Lighting

by Stephen
(Las Vegas)

Hello Stella,

I want to build the small lettuce raft for a starter project. I know I will want to eventually try tomatoes, squash, different variety of peas and etc. So my question is what lighting would be best? Should I buy the T-5 lamps or go ahead and buy the HID conversion light kit yall supply? Would the HID work for lettuce or is it to hot? Any and all information would greatly be appreciated.

Thank You,

Stephen
---------------------

Answer from Stella/Simon:

Hmm, Stephen, good question!

Proper lighting for any significant hydroponics project can easily be the most expensive part of a set up. You may have noticed in our site that one of our favorite setups is a lettuce raft under T-5s beside a drain table using HID lamp above that. Both the T-5 and the HID lamp are pretty expensive, so I would say do not invest in them until you're pretty sure you want to set up a bigger and more advanced system for crop production.

A good compromise might be to buy a smaller (2 foot)T-5 lamp for a small lettuce raft just to get started and see how you like Hydro.

Ultimately, if you get serious about it, you will need the two big lamps described above. I just found a few 2-foot T-5 lamps (with bulbs) on ebay for under $100. You can later use this lamp to start your seedlings.

That is my suggestion to you, Stephen, I hate to suggest expensive purchases when you haven't even gotten your feet wet yet!

Hope this helps!

***Do you have any knowledge on this subject? Then please join in and leave your thoughts and suggestions below. Help and be helped in the Forums!

Comments for Lighting

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May 18, 2011
Lighting
by: Stephen

Hello,

Thank you for your suggestions and fast response! My only question is when you said a 2ft T5, do you mean a 2x2 or 2x4? It will be for a lettuce raft about the size of your small lettuce raft plans.

Thank you,
Stephen

-----------------

You might get away with a 2x2 if you keep it down low. Otherwise, go on an get 2x4 to be safe. This is a grey area, Stephen. T5 lamps are not cheap. If you really think you will want to stick with this and expand, get a full sized 4 foot length T-5 lamp. If unsure, get a smaller, cheaper unit. You follow?

Good luck!

Jul 01, 2011
Lighting
by: Mark @ Junko's Garden

Honestly, you will be kicking yourself in the butt if you dont get the HID. You can get a very in expensive 250 or 400 watt light and ballast. Just get a metal halide one. If you decide to flower, just get a conversion bulb. It is a little bit more money, but if you are already making an investment, I think the higher intensity light will give you a lot more options as far as what you can grow. Especially as you get going in hydro, you will soon realize that an HID is a nice thing to have (almost mandatory in my mind). Good luck!

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