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need help reflecting light onto plants

Posted by kawaiineko_gardener 5a ( on
Sun, Mar 17, 13 at 15:33

I'm using grow lights for starting seedlings indoors.

Two of my grow lights are just flourescent lights attached into a shop light fixture. For seedlings do they have to be directly under the flourescent lights?

Will the seedlings that aren't direclty receiving the light still get adequate light (i.e. the ones that aren't directly under the flourescent light) or will they get too leggy?

I was thinking of using mylar/aluminum foil to reflect the light onto the plants; would the reflected light be too bright for the seedlings?

With the foil/mylar I'd be taping it onto the light fixture from behind, as well as the sides.

Would this adequately reflect the light or would I have to string it behind/between the lights?

If I have to string the foil/mlyar between the lights for it to adequately reflect the light, how would I go about doing this and what should it look like.

Pictures of what it should look like and how to string it between the lights (if I have to do it that way) would be appreciated. I am not a DYI person; I've tried looking for steps with how to string the foil/mylar between lights if I have to go that route via the internet but haven't really found anything.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: need help reflecting light onto plants

I use aluminum foil and have for years with a shoplight with regular floreseny bulbs , Just drape it over the light . Im sure you you will do fine . Good luck !

RE: need help reflecting light onto plants

I use mylar 'emergency blankets' purchased for a buck or so at WalMart. These hang from the edge of the shelving straight down.

The mylar is sometimes called a 'runner's blanket'.

Your lights should be 2-3 inches above the tops of your plants. If you have plants growing at different rates, either group them by shelf or put something under the smaller ones.

RE: need help reflecting light onto plants

This is some background info on what I am using for seed starting. It is a styrofoam tray with 40 holes in it; 40 plugs made from a soilless mix are put into the plugs (1 plug per hole).

The styrofoam tray is essentially a big block, it's about 3" tall.

The light fixture that holds the grow lights is 6" above the styrofoam tray w/the plugs in it. However since the tray is 3" tall the actual space between the seedlings and the lights will be 3".

The Problem I am having is although there are 40 plugs only the middle rows of the plugs (not the ones on the outer edges) can be grown under the lights. If I try to grow seedlings in the plugs that are on the outer rows, they will get leggy due to not having enough light.

There is only 6" between the lights and the tray that is nested in the grow light. With such a small gap, is it even possible to put foil there? Even if I can put the foil there, since it's such a small gap will it (the foil) adequately reflect the light onto the seedlings planted in the outer rows?

The foil will be put at the back of the hood that holds the lights (as that will be where one of the outer rows will be) and foil onto the front of the hood (at the front of the grow light) (as this is where the other outer row will be.

If the light reflected is adequate enough, can I grow seedlings in the outer rows or would they still become too leggy?

RE: need help reflecting light onto plants

Move the plants around. or add another light. Last year I used only 1 light, this year 2 lights on the trays. The plants are growing more evenly. Next year, I might try 3.

Reflected light should work, but not as well as direct. You can also use WHITE, either as a tarp or anything else.

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