Anybody out there use grow-lamps?

Hi everybody
I'm new to these forums but I've been lurking for a while and they look really informative. I live in the Cairngorm Mountains, in Aberdeenshire, in Scotland, so the gardening conditions can be challenging, to say the least
Because light levels here aren't great in the spring, I've always started my seedlings off under grow-lamps. Does anybody have any experience of the new LED grow-lamps, or do most people use the usual high-intensity bulbs or fluorescent lights?
Any advice or opinions will be gratefully received!
--
northwards


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I have no experience with the new LED lamps. However,
I use low 15W T-5 grow lights, just two feet long, cost $15 per light. I have eight lights. I have one 72 cell or two 48 cell trays for each light. Seems to work very well. However, I have not tried other higher powered lights. I also have southern facing windows. I have notice my plants grow better with the lamps over the windows alone. In spring I only get about 10 hours max of sunshine though the windows. Many days in the spring it is very cloudy restricting the sunshine even more. So far I see no need for the high powered lights. I just put the lights closer to the plants. I use a small chains with small hooks to manually raise and lower the lights.
--
Enjoy Life... Nad R (Garden in zone 5a Michigan)

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northwards wrote:

I use F32T8 fluorescent 2-lamp fixtures, just a few inches above my seedlings. They work great until the little plants outgrow them. I'll start my first peppers in about a month, and tomatoes about April 1.
For big plants, I currently have a 400W HPS security floodlight in my basement on a timer for about 12 hours a day. The plants do OK, but it looks ugly and uses a lot of juice. I'm about to replace it with a 4-lamp F54T5HO fixture that I can hang from the ceiling and adjust the height. <http://relightdepot.com/fixtures/high-bay-fixtures/t5ho-high-bay/4-lamp-t5ho-full-body-high-bay-enhanced-reflector.html
We're approaching the season when red spider mites appear out of nowhere and kill half my big plants. Got my fingers crossed...
-Bob
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I have two 400W HID lamps, one high pressure sodium and one metal halide. In the fall I bring my non-hardy potted plants indoors and place the flowering plants under the hps (more red wavelength light) and the vegetative ones under the mh (bluer light). I also have a board with 4 twin 40W fluorescent fixtures bolted to it which I use for starting seedlings. High output fluorescents with horticultural tubes are excellent, but hid lamps are far easier to manipulate, take up less space and are, I believe, more electrically efficient.
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Leaves cannot harm your vegetables in any way though it is very important about what kind of leaves you are talking about. Walnut, for example is toxic both to the soil and plants. I have a mature walnut tree nearby my garden and I'm seriously considering about relocating the garden because nothings seems to grow anymore near the walnut tree.
--
pascale


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wrote:

I think you got the wrong thread )
Chris
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In article

Where is the dissonance?
The original subject was "Leaves, beneficial or not?", and the first question was: "I have been scraping up all the leaves in the garden (very large garden, unbelievable amount of leaves!!) Was wondering if having dumped a load of them on the veg patch for mixing in with horse manure when they are rotted down whether this will be beneficial or detrimental to the health (growth) of veggies next year??"
Did I miss something?
--
- Billy
When you give food to the poor, they call you a saint. When you ask why the
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Billy wrote:

On my reader this is coming up attached to the thread on grow lamps.
David
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Oh, goody, we can blame Bill Gates, et al. After all the grief that people have gotten from Outlook Express, I'm amazed that it is still in use.
--
- Billy
When you give food to the poor, they call you a saint. When you ask why the
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Billy wrote:

How do you conclude that OE is responsible? Chris appears to see what I see but he uses Agent.
David
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Just using random data to form a generalized conclusion ;O)
Sorry to hear about your fruit. In my own gardening, I find that something is always down, but then there is usually something that is really performing. Last year, our tomatoes came up quickly, but they were a little slow to produce. On the other hand the peppers came on slow, and produced above my expectations (mostly Yellow Wax, the Quadrato d'Asit was a dud, though, with a small crop with thin skins).
As far as my remark about OE, well, to be fair OE used to be a favorite target for viruses. It's been known as a weak link, that may be unfair today, but historically . . . well, you get the drift.
Hmmm . . . Same platform, and different software give the same result. Humph. Oh, well, to heck it. Stuff happens. I'm sure Admiral Poindexter had nothing to do with it. No way, Jose. I mean he could, if he wanted to, but, naaaaa, they wouldn't do that.
Ever see that movie, "The Lives of Others"? It's a great movie.
G'day
--
- Billy
When you give food to the poor, they call you a saint. When you ask why the
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On Wed, 19 Jan 2011 14:43:06 +0000, northwards

I found a 400w metal halide lamp at a sale a few years back and though it's more expensive to run it's another world compared to my old grow lamps. With the grow lamps the lights had to be so close to the plants that variations in seedling hight messed things up and when plants got bigger the lower leaves didn't get enough light. None of that with the pot farm light. No more spindley tomatoes.
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northwards said:

I replaced a metal halide lamp with a (very expensive) high intensity LED light which uses a lot less power. My seed starting area is roughly 3' x3' (or 1m x1m) and lined with reflective mylar. I added a second, smaller, and less expensive LED panel near the back wall of the box part way through the process.
My plants were much stockier, most likely do to the lower heat.
This winter I hung the smaller panel in the window where I overwinter my orchid, in place of the small florescent fixture I was using. It's doing better than ever.
My very expensive light: http://www.superled.net/ledgrowlights.html
My less expensive light: http://shop.sunshine-systems.com/product.sc?productId 
Just be advised that the plants will look strange under these lights, almost black.
My verdict: they work, are admirably suited to growing in a small area that won't fit long florescent fixtures or are prone to overheating with high-output metal halide lamps.
But they are very pricey to buy.
On the other hand, they use far less power than any other option and should suffer only minimal output loss over a very long life, with no need for replacement lamps.
--
Pat in Plymouth MI

"Vegetables are like bombs packed tight with all kinds of important
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My findings are similar to Pat's, although I believe the stockier plants would be a results of more efficient plant energy use but the law of inverse square vs heat generation may be at play. Right now the lower cost LED light bars/boxes are nothing but old first generations 1 w LEDs being marketed in different ways. There is limited phototrophic use in these low powered lights. There are a few 3-5w light bars in different combos out there that are adequate for growing, again still retrofitting and a greater cost. The high output LEDs are >5w ea and about =/>a $ per w cost, especially the CREE lights. A bit spendy for seedlings unless your energy cost is really high. Also more research is being done to determine the true wave length (nm) combos of proper phototrophic response for various plants and actually cut through the marketing hype. So, for now anyway, its "go big ($$$) or go home" for LEDs.
For just seedlings, unless costs drop soon, I recommend you use fluorescent in the length you need (2 /4/8 ft). 34 w tubes are ok, HO 54w are definitely better. Bright whites (>5000k) are not necessary (nor are "grow" lights") but will not harm your efforts. CFLs are a good option if you get decent size(>/`ish w {200-300 w equivalents}). You do not need to know the law of inverse square, just that the closer the light the more energy it receives and each foot back quarters the light output, not halves it. Adjust the lights to where you get 68-72*f on the soil surface later, the plant top and check often so you don't burn them up being too close nor stretch em by being too far away, stem stretch will weaken them in later growth. Lastly, try to find the optimum photoperiod of your plants ( day long > 12 hours, day neutral , day short < 12) and match it but do give em a rest.
If growing past seedlings, do consider HIDs... your return on investment is less, for the near term anyway.
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