Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Lighting for Indoor Greenhouse

I hummed and hahed about the right light for our basement seed starting station.  I've seen and read lots of good things about the Gro-Lux bulbs and T5 fixtures.  They certainly seem like the best route.

However, getting a complete unit using these lights ($199-$399) is pretty expensive - too expensive for me.  If I were interested in growing fruiting vegetables (eg. tomatoes and peppers) indoor all year long, it's definitely worth considering.  But, I'm just looking at starting seedlings and perhaps growing some herbs and leafy greens throughout the year.

I decided to go the cheap and easy route at Rona. I found two 4' T8 hanging light fixtures that are ready to plug in and 2 soft white and 2 cool white fluorescent bulbs.  It cost about $47.  I would have bought T8 Gro-Lux bulbs, but they're tough to find (at least at this time of year). Others have said this type of set up works fine, hopefully it works for us too.

It took 1/2 day to rig up the lighting so that they hang very close to the seedlings (soil at this point).  They're fully adjustable so they can move as the plants grow.  I even attached them to a timer set to provide 18 hours of light.

Let's hope it works!

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