Growing geraniums and marigolds from seed under light
Hello! I am trying something new this year. I want to grow two different kind of flowers -geraniums and margiolds- in a tightly packed 8 by 8 foot area in my basement. The basement has very little sun light and so I'm going to need some artificial light to provide 95% of the light for the plants.
The plan is to grow the flowers from seed, then have them indoors as flats for a few months before planting them outside when it's warm enough for them.
The one big thing that is tripping me up is what kind of light to get.
If I'm growing the plants from seed and they will still basically be small-ish flats when I take them outside, how am I supposed to judge how powerful of a lamp I'm going to need and how am I supposed to judge how far to have the plants from the light? Obviously I want to be as energy efficient as possible, but the plants can't be so close that the plants are burned, and it has to be far enough away so that the angle of the light will cover the area that needs to be lit.
It seems like there's about 5 variables here and if you change one, it effects all the others. Can someone please give me a starting point? Should I focus on height above the plants, then adjust the power of the lamp and the hours the lamp is on? Or should I start with the power of the lamp, and then adjust...etc,etc. It all seems very confusing! Would really appreciate some guidace.