grow lights?

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by thefarm, Jan 3, 2004.

  1. thefarm

    thefarm Well-Known Member

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    Does anybody use grow lights? If so do they make the light bill go up much? Was thinking about getting some. Thanks Brenda :confused:
     
  2. diane

    diane Well-Known Member

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    I use grow lights all winter. They make the electric bill go up some, but for me it is far cheaper than medications for depression that I get without them. Then there is the wonderful feeling I get growing lettuce, radishes, tomatoes and cukes all winter and the flowers. Plus, I never have to buy expensive bedding plants for my flower gardens, or any veggies plants.
     

  3. Bob_W_in_NM

    Bob_W_in_NM Well-Known Member

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    A lot of it depends on the "grow lights" you are using. The indoor marijuana farmers that use bunches of metal halide H.I.D. fixtures consume lots of kilowatt hours.

    If you just use fixtures that use F40T12 tubes (actually 34 watts per tube these days), you shouldn't use much, unless you REALLY get into the indoor growing.

    By the way, don't waste money buying the so-called "grow" lamps. General Electric calls them F40T12GRO, in the common 48 inch bi-pin size.

    Just use a standard "cool white" phosphor lamp. Same results with a lot less cost. G.E. would be F40T12CW/RS/WM

    Bob (General Electric "Master of Light")
     
  4. thefarm

    thefarm Well-Known Member

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    Diane what source of heat do you have to go with grow lights?I was thinking of putting them down in the basement where we have a wood stove. Sounds like you have great eats all winter.. Brenda

    Bob thanks for the info I miss pass this on to my husband and check it out at home depot.. Brenda
     
  5. diane

    diane Well-Known Member

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    Brenda, we heat with wood. Our nights are cool and our days are warm and my plants really thrive. I don't know about the regular bulbs, they might work for plants but they don't do a thing for seasonal affect disorder. I do have a combination of bulbs, but at least one broad spectrum bulb per shelf. I am not talking about the newest ones I see advertized that are super expensive, but the aquarium/grow light bulbs that they have into Lowe's and Home Depot. We don't do T.V. and in most rooms my grow lights are the light I work by so for us our electric consumption is not nearly as high as most folks anyway. Right now I have a Habiscus in bloom and some blushing susan thunbergia that is about to bloom. Really perks up the spirit when days are so dark. :)
     
  6. thefarm

    thefarm Well-Known Member

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    (blushing susan thunbergia )--are yours orange and yellow? And where did you get your seeds? I find them hard to get thanks Brenda :)
     
  7. diane

    diane Well-Known Member

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    I got my seeds from Thompson & Morgan.

    The description says "A stunning Black Eyed Susan from T&M's own breeding. Blushing Susie is predominantly red, with other shades of ivory and aprocot adding contrast. SPectacular tumbling over containers, twining around basket chains or climbing obelisks in containers." I will tell you when they bloom if they were worth the money. :haha:

    I believe Seymour's and a couple of others have the "Spanish Eyes" which are suppose to be quite nice also.
     
  8. thefarm

    thefarm Well-Known Member

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    Thanks.. I'll be waiting to find out Brenda :)
     
  9. I've used grow lights in several areas of my home for years. Don't notice any big change in the electric bill and whatever it costs it's worth it. Between the pleasure and the money you save on buying plants and getting produce etc later in the season they are a bargain. I too mix a grow light or two with the cheapy bulbs. In the cooler areas I "tent" the growing area with bubble wrap. I don't seal it up but just hanging there it holds in some warmth and humidity.

    Have fun,

    Liz
     
  10. SueD

    SueD Well-Known Member

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    Don't waste your money.... Get a cheap shop light and do the same thing for about 1/10 the cost!!! Grow lights and fancy stands are a major waste of money on both the equipment and the electric.

    Sue
     
  11. GrannysRoost

    GrannysRoost Active Member

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    I agree with Sue - Have always used a shop light with starting seeds and have done wonderful - no more leggy seedlings. Just be sure to place just a few inches above the pots and move up as they grow!!
     
  12. kitty32_z8

    kitty32_z8 Well-Known Member

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    Sue & Granny....
    You said to use a shop light for starting seed. What kind of lights are you using? I want to start some in my bathroom( only place safe from my cats) and am going to set up a homemade set up( very limited income). I was thinking a wide spectrum high intensity aquarium light only, but I am new to indoor starts.

    Kathy
     
  13. GrannysRoost

    GrannysRoost Active Member

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    Kitty - I use what I think is a 48" flourescent(sp) on chains hooked to hooks in the ceiling so I can raise and lower as needed. Deb
     
  14. eb

    eb Well-Known Member

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    Diane, I used flourescent lights to start my seeds for the first time last year, and it went well, but that was timed so that when they became seedlings I moved them outside into the garden (zone 5a)

    What do you do to grow things to completion inside? Are you growing in regular potting soil or regular outside dirt? Once the seedlings sprout, do you then transplant to bigger pots and different types of light setup? Inquiring minds want to know...thanks!
     
  15. gefozarks

    gefozarks Well-Known Member

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    I used grow lights(as described in some of the posts two shop lights with a total of 4 bulbs) for the first time last year they were working fine but I ended up in the hospital for several days the lights were on and no one home to water the plants so I came home to dried plants. I hope I have better luck this year. As to cost I use four bulbs at 40 watts each or a total of 160 watts muliplied by the 16 hours a day I leave them on for a total of 2.56 kilowatts per day I pay about 5.5 cents for electricity so it comes out close to 14 cents a day. I have a total of 8 sq ft of growing space under the lights for about $4.20 a month. I would love to have a small greenhouse but figure with the heat I would also have to provide the growlights are a good compromise.
     
  16. diane

    diane Well-Known Member

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    "What do you do to grow things to completion inside? Are you growing in regular potting soil or regular outside dirt? Once the seedlings sprout, do you then transplant to bigger pots and different types of light setup? Inquiring minds want to know...thanks!"

    I start most all my seedlings in those little Jiffy-7 pellets and than, as they grow and need more root space I transplant to bigger pots. Right now I have a tomato plant in a five gallon bucket that is in a window between my "grow shelf" and the window so it gets natural light as well as light from the grow lights. I have, as others have done, successfully grown seedlings just with the shop lights, but for the long haul and for my SAD I need the actual broad spectrum lights. I have one of those bulbs in each two bulb shop light.

    Radishes don't always work.....depends on the type. This year I am having poor luck with the little easter egg ones for some reason. Other years they have worked very well for me. I am harvesting lettuce and spinach today. I have a large bench in an alcove with two shop lights over it on chains that can be adjusted for taller plants. By my kitchen sink I have one on end so it hits my pupils in the early morning and I frequently have a cucumber vine growing in a large pot with a stake beside that. Just use your imagination and you can have much fun.

    I do use purchased potting soil, but this year am going to try and make my own.
     
  17. blhmabbott

    blhmabbott We're gettin' there!

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    I'm leaving my lights on 24/7. Should I be turning them off at night?
    Heather
     
  18. diane

    diane Well-Known Member

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    Heather.....I give my plants a 14 or 15 hour day. It is my personally experience that they do better if they have a night. Don't know why.....just seem to do better for me.
     
  19. blhmabbott

    blhmabbott We're gettin' there!

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    Thanks Diane...will turn them off tonight.
    Heather
     
  20. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    I grow my tomato and other seedlings indoors Under florcecents. All florecents arent created equal.
    take a trip to home depot or wal mart, and look for FLOREX security flood lights. the unit houses a 65 watt bulb that puts out 4500 lumens, and a light temp of 6500. the florex lights are very BLUE. They grow excellent seeedlings and small plants. The are also fantastic for a corner light to grow any houseplant or group of houseplants. They tend to hinder flowers because of the blue cast, which is more like sunlight inthe spring. If you want to flower, toy need to cast some red spectrum in there and some standard florecents for the home/shop cast these. the advantage of the florex is, they are compact, hange easy, and eat only 65 watts. standard shop light fixtures work, but you have to set them close, the florex fixtures can be set further away, thus you can set more plants under them. with tomatoes I get good stocky seedlings if I limit one florex to 4 Sq. feet (2'x2') and the light 2' off the table. The fixtures run @ 30 bucks each and include a bulb thats rated for 10,000 hours. a replacement bulb is about 8 bucks. I have 4, spaced along an 8' long 3' wide table, which I usually pack full of seedlings and all grow good without getting leggy. (you have to rotare the center plants with the ones on the table edge of course)
    they are cheaper than a HPS type setup, cheaper to run and the replacement bulbs are cheaper. And they burn COOL. (HPS or HID lights are HOT, and burn 500 to 700 watts per light.) Drawback; they are made of plastic, and dont take well to being knocked around. I used to have standard shop lights for seedlings, but after trying one florex, I switched. for seedlings the blue full specrum of the florex works much better.