Indoor Lights - Knowledgebase Question

Phoenix, AZ
Question by beide1
February 17, 1998
Currently I am starting celosia, peppers,and tomatoes indoors. Can I use a 300 watt Halogen light for vegetables and flower starting? Or should I only use the flourescent 40 watt bulbs for flowers. Which one is the best to use for indoor light source forstarting seedlings for either flowers or vegetables?


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Answer from NGA
February 17, 1998

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The important things when choosing a light source are that the bulb doesn't give off excessive heat, and that the light is as close as possible to sunlight--that is, it covers the full spectrum.

Fluorescent lights satisfy the "cool" requirement, and they are reasonably close to full sprectrum. Because indoor lights aren't nearly as bright as sunlight, you need to be able to keep the lights just a few inches from the top of the plants. (Incandescent light bulbs give off a yellowish light and get too hot.)

Halogen lights--at least the ones I'm familiar with--give off way too much heat for starting seedlings.

I use fluorescent lights. I have seen some new special "High Intensity Discharge" grow lights; these are usually either metal halide or high pressure sodium lights. I'd stick with either fluorescent, or lights sold specially for growing plants.


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