Convert fluorescent shop light to grow light?

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Una wrote:

Ask your local dope dealer.
--
LSMFT

Simple job, assist the assistant of the physicist.
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Some florescent light will work but I agree with the guy that said ask a dope grower.
You should check for temp, humidity, light concentration and spectrum. In-door plant growing is a science. In the case of 420 you have to check for a lot more. (Like cops):(
Jim
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On Sun, 31 Oct 2010 14:25:53 -0600 (MDT), snipped-for-privacy@att.net (Una) wrote:

BTDT- I didn't change anything. I bought 'warm' lights and supplemented with a 60 watt incandescent. Some time before the advent of gro-lights I read it was supposed to provide the ends of the spectrum that fluorescents lack.
I've grown tomatoes, herbs, and cannabis with no problems from legginess or lack of chlorophyll. My problems in my basement have been more involving temperature and humidity.
Jim
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For tubes: Get same-length (probably 4-foot) grow lamps, available at home centers and some hardware stores, likely also the usual online sellers including bulbs.com.
For ballast: (Assuming 4-foot F40) If the ballast is rated for F40 lamps and it is of the longer of the two sizes ("commercial grade"), then keep it. If it is of the shorter "residential grade" (stool specimen) or it is not rated for F40, replace it with a "commercial grade" one rated for F40, preferably one rated for both 40 watt and 34 watt "lamps" (bulbs) used in pairs.
Better still if the ballast is an electronic one. Pay attention to the wiring diagram - electronic ballasts often have different wiring diagrams than old-tech ballasts have, sometimes even different from other electronic ballasts. Make sure you have your ballast configured for the number of "lamps" (bulbs) that are connected to it, with compatibility for both "true F40" and 34 watt "energy saver F40".
If the grow bulbs are 2-footers (F20): Most "preheat-start" ballasts (need starters) only deliver about 16-17 watts to those. (They tend to also be compatible with 15-watt.) Many "trigger start" ballasts easily get "cranky" and/or (often both) appear to me to often underpower 20-watters, especially if they are also rated to be compatible with 15-watters. However, replace such ballasts only if you can get a good electronic one rated for 20-watt. If you have an electronic ballast option (including a wiring option) good for 20 watt and not any wattages less than 18 watts, use that. Otherwise, live with the existing ballast. If you have a 2-footer ballast for 17 watt "lamps", then replace it with something good for 20-watters. (Unless it has a wiring option that makes it compatible/rated for 20-watt and not with/for 17-watt.) Ballasts for 17-watters will significantly underpower the usual 20 and even 15 watt long-existing fluorescent bulbs, except for ballasts with an option for wire connection change to power the more-current-hungry 20 watt ones. An electronic ballast (even if distinguished by wiring configuration option) that is compatible with 20-watt and not 17-watt should do well.
--
- Don Klipstein ( snipped-for-privacy@misty.com)

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On Oct 31, 4:25 pm, snipped-for-privacy@att.net (Una) wrote:

It's probably too far away and too little light for any thing but starting stuff or house plants. Not full sun plants.
If you really want to grow crop style plants you need a ton of light. Look at metal halide and high pressure sodium lights. You need about 1000 watts per 4'x'4' space. I've seen a 1000 watt metal halide bulb held 6' p from a shadowed spot next to where full sun was shining. The full sun was still brighter.
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On Mon, 1 Nov 2010 04:55:25 -0700 (PDT), jamesgangnc

Good point-- I raise the plants or lower the lights. [I use plain fluorescents just above the tips of the plants.]
These days I'm just over wintering Zone 10 plants in zone 5/6 in my basement.
Jim
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If you are just keeping tropical alive over the winter that works.
I've looked at some green houses that one of the local research companies tests things with. They have a ton of those big round high pressure sodium fixtures in it. Like the ones you sometimes see in the ceiling of warehouse style stores. Except these are spaced about 4 times as dense and about 10' off the floor. Hate to see their electric bill.
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Sounds like you need sunglasses if you work there.
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On Mon, 1 Nov 2010 08:08:11 -0700 (PDT), "hr(bob) snipped-for-privacy@att.net"

Well, if they're trying to mimic normal sunlight, that would make sense. ;-)
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On Sun, 31 Oct 2010 14:25:53 -0600 (MDT), snipped-for-privacy@att.net (Una) wrote:

My wife used standard shop lights in the basement to grow many plants from seeds. Kept them on 16 hours a day. They grew fine with no visible mutations.
--Vic
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Good seed stock will grow under even the most adverse light conditions.
We grew some.... er... seeds back in '75. A simple 100W incandescent bulb over a single damp paper towel sprout. This in the dead of Winter in chilly Oregon in a barely heated abode in a lil' bedroom closet. Damn plant grew like the dickens and was 10-12" tall in 3-4 wks. We hadda move, so plant never matured, but the harvested foliage was waaay beyond satisfactory. Before you start putting out big $$$, do some basic experimentation. The so called "experts" are usually hardware salesmen.
nb
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