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One of the most often asked questions we are asked here at Straight Up Hydro is “How to assemble an High Intensity Discharge (HID) lighting system”? So we thought we’d use this blog to show you the basics of how to fit the components of an HID lighting system!

How to assemble an High Intensity Discharge (HID) lighting system.

The single most important part of an indoor grow room is the grow light. Plants need light to thrive every bit as much as they need water, fresh air and nutrients – although of course all of those are essential too. But while you can get water from a tap, open a window for fresh air and make your own nutrients from decomposed plant matter, you won’t be able to create light for your plants indoors without a grow light.

There is a wide choice of grow light available from Straight Up Hydroponic, ranging from simple fluorescent strip lamps for propagation to expensive state-of-the-art LED systems, but by far the most popular choice for indoor growers is High Intensity Discharge (HID) lighting.

HID lighting systems involve three core parts, plus a couple of essential add-ons.

The three core parts are the ballast (power pack), lamp holder (usually incorporated into a reflective hood/shade) and the grow lamp itself (this can be a metal halide or High Pressure Sodium (HPS) lamp, depending on what spectrum of light is required, but the ballast will be the same for either type of grow lamp). The wattage of the ballast must be the same as the wattage of the grow lamp.

The most popular wattage of HID lighting systems we sell here at Straight Up Hydroponics are 600 watt systems, which are ideal for an grow room/grow tent of 1.2m square.

So, let’s get on with setting up an HID lighting system!

The first things we need are the ballast, reflector and lamp.

HID lighting ballast

 

 

Above you can see what is known as a ‘magnetic’ HID lighting ballast. We also sell digital ballasts that are more energy efficient, lighter and produce less heat than magnetic ballasts but are more expensive. For the purposes of this blog we shall use the more budget-friendly options of equipment, as those are what most novice growers will probably start off with.

As well as the ballast, we will need the reflector and grow lamp:

HID lighting reflector/lamp holder
HID grow lamp – High Pressure Sodium (HPS)

So…how do these components of the lighting system fit together?

IEC male and female connectors

Attach the male IEC ‘kettle’ fitting on the ballast to the female IEC fitting on the reflector.

HID lighting ballast connected to reflector

 

 

Screw the grow lamp into the E40 screw lamp holder on the reflector. Never get finger marks on your HID lamps as this will affect their effectiveness – use a cloth or tissue when handling them to prevent this happening.

Do not get finger marks on the HID lamp!
Screw the lamp into the E40 screw fitting on the reflector/lamp holder

 

Now the system is basically connected, and if you plugged the power lead from the ballast into a standard power socket the light would work fine. The only problem being that in a grow room we need to control the light cycles using a timer, so we need to incorporate some sort of timer/controller between the ballast and the power socket.

Heavy duty lighting timer

For one light, we can use a Heavy Duty Light Timer, such as the Lumii model seen here.

Set the arrow to the current time, and push in the segments for the period you want the lights to be on. For vegetative growth this is generally 18 hours on and 6 hours off. Switching the light cycle to 12 hours on and 12 hours off will trigger flowering in photoperiodic plants.

15-minute segments- push in to control lighting cycle in the grow room
Connect the timer to lighting ballast

Now the lighting system is connected to a timer, it is time to switch the grow light on!

An important note about timers for HID lighting: using a standard timer can result in ruining your indoor growing project. This is because the power spike required to activate an HID lighting ballast will damage a standard timer and mean that your lights will be stuck permanently on or off until the problem is rectified.

A Heavy Duty Timer is fine for one lighting system of up to 600 watts, but for multiple lights or higher wattage systems you will require a contactor. More about our range of grow light controllers later!

How to assemble an High Intensity Discharge (HID) lighting system.

The single most important part of an indoor grow room is the grow light. Plants need light to thrive every bit as much as they need water, fresh air and nutrients – although of course all of those are essential too. But while you can get water from a tap, open a window for fresh air and make your own nutrients from decomposed plant matter, you won’t be able to create light for your plants indoors without a grow light.

There is a wide choice of grow light available from Straight Up Hydroponic, ranging from simple fluorescent strip lamps for propagation to expensive state-of-the-art LED systems, but by far the most popular choice for indoor growers is High Intensity Discharge (HID) lighting.

HID lighting systems involve three core parts, plus a couple of essential add-ons.

The three core parts are the ballast (power pack), lamp holder (usually incorporated into a reflective hood/shade) and the grow lamp itself (this can be a metal halide or High Pressure Sodium (HPS) lamp, depending on what spectrum of light is required, but the ballast will be the same for either type of grow lamp). The wattage of the ballast must be the same as the wattage of the grow lamp.

The most popular wattage of HID lighting systems we sell here at Straight Up Hydroponics are 600 watt systems, which are ideal for an grow room/grow tent of 1.2m square.

 

 

Reg name - LPC Retail LTD
Company number - 10203576
Place of registration - Companies House, Cardiff
Business address - Unit B, Jarvis & Rowell estate, Burnham Road, Dartford, Kent, DA1 5BN

[email protected]

01322 273444