Seed Starting Light setup

SneakyP86(7B)February 8, 2013

I was going to buy a shop light to use and get some T5 bulbs to with it. But I came across this setup and thought it might be a good deal. It doesn't have a lot of info, I sent him an email but haven't heard back yet. From what you can see does this look like it might be a good deal??

Here is a link that might be useful: grow light

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Looks like a great set up if you can afford it. Set-ups like that usually run several hundred dollars more. Odds are it will be T12 bulbs and they will need to be replaced depending on the hours of use. Normally T5 or T8 bulbs will not work in T12 fixtures but T12 work well too.

Dave

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 11:35PM
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dowlinggram

Looks like a good deal. I'd ask what size bulbs it takes.

I looked them up in my vesey's seed catalogue. They sell Theirs for about the price she says she paid for hers. They say they take T5 bulbs so maybe that's what this one takes but I'd ask anyway

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 2:03AM
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SneakyP86(7B)

Well I haven't heard back from the seller on craigslist so I am guessing it has been sold. So I guess I will be looking into building my own. Trying to figure out whether to go LED or florescent and if florescent whether to use T12,T8 or T5 what wattage and what lumens (I'm guessing that is the 4000 to 5000 number I hear people talking about).One other question I have is if I'm doing this in the house where the temps stay right around 70 than I should be okay without heat mats is that true or not? I'm looking for any help in directing me in the right direction......TIA.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 12:42PM
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SneakyP86(7B)

Well I heard back from the seller and he still has it and I am going to look at it tomorrow as he is out of town till than. I know it uses T12 bulbs and that he said he only used part of one level of it for his needs (not sure how true that is). I have a question though can the T12 bulbs be swapped out for the more efficient T8 or T5 bulbs or does it even matter?
Also what are some of the things I should be looking at and questions I should ask when I do go look at it tomorrow?

Any help would be greatly appreciated as I am totally clueless about this.....TIA
Pete

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 1:01PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

I have a question though can the T12 bulbs be swapped out for the more efficient T8 or T5 bulbs or does it even matter?

As I posted above
Normally T5 or T8 bulbs will not work in T12 fixtures but T12 work well too.

I have tried to adapt T12 fixtures to T8 bulbs several times and while it will work, with some re-wiring, in older T12 fixtures that have built in ballasts, it will not work in the newer fixtures that only have computer chips instead of a ballast.

And that is only with T8s. The T5s will not fit the fixture at all - totally different diameter on the bulb ends and the contact pins cannot engage.

People have used T12 bulbs for decades with no problems but they are gradually being phased out of production because they are much less efficient so more difficult to find.

To easily use T8 or T5 bulbs you'd need to covert all the fixtures to either T8 or T5 fixtures depending on which you chose to use. The fixtures aren't cheap - T8 cheaper than T5) so if you get the stand I would stock up on T12 bulbs now while cheap and available and plan to use it as is until the fixtures themselves shoot craps and then replace the fixtures as needed.

Dave.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 2:43PM
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SneakyP86(7B)

Thanks Dave I reread your first post as I was scrolling down and saw where you said that T8 won't work in a T12 fixture. I wasn't planning on changing anything for now. Supposedly the bulbs and ballasts have been hardly used so I figured I had a couple years before I did anything. I read that bulbs in the 6500K range were the best for plants and seeds alike is that true? I really only need it for getting things started as I will be putting them in the garden as soon as possible. Will the 6500K bulbs be good for that use or will something else work better for what I am planning on? My last average frost date is 4/12 which makes it about 2 weeks later that I will transplant. I was planning for about a week for hardening off before planting in the ground. If I start the seeds this weekend that would be about 8 weeks under lights is that about right? I was planning on about 12 hrs. a day using the lights with the T12 bulbs is that enough or not? How much water should I plan on in the beginning?

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 3:55PM
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