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Thread: Choosing Growlights

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    DroseraLover's Avatar
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    Choosing Growlights

    I am looking to buy some growlights for some of my plants, as their windows do not seem to be providing enough light for them to grow as best as they can. I would like to use compact fluorescent lights. How do you know whether or not lights will provide adequate lighting for plants?

    Will these lights provide the correct spectrum for plants to be able to photosynthesize? http://www.amazon.com/GE-Lights-Flow...ering+Spectrum

    These particular lights do not seem to be officially marketed as grow lights, but I have read that most fluorescent lights can apparently be used for plants. Any information or advice on this will be appreciated. This is my first time even looking into growlights, I have only grown plants indoors or outside using the sun so far.

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    Chief Cat Behavior Specialist Knuckles's Avatar
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    What type of plants will these be utilized for? Those should be fine for a few plants & need to be arranged close to them. If your looking for the A19 type of bulb then you also have much better options as well. I would go for the CFL Floodlights. They use less energy & put out more lumens. I have had good results with them in the past before I started using T5HO, power compacts, & metal halide. You can also go for led A19 bulbs (more $$$).

    Heres an example of the floodlight: http://www.amazon.com/GE-Lighting-21...od+light+bulbs

    (inside of the floodlight itself will be a cfl bulb that looks like the one you linked to)
    Last edited by Knuckles; 05-21-2015 at 05:15 PM.

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    DroseraLover's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply, Knuckles. The lights would be used for a few planter bowls filled with various Drosera, Sarracenia Psittacina, and some USA-native Pinguicula species. I have some extra desk lamps, so I was hoping to find something that would fit in those. The plants receive 4-6 hours of direct or slightly shaded sunlight each day, but in the windows they are in, it does not seem to be enough for robust and fast growth like my other plants. I just want to give them 2-6 hours of extra light to help them be healthier.

    I took a look at that lightbulb you linked, I found some smaller CFL lights that have 1650 lumens. So I guess any CFL bulb should at least help a bit?

    Has anyone here tried blue, red, or soft white lights? If so, what has worked best for you?

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    Chief Cat Behavior Specialist Knuckles's Avatar
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    No problem.

    Yes, any cfl will help. I'll let others chime in with their experience but from mine: blue /green spectrum lights produce better growth whereas red spectrum lights are better for flowering; however, I've used both & had nepenthes flower just fine under bluish white color temp lights.

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    I Am the Terror Of the Night! NemJones's Avatar
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    The blue spectrum is great for growing. More energy from blue.

    The general rule that I stick to is using two T5HO bulbs that have a rating of
    6500K. It can pretty much grow anything youre looking to get, and with enough of them
    there will be plenty of light to spare.

    I use Three 6500K bulbs, and one 5000K bulb.
    5000K also helps with coloring. I have been told that a good mix of both spectrums are good for the plants.

    (But for good all around plant lighting, I stick anywhere between 6000-6500K)


    Last edited by NemJones; 05-21-2015 at 11:25 PM.

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    DroseraLover's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input guys. I am now debating between CFL and LED lighting. Does anyone here have any opinions on CFL vs LED lighting?

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    Chief Cat Behavior Specialist Knuckles's Avatar
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    LED has many advantages over CFL. Ive been using LEDs for years on corals/plants & have constructed a few fixtures as well. Off the top of my head without getting very specific I know that LED produces less heat, has a far better lifespan (meaning they consistently have high output & do not have to be replaced 1-2x per yr), they use less energy than a cfl of equal wattage, a smaller wattage of leds put out the same amount of light as higher wattage & larger CFL fixtures for sure, hmm.... what else ... theyre tougher & look nicer in my opinion Theyre just more expensive as fixtures is all I can think of as a downside. BUT a couple of A19 led bulbs use any regular lightbulb fixture so that shouldn't dent your wallet.

    hope that helps some

    Does anyone else have experience with leds for plants?

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    DroseraLover's Avatar
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    Thanks for your input, Knuckles, it definitely helps. I have read a lot about LEDs vs CFL bulbs, but most of what I find is related to a different kind of plant. :P
    Last edited by DroseraLover; 05-23-2015 at 01:09 PM.

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