T8 Fluorescent Problems
I recently splurged on a 3-shelf Flora Cart and, since our electricity is expensive, I ordered T8 fixtures. I didn't realize how different and limited the choices in bulbs were in the T8s.
My plants aren't doing well and I hope someone can help me.
Indoor Gardening Supplies sent the fixtures with Sylvania Octron XP, 32W 5000K, F032/850/X)ECO3 bulbs. Their description of T8s is:
3000 Kelvin Blooming
5000 Kelvin Growth/Blooming
6500 Kelvin Growth
Since I was afraid of burning my plants, my initial time was fairly short (4 hours, I believe). I have a lot of small plantlets and put a few on a nearby windowsill.
Although I have gradually lengthened the time, my plants aren't doing well. Several started growing straight up, but others seemed to show signs of too much light. Superman, a plant which had been doing well under a fairly dim section of the old light, looked especially bad. Yet when it was put at the end near the window, it seemed to reach toward the natural light (the window light is minimal).
I tried changing one bulb on each shelf to Verilux Natural Spectrum, F32T8VLX, V06032, 6000K, but didn't notice any difference except in the color of the light.
The plantlets on the windowsill are far ahead of the ones under the light now. They have buds, unlike the others. At best, a few of the plants don't look bad, but others definitely have funky centers or are growing up, etc.
Some of my plants had just begun to look good and I gave in and replaced one shelf with a T-12 model. However, I would like to make the T8s work.
The only other thing I can see to try is something like this bulb:
Ushio F32T8/830 32 watt 3000Â° Kelvin T8 Fluorescent lamp
F32T8/830 Lamp Specifications
Color Temperature: 3000Â° Kelvin for flowering and fruiting
Color Rendering: 86 CRI
MOL: 48 inches
Initial Lumens: 3050
Any help would be much appreciated. We only have one other T8 fixture in the house so it's not so easy to use a lot of extra bulbs. I hate to buy new shelves, but will do it as a last resort.
Thanks for any ideas. I've gone cross-eyed trying to understand this light thing.
Diana in PA