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Old 03-14-18, 06:18 PM   #1
oil pan 4
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Default T5 grow light

Since I have an ever growing pile of T5 high output lights mostly armed with 4100k color tubes at my disposal I figured I should investigate the possibility of using them to grow food.
2 problems.
I have only ever grown fruit trees, greens that attract game animals such as deer and hay for cows. Never tried to grow anything more than fruit tree and sun flower seedlings indoors, then put them out side and let nature take its course.
Anytime I try to search about T5 grow lights the results are overwhelmed with pot growers. I have absolutely 0 interest in the consumption, cultivation or distribution of that kind of grass. Apparently everything you could ever want to know about growing weed with T5 lamps is wallpapered all over the Internet.
I could tell that 4100k isn't really used by pot growers so I am going to assume it may not be best for most food plants too.
An increased number of winter, spring crop failures and milk shortages has gotten my attention. I don't think that it will be much of a problem this year or next but it could sneak up on us in the coming years.
Does anyone know where I could look at what other people with T5 lamps are doing to growing actual food?

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Old 03-15-18, 02:48 PM   #2
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Try Gardening forums. T5's are good for about 6 inches of half decent penetration the light power drops off fast with them. Great for starting seedlings for the greenhouse and supplemental lighting in the greenhouse
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Old 03-16-18, 08:47 AM   #3
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It took a little while but I was able to think up some wording changes to find some non pot centric results.
The 4100k tubes should work, their just not ideal for bulking up the plant. Adding in a few 10,000k tubes for fish tanks should blue up the light pretty good.
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Old 03-16-18, 11:02 AM   #4
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I was watching AgDay news and they are predicting world wide food shortages in the next 5 years.
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Old 03-16-18, 07:24 PM   #5
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I looked into Ag News , the videos would not play on my laptop anyways.

Watt for watt the cool white tubes have more usable light then warm white.
If it was me I would stick with cool white tubes for starting as red light / warm white works more effectively for fruiting / flowering. Experienced gardeners mix common warm white and cool white tubes they do not invest in fancy bulbs.
Cool white bulbs blue has a bigger effect then warm whites red does on vegetating plants.The way it works out cool and warm white together are great for plants. Blue is just better for the growth stage. They both have enough PAR light frequencies for the plants do well a better option is pick and choose light temperature for the stage of growth the plants are in. All cool white for vegetative stage and add in all or 50/50 warm white when you want to help the plants set fruit or flowers etc.

Its the penetration / reach that they lack. Great for starting plants
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Old 03-16-18, 07:36 PM   #6
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I have few warm white tubes, I plan to use all of those inside the house or garage with my T5 fixtures that I have repowered with standard 28w T5 ballasts and salvaged T8 ballasts. (Using a T8 ballast will give you 26 to 40w on a T8 tube, just depends on the ballast)
I put one of my full power T5 HO fixtures up in the foray and my wife says it's too bright and the 4100k tubes are too blue.
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Old 03-16-18, 08:19 PM   #7
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I have learned all about plants preferred light frequencies in the past. PAR light is light for life. Many of those Stars we see are at work growing plants and making life on planets.
I suggest to give the plants a early start under the lights then fire them into into a greenhouse to soak up the warmth and natural sunlight.



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Old 03-16-18, 08:53 PM   #8
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The warmth of a greenhouse combined with Sunlight doubles its effect. It actually speeds up the plants metabolism. It does not need to be fancy to work.

Start the plants early and Boom monsters in no time !
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Old 03-16-18, 09:05 PM   #9
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Hopefully they can go outside in all but the dead of winter.
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Old 03-16-18, 09:19 PM   #10
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I have had a few greenhouses in the past some from old windows and one commercial hooped version about 30 feet long. I have a few 5x6 and a larger 9 x 5 window kicking around that I had hoped to make a greenhouse from but never did. Now Im moving soon so its not going to happen.

I was going to frame up a shed with a plywood /asphalt roof and put the windows on the front and one side. Never did damn it.

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