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Thanks John Z, Maine Man

Posted by reindeer39 z5 MA (My Page) on
Sun, Feb 20, 05 at 23:08

This message is posted under another topic also. Sorry!

Thanks for the sources, John Z and Maine Man. seems to have the best price on the gro-lux tubes, even when you factor in shipping, so I'll probably order from them the next time I need them, although there are Aubuchons within driving distance of my house, so I can use them in a pinch.
That being said, I have another question if you'll indulge me. I hope I'm not taking advantage of your expertise ;)

Hmm, how to make a long story short? ;)

Okay, so I have a light stand which I use to grow African Violets and foliage plants. Each fixture holds 4 tubes.

For a while now, I've been using 2 Colortone 50's, 1 "daylight," and 1 gro-lux standard in each fixture (don't ask me how I arrived at that combination). I'm fairly satisfied with the color rendition, but less than satisfied with the growth.

I've been thinking about buying Agrosuns and using 3 of those along with 1 gro-lux in each fixture -- I use 1 gro-lux mainly because I like the way it deepens the colors of the African Violet flowers just a little -- BUT the cheapest I can find them for is $14.99, not including shipping, and you have to buy six of them. That's a little much for my budget. The color temperature is 5850K and the CRI is 93.

Now, yesterday I came across a web site, , which makes a brand of full-spectrum fluorescent tubes called Paralite. Under the Paralite brand is a bulb called the "Spectra 5900." It has a color temperature of 5900K (very close to the Agrosun, only a 50 degree difference) and a CRI of 93 (same as the Agrosun). It also has a whopping 2500 lumens per bulb, which is good for me because I can keep the lights further away from my African Violets, which keeps them cooler, AND the cost is only $6.75 per bulb when you purchase 6.

My question is: Would the Spectra 5900 be similar in light quality to the Agrosun because the color temperature and the CRI's are so close to each other? I don't know if you can make that assumption or not.

John Z, I know you suggested using 2 GE Chroma 75's and 2 gro-lux standards, but at 1900 (I think) lumens for the Chroma 75's and 1200 lumens for the gro-lux, I don't think that would provide me with the intensity of light I like to have so that I can keep the lights a good distance away from my African violets, both to keep them cooler and to make them more visible (If they're up too close to the lights, the hood of the fixtures obstructs your view of the flowers).

Thanks for any input you can give me, if you have the time.

- Jon K

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Thanks John Z, Maine Man


Thanks for the tip about and FullSpectrumSolutions. Do you know if your fixtures have electronic ballasts? Many of the ParaLite bulbs require electronic ballasts. Do your fixtures accept either T12 or T8 bulbs? Some electronic ballast fixtures, such as the Home Depot commercial shoplight fixtures I use, do accept either 2-pin T8 or T12. So far I am using all T8s, mostly the $2 cool white Philips bulbs from Home Depot.

I was noticing that the ParaLite Maxum 5000 bulbs have greater light output. Another thing to watch is the Hour Ratings of the bulbs. Some last much longer than others. I am no expert here, but I am interested because I will be buying some more bulbs myself.


RE: Thanks John Z, Maine Man

Hi Jon K. I'll hop back to your Sylvania thread and post a response. I printed-off the concerns you wrote and will get back with you.

I have quite a variety of species growing on Intermetro brand shelves under the lamps I mentioned, including Saintpaulia or AV's. (Life without Saintpaulia is not a life worth living) So I'll be happy to share what's happening with them under fluorescents and with my tube combo. Just give me a day or two to get my thoughts together on it all. I appreciate interacting with you!

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