CFL vs HID

by Todd
(Atlanta, GA, USA)

I am new to Hydroponics and I am currently building a system that I can bring inside once it gets cold out. I need more advice on what type of lighting to use for fruit producing plants (tomatoes etc). I really don't like the idea of shelling out hundreds of dollars to get a HID system and pay for the energy to run it, but I want to make sure I have enough light to keep the plants fruiting.

Is an 400 watt sodium going to produce that much more than a number of 300-400 watt equivalent mix of CFLs lights? The CFLs could be placed in different places around the plants. Maybe add a few of the small LED lights.

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Answer from Stella/Simon:

Dear Todd,
Great questions about lighting. I honestly don't think you will have much luck producing tomatoes under florescent lighting only; they just don't provide the spectrum necessary for fruit production.

We have always used HID lighting with great success, and sell a 400 W unit with MH & HPS bulbs included, for under $200. Growing Lights.

On the other hand, we just launched a new section on the latest in LED lighting. LED Grow Lights

I hate to steer you one way or the other. We have plans in the near future to test the LEDs on tomato plants, and will post a video/synopsis of the test results.

I realize this might not help you, as it will take a couple months for us to finish our tests.

Hope this helps!

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