Grow lights

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somersetken
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Grow lights

Post by somersetken » Sun Jan 17, 2021 9:56 am

Hi

Does anyone use lights to help with seed germination and if so what type. I am pondering getting a relatively inexpensive one from Amazon just to sit above my propagation.
There’s either red/ or yellow sun and they clip on.

Do they make a difference? What type as space is premium? Would a reptile light be any good as they produce heat ?

Thanks in advance

Ken
edds
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Re: Grow lights

Post by edds » Sun Jan 17, 2021 12:01 pm

You don't generally need lights for germination as very few seeds need it - it's afterwards as they start to grow.

I just use a standard led strip fitting but in the daylight temperature of 6,500K.
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Pattock
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Re: Grow lights

Post by Pattock » Sun Jan 17, 2021 1:21 pm

I just use standard LED household lightbulbs. Standard fittings that are easy and cheap. Philips have a spectrum that is shifted slightly compared to other brands and looks better for plants. Also a very reliable brand.

https://www.johnlewis.com/philips-13w-e ... d/p1943437
https://www.johnlewis.com/philips-100w- ... e/p5162502

If height restrictions are a problem then go for the LED strips as suggested by edds.

I am not obsessive enough to look at my seeds often enough so I do use lights from the start so they don't etiolate before I notice they have sprouted. Unless I expect them to be up within a fortnight, then I get obsessive. A lot of Salvia species and poppies need light to germinate, I don't know if many succulents do.

Some reptile lights have UV added for producing vitamin D, which might not be a good choice at the start of a seedling's life.
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Eudikati
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Re: Grow lights

Post by Eudikati » Sun Jan 17, 2021 3:04 pm

I use a grow light that I bought off eBay for around £13. It's one that has 3 heads and has lots of features e.g. clip-on base, blue-red light, dimmable, 3/6/9 hours timer that will come on automatically everyday. It's about 30w.

For me, I use it with my seeds and have mine turned on for 6 hours a day as the germination time is different for each species, so at least the ones that germinated don't etiolate. So far, my astrophytum asterias seedlings are plump and round.
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MatDz
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Re: Grow lights

Post by MatDz » Sun Jan 17, 2021 4:57 pm

I can recommend "V-TAC 20W 2ft LED Batten Fittings Integrated Tube Lamp 6400K White" I got off Amazon, but they are not so straightforward to install - come bare wired and need the bracket fitting, but a self-adhesive cable ties and standard plugs with some electric tape work perfectly for them. Link here.

I'm using them for all my plants, two per shelf (am considering adding another one for each shelf), and unfortunately keep the seedlings a tad far from them, so they etiolate a bit, but as I mostly have mesembs sown now, they should fix themselves sooner or later. My biggest worry now are Euphorbia obesa seedlings, which look like a ball on a rather whippy stick.
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Pattock
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Re: Grow lights

Post by Pattock » Sun Jan 17, 2021 5:10 pm

MatDz wrote:
Sun Jan 17, 2021 4:57 pm
I'm using them for all my plants, two per shelf (am considering adding another one for each shelf), and unfortunately keep the seedlings a tad far from them, so they etiolate a bit, but as I mostly have mesembs sown now, they should fix themselves sooner or later. My biggest worry now are Euphorbia obesa seedlings, which look like a ball on a rather whippy stick.
Do you have reflective material front and back of the shelves? Matt white paint will do behind and any bright white plastic at the front or the silvery textured stuff from hydroponic shops if you want to be perfectionist.
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MatDz
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Re: Grow lights

Post by MatDz » Sun Jan 17, 2021 5:26 pm

The shelves are open on both sides (I use them as sort of a room divider, I hope this helps to visualise it) and I've built extra storage on both sides now as I run out of space. I've found £2-3 metal shelves from IKEA ideal for this.
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Re: Grow lights

Post by Cidermanrolls » Sun Jan 17, 2021 6:00 pm

As it happens I just posted pictures of my propagator and its lights in the Greenhouse Tours section.
I’ve used the pink led strips, but prefer the aquarium lights you see in the pictures. A major plus for me is that the white light is so much nicer to view the plants under than the pink light. Trivial, maybe, but important to me.
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MatDz
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Re: Grow lights

Post by MatDz » Sun Jan 17, 2021 6:09 pm

Cidermanrolls wrote:
Sun Jan 17, 2021 6:00 pm
As it happens I just posted pictures of my propagator and its lights in the Greenhouse Tours section.
I’ve used the pink led strips, but prefer the aquarium lights you see in the pictures. A major plus for me is that the white light is so much nicer to view the plants under than the pink light. Trivial, maybe, but important to me.
Absolutely agree, even more when the plants are in the living room!
Mat
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el48tel
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Re: Grow lights

Post by el48tel » Sun Jan 17, 2021 7:00 pm

I have a couple of the IKEA strip lights and and old daylight fish tank light. Both successful. Faster germination with the daylight lamp, but the IKEA is supposed to be for growth.
Endeavouring to grow Aeoniums, Aylostera, Echinocereus, Echinopsis, Gymnocalycium, Lithops, Matucana, Rebutia, and Sulcorebutia.
Currently being wooed by Haworthia, attempting hybridisation, and enticed by Mesembs.
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