Winter Solstice Gift For You

Happy winter solstice!
Since this is a time of year most people give gifts, I will give you something. Surprise! It is advice. (Lame I know but read on) I advise you to give yourself a new bulb. This is a great idea for a number of reasons: First, older bulbs put out less light which will slow down plant growth and/or reduce yield. Second, it is a good idea to have a back up incase your current bulb breaks. If you do not have supplemental light and you break a 400, 600 or 1000 watt bulb you may not be able to get a replacement the same day. It may take several days if you need to mail order. You don’t drive a car without a spare tire do you??? Have a back up bulb! If you order a new bulb you can keep the current one as a backup. An old bulb putting out 50% light is better than messing up the light cycle and stressing out the plants (and yourself) waiting for a new bulb to arrive. Did you know that a MH can loose 30-50% of its intensity in the first year? An HPS is much more durable loosing 10-20% over a couple years, but all bulbs loose intensity the more they are used.

On an environmental note, HID bulbs can have mercury or other heavy metals in them, as can florescent, so you should dispose of them properly. An internet search should help you find the nearest recycle center.

Happy Winter Solstice
Dr. E. R. Myers

1 comment:

hillbilly said...

it happened to me - a 400 watt hps bulb i was using for too long (20 months @ 12 hrs. a day with insufficient cooling - ballast AND lit bulb) started "blinking" its farewell - and i had no spare bulb - was a sunday morning it happened. i will never wait too long or roll without a backup bulb again!