Dixana
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Lights!!

I still need help with lights. I've looked and looked online, here, other gardening websites. I just don't understand the t-this and red vs. blue, etc. I have too many seedlings this year to use my bow window like last year.
About the only thing I *think* I know is I want at least 5000k bulbs? I'm not really sure what that means either though....
Can someone spell it out for me in laymens terms? This is a person who walks into Wal-Mart and buys the swirly looking light bulbs and thats the end of it...
You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
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soil
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go to walmart, buy some 4 ft shop lights, i think they are about 8-10$. how many is up to you. buy one blue and one red spectrum for each light fixture. thats all you will need to start seeds until warm weather comes.
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

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froggy
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There's a thread on lights in the Bonsai learning forum...

The main thing is, you don't want lights that heat up too much, so go for either cfl or tubes, and don't keep them too far away.
;)

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gixxerific
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if you can go for the smaller light. The T8 put out more light use less energy that the T10 if you can use them in you specific housing.

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brambleoak
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I use the shop lights and they work fine. When starting my seeds, I keep the lights low which also makes the soil warm (make sure you don't put them too close and dry the soil out). As the plants grow, I just raise my lights. Works great for me.
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The Mad Hatter
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I got the shop lights from Menards for ten bucks and change. I also got a case (10) of bulbs for 23 I think is what they were.

They are 6500k T-12 lights. So far they are working great with my new heat table.

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rainbowgardener
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Agree with above. You want fluorescent lights (probably tubes for efficiency) just a few inches above your plants, on for 16 hrs a day (hung on chains so they can be raised as the plants grow). If you have that, all the stuff about wave length etc isn't too critical just for starting seedlings to transplant size. What I mostly see in the box stores these days is the T-5 tubes, which are smaller and brighter than the old T-8s.
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The Mad Hatter
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I forgot to mention that I keep two light housings over each table and I have them set above the top of the plants at four inches. I don't know if four inches is ideal or not, but this is what is working for me so far.

T.M.H.

guardianfyre
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Do you already have a fixture/fixtures? If so, make sure you get the right size (diameter) of bulb for your fixture, or you can either blow the bulbs or the ballast. This is what the number after the T stands for (the T itself describes the shape of the light, in this case it stands for tube). It goes in eighths of inches. The standard is a T-8 or 1 inch bulb (The eight stands for 8/8 inches or 1 inch). A T-10 would be 10/8 or 1 1/4 inches, T-12 is 12/8 or 1 1/2 inches, etc. By the same token, a T-5 bulb would be 5/8 inches. Most fixtures will tell you somewhere on them (usually by the ballast) what size bulb is needed. If not, talk to the specialist at the store, they should be able to get you to the correct size of bulb, even if they can't help you decide on color/intensity/etc.

Did I make any sense? I apologize if I confused the issue more.
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Halfway
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The Mad Hatter wrote:I got the shop lights from Menards for ten bucks and change. I also got a case (10) of bulbs for 23 I think is what they were.

They are 6500k T-12 lights. So far they are working great with my new heat table.
Same here. Look for shoplights that accomodate both T12 and T8. T8 are newer technology. are a smaller diameter, and use less power for the same amount of light. Slightly more expensive, but it works out in a short while. The model in the photo is American Flourescent 234SLESW. Cost about $14 each, but go on sale once every couple months with a $5 manufacturers coupon.

Here is my system for both growing hydroponic lettuce indoors and for starts in the springs. The starts have done very well. This is simply 3 of the 48" shoplights I mentioned above fashioned together with tent poles and zip ties to create one wide light system. This will accomodate 4 1020 tray sideways or 288 starts / or 72 up-potted starts.

[url=https://img688.imageshack.us/i/1000713m.jpg/][img]https://img688.imageshack.us/img688/5103/1000713m.th.jpg[/img][/url]

I have also posted about lighting expenses in my blog that goes into the "spectrum" question you had as well as actual operating expense breakdown for the light cycle. You may find it helpful.
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Dixana
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guardianfyre wrote:Do you already have a fixture/fixtures? If so, make sure you get the right size (diameter) of bulb for your fixture, or you can either blow the bulbs or the ballast. This is what the number after the T stands for (the T itself describes the shape of the light, in this case it stands for tube). It goes in eighths of inches. The standard is a T-8 or 1 inch bulb (The eight stands for 8/8 inches or 1 inch). A T-10 would be 10/8 or 1 1/4 inches, T-12 is 12/8 or 1 1/2 inches, etc. By the same token, a T-5 bulb would be 5/8 inches. Most fixtures will tell you somewhere on them (usually by the ballast) what size bulb is needed. If not, talk to the specialist at the store, they should be able to get you to the correct size of bulb, even if they can't help you decide on color/intensity/etc.

Did I make any sense? I apologize if I confused the issue more.
I have been waiting forever for someone to explain that!! So now I know what the T stands for. And I want a T-8 preferably.

Someone wanna take a stab at the K thing?

What's the deal with the grow lights they sell at Wally world? They're very inexpensive and are supposed to be for growing plants, are they for adult plants?
You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
-Gandhi

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Halfway
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Here is a google search result of "lighting definitions"

Bottom line is this: use 5000-6500K (blue) for vegetative growth and 2000-3500K (orange-red) for flowering growth.

https://www.fullspectrumsolutions.com/definition_of_full_spectrum_light.shtml

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_temperature

Use the K ranges I suggest above when looking for bulbs. I have never used the expensive "specialty" lights except for aquariums where I was growing live, exotic plants. For starts and growing lettuce indoors, 6500K is perfect and should cost around $2 each for a 48'" bulb.

Hope that helps your quest.

Other google search words for your research... vegetative growth light spectrum kelvin flowering light spectrum
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guardianfyre
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Glad I could help.

The K stands for Kelvin. Typically Kelvin is used to measure actual temperatures, but in this case, it refers to color temperature (and intensity). 5000K is the middle road here. Everything above 5000K is considered cooler colors and higher intensity (bluish white) and everything below is warmer and lower intensity (yellowish white through red). A 6500K light is pretty close to actual sunlight in color temperature and intensity.

And I know this why? I work at a petshop and had people asking me about the different lights we sell and what all of these meant. So I looked it up a while back. lol
Current projects: waiting for spring, reading through seed catalogs, deciding what will go where when I can actually work outside

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froggy
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:lol: and when you talk to a photographer they start talking 'candles' in measuring the different light intensities from dawn to midday...

I just say 'yeah', 'oh', 'ok' and let my husband pick the lights :p - so the plants get the same lights as his copy setup for artwork, which is as close as can get to (mid-)daylight with an even intensity over a long period of time....
;)

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