Other Lamps

Several other lamps deserve a mention, however, they grow marijuana poorly. Incandescent lamps are inefficient, tungsten halogen lamps are bright but inefficient, and low-pressure sodium lamps are efficient but have a limited spectrum.

Incandescent Lamps

Incandescent lamps were invented by Thomas Edison, Light is produced by sending electricity through the filament, a super fine wire inside the bulb. The filament resists the flow of electricity, heating it to incandescence, causing it to glow and emit light. The incandescent bulbs work on ordinary home current and require no ballast. They come in a wide range of wattages and con-


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Most incandescent lamps have a spectrum in the far-red end, but there are some incandescent grow lamps that have an enhanced blue spectrum. They are expensive to operate and produce few lumens-per-watt. They are most efficiently used as a source of rooting medium heat for clones rooling under cool fluorescents.

Tungsten Halogen Lamps

The tungsten halogen lamp is a poor grow light. It was originally called Iodine Quartz lamp. The outer lube is made of heat-resistant quartz. The main gas inside the quartz tube was iodine, one of the five halogens. Today, Bromine is used most often in the lamps. Similar to incandescent lamps, they use a tungsten wire filament and a sealed bulb and are very expensive to operate. Their lumens-per-watt output is very low. They run on a household current and require no ballast. Tungsten bulbs are as inefficient to operate as are the incandescent lamps. Their color spectrum is in the far-red end with 10-15 percent in the visible spectrum.

LP Sodium Lamps

Low Pressure (LP) sodium lamps are monochromatic. Do not use these lamps to grow cannabis. They produce light in a very narrow portion of the spectrum, al 589 nanometers, and emit a yellow glow. They are available in wattages from 55 to 180. Their lumens-per-watt conversion is the highest of all lamps on the market today. Their main use in industry has been for security or warehouse light.

Lamps require specific ballasts and fixtures according to wattage. The fixture for a 180-watt lamp is just a little larger than a fixture for two 40-watt, four-foot (120 cm) fluorescent tubes.

After visiting hundreds and hundreds of grow rooms over the last 20 years, I have seen only one LP sodium lamp in use.

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