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Thread: I need more light!

  1. #1
    cockroach's Avatar
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    So my apartment gets crap for light, has no porch or anything, and since its on the stupid first floor, I don't have a fire escape to put my plants on either.
    I long ago resigned myself to getting a plant shelf setup. And have been trying to find appropriate fixtures for the lights ever since. All the flourescent fixtures I find are the kind for cabinets or for aquariums, and I just want a simple shop light type setup, which people in this forum claim is available for around $10. Where does one go for something like that?
    Slave to vegetable hunger.

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    chloroplast's Avatar
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    Let me start by saying that I DESPISE cockroaches, and the very thought of them makes me sick! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_t_32.gif[/img]

    But one shouldn't discriminate based on a name. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_m_32.gif[/img]

    More seriously, to answer your question, shoplights (for fluoro tubes) and workbench fixtures (for compact fluoros) can both be found at Lowes or Home depot (lighting section).
    Secretary, New England Carnivorous Plant Society (NECPS) http://www.necps.org/
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    Member, The Carnivorous Plant Society (CPS)

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    cockroach's Avatar
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    So Home Depot sucks. I think I hate them. They don't have any sort of shop-light-type fixture that you don't need an electrician to install, and I need something I can just plug in.
    I got some Philips bulbs (20 watta, 850 lumens, 5000K) which seem like the thing to use, but when I asked the guy at Home Depot what fixture to get, he said I should use the GE Plant & Aquarium fixture, and that the bulb would fit. When asked how he knew, because the GEP&A fixture didn't give any information about the bulb on the outside of the package, he said he just knew.

    Well, the bulb doesn't fit, and there's no information on the inside of the package on the specs on this bulb.

    So now I've got two 28" GEP&A lights, and I don't know if they'll work for my plants, and they won't hold the two bulbs I've got which I'm pretty sure will work for my plants, and I'm very frustrated and angry.
    Slave to vegetable hunger.

  4. #4

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    Well you sound like your having lots of fun.

    First things first. Walk right on up to the home depot customer service desk and return your fixture. Make sure you explain your situation to the manager and maybe you'll get some free coupons or something.

    Now go home open your phone book and look for industrial hardware stores. These stores have dirt cheap bulbs and fixtures in a variety of flavors suited to any CP growers needs. bring your bulb to the store and make sure it fits before you buy it and take it home.

    And remember to try and fit as many bulbs over the top of your terrarium as possible so check how bulky the fixture is.

    Good luck
    "You can never underestimate the stupidity of the general public" -Scott Adams-

  5. #5
    chloroplast's Avatar
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    Yes, I can understand where you're coming from.

    Unfortunately, there are no "simple" plug-in fixtures that hold 2' or 3' tubes. You have to use one of those metal fixtures that must be spliced to something with prongs (like an extension cord with the female end cut off). The only simple plug-in fixtures being sold (that I know of) are those for 4' long tubes.

    Even worse, the fixtures for 4' tubes are only $7-10, and those for 2' are $25! I think this is because the latter are much less commonly bought, so they charge a higher price.

    You can go to another hardware store to try finding a simple plug-in fixture for a 2' tubes, but I doubt you'll find one. you'll have to make your own, but it's REALLY simple. Here's how (I'll describe in excrutiating detail!!!)

    1. Go to lighting section of Home depot or Lowes (where all of the chandeliers are hanging)--shouldn't be hard to find with all those lights turned on! Look for the fluroescent lighting display. Under the display should be the metal fixtures for 2' long tubes ($20-25 each). Buy however many you need.

    2. Buy an extension cords of needed length ($2-5 each). Also buy a roll of electrical tape, and some splicing crimps (they're small tubes that allow you to run spliced wire through and then crimp them together)--You'll need two per fixture.

    3. When you get home, assemble the fixture (very simple) per the instructions.

    4. Cut off the female end of the extension cord (the part where you plug things into--NOT the part that plugs into the wall).

    5. Use a knife to strip off about 1" of the covering of the extension cord (expose the copper wiring). The cord is made of two groups of copper wires running parallel to each other. After exposing them, keep the groups separate from each other.

    6. You're fixture should have two wires with exposed copper tips. Pass one of these through a crimping tube and then wrap (splice) one group of cord wire around the exposed copper of one of the fixture wires. Crimp (crush) both ends of the crimping tube around the wires and wrap tightly with electrical tape (make sure all exposed wire is covered with tape). Do the same for the other group of cord wire and other fixture wire.

    7. Test the fixture by plugging it in and attaching the bulbs.

    I'm no electrician so my terminology is probably not precise--but I think you get the point. It's really not that hard to do....if I can do it, anyone can!
    Secretary, New England Carnivorous Plant Society (NECPS) http://www.necps.org/
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    If you want no wiring, you will probably have to go with compact fluorescents, under cabinet fixtures, or large shoplights (like chloroplast mentioned).

    You can get really powerful compacts on the net, just look for older threads about it in this forum. I have heard that Walmart may have a Fluorex fixture that is pre-wired, but I rarely go to Walmart, so I am not sure.

    If you try stuff from Home Depot, just remember to keep the receipt. They have an excellent return policy as long as you have it. I have exchanged stuff over a year old.

    -Ben

  7. #7

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    Check out www.wormsway.com. They have every light bulb/fixture you could ever need. They are knowledgable and you'll have your purchase within a week.

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