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Flourecent Light---which one??

Yup daylight is the only way to go! Really good for starts...low heat as mentioned and cheap!!! They won't be setting any growth records under them, but for the first few sets of true leaves they'll do just fine. Bigger plants may require a bit more light than they put out, for that you can supplement with a few Daylight CFLs to get you to plant out if need be.
 
For years I've used the standard thicker cool white (6500k) fluorescents tubes. This year I switched over to T8's @ 5000k which is the middle of the fluorescent spectrum. A little more pricey than the other choices though. Generally any fluorescents between 4000 (warm)-6500k(cool) will work to get the plants started. I like to keep them close, like a couple inches away from the tops of the plants.
 
cool white should have more blue so better for vegetative growth, daylight / warm has more yellow which is pretty much wasted light.
They will all work good though it doesn't really matter too much.
 
I had used my old shop light with T-8s and a 4 bulb fixture. That was about 9 months ago or so. I used 2 bulbs at 6500K and 2 at 3200K. That gave me a balance of spectrum. Plants could grow into the light fixture with no burns from the bulbs.

Now I have only T-5 High Output fixtures. One 6 bulb fixture with 4 bulbs at 6500K and 2 at 3200K. This is my general growing lights. I did notice that the T-5s are much brighter. They also produce more heat. One of my tomatoes got up into the bulb and burned the leaves bad. Now with the T-5s I must have some type of small fan on whenever the light is on. You can feel the heat.

My seedling light is a 2 bulb 2 foot High Output fixture with 2 bulbs at 6500K. It stays on 24x7 to get seedling to grow fast. This is right over one of my seedling starter domes with a heat mat underneath. The heat mat is set at 83 deg F with a thermostat. That seems to be my sweet spot. I want to do LEDs, but I don't want to mess up a good thing. I think if I go into LEDs, I will setup a small test area in the other side of my Garage to get it fine tuned.
 
ThunderChili said:
6500k daylight. I have grown tons of peppers and tomato plants with cheap 2x4 shop lights. Also t8s won't burn leaves.
I agree T-8s are a good place to start. If you can afford T-5s well even better. I started with T-8s and have switched to T-5 because I can get faster growth. I even have 2 pineapples growing from seed under T-5s.
 
I've seen wonderful growth under Purple CFL as well, the one they call "25.000k"
 
The fact is to obtain the purple color they must have mixed the Blue and Red (2.700k and 6.400k) which is our traditional grow light and flowering light, but as we know most plants needs to have a predominant Blue light to grow from seedling to vegetative state then Red to flower.. So the thing is in both of the Blue and Red light there's Green (that's why we see normally without any particular color cast the objects lighted with..) well plants don't absorb Green in fact they reflect this color so the claims about CFL grow lights being 100%PAR  (Photosynthetically active radiation) is not true at all and with a 125W CFL (Daylight, cold, warm.. doesn't matter) you are actually only using about 100watts  efficiently the other 25w are being wasted into foliage reflection and such.. When you look at the purple color coming out of LED panels you'll understand a bit more visually what's happening. 
 
Anyways I'm considering switching my next grow with purple CFL from seedling to flowering stage to see how well they really works on our plants. If anyone have tried it before please tell us more!
 
Although I'm satisfied with my actual fluorescent lights there might be room for improvements that could speed up things..
 
In other words, CFL are great little lights!  ;) 
 
CaptainCook said:
I've seen wonderful growth under Purple CFL as well, the one they call "25.000k"
 
The fact is to obtain the purple color they must have mixed the Blue and Red (2.700k and 6.400k) which is our traditional grow light and flowering light, but as we know most plants needs to have a predominant Blue light to grow from seedling to vegetative state then Red to flower.. So the thing is in both of the Blue and Red light there's Green (that's why we see normally without any particular color cast the objects lighted with..) well plants don't absorb Green in fact they reflect this color so the claims about CFL grow lights being 100%PAR  (Photosynthetically active radiation) is not true at all and with a 125W CFL (Daylight, cold, warm.. doesn't matter) you are actually only using about 100watts  efficiently the other 25w are being wasted into foliage reflection and such.. When you look at the purple color coming out of LED panels you'll understand a bit more visually what's happening. 
 
Anyways I'm considering switching my next grow with purple CFL from seedling to flowering stage to see how well they really works on our plants. If anyone have tried it before please tell us more!
 
Although I'm satisfied with my actual fluorescent lights there might be room for improvements that could speed up things..
 
In other words, CFL are great little lights!  ;) 
Looks like the 25.000k light is close to a reef light for an aquarium. I would like to try a t-5 HO version. I will ask my local Hydro shop.

I may even check the local fish store.
 
@McGuiver, reef light.. hum, I always thought that the aquarium light market could be interesting for us! Well if you find something interesting don't forget to share :)
 
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