Ask a Question forum: Best (inexpensive) lighting options for indoor plants?

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knotsolas
Feb 8, 2017 12:21 AM CST
I want to give my plants the best life possible, but I'm not sure how I should go about it. My apartment has a lot of indoor lights and a few windows,

I was thinking of getting a strip of those blue and red led lights and a small panel one, or a few bulbs. What would be the best option do you think? I have some under cupboardl ights I could swap out for smaller plants?

Currently I have, sorry if these are incorrectly spelled.
Majesty Palm (despite lots of water, its fronds are getting a bit crispy??)
a elephant plant (just a baby)
An echi..veria??
christmas cactus
annnnd
a diffenbachia

What are the best lighting situations for all?
central Illinois
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Plant Database Moderator Garden Ideas: Level 2 Photo Contest Winner: 2014
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jmorth
Feb 8, 2017 12:55 AM CST
Fluorescent Lights
Nothing that's been done can ever be changed.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
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Weedwhacker
Feb 8, 2017 9:09 AM CST
Welcome to NGA, @Knotsolas .

What direction do your windows face? If your answer is "north" then they probably won't be of much help, but otherwise your plants would benefit from the natural light, possibly supplemented with some fluorescent lights.
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
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Name: Steve Claggett
Portland Orygun (Zone 8a)
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madcratebuilder
Feb 9, 2017 7:51 AM CST
T5HO 6500k give me great results, very little heat produced by the bulbs and low energy consumption. I have some of the red/blue LED strips that add supplemental light, a 24 LED spot that my spider plants love.

If you have a good way to mount a T5 that would be my recommendation.
Spectamur agendo
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Feb 9, 2017 11:11 AM CST
At least 6500 k bulds ! Yes !😎!
Since you are starting out. Get the LED 6500 K. Grow bulbs ! Compared to florescent, they use alot less electricity. Last twice as long. And put out no heat...
My sister found a new one, online.
It looks like floresent bulbs. Its two bulb 2 foot lite, with white metal frame, with reflector behind bulbs. Nice looking. You can suspend it, mount it on ceiling, put it horizontally or vertically on wall.

Now the part that REALLY TICKED ME OFF 😭 She got it for ......
Get ready......

ONLY $20.00 DOLLARS ## 😭😭😭.

LED's last 50,000 hours ! Think of the money you'll save on power bill over that time.
😎😎😎
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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woofie
Feb 9, 2017 11:36 AM CST
C'mon, Philip, where did she get it? Inquiring minds want to know! I'm in the market for one as well. I'm all ears!
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Feb 10, 2017 7:42 AM CST
Woofie: howoa !!!!🐕
I'll have to check with her.
I'll be BACHK !👺!
😎😎😎
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Feb 10, 2017 11:27 AM CST
@woofie
Oops ! Pie in my face !👺!
Well. Woofie.... I had the price wrong. 😞 It was $50.00 @ home depot. They have a single bulb 2 foot for $30.00
Butt ! Either way. Still worth it, when it lasts twice as long and uses around half the energy of a floresent ! It will pay for itself, over its lifetime.
Go surfing ! Maybe you'll find something cheeper? Shrug! ?
😎😎😎
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
Feb 10, 2017 11:39 AM CST
Well, rats. That sounded sooooo good! I'm contemplating one I saw on Amazon, but it's only 4000K and 3600 lumens. But it's 4 ft long, 2 tubes and only a bit over $28 with free shipping. I also got a couple of regular base LED grow lights and they seem to be helping a lot. My tiny tomato seedlings are growing up nice and straight under them. I'm hoping the combination will do the job for my (hopefully) temporary indoor setup.
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Feb 10, 2017 12:12 PM CST
@woofie. Yea ! RATS ! Dog gone it !
D'Oh! D'Oh! D'Oh! ME ###
Butt ! If i were you. I would spend an extra few dollars. And get 6500 K bulbs.
I'm no expert. Butt. I dont think you can add up the K's.
Say like a 4000 K bulb and a 3000 K bulb is equal to a 7000 K bulb.
K's are diferent than watts !
And were talking grow lites, also.
Pertty sone your gonna have a crazy amount of bulbs hangin there and nothings growin. Butt ! The power company will be smiling down at you. 😁👹😁 $$$$
Ya know what i mean ! Jelly bean 😁
😎😎😎
Name: Donna
Mid Shore, Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Shy_gardener
Feb 10, 2017 12:25 PM CST
Just an FYI.....

Walmart has these for $10.97 with great reviews.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Lig...
"If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live." ~ Albert Einstein
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
Feb 10, 2017 12:36 PM CST
Well, this is supposed to be a temporary setup, and the trays are on a table in front of two south-facing windows. The LED shop light appears to provide a better light source than the fluorescents I have in my greenhouse, so I'm willing to give it a try. And I can always use that shop light in the shop if it doesn't work out for the seedlings. (I HATE fluorescent lights!) And, hey, these lights combined use less power than the heat mat alone! Hilarious! I'll let ya know how they work out. Smiling
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
Charter ATP Member Garden Procrastinator Greenhouse Dragonflies Plays in the sandbox I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
The WITWIT Badge I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Dog Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Container Gardener Seed Starter
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woofie
Feb 10, 2017 12:42 PM CST
Hey @Shy_gardener that looks like a pretty good deal! Too bad they don't ship them; we're pretty well house-bound right now. But I'm planning on doing a couple of shelves and those would be a nice addition. Thanks for the tip! Thumbs up
Confidence is that feeling you have right before you do something really stupid.
Name: Donna
Mid Shore, Maryland (Zone 7a)
Houseplants Bee Lover Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies
Spiders! Dog Lover Garden Procrastinator Vegetable Grower Composter Container Gardener
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Shy_gardener
Feb 10, 2017 3:19 PM CST
Ooppps Sorry Folks....

I though they did ship them, thought they shipped anything you wanted. I know they'll say out of stock, then they have them, then they are out of stock. Must sell a lot of them...

OH My, The things we can come up with to get the plants some light, or getting seeds started, but as long as it works, it's all good. Thumbs up
"If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live." ~ Albert Einstein
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
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Weedwhacker
Feb 10, 2017 7:24 PM CST
Philipwonel said:@woofie. Yea ! RATS ! Dog gone it !
D'Oh! D'Oh! D'Oh! ME ###
Butt ! If i were you. I would spend an extra few dollars. And get 6500 K bulbs.
I'm no expert. Butt. I dont think you can add up the K's.
Say like a 4000 K bulb and a 3000 K bulb is equal to a 7000 K bulb.
K's are diferent than watts !
And were talking grow lites, also.
Pertty sone your gonna have a crazy amount of bulbs hangin there and nothings growin. Butt ! The power company will be smiling down at you. 😁👹😁 $$$$
Ya know what i mean ! Jelly bean 😁
😎😎😎


Doesn't the "K" stand for kilowatt?
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
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Name: Mac
Over yonder, IL (Zone 6b)
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McCannon
Feb 11, 2017 9:51 AM CST
I use these in standard 48" shop lights - F32T8 6500K, box of 10 for $33.97:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Phi...

K (Kelvin) relates to "color temperature". Here's a reference:

http://www.lumens.com/how-tos-...
Not all who question are antagonists but don't try to B/S me
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Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Feb 12, 2017 12:42 PM CST
Thanks 😁 Mac !
Electricity is strange. Like kelvins. Watts. And Amps , are all diferent creatures. Grumbling
😎😎😎
Name: Mac
Over yonder, IL (Zone 6b)
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McCannon
Feb 12, 2017 12:56 PM CST
Philipwonel said:Electricity is strange. Like kelvins. Watts. And Amps , are all diferent creatures.


And sometimes hard to explain in non-technical terms. Color temperature is best when observed. Box stores that sell all kinds of lamps need a side-by-side display to actually show the difference.
Not all who question are antagonists but don't try to B/S me
I receive no compensation for vendor links or products presented
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
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Weedwhacker
Feb 12, 2017 5:46 PM CST
Mac -- if you know -- is there some "standard" for what is best for starting seedlings?

I'm particularly curious about how one adjusts using the T8 or T5 fluorescent bulbs as compared to the old T12, which I use, for growing -- as in, how far away from the plants should the bulbs be, and how many hours/day to leave them on. (With the T12 bulbs, I keep the lights very close to the seedlings, and leave them on for about 16 hours per day.)
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
- John Powell / Cubits.org - A Universe of Communities
/ Share your recipes: Favorite Recipes A-Z cubit
C/F temp conversion / NGA Member Map
Name: Mac
Over yonder, IL (Zone 6b)
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McCannon
Feb 12, 2017 6:15 PM CST
Sandy, I don't think there's any definitive answer as to "standard". In general, the smaller diameter lamps use less and less power for any given lamp length. I use the T8's because I already had fixtures for them. As far as plant to lamp distance and hours/day on-time, it depends on the plants, intensity of the lamps and any number of other factors. For new seedlings I think 2 to 3 inches is more or less accepted, 24 hrs/day, and color temperature can affect that. Some plants require a dark period. My best suggestion is read everything you can find on the subject, keeping in mind that you will get a lot of different suggestions to the same question. I hope that helps Smiling .
Not all who question are antagonists but don't try to B/S me
I receive no compensation for vendor links or products presented

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