I'm still working on a lighting plan for my new highland Nep chamber which will have 3 lit shelves and I'm trying to keep the power consumption below 400W for lighting the unit. More than this kicks off my power in the summer when I turn on the A/C in the living room cos I usually have plenty of stuff running including the Mesemb shelves and Anole terrarium. So, today's question is:
Can you actually grow plants with those 26 watt Daylight screw in compact florescents or will they simply keep the plants alive but etiolated no mater how close they are? The single one I have in the pantry seems very bright yet the one I have in my reading lamp doesn't seem bright but the pantry is a 3 ft x 8 ft enclosed space and flat white.
How many 26 W CFLs would you need to cover a 4 ft x 2 ft shelf if you had a reflector and had them close? Could you get away with 4x 26W screw ins over that size shelf if you played with the reflector angles until it spread? The interior walls will already be reflective or possibly spray painted flat white as this seems even better than reflective metallic judging by my pantry compared to my cacti shelf.
If it comes down to disregarding the CFLs, does anybody have suggestions for lighting three 2 ft x 4 ft shelves with 400 watts or less that won't generate an excessive amount of heat? I have plans for the airflow/cooling but lamps that don't heat up much in the first place certainly would be the best option.
Thanks for any input you may have!