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Grow lights

burekcrew86burekcrew86 Posts: 217 ✭✭✭
edited November 2020 in Tools, Hardware, & Machines

I’m thinking of investing in some grow lights for my seed starting this year. I would appreciate any advice on brands, types, sources, etc. Don’t want to pay a mint for them. Prefer something reasonably priced. Does anyone have an opinion on using shop lights? Thanks Grow Network family. I’m constantly learning and growing from you all!


  • dottile46dottile46 Posts: 429 ✭✭✭

    I have 2 grow lights I bought at Wally World several years ago. They are Ferry-Morse with 1 T5 bulb each. Each comes with it's own stand, an A frame type, that's only about 2' tall. I'm not real pleased with them but it is mainly because they aren't adjustable. When germinating the soil surface is too far from the light so I have to put boards under the planting tray to lift it up. If I don't get them in the garden right away I have to put boards under the stand to raise the light higher. I've ended up with leggy plants every year using these.

    I also have a couple of AeroGardens that are almost wonderful for starting seeds. The light height is adjustable, one is LED and one is fluorescent. I would go with the LED every day of the week hands down. Not that the fluorescent doesn't do well it's just that the LED is so much better. When I'm starting seeds I put these 2 gardens side by side on a table. The plants in the fluorescent garden will lean toward the light of the LED one but not once have I seen the ones in the LED garden lean toward the fluorescent light. AeroGarden's page shows this about their LED lights "Concentrating daylight white LEDs spur fast growth, blue LEDs generate bigger yields and red LEDs trigger more flowers."

    Shop lights would be better than nothing but unless you have grow lights in them the regular fluorescent isn't going to have the full spectrum the plants need to do their best. I think I saw where you can buy LED grow lights in the tube style of the fluorescent.

    Bottom line, if I was going to invest in another grow light today, I would go with a full spectrum LED light that can be adjusted up or down.

    As for source, if you have a general idea of what you are looking for, do an image search for grow lights. There are more companies selling grow lights than I have ever seen before. Garden supply websites, Lowes, Home Depot, and greenhouse supply websites all have some listed.

  • ines871ines871 zn8APosts: 1,290 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2019

    This is yet another project I've toyed around with for decades, so I looked up the recommendation for AeroGarden. But nearly fell off the chair from their cost. And then their Ads add "Replace the bulbs every six months". And off course you can buy them only from AeroGarden: nice little monopoly. - Um, how many TGN members are so rich that it's small change for them?

    This is a good Tutorial https://www.lampsplus.com/ideas-and-advice/grow-lights-for-indoor-plants-_2d00_-getting-started/

    Then, I found: http://www.indoorgardener.org/2013/11/cheap-alternative-for-aerogarden-grow.html

  • VickiPVickiP Posts: 579 ✭✭✭✭

    Well, if one is inclined to try a DIY here is an Instructables page with many approaches to grow lights. https://www.instructables.com/howto/led+grow+light/ I found a couple that I think are doable and effective. The thing is by the time you buy what you need for an effective light you will have around 35-40 dollars in supplies, depending on what you can re/upcycle.

  • I have old fluorescent tube ones on a stand that I got about 10 years ago or so. I've never been happy with their performance for seed starting and hope to replace them with LEDs soon. I had a bunch of plants to bring in for the winter and what I'm doing for them involves using several lamps with full-spectrum LEDs. This seems to be working quite well so if anyone has extra lamps this might be a temporary inexpensive fix. On the stand I have African Violets, several kinds of succulents and ivy which all seem quite happy with the fluorescents.

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