Floodlight to keep my poor plants alive

I've a balcony which gets very little direct sunlight, and the back gets pretty much none at all. I recently bought some plants and, surprise surprise, those at the back aren't doing too well. I was wondering whether I could substitute for the lack of sunlight by installing a floodlight with a 4000K bulb (and have it switched on a timer).
Google finds me zillions of websites selling "grow lights", which seem designed for people growing pot in their basements, cost a fortune, and look like they're supposed to be mounted right above the plants rather than in the ceiling. Problem is that the balcony is about six foot by six foot, with a nine foot high ceiling, and the floodlight would have to be mounted in the middle of the ceiling.
Was wondering if anyone here knew if what I'm trying to do is remotely achievable and, if so, whether there are any recommendations for suitable lights/bulbs.
Somewhat offtopic, I know, but the pot-growing newsgroups all looked a bit cultish for my taste...
thank you!
z
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Zara wrote:

Try a pet-shop or aquarists where you can get flourescent tubes that provide the right spectrum for plants in fish tanks or vivariums.
But I think you might be better off sticking to shade-loving plants.
-- LSR
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Zara wrote:

Talk to your local hydroponics supplier (or cannabis growing drug dealer) ...
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Plastic plants have come on leaps and bounds. They're not like those terrible ones from the 1970s.
Christian.
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Christian McArdle wrote:

So you like plastic plants, but not plastic windows??
But your point is very valid. We were at a Chinese restaurant a couple of months ago, and much of the evening was spent debating whether a particular plant was real or fake. It turned out to be real, but it took quite a while to determine this.
--
Grunff

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I don't prefer them. However, sometimes the choice is between dead flowers, plastic flowers or no flowers at all.
My objection to plastic windows is one of appearance (and also of environmental sustainability). If plastic windows actually looked good, with no visible joins and slender profiles, I woudn't object to them nearly so much.
Christian.
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On 2006-11-13 10:40:25 +0000, "Christian McArdle"

.. but not allowed in Conservation Areas ;-)
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Andy Hall wrote:

Yucca plant 1, inflatable santa 0.
Owain
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I once grew a banana tree indoors from seed using just a standard 80W flourescent tube for a few hours a day during the winter. In the summer it went outside once there was no frost danger. Never got any bananas though.
john2
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Firstly, you have a fundamental problem. Wander round some of the better 'how to grow pot' sites. Anyway, I have done similar things for other plants, and the basic problem is that you need a hell of a lot of light.
Onto a 4m^2 patch, well over a couple of kilowatts of light falls normally. Call it a kilowatt, if the plants are shade loving.
If the plants can deal with half of that, and you use fluorescant tubes of some sort, then you want around double this in electricity, or about 30 36W tubes.
On 8 hours/day, you're looking at around 300 pounds a year, on top of the 600 or so that the bulbs and fittings cost. (the bulbs themselves are cheap.)
For single bulbs that can produce this sort of light, you're looking at spending 50 quid for the bulb alone. (probably a better idea than lots of fluorescant tubes)
This is why the pot people use mirrored cabinets, with a light at the top, to make the most of an expensive light source.
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