The Grow System
What brand of grow lights does everyone use? I want to know!
1. Brand & size
4. Price range for your chosen light. Is it low end, mid range, or high end?
5. Any other tips to consider when choosing a grow light?
Don't get one that sits on top of a seedling tray cover. Needing to keep the cover on encourages disease due to humidity--I'm losing a tray of watercress that way right now. Bummer!
2 foot light fixture
Pros - They fit inside of the bins we use to keep the cats from eating the seedlings.
Cons - None so far.
We bought 2 at about $30.00 a piece.
I bought the cheapest ones I could fine that had good reviews. $33 each for two double-bulb LED fixtures.
These replaced some single-bulb fluorescents that had been used for a couple of years previously. The simple fluorescents worked fine for growing seeds and sprouts all winter, but weren't putting out enough light to keep tomato starts from getting leggy.
Also, there was no way to lower the fluoresecent light fixtures, which were screwed directly to the shelf above the shelf on which the plants were growing. The new grow lights hang from an adjustable wire, so I can lower the bulb to sit just above the plant and move the bulb upward as the plant grows.
I'm looking forward to trying to start tomatoes and peppers this spring, and finding out if this solves the legginess problem.
Never used Grow Lights, but I think I will give it a try! @VermontCathy I like the fact that you can raise/lower the lights!
@water2world I figured that adjustable would be a non-negotiable for me. To have it fixed just seems like it could cause too many issues.
Part of your requirements will depend on what you are planning to grow and how long they will be under lights. Lat year my husband built me an 8 - 4 ft long bulb hanging set of lights suspended from a pulley so it could be raised and lowered as needed. It worked fantastic for seed starting and growing my starts to about 2-3 inches.
At that point I transplanted into 4" pots and moved into the finally ready, greenhouse addition on our cabin. Since there was an open doorway between the cabin and it I was able to add a little warmth there just by using the woodstove we were already using to heat the cabin.
If what you are doing is just greens like lettuce and such, we have used florescent lighting in the past successfully. That won't work if it is a flowering plant. Have not tried it yet with the led lights but should work the same.
@vickeym I am not sure yet. I would like multi purpose.
I am thinking lettuce or medicinal & culinary herbs (all would be great), and barley mats for the birds. I am not sure if I want more than that right now.
It sounds like mostly greens at first and not flowering. You might give it a test with an led fixture or two and see what you think. If you like what your doing then replace them or add better lights such as the grow lights to expand your capabilities.
I used to just use shop lights as I could get them free or dirt cheap. I have mainly switched to the lights that use less power now. I get thin chains from one of the hardware stores to raise and lower the lights
Its necessary to have lights that adjust up and down. You put those lights as close as you can to the plants to help prevent them from getting leggy. My lights over my tomatoes are only an inch above them.
@VermontCathy Pepper plants need started earlier than most seeds, especially the hot varieties. They can take up to 3 weeks to germinate so you have to take that extra time in to consideration.
I also use a tanning sheet along the back side of my seed starting tables. It bounces light back on to the plants so they get every ounce of light they can.