, filters and air circulation fans which uses about half the power.

    I used to live in a town where the coffee shop conversation was like attending horticultural college hydroponics 101. The cops figured the monthly export ran to around one million dollars per month that they knew of.

    Even if you weren’t in the business you could not help learning about it. Take your kill-a-watt down to a hydroponics store and measure the actual consumption.


    the egnergy saving bulbs save electricity cost ,meanwhile it may be a little harmful to environment.leds’ better in future, maybe. but leds’ is not so bright as cfl bulbs.


    I was told, that energy saving bulbs demand for only 25% of the energy that conventional bulbs needed. Still there is a justifiable concern about how harmful those Compact Fluorescent(CF) bulbs indeed are. Generally speaking from my perspective I think that my eyes are not used to CF bulbs. And I have to confirm: Yes I do get headache as well.


    Fears have been reignited about the safety of energy saving light bulbs after a group of scientists warned that they contain cancer causing chemicals.

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