A timer is an inexpensive investment that turns lights and other appliances on and off at regular intervals. Using a timer ensures that your garden will receive a controlled light period of the same duration every day.

Purchase a heavy-duty grounded timer with an adequate amperage and tungsten rating to meet your needs. Some

Fixing all wiring and electric devices to a control panel makes control and troubleshooting easy.

Attach ballasts to the wall so they are out ol the way in the garden.

timers have a different amperage rating for the switch; it is often lower than that of the timer. Timers that control more than one lamp are more expensive, because they require the entire force of electricity to pass through them. Many pre-wired timers are available at stores that sell HID lights.

How many lights (total watts) will the timer handle? If you are running more than 2000 or 3000 watts, you may want to attach the lamps to a relay, and control the relay with a timer. The advantage of a relay is it offers a path for more electricity without having to change the timer. There are numerous sophisticated timers on the market that will solve every last need you have.

Setting up the HID System -Step-by-Step

Step One: Before setting up the HID system, read "Setting Up the Crow Room" in Chapter Six, and complete the step-by-step instructions.

Step Two: Both the lamp and ballast radiate quite a bit of heat. Take care when positioning them, so they are not so close to plants or flammable walls and ceiling that they become hazardous. If the room has limited space with a low ceiling, place a protective, non-flammable material like metal between the lamp and ceiling to protect from heat. An exhaust fan will be necessary to keep things cool. It is most effective to place the remote ballast near the floor to keep things cool. Place it outside the grow room if the room is too hot When hanging the lamp on the overhead chain or pulley system, make sure electrical cords are unencumbered and not loo close to any heat source.

Step Three: Buy and use a good timer to keep the photoperiod consistent. A decent timer cosls from $20 to S30 and is worth its weight in buds!

Step Four: To plug in the HID lamp, it will be necessary to find the proper outlet. A 1000-watt HID lamp will use about 9,5 amperes (amps) of electricity on a regular 120-voll house current.

A typical home has a fuse box or a breaker box. Each fuse or breaker switch controls an electrical circuit in the home. The fuse or breaker switch will be rated for 15, 20, 25, 30, or 40-amp service. Circuits are considered overloaded when more than 80 percent of the amps are being used. (See: "Overload Chart" on page 212). The fuse will have its amp rating printed on its face, and the breaker switch will have its amp rating printed on the switch or on the breaker box, To find out which outlets are controlled by a fuse or breaker switch, remove the fuse or turn the breaker switch off. Test each and every outlet in the home to see which ones do not work. All the outlets that do not work are on the same circuit. All outlets that work are on another circuit. When you have found a circuit that has few or no lights, radios, TVs, stereos, etc., plugged into it, look at the circuits' amp rating. If it is rated for 15 amps, you can plug one 1000-watt HID into it. A leeway of 5.5 amps is there to cover any power surges. If the circuit is rated for 20 or more amps, it may be used for the 1000-watt HID and a few other low-amp appliances. To find out how many amps are drawn by each appliance, add up the number of total watts they use, and divide by 120.

Never put a larger fuse in the fuse box than it is rated for. The fuse is the weakest link in the circuit. If a 20-amp fuse is placed into a 15-amp circuit, the fuse is able to conduct more electricity than the wiring. This causes wires to burn rather than the fuse. An overloaded circuit may result in a house fire.

Use an extension cord that is at least M-gauge wire or heavier if the plug will not reach the outlet desired. Thick 14-gauge extension cord is more difficult to find and may have to be constructed. Smaller 16- or 18-gauge cord will not conduct adequate electricity and will heat up, straining the entire system. Cut the M-gauge extension cord to the exact length. The further electricity travels, the weaker it gels and the more heat it produces, which also strains the system.

Step Five: Always use a three-prong grounded plug. If your home is not equipped with working three-prong grounded outlets, buy a three-prong grounded plug and outlet adapter. Attach the ground wire to a grounded ferrous metal object like a grounded metal pipe or heavy copper wire

causes light to he reflected unevenly, which creates "hot spots" and "cold spots" of light in the garden,

driven into the earth to form a ground, and screw the ground inlo the plug-in face. You wiil be working with water under and around the HID system, Water conducts electricity about as well as the human body.

Step Six: Once the proper circuit is selected, the socket and hood are mounted overhead, and the ballast is in place (but not plugged in), screw the HID bulb finger-tight into the socket. Make sure the bulb is secured in the socket tightly, but not too tight, and make certain there is a good connection. When secure, wipe off all smudges on the bulb to increase brightness.

Step Seven: Plug the three-prong plug into the timer that is in the OFF position. Plug the timer into the grounded outlet, set the timer at the desired photoperiod, and turn the timer on. Shazaml The ballast will hum; the lamp will flicker and slowly warm upr reaching full brilliance in about five minutes.

Growing Soilless

Growing Soilless

This is an easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide to growing organic, healthy vegetable, herbs and house plants without soil. Clearly illustrated with black and white line drawings, the book covers every aspect of home hydroponic gardening.

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