Lighting recommendation

bellegallica_zone9(9)February 12, 2011

I have a wooden plant stand that has a bottom shelf on which I grow low light houseplants. I was thinking of installing a fluorescent fixture underneath the top shelf so that I could grow more light demanding plants on that bottom shelf.

Could someone recommend a fixture for me?

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taz6122(N.W. AR.6b)

How about a picture of this stand or an address to one like it or at least the dimensions.
Installing a light with any intensity will also increase the heat to the top shelf.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 4:23AM
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bellegallica_zone9(9)

Thanks. I can't find an exact picture, but I'll link a picture of one with a similar design. Mine is also rectangular, the top shelf is two feet wide and is solid wood, about an inch thick.

I've actually seen plant stands like this that come with lights already installed under the top shelf, but they're pretty expensive and I thought it would be cheaper to make my own. I did some searching and I know they make "under the cabinet fluorescent lights." From reading a bit, it seems T-5 lights are one of the best?

I guess I'll start looking around at the home improvement stores today. Any suggestions?

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 11:11AM
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taz6122(N.W. AR.6b)

Walmart has 14w T5's that are 23" and very thin and easy to install made by Lights of America for around $10 each. They are also linkable so only one power cord is needed. I would use 4-6 for high light plants. You would be better off buying an HO T5 system but they take up much more room.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 2:17PM
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taz6122(N.W. AR.6b)

I would also buy a timer for about $10 so you don't have to bother with feeling for the switches every day and so your plants don't accidentally get left in the dark for days at a time.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 2:21PM
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sjetski(6b NJ)

Taz is right, that walmart 23" T5 light is very nifty. It comes with a mounting kit + power switch, and it would take a few of them to give higher light plants what they need.

I have 3 of them which i use as supplementary lighting to other stronger lights i have (to give pepper plants some extra lighting from the sides). I found them in the light bulb section for $10.

The only thing they are missing is a reflector, which means some light is lost off to the extreme sides, but you can recapture some of the lost lighting by lining the shelf underneath with some stealthy aluminum foil taped into place.

I still have one of the packages next to me, i was going to post a pic but my camera batteries are dead. It's known as "Lights of America 23 inch under cabinet light , model # 7114". They come in all different sizes but the 23" is the best bet in your situation.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 3:56PM
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bellegallica_zone9(9)

Thank you! I looked them up online and they seem to be just what I'm looking for. I think I could easily fit four (or more) of those under the top shelf. I was thinking of painting the underside of the shelf white to increase the reflected light, but aluminum foil would be a lot easier. And I did intend on getting a timer as well so I wouldn't have to worry about turning them on/off.

The stand sits in front of the western window, so the plants on the bottom do get some light, but I think adding these lights will make them much happier.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 5:05PM
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taz6122(N.W. AR.6b)

I would make a mylar reflector. Just rubber cement a sheet of mylar to the bottom of the shelf before mounting the lights.
If the lights are still made the same you can skip the hardware and use screws to mount the lights. Just find some the right length and the head that will slide in the slot on the lights.

They also come with this convenient link.

and as you can see I just wire tied the mounting brackets together to place them on top of a terrarium in pairs but you could also mount them on chains this way and have the height adjustable.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2011 at 1:14PM
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sjetski(6b NJ)

Taz they appear exactly the same as the newer models being sold. Some great info and ideas too btw.

Was finally able to take a picture of the retail packaging:

In addition to the other two i have, this one will also be used as supplementary "side" lighting for my 2011 pepper crop.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2011 at 9:13PM
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