Houseplants forum: Fluorescent light fixture for indoors?

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Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
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keithp2012
Sep 15, 2015 1:30 PM CST
Our 20 year old fluorescent tube light bulb (20 watt) died. Now I'm not sure what kind of new bulb to buy for my indoor plants. I know 20 watts, but I've seen aquarium light bulbs that are the same and reptile light bulbs, are these too strong for indoor plants? I mostly grow cacti.

http://m.lowes.com/pd/GE-20-Watt-3000K-Color-Enhancing-Fluor...

http://m.homedepot.com/p/Philips-2-ft-T12-20-Watt-Plant-and-...
[Last edited by keithp2012 - Sep 15, 2015 1:39 PM (+)]
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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
Sep 15, 2015 2:52 PM CST
Keith, if only the tubes died and the fixtures are still what you are going to use, you are stuck with whatever those tubes are (T-12/T-8/T-5). If 20 years old, I don't think T-5 even existed. If you are replacing the entire fixture, go with T-5 or even better, T-5HO tubes. You can't have too many lumens growing cacti. Tell me how much area (sq. ft.) and what sort of set-up you are lighting (shelves/floor/whatever).
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: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Region: United States of America Winter Sowing Plays in the sandbox Birds Native Plants and Wildflowers Tomato Heads
Vegetable Grower Garden Photography Hybridizer Spiders! Annuals Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
keithp2012
Sep 15, 2015 7:24 PM CST
I ended up finding a light at the hardware store that works great so the search is complete!
Name: Alex Junge
MN st paul, (Zone 4a)
Plantsmylove
Sep 15, 2015 7:49 PM CST
mine is 5000 lumens, T5 lighting, a 4 foot by 2 foot light fixture. Its a sunleaves brand light fixture. if I were to get the T5HO tubes the same size and wieth I could possibly upgrade. If the fixture is exactly the same dementions wise i could take it down and redo it for stronger light. but it would have to be the same i don't think the house would like me redrilling holes in the cieling. its an older house and so it could be dangerous.
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
Image
drdawg
Sep 15, 2015 8:13 PM CST
Alex, before you do anything you need to make sure your T-5 fixture will handle T5HO tubes.
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: Alex Junge
MN st paul, (Zone 4a)
Plantsmylove
Sep 15, 2015 8:24 PM CST
how do I do that? Do I ask the shop I got it from. Its called Roots hydro organics.
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
Image
drdawg
Sep 16, 2015 5:27 AM CST
I would contact them, Alex.

Keep in mind that the ballast in a fixture produces a specific wattage, and HO tubes/bulbs are higher wattage than regular T-5 tubes. Thus your T-5 fixture would not burn those t-5HO tubes as brightly. And the reverse is true as well. A T-5HO fixture would burn a regular T-5 tube brighter than normal, shortening its life. There is also a heat issue. You can change a ballast though. At least this is what I understand. I could be completely wrong. Shrug!
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: Alex Junge
MN st paul, (Zone 4a)
Plantsmylove
Sep 16, 2015 11:20 AM CST
So I guess that means I need a T5HO fixture that's the same wieth and length as my t5 fixture I have now. 4 feet by 2 feet. I have to contact the manager of the store after work today I start at 12;45 and end at around 3,30. but knowing my metro mobility ride i probably wont get home until 4pm or so.
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
Image
drdawg
Sep 16, 2015 11:41 AM CST
A two-foot wide fixture is a really wide one. How many fluorescent tubes does the fixture have, Alex?
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: Alex Junge
MN st paul, (Zone 4a)
Plantsmylove
Sep 16, 2015 5:14 PM CST
4 of them, 2 green bulbs for green growth and 2 red bulbs for flowering plants
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
Image
drdawg
Sep 16, 2015 5:42 PM CST
I don't know anything about "colored" tubes, Alex. What is the Kelvin of those tubes?
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: Alex Junge
MN st paul, (Zone 4a)
Plantsmylove
Sep 18, 2015 11:08 AM CST
I don't even know what kelvin is... I know Lumens but not kelvin?
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
Image
drdawg
Sep 18, 2015 12:34 PM CST
When you purchase fluorescent tubes, you'll see them called "cool-white", "warm-white", "full-spectrum", etc. All those names related to the Kelvin, which is the wave-length of the light emitted. Warm-white is something in the range of 3200-4500K (it looks pink/yellow), cool-white around 5000K (yellow-white), and full is around 6500K. The 6500K is good for growing (green growth) and the "warmer" ranges induce flowering. In my six-tube fixtures I use 4 tubes of 6500K and two of 4000K. That doesn't mean that what I do is ideal or even correct. Its just what I do.

I hope this helps some.
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.

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