Ask a Question forum→Ceiling Grow light recommendation?

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Denver, CO
Aug 19, 2019 10:02 AM CST

I'm a little new to indoor gardening, and I've found I've run out of window space and need to get grow lights. I've gotten a few table lamp style grow lights, with mixed results. I'm kind of dubious of the superiority of red/ purple lights. Is that really better than full spectrum? Not to mention it's hard to look at. I've also got some really tall indoor plants, that can ended up in dark corners. I was thinking of ceiling mounted grow lights for those spaces, but there's way too many options. I'm having a little difficulty sorting marketing from actual information. I was hoping for recommendations on lights you all like, advice on newbie mistakes to avoid, etc. I'm not asking for blueprints, just a starting point to help me filter wheat from chaff.

What kind of grow lights do you use? A particular brand you find reliable?

Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Aug 19, 2019 11:46 AM CST
Hi ColorfulSocks and Welcome!

Those are good questions.

Red/blue lights: If plants only needed red and blue light, the sun would be purple. Plants (and people) need all the colors in the spectrum including green. Red/blue lights were invented by indoor pot growers who wanted fast results but didn't care about the long term health of their plants because they were going to harvest quickly and replant. Buy full spectrum white lights.

Light bulbs are divided into categories: Soft White (2700K – 3000K), Bright White/Cool White (3500K – 4100K), and Daylight (5000K – 6500K). The K stands for kelvin, actually a temperature measurement. Lumen is a light measurement and watts are an energy measurement. The light bulb industry has chose to use kelvin, not lumens so, we adjust. Trying to figure it all out for myself would be totally impossible so I stick with K values. 5000K - 6500K is considered to be daylight. Of course, its not but, for indoor lighting, its the best we can do.

The biggest bang for your buck is T5 fluorescent shop light fixtures with 6500K bulbs. This is a two-bulb fixture about 4 ft. above my shelf with 6500K bulbs. This wouldn't be enough on its own for my plants but, they also have light from a north facing window.
Thumb of 2019-08-19/DaisyI/89cde3

Although these plants require lower light, this amount of light wouldn't be enough on its own for them but, they also have light from a north facing window. The light has a cover that diffuses some of the light. You could make the light brighter by using 4-bulb fixtures and leaving the cover off. Moving the lights closer to the plants would also help. Growing plants strictly under lights works for most plants but, adding enough lights is key. If you have to squint when you walk into the room, you have enough. Smiling

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Denver, CO
Aug 19, 2019 8:09 PM CST
Thanks Daisyl this is a big help! Hurray! I really appreciate your advice and the picture!

Cheers! Smiling

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