Need Recommendation For Lights Inside Greenhouse

buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)July 6, 2006

Hi, I have never grown with lights. I have received a small greenhouse for my birthday. It is 6 x 8 and will be raised up to about 8' tall. I am planning on growing/and or over wintering tropical plants including having a pond. I am thinking more of a conservatory than seed starting or production.

I live in rainy cloudy Portland OR and it is overcast for about 9 months with some sun breaks in Feb and March. April, May and June are usually cloudy and rainy. July-Sept only mostly sunny months. It isn't very cold more most of the year but totally grey for weeks at a time.

I wish to be able to sit in the greenhouse during the rainy months and have living plants and light and warmth. I believe I have SAD but have not been diagnosed. I grew up in Phoenix and I miss the sun sooo much.

My DH will run electricity to the greenhouse and can wire up or install anything. He is very handy. Cost is a factor. I don't have any idea where to begin.

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do aome research on metal halide and high pressure sodium lamps and ballasts.

lots of stores on the net sell complete systems

    Bookmark   July 6, 2006 at 10:07PM
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watergal(z6/7 Westminster, MD)

This is a good beginner site for learning about grow lights.

Here is a link that might be useful: Lighting 101

    Bookmark   July 7, 2006 at 9:49PM
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I own a 6x6 poly GH which is set up in my basement. I am attempting a veggie garden in mine under a 1000w MH/HPS light. If you dont mind a bit of expense....this size would probably work for you too.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2006 at 6:22PM
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nygardener(z6 New York)

One thing to keep in mind is that a very bright plant light generates a lot of heat, especially in a small enclosed space. The lights and electricity are quite expensive, and the ballast makes a noticeable hum.

You might do better to grow low-light plants and concentrate on keeping their environment suitably warm (cooler nights are usually best), well-ventilated, and not-too-humid-but-not-too-dry. Start simple. One or two 75-watt full-spectrum light bulbs, of the kind that are sold for SAD, would be enough to make the space feel warm and sunny to you, would be cheap to run, and wouldn't fry the plants.

If the greenhouse isn't fully waterproof, make sure your light fixture and wiring conduits are; this is a good idea anyway. So is a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlet, which will shut off automatically in case of an electrical short.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2006 at 10:18PM
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jwmeyer(Z8 OR)

Look into the CERAMIC METAL HALIDE by Philips. GE also makes a version.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2006 at 10:57PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Thank you.

Definately will be a GFI.

I have been told that a Halide is for indoors with no sunlight and a High Pressure Sodium light is for supplementing sunlight. The garden supply store that told me this has them but they are hundreds of dollars. I've found many low cost solutions to other expenses around home and garden online so was checking this forum for light solutions.

I have bougainvilleas, brugmansias, hibiscus, gardenias, philodendrons, tropical waterlilies and other tropical plants so heat isn't going to be a problem.

I guess I'll just have to save my money...

    Bookmark   September 17, 2006 at 6:37PM
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