Are these junk?

pushindirt(z8 OR)December 18, 2007

My wife , bless her heart, knew how much I wanted to set up an indoor light for herbs and lettuce. She bought these for my birthday, but I'm afraid they are inadequate. Can I use these? It says (2) 20W lamps. Will these be powerful enough for my lettuce and herbs? Can I put stronger lamps in them?

Dave

Here is a link that might be useful:

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dcarch7

retrurn and get (4) 48" fixtures instead, if you have the room.

Get a power strip and timer to turn them on/off at the same time.

dcarch

    Bookmark   December 18, 2007 at 1:13PM
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pushindirt(z8 OR)

Thanks, My light stand only fits in a 24" area.
Are the 20W lamps sufficient? I 2 of these for a total of (4) lamps). I wish I had the space for 4'.
I did buy a timer to turn off late at night.
hanks Dave

    Bookmark   December 18, 2007 at 1:19PM
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shrubs_n_bulbs(z8/9 UK)

If your growing area is only 24" long then those lights almost have to be suitable because you don't have a lot of alternatives. Short fluorescent tubes are relatively inefficient and these are going to be borderline for growing lettuce, really only useful for a single row of plants right under the tubes. You will need to use some form of additional reflectors, you just can't afford to lose half the light.

The next step up is a T5HO system, 24W per tube, 22" long, and nearly twice as much light. Quite a bit more expensive.

Beyond that you would be looking at using compact fluorescents. The best bet is to use an aquarium-type double or quad tube, 55W would probably be suitable for your shelf but there are higher powers also. Quite expensive again.

You could also try three or four of the spiral compact fluorescents, say 23W each. These are cheap to buy but relatively inefficient, notice I am recommending 69W-92W vs 48W-55W for the other good options. You would also want to look for at least one 6500K bulb rather than the 3000K that Home Depot tends to stock.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2007 at 1:34PM
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dcarch7

pushindirt,
Go with one of Shrub'a recommendations, or take a look at this:
http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/lights/msg1223033721503.html?1

Will this change your mind and get a new light stand? [or a new wife? :-) ]

dcarch

    Bookmark   December 18, 2007 at 3:11PM
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pushindirt(z8 OR)

okay, I bit the bullet. I returned them and got the best they had. Probably aren't good enough for some, but it will have to do.
They are 4'. 40w 6500k.
Are these a LOT better? couldn't find anything over 40w but I did get 6500k bulbs. Btw, I confiscated part of the living. I may be sleeping on the couch next to them tonight. :-(
Dave

    Bookmark   December 18, 2007 at 7:44PM
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shrubs_n_bulbs(z8/9 UK)

40W is standard for a 4' tube. They should put out about three times the light of the 2' tubes. Of course they are twice as long so the intensity is only about 50% more, but that is the difference between borderline and good growth.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2007 at 3:52PM
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pushindirt(z8 OR)

shrubs, thanks for helping out a total noob. I'll see how well these lamps work, and how much lettuce I get. I've got 5 lettuce plants and a tray of herbs under them now.
Dave

    Bookmark   December 19, 2007 at 7:30PM
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pntlspadlr(CO)

I am thinking of growing herbs and lettuce in a 2 ft area, so this thread is very interesting. Is your set-up near enough to a window to get some sunlight?

    Bookmark   December 19, 2007 at 10:00PM
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dancinglemons(7B VA)

pushindirt,

I do OK with chard and romaine lettuce using 2 48" shop lights and 4 6500K tube fluorescents. I keep the lights about 4-5 inches above the plants. My shop lights are not white paint they are glossy stainless steel color. Cheap lights from WalMart and so far so good. I keep them on a surge strip and use a heavy duty timer for 16-18 hours a day of light. You might not have a huge harvest but I am willing to bet you will have some nice lettuce. I do. The surge strip protects the lamps to keep them from malfunction. I was told by an electrician to keep them plugged into the surge strip at all times.

DL

    Bookmark   December 22, 2007 at 2:51AM
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pushindirt(z8 OR)

Thanks DL.
pntlspadlr, My plants are not near a window. They're relying completely on the lamps.
Dave

    Bookmark   December 22, 2007 at 3:47PM
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