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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #1
asaump
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Default Another lighting question

I plan to start seedlings (tomatoes and peppers) for the first time in my basement this spring. Will be very little natural light available. I am probably looking at 6-8 plants of each. May put a few cukes under the lights also. I am trying to get this set up as cost effective (also spelled cheap) as I can. Would something like this work?

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076FQ15R6...EE431X30&psc=1


Thanks for any help with this.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #2
rhines81
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Not exactly cheap because you would be buying way more than what you need. You linked to an 8-pack of single T5 fixtures when one or two 4-foot lights is all you would need for that small quantity of plants. Yes, the T5 bulbs with the fixture(s) would work fine. I start over 200 plants with 6 T5 bulbs (2 lights per 4 foot fixture).

Maybe look at something like this T8 fixture instead:
https://www.lowes.com/pd/Utilitech-L...8-5-in/1208545

Last edited by rhines81; 3 Weeks Ago at 10:03 PM.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #3
asaump
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Thanks for the feedback. I can get less of these lights but good to know these will work.

Didn't notice your link until after I posted the above. I'll have to look at these. They are available at my local Lowes. On clearance also for $10 off.
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Last edited by asaump; 3 Weeks Ago at 12:23 PM.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #4
PaulF
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I go with a 2 bulb cheap-o shop light available at Wal-Mart for $10. Bulbs are 5 or 6 dollars each. I have been using this system for 25+years.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #5
sjamesNorway
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The T8 fixtures recommended by rhines81, or cheap-0 from Walmart are fine. I'd recommend you use 6500K (K = Kelvin = color temperature) "daylight" fluorescent tubes with them, as these are best for seedlings.

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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #6
Koala Doug
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asaump View Post
I plan to start seedlings (tomatoes and peppers) for the first time in my basement this spring. Will be very little natural light available. I am probably looking at 6-8 plants of each. May put a few cukes under the lights also. I am trying to get this set up as cost effective (also spelled cheap) as I can. Would something like this work?

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076FQ15R6...EE431X30&psc=1

Just so you know, those are LED lights in a T5 fixture, not a fluorescent T5 tube light.

As someone else has already suggested, you could get a cheap T8 fluorescent tube & ballast setup for pretty cheap. And replacement T8 bulbs are also cheap and easy to source. In my opinion, that is the best balance of affordability, availability, and performance.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #7
Cole_Robbie
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Wiring your own lights will always be the cheapest. Most of your money will then be in the bulbs. Here's a light I made for next to nothing: http://www.tomatoville.com/showthread.php?t=35099
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #8
Soilsniffer
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Am I correct that we would need *fluorescent* lights, and not LEDs?
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #9
rhines81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soilsniffer View Post
Am I correct that we would need *fluorescent* lights, and not LEDs?
You can use either.

T8 fluorescent would be recommend for a cheap solution. T5 fluorescent is even better and more efficient, but a bit more costly than T8. LED would be the best, but also the most expensive.

However, if you already have T5 fixtures, upgrading those to LED lights is just a matter of buying the LED tubes to replace the T5 tubes (same connections) and that would be the next best step if you wanted an upgrade from the T5 fluorescent after they have reached the end of their life.

Just took a peek and apparently you can also get plug & play LED lights for replacing the T8 tubes (and T12) as well.

Last edited by rhines81; 3 Weeks Ago at 10:50 AM.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #10
Ricky Shaw
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A basement in Maine could be a place that benefits from the heat of fluorescents. Unless you're cold treating seedlings to possibly increase first truss fruit sets, 70's for days and 60's for nights is a nice healthy zone. Warm enough to fight damping off and not so high as to stress the plants or accelerate evaporation.
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