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sparklemotion

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After weeks of trying to justify buying some of those super futuristic looking red/blue LEDs, I finally decided to go simple with a 4ft 4 bulb T5 HO fluorescent system.

We just had a warm spell (>90F, 30C) Friday-Sunday, and now we're looking a a week of overcastness, with highs in the mid-60s, and lows in the high 40s, so I figured it was time to pull the trigger (if only to keep the cuttings warm).

The light is a Sunblaze F54T5-HO, the shelves are these, the Thunderdome is a Mondi 7" mini greenhouse.

Pictured here (left to right) are: Purple Queen Bougainvillea ("Moneth") , Ficus elastica (two plants I'm trying to merge), citrus aurantifolia (Key Lime), and Under the Thunderdome are cuttings from the key lime, the bougainvillea, and this weird thuja cultivar (thuja occidentalis 'Congabe' aka Fire Chief Arborvitae) that I'm doing terrible things to the parent plant of.

I ended up moving the lime to the shelf below because I didn't want to prune the branch that has the Chosen Fruit on it. When the Chosen Fruit is ripe enough to flavor a gin beverage of my choice, I'll prune as needed so everything can play nice.


IMG_20170925_224728.jpg
 

cbroad

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Awesome awesome awesome, that light will not disappoint! I used t12s and t8s in the past with good results, but nothing has compared to my t5s other than HIDs. Picture from February:
And a shameful plug of what I'm playing with:
https://www.bonsainut.com/threads/ficus-experiment.27965/

I just don't think the technology is quite there yet with LEDs, and any descent ones are so expensive. The PAR is mostly there but I don't think the light output is enough, though I've never used any :oops:. After talking to the guy at my local hydroponics store he feels the same and said there's really only two main company's with quality circuit boards and diodes, the rest are cheaper Chinese manufacturers.

One thing, whereas other fluorescents won't burn your plants if they're touching the tubes, the t5s will.

Really cool, have fun and good luck!
 

milehigh_7

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You guys want white paper on the back and sides to reflect the light back in on the plants. You are losing gobs of light out into the room. Not foil but white paper. Trust me. Light as close as the heat will allow and white paper. I have grown loads of stuff with lights just like that. :)
 

cbroad

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Yeah I know...:( You think just plain white copy paper? I've been meaning to get a few sheets of the big shiny white poster boards.

I'm renting but I probably could paint. I really don't want to have to paint the whole master bedroom over that blue... That would take a lot of gallons:confused:
 

milehigh_7

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Yeah I know...:( You think just plain white copy paper? I've been meaning to get a few sheets of the big shiny white poster boards.

I'm renting but I probably could paint. I really don't want to have to paint the whole master bedroom over that blue... That would take a lot of gallons:confused:

Just plain white paper is best. No glossy, you want the texture of the paper. No paint. Paper is better.
 

cbroad

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Interesting, what is it about the texture that makes it better, you would think intuitively gloss would reflect more light? I know you know what you're talking about; isn't it you that has almost no floor space in the winter and tons of lights :cool::D:cool::D???!!!
 

milehigh_7

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Interesting, what is it about the texture that makes it better, you would think intuitively gloss would reflect more light? I know you know what you're talking about; isn't it you that has almost no floor space in the winter and tons of lights :cool::D:cool::D???!!!

No I have no winter. :)
 

just.wing.it

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You guys want white paper on the back and sides to reflect the light back in on the plants. You are losing gobs of light out into the room. Not foil but white paper. Trust me. Light as close as the heat will allow and white paper. I have grown loads of stuff with lights just like that. :)
IMAG3683.jpg
 

Paradox

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I still have a few weeks before I have to bring mine in
 

cbroad

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@milehigh_7
Sorry, thinking of someone else:oops:... But could you elaborate about the benefits of using paper?
 

milehigh_7

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You can paint but if you do use a flat white. They do make special "grow room" films but unless you are made of $$$ I don't think that's necessary. I'm in a bit of a time crunch as usual but the basics are that foil and the like do not reflect evenly and create "hot spots" and also do not reflect an even and uniform spectrum. Whereas by definition, something white and non-glossy reflects the entire spectrum and due to being "flat" randomizes the direction of reflection thus creating a smoother spectrum when reflected.

I will try to find some physics references unless someone has some available to help out.
 

cbroad

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Ahhh, so the gloss will absorb some light, and a rougher texture has more surface area to reflect more light, good info!
 
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