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Is supplemental lighting expensive?

This is a discussion on Is supplemental lighting expensive? within the Semi Hydro / Lights / Greenhouses / Accessories forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I've been contemplating rigging up a supplemental lighting arrangement for my plants for the late ...

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  1. #1
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    Default Is supplemental lighting expensive?

    I've been contemplating rigging up a supplemental lighting arrangement for my plants for the late fall/winter months, but being a single person on my own who doesn't have just a whole lot of money...I'm curious if it boosts your electricity bill sky-high? Is it the same as leaving your lights in the house on all day? Electricity expense is is pretty much the only reason I haven't bothered with supplemental lighting yet.

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    Yet another reason to grow yours at work Seriously though, I don't think it really contributes too much to your electric bill. It also depends a lot on the type of lights you get and how many plants you have. I have about 15 growing under a small lamp on a timer. I've noticed some of the specialized setups are what are really expensive! I'm interested to hear others' opinions on this

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    Well I only have *counts*... 9 plants. Supplemental lighting is a confusing issue for me...I'm not even sure what kind of lights to buy! There are so many opinions on this light and that light that it makes my head spin.

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    I'm currently using a Phillips brand 60 watt plant light. Regular bulb fits in any regular socket. I'd love to have a long fluorescent light bar but where I'm growing that's not really possible. There's a lot of fluorescent light around but it's all attached to the ceiling. It probably helps a bit though, considering I'm now away from any natural light

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoStems View Post
    I'm currently using a Phillips brand 60 watt plant light. Regular bulb fits in any regular socket. I'd love to have a long fluorescent light bar but where I'm growing that's not really possible. There's a lot of fluorescent light around but it's all attached to the ceiling. It probably helps a bit though, considering I'm now away from any natural light
    Wow, so you're just using a standard grow light? Does it actually work? What are you growing?

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    I'm honestly not sure how well it's working. A friend of mine swears by them for her orchids. I've got orchids under mine, but I don't think it's bright enough/the right spectrum....

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    After doing a lot of reading I purchased a high pressure sodium system. I haven't gotten it yet, so as to it's effectiveness, I don't know. However, I did more reading & have found that regular florescent can work just as well, the light needs to be super close to the plants. The HPS system I got was costly, and the florescent bulbs can be purchased at Home D for not too much. For high output florescents, any local hydroponics shop or indoor gardening center might have them. Plus the HPS get VERY VERY hot, they must be placed quite a distance from the plants. So I do not recommend them for small areas, it will cook the orchids.

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    I use run of the mill shop light fixtures. I have two four foot fixtures with two bulbs each. I alternate warm, cool, and daylight bulbs. They are in a north facing window and I think that's the difference when using standard flourescents. I have no experience growing any plants strictly under lights, but it seems that my little setup would be bordering on inadequate if I didn't have at least some daylight. I don't know a lot about the light spectrum as far as plant growth is concerned, but I read that a north facing window gives a decent enough amount of the spectrum if it's boosted a bit with flourescent. I have no complaints from my plants yet.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cakedaddy View Post
    I use run of the mill shop light fixtures. I have two four foot fixtures with two bulbs each. I alternate warm, cool, and daylight bulbs. They are in a north facing window and I think that's the difference when using standard flourescents. I have no experience growing any plants strictly under lights, but it seems that my little setup would be bordering on inadequate if I didn't have at least some daylight. I don't know a lot about the light spectrum as far as plant growth is concerned, but I read that a north facing window gives a decent enough amount of the spectrum if it's boosted a bit with flourescent. I have no complaints from my plants yet.
    Posted via Mobile Device
    Thanks! That's pretty much what I'm thinking of investing in...I think with those lights and my western window my plants will be ecstatic. Have you noticed a drastic change in your electric bill having those lights on all day, though? That's my main concern.

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    Not drastic no. It was a small increase.
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