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Have a great invention to help with gardening? Are you the self-reliant type that prefers Building It Yourself vs. buying it? Share and discuss your ideas and projects with other members.

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Old December 7, 2008   #16
amideutch
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Bill, I think the best setup for you would be the Dual Arc Bulb with the Econowing or Yieldmaster ll reflector. The Dual Arc bulb is a combination 600 watt sodium and a 400 watt halide giving you the best of both worlds, halide for the growing phase and sodium for the flower/fruit phase. Plus the added benefit of supplemental heat generated by the Dual Arc bulb for your greenhouse as dcarch has suggested.
The 3 CFL's plus fixtures is $270.00. 335 watts illumination.
The Dual Arc/w Econowing is $293.00 and $50.00 more for the Yield Master ll. 1,000 watts illumination.
They also have the Mylar Reflective film 54"x25' for $14.95.
Growing Tomatoes from seedling to maturity I believe your results would be less than satisfactory with CFL's as compared to the halide/sodium combination. Plus when you set out your plants have the determinate/dwarfs in the middle of the lighted area and your indeterminate's on the side to avoid shading of the smaller plants by the larger ones. And if later you want to increase the illuminated area of your green house you can put your light on a track assembly that will move your light back and forth along the length of your green house. Ami
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Old December 7, 2008   #17
dcarch
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Go with what Ami suggests with the following thoughts:

I would suggest to you, and everyone else, to go all out and get the best lights possible, even that means you have to get a second mortgage.

You spend enough in fertilizers, tools, time and efforts, energy costs ------------------.
A good lighting system will make the difference if you can or cannot grow certain varieties, and will get you so much more in bigger production from your plants.

A good lighting system will last a long time, and saves you electric cost. It will pay itself back at the end in many ways.

I would go with a system similar to what Ami suggests, but I would consider getting a system with electronic ballast. You will get more light output, and the light bulbs will last longer. Yes, it is very expensive. But if you are patient and shop around (eBay, Craig’s List). You may end up very lucky.

I got two electronic ballasts, one $45.00 and the other $40.00 and I built my own lights with spare parts.
http://tomatoville.com/showthread.php?t=7747&highlight=halide

Bill, in you case, I would assume you are just trying to extend the daylight hours to grow plants, and not so much for seed starting. The only option I belief is to go with a HID system to get the cheapest per watt of light output. A 1,000 watt CFL will cost you a lot more in light bulbs alone. A 125 Watt bulb will cost you about $60.00 and it lasts about 8,000 hours.
I got my 400 watt MH bulbs at $11.00 each and they last about 10,000 hours.

dcarch
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Old December 7, 2008   #18
brog
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Thanks Ted and dcarch for your help GOD BLESS Bill
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