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 Post subject: indoor light...what type
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 8:17 am 
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Im starting to get together some plans for an indoor seed propagator for next year, im thinking of using some florescent lighting for the light source. if this ok? what type of light is best for indoor seed germination?
Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: indoor light...what type
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 9:18 am 
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Location: Midlands of South Carolina
I used to grow many indoor plants and used what I had available. Atleast until I could afford "grow lights", but they are expensive. I later found that a mix of cool white and warm white bulbs do well and settled on one of each per fixture. I later heard that "grow bulbs" don't put out anything the plants needs that aren't provided by the mix of lights, but that they are specifically designed to put out a light that makes the plants "look better", not necessarily grow better.


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 Post subject: Re: indoor light...what type
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 9:51 am 
For Germination and Vegetation use the Highest Kelvin you can.
For florescent lights, a standard T-12 or HO 4 bulb or more fixture works best. The bulbs you would want are called Daylights 5-6000k, Cool whites are 4000k.They should range from 4000k-6000 kelvin. These will have the white/blue spectrum that plants need to start. Also it helps to use reflectors or line the inside of light with mylar.

HO florescent lights are nice but very expensive to replace bulbs.
I've seen T-12 bulbs as high as 110watts a 4 footer.Also don't forget about C-ompact F-loresent L-ights. You can now get these in large sizes(40-65watt) cheap. And I will throw in a clue. (Long Power strip/plug in bulb sockets)

I forgot to mention LED's. These are truly the new wave of growing indoors. Every 100 watts of LED= about 500 watts of incandescent in lumens. Also they last between 50,000 hours & 100,000 hours! Their is under 10,000 hours in a year! These would work well if you wanted to grow a mature plant or in a hot climate. They also just came out with Tribands RED,BLUE,& Orange.

Another thing about germination is that heat is more important than light. If your dirt temps aren't over 70deg it takes longer for them to sprout.


Last edited by vredeman on Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:09 am, edited 5 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: indoor light...what type
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 9:27 pm 
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Location: Nashville TN
Cool white 42" flourecent lights with 2650 lumens of light at 4200K works great for me.


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 Post subject: Re: indoor light...what type
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 11:41 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 11, 2009 4:10 pm
Posts: 102
Location: Hemet, Ca
400 bucks for a 1000 watt HPS lamp, hood, and ballast; covers 49 square feet (about 7'x7'). You gotta run 220 volts and a fan. Don't forget the fire extinguisher. Oh wait...

I've been looking into T-5 fluorescents. Low energy, low heat; you can get real close to the plants so you're not wasting lumens. I've heard they work well for starting. The downside is you would probably have to get quite a few if you ever wanted to grow a full crop of tobacco. Either that or light movers (I don't know how well those work), or maybe some verticals. I'm not sure how well they'll work I've not used them yet. But that will be the next lamp I buy.


the 1000 wat HPS for big plants,

and the T-5 fluorescents, propagator, and heat pad for starting and cloning; use rooter cubes and bottom feed them until the roots come through.



Often I've heard of people keeping their lights on 24 hours. I suppose you can, but my gut tells me don't push plants more than 18 hours a day. But that's just my opinion.

if at any point in the life cycle of the plant the light gets cut back- say your power went off for a night and you lost a light cycle, or something where the plants get less light than what they are accustomed to- like a 24-30 hour dark spell- the plant will flower, if it can flower.
so if you run them under artificial light 24 hours a day, chances are your plant will immediatly waste a bit of energy flowering when you get them outdoors.

I would guage how much outdoor light you anticipate for the plant, and then try to not exceed that by too much, no more than 3 or 4 hours.
i.e.
if you plan to set them out in July when there is 14 hours of sunlight, you can run the artificial light 16 or 18 hours a day, and it won't be that much of a shock on the plants which could prompt flowering when they get 14 hours a day outdoors.

but if you're going to put them out in february and they will only get 12 hours of light a day outdoors, and you've been giving them artificial light 24 hours a day, the plant will flower, if it can flower.


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 Post subject: Re: indoor light...what type
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:11 am 
JeffL wrote:
400 bucks for a 1000 watt HPS lamp, hood, and ballast; covers 49 square feet (about 7'x7'). You gotta run 220 volts and a fan. Don't forget the fire extinguisher. Oh wait...

I've been looking into T-5 fluorescents. Low energy, low heat; you can get real close to the plants so you're not wasting lumens. I've heard they work well for starting. The downside is you would probably have to get quite a few if you ever wanted to grow a full crop of tobacco. Either that or light movers (I don't know how well those work), or maybe some verticals. I'm not sure how well they'll work I've not used them yet. But that will be the next lamp I buy.


the 1000 wat HPS for big plants,

and the T-5 fluorescents, propagator, and heat pad for starting and cloning; use rooter cubes and bottom feed them until the roots come through.



Often I've heard of people keeping their lights on 24 hours. I suppose you can, but my gut tells me don't push plants more than 18 hours a day. But that's just my opinion.

if at any point in the life cycle of the plant the light gets cut back- say your power went off for a night and you lost a light cycle, or something where the plants get less light than what they are accustomed to- like a 24-30 hour dark spell- the plant will flower, if it can flower.
so if you run them under artificial light 24 hours a day, chances are your plant will immediatly waste a bit of energy flowering when you get them outdoors.

I would guage how much outdoor light you anticipate for the plant, and then try to not exceed that by too much, no more than 3 or 4 hours.
i.e.
if you plan to set them out in July when there is 14 hours of sunlight, you can run the artificial light 16 or 18 hours a day, and it won't be that much of a shock on the plants which could prompt flowering when they get 14 hours a day outdoors.

but if you're going to put them out in february and they will only get 12 hours of light a day outdoors, and you've been giving them artificial light 24 hours a day, the plant will flower, if it can flower.


I disagree the reason most people don't use 24 hour on is because bulbs need a resting period to last & energy consumption. I use 24 when I need to keep temps stable. When the light is on they grow. When it is off they sleep. The only way you will shock them is drastic temp changes or light leaks.
As far as flowering MOST Tobacco, that has to do with soil contents & Maturity.


Last edited by vredeman on Tue Sep 15, 2009 5:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: indoor light...what type
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:24 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2009 6:34 pm
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I'll just add that you don't need a 220 volt outlet. HPS lamps plug directly into the ballast that runs on 120V.


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 Post subject: Re: indoor light...what type
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:36 am 
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Location: NW Arkansas, USA
When I start my plants this spring, I will be doing aquaponics, and I will be noting the sunrise, sunset time, and matching my light timers to the daylight schedule. I will change it on a weekly basis as my days lengthen. This is not to save my lights, since I think the lights are better off being on or off and not switching between.

I know that I have seen many debates about whether tobacco is day neutral, short day, or long day. As many types as there are there is probably some that fits into each category. I have also seen some that are called annuals and some that are called perennials in the sales catalogs.

We may need to research the origins of one tobacco or another, and where it was most recently grown (acclimated) and imitate that growing system to a degree. Then note our growing conditions, and shoot for something in between.


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 Post subject: Re: indoor light...what type
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:32 am 
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Joined: Mon May 11, 2009 4:10 pm
Posts: 102
Location: Hemet, Ca
it is a lack of light that promotes flowering.


we start mother plants under 14 hour light, when they start to look like they're going to bud, we push the lights even longer, to 18 hours (some do 24). This prevents the mother plant from flowering.

Our clones from the mother plant are all prepared to flower once the light is cut. So we keep the clones in the same 18 hour light until they've rooted enough to sustain the buds. Once the root system is established, we cut the light and they immediatly flower.
if at any time the clone loses its 18 hours of light, it immediatly goes to flower, regardless of how well the root system is established.
If at any time light gets into the room during the off time, they take a week longer to flower.

Nutrients can promote healthier flowers, but it is mainly the light that initiates the flowering cycle of the plants life.

of course, the objective with tobacco is to NOT flower them. So I'm under the impression it's an all-veg grow. Maximum light and nutrition.

most 1000 watt HPS hoods and ballasts are 220 volt. E-ballasts are the best out right now, they'll run you 2 to 4 hundred; a lamp, a reflector hood and cord run about 100 to 200 bucks. Check out Sunlight Supply Inc. or National Garden wholesale. They got a lot of good info, charts, etc. in their catalogs, and pretty well carry just about everything you need.
you can always shop around and find better prices, though.

-but I'd do T-5 fluorescents without a doubt for starting.


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 Post subject: Re: indoor light...what type
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 1:09 pm 
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This ballast from Sunlight Supply comes in 120 or 240 may be a switchable ballast.

http://www.sunlightsupply.com/hort/products.aspx?request=SS-1-BALLAST&title=Remote%20Ballasts&type=product


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 Post subject: Re: indoor light...what type
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 2:48 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 12:17 pm
Posts: 218
Location: West Central MO
For years, I've always started whatever seeds under fluorescents from one or two cheap shop-type fixures. Have used whatever cheap bulbs I could find, and have never had any problems. Unless you're growing the plants inside to full maturity, I don't think small seedlings care what light they get - as long as they get it. I used to turn the lights out at night, but now just leave them on 24/7, maybe from lazyness, and I adjust the light to within 1 or 2 inches of the tallest seedling.

Reduced light may prompt flowering on more mature plants, but I find it hard to accept this for seedlings. My plants are in the ground before they are more than 6-inches tall at most.

One thing I do do, is take advantage of warm spring days, after most have germinated, and set them out for early morning or evening sun, or shaded sun at mid-day. If nights are in the 40's, they are back inside under lights. And I don't transplant til they've spent at least a couple days/nights on their own outside.

But, then, maybe that's why my Burley and Gold Seal never budded. I had to top them a couple weeks ago because first frost may be only a few weeks away. Virginia Gold was budding at that time though.


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 Post subject: Re: indoor light...what type
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:11 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 11, 2009 4:10 pm
Posts: 102
Location: Hemet, Ca
wydeboi wrote:
This ballast from Sunlight Supply comes in 120 or 240 may be a switchable ballast.

http://www.sunlightsupply.com/hort/products.aspx?request=SS-1-BALLAST&title=Remote%20Ballasts&type=product



Did not know that.
I'm looking now in that catalog at a ballast I was just messing with, (in fact, I drew a scale of it as well), and it's switchable.



That maks it easy then: Get a 1000 Watt metal halide and plug it in. :D you can start a lot of plants under one of those.

is it cold where you live in the winter? If there's ice go metal halide. If its hot go T-5


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 Post subject: Re: indoor light...what type
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:35 pm 
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Hi JeffL, it rarely gets below freezing here, last year we had about 5 days of below 30F and the locals were flipping out! lol

Metal Halide is great for the vegetative phase, but if you're gonna grow the plant to maturity (flowering) indoors you'll need to use a combo light MH/HPS or just a HPS. Also, you'll need good ventilation as the 1000 watt produces a lot of heat.


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 Post subject: Re: indoor light...what type
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 5:21 am 
JeffL wrote:
it is a lack of light that promotes flowering.


we start mother plants under 14 hour light, when they start to look like they're going to bud, we push the lights even longer, to 18 hours (some do 24). This prevents the mother plant from flowering.

Our clones from the mother plant are all prepared to flower once the light is cut. So we keep the clones in the same 18 hour light until they've rooted enough to sustain the buds. Once the root system is established, we cut the light and they immediatly flower.
if at any time the clone loses its 18 hours of light, it immediatly goes to flower, regardless of how well the root system is established.
If at any time light gets into the room during the off time, they take a week longer to flower.

Nutrients can promote healthier flowers, but it is mainly the light that initiates the flowering cycle of the plants life.


Hmmm I'm not sure we are talking about the same kind of plants here :mrgreen: Why would we need mother plants & clones? Starting with 14 hours? Buds? cutting the light for flowers? This sounds like O nevermind :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: indoor light...what type
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2009 5:46 am 
wydeboi wrote:
I'll just add that you don't need a 220 volt outlet. HPS lamps plug directly into the ballast that runs on 120V.


Yes this is very true. Most ballasts can be rewired/switched from 277v,220v to 120v and vice versa. Using 120v will draw more amps which draws more power.The higher the volts the lower the amps.
But 120v is cheapest and easiest to install, use a timer, surge protector and can be found almost anywhere in the home.


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