Hi! Johnny L. Dose here with another contribution to The Garden Dreamer.
Just a few words on artificial lighting. We all have plants that we would like to keep over the
winter. You may have some investment in perennials. On the other hand, you might like to get a jump on seedlings and transplants to have ready for the spring, instead of buying them from the garden center. For this goal, you will need artificial lighting (fuh-duh). There are a lot of options out there, and LED is a term to become familiar with [LED = Light Emitting Diode = energy efficient].
So, I’m going to advance the ball on two products this winter that I think will do the job.
Btw: I’m not paid to plug any particular brand. These two units are just where I have come to on this topic. You don’t have to adopt my choices to have success.
1: Bloomspect 2000W LED Glow Light, Full Spectrum LED plant growing lamps for indoor plants Veg and Flower Hydroponics. This unit has two independent on/off switches that allow you to choose between blue light (short waves) and red light (long waves). Short waves (blue light) are good for vegetative growth. Long waves (red light) are good for inducing flowering.
This unit, I think, gives you some range on what you can grow. 2000W for an hour is 2 KWH. At $0.16/ KWH, that’s 26 cents an hour to grow something. Sixteen (16) hours per day is $4.16/day and for 45 days is $187.20 in lighting cost alone. The cost could be less than that, if only using one spectrum at a time, or if you go with the 1000W model. The cost could be more than that depending on the cost of electricity in your area. Or free, if you install solar panels. I digress.
2: Craftersmark LED full spectrum grow light with tripod stand, timer, auto on/off and 9 dimmable levels. This unit has four lamps on a stand, which I think will be good for the
garage or spare room where you can group all your potted plants together around the tripod. The box says 40W, which I assume to mean 10W per head. It’s not a lot of power. Heads can be used individually. The light puts a pink glow everywhere, which might be annoying to some. I did go to Amazon to get these units, where you will find more detail.
There are many more products out there to try depending on your goals and space. You certainly can get smaller, simpler, tabletop units to start seeds. You can also integrate some lighting in your cold frame or greenhouse. In the 70’s and 80’s, my dad would just use florescent glow bulbs in his shop lights. He was a big fan of geraniums. I don’t know the power requirements off-hand of these lamps. I also don’t know if the special grow bulbs are easy to find. I will investigate this option and report back.
I will also be starting some basil and spinach seeds this weekend. I think these plants will grow well now. They’re easy to start. Well, the basil is. They should pay for themselves with satisfaction and bragging rights with your in-laws/ friends/ neighbors, but not the cat. He’s seen it all before.
Anyway, feel free to ask me any questions about my experiences with grow lights. I’ll stop now and save some material for my next post as well as gather some data to report back.
All the Best,
Johnny L. Dose