Fluorescent tubes and CF Bulbs


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I found a starter motor and leads for 2 fluorescent tubes that I bought about 6 years ago and never used. Originally for a fish tank that I never got round to building a canopy to take the multiple tubes. Anyway, I was just wondering if it really matters too much if I buy standard tubes from a hardware store or should they be grow tubes from an aquatics outlet or such like? I can't remember off the top of my head if they're for T5 or T8. Don't know if you need to know that.

I shall be keeping Drosera, my Heliamphora, Nepenthes and anything else I can throw under them. Mainly for rosetted Drosera though.

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From my experience, which has been always growing under lights, you do not need the grow tubes from an aquatics outlet.

Just be sure you get a solid amount of lumens 1450 or more and 6500K daylight bulbs.

I am sure some specific plants would do poorer under those conditions, but they are the exception. As long as the light is bright, close and daylight, my plants have grown really really well.

Drosera may need more of the lights to enjoy the coloration they can get, but they will be dewy and flower. They did for me with just 4 spiral CFLs that were Daylight 6500K bulbs.

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Just be sure you get a solid amount of lumens 1450 or more and 6500K daylight bulbs.

I confirm. Forget the tubes that provide less than 70 lumens/Watt otherwise you'll need too many tubes

If your Heliamphoras flower...the light is right!

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Actually looking into things, it may be cheaper to buy CF bulbs from Amazon

(http://www.amazon.co...t bulb daylight)

Then just buy a standard light socket from a hardware store.

Thing is, how much space would one bulb cover? I'll be hanging the lights from the underside of an old computer desk with an area of about 2.5' x 1.5'. Not sure if one bulb would do this or if I'd need 2. I won't be using reflectors as I don't have the money to buy them.

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My space is 40cm by 58cm and is without any reflectors and working great with four bulbs.

I personally wouldn't go with less than 2 if the lights are REALLY close to the plants. But if you got 30cm or more space between bulbs and plants, I would add more. The successful number I have been using for 10 gallon terrariums has been four. Whether four bulbs were necessary I can't say, just that my plants have been doing great with them.

Not familiar with the bayonet fitting, but those are very similar to the CFLs I am using in my tank right now.

As you can see, it gets rather warm in there, but these bulbs are rated to 145f so it is fine.

photo_zps15722285.jpg

Edited by Odysseus
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The B22 bayonet is the one on ordinary household bulbs in the UK.

You will also need a timer and the best one is the Timeguard 800B which is about £12 on ebay.

I would check out the SunBlaster T5HO lamps with reflectors because they come with the wiring with a mains plug. All you would have to do would be to screw the supplied clips onto the underside of your computer desk and then clip the lamps in place. They are about £30 each.

http://www.progrow.co.uk/acatalog/info_05442.html

Another option is the T5HO array from Greenhouse Sensation. It has got four T5HO lamps in it but I think you can remove a couple of tubes to reduce the wattage (and your electricity bill). The array is £85 which is getting a bit pricey.

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. I won't be using reflectors as I don't have the money to buy them.

In that case you'll need quite a few CFs. Not using a reflector with these is like burning £1 notes to keep warm.

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Thank you everyone. I'm liking the idea of the Sunblaster actually, either that or just buy aquatic daylight tubes for my double T8 starter and some reflectors if I can get hold of them. I didn't realise I'd need so many of the CFLs.

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The High Output fluorescent from Sunblaster sounds like it would be great.

If you do go for CFLs, I can vouch for 4 being enough even without a reflector, even though it is like "burning 1 pound notes to keep warm". I don't disagree there.

I am using mirrors below but need a reflect setup and tinfoil worked fine for me in the past so I certainly can recommend that as well.

Good luck and happy growing!

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  • 1 month later...

Are these gonna be any good if I go down the T5 route? T5 fixtures are quite a lot cheaper in the hardware store than T8's.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B003UDDW5Y/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A1FBW66WI0VYL5

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