Dear Nico, What is the best guard against fires while using these high intensity lighting devices? Can a lower wattage bulb be used? Thanks and keep up the good work! — Rollo, via NicosNuggets@hightimes.com
Greetings, Rollo and thank you for your thoughtful question. The first step in any safe grow operation is asking the right questions!
Today, most HID bulb and ballast manufacturers produce lights that are extremely safe for use indoors. Most are specially designed for large agricultural projects such as greenhouse growers and bio-dome food farms. That being said, the dangers lie in human error within our grow facilities. The primary cause of indoor growroom fires is faulty wiring (more on this below). This is why I always caution growers to solicit the help of experienced electricians when building indoor gardens. This is especially important when wiring power boxes, installing sub-panels or new circuits, or dealing with a building’s main power line.
With that said, there are also a couple of other precautions that indoor gardeners can take to protect themselves and their property. For starters, always keep all wires off the floor and securely attached to walls and ceilings. Keeping wires organized by bundling them with zip-ties is also recommended.
Second, whenever possible keep ballast banks outside of both your growroom and your wet room. Not only does this help prevent heat build-up and provide a better climate for your plants, but it is always smart to separate electricity and water. Many advanced growers keep the ballasts outside the garden (usually above the ceiling) and also have a separate room for their water source, reservoirs, and nutrient-mixing station.
As far as using lower wattage bulbs in your ballasts goes, this can be very dangerous! Ballasts are made for a specific wattage and bulb type. Using the incorrect wattage other than what is listed on the ballast can cause a ballast to malfunction, possibly leading to a fire. Most ballasts are also designed for a single type of light bulb, usually either a metal-halide (MH) or a high-pressure sodium (HPS). Some ballasts, called “convertible ballasts,” are made to accommodate both types of bulb with a simple flip of a switch, which can be handy if you do both your vegetative and flowering stages in the same growroom.
Lastly, I want to impress upon all cannabis growers out there once again the importance of using certified, professional electricians when conducting any sort of serious electrical work. If you are running more than a few lights, you need to consider your power draw and how much amperage your room circuits and wiring can handle. Besides repeatedly blowing fuses, you can cause fires by overloading current on circuits and small-diameter wire gauges. Finding an electrician that smokes weed isn’t as hard as it sounds (trust me, just ask around) and a few nugs can go a long way in ensuring your growroom is safe and secure!
Thanks for reading everyone and remember: Grow… And help the world grow, too!
Got questions? Email ’em over to Nico at NicosNuggets@hightimes.com and be sure to put “Nico’s Nuggets” in the subject line!
(Tip: Before sending a question, try the new Search feature on the HIGH TIMES website. Simply click the “magnifier” icon at the top right and type “Nico + your subject topic” to see if your question has already been answered!)
Researchers Launching CBD Study with Former Hockey Players
New Jersey Lawmakers Begin Hearings for Marijuana Legalization
Zimbabwe Authorizes License for First Medical Marijuana Company
The New “Miss Marijuana” Pageant Comes With Outdated Guidelines and Transphobia
Knowledgeable Dabbing: A Guide To Our Favorite Quartz Bangers
First Clinical Trial Of Cannabis For PTSD in Veterans Is Now Complete
Missouri Police Raid Hospital Room of Stage 4 Cancer Patient Using Cannabis
Oklahoma House Passes Medical Cannabis Protection Bill
News3 days ago
Indiana State Trooper Seizes $3.5 Million Worth of Cannabis, Vapes
News3 days ago
Colorado Researchers Seeking Volunteers to Get High and Drive
News4 days ago
Study Finds Medical Marijuana Alleviates Seniors’ Pain, Reduces Opioid Use
News7 days ago
Subjects of Mass Weed Arrest Sue Over Violation of Constitutional Rights
News5 days ago
Survey Shows 25% of Cannabis Users in Legal States Consume at Work
News6 days ago
NJ Governor Announces Vote on Marijuana Legalization This Month
Legalization4 days ago
Breaking: Connecticut Lawmakers Unveil Plan to Legalize Marijuana
Culture6 days ago
What’s In Your Stash? Cannabis Alchemist Warren Bobrow