Author Topic: Which grow light solutions are folks using?  (Read 1241 times)

Offline AverageDude

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Which grow light solutions are folks using?
« on: November 26, 2012, 08:40:11 PM »

I have been looking into seed starting solutions and have pretty much settled on something similar to this:

http://www.nwedible.com/2012/03/indoor-seed-starting-rack.html

Any idea where you can buy full spectrum grow lights (Didn't find much at Amazon or The Depot)? Has anyone experimented with T12, T8 and T5 fixtures? I'm hoping to find the bits and pieces by early January so I can start my seedlings in mid February.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Which grow light solutions are folks using?
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2012, 09:19:17 PM »
Here's what I use every year.


As for the lights themselves, there is no need to use actual grow lights.  Get some 4' shop light fixtures.  Put in half cool white and half warm white bulbs.  Adjust them down to be only 1" or so off of the top of the plants. 
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Offline Skunkeye

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Re: Which grow light solutions are folks using?
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2012, 12:35:39 AM »
I'm with Fritz - I use standard 4' flourescent tubes, and they work just fine.  The full spectrum lamps might be necessary if you're trying to grow full, mature plants indoors, but for seed starting, they're not really necessary.

My setup is just a standard wire rack shelf unit with the lights suspended under the shelves, very similar to the link you posted.  Works great.
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Offline Cedar

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Re: Which grow light solutions are folks using?
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2012, 05:18:46 PM »
I use full spectrum fish lights.... when I use them. I don't every year, just some.

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Offline PorcupineKate

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Re: Which grow light solutions are folks using?
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2012, 10:15:21 AM »
I have had great success with daylight florescent bulbs that are 6500k. 

I use T8 and T5 bulbs. (My husband got free T5 lighting fixtures from his work) 

I did wind up with a couple of fixtures that I couldn't easily hang.  Being able to keep the light close to the plants does make a difference.  Those fixtures will be moved to work shop and I will get more hanging fixtures.


Offline PermaCoolture

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Re: Which grow light solutions are folks using?
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2012, 10:55:11 AM »
I help run a small-sized aquaponics farm, and we don't grow anything with a fruiting response - just salad greens - but standard fluorescent tubes work for us.  We don't worry at all about getting full spectrum lights. 

Offline cohutt

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Offline AverageDude

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Re: Which grow light solutions are folks using?
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2013, 12:51:59 PM »
I visited the Depot today and I couldn't find any warm lights. They had daylight lights and cool white lights:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/t/203466573?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=T12&storeId=10051&N=5yc1v&R=203466573#.UVXUWeMieEU

http://www.homedepot.com/p/t/100113597?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=T12&storeId=10051&N=5yc1v&R=100113597#.UVXUT-MieEU

Does anyone happen to know which bulbs would work best? Should I use a combination of the two for the best results?

Offline heliotropicmoth

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Re: Which grow light solutions are folks using?
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2013, 01:04:16 PM »
The set up you linked to is almost exactly the same as I use. I even use the same heating mats. I have good results every year. Here is a pic of mine from two days ago.



As far as lights go, I use the "daylight" florescent 4' bulbs. They work great and you can get 2 for $7.98

http://www.lowes.com/pd_154515-371-29566_4294801215__?productId=3063707&Ntt=flourescent

You can pay double that and get full spectrum lights if you want, but I have great success with the daylight bulbs. Here is a link to the full spectrum lights.

http://www.lowes.com/pd_327868-3-28982_4294801215__?productId=3295278&Ntt=flourescent

Post some pics of your set-up when you get it.

Patrick

Offline AverageDude

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Re: Which grow light solutions are folks using?
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2013, 01:07:17 PM »

Do you use T8 or T12 bulbs? Is there much of a difference between them?

Offline AverageDude

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Re: Which grow light solutions are folks using?
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2013, 01:08:34 PM »
@heliotropicmoth -- do you use one or two shop lights per shelf? I am building a set up identical to yours this weekend.

Offline heliotropicmoth

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Re: Which grow light solutions are folks using?
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2013, 01:23:42 PM »
Hey AverageDude,

I use two, four foot, two light fixtures on each shelf. Here is a side view pic of one shelf.



I use T12 lights, they are cheaper, so unless you already have the T8 fixtures I would go with the T12. That said T8 bulbs are more energy efficient so you may save more money over the long haul with the T8 bulbs. 

I highly recommend putting your system on a timer. You can get a really good digital timer / power strip at Lowes for $20.

http://www.lowes.com/pd_331645-207-TE08WHBL_0__?productId=3242168&Ntt=digital+timer&pl=1&currentURL=%3FNtt%3Ddigital%2Btimer&facetInfo=

Hope this helps.

Patrick

Offline heliotropicmoth

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Re: Which grow light solutions are folks using?
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2013, 01:30:19 PM »
I just looked up T8 light prices. They are the same price as the T12, so if the fixtures / ballast are not that expensive I would go with them.

http://www.lowes.com/pd_154515-371-29566_0__?productId=3063707&Ntt=t8&pl=1&currentURL=%3FNtt%3Dt8&facetInfo=

Offline Skunkeye

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Re: Which grow light solutions are folks using?
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2013, 01:53:35 PM »
Unless you have some T12 fixtures already, or a very cheap/free source, I'd go with the T8's.  T12 bulbs are being slowly phased out over time, so eventually, T12 bulbs will be more expensive than T8's. 
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Offline Roamer

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Re: Which grow light solutions are folks using?
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2013, 06:42:56 PM »
I am using this:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0006856EQ/ref=oh_details_o07_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Along with the heat mat and thermostat that are the Frequently Bought Together items list below this item.

Works pretty good but the light is concentrated in a small strip right under the light so that is where the
plant grow the best and all others lean that way. I am working on a better solution.