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lighting [ARTICLE] Light 101

I have a question, is it really matters to have special CFL grow light or the same regular CFL? I understand that they have diffrent spectrum but how do plants react on regular CFL's?
There's no such thing as regular CFLs. different bulbs come in different wattages, color temp and even a different spectrum in the same color. plants react to some bulbs better than others.
I guess if you're doing the whole grow inside a combination of the (MH) and (HPS) would cover the desired light spectrum better than just one while producing the most lumens of the group. Looks like there is no one magic bullet, at least not yet.
yeah i'm still running mh but i'm switching to hps this week. Anxiuos to see what results i'm going to get by flowering with hps.
I have a small Chinese 5-color I have on my desk in my office. I was thinking of just a desk lamp for it, as there are no windows and the fluorescents are rather dim. A 13w CFL desk lamp makes about 900 lumens. Is that enough?
Question - are aquarium lights any good?

I have a few different types at home I'm not using, but shopping for I.e the perfect spectrum of bulb is frustrating! I'm not fluent in Japanese, and my fiancée is no scientist.

I'm planning to use only to get the seeds going. We get plenty of sunlight, but it does get cold in winter. So I'm planning to start them off warm and insulated (in a cupboard) and use artificial lights.
Just the information I was looking for! I know a ton about coral lighting requirements but very little about plants.
Thank you,
Pepperhead said:
Silly question...do the lumens add up with more bulbs or are 4 800 lumen bulbs still only 800 lumens?
Technically they do BUT you have your 4 800 lumen bulbs that will likely be dispersed around the plant meaning each area will receive 800 + maybe a little crossover from the other bulbs unlike at MH or HPS that throws out much higher lumens from a single point, more even canopy spread & penetration . I really dig CFL's & use them allot but they can't compare to HPS on a Watt to Lumen scale, having said that the heat/cost issues with HID bulbs deters allot of folks from using them. 
I am familiar with K levels for CFL (6500K for veg and 2700K for flower). I am thinking of going to a 400w HPS, and I am wondering what kind of bulb I need, as I see different Kelvin notations on those. 
- What K HPS bulb would I need for vegging
- What K HPS bulb would I need for flowering?
--- Or do I need just one bulb?
I am currently running about 20,000 lumens with my 4ft 4 bulb T5HO, but I have been told that is not enough lumens for producing peppers.
I am sorry if this question has been answered elsewhere, I just could not find the answer!
First, I think technically you can flower and fruit a pepper under a T5. But I doubt you would get much fruit.
HPS bulbs are intrinsically orange and will all be around the same K. Some have extra blue.
Either way you wont need to change bulbs. 400w will get you a 4x4 area to grow in. My 4x4 area under a 400w would be 4 plants in 5 gallon containers.
If I was going to buy a 400w HPS light I would put a ceramic metal halide bulb in it. Philips makes them for HPS ballasts. CMH bulbs put out white light with very nice spectrum for plants(way better than HPS). HPS gets annoying to work on plants with everything tinted the wrong color.
You could use a 400w MH too. Those are a bluish white. CMH is white white. HPS are orange.
I dont even know why people think K matters. As long as the spectrum is decent youre set. Right now those 3 are the gold standard for indoor growing and they all work from veg to flower to fruit.

Keep in mind that a 400w HID is only going to very slightly more than double your current brightness.
This is a link to a comparison between four different fluorescent grow lights and a standard GE "Kitchen and Bath" tube. Based on his reported 3400 lumens for the GE K&B, it looks like he used standard 40 watt T12 tubes. He reports the light output of the grow light tubes as 1600 to 1800 lumens each, but he does not say whether he reduced the number of GE K&B tubes to equalize the light level across the test - given the surprising performance of the K&B, I think he used the same number of tubes and watts, and had double the lumens (though less optimized for color spectrum) for the K&B sample. Still, this is very good information, so I'm putting the link here to make it easy to find... fluorescent grow-light comparison