So basically, I have a four-foot wide shelf, about 15 inches high, and I need to light it without also lighting my wallet on fire... does that make sense? I've been doing research, and it's all gibberish. T5, T12, T8... whatever. There seems to be two "castes" of light fixtures. One costs about 200 dollars, boasts all this high-output stuff, and looks fancy. The other costs about 20 dollars and seems (to my untrained eye) to be about the same thing. Need I say which one I'd prefer?
So, if I get a four-foot run-of-the-mill shoplight fixture with reflectors, and fit it up with, say, four ordinary strip lights of the right spectrum, would that be sufficient for a shelf of plants? Are there any specific bulbs that are good?
Then, there are sources. My town is a town where all meat comes from the grocery store and all furniture comes from the furniture store. In other words, the hardware stores simply suck. Not a single four-foot shoplight fixture holding more than one bulb, and forget reflectors! And then the store employees are really nasty and look at me like I have three heads if I ask for something that's not a wrench or a shovel. Anyone know an online source for a good fixture that won't make my wallet cry? Likewise for bulbs... If I could just click a link, press the "Buy Now" button, and be done with it, I can't even begin to say what a godsend that would be.