View Full Version : grow lights?

02-07-2009, 04:07 PM
Ok puzzled by multitude of lights at HD for starting seeds.
What blubs do you use and hows it working out?
thank you for your time,

02-07-2009, 05:49 PM
It depends on your use. If you are looking to grow seedlings for spring planting you can get away spending about $20. I purchase the inexpensive "shop lights" which at Lowe's cost $8.98. They are the 4 ft ones that take 2 tubes. You can use the standard flourscent tubes which cost about $5 for a 2 pack. I like to get the plant and aquarium bulb for one side and a standard bulb for the other. This gives you a better light spectrum. The plant and aquarium bulb is around $10. This set up is also great for growing things such as lettuce year round for salads (check out my blog for a look at my indoor lettuce).

If you want to grow things indoors such as tomatoes you will need a far brighter light set up that you cannot purchase at Lowes you will need a HID light set up which starting costs are upwards of $500.

HTH, Kim

02-07-2009, 07:06 PM
Thank you for the information. I want to get started on the spring seedlings. I try another bit later for the winter greens.
Last year my seedlings ended up so weak and leggy. I hope that grow lights will help. I'll give your idea of the two different lights a try and see how they go.
have a great weekend,

02-07-2009, 07:32 PM
I forgot to mention that the light needs to be kept only 2-3 inches above the plants to keep them from getting leggy.


02-07-2009, 07:43 PM
I did the same thing Kim did but I used daylight bulbs. They had them on sale for just a small amount more than the regular bulbs so I got them.

I just put my seedlings out in the cold frame for the night. It's supposed to be a low of 58 tonight so I thought they needed to get used to being outside.

02-08-2009, 12:54 AM
My limited research led me to buy one daylight bulb and one kitchen and bath bulb to get the cheapest full spectrum light possible. I also bought the T8s because the give off more light and because I was told the T12s are being discontinued.

Good luck!

02-08-2009, 08:59 AM
The T12 fixtures are being discontinued but they can't expect the entire nation to convert overnight so the bulbs will be available for quite a while.

Even after 10 years of telling the US that digital TV was going to happen in Feb 09, they backed out on that timeframe.

02-08-2009, 01:46 PM
I would also recommend a small fan to turn on on your plants for a couple hours a day. This helps strengthen them.

I just set up my 2nd grow shelf. I use the GE plant & aquarium bulbs. I only paid 5.xx for mine at "stuffmart."

02-08-2009, 03:53 PM
oops I got the T 12, I'd think someone would have said they were going to be discontinued?
This will be a great experiment adn I hope it works, I know I can get them to sprout they were just so weak that the plants never "grew" outside. Thank you for so many suggestions. best wishes, kellie

02-08-2009, 10:28 PM
I use flo tubes that are 5000K. They need to be on 12hrs perday and should be 1 inch away from the plants. As they grow, the lights need to be raised. In my experience the plant tubes and the aquarium lights cook and kill the plants. The lights must be daylight balanced.