Best Fluorescents for My Grow Rack
I currently have 2, 2-foot 2-bulb fluorescent fixtures in my grow rack, seen below:
The bulbs are getting old, dim, and burnt out. It is time to replace them.
I currently have a mix of cool white and sunshine bulbs, but was wondering if anyone has a suggestion on the best bulbs that can fit my fixture. I mainly grow nepenthes, I'm in Missouri, and the rack gets some extra lighting from the window its by.
As always, the help is greatly appreciated.
I have the same rack. I use HO T5s. I have been using a 2', 2 tube setup for about 2 years and now I'm getting a 4', 4 tube T5 system in addition to what i was using before. I'm going to mount the 4 tube vertically.
Is your setup a T12 or what? If its not a T5 then I would look around and see if there are any High output versions of the bulbs you're using now
According to the box, its a T-12. Can I only use T-12 bulbs? In a store, how can I tell what type of bulb will fit mine?
well most bulbs are labeled, so look for T12s. It depends on what your housings are rated for wattage-wise but something here would probably be best. http://www.lightbulbsdirect.com/page/001/CTGY/T12HO
The light fixture/ballast should indicate what it is rated for and the type of bulbs. Sticking to the recommendation will get you best use out of the bulb and ballast. Using T8 for T12 ballast or vice versa usually means the bulb will go sooner as the ballast is not designed to meet the requirements best suited for the incorrect bulb type. As I recall, most T8 and T12 ballast are the same length and socket size so you could potentially use either or. Not sure about T5s fitting or working well in T12 ballast though. In the distant past, I believe they use to manufacture T5s in slightly off sizes to the T8 and T12s though I don't think that is still the case.
If you are looking to buy, simply go by label for type and length that your ballast is as well as maximum wattage it is rated for. T12 are the thickest tubes at 12/8ths of an inc, T8s are 8/8ths (1inch) and T5s are 5/8s I believe. The bulb packaging should clearly state the type and length though so no need to measure.
hope that helps.