400 bucks for a 1000 watt HPS lamp, hood, and ballast; covers 49 square feet (about 7'x7'). You gotta run 220 volts and a fan. Don't forget the fire extinguisher. Oh wait...
I've been looking into T-5 fluorescents. Low energy, low heat; you can get real close to the plants so you're not wasting lumens. I've heard they work well for starting. The downside is you would probably have to get quite a few if you ever wanted to grow a full crop of tobacco. Either that or light movers (I don't know how well those work), or maybe some verticals. I'm not sure how well they'll work I've not used them yet. But that will be the next lamp I buy.
the 1000 wat HPS for big plants,
and the T-5 fluorescents, propagator, and heat pad for starting and cloning; use rooter cubes and bottom feed them until the roots come through.
Often I've heard of people keeping their lights on 24 hours. I suppose you can, but my gut tells me don't push plants more than 18 hours a day. But that's just my opinion.
if at any point in the life cycle of the plant the light gets cut back- say your power went off for a night and you lost a light cycle, or something where the plants get less light than what they are accustomed to- like a 24-30 hour dark spell- the plant will flower, if it can flower.
so if you run them under artificial light 24 hours a day, chances are your plant will immediatly waste a bit of energy flowering when you get them outdoors.
I would guage how much outdoor light you anticipate for the plant, and then try to not exceed that by too much, no more than 3 or 4 hours.
if you plan to set them out in July when there is 14 hours of sunlight, you can run the artificial light 16 or 18 hours a day, and it won't be that much of a shock on the plants which could prompt flowering when they get 14 hours a day outdoors.
but if you're going to put them out in february and they will only get 12 hours of light a day outdoors, and you've been giving them artificial light 24 hours a day, the plant will flower, if it can flower.
I disagree the reason most people don't use 24 hour on is because bulbs need a resting period to last & energy consumption. I use 24 when I need to keep temps stable. When the light is on they grow. When it is off they sleep. The only way you will shock them is drastic temp changes or light leaks.
As far as flowering MOST Tobacco, that has to do with soil contents & Maturity.