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Is my setup ok?

Posted by luvz z6 PA (My Page) on
Wed, Oct 19, 05 at 9:40

I'm new to this. I've been reading here for quite some time on how to do this, and this is what I came up with.

I bought a shoplight with Philips Alto 40 watt bulbs. The light output is 2325 Lumens.......The color temperature is 6500k....and the color rendering is 84, not sure what that means lol. Anyway...I have some cacti and a couple hoyas under it. Is this going to be sufficient? Here is a pic:

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(Sorry for the size of the pic)

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. My apartment is a horrible plant home lol, so I have to make do for the winter.
Thanks so much!!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Is my setup ok?

  • Posted by luvz z6 PA (My Page) on
    Wed, Oct 19, 05 at 9:46

Maybe I should add that they are T12 Daylight Deluxe bulbs......I did notice at the store, the T8's seemed brighter....but this is what I ended up with....couldn't decide on what T8 bulbs I should get.
Thanks again.

RE: Is my setup ok?

There are two reasons why the T8s looked brighter. One is that the tubes are smaller so the light all coming from a smaller area looks more intense. The other reason is that the T8 bulbs really are brighter! The equivalent Philips Alto T8 bulb provides 2850 lumens (20% more light) and only uses 32W (about 20% less power). Take it back and exchange it if you can. If you can't then you might still save yourself money with a lower electricity bill by throwing away the T12 and buying a T8.

Other than that, the light should be adequate to overwinter your succulents but make sure they aren't getting too warm under there. If they stay warm over winter they will tend to grow and stretch. The answer? A fan.

RE: Is my setup ok?

  • Posted by luvz z6 PA (My Page) on
    Wed, Oct 19, 05 at 12:50

Thanks Shrubs.....
I don't think I can take the setup back.....And I can't really afford to just go out and buy a whole new one. As for the ventilation, the bulbs don't seem to be getting too hot. It's been on for about 6 hours now and I can touch the bulbs. The plants don't seem warm at all. Maybe just slightly, but nothing that will hurt them. Thanks for explaining that to me though, that was probably the problem I had last year. I thought maybe it was lack of light, but I'll bet it was heat. I had hotter bulbs on them then.
About how much difference cost-wise is there between running these 2 kinds of lights. Just out of curiosity. I may go with the T8's sometime in the future.

Overall though they should be ok? As long as they don't get too warm they shouldn't get elongated?

RE: Is my setup ok?

  • Posted by DanaNY z6 Brooklyn, NY (My Page) on
    Thu, Oct 20, 05 at 22:27

I certainly wouldn't toss out my T12 setup just to buy a T8 either, but that's me. It's perfectly fine for your succulents. You shouldn't have any problems with heat as the bulbs don't really get hot. I have a succulent under mine for 6 months now and it hasn't elongated at all. As long as you keep the lights pretty close to the plants like you're doing that should keep them from stretching.

RE: Is my setup ok?

Just for info, a 2x40W T12 shoplight uses about $200 of electricity over the life of the bulbs. That's about four years at 14 hours a day. An efficient T8 lamp will save about $50 of electricity over that time and give you more light. Just because you're wasting the money "invisibly" buried in your utility bill doesn't mean you aren't wasting it.

Another interesting point is that a typical T12 bulb loses 20%-30% of its light output as it ages, but still uses just as much electricity. A new T8 bulb loses 5%-10% of its light output over the same time. I think the Alto T12 bulbs are some of the better ones. Serious growers tend to swap out bulbs after 5,000-10,000 hours even though they will last twice that time. The ideal situation is then to use up the half-done bulb in a regular human light fitting where the loss of light is not noticeable.

RE: Is my setup ok?

  • Posted by DanaNY z6 Brooklyn, NY (My Page) on
    Fri, Oct 21, 05 at 19:37

Thanks Shrubs, I appreciate the info. I was about to replace one of my shoplights since the ballasts died and it was time to replace the bulbs anyway, but the manufacturer is sending me a new fixture and 2 bulbs for free (can't beat that, especially since they're replacing it after the warranty ended!). I can't see tossing out a perfectly good lighting setup, so the T8s will have to wait until it's time to replace them again. Even better would be T5s, but they're still very expensive like you said in another post.

RE: Is my setup ok?

I can't see tossing out a perfectly good lighting setup, so the T8s will have to wait until it's time to replace them again.

Well...actually you don't have to get rid of your old setup just to get T8's...All you have to do is replace the ballasts in old setup of mine had the old, heavy Rapid-Start Magnetic T12 ballasts in them...Every now and then I would take a light down and rewire it with an Electronic ballast that ran T8's. I started out with Sylvania at Lowes for $19.98 and about $5 for the tubes but then I found out about the Overdriving thingy so I bought a 4 tube ballast by Sylvania for $29.95...brightness and about as heavy as the old ones. After that I found cheaper, lighter, and quieter ones at HomeDepot for only $17.98, by Advance.

Unforunately, this year I tore it down and am building a better stand to put put them on...

RE: Is my setup ok?

  • Posted by luvz z6 PA (My Page) on
    Sat, Oct 22, 05 at 3:27

Thanks guys =D!
Dana, yay, thank you lol, that's exactly what I wanted to hear!

I appreciate you guys clearing the difference between these 2 kinds of bulbs up for me. Maybe I should have went to the store and gotten some kind of idea then came back here and asked you lol. But I'm pretty happy with what I ended up with. Well, for now......I may feel differently when the next electric bill comes lol.
I'll have to look more into overdriving too.

Thanks again for the responses.

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