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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 April 17, 2018   #1
hiker_
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Join Date: Dec 2014
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Default Exciting day with my grow lights

In the process of hardening off here.

I'm using Commercial Electric brand shop lights from Home Depot. Designed for T8 32W fluorescent bulbs. Tried "ballast-compatible, drop-in replacement" LED bulbs, but two in the lamp do not work. One LED and one fluorescent does, so I'd been using those since February, no problem.

Yesterday one lamp was dark. I figured the lamp had died. Got a new lamp, tried the same bulbs in it, tried other bulbs in it--old bulbs worked fine in new lamp. Still one fluorescent and one LED. Put up the lamp, all good right?

This morning, all my grow lights were dark. The GFI circuit they were on had ceased working. The button hadn't popped; the breaker hadn't flipped; the circuit had just ceased working (based on the timer's setting, after about 2 hours of operation). Well, it's a new circuit, maybe the electrician did something wrong.

I moved the timer and attached lights to an old, non-GFI circuit. Put some stain treatment on a shirt and left. Came back 15 minutes later intending to start the washer...

Smoke was pouring out of the new lamp.

Seemed to be coming from the ballast (not the bulbs).

That's the end of that lamp. And I'm replacing the "LED drop-in replacements" with fluorescent bulbs.

Well...at least the plants are almost ready to go outside anyway.
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Old April 18, 2018   #2
CamuMahubah
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Location: Alliance Nebraska
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Default

I hope you get your money back from the defective lamps. I'm using a heat lamp from the local hardware store with a 125 watt heat lamp bulb. Incandescent 125 watt. I use it more for heat than light since I start my seedlings on my enclosed front porch that is partially insulated with lots of windows. I only try to stay above 40 degrees at night. I know not the best temp but I work with what I got going on. Lucky for your plants are almost ready to go outside. Another month and half here.
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