T5 lighting experts needed
I'm a fairly new indoor gardener. Despite lacking years of experience growing plants indoors, I have read plenty of articles, books and experiments so I am familiar with much more than your typical indoor gardener. But I still have some questions...
First, some background:
I am growing tomatoes and chiles strictly under a 4-ft. High-Output T5 Fluorescent unit that has 2 bulbs (6500 K and 3000 K) at 92.5 lumens per watt to equal 10,000 lumens. My grow area is 2 x 4 ft. and covered in Mylar. In the seedling and vegetative stage, my plants were strong and healthy. In the flowering stage, my plants were less than satisfactory and my yields were very low.
I realize that most indoor lighting research deals with HPS/MH systems and this information does not necessarily apply to my situation. Therefore, I was wondering if I could receive some veteran advice here:
1- Please explain the required mols/day and daily light integral (DLI) for attaining optimal results for tomatoes and chiles grown in a 2x4-ft. area if using HO-T5's, possibly with CFL supplementation.
2- What is the best ratio of cool white 6500k to warm white 3000k bulbs for my goal, and will the ratio change depending on the plant's life stages?
3- If I were to fruit under HO-T5's, maybe with some CFL supplementation, how many bulbs are needed to have satisfactory yields? I'm okay with buying more HO-T5 units, but HPS/MH systems rack up too much intial costs and electricity costs for my budget.
4- I read that long-day and day-neutral plants perform best with 18 hours of light/day during the vegetative stage and 12 hours of light/day during the fruiting stage. But this information assumes that the grower is using HPS/MH lights. Does the same concept apply if using HO-T5's?