a tip on the best light fixtures
ACGA friends and colleagues,
For those who are thinking about building indoor grow lights for home or
school use, here are a few considerations to keep in mind:
* There are several inexpensive shop light fixtures on the market that
will work for seed starting but are not well suited for growing seedlings
beyond the first couple of weeks.
* Some fixtures have inadequate light reflectors and/or tubes that are
spaced close together, which makes for poor light distribution.
* Other fixtures may be unsafe for use as plant lights due to exposed
wiring and shoddy light sockets. This is an especially important
consideration if you are working with children who may inadevertently spill
water on the lights.
After searching for and testing several light fixtures in 2002-04, I was
able to find a shop light fixture that was safe and worked well for seed
The fixture is made by the American Fluorescent Corporation, Model 234SLESW.
I ordered the fixture (under $20) through my local True Value Hardware
Store. A link to the product specs is below:
The fixture works very well with the new energy efficient T-8 lights, or you
can use the older T-12 light tubes. There are no sharp edges, and the
sockets are recessed inside the fixture, rather than hanging down. The tubes
are spaced adequately and the reflector is solid without exposed wiring.
For those who prefer to order a manufactured light unit, which delivers
higher performance and a much longer life span, our organization is a
distributor for a professional line of indoor gardens at below market
Four models are listed on our web site at
http://www.burlingtongardens.org/IndoorGardens.html. I've used one of the
two-tier models for 10 years with great results, raising hundreds of
transplants each spring.
I'm happy to answer questions about fluorescent lights for plants. You may
also wish to look over the FAQ page at
Friends of Burlington Gardens
33 Tracy Drive
Burlington, VT 05401
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