crazy8 wrote:Well over the weekend I went and took a look at my local Lowes stor and found nothing. I found a few boxes of Sylvania bulbs and thats it. I would LOVE to have some TCP XHL bulbs but that aside it seems I'm finding nothing all that good. If anyone in here knows of any good bulb retailers and ones that would keep me from having to buy a box of 25 would be greatly appreciated.
So worst case scenario lets say I have to buy a box of 25 from some place online. What do you recommend I use as a good overall bulb that will also produce fruit, 3500 or 6100 or other?
Thanks for your help
I apologize for not getting back to you sooner but things have been busy lately. Shortly after my last post I walked out and invested in a 4ft W x 1.5ft D x 6.5ft H steel wire shelf unit. Attached to this are 8 individual shop lights that are running 16 total bulbs of electricity. They're wired with 1 6500k bulb and 1 3500k bulb in each one and all of the plants are within 1-4 inches or so away from the lights. The advantages to fluorescents are burning a lot cooler which allows me to mist my plants everyday and not having to worry about making the bulbs explode when dousing them with cold water. Now that all of my tropical plants are exploding with new groth I've found a nitch that works for the trees I have. I even went so far as to pick up some 5 and 1.5 Gallon Bougenvalleas (75% as they were going out of season and beginning to die back), hacked and chopped them down to just a few main branches, and they're exploding with new groth even now that it's the start of FALL in the pacific northwest!
Now, in my opinion you're trying to grow plants that may be more acclimated toward warmer environments etc? Have you researched the individual plant needs such as minimum temperature requirements, food, watering, humidity needs etc? I was also wondering if you have ever entertained the idea of a grow lighting system but also building a cheap hydroponic setup? You can construct one out of a rubbermaid tub, fish tank tube, a fish tank airpump, a minor valve system for a fish tank, and some air stones. This should possibly set you back roughly $50+ or so. It's a pretty cheap route to go in hindsight because you will be giving your plants the vital nutrients they need (water, light, air, and nutrients) in a timed environment that gives you more control over their growth etc.
In regard to your delimma of getting 20+ bulbs, there's just no way around it that I've been able to find. I will admit to having 3 boxes of the 20 bulb per box packages laying around our 1 bedroom apartment. When I was hanging my shelf system up I inadvertently broke a fluorescent light that emitted some kind of dust particles into my face and I breathed that stuff in (doh!). My suggestion to you is to try going the route that I did on your light wattage etc. Get a 3500k bulb and a 6500k bulb to put into a 2 bulb shop light fixture. I would try getting 2 fixtures if you have any kind of success the first time around. Try 3 bulbs of 6500k with 1 3500k first with your fixtures strung side by side. So if you notice some good growth and you think you're on the right path while maybe you're feeling a little trial and error, go forward with just trying out 1 6500k and 1 3500k bulb in each of the 2 fixtures.
I've looked at some of those "grow fluorescent lamps" online that run in excess of $150 for one freaking light!!! That's insane and not to mention those things probably burn a lot hotter because of not being fluorescent only but some kind of HID system (I think that's the term?).! The way I figure it is why in the "h" do I want to spend all of that money on something I can just buy for $50-$70 (2 fluorescent shoplight fixtures from Wal-Mart $5.00 a piece, 2 packages of bulbs at $20 a piece, lamp timer $10-$15 maybe).
Trial and error my friend. Another option you can try is to find a greenhouse in your area that has fluorescent lighting indoors and ask them how they do it. Remember the saying that goes, "Rome wasn't built in a day". Neither is your indoor gardening experiences. It'll take you some time to grasp onto things such as feeding, watering requirements, lighting (I go 16 hours per day on 360 watts of power in use!!), humidity levels, air circuilation etc. I think once you're in though, you'll never get out.