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Thread: Do 26 W CFLs actually grow plants?

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    swords's Avatar
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    Do 26 W CFLs actually grow plants?

    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!

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    Halt's Avatar
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    im using 15W cfls for a 2' lenght. thats because my parents are too cheap to buy lights so currently, im savin up 0.o

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    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Maybe with good reflectors, but I'd use more than just one. My experience with most CFLs has been so-so. They're selling 65W ones at most hardware stores these days though - 300W equivalent! I haven't tried those myself... I imagine they might get kind of hot.
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

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    Bio is my life! S_Oregon_CP's Avatar
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    I use 2 CLF on my rack and I get great results. I light tested em and they give off like 1000 and t-12 only did 350.... I use 2 of em per rack in my highland chamber and everyone is loving it. So I would suggest it. And the heat from them is nothing significant. with four of them in a small sealed hobby greenhouse rack it makes the temp only 70 degrees. I have had my begonia leaves rest on the bulbs with little effect.

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    The Consuming Flame EdaxFlamma's Avatar
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    For my first set up in a 35 gallon aquarium I used three 32 watt compact fluorescents similar to these http://www.1000bulbs.com/32-Watt-Com...escents/12037/ (good place to look btw) The plants grew better under those lights than they do under my set of 8 T12's. Heat was only an issue if the plant hit the bulb and stayed on it for a while.
    Trying to rebuild. Feel free to PM me with questions.

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    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    They work but they still need to be pretty close since they are normal output bulbs and the light intensity diminishes fairly quickly the further away you get. So think of them as basically a normal 4' fluorescent tube twisted into a pretzle. You would still want at least 120 - 160 watts worth per shelf if not double that!!!

    I have had a 40watt 5000k cfl (150w incandescent equivalent) in one of those clip on reflector lamps over my Drosophyllum all Winter and it is alive but thats about it. It hasn't etiolated but it has lost alot of it's color... and this bulb is touching the tips of the leaves.
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

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    Cfls do work to grow plants, but you do need to make sure that you have a bunch of em.

    good for space issues... or as a light supplement I get great growth in my tank, I'm using 4- T8tubes and 6 CFLS over the one tank,

    and this smaller rack has 8 cfls' over it...
    whatever you do dont waste your money with those aluminum clip lights people use in their garage as a 'shop light'...

    try somethign like this... its more space efficient and really I could put a couple more on each of these surge protectors...

    just an idea...




    -Chris

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