Need tips for new grow light setup

LemonBonsai

Shohin
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I am in ontario canada so trees will be coming indoors in about a month and a bit.

Currently I live in my parents house and have my own crane contraption with a high powered LED grow light on it. However in a month I will also be moving to my own apartment and 1.) This grow light I have is to big of a contraption to fit in my apartment qnd 2.) It would be to powerful and bleach the leaves for the new set up I have in mind. This is my new setup idea.20210729_211129.jpg

I plan on getting a shelf with 3 shelves on it, attaching grow lights to each shelf as you see in the picture. I plan on putting this shelf in a east facing window so I will need supplimental lighting. I have alot of light loving plants (citrus, bougainvillea). I am wondering if anybody here has a set up like this that they currently use or have used in the past. Or if anybody has some tips for me (not "how bout you grow trees that grow naturally in your climate 🙃") the reason why mine would be to powerful is because the light will need to be rather close to the plants, so I need a low powered led grow light that can be left on for a while.

And if anybody doesnt mind including in your reply how much your lighting system costs to run, how long you run them for at what height etc.
 

LittleDingus

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I have something similar I run in the winter. I only run 2 shelves on mine but do have 3 adjustable height shelves.

16276085362355626148951754405954.jpg

It's pretty sad right now...usually I have more on there in the summer just not this year.

I use these lights


Which are "cheap" and off brand. But, they are dimmable and fit very well under the shelves. They are red/blue only but the window provides full spectrum :) My window faces mostly south though.

The lights have proven very reliable. I bought them almost exactly 3 years ago. I run them 16 hours a day on a timer. I have had a power supply die on me...the power supplies are cheap to replace.

Cost to run is negligible. Basically the same as 4 100watt incandescent bulbs.

Spider Farms is going to cost a more for initial purchase but you can get full spectrum. The biggest issue I have with these is the blurple light. It's annoying at night...but they are in a room we don't use much. If your shelves are going to be in a living space...a more full spectrum/white/yellow system might be worth the cost. When these die, I will get something full spectrum.
 

Benjofen

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I am in ontario canada so trees will be coming indoors in about a month and a bit.

Currently I live in my parents house and have my own crane contraption with a high powered LED grow light on it. However in a month I will also be moving to my own apartment and 1.) This grow light I have is to big of a contraption to fit in my apartment qnd 2.) It would be to powerful and bleach the leaves for the new set up I have in mind. This is my new setup idea.View attachment 388928

I plan on getting a shelf with 3 shelves on it, attaching grow lights to each shelf as you see in the picture. I plan on putting this shelf in a east facing window so I will need supplimental lighting. I have alot of light loving plants (citrus, bougainvillea). I am wondering if anybody here has a set up like this that they currently use or have used in the past. Or if anybody has some tips for me (not "how bout you grow trees that grow naturally in your climate 🙃") the reason why mine would be to powerful is because the light will need to be rather close to the plants, so I need a low powered led grow light that can be left on for a while.

And if anybody doesnt mind including in your reply how much your lighting system costs to run, how long you run them for at what height etc.
I've built a couple different closet setups the last couple of years in my 800 sf city apartment (with Chicago winters no less). So far I've only used T5 bulbs, but I'm thinking of giving LED a shot.

I haven't really noticed a substantial increase in my electric bill though I'm sure it contributes a bit. I tend to leave mine running about 14 hours. Might not be the best length, but I've found it's easiest to remember and incorporate into my routine if I just make plug-in one of the first/last things I do in the day.

I think your blueprint looks good. I recently switched from a more "freeform" horizontal setup to a vertical and it def saves on space. Plus you can add some reflective material to the sides to get more even lighting.

I've also found it's useful to leave yourself more vertical space rather than less, and then putting the various trees on spacers to get them close enough to the light.

I'm also considering buying a grow tent as I've heard great things and I'm quickly running out of space, and winter is coming.

Also a bit of advice, invest in sticky traps and maybe some horticultural sand as top dressing. You don't want a fungus gnat infestation in your house.

Here's my current setup. I've only finished the top level for now. It being summer that's all I really need right now.

Maybe check out some of Jerry Meisnik's stuff. He's a big proponent of indoor bonsai and has some pretty top level trees. Ignore people that say indoor bonsai doesn't exist (I've actually found some species to grow BETTER under the grow lights than in full sun, believe it or not)
 

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RJG2

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What kind of shelves? Wooden? Plastic? Wire?

I have a couple of these, hooked to wire shelves, and they only drop down about an inch from the shelf above (clipped directly to the shelf without chains):


Here's a pic of one, there are two above a 4' x 18" shelf:

PXL_20210730_014749529.jpg

Heat is negligible, and much cheaper than when I ran 1400 watts of high pressure sodium lights when I used to grow "other things."

Three layers would be 600 watts, so you can do the math on watt hours * rate.
 

cmeg1

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What kind of shelves? Wooden? Plastic? Wire?

I have a couple of these, hooked to wire shelves, and they only drop down about an inch from the shelf above (clipped directly to the shelf without chains):


Here's a pic of one, there are two above a 4' x 18" shelf:

View attachment 388932

Heat is negligible, and much cheaper than when I ran 1400 watts of high pressure sodium lights when I used to grow "other things."

Three layers would be 600 watts, so you can do the math on watt hours * rate.
Awesome setup……hlg is great.
 

Carol 83

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My indoor lighting situation is almost exactly like your drawing, although I am almost embarrassed to say I have three plant stands with four shelves. I switched to LED lights strips last year. One strip sits facing up at the top shelf, the other three on each unit face down. My plants were much improved over the pink/blue lights I used previously. I don't think they made any noticeable difference in our power bill.
 

RJG2

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Awesome setup……hlg is great.
I might have to get a couple more for another shelf after all the cuttings and air layers this year!

Nice to keep some greenery in my basement office during the winter, but there's quite a glare in my zoom calls ;)
 

LemonBonsai

Shohin
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I have something similar I run in the winter. I only run 2 shelves on mine but do have 3 adjustable height shelves.

View attachment 388929

It's pretty sad right now...usually I have more on there in the summer just not this year.

I use these lights


Which are "cheap" and off brand. But, they are dimmable and fit very well under the shelves. They are red/blue only but the window provides full spectrum :) My window faces mostly south though.

The lights have proven very reliable. I bought them almost exactly 3 years ago. I run them 16 hours a day on a timer. I have had a power supply die on me...the power supplies are cheap to replace.

Cost to run is negligible. Basically the same as 4 100watt incandescent bulbs.

Spider Farms is going to cost a more for initial purchase but you can get full spectrum. The biggest issue I have with these is the blurple light. It's annoying at night...but they are in a room we don't use much. If your shelves are going to be in a living space...a more full spectrum/white/yellow system might be worth the cost. When these die, I will get something full spectrum.
Those are nice although yes the red and blue might be a little annoying in our apartment. I will see if I can find something similar in a full spectrum light.
I've built a couple different closet setups the last couple of years in my 800 sf city apartment (with Chicago winters no less). So far I've only used T5 bulbs, but I'm thinking of giving LED a shot.

I haven't really noticed a substantial increase in my electric bill though I'm sure it contributes a bit. I tend to leave mine running about 14 hours. Might not be the best length, but I've found it's easiest to remember and incorporate into my routine if I just make plug-in one of the first/last things I do in the day.

I think your blueprint looks good. I recently switched from a more "freeform" horizontal setup to a vertical and it def saves on space. Plus you can add some reflective material to the sides to get more even lighting.

I've also found it's useful to leave yourself more vertical space rather than less, and then putting the various trees on spacers to get them close enough to the light.

I'm also considering buying a grow tent as I've heard great things and I'm quickly running out of space, and winter is coming.

Also a bit of advice, invest in sticky traps and maybe some horticultural sand as top dressing. You don't want a fungus gnat infestation in your house.

Here's my current setup. I've only finished the top level for now. It being summer that's all I really need right now.

Maybe check out some of Jerry Meisnik's stuff. He's a big proponent of indoor bonsai and has some pretty top level trees. Ignore people that say indoor bonsai doesn't exist (I've actually found some species to grow BETTER under the grow lights than in full sun, believe it or not)
May I ask what light is that that your using? Also great tip on the reflective surfaces i will be doing that.
What kind of shelves? Wooden? Plastic? Wire?

I have a couple of these, hooked to wire shelves, and they only drop down about an inch from the shelf above (clipped directly to the shelf without chains):


Here's a pic of one, there are two above a 4' x 18" shelf:

View attachment 388932

Heat is negligible, and much cheaper than when I ran 1400 watts of high pressure sodium lights when I used to grow "other things."

Three layers would be 600 watts, so you can do the math on watt hours * rate.
For sure want a wire shelf so I can have more freedom like this 👍👍
My indoor lighting situation is almost exactly like your drawing, although I am almost embarrassed to say I have three plant stands with four shelves. I switched to LED lights strips last year. One strip sits facing up at the top shelf, the other three on each unit face down. My plants were much improved over the pink/blue lights I used previously. I don't think they made any noticeable difference in our power bill.
What strips do you use?
 

sorce

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I think once you commit to lights, commit to lights and setup away from the extreme temperature fluctuations of windowside.

When the lights themselves block most of the sun, any benefit of windowside is lost, unless you have your watering drainpan piped out the window.

Sorce
 

Benjofen

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May I ask what light is that that your using? Also great tip on the reflective surfaces i will be doing that.
these:


I'm sure there are higher quality lights out there, but I mainly wanted a decent buy to get some of the trees through the winter last year. Like I mentioned I'm probably going to experiment with some more powerful LED lights this winter as well.
 

hinmo24t

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i clip cheap white LED grow lights from amazon on my wire shelf and have it in a S/E facing window that rips in the winter light pretty good. i can get everything i have thru winter with the natural light even, so cheap amazon lights for selectively placing the needy in front of is all it took. i got a big bougainvillea and hibiscus thru the winter with the setup last year

from awhile ago, its going to be stacked up this winter too with a lot more in bonsai training
now


hoya plants struggled for me because of humidity reasons


good luck with your move

20201018_100645_HDR_resized.jpg20201227_084631_HDR_resized.jpg
 

LemonBonsai

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I think once you commit to lights, commit to lights and setup away from the extreme temperature fluctuations of windowside.

When the lights themselves block most of the sun, any benefit of windowside is lost, unless you have your watering drainpan piped out the window.

Sorce
I see you point and was thinking about this myself, i think I will setup away from a window.
 

LittleDingus

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I think once you commit to lights, commit to lights and setup away from the extreme temperature fluctuations of windowside.

When the lights themselves block most of the sun, any benefit of windowside is lost, unless you have your watering drainpan piped out the window.

Sorce

That's not entirely true. Many plants enjoy...even expect...day/night temperature fluctuations. Trees may be less sensitive to day/night temps...I don't honestly know...but I have orchids that will not flower without day/night temperature fluctuations. I've grown them under lights in the house interior and not had flowers that season :( Cooler night temps give plants a resting period for recovery...less important in the winter maybe...but still natural.

Also, there is often less shading from the lights in the winter...especially in a southern exposure...because the sun angle is much lower than in summer. The further from the equator...the bigger the difference in summer sun angle vs winter sun angle. I get direct sunlight (casts hard shadows) across my entire shelf for several hours a day from the window it's in. In the winter that sunspot extends 8' or so into the house...which my cats love on cold winter days! Same sunspot in the summer extends maybe 1-2' into the house. It's less important when using full spectrum lighting, but my lights in that window are blurple so the extra wavelengths from direct sun through window exposure is beneficial.
 

Carol 83

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Interesting and those work well for you? You said that the blue and red lights worked better or would you say they are about the same?
The new ones work MUCH better than the pink/blue ones. And since my plants are in my kitchen, they are much easier on the eyes as well.
 

Carol 83

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That's not entirely true. Many plants enjoy...even expect...day/night temperature fluctuations. Trees may be less sensitive to day/night temps...I don't honestly know...but I have orchids that will not flower without day/night temperature fluctuations. I've grown them under lights in the house interior and not had flowers that season :( Cooler night temps give plants a resting period for recovery...less important in the winter maybe...but still natural.

Also, there is often less shading from the lights in the winter...especially in a southern exposure...because the sun angle is much lower than in summer. The further from the equator...the bigger the difference in summer sun angle vs winter sun angle. I get direct sunlight (casts hard shadows) across my entire shelf for several hours a day from the window it's in. In the winter that sunspot extends 8' or so into the house...which my cats love on cold winter days! Same sunspot in the summer extends maybe 1-2' into the house. It's less important when using full spectrum lighting, but my lights in that window are blurple so the extra wavelengths from direct sun through window exposure is beneficial.
I have some in an eastern exposure and some in a southern exposure. Same lights both place, the ones in the southern exposure do better.
 

LemonBonsai

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I have some in an eastern exposure and some in a southern exposure. Same lights both place, the ones in the southern exposure do better.
The new ones work MUCH better than the pink/blue ones. And since my plants are in my kitchen, they are much easier on the eyes as well.
Yea i was planning to have my setup in my new kitchen aswell so I didnt want blurple anyways haha. However my kitchen is not south exposure, but I guess for 800 sq feet beggers cant be choosers 😋. I thinking im going to go with this shelf from amazon.


And as for lights im planning on having two shelves on that shelf with two lights that cover a 2 x 2 ' area. So I was thinking these lights.


However was also torn to spend a bit more to get these spider farm ones. I will need to ponder.

 

LittleDingus

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Yea i was planning to have my setup in my new kitchen aswell so I didnt want blurple anyways haha. However my kitchen is not south exposure, but I guess for 800 sq feet beggers cant be choosers 😋. I thinking im going to go with this shelf from amazon.


And as for lights im planning on having two shelves on that shelf with two lights that cover a 2 x 2 ' area. So I was thinking these lights.


However was also torn to spend a bit more to get these spider farm ones. I will need to ponder.


FWIW: if you have adjustable shelves and are planing on only 2 shelves, dimmable isn't that useful, Mine are dimmable. I never dim them. I'll be getting the non-dimmable next time...they are a little cheaper :)
 
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