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Growing under lights

Posted by little_acorn 10 (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 1, 13 at 13:23

I am looking and have pursued the Light Stand 1 Tray Aluminum from Harris Seed.

I would like to know if anyone has this grow light system and what you think of it?

I was looking at Hydrofarm grow light systems and after checking there Customer Service found that they have a very undesired Customers Service Department and feel that if you have any trouble they will not back there product, I am not saying that there product are not good.

I would rather deal with a Company that backs there product 100% no questions ask.

If you know of any other top of the line Grow Lights for Home Growers please let us know of the Companies.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Growing under lights

A couple of decades ago many thought that "Grow lights" was a marketing gimmick and cheap fluorescents were a much better approach. Much has changed in retail lighting. I too would like to hear opinions on 'grow lights'.


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RE: Growing under lights

My regular 4' t8 fluorescent shoplights work well.


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RE: Growing under lights

This, if it is the one you mean, is a very small. very expensive unit. You can easily put together a much less and more effective set-up for much less money. Check out all the posts with pics here of light set ups used.

Are we talking about just using it to germinate and grow a few garden vegetables and maybe a few flowers or do you plan to use it year round for blooming plants indoors?

Much of the expense in this unit is due to the type of bulbs it includes - the full spectrum so called "grow" bulbs - and you only need them if growing blooming plants indoors. The bulbs are also relatively short-lived and expensive to replace.

For growing garden transplants full spectrum light isn't needed and is plain fluorescent lights are plenty and much less expensive. There are numerous T5 and T8 fluorescent sets up similar to this one for less cost.

2' set ups really limit you vs. 4' set ups as once you transplant the seedlings out of the tray into their pots you quickly run out of room under the light and that is when the light is truly needed.

Dave


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RE: Growing under lights

Thanks for the link to the light Dave. Guess what ? That's a new version of the standard fixture we all bought for our African violets back in the late 70's early 80's. :) Same guts, just different style parts on the outside. The older one had a heavy top, with a gold color coating, and wrought iron legs, with two heavy plastic buttons that screwed the light to the fixture, and let you move it up and down. The crazy part is the price today is about the same or a bit less !

Little Acorn,

I agree with Dave in that it depends on what your purpose for the light is. The older version of this light is one of the best investments I made over the years. I've used it for starting small amounts of special seeds, propagating house plants, giving ailing house plants bright vacations, and much more. The reason I've enjoyed it so much is it stores in a small space, is easy to grab and set up on a desk, kitchen counter, or the top of my dryer. The bulbs have always been easy to locate when one needs replacement.

When starting larger amounts of seeds for early summer gardening, the 4 foot shop lights do well, and since that's a once a year thing, cheaper and bigger is better. Though I do find the set up is a lot of fussing, takes quite a bit of room, and I do notice my electric bill rise. I've needed to replace some of the 4 foot fixtures over the years, though most of the time it's a matter of replacing parts.

Both types of set ups have their place. I still use the one I bought all those years ago. :)

This post was edited by plaidbird on Mon, Apr 1, 13 at 19:12


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RE: Growing under lights

Dave With that said which one's do you suggest? I do agree with you on the 4 foot ones.

One thing that I would like is a very will built set up.

I have looked at Burpee's, Park's, Punetree and Hydrofarm and there is one thing that I don't like about Hydrofarm is there Customer Service.

I can cancel this, but before I do I would to know which one would be as strong built as this one.


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RE: Growing under lights

Little Acorn - sorry i wasn't clear but i would never buy one of these set ups. Any of them - unless maybe I ran into a good used one somewhere for $25. They are just too overpriced and have too many built in limitations.

Instead I'd go to Home Depot or Lowes and spend $25 on a 4' T8 light fixture and 2 T8 fluorescent bulbs and hang it from a shelf somewhere. If i really wanted to splurge I buy T5 fixtures and bulbs instead..

But then you didn't answer the question about what you wanted to use them for either.

If only growing seedlings then for the same price as this fixture you could buy a small set of shelves and 3 T8 fixtures and bulbs and have 6x the amount of growing space you'd get from this unit.

That said IF I wanted another alternative I'd buy one of these. We use several of them in the greenhouse.

Personally I have no problem with Hydrofarm equipment and have many of their products but if this type of set up is what you want and you don't want the Hydrofarm setup (which is almost 1/2 the price on amazon.com) then the one you picked is probably as good as any.

Dave


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RE: Growing under lights

Yes I did for get to tell you what I am using this light for: It is to start seeds and than put plants under.


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RE: Growing under lights

They tol;d me that they are out of thses lights and would not get them in for three weeks and I feel that it will be to late to start my seeds.

When I would get the light it would be all most May and time to plant outdoors.


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RE: Growing under lights

My understanding is this. Dave is right on the light spectrum issue. "Blue" grow bulbs are for the veg stage and "Red" grow bulbs are for fruiting/flowering stages of plant life.

I bought 4 foot T5 setups this spring...maybe a lil more expensive but here's the rational ~ the 4ft bubls kick out 6500 lumiens in the blue spectrum. as opposed to my T8's which kick about 2400 luimens. T5's ( 24w ) transfer more energy into light and lose less to heat. T8's ( 40w ) put out more heat ( than the T5's ) and therefore the luimens suffer. The T5's were really made with the ganga growers in mind....you can put the lights right up against the leaf matter without burning them.

The T8's work great for me, but the brightness of the T5's is noticable by comparison. My set-up is in my kitchen and the timer comes on at 5 every morning. Every morning before sunrise I have the first birds of the day flying into my kitchen windows.

End result - both work fine. If your plants are in a place that can use the added warmth...go with the T8's. If money is not an issue upfront, the T5's are slim and easily daisy chanied. The low heat signature allows for closer contact to the plants. Hope some of this info helps. Peace.


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RE: Growing under lights

katkeeper36 Where did you get your lighting and what is the brand name of them?

I still am looking and am very much interested in what you have told me.

It is getting time for me to get these seeds started and I need all the help that I can get at this time.


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RE: Growing under lights

Where did you get your lighting and what is the brand name of them?

As I said above, "Instead I'd go to Home Depot or Lowes and spend $25 on a 4' T8 light fixture and 2 T8 fluorescent bulbs and hang it from a shelf somewhere. If i really wanted to splurge I buy T5 fixtures and bulbs instead."

Home Depot and Lowe's carry several different models of T5 fixtures for very reasonable prices. Here, even Walmart has some. Or you can just Google 'T5 light fixtures'.

Brand names mean very little in lighting fixtures but you can just go to either website to see the various brand names.

Dave


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RE: Growing under lights

I grow under lights specifically HIDs, they are an investment but are worth it when you can have your plants grown year round in a tent or just to keep a tropical or not native plant alive in your zone. For the fall I usually use a Metal Halide and in the Winter I use a HPS lamp.


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RE: Growing under lights

Posted by plaidbird z7/8 Ore (My Page) on Mon, Apr 1, 13 at 19:01
Thanks for the link to the light Dave. Guess what ? That's a new version of the standard fixture we all bought for our African violets back in the late 70's early 80's. :) Same guts, just different style parts on the outside. The older one had a heavy top, with a gold color coating, and wrought iron legs, with two heavy plastic buttons that screwed the light to the fixture, and let you move it up and down.

Ha, ha, I just bought a couple of those vintage lights, didn't know they were for African Violets. I should be receiving them this next week, they are just right since I have space for a couple of smaller fixtures on different table spaces instead of one larger one.

This post was edited by lucille on Tue, Jan 7, 14 at 8:33


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RE: Growing under lights

  • Posted by cugal 5b-6a NE Ks (My Page) on
    Mon, Jan 6, 14 at 20:27

Dave = Patience Of Job ..........


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RE: Growing under lights

Agree, Dave is an asset to GW.


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