back to article Grow-lamps roast Yorkshire dope farmer in his sleep

A West Yorkshire cannabis grower died of hyperthermia after halogen lamps in his illicit indoor dope plantation heated his house to a fatal 38°C, the Sun reports. Luke Holmes, 28, constructed "three foil-lined tents each containing marijuana plants", nurtured by a "battery" of halogens. He died in bed and was discovered by …


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  1. Mr Anadin

    getting baked

    brings a whole new meaning to the phrase... getting baked.

  2. Clive Harris

    A fatal 38°C?

    If you think that's fatal, you'd better not visit Australia. I don't think those police officers would last long here in Melbourne, Last summer I recorded 48°C one afternoon, and it was in the high 30's all week.. Now that's HOT. By the way, we didn't have air con in our house (Air con is for wimps).

    Flames because... well, if you've experienced an Australian summer, you'd understand.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Michael H.F. Wilkinson

      It depends on humidity

      I experienced near 50 degrees C in the Negev desert, but because the humidity was in single figures, your body can get rid of excess heat through sweating. If the humidity is too high, you cannot release the excess heat, your body temperature exceeds 42 deg and you die.

      Divers in certain areas carry alarms to tell them the water is above 37 deg C for this reason

  3. Anonymous Coward

    A first?!

    Could this be the first death related to marijuana? Quick lets ban it!

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Oh dear

      Tell me you don't really believe that.

      1. Anonymous Coward


        I'm actually pro-marijuana! It has many many good uses. Just look at GWP on the stockmarket, they make lots of good things out of the wonderful plant

      2. Graham Marsden

        @Oh dear

        Try reading that post again with your irony detector switched on...

  4. Dino

    er you can't die at 38C no way

    Middle east and even Mediterranean countries routinely hit temperatures above that ... never heard of them dropping dead... that temperature can't be right..

    1. Robin

      re: er you can't die at 38C no way

      Agreed. I was strolling around Sevilla at 37C last year and don't recall dying.

    2. Elmer Phud

      It's not bloody Torremolinos, y'know

      Yorkshire - not usually known for sand storms and camels.

    3. Paul_Murphy

      Peak vs constant and humidity

      The problem with the lights scenario is that the temperature will be constant - no matter the time of day the temp will be 38 deg (or higher).

      Normally a body gets to cool down at night. If the temperature never gets below a certain level (I think it's 24 degC) then the body will eventually overheat.

      There is also the matter of humidity - if the air is dry and very hot a body can sweat to keep itself cool - if the air is hot and humid then the body cannot cool itself.


      1. Marcelo Rodrigues

        Take a trip to Rio de Janeiro in the summer

        It's not only hot - the hummidity is extremely high. It's quite normal to get a full week of 32 - 36 C, and more than 90% of relative hummidity on the air. Try sweating away the heat on these conditions...

        You open the cold water on the shower, and it's warm. You think "Duh, I hited the warm tap!". And, no. It's the cold tap that's warm. The warm would burn You. :P

        So You take your cold (but hot) shower. You dry yourself up, and put some clothes. And then it's time to work.

        15 minutes later there's sweat running down your spine. Your armpits are totally soaked, and You need to take another bath.

        Dying of 38C INHOUSE? There's something wrong. He could step out any time. No one in his right mind would go trough this when the street is much cooler and at one doorstep away.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Heat balance

      It's all down to the heat balance of the body. IIRC from my biology days the human body spends less and less energy to keep warm up to around 31 or 32 C. After that the body starts spending more and more energy to get rid of excess heat (pumping more blood to the skin kinda stuff). 38 C skin temp and 100% humidity means there's no way to dump heat and the core temperature rises to fatal levels (skin temp is a lot less than core temp). 38 C core temp is a mild fever, 42 C is not.

  5. LuMan


    He could've gone up in smoke!

  6. Is it me?


    A roast Yorkshire puddin?

    But we can't use Stoned baked.

    Could this be a Darwin award candidate.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    What A Dope

    Not the bightest of fellows, getting my coat as it's a bit cold in here.

  8. S Larti

    Not to mention...

    Yorkshire hot pot

    1. M Gale

      Wrong side of t'Pennines, laddie.

      But still funny.

  9. Michael H.F. Wilkinson

    Darwin award?

    Must be a candidate, unless he had kids (for everyone concerned, I sincerely hope not)

  10. Marcus Aurelius

    I wonder

    Why your average grower doesn't use LED lighting (perhaps with some form of small heater for temperature control) to reduce the heat (and wattage) output, which would keep the anomalous power usage down.

    1. M Gale


      Per lumen, LEDs are horrendously, ridiculously expensive. Also, far easier for your illegal grower to shimmy up a lamp post and swipe the friggin' massive sodium halide, than spend all year nicking hyperbrights from the back of buses and the wheel hubs of poser bicyclists.

      1. Marcus Aurelius
        Thumb Up

        Other sources output more lumens

        But you can presumably place the LED lamps close to the plants due to their lower heat output

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      LED Lights

      I keep marine fish, I am looking to get LED lighting the next time I need to replace my existing lights, they're very expensive. Also, the leccy used by bog standard halogen lamps isn't an issue for your average cannabis farm what with bypassing the meter.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Down


        its not just about brightness its about the levels of light that plants need at certain times of the year (blue and red light to put in laymans terms)

        you cant use normal incandescent lighting or halogens. it needs to be HPS (high pressure sodium) etc.

        just because a room seems light to us, doesnt mean its getting the quality of light to be able to produce flowers (the buds that you smoke)

        anon - obviously!

  11. Huntsman


    But that's a different story altogether.

  12. envmod


    38 degrees, although hot, is not THAT hot.... I've been in hotter temperatures in Portugal. Admittedly I did get heat stroke on that particular occasion.

    I guess he was just in high heat for too long....probably too stoned to open the window or something.

  13. Miek


    38 Degrees is for wussies. I have been to hotter places.

  14. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. M Gale

      Worth money?

      Given a yield of 5 oz per plant (not unrealistic, and possibly a bit conservative), and a potential market price of anything from £120 to £250 per oz, are your orchids really that good?

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Are you kidding me?

        £120 to £250 per ounce?

        Wow, weed is *expensive* in England... Or else that is some premo-shit.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          Is that before or after the introduction of suger/brick dust?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Thumb Up

          you wouldn't

          bother spending all that time and effort growing anything less than Grade-A-super-skunk-wow-that's-strong stuff!

          It's why most people in the UK mix it with tobacco.

  15. Kevin Johnston


    Umm, actually you can die of that temperature. Whilst many parts of the world do get hotter than that quite often (I have seen 50c in Saudi) the point is that he was exposed to 38c for a long period. He will have dehydrated quite rapidly and quietly passed away whereas those who have experienced those 38c or higher temperatures who have gone into the shade or an air-conditioned indoors and had nice long cool drinks will tend to survive.

    1. Marcus Aurelius


      The quoted figures (38C, 50C etc) *is* the shade temperature. Open sun desert temperatures can be 70C+ (158F+). The highest Saudi shade temperature recorded is a lovely 58C (137F).

      Burning icon chosen for obvious reasons

  16. This post has been deleted by its author

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    I think he cooked his own goose..

  18. JimC


    body temperature rather than house temperature...

  19. Elmer Phud

    But . . .

    . . . his mates want to know if the crop was O.K.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    Grow Lamps?

    Erm, these are not grow lamps - Halogen lamps are pretty much useless for growing marijuana - they don't produce the correct spectrum of light and they are far too hot. High Pressure Sodium is the lamp of choice for such activities or if you can't manage that flourescents work but are not as effective (great for the vegetation stage but crap for flowering) - so basically the guy was an idiot.

    Also foil is not recommended either, it creates "hot spots" which can fry the plants - mylar is the material of choice.

    or so I have heard...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      i concur

      hehe. i agree with everything you say.

      we must have read the same book :) or whatever :)

      fyi - you can get flouros that are ok for flowering. i cant remember the ins and outs but thats down to red/blue light again.

  21. Ball boy

    Pah! Wimp!

    I've seen 'Saving Grace' and she showed no signs of suffering adverse symptoms. Probably as much caused by dehydration as anything heat-related.

    Anyway, as any fule kno dope grows best at 30 degrees. Leastways, it does in my greenho....oh, damn. Charles, get the rifle out. We're being phucked.

    /coat with extra-long Rizzlas in the pockets

    1. Anonymous Coward

      I forget the details

      ...but I remember a higher than optimum temperature can result in female-only seeds...I mean, assuming you didn't remove the males in time to begin with. An example of how two wrongs can make a right!

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It won't be the heat that killed him

    it will be the humidity. At 38 degrees celsius the atmosphere can hold around 50 grams H20 per kilogram of air or 70% relative humidity.

    A Humidex of 54 or more i.e. 38 degrees and 60% relative humidity would indicate that a heat stroke is imminent.

  23. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    Probably guessing the temperature, anyway he's dead (about a year ago)

    Inquest presumably delayed for police inquiries?

    A story online from the Halifax Courier, which might be the origin of The Sun's, seems to be unavailable except for instance in Google's cache ("luke holmes" hyperthermia). That version does not put a figure on the temperature. Notwithstanding the story may have been withdrawn for possible errors, apparently a friend broke into the house using a ladder and, presumably, a window, which would cool things off a bit by the time the ambulance or police arrived, which might not have been straight away. And taking the room temperature might not have been the first thought. I suppose he may have had his own thermometers but an ordinary room thermometer isn't particularly accurate - mine don't match (I have indoor/outdoor thermometers attached to fridge and freezer with the "outdoor" probe in the cool compartment). And according to a recent UK TV documentary, for several reasons when police find an indoor cannabis farm they don't switch off the lamps straight away, but the friend may have done.

    Further speculation would be rather disgusting. But while some people do indeed survive temperatures above 37 degrees Celsius, many don't, and taking alcohol or other recreational drugs that affect temperature regulation may be dangerous.

    So what have we learned... put the cannabis plants upstairs and sleep in the basement? But bear in mind that the police use helicopters with thermal cameras, they'll find the stuff... too bad that they didn't get around to this fellow before he croaked.

  24. Anonymous Coward

    It's in the article...


    For all of you '38 degress is nothing'ers, I live in this heat for several months of the year. If you don't drink lots of water, you die. It's hard to drink water whilst asleep!!!

    1. Marcelo Rodrigues

      But it's quite hard to die of dehydration in one single night

      He may have died of dehydration. It's quite likely, in fact. But I can't see how one could die in just one night (You said we can't drink water sleeping - tht's where I got one night from). We have more than enough water to withstand a single night of 38C.

      Yes, yes. You can always dehydrate over a couple of days. But then it wouldn't be a matter of drinking water while asleep, would it?

  25. John Savard Silver badge

    Legal Plants?

    If one is growing legal plants for resale, one has to do other things legally.

    Like pay for the electricity you're using to grow them. Like have a business license for one's greenhouse, and locate it out of town where the zoning bylaws allow that sort of thing.

    And if your business is legal, you will, of course, have plenty of competitors who can grow what you're growing at the same cost you're paying. So it doesn't surprise me that people are growing marijuana instead of attempting to meet the demand for other more legitimate horticultural products; those who are professionals in the greenhouse business will handle growing the orchids for which there is a demand, and your typical grow-op operator would not have the competency to survive in competition with those professionals.

  26. fordie

    38 Degrees?

    So that's where the lobby group got their name from.

  27. brainwrong
    Black Helicopters

    Halogen lamps?

    Are you sure he used halogen lamps? That would be the stupidest way to grow indoors. Too inefficient. But i doubt a sun 'journalist' would know any more than that it was a light bulb.

    If you want to tinker with growing, then the cheap and nasty way is to use a few CFL's.

    Anyone half-serious will get either a high pressure sodium lamp, or metal halide lamp, or both for larger setups. You need these to approach outdoor daylight light levels indoors.

    LED's are still mostly too shit / way too expensive for growing, although research is progressing into this. It holds the promise of combining several different types of narrow-band coloured LED's to target the specific wavelengths needed by the plant.

    BTW, most growers are honest enough to pay for their own electricity.

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Halogen lamps?

      "I've grown dope in my house but I don't like to talk about it on the internet."

      I should have put a bet on with myself as to how many expert comments would show up. I'm still going to pay myself this donut, anyway.

      1. M Gale


        Munchies, Sarah?

        I recommend margarita pizza with extra chilli on top. Fresh chilli mind, none of this powdered or dried crap.

        Mmh.. now I'm hungry.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        5th ammendment.

        I refuse to comment on the grounds that I might incriminate myself.

        P.S. Does anyone know where I can get a Margarita Pizza and some chillis at 3am Sunday morning?

  28. Anonymous Coward

    Up in smoke

    One of these places burnt down recently near where i live on the South Coast.

    I'd often noticed a funny sweet smelling aroma wafting on the breeze as I walked past but always presumed it was just some pot head enjoying a spliff or two.

    Then on a Saturday morning a few months back two fire engines, police and the local press are there en masse pouring over the wrecked, burnt out remains of a two story house.

    Apparently the growing setup had been installed in the roof and the local press reported that dodgy electrics caused caused the fire which completely gutted the whole house and caused serious damage to the adjacent properties.

    Nightmare situation really - I don't suppose the landlords insurance would cover the consequences of a criminal act such as drug cultivation and they were most likely completely unaware of what was occuring.

    Here is the report with a picture from the local press -

    Thats what you could call an EPIC FAIL...

    1. M Gale

      Was only last year...

      ...when a farm was busted just up the road from me. They'd broken into a disused old church and had co-opted the power supply from the street lighting outside.

      Funny thing is, it'd been going on for months and nobody noticed. It was only when a police helicopter was looking for something else entirely that they flicked their IR camera on and noticed the church glowing up like Blackpool illuminations...

      At least the light outside the church works properly now.

  29. Ben Rosenthal


    if the punishment for stupidity is death, worry.

  30. Arnie

    well he wouldnt have burnt his house down if.......

    prohibition ended tomorrow.

    Pot is so safe, lets do a test. give 1000 people a bag of peanuts and 1000 people a joint and we'll see who's hospitalised first.

    Autoflowering weed in the greenhouse. 3+ crops per summer of proper strong weed.

    "Thats why i buy my weed from no one, thats why they call me dr greenthumb"

    We all have a duty to disobey unjust laws

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Stupid law

      I've yet to meet an aggressive, violent stoner, but I've encountered a ton of people who get a few beers in them and think they're Rocky bloody Balboa. Potheads aren't the ones you need to be wary of.

      Unless you count aggressive cases of the munchies, but having everything in your house that's edible eaten is preferable to being punched in the head by an aggro drunk and his lagered-up mates.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        "I've yet to meet an aggressive, violent stoner..."

        Maybe not, but most of the pot heads I've encountered both during the working day and out of office hours have been one or two steps back from reality, generally vague and not the kind of person I'd trust with an important job. A friend of the family smokes dope and she's paranoid, depressed and has mood swings. Stupid people.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        IT Angle

        skunk psychosis

        I know no facts at all about this but is pot really harmless (within the bounds of acceptability)?

        Is all the negative hoo-haa really just propaganda?

        Or is this a case of "done right it's relatively harmless but done wrong it has awful and has far reaching consequences"?

        How far does society have to go to protect those that cannot exercise judgement and those that they harm as a consequence?

        The law is a blunt instrument; can it be made to work and so distinguish between mostly law-abiding stoners with green fingers growing their own and machete-wielding Yardies dealing to kiddies?

        ... dunno, pass the bong ...

        1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: skunk psychosis

          "You may not know anything about the subject, but we bet you reckon something."

          1. Anonymous Coward

            reckon something?

            yeah, I just can't remember what it is ...

          2. zenp

            ...THC vs CBD and mental health...

            ...despite the usual 'flat earth news' style of reportage around this subject, there is still some sensible debate available, and even a few verifiable hypothesis. Best article i've read on the subject of psychosis vs the varying rates of THC and CBD in modern strains of cannabis and therefore the effect that weed, and the criminalization of weed, may have had on mental health, etc is here:


            Don't worry, it's New Scientist, not High Times...

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Just the one?

      Wouldn't one each be better?

      (Although ~¹⁄₁₀ of a peanut is still enough to cause problems for some…)

    3. M Gale

      Stoners will save the world.

      They are relatively peaceful, have all the best ideas, and will put the world to rights!

      And they'll do it all.. tomorrow!

  31. kain preacher

    38 c ?

    I've been in Yuma Arizona were it hits between 40-49c in the summer. Night time it cools down to a mere 36c. oh and its %.001 humidity .The sweet evaporates so fast it barely cools you off. At night time the pool water is 26c.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      "...The sweet [sic] evaporates so fast it barely cools you off..."

      The laws of physics are different there then?

      Anyway - as per everyone else - Not drinking for extended periods of time in elevated heat will kill you, this will also exhacerbate heat stroke which in anything other than its most mild forms should be considered a medical emergency as it can be fatal.

  32. Richard Scratcher

    Title - name, heading, legend, label, caption, inscription

    "Police officers almost fainted from the heat when they entered the property on a warm day last June"

    Yeah, I remember that day, it was a Tuesday.

  33. Adrian Esdaile

    Give that man...

    a Darwin Award!

  34. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    That's only 100 degrees...

    Almost fainted stepping in on a warm day? What a bunch of pussies.. you guys and your mild summers. Seriously, it gets up into the mid to upper 90s (about 36) here every single summer with high humidity too, and I don't almost faint every time I step outside. It got up to 120 when I was in Las Vegas (that is 49 celsius).

    1. Mr Dixon


      Wow - I'm impressed. You live somewhere hot.

      Give that man a pat on the back!

  35. Harry

    So now we know ...

    ... what those estate agents really mean when they advertise "this is a hot property".

  36. Triggerfish

    38'C heat

    I've travelled in Asia with some Aussies from part of their desert, where they said temps would easily hit 50 or so, however they both said that they found the temp where we were at about 35-40 considerably more draining just because of the effects of humidity. High temp dry heat takes a lot less toll on your body compared with high humidity.

  37. Anonymous Coward

    Bong on Pommie, Bong on, Bong on!!!!

    I suppose that he also stayed in his 3 man nylon tent, on a hot sunny day. Helps cleans the aura too.

    Less Dope heads = less space cadet losers..

  38. Jason Yau

    There's a reason

    that it's called dope.

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