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Indoor florescent lighting?

Posted by gnhelton 7 (My Page) on
Tue, Feb 22, 11 at 12:17

I have read the section "Do I need special growlights for starting seeds"

But in your experience is using bulbs designed for plants better? I've noticed there are T5 grow bulbs with blue spectrum or red.

I have a 48 inch shop lamp with 2 white bulbs in it that hangs by chain. So I can adjust it down to a couple of inches above the plant. That is the plan.
Is it possible the white bulbs will work but the grow bulbs will work significantly better?

It seems I can get red/blue lights for about $10 dollars each. I'm on the fence right now.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Indoor florescent lighting?

Of course regular bulbs will work fine. I grew hundreds of seedlings using regular cool white bulbs. Now I use 6400K daylight bulbs because they more closely duplicate natural sunlight. Buying special grow light bulbs at $10 each is a waste of money when you can buy a ten pack of four foot T8 daylight bulbs for $25 at Home Depot which come to $2.50 each.
Besides costing more, the grow light bulbs actually put out less lumens because they are not as efficient. Possibly for certain application like trying to make plants flower grow light bulbs might be better, but you are not trying to make a seedling flower, you just want it to grow strong, stocky, and healthy, which a regular bulb will do fine.

RE: Indoor florescent lighting?

Thank you for responding. Regular bulbs it is, set it up today for inside. Now if the dang seeds will just get here.

RE: Indoor florescent lighting?

This post is exactly what I was looking for. I read the FAQ on grow lights also but much like all the other information I found on my internet searches either didn't get specific enough or were way too complicated type set ups. I am purely a hobbyist that wants to make a run at some different types of hot peppers this year and wanted to get them going myself instead of buying starters from the H&G stores. Putting the seedlings in the bay window was OK to start with but my plants were getting way to skinny and leggy. I was told it was probably due to lack of sunlight and that a grow light at this time of year in Wisconsin is a better option and should allow the seedlings to fill out a bit. They were getting to the point that they were beginning to lean over almost to vertical. So, I started out on a mission to create a simple and economical grow light system. From what I could tell from my web searches, I came up with a 48" shop light for just under $10.00 and two T12, 40W, 2325 lumen, 6500K fluorescent bulbs. Cost under $10.00. My simple setup cost under $20 and should be relatively inexpensive to run. I am going to start at 16 hours a day and see how that goes. I have it hanging from 2 to 4" above the plants. I am thinking about constructing some reflective side pieces out of cardboard and aluminum foil. The bulbs dont put off a whole lot of heat and the room is about 70 degrees so I am wondering if maybe the aluminum foil reflective sides will help boost the plant temps a bit. What is the optimum growing temp for seedlings about 1 to 3" tall? Does anyone see any problems with my setup? I am new to this endeavor and would love any kind of feedback, suggestions or warnings.

I have included a URL to my Pepper Growing Blog for anyone that might be interested. I will be updating it later tonight or tomorrow with photos of my grow light setup. The two Bhut Jolokia seedlings that I started early January seem to be doing real well but the other three I started a couple weeks later along with a variety of other species are experiencing the tall skinny growing syndrome quite bad. I am hoping the grow lights do the job.

Here is a link that might be useful: Growing Hot Peppers in Wisconsin Zone 4

RE: Indoor florescent lighting?


Your setup will work, but from my experience last year adding one more light will help.

Last year I started some Tomato seeds and Bhut Jolokia seeds under a 4' T12 work shoplight (2bulbs) just like yours. It worked and the tomatos and Bhuts grow, but I did not like how leggy they were.

This year I have all my seedlings under two T8 workshop lights (total of 4bulbs) and I have much sturdier seedlings. This year I have some Beans growing as well and they seem a bit leggy but nothing too out of control. If I were to do it again I would recommend 6 bulbs total, and you will be very happy. You can get away with 4bulbs but I like having my plants grow like crazy hahaha.

Next year I'll be using a 250W MH setup, which will be more then enough for my needs. I have my seed trays outside during the day for free sunlight and then move them in at night for extended lighting hahaha.

I prefer the T8's because they provided a significant amount of light more then the T12s. They are also smaller so you can fit the 3 workshop lights in about the same space as the 2 T12s.

I use the Philips Alto bulbs sold at home depot. They are 32W 6500k and 2750 Lumens. I was actually at homedepot earlier today and a 10pack of lights were cheaper then the t12 ones..

Good luck with the Bhuts. My plant from last year is starting to show new regrowth, going to repot it and see how it does in a full hydro setup.

RE: Indoor florescent lighting?

esox07. Sweet. I'll keep up with your blog.

Now keep in mind I'm all hat and no cattle at this point but i thought peppers would grow well at 70 degrees

RE: Indoor florescent lighting?

Seedlings will do fine at 65-70 degrees. To make them even healthier, use a small fan for a bit each day. I took an old electrical heater, disconnected the heating element and just use the fan.


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