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Re: Grow Lights

Postby CFRASER7 » Feb 12, 2012 5:54 pm

Okay, so today I set up my light system...long story short didn't turn out as I hoped, I returned the four lamps, and picked up the $17 shop light, chain, and philips bulbs, T12 40 watt daylights, and T12 40 watt softlights. Finally I feel like it's all going to work out. I have to pick up another shop light, I figured one would be enough but two seems the way to go. My fiance set it up basically the same way you did except he drilled a hole through the beam and threaded the chain through it, we're going to use the chain that it came with to attach the other light to it. I used photobucket to show the pictures, but the whole picture isn't showing and I have no idea how to fix that, I think you can click on the picture though and it will show the whole thing.
Image

The little lamps were just not speading the light like I wanted. I would need six of them to do the job, and it's just not cost effective.
Image

Oh and question, did you take your jiffy plastic lid off? I left mine on for humidity, but the lights are almost touching the lid because I need the lights about 2 inches away. Should I take the lid off and use plastic wrap? I put a little thermometer into the "greenhouse", and I don't know if I trust it, it is reading 100 F +, the heating pad that it came with is warm but not that warm, I think it may be from the lights. I sure hope that it isn't that warm, or nothing will germinate in it.

I am testing this on 12 peat pots right now, just random plants. Some lettuce, passion flower vine, jalapeno peppers, and african daisies. We'll see if anything happens, I am hopeful. I want to put the lights on a timer, I have not found a power bar with one included, but have one that I can plug into it I believe. I am thinking of having the lights come on from 7 pm to 7 am, since that's when our hydro's cheapest (damn you smart metre).

The damping off bit is all too familiar, that is what happened to me! I have read to sprinkle cinnamon on the soil after you plant the seed, but before the seedling comes out. I guess it kills off the fungus. And when using peat pellets, which I am, I know that if I do not keep an eye, things can turn moldy all too fast.
Edit-Just read this in your post...oops :oops:

And as for the aluminum foil/box idea, I think I might just pick up a huge thing of tinfoil and make a tinfoil box, or something to that effect. I know I don't have a box big enough for that anymore, and want to limit the fire hazard risk.

Thanks,
-Christine
If you have time to read, you have time to weed
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Re: Grow Lights

Postby davefrombc » Feb 12, 2012 6:09 pm

I don't think the shoplight right down at the plastic dome surface should raise the temperature inside that much . The heating pad isn't likely to either, but to be safe, I'd try an known accurate thermometer in there and see what it reads. A medical fever thermometer will tell you if it is around body temperature range .. +/- of 98 F or 37 C. It depends on the humidity in the room whether you need the extra humidity of the plastic dome. It shouldn't hurt to leave it on while starting the seeds .
It will help hold in the heat and humidity for them though if the room is cooler than the seedlings would like.
BC Fraser Valley zone 7/8
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Re: Grow Lights

Postby Dumbo » Feb 12, 2012 6:41 pm

Looks good!

I was going to put mine up in the furnace room, but I didn't have good access to hang stuff up with all the air ducting there. Maybe next year as I work on this and figure things out.

I see what you mean about the lamps. True. It would take a wide reflector (the cone shape where the bulbs fit in to screw in). A new project for your fiance! ;)

CFRASER7 wrote:Oh and question, did you take your jiffy plastic lid off?


I didn't get a chance to put any seeds yet. Will be doing that this evening with the kids. But yes, I will be putting the dome on it.

From what I understand (and maybe someone here can correct me), but the seeds do not need the light on all that long to germinate. Different seeds have different requirements from what I read. Some don't need light (the vast majority of seeds), while some require light.

So while the dome is on mine, I will raise the chain to make the lights 2-inches from the top of the dome and leave the lights on just in case. Once they sprout and I remove the dome, then I'll lower the chain a bit to put the lights closer to the seedlings and leave the lights on longer.

I don't have TOU electricity here (phew).

CFRASER7 wrote:I put a little thermometer into the "greenhouse", and I don't know if I trust it, it is reading 100 F +, the heating pad that it came with is warm but not that warm, I think it may be from the lights. I sure hope that it isn't that warm, or nothing will germinate in it.


You too, eh? The thermometer I picked up for about 3$ gives almost the same reading you have, 32-C (~90-F). the house it at 21-C. I put my hand under it and I felt only a very minor difference in heat. like 2-C at most.

It doesn't make sense to me.

So I came to the same conclusion you did. The light, for some reason, throws the thermometer off and it isn't accurate at all.

Also from what I read earlier, it's the soil temp that is most important, not the air temp like I was measuring. Apparently soil temp is always less than air temp. This is why some people use the heating mats (which also, apparently, almost guarantee's germination). I don't have a heating mat, wish I did. So your set-up is better than mine.

So having said that, A little bulb thermometer in the soil, or whatever, "should" be the temp I should be measuring and controlling with the mat. Not air temperature like I measured.

The power-bars with the timer are over-priced (I find) ~20$. I found a regular timer (no power-bar) for my pool at Canadian Tire for ~5$. But this may depend on when they have specials going on.

Let us know what you discover as you make your way through this. I will as well :)
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Re: Grow Lights

Postby Dumbo » Feb 12, 2012 6:46 pm

davefrombc wrote:I don't think the shoplight right down at the plastic dome surface should raise the temperature inside that much . The heating pad isn't likely to either,


It's strange. I got almost the same thing she did. I get the feeling that the intensity of the lights may be giving false readings for some reason. But this is just a best guess.
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Re: Grow Lights

Postby CFRASER7 » Feb 12, 2012 10:39 pm

I know what thermometer to get now, I didn't even think of that duh :roll:

My air temperature in the dome has gone down to 95F, but as you both said, much better to have the temp of the soil. The heating pad is nice but not large enough to cover the entire bottom of the tray. Which is weird because it was a jiffy kit, specifically made for it, the peat pellets which are on the outside of the rows, there soil is a lot colder feeling than the ones inside, may have to do some rotating, or could move the lettuce out there since it germinates at colder temps.

Good luck with your seedlings Dumbo, I'm sure they'll do fine. I was reading a article on germinating peppers and the people who grew them used shop lights with florescent lights, and also said that when they used specific florescent grow lights, they didn't notice anything different than when they used the florescents, and it's way cheaper to use normal florescent's than grow light florescents.

I'll keep up to date with the seedling process, hoping to have some sprouts in at least 7 days :mrgreen: .

Thanks,
-Christine
If you have time to read, you have time to weed
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Re: Grow Lights

Postby Dumbo » Feb 12, 2012 11:31 pm

CFRASER7 wrote:Good luck with your seedlings Dumbo, I'm sure they'll do fine.


I need more than luck. When I went to sprinkle some cinnamon on the things, it just poured out. I have orange seeding mix now. But on the bright side, the cat took off and didn't like the smell of cinnamon. Too bad it fell on it's catnip that I planted [sigh].

I puts 2 types of lavender, Rosemary, Catnip (cat-mint), 2 types of daisies, Sea-Holly, and I put a tray of cat-grass. But... I think I will be growing cinnamon for some reason... :shock:

So that fit all in one domed flat. Basically I just want to see if it all dies off by March. If it doesn't then all the veggies go in.
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Re: Grow Lights

Postby CFRASER7 » Feb 12, 2012 11:51 pm

I need more than luck. When I went to sprinkle some cinnamon on the things, it just poured out. I have orange seeding mix now. But on the bright side, the cat took off and didn't like the smell of cinnamon. Too bad it fell on it's catnip that I planted [sigh].


LOL, maybe if cinnamon is used in massive amounts it actually DOES ward off fungus? :lol:

I tried germinating rosemary last year, I found them very slow to pop up, and think maybe only 6 poked there head up out of about 20-30 seeds, then the 6 that made it died...don't be sad if you have a tough time with it.

I also tried to grow sea holly, and out of the few that survived the massive die off, I must say they live through almost anything! I had one survive until only a week ago, the cold from the window got to it. But that poor little plant had been through hell and back a few times. It dried up, got kicked over, dried up again, dug up by one of my dogs, was out in the hot suffocating sun, dried up again..you name it happened. So once you get them going, you should be able to grow them. I can't believe mine died :cry:

-Christine
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Re: Grow Lights

Postby Dumbo » Feb 13, 2012 1:37 am

CFRASER7 wrote:I tried germinating rosemary last year, I found them very slow to pop up, and think maybe only 6 poked there head up out of about 20-30 seeds, then the 6 that made it died...

Yeah I read this one is a pain to grow. Germination can take 30-days. I came across one site that said to keep the temp between 17 and 19 for them to germinate. So I'll plant more and toss them around the house where it's cooler and see what happens. Nothing to lose.
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Re: Grow Lights

Postby davefrombc » Feb 13, 2012 5:37 am

Rosemary is very easy to propagate from cuttings.
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Re: Grow Lights

Postby Dumbo » Feb 13, 2012 6:17 pm

davefrombc wrote:Rosemary is very easy to propagate from cuttings.

Yup. If it doesn't grow I'll just buy a plant and then make cuttings later on I guess.
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