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Thread: My first post! Need help/recommendations with grow rack lighting

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    SeaQuestDSV's Avatar
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    My first post! Need help/recommendations with grow rack lighting

    Hello!

    So I'm upgrading my grow rack from a makeshift shoe rack conversion to a full fledged, multi-shelved growing environment. Now I must choose the lighting, which will be used for primarily nepenthes and drosera (for now).

    I know I want florescent, I just don't know which one I really need. Here are the options I've narrowed it down to:

    Lithonia Lighting Shoplight Diamond Plate Chrome Finish 50 In. 2 Light T8 Fluorescent Fixture:



    Link

    For about $35 + cost of bulbs.

    Is that reflector going to be good enough? How about 32 watt bulbs? With the highest lumen bulbs I could find (and at 6,500K), the most lumen I think I can get out of the fixture is around 5,800.

    OR should I go with two of these?



    Link

    $43 a piece, bulbs included.

    This fixture is actually meant for hydroponics and would produce 10,000 lumen with two of them.




    Thoughts on which one I need to go with? If I can get away with the lower lumen output on the first one I'll go with that.

    Or is there another fixture I should look at?

    Thanks for everyone that provides advice. I plan on sticking around!

  2. #2
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    I would go for T5s, but that is by no means the most cost-effective T5 fixture available. Try contractorlighting.com. Otherwise, skip T8s; T12s are more economical if you ask me. The fixtures and tubes are both cheaper, even if they draw a little more, and I think that they're nearly identical in terms of light output.
    ~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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    SeaQuestDSV's Avatar
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    Any specific recommendations for things to look at on that site?

    After a quick run through I did find this fixture, which is presumably the closest to my needs:

    Link

    $87 + cost of bulbs. The white enamel reflector kind of has me worried though.

    It seems like two of the T5 fixtures I posted is the better deal. Bulbs + decent reflector.

    And that isn't to say I know that much about lighting, I'm kind of in the dark (pun intended).

    As bad as it sounds I was hoping someone would post a link to a specific fixture, with specific reasons why it's better than what I've posted. Hopefully I don't seem too needy :/ I'm just a noob that doesn't want to waste money.

  4. #4
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Are you growing outside? Otherwise just get the high bays. You don't need the vapor tight casing. These are the ones that I use, and number of other members such as Avi8tor have also had great success with them:
    http://www.contractorlighting.com/hi...277-p-152.html
    http://www.contractorlighting.com/hi...277-p-153.html
    I have several of the six-tube model but will probably get the four-tube ones next time around so that they fit more easily on my racks. The reason is pure and simple; these are dramatically cheaper than anything you'll find from a hydro shop, because these guys sell to contractors and not dumb kids trying to grow you-know-what. Also, they offer a spectacular warrantee on their merchandise; I had one ballast go out on one of mine about seven or eight months after I purchased them, and not only are they sending me a replacement, they're sending three - one for the dead one, two more for the ones that have been starting slow - and a case of new tubes to replace the six that went bad from being used with the faulty ballast. You won't find that kind of service from most hydro retailers.
    ~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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    Av8tor1's Avatar
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    +1 for Joe's recommendations

    Av

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    SeaQuestDSV's Avatar
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    Hey, I just want to say thanks to you guys. I've been looking at so many fixtures the past couple of weeks and had so many people give me conflicting opinions I thought it was time to get advice from people that actually grow carnivorous plants.

    I think I'm gonna go for that four tube fixture from Contractor Lighting.

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    If you buy those lights, do you also have to purchase the $18 cord/plug and a ballast for it to plug in like a normal shoplight?

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    kulamauiman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mato77429 View Post
    If you buy those lights, do you also have to purchase the $18 cord/plug and a ballast for it to plug in like a normal shoplight?
    check this thread
    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=121140

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