FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
Growers F.A.Q. – Frequently Asked Questions
- What payment methods do you accept?
We are one of the few hydro shops accepting Bitcoin BTC or any other cryptocurrency (must contact us to pay using any other coin besides bitcoin). In addition, we accept Paypal (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover), Checks, Western Union, Wires, and Direct Deposits. Some of the Altcoins we accept are, Litecoin LTC, Ethereum ETH, Ripple XRP, Bitcoin Cash BCC, IOTA MIOTA, Dash DASH, Cardano ADA, NEM XEM, Bitcoin Gold BTG, Monero XMR, EOS, NEO, Qtum, Stellar XLM, and many more.
- Where is your headquarter located?
Our main location is in South Florida, Pembroke Pines in Broward County. It is near Miami Dade and West Palm Beach. If you use google search or siri with commands Hydro Shop Near Me or Hydroponics Store Near me, you should be able to see our listing come up. We are the only Hydroponic Warehouse with 5 star ratings in all social media and local listings.
- Do you offer discounts or wholesale pricing?
We have the lowest prices for all your hydroponics supplies and offer a low price guarantee. We also have a price match feature on our home page in case you find any of our products cheaper anywhere else. In addition to high discounts, we offer wholesale pricing for other retail businesses. If you want to open a wholesale account please click here.
- If I am a local customer or visiting the South Florida area, Can I pick up an order?
Yes, we allow for local pick ups. you may pick up orders placed on Amazon, on our website, or by phone. We have a large hydroponics customer base in West Palm Beach, Miami, and Fort Lauderdale that like to pick up third order instead of having them shipped. Customer in areas around Doral, Kendall, and Miramar are also welcomed to come by.
- Do you offer local deliveries?
We offer local deliveries from the Florida Keys all the way to Port St Lucie. We will make deliveries west around lake Okeechobee cities like Clewiston, Lake Placid, and Sebring. Other areas such as Naples, Fort Myers, and Cape Coral. Any shipments further north will required a larger minimum order or they will be shipped via R&L Carriers next day service. Our competitive rates allow us to ship pallets to north florida via a next day service to Central and North Florida, such as Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, Gainesville, Pensacola, and Tallahassee.
- What is covered in the warranty?
This depends on the individual product and usually pertains to that specific product itself.
- Will the glass part of my reflector block UV light and heat?
Yes, glass has natural UV inhibitors. We also don’t add additional UV filtration as some UV is beneficial for growing. The main function of the glass lens is to hold in heat and air cooled evacuation.
- How much light is lost in a glass lenses fixture?
Since clear glass does have a refraction effect there will be some reduced light. This can depend on the type of lamp, the thickness of the glass, the reflective materials and the shape of the reflector.
- Does the reflector need to be air cooled?
No, it doesn’t need to be. The ETL reflectors are actually tested without air flow being present. But air cooling can be beneficial in increasing air flow and expelling any heated air.
- How far apart can I place the ballast and reflector?
This can depend on whether the ballast is magnetic or electronic. The lamp type also plays a factor, whether it’s HPS or Probe Start MH. You may be able to use a type of magnetic ballast that has long range ignitors of up to 50 feet. Generally, most electronic ballasts can reliably fire a lamp above 50 feet.
- How many BTUs will my reflectors and system generate?
1 watt will equal 3.41 BTU per hour, while 1000 watts will equal 3,412 BTU per hour.
- Are there any advantages of running a ballast on 240 volt?
While a higher voltage operation can reduce the amperage consumption, we do pay our electrical bills by the watt. There is really no power savings between running 120 volt versus 240 volt.
- What do CDM and LEC315 mean?
CDM means Ceramic Discharge Metal Halide while LEC315 means Light Emitting Ceramic that runs at 315 watts.
- What is a VHO T5 fixture?
This means Very High Output. The T5 means Tubular lamp of 5 x 1/8” in diameter.
- How much electrical power will my lights consume and how much will it cost me?
Check your city’s power bill for the rate per KW (kilowatt). For an example, let’s say you’re paying $0.10 per KW. This means it will cost you ten cents to run a 1000w system for one hour. This is just an averaging as there is also efficiency loss too.
- Can I buy a regular extension cord from my store?
You can, but first check that it has an ANSI rating for maximum wattage and amperage allowed. It’s also important to never exceed the maximum load rating of an extension cord.
- Why are the timers failing on the 1000W ballast?
This is because your average plug-in appliance timers have not been designed to handle the strong current from a 1000W ballast. While it may be rated for different types of electrical loads, they usually aren’t rated for a hydroponics purpose. When you need to control your lights you can buy a Light Controller that has been designed specifically to handle ballast loads.
- How do I hang my reflector?
Enlist the aid of a friend to help hold it. Also ensure that the mounting platform is secure and strong enough to hold your components.
- I don’t see any hinges or thumb screws so I can change the lamp or clean the glass.
If there is no easy access door then you’ll need to remove the air ducting.
- How can I clean the inside of the reflector of the lamp itself?
Turn off all power and let the lamp cool down. Then use a clean but dry cloth to gently wipe down the outer part of the lamp.
- How do I purchase Sun System products?
You may check their website for a dealer near you.
- I lost or broke the glass or the frame for the reflector, where can I buy new ones?
We sell replacement lenses, frames, or a combination, for all popular reflectors on the market today.
- Can I replace the receptacle on the ballast or the cord as it has become damaged?
Call the business where you originally purchased these items for assistance.
- What does my ballast and reflector warranty cover?
The warranty covers “as intended” usage during the warranty period. This may vary by product. You’ll get a credit or replacement of the product that has failed during this time.
- What doesn’t the warranty cover?
Anything outside of the product itself.
- What’s the difference between copper core ballast and aluminum core ballast?
Magnetic ballasts can either be made with solid copper, or copper covered aluminum windings. Generally, all copper windings have a lower temperature bench rise than the aluminum ones.
- Do all ballasts handle all volts? Can I just plug it in?
No, read the packaging. Some ballasts are 120V only, or 120V/240V or true quad voltage of 120V/208v/240V/277V. If you do want to alter the voltages then an electrician will be required. Also note that this could void the warranty.
- Is push or pull the best way to air cool a reflector?
If you choose to pull air through the reflector it will create a tighter seal than if you used positive press to blow through the reflector.
- What if I want to extend my lamp cord?
You can but you need to note that longer cords will create greater resistance in the wire. Read the instructions on your product.
- How many lamp extension cords can I use?
You’ll need to read the instructions for each individual system.
- Will I be able to use a 1000 watt ballast to supplement the lighting in a backyard greenhouse?
- Who should I call first when my ballast or my reflector fails? Or, can I fix this at home?
Before doing anything, please contact the business where you purchased it from first.
- What type of foot pattern does my reflector have? How will dimensions and depths affect the light pattern?
The best pattern is 3×3 or 4×4 pattern. Ideally, you want a nice even light plane without any hot spots. But you should note that with so many different products and configurations that there can be many combinations.
- Will the ballast run on both 208V or 277V?
Again, you’ll need to read and follow the instructions so that you don’t void the warranty.
- I see CE, ETL and UL listings on the packaging. What do they mean?
These are all safety organizations that have been endorsed by NRTL Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories.
- If I have a 20A circuit in my house, how many 1000 watt ballasts can I have?
This will depend on the voltage used. You never want to operate your circuit on a max amperage load.
- Why would the lamp still work when the ballast switch is in the HPS setting?
These is because certain types of Pulse Start MH lamps need HPS ignition to fire the lamp. If you’re doing this, check the lamp and ballast compliance first.
- Is there any difference in 4KV and 5KV sockets? What is China or Leviton brands?
KV means kilovolts rating. Ideally, 5KV is good for 1500W. Leviton is a brand while China is the source.
- Is there any difference between a pulse start metal halide or a probe start metal halide?
The Pulse Start needs a higher ignition pulse. Probe Starts do not need this.
- There is an oval duct on my lowrider reflector. Do I need special ducting?
No, the CFM of the airflow is not affected by oval or circular shapes.
- Are there benefits to a Luxor hood?
The Luxor hood has a separate air chamber that allows cooling through convection. This enables the lamp to operate at a higher temperature to maximize the lamp’s function. The Luxor has 98% reflective materials.
- Are there benefits to a double ended lamp?
This type of 1000W HPS DE lamp can be more efficient through an improved light spectrum. It has a faster warmup re-strike time, and improved lumen maintenance.
- What is HID lighting?
This stands for High Intensity Discharge. It’s brighter than other types of lighting.
- What does Color Rendering Index (CRI), Color Temperature (K) and Lumen mean?
CRI is a measurement of how the lamp can display colors. Color temperature measures the relative whiteness of a piece of tungsten steel that is heated to a temperature in K–Kelvin. Lumen is a measurement of light output.
- Is there any difference between MH and HP for plant growth?
MH lamps cover more of the blue and green light spectrum which is perfect for leafy crops or an active growing state. HPS lamps cover the yellow, orange, and red spectrum and are best for plants that are fruiting or flowering.
- Is there a difference between HID and fluorescent lighting?
In the past, florescent lighting was used for seedlings, cuttings, and plants that had low-light level requirements. HID was used for growing plants that needed higher lighting levels. Today, TF florescent lighting advances are ideal for hydroponics.
- Are there benefits to using T5 florescent lighting?
This type provides an excellent spectrum for plant growth. They have minimal heat output so you can place them 6’ to 8’ above the plant canopy.
- What are the environmental impact of using T5 florescent lighting?
This type of lighting requires fewer raw materials, and contains 40% less glass than T8. It also contains less mercury and phosphor than T8 and needs longer lamp life.
- What is the difference between HID and electronic ballasts?
The main difference is the frequency output to the lamp. There is also a difference in the energy conversion from electricity to usable light.
- Are electronic ballasts more efficient?
Generally, yes they are. However, your power bill will be the same because it’s measured in watts.
- Do I need to redo the wiring in my house for my lighting system?
You can purchase setups that simply plug into your standard wall outlet. You can purchase other configurations that will need a licensed electrician.
- What kind of voltages can I get for HID and florescent lighting?
120 volt, 208 volt, 240 volt, 277 volt and 480 volt – All at 60 Hz. Fluorescent lighting varies, but most common are 100 volt to 277 volt and 50 Hz or 60 Hz.
- When should I change my lightbulbs?
Most experts recommend you change them after 6000 hours of usage.
- How long should I be running my lights?
This is based on number of plants and how much natural sunlight they get. You can run the 14-18 hours a day without any natural sunlight. If the plants are actively flowering and fruiting, you need to run them 12 hours a day without natural light.
- How high above my plants do I install the lights?
The higher the wattage, the further away they should be due to heat release. HID types will be installed higher. You want the lighting as close to the plant as you can get, but not so close that it burns it. If it feels comfortable on the back of your hand this will be a safe distance for your plants.
- How much area will my lighting cover?
It depends on the size of your garden. Generally, a 1000W light will cover a 7×7 feet or growing space. 600W – 6×6, 400W 4×4, 250W 3×3.
- Why does a metal halide light need glass to reach the ETL listing?
This is because the lamp contains mercury. If the arc-tube and the outer glass fail, the tempered safety lens will prevent the spread of mercury.
- I have a 400W lighting system so can I just use a 1000 watt bulb?
No! Lighting systems have been designed for a specific voltage and current. If you place the wrong type of bulb it could void the warranty.
- What about a 430 watt bulb in a 400 watt lighting system?
Yes, the difference is minute in this case. But note you will only get 400 watts out of the lamp.
- Should I wear gloves before handling an HID light bulb?
It’s not necessary, but you should wash your hands before handling the bulbs.
- What is a conversion bulb for?
This is a bulb designed to operate on an opposite ballast than originally designed for. For ex. a 940 conversion lamp that runs on an HPS lamp that would normally run a 1000 watt MH ballast. This enables you to purchase the ballast of your choice and gives you flexibility in simply changing the lamp to what you need.
- Will a BT-56 lamp perform better than a BT-37?
Usually not. The BT-56 was a standard for many years. The BT-37 is smaller but has the same intensity of light and color as the other lamp. The BT-37 is basically smaller and easier to handle.
- Can I buy the socket assembly separate for Sun Systems ballasts?
- Can I buy separate power cords for Future-Brite™, Infinity™ or Galaxy™ ballasts?
It depends. No, for the Future-Brite™as it’s is hard wired for 120 or 240V. The other two have a detachable power cord, so yes.
- How do I clean my Sun System reflector?
Use warm water and dish soap. This helps to remove grime and return it to a highly reflective finish. Do not use bleach, ammonia, or harsh cleansers.