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60SIXTY's Photo 60SIXTY Posts: 25,074
11/7/11 1:42 P

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I received one grow light as a Christmas gift last year. I quit using it by May. I was growing lettuce and herbs. The biggest expense for us would be replacing the bulb. The light would make a big difference during the winter months here, as not that much daylight filters through our windows, and for maximum benefit of plant growth, you should leave the light on 14 to 17 hours. I have a daughter who does the same in Colorado. She has found the room can be cooler at night and warmer in the day time with good success. As far as heating the room - all the rooms in our house are on the same heat system - hot water base board. But that would depend on your home.

Our light is part of a hydroponic device. My daughter created her own after she analyze how one worked. She uses a planter and aerates it with a fish tank aerator. She mad several for less than the price of the ones you purchase.

Linda - North East Indiana, USA `Goal to build myself up to reach 1,000 fitness minutes per month.

"To lose a healthy one pound of fat per week, all it takes is a 500-calorie deficit per day."

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BILBY4's Photo BILBY4 SparkPoints: (47,736)
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11/6/11 8:51 P

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I have not looked into the economics of plant lights.
I have grown sprouts and microgreens for years with a benchtop sprouter. The Easygreen sprouting machine cost about $200. You put in the seeds, fill up with water, set the timer and it basically grows them for you in about 4-9 days depending on what you are growing. I like it. My sprouts are fresh, very cheap and I can have whatever I want (i.e. I can have sprout varieties that are rarely available in supermarkets). You need a power point to plug in to and somewhere to drain the water. I use the sink as my sprouter is in the kitchen but a large bucket would suffice if you were doing it in a room. No extra or specific lighting is needed.

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MISS_VIV's Photo MISS_VIV Posts: 13,378
11/6/11 6:37 P

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yep.. would definitely depend on what you are growing... how big a crop you want and how much extra humidity you can stand in your living quarters.

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HOUNDLOVER1's Photo HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 8,869
11/6/11 3:04 P

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I would think the cost of heating a room to get the seeds to germinate could be considerable unless you stick with cold-weather crops which could still produce a lot of leafy greens. The other question is time commitment. It would take a while to recoup the initial investment once you count pots, soil, fertilizer, shelf in addition to the lighting fixtures. I know fresh produce is expensive and I could see this work for starting stuff 2 months earlier than you could outside and not get really tall but thin plants.


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KURTORTOISE's Photo KURTORTOISE SparkPoints: (9,209)
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11/6/11 2:52 P

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I've researched this because it's on my list of things to get ...eventually (there are a lot of things ahead of it on the list).

The fluorescent lights that you set up yourself are superior to the over-priced combos that are sold on the Internet. That means you get one or two fluorescent grow-light tubes, the fluorescent fixture, and the chains (or whatever) to hang it from the ceiling.
You'll need a rack of some kind to arrange the plants underneath the light.

It's more a question of space than cost -- I doubt fluorescents use much electricity, and you don't have to keep them on all day (unless you're growing marijuana, which I doubt).
Unplugging any electrical appliance after use will stop any Vampire Voltage (that's a cool term the NY energy services have been using to explain the electricity that gets taken by electrical appliances after they've been turned off -- I don't know if that's a national thing).

-- Kurt -- Frugalists & Simple Living Team (Co-Leader)

I've already had all the bad things thrown at me early in life, so now that those are out of the way, my future should be wonderful.

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NEWKID54's Photo NEWKID54 Posts: 645
11/6/11 2:20 P

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Has anyone ever bought and used indoor plant lights? What do they do to the electric bill?
Is it a significant rise? And, do they really help the plants. Thinking of starting an indoor garden in an unused room--lots of tomatoes, greens and herbs---just about anything I can put in an container. Tired of the food bill--thinking this will help and be a great hobby for the family.
Any advice will be appreciated.

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