Please HELP with indoor winter lighting

organic_flutterby(5 MO)September 16, 2013

I'm sorry to have to ask with all the information on this forum, but I've been racking my brain trying to figure it out.

I need specifics on what to do for lighting and temperature for my 2 young Meyer lemons and a young Key lime, all roughly 2 ft tall in pots.

My options on where I can overwinter them are an attached, partially insulated garage with no windows, a 5'x6' closet with no windows in the basement or a 11'x12' spare bedroom on the main level which has 1 east facing window.

I would like to keep these trees flowering/producing fruit if possible unless that is too costly.

If someone can please tell me to go buy this, this and this, I would be so appreciative. I need plain words as this seems to be over my head.

I will post this in the Growing Under Lights forum as well.

Thank you so much!!

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I would stick as close to a window as possible then add some t5 bulbs over them which can be bought at a hardware store. Thats what i did ladt winter and my meyer put out 2 lemons (hes still small) throw the light on a timer for 12-16 hours a day and ull do just fine.... No need for expensive lighting or high pressure sodium bulbs

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 11:55AM
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organic_flutterby(5 MO)

Thanks so much for your help!

How many bulbs and what size should I use? Should they be cool or warm or both?

Is there a formula I should know about? Something that tells me about the output of the bulbs and the trees' requirements, etc?

I've looked for a book on the subject, but I couldn't find anything specific.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 5:03PM
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Steve, Z (6Bground,5B roof) Cincy,OH

Go to home depot and get the cheapest T-8 48 inch fixture. It cost $13.99 here in cincinnati and holds 2 bulbs Take a look at the link below to see many Ideas that use the cheapest highest efficiency lighting. I agree with clm128 on the high pressure sodiums and metal halide, No need.


Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 7:54PM
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if you had a fixture like steve mentioned you could do one cool one warm or just go with a white light. i have a t5 with 1 wight light and its good to go.

a good formula to look at is luminas per watt.

ie the higher lumina per watt the more efficient the bulb is. ive read somewhere that full sun is around 6500 luminas but that seems low to me and im not sure maybe steeve can verify?

as for how many lights it depends on how many plants u have under it and how big it is, last year i ran 1 t8 set up like steeve mentioned with 2 bulbs and it did just fine. it just depends on how u wanna set it up.

another advantage to flourescent lighting is that its really low heat so it can be placed within inches of your plant unlike high presure sodium which wastes alot of energy in heat. also with hps you may have to notify your insurance company your using it because of the fire risk.


    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 10:26AM
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Steve, Z (6Bground,5B roof) Cincy,OH

Sunlight put out 10,000 lumens per square foot. and on overcast days about 1,000 lumens per square foot. A 3200 lumen 4 foot T8 fluorescent bulb will cast a light over a surface of 3 foot by 4 foot of about of about 266 lumen per square foot of light. That is one bulb. The fixture I saw have 2 bulbs. If you can inclose the tree and bulb you can reflect the light that misses the tree the first time to hit it on the way back. You will triple the amount of light that only strikes once as it does from the sun. This will give the light of 800 lumens which is enough for very good growth. Also the leaves become much more efficient with the light when it is not so bright..


    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 3:08PM
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organic_flutterby(5 MO)

Thank you Chris and Steve for your help!

I think this will be my plan for the winter: 4 ft 4 bulb t5 HO with 54 watts and 5000 lumens per bulb. These bulbs are all 6400k.

Will I be able to replace one of the 6400k bulbs in the light fixture with a 2700k?

I will get some mylar to put on the lower walls to use as a reflector.

I will use a small fan for circulation and help prevent bugs.

I will keep my trees on a tray of pebbles that has water in it for humidity, looking for about 45-50% humidity.

I will keep the area around 60 degrees, or should it be higher?

I'm still a little fuzzy on watering and fertilizing. I guess I will water them a little less often and perhaps cut down on fertilizing too?

I also need to research preventative bug control, maybe a routine neem oil spray or safer soap spray?

And, I need to figure out if/how I should be acclimating my trees to the inside conditions. Any ideas?

One question about lighting. From what I understand light dissipates the farther away it goes so my trees need to be close enough to get good benefit without getting burned. My question is why does it matter what size room the trees are in?

Please correct my plan as needed. Thanks so much!! I've really been stressing this. Still stressing, just not so bad.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 8:29AM
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organic_flutterby(5 MO)

deleted duplicate post

This post was edited by organic_flutterby on Thu, Sep 19, 13 at 9:19

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 8:30AM
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Steve, Z (6Bground,5B roof) Cincy,OH

I foliar feed in the indoor times. Keeping the plants at 75 to 90 degrees will help the plants grow much more. The plants will use more water so the soil will dry out fast enough to resist disease problems If your system is inclosed, the light will heat the area. If your plants are not fruiting you can use a systemic poison. You got the RIGHT idea about preventative care.


    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 8:58AM
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organic_flutterby(5 MO)

Thanks again Steve. I will be spending some time studying the pictures on the link you posted, looks very interesting!

I will post a picture of my winter set up soon.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 8:23AM
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