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Grow Light

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by mazambo, Sep 16, 2018.

  1. mazambo

    mazambo Gardener

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    Hi All
    Just wondering if anyone has used or uses grow lights to start off seeds early in the year, a friend has given me an unused 4ft one, just looks like a fluorescent tube, I'm wondering if it's worth setting up?
     
  2. andrews

    andrews Gardener

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    I'll be watching this with interest.

    I was looking at grow lights this weekend. Prices seem to go from cheap to several hundreds.

    Thinking of adding one to my heated bed for when the nights draw in.
     
  3. CanadianLori

    CanadianLori Total Gardener

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    I have used and still use grow lights. Being a zone 5 makes starting indoors early, a must.

    I used the fluorescent fixtures first because they were inexpensive to set up but I was convinced that my electric bill was taking a real beating. I used the lights at night when the rates were lowest but still found the ongoing costs high. I have since switched to LED and am very pleased with them. I have two 4x4 tents set up so as to be able to control the temperature and humidity.

    No matter what system you use, they do help as long as you keep the kight close to the plants so they don't "stretch". Lets see if I can find an old picture with the fluorescent set up....
    Indoor Growing Startup (6).JPG
    I made these units out of a board and wired sockets to it. Those above would be future seedlings in the domes. Extra, extra climate control.

    and when I switched to white LEDs

    Indoor Growing Startup (9).JPG
    Then I switched to Grow (Red/Pink/Blue) LEDs
    Indoor Grow (9).JPG It's hard to see the really intense green colour of the leaves using these but they have proven to be very efficient.

    If your electric rates aren't high, fluorescent would be easy peasey.
     
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    • mazambo

      mazambo Gardener

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      Brilliant CanadianLori, I think I'll get it setup and take it from there, I'll probably make a makeshift tent to start for next year, see how it works and maybe look to led, but won't jump the gun yet :dbgrtmb:
       
    • ricky101

      ricky101 Super Gardener

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      Hi,

      I tried out one of these low wattage led bulbs from ebay, 28w if I remember correctly; though the downside is its mains voltage and needs the appropriate holder and safe connections etc, not something everyone can do , so a similar ready made led assembly might be a better option.

      Used it on toms seedlings and Fuchsia cuttings, the effective light spread /height seems to be about 9" - certainly gave improved growth, less leggy plants.

      As you can see from the tubular frame I also used an enclosure in the greenhouse along with heating cable, it cost just £10 last year , easy to assemble and importantly disassemble, also serves as an outdoor cold frame for hardening off summer outdoor plants later on.


      IMG_0872.jpg001111.jpg001113.jpg
       
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      • mazambo

        mazambo Gardener

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        ricky101 really helpful thanks, fortunate to have mains electric in the greenhouse (2 double sockets) that's the type of frame I would use I think.
         
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        • WeeTam

          WeeTam Total Gardener

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          I used cool white led 2ftx2 tubes x 2. Seem to work.

          But they looked feeble compared to Canadian Lori's set up. That does look like a cannabis grow tent.:yikes: :nonofinger: "busted" :bigthumb:
           
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          • CanadianLori

            CanadianLori Total Gardener

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            @WeeTam as you can see, those are peppers and tomatoes but.... the coppers were interested in my set up and I do have permission from the federal government to grow whatever...:whistle: cya cya ....:biggrin:
             
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            • CanadianLori

              CanadianLori Total Gardener

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              You only then need to run your lights to create more daytime before or after the natural sunrise/sunset hours. You have a giant advantage over me because it is too costly to run heat in our winters so indoor is our best economic choice. :)
               
            • mazambo

              mazambo Gardener

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              Never thought of your weather situation CanadianLori, yes probably only have to top up for 4 hours ish assuming what I've read of plants needing 12 hours daylight is correct, they'll be in heated propagators anyway, so just the light.
               
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              • andrews

                andrews Gardener

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                Ive done a bit more digging on grow lights and wondered if anyone had any views on the viparspectra lights. I was looking at he 450W version.

                I am a bit concerned about using one for two reasons. This will be in my polytunnel and not in reflective tent so there will be an interesting glow from the tunnel.

                This may attract attention from the boys in blue which wouldn't concern me.

                It may also attract the attention of the local yoof who may commandeer the light for their own cultivational needs.

                Has anyone used one in a similar environment ? Would this attract attention ?
                 
              • CanadianLori

                CanadianLori Total Gardener

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                Had a whole reply written and doh then looked to see what you were talking about. An LED is an LED is a - the only difference is their colour and their density. Seems to be a lot in those ballasts and they are the right colours, so you couldn't go wrong. But you're right. They're bright and they're a temptation.

                in my pic above, that is only 40watts!
                 
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                  Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
                • mazambo

                  mazambo Gardener

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                  Hi andrews
                  I don't know how big your poly tunnel is so this may be a no go for you, I've watched a video on YouTube where someone used those cheap reflective blankets that are used at the end of marathons etc as a tent to good effect, I'm thinking of using them someway in my greenhouse at night to kill out excessive light.
                   
                • Linz

                  Linz Total Gardener

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                  I was just going to ask, where's your carbon filter Lori? :heehee:

                  Have a kingbo 300w led in a similar set up to Lori's, it's great. Can switch from veg or flowering or have both on. (Other half uses a 600w metal halide in a different set up. Much more faff and pricier, got to watch the leccy/temps with that bad boi too.)

                  Whatever kind of light source you use in a polytunnel your going to attract a lot more than coppers/local youths.. the temptation of a pink/purple glow is all too much.. You'd be needing to set up a wildlife cam with any kind of equipment like that, to be fair, even if the polytunnel was in your garden.
                   
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                  • andrews

                    andrews Gardener

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                    Tunnel is 18 x 30ft and close-ish to the house. The heated tray has a frame over it so foil cover may be the answer.

                    Didn’t think about the wildlife being attracted
                     
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