All Things Gardening forum: advice on spiral gro bulbs used around the house in winter???

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Name: Jelinda AKA jojoe Ivey
Thomson,Ga. (Zone 8a)
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jojoe
Nov 11, 2012 7:16 AM CST
Good morning,

I was looking in a gardening supply magazine and found these Gro spiral fluorescent bulbs,they fit standard bulb socket.I don't know a lot about gro lights,this is the first year i have any plants that i needed to get one for.I was just wondering because i have maybe 3 windows that get good sun & 2 of them get the same morning sun.The other gets it at an angle,would it be worth it to put these bulbs in a few lamps in dark spots around my dark home.

Please let me what you think about these spiral bulbs!!!! If anyone knows a site that will help explain using gro lights,the different strengths and how they are measured etc... please i would be grateful for a link on artificial lights or gro lights & how to use them.
A green thumb comes only as a result of the mistakes you make while learning to see things from the plants point of view!!
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Nov 16, 2012 1:41 PM CST
I had the same question a few days ago. I wanted to move some plants up in front of the sliding doors in my upstairs bedroom, but that spot only gets morning sun, so I wanted to try using CFLs for a bit of additional light. Here are a couple of the sites I found:

http://www.ehow.com/way_5962304_can-cfl-bulbs-grow-plants_.h...
http://www.littlegreenhouse.com/guide3.shtml
http://www.tomorrowsgarden.net/content/cfl-grow-light-inform...
http://www.pcgrowcase.com/cflgrow.htm
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
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gg5
Nov 18, 2012 12:31 AM CST
I use them for my succulents during the winter and they've been great! I use the flatter kind made by Longstar
Remember to wear gloves when handling the bulbs as oils from your hand can weaken the bulb and make them burn out sooner
Good luck!
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
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drdawg
Nov 18, 2012 2:23 PM CST
I have never used spiral, spot, or flood Gro-lights but I just hung two, 4' shop lights above the top shelf of one side of my orchid greenhouse. I decided to use a pair of T8, 6,500K bulbs in each fixture for three reasons. Number one, I am using these fluorescent fixtures between 5:00 PM and 7:00 AM, since I have natural SE exposure light during the daytime hours. Secondly, these T8 light bulbs are available at big-box stores and I can get them in a 12-bulb pack. Lastly, these bulbs are a heck of a lot cheaper than the Gro-light bulbs.

Natural, north exposure light is around 10,000K. The higher the lumens and "brighter" the light, since there is a lot of blue spectrum light present. Cool-white bulbs generally are 1000-1500K and give off a lot of yellow sectrum.

I have three pics of the two newly hung shop lights, though my V. 'Sunlight Orange' gets in the way of the light fixture in pics 2 and 3. When I took the pics I did notice there is a new spike forming on the vanda. The final two pics are of the other side of my greenhouse, primarily my "baby" orchid side. There are approximately 150, 1 yr old orchid plants here. I could not get far enough away to show more than about a third of them. Next week I am going to hang two more shop lights above the baby orchids. I may go with 4-bulb fixtures rather than 2-bulb ones, but will probably stay with the T8's.

Click on each pic for full size. Ken

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drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
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Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
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gg5
Nov 19, 2012 12:21 AM CST
Beautiful plants Ken, the spiral bulbs are florescent they typically don't have the "spread" that tubes have, for my space they're great...plants are in my living room so smaller bulbs are less intrusive.
Greg
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Nov 19, 2012 6:21 AM CST
That makes sense. I would need so many spot/flood lamps, that 4' fixtures work best for me. Ken
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Trish
Jacksonville, TX (Zone 8a)
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Trish
Nov 19, 2012 7:43 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Great info! Hurray!
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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
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RickCorey
Dec 3, 2012 6:51 PM CST
I'm also using spiral CFL bulbs in standard screw fixtures. I have a pole lamp with 3 sockets, with reflectors. Plus one desk gooseneck lamp. Plus on clamp-on lamp with a gooseneck.

So I have up to 5 bulbs with reflectors aimed at a shelf where I start seeds. I think those bulbs are so-calledd "equivalent to 100 W incandescent". I'll look up their actual CFL wattage andd report back. I hate to take a photo becuase I currently have solme ugly insec t webbing there!

(I did this instead of hanging 48" tubes because I already had the screw-base lamps, can't climb ladders, and I'm suspicious of this manufactured home's roof's ability to support weight. If I got someone to mount shop lights, I might be abloe to adjust their height with a sstepping stool, a cane, and a lot of caution.),

One advantage of CFLs with reflectors on goosenecks or swivvels is that then you only have 1-2 trays,. yhou can aim ALL the bulbs at on e spot and get good intensity. People with 48" tuber fixtures might comnsider a few high-power clamp-on CFLs with reflectors for extra intensity if vegetables *for example) get spindly from weak light.
Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
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gg5
Dec 3, 2012 10:00 PM CST
I agree
Hi Rick
what part of Wa are you in?
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
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kqcrna
Dec 4, 2012 6:18 AM CST
I don't know much about the cfl's for plants, but I sure hate them for house lighting!

I think from what I've read, you have to use a lot of them to achieve adequate lighting for plants. And most sold for plants seem to be the bigger, higher intensity ones than what you find in Kroger.
http://wormsway.com/product_cat.aspx?cat=FLOP

Rick, it seems your best option might be cheap shelves and shop lights. Just hang from s hooks and chains, and it's easy to adjust the height as plants grow.
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You can find cheap shelving @ Home Depot or Lowes. Then you can either use shop lights, or lots of other options. Hydroponic stores tend to have every possible kind of plant lighting, though most are more pricey than shop lights.

Karen
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Dec 5, 2012 7:36 PM CST

Hi gg5

Between Seattle & Everett, 1-2 miles from Possesion Sound. Tiny, shaded yard in a manufactured home park.


Karen,

>> cheap shelving

I suppose that $65 is cheap, but I can get 50 cubic feet of compost instead. I'm sure I will EVENTUALLY go that route, but right now I would have to toss the shelf I have, plus whats under it, plus some boxes of "stuff" I've been keeping for years. But I agree that 4 shelves are better than one, and won 't take up much more space.

But I usually see prices for 4' fixtuires that seem much too high. Well, too high compared to what they cost in the '70s!
Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
Sempervivums Sedums Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
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gg5
Dec 5, 2012 8:24 PM CST
Hi RIck, Cool a neighbor! Want to let you know there is a new Pacific Northwest gardening group in the Forums - added today
Take care, I think we all have such individual reasons for the type of lighting we have...I prefer the flexibility of the clamp lamps (even though on a couple of my shelves the shop light fixtures would probably work fine...the lights I have work great for me, and seem about the same cost.
Cheers
Greg
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling
Name: Jelinda AKA jojoe Ivey
Thomson,Ga. (Zone 8a)
If a door closes look for a window!
Heucheras Plant and/or Seed Trader Hostas Hummingbirder Region: Georgia Cactus and Succulents
Sedums Sempervivums Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Tropicals
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jojoe
Dec 6, 2012 9:20 AM CST
i have a question, an employee in the garden center at lowes told me that the lights used for reptile's are the same or just as good as grow lights.She told me to just go to the pet store and buy a replacement bulb used for reptiles,as a replacement bulb for my grow light (one of the long bulbs,currently using a T-8) it's not strong enough i don't think.I have a couple succulents growing leggy.Which is why i ordered some spiral light bulbs to add and one is going in a dark place in a room i would like to be able to keep some plants.I'm running out of room for my plants. Confused Blinking

Any thoughts on this piece of advice??? Sad
A green thumb comes only as a result of the mistakes you make while learning to see things from the plants point of view!!
Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
Sempervivums Sedums Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
Garden Art Birds Dog Lover Cat Lover Region: Pacific Northwest Hummingbirder
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gg5
Dec 6, 2012 11:19 AM CST
jojoe said:i have a question, an employee in the garden center at lowes told me that the lights used for reptile's are the same or just as good as grow lights.She told me to just go to the pet store and buy a replacement bulb used for reptiles,as a replacement bulb for my grow light (one of the long bulbs,currently using a T-8) it's not strong enough i don't think.I have a couple succulents growing leggy.Which is why i ordered some spiral light bulbs to add and one is going in a dark place in a room i would like to be able to keep some plants.I'm running out of room for my plants. Confused Blinking

Any thoughts on this piece of advice??? Sad


Hi Jojoe, I thought that those lights provide heat and light for reptiles, seems like for plants you'd want to consider if you want to do the same thing. My bulb fixtures get very warm, but I don't heat my house very much, so they appreciate it Smiling
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
Echinacea Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Ohio Region: United States of America Butterflies Hummingbirder
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kqcrna
Dec 6, 2012 12:40 PM CST
Most florescents don't produce much heat. But if you had reptiles closed up in an aquarium, some heat from lights would be maintained. But lights above plants on open shelves, probably not so much. But I'm guessing here. Hilarious!

Another cheap option is under cabinet t5 tube lights. They're probably not the ideal spectrum of light for plants but they work OK.

Karen
Name: Margaret
Near Kamloops, BC, Canada (Zone 3a)
Region: Canadian Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Tip Photographer Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Charter ATP Member
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mcash70
Dec 6, 2012 2:06 PM CST
I think if you want your plants to grow well it is worth the extra cost for the full spectrum bulbs. That's what I use, they are tubes and I have had them for about 5 years, I just use them from February to the end of May. I don't have many house plants and the ones I do have get enough light from the windows.
Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
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Horntoad
Dec 6, 2012 2:16 PM CST
jojoe said:i have a question, an employee in the garden center at lowes told me that the lights used for reptile's are the same or just as good as grow lights.She told me to just go to the pet store and buy a replacement bulb used for reptiles,as a replacement bulb for my grow light (one of the long bulbs,currently using a T-8)


Florescent lights for reptiles are used to provide UV rays to help the reptiles produce vitamin d and absorb calcium. I think most are full spectrum. I don't understand why they would send you to a competitor, when Lowe's has a wide range of lights (including plant lights and full spectrum) in their lighting department, for a lot less than what you can get at a pet store.
wildflowersoftexas.com
texasnatureonline.com


[Last edited by Horntoad - Dec 6, 2012 3:10 PM (+)]
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Name: Jelinda AKA jojoe Ivey
Thomson,Ga. (Zone 8a)
If a door closes look for a window!
Heucheras Plant and/or Seed Trader Hostas Hummingbirder Region: Georgia Cactus and Succulents
Sedums Sempervivums Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Tropicals
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jojoe
Dec 6, 2012 4:51 PM CST
The lady told me they didn't carry any plant lights at all.I said well i will just have to order another one.Currently i only have 1 plant light.I have just started growing succulents and they needed more light than i could provide inside.My other plants do fine hanging in & sitting around,in front of my bay window and just about every other spot in my house that gets sun. Lovey dubby

I was looking into plant lights or grow lights for the first time and finally found a grow light that is a t-8 i believe,it's a long tube shaped light in a fixture that i hung over the place i am keeping these new succulents.They seem to be doing ok,all are growing well the only one that's looking leggy is my Sedum 'Rubrotinctum' (pork & beans).I did order 2 of the lights to fit into lamps to place where i thought i needed a little more light.They haven't arrived & seems to be a problem with having to wait for them because they were out of stock.

I am new at this and was looking for advice and opinions I would like to thank you all for the info i have received so far.I'm trying to figure it all out now,still not sure about the difference or likeness of reptile lights & grow lights.Evidently my lowes doesn't have as big of a garden supply as others do.

Any other thought are still appreciated.Here's a picture of the only plant that's gotten leggy.

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There are 2 different varieties in this pot and one seems to be getting more leggy than the other which seems to be holding it's compact shape better Shrug!
A green thumb comes only as a result of the mistakes you make while learning to see things from the plants point of view!!
Name: Margaret
Near Kamloops, BC, Canada (Zone 3a)
Region: Canadian Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Tip Photographer Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Charter ATP Member
Morning Glories Critters Allowed Birds Houseplants Butterflies Garden Photography
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mcash70
Dec 6, 2012 6:28 PM CST
I got my full spectrum lights at a lighting store. Smiling
Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
Sempervivums Sedums Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
Garden Art Birds Dog Lover Cat Lover Region: Pacific Northwest Hummingbirder
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gg5
Dec 6, 2012 7:25 PM CST
JoJoe those look great!! I was talking to a friend the other day and he said water these plants much less in winter (which is a challenge for me, because I'm used to ferns or other houseplants that love water!!) he said only water when leaves are drying up, and even then just a "sip" Don't water until the soil is all wet (which is how I'm used to watering) just a small sip.
Here is a Wikipedia article about it, what my friend said is that succulents want to grow, and if they don't have enough light they grow "weakly" , straggly, so if you also hold off on the water and nourishment, it will slow them down until they get back outside, or in brighter light. I'm trying this out with my succulents, so I'll let you know!! But this article is helpful!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etiolation
Happy gardening!
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling

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