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New to growing your own tomatoes? This is the forum to learn the successful techniques used by seasoned tomato growers. Questions are welcome, too.

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Old March 16, 2018   #1
Jetstar
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Default Grow light questions

My first time growing seeds has made me wonder why I waited so long to try this. My started plants (Tomato & pepper) are doing great, I know things can change quickly. I went with a CFL for my grow light 100watt equivalent with 1,600 lumens & 6,500 kelvin for my small set up its more than proven to me that its very capable. Yeah I saw the LED bulbs but there were so many and so many claims I was overwhelmed and didn't know what was good and what wasn't, so I decided to go with what was recommended by the video I saw from the "Rusted Garden" So why can't a white 100 or 150 watt equivalent LED do the job, everything I see says you need red & blue leds to really get good results. So school me people will white LED's work or are multi color LED's the only way to get stocky seedlings. The white LED"S are much cheaper. And if your going to make recommendations could you give me brand name of the bulb... Thanks
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Old March 17, 2018   #2
Tiny Tim
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This will give you all the answers your looking for and maybe more. Happy gardening.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPAy79_Kh-o


This part will show actual results of the lights in a side by side test. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HawgP5SXPko

Last edited by Tiny Tim; March 17, 2018 at 12:16 AM.
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Old March 17, 2018   #3
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I had to turn off both videos, too much babble.
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Old March 17, 2018   #4
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I use 2- 4ft, shop lights with daylight bulbs and have great success.No need to spend a lot of money.But everyone has their own methods.Use what works best for you.Used a heat mat this year to start my pepper seeds..I find my tomato seeds germinate fine at room temperature.

Last edited by cjp1953; March 17, 2018 at 07:23 AM.
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Old March 17, 2018   #5
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I won't say that white led will not work at all, but take a look at the spectrum of light that is visible to plants, in the graph below, and you can see why grow lights are not white. However, it should be noted that seedlings have such low light requirements, it may not matter. The chart below would be most applicable when growing plants to maturity.

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Old March 17, 2018   #6
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Great video Tiny Tim it answered my question and I'll look into getting a regular white LED bulb because for my tiny grow box set up a reg.screw in bulb will more than cover the need. Cole Robbie I'm just starting seeds that will be planted outdoors in about 10wks so the red/blue LED's wont be needed. And cjp1953 the 4ft. shop lights while nice for most folks just wont work for my small set up. The Set up I have will allow me a max of 24 started plants more than enough for my grow bag garden with a several left over for my neighbors grow bag garden. Now my only concern is with LED's are lumens or kelvin numbers more important? What would be a minimum number I should consider when looking for a LED bulb? I know the CFL I'm using now has 1,600 lumens and 6,500 kelvin, but I don't know if those same numbers that work for the CFL's would be the numbers I'd want in the LED's so any advice here would be welcome... Thanks!
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Old March 17, 2018   #7
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The white lights have a greater spectrum or “full spectrum” when compared to the “blurple” grow led lights.

I agree with others though, they’re not necessary for seedlings. Some T8 in 6500k should do just fine. The led T8 bulbs are fine also, just make sure to get the higher kelvin rating. 5000+. I’ve grown plants to maturity using the LEDs @ 3500K with no problem even.


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Old March 17, 2018   #8
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okay guys this will explain my situation and what I use better than I've been able to, my grow box is a plastic 18gal.tote here.a video that shows you exactly what I use. And while what you've shown me is awesome it just wont work for the tiny grow box I use. What I need to know is do they make a LED regular size light bulb that can be used as a grow light? here's the video... https://youtu.be/6e4P53TdW-8
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Old March 17, 2018   #9
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I found the answer guys & gals, found what I was looking for I went to my local Menards building supply store and they had just what I was looking for. Sylvania has 100 watt daylight equivalent A21 LED it has 1,600 lumens and 5,000 kelvin for 7.49 thanks for trying to help me this will do the job for my little grow box.
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Old March 18, 2018   #10
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Do yourself a favor, get rid of the foil, spray paint the inside of the box flat white with plastic spray paint like krylon fusion and get rid of the reflector on the lamp.
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Old March 18, 2018   #11
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Worth1 I think your making a good point and if my grow box was larger that would be an option, howeverI'm using a small CFL so the foil allows me the best reflective option. Paint is great but foil IMO is a better option, I use the reflector for the same reason it directs all the light where its needed on the plants. I wanted to try growing seeds and I didn't want to spend a lot because I don't need a lot, as it is the 20 or so seedlings I have started now of tomatoes & peppers are more than I can use in my grow bag system,I'll be giving some to my neighbor who also uses grow bags. Neither of us has room for a regular garden, So the tiny grow box I'm using will probably be what I'll be using in the future, its more than big enough for me.
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Old March 22, 2018   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetstar View Post
Worth1 I think your making a good point and if my grow box was larger that would be an option, howeverI'm using a small CFL so the foil allows me the best reflective option. Paint is great but foil IMO is a better option, I use the reflector for the same reason it directs all the light where its needed on the plants. I wanted to try growing seeds and I didn't want to spend a lot because I don't need a lot, as it is the 20 or so seedlings I have started now of tomatoes & peppers are more than I can use in my grow bag system,I'll be giving some to my neighbor who also uses grow bags. Neither of us has room for a regular garden, So the tiny grow box I'm using will probably be what I'll be using in the future, its more than big enough for me.
If you are not stuck due to physical limitations, flat white paint is a better choice, foil/polished chrome will not reflect as much total light but will reflect more heat.
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Old March 22, 2018   #13
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double post, sorry
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Old March 23, 2018   #14
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Been a common misconception that foil is the way to go.
When flat white is the choice of people in the know.

You have to be really careful with what you buy because of so much misinformation and sales gimmicks that just dont hold water.
I cant think of any logical reason a person would want to use anything other than 6500K for lights.
The whole red spectrum thing is hog wash because the 6500K bright daylight mimics the light from the noon day sun.
It has every color spectrum you need and many you dont need.
I have had plants start to bloom under it with no problems what so ever.

This is yet more stuff the plant grow suppliers will sell you to get you to spend more money.

Light sensitive plants dont start blooming because of light color change they bloom due to the amount of light they get.
as in total hours.
Or to be more exact the amount of uninterrupted darkness.

This is why most people never see a jade plant bloom.
Someone turns on a light at night and resets the timer of darkness.
The same for poinsettias too.
It just so happens this takes place in the fall with more red light due to the sun being lower in the horizon filtering out more of the light in the atmosphere.


Now we can move on to reflector shape.
Look up focal point and it will lead you in the right direction.
Like in an amphitheater and its sweet spot.

Using this it will allow you to concentrate that light in any given spot by not wasting it by having energy bouncing in all directions an a square box.

This is why I suggested to remove the reflector it is shading the light from reaching all of the plants in the small box.

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Old March 23, 2018   #15
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When you explain it like this it makes sense to me, thanks for the follow up.
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