HID Ballast needs few try to fire up bulb

  • Thread starter sicoroot
  • Start date
  • Tagged users None
S

sicoroot

40
8
Hello Growers,

I have been running a 4x4 ft grow tent with a 400W HID bulb and digital ballast.

I'm close to the end of flowering and I have noticed that the ballast is needs a few trials to turn the bulb on. I can see the bulb firing up but then turning off for a few times ( 3 times last time I've checked ) then it goes on fully.

I thought it was the timer ( Apollo 9 digital timer ) so I have tried another Apollo 9 I have for the ventilation and the ballast/bulb have the same issues.

If I plug the ballast directly into the wall plug it turns on the bulb on the first try, same if I put the timer into the ON setting and not the AUTO I have been using so far.

I noticed this behavior just recently...is it a sign of the ballast going bad or is it the timer failing in your opinion ?

thanks a lot for any advice
 
S

sicoroot

40
8
I did a bit more research and found this video :


It shows what is happening to me, ballast fires up the bulb but then the bulb turns off. This is happening a few times then it goes on normally.

I did a few more tests and actually realized that this is happening also when the ballast is connected to the wall plug, I initially thought it was working fine via wall plug.

So, from the video above, it seems like a ballast/bulb compatibility problem. This is strange though because when I bought both they were sold as compatible, in fact on the initial few times I set it up to see if everything was working I didn't notice this issue.

I have started to notice it just a few days ago bcs I was checking the plants right at lights on time and saw the bulb flashing....so it could be that this is been going on for some time and I just didn't notice it.

My questions now are....is this ballast behavior detrimental to the bulb life ?
Should I look into a new ballast for my next grow ?

In the Hortilux website they states :
Many of today’s popular electronic ballasts are designed to operate HPS lamps and struggle to operate Metal Halide lamps consistently.

I guess this is what is happening to me

Anyone had a similar issue?

The ballast is a 400W Quantum Dimmable Digital and the bulb is an Eye Hortilux full spectrum
 
freezeland2

freezeland2

1,840
263
I am not currently using it but I also have a Quantum dimmable ballast. It’s 1,000W tho. I run it with a Sunpulse MH or HPS without issue as you describe. You might try changing bulbs.
 
S

sicoroot

40
8
I was looking into LED actually....had a conversation about this option with my local grow shop and they were telling how disappointed they were with many of the brands they carried due to lack of customer support from the companies when there were issue with the diodes or the fixtures. Apparently they had a lot of returns and decided to sell only one brand, Gavit, which in their opinion had the best service and product. Downside of this is that the price was a bit too much for what I intended to spend for my gorw room and I went with the high discharge bulbs...I'm using a cool tube so heat has been under control quite well
 
S

sicoroot

40
8
I am not currently using it but I also have a Quantum dimmable ballast. It’s 1,000W tho. I run it with a Sunpulse MH or HPS without issue as you describe. You might try changing bulbs.
yeah ...after reading more posts I figured that many others had a similar issue with the Eye hortilux and digital ballasts and solved it using a different bulb. I may do that too...just keep this one until it's done and than get a different one.

The info on this are a bit deceiving though because the company says that the bulbs work with "most" of the digital ballasts but to find the right one is sort of a gamble.
In the bulb box it even states that best results are obtained with the Eye Hortilux digital ballasts, of course, so you have to buy those from them too.

it seems like that many people had different results with this combo on ballast and bulb, depending also on the wattage. For some it works, other works for a little bit then fail ( like my example ) for other doesn't work at all. Lots of inconsistency on this...in the video about compatibility from Eye only one out of 4 ballasts ( that are not Eye Hortilux ) has the issue I am having. They don't really say the brand though..

I'm sure that everything worked fine at the beginning of this grow bcs I checked that the bulb turned on properly etc. I usually don't go in there right at lights on time so I can't really tell for how long the bulb turned on properly and when the issue stared.
Right now it flashes a few times, then goes on steadily, not ideal but since I'm at the very end of the flowering I'm just going to go with it and figure it out on the next grow.

Something I am wondering though is if this situation is causing the bulb to not work to its full potential and spectrum output and also if it's going to shorten the bulb life.

Plants tops and buds looks good and well developed, one of them look significantly smaller in bud density and volume but I guess it has to do with its genetic.

I have an Hindu Kush, White Widow, Durban Poison and Black Domina. The BD has the smallest yield while the others look normal
 

Similar threads

M
Replies
1
Views
255
freezeland2
freezeland2
Bonanza
Replies
4
Views
227
Bonanza
Bonanza
Smithers
Replies
20
Views
651
ComfortablyNumb
ComfortablyNumb
S
Replies
15
Views
374
sicoroot
S
Top Bottom