Grow light ?

I've been using full spectrum (sunlight) fluorescent tubes for plant starting for the last several years. Does the quality of that light diminish with age (use)? I've noticed (this spring especially) the seedlings seem to be getting more leggy even with only six weeks under the lights. Steve
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Steve Peek wrote:

yes, they do wear out.
songbird
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Steve Peek wrote:

Some wear out a lot faster than others. What *exactly* lamps are you using? Triphosphor F32T8's maintain about 90% of their luminance for their whole 20000 to 30000 hour lives. Older technology T12 lamps last just as long but can lose 50% or more.
-Bob
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Thanks, I have 2 lamps. One has F32T8 and the other has F40T12 "sunshine" bulbs. The largest portion of my plants were started under the F32T8's. The bulbs have only been used for 4-5 seasons and only for seed starting. The problem may be with my starting medium. Last year I switched to the compressed peat pellets. I'm not pleased with the results.
Next years' plan: Exchange the F40 bulbs with F32s and go back to the little plastic seed trays.
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Steve Peek wrote:

Those compressed peat pods are crap . Last 2 years I used them and the seeds had low germ rates and the plants were weak and spindly . Yes , I did use some fertilizer , Amway IIRC . This year I got some formed paper/cardboard pots and the results are *MUCH* better . Seedlings grew faster , are more stocky , and all around much better results . My 'maters are covered up with fruit and blossoms , and I've already picked my first zucchini . I also planted some stuff in toilet paper and towel rolls . Cut off to about 2" lengths and stand on end in a dish or tray , fill with dirt . They decompose very nicely at the bottom , roots were very vigorous . And they're free ...
--
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