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How many lights can I run on a circuit?

It's important to never overload your electrical circuits, as they can overheat and create a fire hazard, or trip a circuit breaker and stop important equipment in your grow. To ensure you're being safe, you need to check what is plugged in already, and how much the circuit can handle. If you have any questions or doubts about your electrical setup, it is always best to consult a local electrician!

What kind of circuit?

Standard North American electrical circuits have different shapes for different circuit types, with outlets that looks like this:

NEMA 5-15
110-120 volt, 15 amp
(NEMA 5-15)
NEMA 5-20
110-120 volt, 20 amp
(NEMA 5-20)
NEMA 6-15

220-240 volt, 15 amp
(NEMA 6-15)
NEMA 6-20

220-240 volt, 20 amp
(NEMA 6-20)

 

What's on my circuit?

To determine what's on a circuit, you can turn off the breaker in the electrical panel and count all the electrical outlets (and things plugged into them) that stop working. Keep in mind they may not all be in one room!

What can I safely plug in?

Circuits are rated for different loads based on their amperage capacity. More amperage requires thicker wires to handle the extra flow of electricity. It is unsafe to rely on more than 80% of the capacity of any circuit; the wires may get hot or the breaker may trip. Some appliances such as fans, pumps and lights (including our LED grow lights) may require a bit more than their average electrical draw when they start up.

To ensure you're being safe plugging in your LED grow light, add up the wattage of everything you want to run on an LED light circuit. Divide the total wattage by the circuit voltage to get the number of amps, and make sure this is less than 80% of the circuit's rated capacity!

For example, consider one our 5'x5' led grow light tent kits with a PhytoMAX-2 800, a 6" Max-Fan, and a 50-watt oscillating fan, all plugged into one circuit.

Electrical Appliance Watts
PhytoMAX-2 800 840
6" Max-Fan 84
Oscillating fan 50
Total 974

 

This circuit would have a total of 974 watts running on it. For a 110 volt circuit, that is ( 974 / 110 ) = 8.9 amps, which is safe to run on a 15 amp circuit (80% of 15 = 12 amps safely usable).

Adding a PhytoMAX-2 400 to the same circuit would result in:

Electrical Appliance Watts
PhytoMAX-2 800 840
PhytoMAX-2 400 420
6" Max-Fan 84
Oscillating fan 50
Total 1394

 

This circuit would have a total of 1394 watts running on it. For a 110 volt circuit, that is ( 1394 / 110 ) = 12.7 amps, which is unsafe to run on a 15 amp circuit (80% of 15 = 12 amps safely usable).

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