I need opionions please

cghpndJuly 10, 2013

Ive seen so many lights out there that it just confuses me even more. I've seen the t5 and t8 lights at walmart that I've seen people mention. There are 3 kind for each of the 2 lights. Cool, warm and kitchen. They were fairly inexpensive.

Then there is this one I am providing in the link. Went to home depot and they have a much larger selection. So confusing.

I have a 5 tier shelving unit. The basic wire one. I do plan to utilize all the shelves. Nothing too fancy. I was just going to do a short list of plants but I have changed my mind. I have been given quite a few succulents and the can not stay outside for winter. I'm trying to prepare ahead of time.

The natural light coming through the window now will be greatly reduced come winter. I was planning on putting the unit by the window. Is that ok with using the lighting?

Just some plants I have that need the light are spider, wandering jew, peporomia k.,Peporomia pixie, pineapple, succulents.maybe a few herbs...And of course ill be starting seeds inside as well further into winter.

Sorry its so much. The 1st advice I was given was to get led but like I said ive increased my list. Thanks in advance. Im still learning whats what and how to do things :)

Here is a link that might be useful: grow light

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Your link doesn't work, maybe because it's a mobile version of the site.

First off you'll need to slowly introduce them to the indoors since the light and conditions will be different. Basically reverse of what you do for hardening off plant to go from indoors to outside.
I found a great guide for that for you:

The T8's and T5 bulbs are different in diameter but very similar in light output

4 ft fluorescent bulbs compared

Light output (lumens) basically how much light they produce

28 watt T5 2,900 lumens
25 watt T8 2,209 lumens
32 watt T8 2,850��"3,100 lumens

the advantage of having a t5 lamp is that the bulbs can be closer to each other because of the smaller diameter of the bulbs therefore you're able to give plants more light.

You can also go with a 54w T5 high output lamp which is would be rated at 5,000 lumens per bulb but note that the fixtures for those lamps are different then your regular T5 fixtures, the ballast is designed to put out 54 watts per bulb so if you decide to go with this one just keep that in mind.

Whichever type you choose just make sure that the light fixture has a reflector so the light could be directed at your plants and not the ceiling :)

As far as the light bulbs go, since most of your plants are leafy I would go strictly with the cool bulbs but make sure that the Kelvin rating is in range of 5000-6500K and of course look at the wattage so you could get as much light out of those puppies as possible. I don't know if you're able to get those at walmart stores. If they're not there than just buy them online or your local Hydroponics store.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 2:44PM
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How long is your shelving unit?

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 7:10PM
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Wow, alot of great info... Thanks.

Your right Walmart does not have a big choice. Home Depot does however.

The length of the shelves are 35 and 5/8 in... One of the metal wiring shelves from Target.

I think I am leaning more towards the T5 lighting units.

How many lights would you use per shelf?
What is a Kelvin rating? I have not seen that on a box yet. How does the wattage work? Like higher the wattage the better?

Here is a link that might be useful: Grow light

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 5:18PM
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no problem :) I tend to ramble on and on.

hmm 35 in is an awkward length because 4ft' fixtures will stick out 6 inches on each side and the 2ft might not be enough unless your shelf is 2 feet deep that you could just hang them along the width. You basically have to make the choice if you want to fill up your growing area on those shelves and go with the 4ft or just put plants only in the area as close to the length of the bulb of 2 ft as possible. Wiith fluorescent lamps it's good when your plants are underneath your bulbs anywhere from 1 to 4" .

As far as how many bulbs, well it depends on the width of your shelf. If you go with the 2 ft I would put two for herbs, seedlings and smaller plants. For bigger plants fill them up as much as possible. My wire shelf is 18" deep and I have a 4 bulb T5HO fixture , it comes out to be about 54w per square foot which you will need for bigger plants. Either way since your length of shelf is 35" you could hang one bulb fixture all the way to left side and than the other one the opposite side that way you will cover all the shelf length, and I don't mean in line bu in likea zig zag pattern.

Kelvin rating is basically what color (spectrum of light) the bulb produces, it why they call them cool and warm bulbs. 5000 - 6500K produces more of blue light and 3000k bulbs give more red or warm light. Blue is good for vegetative stage( stem, foliage and root growing) and red people use for flowering stages for those that produce flowers that produce fruit.

Just go with the t5 High output fixtures an not the regular T5's. The price difference is not that much and you'll get more light for your plants by using those. I think I've seen those at Home Depot as well. Good luck and let me know if you have anymore questions, I'll help if I can!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 9:39PM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

If you look hard you can find 3' T5 HO fixtures. Sunblaster is a company that makes them if you can find a distributor. Their prices are actually reasonable considering they are targeting a market, at least up here. You can get them close enough together to get one bulb per sq ft. Get the reflectors as well they make a HUGE difference.

Run as many lights as you can fit in there. Your not going to be able to have too much light with fluorescents but you can easily have not enough.

Good luck


    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 1:48AM
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@ SouthCountryGuy :) forgot about the 3' ones, good call. And thanks for catching my math mishap lol. I'm actually currently using only about 12" and not 18" of the shelf , I should've mentioned that

I second that, reflectors in a lamp are a must if you don't want to waste that precious light. Most grow light fixtures with 2 or more bulb have them, apparently the ones made of German aluminium are the best but if you have any reflector at all it's better than none.

What I did , to save a little $ , for my seedlings growing shelf I bought a T5HO 2 bulb fixture for $39 at home depot. This fixture had no reflector, it's just the middle part in the picture below. So what I did i talked to a stranger contractor who installs windows, a very nice man, and asked him to give me 48" of the white aluminium material that they use to put around the windows on the outside. This aluminium is very easy to work with. If you need me to got through the steps of how to make it just let me know

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 8:21AM
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Sorry I have not responded. Its been a very busy summer. I never knew how much time consuming gardening could be.

Thanks for the advice and suggestions.

Ive been looking around for light fixtures and bulbs.
So expensive!
So I ended up getting the T8 Light fixture and the T8 bulbs that go with it which I hope I got the right bulbs because there was many varieties.

The lights are being used for the plants that need to come back in. Succulents...wandering jew..spider and snake plants. And maybe some mint. What is your thoughts about this? Thanks in advance!

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 9:17AM
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You're not giving me enough info about the light fixture(how many bulbs) and bulbs themselves for me to answer.
But I see that those are pretty good indoor plants so just put your light rack by the south window just to make sure that they get enough light.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2013 at 1:40PM
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LOL. I am so sorry!

The fixture holds 2 bulbs. The bulbs i bought are 2 fluorescent utility cool white. They had bathroom, kitchen and the utility bulbs.

it says cool white light
uses 32 watts
2500 lumens
4100 k, which i know u said to get one higher than that. but thats all they had there. I checked out home depot in my area and the same bulbs were $5.00 more. I did not see the T5 HO there.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2013 at 5:11PM
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:) no problem. I don't think that would be enough light by itself so keep it by the window as well.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 9:03AM
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:) no problem. I don't think that would be enough light by itself so keep it by the window as well.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 9:10AM
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Sorry to keep bothering you but I went to another walmart today. Found t8 bulbs that say "6500 k cool tone; 32 watts; bluish white light for active spaces" the other one said "utility with cool appearance;cool white light 4100 k"
I also got the emergency blankets until I can afford mylar.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 4:37PM
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You're not bothering me my friend :) I'm happy I can help.
Good choice on the bulbs 6500 will do better but it still won't be enough if you only have two 32 watt bulbs running. I assume they are 4 feet long. Either keep it by the window with the bulbs running or get one more fixture if you want to keep it away from the window. I'm assuming those plants of yours are full grown not seedlings.
You don't really need mylar, any surface like plywood painted with a FLAT white paint will reflect almost as good as mylar and doesn't make hot spots like the mylar or your blanket might do. Also keep the plants very close to the lights 1-2 inches away

    Bookmark   August 9, 2013 at 5:54PM
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Ok good! :)

Yes they are 4 feet long. Now I was thinking If I could somehow use both the HO lights (T5 RIGHT?) and the t8 ones.. Use the T5 for seedlings? I am going to put that shelf against the wall by the window. Just have to move stuff.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 5:53PM
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Also what brand of the High output T5 fixtures did you buy? they have a few different types there at Home depot

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 6:40PM
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It doesn't really matter what brand you get as long as they are T5 High output and they have or you make a reflector on top of them to bounce the light toward the plants. I don't remember what brand mine was but if you find out with a reflector the less work for you :) Just make sure that you buy a high output. T5 and T5HO are not the same thing. My Home depot only had 1 high output fixture and many regular t5 fixtures so be careful which one you choose.

Bigger plants need more light so I would use the T5hos for them and the t8 for the small seedlings. T8 also don't put out as much heat as the t5hos so you'll be able to keep them closer. Try to keep the air temperature down below 70 degrees. I'm finding out right now myself that if the temperature is above that it's hard to keep the lamps close to the plants. It gets too hot for them and I have to pull the lamps away further which is not good

    Bookmark   August 13, 2013 at 3:46PM
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I did not get notifications on this ! Have not received notifications in a while actually, they seemed to just of stopped. = /
Soooo Sorry for not responding!

So anyway, thanks for your help. Gave me motivation to keep going with this.

I wanted to show you a pic of what my stand currently looks like. Meant to do that a while ago.

I am interested in buy a T5HO Fixture now. I have seen them at HD and its like $54.00 plus the bulbs.I have seen on Ebay a few what seems to be "good deals" But I do not know If i am getting the correct ones. I am however educating myself with the lighting :)
Its the 4 bulb fixture with a few options of lighting. I had to keep looking at it like what! Do I need all that lighting? I have lighting over load.

My son started some veggies that he wants to grow to full potential. And I dont think the T8 will do for all of them. Tomatoes,lettuce, cucumbers, carrots.. Will they even do ok in side? They are already about to touch the light bulb itself.

Can you please, please help me out..

Are the reef bulbs too much for this project?


or this one :

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 12:49PM
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No worries, I didn't get the notification either :) so hopefully I'm not too late. Your second choice is a better idea IMO.
I have this lamp and seems to do the job

I don't really know if you can grow fruiting plants under t8 lamps I never used them. You can do it under t5ho lights for sure , The fruiting plants however I have under 8 bulb fixture see below:

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 7:19PM
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radishes are growing just fine

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 7:21PM
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cucumbers are doing well too

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 7:22PM
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smallest tomato plant varieties such as Tiny Tim like it

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 7:24PM
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bigger varieties of cherry tomatoes are growing

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 7:26PM
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bigger fruit size tomato are doing well underneath this lamp as well

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 7:28PM
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Peppers are fruiting nicely

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 7:29PM
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all types of leafy greens successfully grow under the t5ho lamps

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 7:31PM
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indeterminate varieties which grow tall keep on growing up and up as far as you can raise the lamp

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 7:33PM
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.. but when it came to carrots :) I have no idea what happened there LOL

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 7:34PM
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That all looks delicious!

    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 1:52PM
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:) carrots not so much :) very bitter. I'm probably using the wrong type of soil. Everything else tastes pretty good. Tomatoes are pretty tasty but my favorite are Tatsoi mustard :) and the spacemaster cucumbers.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2013 at 10:57AM
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WOW what a beautiful set up! I appreciate the advice you have given me, it has helped alot! Those t5 lights are expensive. So I have hinted to my family that is what I want for Christmas! I see some stuff starting to show up Ill post pics in a bit.. I have actually ate some of the romaine lettuce...Even though I dont think it was ready lol.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2013 at 4:49PM
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:) Santa can you buy me a light fixture with 6500K bulbs? LOL
Yeah, those T5s are a little expensive but they do the job so that's all that matters. It's a fun hobby and it's nice to have a little indoor garden. What's really funny is that normally you don't really feel so excited about eating something like lettuce :) but when you grow it it's the BEST lettuce in the world! I really enjoy it because I get to try vegetable varieties that I'm not able to buy in grocery stores. There is so many to choose from and when you have a setup like this it's just a matter of ordering some seeds and grow it! So, have some fun with it and post some pics of your accomplishments! ;)

    Bookmark   December 7, 2013 at 7:49PM
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Uhm Yes Santa is! =]]]
I am getting the 2nd one in the link.. the 4 ft 4 bulb.. it comes with the 6500k bulbs... I am excited!
The only thing growing under the T8s are Romaine lettuce. and some cucumbers,, but they are tiny things...The lettuce is so good!
How much space have you dedicated to indoor gardening? I have a stand similar to yours with the shelving.. They are a pain to move! Thanks for all the advice and I will post pics of what I have now!

    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 9:05AM
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    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 9:11AM
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    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 9:14AM
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Your plants are looking nice ! You'll love that t5HO lamp you'll see :) Get some wheels for your wire rack and it will be easy to move around. I dedicated about 37 square feet of floor space to have my two light setups. :) I wish I could have more room for another 8 bulb lamp ! Once you start getting some results you'll want more and more LOL.
Keep me updated on your grow :)

    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 11:53AM
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chilliwin(EU DK 7)

Very nice work and setup :)


    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 7:50PM
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Thanks chilliwin. Yeah, it's ok. However, I see many improvements to be done like setting up a water drip system and plant elevation mechanism of some sort to keep the shorter ones closer to the lamp but I'm just to lazy to do so LOL :) What ever I did so far works pretty well but these improvements would cut some work out of it. Ideally it would be nice if you could just start the seeds, plant the seeds, set it and forget it! :) just fill up the irrigation tank and collect the harvest!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 5:09PM
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I think Santa did get me those T5 lights. Not 100% but I can read the Boxes! I cant wait. Here's what it looks like now with just the t8 and the use less lights from Wal-Mart.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 12:57PM
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:) so did you get your lights cghpnd?

    Bookmark   January 4, 2014 at 3:09PM
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Hey! Happy New Year!
Thanks for asking!

Well i did get the lights. The Romaine lettuce, carrots and cucumbers are doing good so far. The tomato plants are not growing anymore.
I started winter sowing Milkweed plants and I left a flat on the shelf thinking they were the veggies i started BUT NO. I put the veggies outside thinking they were the Milkweed...grrrrr. Milkweed is thriving....

The cucumbers stopped growing too. So I am just going to start over on the tomatoes and cucumbers.
Thanks for your help. I am glad you answered my post, without it I would of bought the wrong lights!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 5:51PM
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I just want to thank yall for your help with the lights. I have been so busy with the garden outdoors since i now have a plot! Approx 500 sqft. Everything is BOOMING! Not just blooming :)If it was not for the indoor lights to help me along the way my garden would be bare for sure! Thanks again!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 10:20AM
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