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Grow Lights

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Grow Lights

Postby Clyde212 » Feb 05, 2012 7:47 pm

What does everyone use for grow lights? Do you need to buy the expensive fluorescent tubes or is the "daylight" tubes good enough?

Clyde
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Re: Grow Lights

Postby Smitty » Feb 05, 2012 9:54 pm

I have the expensive ones...hope someone else knows if daylight bulbs would work....where's Dave or Dan or Lulu or Inge or Trish..... when you need them
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Re: Grow Lights

Postby davefrombc » Feb 05, 2012 10:58 pm

6500K daylight bulbs should be fine for starting seedlings. A twin tube shoplight works greatfor that . Seedlings like light towards the blue end of the spectrum which cool white and daylight bulbs provide. Flower development requires light moreto the red end of the spectrum Start you seeds with the daylights (preferred) or cool whites , it keeping plants under lights at more maturity , you need the mix of the warm whites with the daylights for flowering . Keep the lamps just a few inches above the tops of the seedlings. Regular intensity bulbs really still only give minimal intensity light for the plants . The more expensive High output fixtures and lamps are really much better for regular growing under lights . They have nearly double the output of regular lamps .
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Re: Grow Lights

Postby CFRASER7 » Feb 06, 2012 12:15 am

Don't know if I am much help here, but I am also wondering about grow lights, I purchased a jiffy heatd greenhouse, and want to put a light overtop. I found this at Canadian Tire, but am not sure if it would be good for seedlings. Reviews I have read say that they have worked well for flowering. This is the link:
http://www.canadiantire.ca/browse/produ ... 8501288816

I am not sure if a light bulb comes with it, but I found a link to the replacement, it is a 13 watt: http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/browse/3 ... ?locale=en
If anyone knows if this would work for seedlings, or what would work that would be great.

-Christine
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Re: Grow Lights

Postby davefrombc » Feb 06, 2012 1:05 am

I had to search on your Jiffy greenhouse to see what it is . That fixture you showed would not be good for it except in only a small area of it . Too expensive for what you get. You can get smaller twin tube fluorescent fixtures and daylight tubes you could use over the plant starter "greenhouse" . I would use 2 of them for a 4 tube fixture to give the seedlings maximum light .
Another route you can go is a flexible gooseneck table lamp with a CFL 6500k bulb in it . you can get them in 13 and up to 27w.. The Philips brand are the ones I found best for aquarium plants , so I think they would also be good for seed starting . . You can get cheap gooseneck table lamps and clip one ones from Home Depot , Rona or CanTire. For the price of the fixture you show, you could buy 3 of the table lamps and CFL bulbs to give better coverage over the greenhouse.
There are all sorts of homebuilt lighting systems you could create now with CFL lamps in screw-in light sockets to create very strong lighting systems for seed starting of indoor growing now .
Using single or double bulb sockets like those found in ceiling light fixtures, and some aluminum sheet you can create a small (in size) very high output lighting system for over seed starters or indoor plants .
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Re: Grow Lights

Postby OGrubber » Feb 06, 2012 10:16 am

Smitty wrote:....where'I s Dave or Dan or Lulu or Inge or Trish..... when you need them

Sorry, I can't be of any help here - I grow in the greenhouse without supplemental lighting.
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Re: Grow Lights

Postby Clyde212 » Feb 06, 2012 10:27 am

Thanks for the details Dave :) Last year I started my seeds under twin "Daylight" tubes in a shoplike fixture. I found they got leggy. Wanted to put a few more this year but wanted to check with "The Pros" First ;)

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Re: Grow Lights

Postby Sharon Bryson » Feb 06, 2012 10:38 am


One thing to remember when using any type of fluorescent light for plants is to have the plants very close to the lights.....1-2" away. This means any set up needs to be adjustable.
4 tubes supplying light to a shelf of plants is much better than a single 2 tube fixture.

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Sharon
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Re: Grow Lights

Postby CFRASER7 » Feb 06, 2012 12:56 pm

Thanks for your help davefrombc, I'm glad that I mentioned it here before going out and buying it. I am thinking of these flexible lamps from Wal-Mart that I have seen, I believe they are around $12. I'll probably pick four up this weekend as I have a few plants that need to be started indoors 12 weeks before frost is gone, not that the ground is frozen here anyways. These lights shoudn't add too much to my hydro bill will they, since they are florescent and all?
I remember last year I had one just to try out a theory, and I used a small lamp I could point at one pot with a few seedlings in it and they grew faster than my seedlings that were not under the light. But I am not a good seed grower, it seems that they always get too leggy and fall over, so I am hoping that using a heating pad and lights will be a good combination for me!

Thanks again,
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Re: Grow Lights

Postby davefrombc » Feb 06, 2012 1:55 pm

The bottom heat will help with the sprouting, and the lights will definitely benefit the growth.. As Sharon said place the lights right down within an inch or two of the seedling tops. The reflectors on those flexible gooseneck lamps help concentrate the light on the seedlings, but the actual amount of light they get is far weaker than they would get outside in the sun , planted in the garden.. The light intensity drops off drastically with distance; that is why the lamps must be so close to the plants when using artificial lights. The amount of power they will consume is determined by the wattage rating 3 - 23w 6500k daylight CFL lamps ( I prefer Philips brand ) will consume 69w of power . Compare that to the old incandescent light bulbs...... a 23w CFL produces nearly the same light output of a 100W incandescent, and uses 1/4 the power. so 3 of them over your mini greenhouse will light it with the equivalent of 300 w of incandescent light, and only consume 69 w of power, while delivering a better light spectrum and producing very considerably less heat. Those inexpensive lamps from Walmart are great, I have both table lamp style and clip on ones .
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