Is this going to be enough?

ms_minnamouse(7a)September 27, 2009

I have one of those little green growing shelves that come with a clear, plastic cover. It's six tiers, I think.

I have it in my basement (heated) and wanted to put lights on every shelf so I can put my plants on it this winter. The problem is that I'm not one of those people who know stuff about building things and diy stuff.

I was thinking about buying shop lights but each shelf is only so high and after you put the bulb in the shop light ballast (I mean the long ones), it takes up a good six inches of possible growing space. And the bulbs that fit my shelves are 20 watts. If I use two shop lights per shelf, would that be anywhere enough light for my plants?

The plants will be herbs, orchids, tropicals, house plants, cacti, seedlings, etc. I'm not hoping for flowers or anything but I'd like them to stay in reasonable shape until it gets warm enough for them to go outside again.

Or should I make my own shop lights? And how? Where can I get higher watt long bulbs?

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struwwelpeter(5)

I'm not hoping for flowers or anything but I'd like them to stay in reasonable shape until it gets warm enough for them to go outside again.

Since you have little experience as an electrician, I advise you not to install lights in tiered shelves where water dripping downward to the top of the shelves below can be a shock or fire hazard.

Instead, I suggest you just place the plants on the floor, preferably around a drain, if your basement floor has one.

Compact fluorescent bulbs should be adequate for your purpose. You can buy several of these cheaply at Menards:

and hang them closely above the plants. Feit 26 watt Daylight bulbs are often on sale for less than $3 each. I am going to guess that one bulb per 4 square feet should be adequate, but you can easily add more later.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2009 at 12:04PM
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ms_minnamouse(7a)

I'm going to be using trays on every shelf to catch the water. And my basement doesn't have drains and my house doesn't have a lot of humidity which is why I bought this little green house thing with a clear plastic cover to keep in humidity.

It doesn't make any sense for me to have bought this and not use it.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2009 at 7:38PM
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struwwelpeter(5)

It doesn't make any sense for me to have bought this and not use it.

Please, post a picture of it.

Does it have provisions for ventilation? The heat buildup from bulbs and ballasts may be too much. Maybe, you can place the ballasts outside the enclosure and mount the end sockets directly to the tops of the shelves. I have done this with wooden shelves.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2009 at 12:42PM
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