Indoor Hydroponics Cannot Feed You: The Math


I am sure this will get censored under the current conditions but it is a good read for anyone. I won’t say who this is meant for, he will just know.

The math behind why you cannot be effective about growing food indoors without either a nuclear reactor or the light of the sun.

The most efficient light bulbs will only convert approximately 15 percent of the input electricity to light. Of this light, you will be lucky if you manage to get more than 75 percent of it to your plants. This means, in an ideal setup, you will get about 12 percent of your input power to the plants in a usable form.

So 1000 watts in, equals 120 watts out.

From there, the plants will convert that light into energy to grow with at a rate of approxiately 5 percent. So just from a biomass perspective, that 120 watts will then become 6.

But there is another step – a large portion of the total biomass will not be edible. The edible portion, in a best case scenario will be somewhere around 50 percent, which takes your total energy available for you to eat at about 3 watts out of an original thousand.

Average people need approximately 100 watts continuous, day in and day out, to survive. Active people will need about 200.

So to get enough light into an indoor setup, you will need, just to stay docile, 100/3 = 33.3 x 1000, or 33,000 watts worth of spent electricity going 24/7 to get enough light to cause the plants alone to feed ONE man or woman.

The sun is enormously powerful, and in the central united states, during the summer, the sun will typically put 1,100 watts worth of energy into each square meter of land during the day, an amount of energy that would take 10,000 watts of input power to cause even an efficient light source to produce. That is why plants can support us. The process of photosynthesis can be enormously inefficient, and it will not matter because the sun can really deliver.

Bottom line? If you want to feed yourself with a hydroponic setup, you have to use a standard greenhouse.

This math is not exact because I went off of memory. But the overall answer is an accurate one.


One thought on “Indoor Hydroponics Cannot Feed You: The Math”

  1. That’s a good piece of information. I never knew about it. The main thing in hydroponic setup is the wattage. The lamp should be kept in proper direction, setup in proper intensity and wattage for effective growing.

    Advanced Nutrients has some good articles on their website. Check the website for more information

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