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Thread: Grow lights?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Western Michigan near Muskegon
    Posts
    1,462

    Question Grow lights?

    Hi All,
    Just was wondering if any of you use grow lights? What kind how big? How much to run? How warm must they be kept? Have a junk filled shed, I was thinking of!? Any thoughts? I can get excess heat out of wood fired water heater room. Thanks.

    Happy Growing,
    Vicki in West Michigan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
    Posts
    9,934

    Flourescent Lights

    Judi,

    I use the inexpensive flourescent workshop lights that you can find at most stores. These work fine for propagating. If I were growing African Violets, Gloxinia or something like that full time in the house where there were no windows, I might consider the expense of grow lights.

    The lights that I have are hanging from light weight chains with S shaped hooks, so that I can raise and lower the lights depending on what I am growing. For instance, I adjust them so that they are very close for seeds, then as the seedlings grow, I raise them.

    Maintaining humidity is going to probably be your biggest challenge.

    Have FUN!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  3. #3

    Talking Greatest Idea!

    Vicki, Vicki,!

    You just gave me the greatest idea!!!!!!!
    I can use the smoker grill to heat up the (scrap made) greenhouse!!!

    I will have to give it a test try first so that i don't burn it down, but i think that would work perfectly! Now all I need is an old huge huge pot.

    I think it would work if i fill it with water, then the smoker will continue to smoak all night long if we use real wood, instead of smoking chips! Now I will have to see about the smoak factor inside the house (once it is finished)

    Anybody have any ideas on how to keep the smoak from harming the plants? What about making holes it the roof (plastic covering) so the smoak can escape?

    Thanks VICKI!
    Kathy in Ga.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Middle Tennessee
    Posts
    29
    Ann, I have used shop lights to propage too but this year I am turning a vacant tack room into a wintering over place for a few tender perennials. It has no windows but is insulated. Do you think I will need grow lights?. I have a feeling I do to keep these babies in good health.

    Kathy, have you ever thought about an outside wood heater that you vent into the greenhouse? The only drawback is keeping it going during the night. If you do try your smoker I would rig up some sort of vent hood and try to get all the smoke out. It will probably coat your interior walls pretty bad.
    Kathy P
    SonLight Farm

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
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    9,934

    Grow Lights vs. Shop Lights

    I used to have some grow lights, some 20 years ago and faithfully used them. They work quite well, but they have gotten really expensive, so I switched to flourescent work shop lights. I am growing lots of baby rex begonias from leaf cuttings, african violets from stem cuttings, gloxinia, rex begonia, and african violet from seed and to start my other seedlings with them, and have found that they work great, and most importantly, the cost of replacing a bulb and the lamp itself is much, much less.

    I have removed the work shop lights from the greenhouse until cooler weather because of the cool mist system. I have not decided yet whether I will shut off the cool mist system on that side of the greenhouse so that I can install the workshop lights.

    Right now, it is working great to get the first set of leaves under flourescent lights in plug trays in the house. Then I move them to the greenhouse under the cool mist system, and they are growing quite well. They seem to like the 5 minutes every 2 hour mist that they are getting and are doing far better than any other seedlings that I have grown.

    Right now, I use overhead flood lights which work great for minimal frost temps in the greenhouse, but the lower level of the greenhouse remains too cold, so I want to try his method as opposed to using propane which gets expensive quickly.

    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Middle Tennessee
    Posts
    29
    I'll be waiting for that post. I have the same problem. It gets down in the twenties here for weeks on end. Sometimes when things have broken dormancy and are starting to grow. I use a kerosene heater and it cost me $10 each night last year to just heat up to 35 degrees.

    Kathy P
    Kathy P
    SonLight Farm

  7. #7

    Unhappy That's way too much!

    Hi All,

    Okay so $10.00 a night gosh that is way too much money!
    You are right about the smoak, and the sut on the covering.
    Okay, maybe I should look into even more options.

    What I really need is A Heated Green House!

    Future Design everybody, Greenhouse with A/C controls. for when we are working in the green house during the summer. Then we could work in there in comfort! Of course we'd turn off the air after we leaft the green house. And Heat/controls for the comfort of the plants in the winter.
    Whatcha' think? Sounds like a fortune huh!
    I'll bet it would be,
    Kathy in Ga.
    Still looking for a way.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Middle Tennessee
    Posts
    29

    Thumbs up

    Kathy, that does sound like a dream doesn't it? I actually hope to have just such a house in five years. I am putting everything I make back into our little business and hopefully in five years we will be able to retire and just live on the greenhouse income.

    About the shop lights. I remembered that I did buy a cool spectrum and a warm spectrum tube for each of my fixtures and they worked O.K. Plants got just a little leggier than I would have liked but soon bushed up when I was able to get them into the green house. SAtill better than the grow lights and some Halogen bulbs I looked at the other day -- $300! Too rich for my blood!

    KP
    Kathy P
    SonLight Farm

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
    Posts
    9,934
    Kathypat,

    Exactly what I mean. They didn't used to be that expensive, but now they are. The fixtures used to be cheap, some 20 years ago, and the bulbs even cheaper. But nowadays, they are outrageous in price.

    I find that I am using them more and more, so I have switched to the florescents, and they do quite well for what I need to accomplish.

    A greenhouse with A/C controls sounds great, but I have a hard enough time paying for my A/C for the house, so I doubt I will ever be able to have a greenhouse with A/C.

    Personally, I would be satisfied with a vent that automatically opens up to let hot air escape the upper sections of the greenhouse during the heat of the summer. We will have to work on that.

    Thanks to All!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  10. #10

    Talking Funny!

    That is funny!

    Kathy P. I surely hope you do have your dream house in 5 years!
    and still be able to retire! So Super that would Be!

    As for me the same thing goes, but I don't know how long it will take, maybe longer.
    Working really hard to make it happen sooner, than later. Time shall tell.

    okay that's it! I've gotta make a post, hope you all respond! I'm interested in knowing what you all are into, and your dreams!

    See you there,
    Kathy in Ga.

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