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Inexpensive Grow Lights / Lighting?


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  #1  
Old 07-28-2009, 10:15 PM
doni49 doni49 is offline
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Default Inexpensive Grow Lights / Lighting?

Hi all!

I'm interested in setting up a hydro garden in my basement. The main reason for doing this is to try and save money. So it doesn't make a lot of sense to spend big bucks on lighting/systems.

I'm interested in tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, leaf lettuce & some herbs to start with. Assuming everything goes well, I'd like to possibly add some others--like maybe watermelon.

Can someone suggest a good source for lighting? I've found something on this site that looks like it has potential, but I'm looking for opinions. I'm considering this one: led-Plant-Grow-Light-Panel-Red-Blue-Hydroponic-Lamp_220417864342.html" target="_blank">LED Light.

I'm inclined to go with something even if the production isn't the best that it could be under different lighting--I live alone so I don't need a HUGE amount anyway and if I can grow two plants under a cheaper light and get decent production, I'd be satisfied. But if for example, a tomato plant will only produce a couple tomatoes, then that wouldn't work for me.

TIA!

Since I

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Old 08-01-2009, 11:36 PM
HydroACR HydroACR is offline
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I've seen mixed reviews on the led lighting, plus those tend to be on the pricey side.... some basic hps lights would probably do fine.....
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Old 09-07-2009, 11:05 AM
pilotguide pilotguide is offline
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How about some simple inexpensive compact florescent lights? I know the results are certainly not like MH or HPS but they do work. I built 2 lights for very little money.



Check out this youtube link for the video about how to build these.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rs_QRorECvo


and the results of this guys build...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zNxabqqRDU


David

Last edited by pilotguide; 09-07-2009 at 11:13 AM.
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Old 09-07-2009, 05:05 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pilotguide View Post
How about some simple inexpensive compact florescent lights? I know the results are certainly not like MH or HPS but they do work.
That's a nice simple design. Although there a couple of things to keep in mind about using CFL's. First, the video says 42 watt bulbs but does not specify if that is the actual wattage or replacement wattage. To clarify, a compact florescent light (CFL) is a energy saving light. They tell you what the actual wattage is and what wattage bulb it's designed to replace.

example:
a 60 watt equivalent will probably be about 14 actual watts. That is a energy savings of 46 watts.

But using CFL's to replace a 150 watt HID light you would need to calculate it by the actual wattage of the CFL' and NOT its equivalent value. That would be 14 x 10= 140 watts or 14 x 11= 154 watts. So how well the CFL's work depends on the actual wattage of the CFL's used as compared to what wattage you are wanting to replace or compensate for.

Second is the distance from the plants. The lights effectiveness is greatly reduced the farther the lights are from the plants. This is true for all lighting, though I believe is even more critical for CFL lighting.
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Old 09-07-2009, 05:44 PM
pilotguide pilotguide is offline
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The bulbs I am using are 2X45 Watt (or 200 watt equivalent) and 2X23 Watt (or 100 watt equivalent) for a total of 136 Watts. I don't disagree that HID are far superior but on a budget you can certainly get away with CFL's. The one thing I do like is the fact that CFL's don't get HOT. So dropping them very close to your plants is stress free.


David
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Old 09-07-2009, 07:47 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pilotguide View Post
The bulbs I am using are 2X45 Watt (or 200 watt equivalent) and 2X23 Watt (or 100 watt equivalent) for a total of 136 Watts. I don't disagree that HID are far superior but on a budget you can certainly get away with CFL's. The one thing I do like is the fact that CFL's don't get HOT. So dropping them very close to your plants is stress free.


David
Great, I just wasn't sure witch they were referring to in the video. I also wanted to explain for anyone else who might read my post. I have not used CFL's myself because I grow outside in the sunlight. Although I have read they give good results as long as they don't get the wattage thing mixed up. I did forget to mention the lack of heat buildup, yes that is a great advantage in using CFL's. I do plan on using them myself on an indoor setup and outside by having them go on before the sun comes up and again before the sun goes down to extend the daylight hours during winter.
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Old 01-03-2010, 09:25 PM
Amigatec Amigatec is offline
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The website says they start under $250. My growroom is on the north side of the house so it won't work as well for me.
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Old 01-03-2010, 09:58 PM
GpsFrontier GpsFrontier is offline
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Originally Posted by Amigatec View Post
The website says they start under $250. My growroom is on the north side of the house so it won't work as well for me.
You can place the roof collector in a place that gets plenty of light then run the tubing to any room in the house you want. They can get pricey but the roof collectors are specially made to collect light. That's mainly what the cost is, but you don't need to use there collectors. You can basically use any clear plastic to let light in. Even the glass covers like on outdoor lamp posts, as long as it's clear to let the full light in, and weather proof.

It wont collect as much light (about half) but you can run 3 or 4 of these, even more if you want, and it wont cost $250 a pop. The main thing is the reflective tubing, and the cost of this tubing. This tubing lets you direct the light from the roof to anywhere you need it to go. Even the roof flashing is fairly common, it's usually found with the roofing and/or heating and AC ducting supply's at any home improvement store.
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Last edited by GpsFrontier; 01-04-2010 at 01:50 AM.
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  #9  
Old 01-04-2010, 03:14 AM
smurf smurf is offline
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Great to know, I want to plant indoor in a large scale warehouse. They also have 21 inch ones just for what i am looking at doing.
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