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Thread: Recommendation for indoor grow lights?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    1,657

    Recommendation for indoor grow lights?

    ...I know what you're thinking..

    But, I'm not raising any pain-relief, snack compelling products.

    I'm thinking about raising lettuce indoors year-round. The quality of Romaine lettuce in our local markets has just gone to crap over the last year or so. Not to mention 2? Ecoli outbreaks in Romaine over the last couple of years. So, I want to set up a small growing operation to keep me and my wife in high quality lettuce.

    Googling up grow lights, I get a sense that there is a very wide range of quality in lights. I want LED lights to keep the power costs down.

    Does anyone here on the Creek have practical experience to recommend good quality lights, or conversely, recommend what to stay away from?

    Appreciate your help on this!
    Last edited by Brian Tymchak; 10-17-2019 at 11:22 AM.
    Brian

    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger or more complicated...it takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - E.F. Schumacher

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    2,532
    Well, I keep terrariums and planted aquariums, which are probably the same thing. LED's are the way to go. You can buy very specific LED grow panels or bulbs, which have a red/blue output but I just use Daylight (5000K) PAR-based LED light bulbs and have had great results. We have a friend who has this little hydroponic herb setup in her kitchen with the one of the red/blue LED bulbs and the herbs look great but I don't care for the color cast. Hope this helps,

    Erik
    Felder USA Territory Representative: Central & South Texas

  3. #3
    I made some for vegetable starts with LED tape lights that have red and blue LEDs. They worked very well. I will send a picture when I get home.

  4. #4
    I grow pot for pain relief (it's legal here). First rule don't skimp on the lighting, leafy plants like lots of it.I grow with three 150w input led lamps over a 12 sq ft area.I've had good service from these lights for three years.

    https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B01...tle?ie=UTF8&th

    They run cheaply and make very little heat.

  5. #5
    I use just one Costco light hanging close to cieling . Three seed flats rest on news paper on book case. Lights should be pretty close. Most important
    thing about starting seeds in house is let the just up seedlings dry out 'till they actually start to keel over. Then water. That kills off
    germs that cause "damping off", wilting and keeling over dead.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
    Posts
    3,092
    Plenty of used ones on C-list here now that they can grow it outdoors. 25% of the farm listing are Pot growing and harvesting/packing equipment.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    33
    I grew romaine lettuce for years in my basement. I used soil for growing medium until I managed to get some type of a “disease” in my system and my lettuce would look great one day....and then “flump” into a limp pile of nothing within hours. I dumped the soil and went to an ebb and flow hydroponic system. It was great! I used long trays filled with ceramic little balls. Put lettuce seeds into round special pucks that expanded when wet. Water with nutrients were pumped into the trays using small aquarium pumps and then flowed out back into the 5 gallon pails I had sitting on the floor. It was cheap and worked very well. I probably used this system for 5-8 years until I decided I needed the workbench for woodworking, not hydroponic veggies. Still have all the stuff...thinking I may someday get back to it. For lights I used simple shop lights. Two tube fixtures strung from the rafters on chains so I could easily move the lights up as the lettuce grew. Basically, you don’t need anything fancy to do this. Simple lights, timers to turn the lights on and off and a system (soil or hydroponic) that work for you.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Cambridge Vermont
    Posts
    468
    I made my wife a simple rack for getting a jump start with her veggies and flowers. I bought a wire rack from the box store, added wheels to it and I have 4' fluorescent hanging light fixture (two of them) hanging from chains. As the plants grow I can shorten the chains and move the lights up higher and/ or drop the shelves down. I mounted a timer onto the rack and have clear plastic hanging down turning it into a mini green house. When I made it LEDs weren't as popular as they are now. Someday I'll replace the fluorescent bulbs with LEDs.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    1,657
    Thanks for all the replies,,, and sorry for not tending to the post. Had a hardware failure, but bit the bullet today and got a new machine.

    Appreciate the tips as well for growing plants.

    It sounds then like I can get started with use some standard daylight flourescents, which I just happen to have. I'm sure I'll want to go to LED soon to cut the power consumption. I figured I needed one of the special red/blue lamps.

    Good callout Gail about a timer. Think I have one of those somwhere too.

    Thanks again for all the good info.
    Brian

    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger or more complicated...it takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - E.F. Schumacher

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Yorktown, VA
    Posts
    2,490
    I grew some very nice lettuce last winter on my garage bench using the four lamp daylight (6500K) T-11 fixture that hangs over the bench. I used the Kratky method in a couple of borg cement mixing trays covered by a piece of foam board with holes cut into it. I bought some little net pots, and rock wool starting cubes from a local hydroponics store to get things started. Plenty of YouTube videos on the process. It came out great and I'll probably do some more this year. The reflective barrier and the small clay pellets help block the light from entering the water reservoir and creating algae. The barrier also adds brightness around the plants.
    IMG_4513.jpg,IMG_4484.jpg,IMG_4535.jpg,IMG_4534.jpg,

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