Flouresent lighting for growing, questions!!

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by kurk23, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. Hello I have some questions about fluorescent lighting for growing. My grow room is a walk in closet, 6ftx10ft, and im gonna be using 5 or 6, 8 ft, 4 bulb fluorescent lights. About how many plants will i be able to grow with 5 lights? I know T5 bulbs cool white bulbs should be used for vegetation and 2 to 4 inch away from the plant. For the flowering stage can you put color shades over the lights to help with flowering? or should i choose a different fluorescent bulb? I know they dont put off the most light so can i hang 3 lights and put 2 lights on there side on both sides of the plant? I found these colored tube guard's and was wondering if they would work for color?

    Fluorescent Tube Guards
     
  2. Regarding the light colour, I think the key word you used here was "shades". A colour filter is going to block all the colours of light except the one that is the colour of the filter. If you put a red filter over your lights, you will bathe your plants in a red glow but:

    1 - the colour of the filter isn't necessarily the colour you want, a "red" filter isn't necessarily going to let through the optimum wavelength of your light for the plants
    2 - the filter doesn't change all the light that passes through to red, it only lets through the red light you had in the first place. If you shone a blue laser at a red filter, no light would come through at all! Daylight bulbs don't emit much light in the red spectrum in the first place
    3 - even if your filter was the perfect colour and your lights emitted lots of that colour light, you're blocking out other useful light that the plant can still use (i.e. the blue parts)

    If you want to change your lighting for the veg and flowering cycles, you will need to change the bulbs from ones that give out more blue than red, to ones that give out more red than blue.

    Putting some lights at the sides will get more light to the lower parts and sides of your plant which could be good, but you would probably find it more effective to use a scrog system where you can focus all your lights down onto a flat even canopy.
     

  3. Kurk: You can use T-5's from seed sprouting through harvest, you can keep them real close because they burn very cool, but you'll change the light frequency and photo period to force flowering. I start with 5,000K greenish blue tubes from seed sprouting through vegging then I swap out the 5,000K's with 2,700K red tubes for flowering until harvest. I really wish there was an easier way, but from what you ask, I'd suggest you RTFB and refer to the following resources:
    1. Read: SeeMoreBud's, “MARIJUANA BUDS FOR LESS- GROW 8 OZ. OF BUDS FOR LESS THAN $100.” It's a must for beginning dirt gardeners especially those using CFL's.
    2. You might also want to read: Mc McCarthy's, “GROWING MARIJUANA.” It's another good text for dirt gardeners.
    3. Read: Jorge Cervantes's, “MARIJUANA HORTICULTURE THE INDOOR/ OUTDOOR MEDICAL GROWER'S BIBLE.” It's great for both dirt and hydro.
    4. Read: Ed Rosenthal's, “MARIJUANA GROWER'S HANDBOOK.” It's very complete.
    5. “THE CANNABIS GROW BIBLE- SECOND EDITION,” written by Greg Green, is easily a match, if not better than the ones listed above.
    6. You should also subscribe to, “HIGH TIMES,” magazine. Each issue is full of useful information and excellent photography.
    7. You might also want to subscribe to Garden & Greenhouse. It's free and they offer a monthly news letter that always has a lot of good information, especially for newbies.
    8. A lot of local hydroponics stores offer free weekend gardening classes. Admittedly they offer these classes as a means of boosting sales but they also present some good information and they're frequently taught by experienced gardeners.
    All these resources are very well written, well illustrated and packed with information that will answer most of your questions before you know to ask them. Doing your homework before you start to grow by consulting these resources will save you and your plants a lot of stress. These forums are great but often they're the blind leading the blind and when you do get it from a knowledgeable source they frequently can't get the information you need to you in a timely fashion. I sincerely hope this helps. Hank
     
  4. Kurk:Syphex has a point. If you're lighting up an area longer or wider than 4' (like I am in my 2' by 4' tent), you're probably better off with HID. I just don't want your electric bill. But for a small personal grower with six plants a couple of T-5 fixtures should do it for a lot less. Hank
     

  5. Congratulations on the big 1000. post Hank, just saw a grow like yours,
    the guy uses a 600w HPS on his babies on the last week or two of flowering
    with outstanding results

    Good Luck
    "V"
     
  6. shades and guards also just flat out dampen your lumen output by trapping the energy within themselves. when the option is available, your best bet is to keep nothing between your plant and your bulb.

    also, to give an example of howando's information about the red light not shining through a blue filter, think of those decoder glasses we used to get in our breakfast cereal. exact same principle.
     

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