Return to the Growing from Seed Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Will this work as a grow light?

Posted by emcd124 5 (My Page) on
Tue, Mar 19, 13 at 21:28

I'm relatively new to seed starting, and have usually just WSed the ones I want. This year though I'm trying some hot peppers and other things that dont WS well. So I got a seed starting tray to start them indoors. I dont have the space or inclination to invest in a very large shop light set up for grow lights.

At Menards I found a desk lamp with a fluorescent full spectrum light in it. The brightness is 1600 lumens. it says it is 5500k "daylight" bulb.

I'd really like to use it because it is inexpensive, sufficient for my single 40 cell tray, and stores small (and I can use it as a "happy light" in the off season). But I have no idea how to tell if it is high powered enough to do a darn thing to help the seedlings avoid getting leggy.

Thoughts from more experienced growers?


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Will this work as a grow light?

While it is inexpensive it will prove to be inefficient for 40 cells.


 o
RE: Will this work as a grow light?

sufficient for my single 40 cell tray,

Sorry but that's not nearly enough and it also isn't a big enough footprint (area of coverage) for the average 40 cell flat. Shoot for at least 2x the lumens minimum and double the coverage area if possible.

It is the length of 4'shop lights that give the best footprint of coverage over a standard tray. With it the average tray gets equal light at the edges as in the center.

Dave


 o
RE: Will this work as a grow light?

Okay, so it sounds like if I head over to Home Depot or Walmart (I've been trying to read up on the old threads) I should be able to find both a fixture and some bulbs that are at least 3200 lumens? and where the footprint of the bulbs is at least as big as my tray. Are there other measures I'm supposed to look for. People keep talking about "T" like T8 and T12 or something but I've no idea what that means.

Also, and this is going to sound really newb, but how in heaven do you secure or suspend the fixtures? In shops they are usually dangling from the ceiling, but I think the husband is going to balk at one of these dangling from the ceiling in our kitchen. Is there some other way to secure them, ideally in a mobile non-permanent way so I can store them out of sight after seeding season is done?


 o
RE: Will this work as a grow light?

Here is a photo of a simple grow light setup. There are lots of photos in this forum showing great pics of elaborate...or at least large...setups. I wanted you to see that it can be small and simple too. I have two 2-ft grow lights - this one came with the chains and I simply screwed some hooks into the bottom of my cabinets. When the light is put away for the season, you can't even see the hooks. My other setup is a more expensive light/box with adjustable sides, but I find this works just as well.

I have Salanova lettuce in this, plus I just moved in some strawberries that surprised me by germinating earlier than expected. And my daughter's mammoth sunflower...


 o
RE: Will this work as a grow light?

Here's my other light - can't see much because it's so low, but there are tomatoes and peppers in here (and my daughter's dahlias in egg shells). This is also a 2-footer.


 o
RE: Will this work as a grow light?

If you do some reading through this forum and the FAQs here you will find all sorts of pics folks have posted about their light set-ups. I linked several of them below that the search pulls up. And google images will bring up 100's of more pics.

If you only have 1 tray then a 2' fixture may work if it has enough lumens but the 4' fixtures and bulbs are much cheaper than the 2' ones are simply because they are much more common and in higher demand.

Dave

Here is a link that might be useful: light set-up discussions and pics


 o
RE: Will this work as a grow light?

A shop light with reflectors and T8 daylight bulbs is what you need. One that has chains and a plug. Not one that is to be hard wired and has no plug.

The reflectors are important because they train the light down instead of all around the room. T8 bulbs have a full spectrum of light unlike many of the earlier fluorescent bulbs


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Growing from Seed Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here