What bulbs for grow light ??

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  #1  
Old 03-24-15, 04:51 PM
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What bulbs for grow light ??

I need a grow light for my tomatoe and pepper seedlings. Instead of buying a "plant grow light" I've read it's possible to use two fluorescent tubes, one a warm tube and the other a cool tube. Went to Home Depot. The light guy had never heard of doing such a thing.

I purchased Philips Soft White Kitchen and Bath, 32 watts. Description on package: light output 2950 lumens, life 30,000 hours, color rendering index 85, color temperature 3000K. I also purchased Philips Cool White Residential Use, 32 watts. Package description: light output 2875 lumens, life 30,000 hours, color rendering index 82, color temperature 4100K.

Do I have what I need for the total spectrum needed? If not, what should the package description say? thanks
 
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Old 03-24-15, 06:43 PM
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Wow, that's going old school. Things have advanced so much in the past 20 years it's hard to keep up but I haven't used regular fluorescents in a really long time.

You said you want the lights for your seedlings. How long will you be using the lights? If it's just for a few weeks until you can move the starts outside I'd stick with what you've got or go with two of the cool whites and ditch the soft white. The higher color temperature bulbs, the ones people tend to hate because of their harsh color/light, tend to mimic natural sunlight better. The cooler color temperature bulbs like soft white are more for promoting flowering. Something that's not needed during the seedling stage. But if you're just trying to gain a head start on the season the lighting is not as critical as if you are trying to carry a plant through it's full life cycle artificially.
 
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Old 03-24-15, 07:51 PM
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I am not sure of the Kelvin temperature of the bulb, but wifey seeds all her tomatoes and peppers until they are substantial enough to go in the ground. OK, 6500 K. HD carries the bulbs as grow lights, separate from normal lighting.

I have related here on another occasion, be careful how many you group together. Nothing like your local small town Sheriff calling you at 8pm asking what you are growing. Seems DEA flyover lit up their cameras and they reported it. Grow light spectrum in groups are quite out of the norm.
 
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Old 03-25-15, 11:48 AM
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Thanks for the responses. Right now I have the seedlings near an east facing window. In the past this has not been enough light.....seedlings have been small and leggy. No options for moving to other windows.

Home Depot was out of the "grow light" tubes ( of course, as this is the time of the year they are in high demand). So, thought I'd make my own unit. OK, ditch the soft white. Now the question is: are two cool lights as good as (or even adequate??) compared to two "grow lights"?? Grow lights are twice as expensive, but if that is what I need, then that is what I will get.

Any more thougts/opinions?
 
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Old 03-25-15, 05:15 PM
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They are going to put out "light", not the spectrum of light the grow lights will, so I'd keep an eye on the inventory at HD or others for the right bulbs. You aren't buying "bright", but the right wave length of light.
 
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