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lighting Battery Backup for Indoor Lighting

I am wondering if anyone else has experimented with using a UPS (Uninterruptable Power Source) / Battery Backup on their indoor grow lights. We had a storm come through Atlanta this afternoon and was causing power issues in my neighborhood, just enough to make the HID lights flicker (and the smaller one completely turn off at times). I doubt this was good for the bulb, or the ballast. Should I have anything to worry about when this happens? I just started to use HID type bulbs about 2 weeks ago after noticing my larger indoor plants did not like the 6 bulb florescent setup I had. I have been very happy with the new lights and so have the plants.

And just for for power requirement questions on sizing the UPS my setup consists of a 400w HID (currently a HPS) connected to a digital ballast for my hydroponic setup and another 70w MH for a potted Ghost pepper (about 4" tall right now). Looking at a couple of sites suggests I should be looking for a UPS size around 1000VA at the smallest and the beefier suggestion is a 2200VA UPS. Since I automate the power to the lights with z-wave should I just turn off the lights after the UPS on my computer notices the first power interruption and turn them back on after 30 minutes of stable power? This would eliminate the somewhat expensive and very heavy UPS. But how would this affect the pepper plants if there was 30 minutes - 3 hours of darkness during a lights on period? This type of issue also comes up during normal weather days, my power company supplies great power, just not all the time. ;)

Thanks in advance for any advice or ideas.
Neil
 
You don't need a UPS, you need to measure incoming voltage. When it's greater than 10% low, turn the lights off and wait an hour and try again.....the plants won't die in an hour.
Simple is always better.
 
I had some decent size (~2') peppers go 3+ days without light a couple years ago when Cincinnati had a hurricane pass through (just the wind - sustained at 74 mph) and they didn't suffer.

Mike
 
Thanks Willard, I'll give it a whirl.

Queequeg, I have a TED 5000 (http://www.theenergydetective.com/ted5000-g) that allows me to continually monitor all aspects of my incoming power. I was part of the Google PowerMeter beta and got one for free. I just need to see if I am able to pull the realtime data with my home automation pc.

Thanks again,
Neil
 
thats really cool. do those go around your main breaker wires?
i always wondered if you could get some kind of load center set up that would have a current sensor on every single breaker, it seems like you could just run the conductor out of the breaker into the sensor.

i bought a small current sensing switch a while back to detect power going to my HPS light, it would trigger a relay that changed the night timer to the day timer. its kinda similar just way smaller lol.
 
Correct, they clamp around the main lines coming into the breaker panel. There is another product that communicates over a 1-wire interface (http://www.ibuttonlink.com/ms-tc.aspx) but is way more expensive if you are planning to do every breaker in your panel. I've been looking at using it to automate the dust collector in my workshop but never got around to it.
 
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