I never really felt like there was a reason to mix them. People do though, nothing wrong with that either.
will i be missing out on efficiency power if i do so though?
will the hlg-240-c2100 be alright for two 288s or should i go up to hlg-3200?
Lower power is more efficient, if that answers your question. I would do 288’s on same driver.
sounds good and last question (for now)
do drivers always pull from the wall at the rated maximum wattage? for instance, will my meanwell hlg 240 always be pulling 240 watts from the wall regardless of how the current dial is turned?
asking because i want to know the operation costs of running this driver
No it will not. If you turn the dimmer all the way up and never mess with it, then it will pull what it pulls outside of some slight changes in temp equalization and voltage droop. The minute you dim it, the power consumption will go down. That being said, the most it will pull will depend on how its loaded. After that, they are known to have a little more current than nameplate, and they are sized on the output. So you also will pull whatever heat losses the driver has from the wall as well.
Depending on which way you go, figure around 250-260 watts or so at wall. Even if it’s a little higher or lower, you’re looking at difference of a penny or so per day.
A good driver is 90% efficient. A really good one is 95%. That means 10% or 5% of the power drawn from the wall goes up in heat in the driver box. The other 90% - 95% goes to the LEDs.
On the other hand, some LED bulbs and Chinese fixtures may have 60-70% efficient drivers. Wastes a lot of electricity heating your grow chamber. One simple comparison is lumens/watt. If you are getting >160 lumens/watt you are doing great. If somebody claims > 200 lumens/watt they are probably lying.
Please try to keep the links limited to Amazon, Dealzer, or aliexpress.
The two drivers you listed are both 250ish watt drivers.
Hlg-240h-c2100a is constant current
Hlg-240h-48a is constant voltage/constant current.
You want the kit with constant current driver if possible. Which I’m assuming is the kit from horticulture lighting group. If you’re looking for the individual driver specs, type exact driver model as it appears into search bar. That will provide you with hits from the electronic distributors. Once you open then there should be a hyperlink to that models data sheet.