Hi doc,
Simple question...do LED lights work? Specifically do your LED lights works? i only want to purchase One Led light...UFO L.E.D. Grow Light for growing inside a standard 4 drawer filing cabinet sized enclosure...will this work?
Also I have been trying to find a definitive list of what else to purchase with the  LEDlight to complete my growing system, can you assist?
Many Thanks

There is a lot of hoopla about LED. I am just starting to use them. I have used an LED with the same wavelength output as the UFO designed by HTGSupply.com. I can say from personal experience it will grow plants very well that get some secondary sunlight or HPS light.  Right now, I am germinating seedlings that will be grown 100% with this LED in a grow tent.  I am assuming it will work fine since HTGSupply.com has  sold 1000's of LED lights.  If it did not work at all I think someone would have said so by now. My big question is are they better than say using fluro's. I know they are not better than an HID for larger areas. However, you are not growing in a large area. I honestly think that you might have a nice little set up with the UFO in the space you described.

As far as other supplies, you need containers for your plants to grow in, plastic pots work best for the price and I am trying out some grow pots that are made of fabric, which is more environmentally friendly than plastic. Potting soil is the easiest medium to grow in. You can use it from seedlings to harvest. You can mix it with vermiculite, perilite or coir depending on what type of medium  is best for your plants. What I like about soil is that once you use it a couple times you can get rid of the dirt in an outdoor garden or flower bed.

You will need to hang the light and adjust it as the plants grow, you might want an adjustable hanger. You should also try to make the inside reflective with white paint or my new favorite mylar. You may want to mount a small fan on the top to get good air flow which will increase the growth rate.

You will need some fertilizer; fertilizer higher in the first number (nitrogen) is for vegetative growth and fertilizer with a higher second number (phosphorus) is for flowers.

You need a container to water the plants with and mix the fertilizer in. (I reuse 1 gal. milk or OJ jugs) and a tray or something to catch the water that runs through the plants when you water them.  You need drainage holes in the containers the plants are in.

A thermometer to check the temperature and humidity is nice and can let you know if you need to make changes to improve your growth, but not essential.

A root warmer will help with germination and will keep the roots warm if your grow area might get chilly in the winter.

Of course you can get all this and more at HTGSupply.com.  That should be enough to get started.

Good Growing,
Dr. E.R. Myers



I often try new things in my grow areas in my attempt to improve how I grow plants. If you are starting a new area or maybe thinking of a change to try to improve your growing this and the next couple posts are good posts for you to read. As always, please feel free to post any helpful comments.

Almost any area can be converted into a grow space with a light from HTGSUpply.com, from a shelf (link) to a closet, to an extra room.  I have worked in a few greenhouses that supplement natural light with artificial light. For most growers the ideal area will be over 6 feet high and about 7x7 feet which is about 50 square feet. Square footage is figured by multiplying the length of the floor by the width. Fifty square feet is around the maximum area I would recommend a 1000 W HID to cover efficiently. With certain reflectors you will be able to use a 600 W for about 30 square feet. Smaller spaces can use 400 W HID, LED’s or fluorescents. (See me growing using an LED)  Usually gardens become more efficient the larger they are. What I mean by efficient is you can grow more plants and get higher yield per square foot the larger the area and the more lights you use. However, as your area increases in size moisture build up, electricity use and heat are going to be problems and will eventual limit your growth.

Things to think about before you start. -- A real limiting factor is whether there is electricity in the area. When I was in college and just started growing indoors I found an apartment that had a plug in the back of the bedroom closet, when I saw that plug I knew I’d found my new home. You need to know what wattage light you are going to use and where you will plug it in at (This depends on the size of the room and/or the size and number of plants you want to grow). Not every closet has an outlet and extension cords are not usually recommended for long term use. If in doubt contact an electrician about putting in an outlet. Thinking about electricity leads to the second thing you must consider before you start: water. Water is going to spill so put down a tarp. You can also use thick plastic to keep water off the floor. Make sure you tape the plastic up on the wall or floorboard molding so that water does not seep under it on the edges. If you are not careful with water you can have mold growth which can cause damage to your home (and possibly you) as it leaks through the floor boards to come out on the story below. I can tell you from personal experience that it only takes a small amount of water (less than 1 gal) to leak through the floor to the next story. Be careful and plan for water before you start.

I am sure you are aware that water and electricity don’t mix. Make sure all wires and electrical equipment are up off the floor or even better stored above the light because, yes I’ll say it again, no matter what you think you will spill water.

If you are using a basement, keep in mind moisture and humidity tends to be higher here and may have to be reduced to keep mold in check.  Also, concrete and other floors in basements and garages tend to be quite cold. You should cover these with insulating material like Styrofoam. I know you can buy 4x8 sheets of Styrofoam like insulation for walls at most any hardware store. You don’t NEED to buy anything; you can use wood planks or wood pallets or anything that keeps the containers the plants are in off the floor. The soil temperature should not drop below 50F and would be better in the upper 60’s.
Good Growing,
Dr. E.R. Myers


Single Best light revisited

In a previous post on June 29th  I answered an E-mail asking if it was possible to use only an HPS for growing plants indoors. While my answer has not changed, if you can only use one light I recommend an HPS. I’d like to add to this with some new information.  I would also like to add I continually review and may add links etc. to old posts, so any comments or questions about old posts are ALWAYS welcome.
While I still say that if you must use only one light, the best is an HPS. I would like to expand on that. I always have started seeds with a fluorescent light, but this semester, I started some under the HPS. I noticed the seedlings growing very long stems and most seemed as if they would soon fall over.  After one week of this, I moved these tall little seedlings which were basically a stem with cotyledons and put them under a fluorescent light. They immediately stopped growing in stem length and the true leaves began to grow instead.

The reason my seedlings stretched was partially genetic (some plants stretch more than others under an HPS) but I did not have a fan on the seedlings which might have helped cut down the stem elongation. I think that all seedlings should be started under fluorescent lights. A T5-HO is the best, but many of you have mentioned monetary constraints. You could go to a local hardware store and buy a two tube 4 foot fluorescent ballast with some cool white bulbs for around 20$. This won’t be enough light for most plants to finish growing but will give you some really nice sturdy, stout and bushy seedlings. Once the plants are a few inches tall you can put them under an HPS.

So, if you only can only use or buy one light, I still recommend an HPS and a fan, but for a few dollars you can get a cheap fluorescent light and use it for the first 2-4 weeks to make sure your plants start off growing strong, not long.

Good Growing
Dr. E.R. Myers


Best temperature and easy cool 6 vs. Airoflow reflector

I am starting a indoor garden, I am looking at the easy cool 6, and Airoflow reflector. I am planning on running (2) 600 watt systems in my flowering room. I like the the easy bulb access of the Easy Cool, but I am thinking the Airoflow would be better, because of the width. My room is 10' x 10', with the grow area being aprox 4' x 6', with a liitle room to expand to 6' x 8'. I have a 2nd room that I will use for Vegetative growth, planning on running one 600 watt system, would the wider reflector work better for growth?

Also another question, with the cold weather approaching, and the fresh air coming into the room being a little colder... Is the soil temperature more important then the room temperature. For example what if the room temp drops to 65 degrees F, when the lights are off, and the soil stays at 72 degrees F?  I will be ordering my lights as soon as I make a decision on the reflector, then I can run the lights and fans and monitor room temps. May have to run C02 system if the fresh air is too cold.
Your thoughts are greatly appreciated.

I am going to forward your first question to Sales@htgsupply.com. I have limited experience with specific reflector types. The sales manager Perry knows all about that stuff and would give you better advice. (see his reply below)
I can answer your second question. The soil temperature is equally as important as the air temp. Every biological process has an optimum temperature where the process goes at its fastest pace (speed up growth cycle link). This is why certain seeds germinate only at a specific temperatures. (temperature and seed germination link)   Also, most of the soil microbes function best at 25-35°C. (That is about 75-95 F btw) Your temperatures, if an actual reading are ok. For most plants soil in the 60's is fine. Air temperatures "night- lights off" in the 60's - 70's are also fine. Obviously, different plants have different optimal temperatures but in general plants do not have any damage with air temperatures above the 40's F. Depending on the species of plant you are growing they may not even have tissue damage until the upper 30's F.  Keep in mind though that plant growth will be slowed with temperatures even as low as in the 50's so keeping it in the 60's at night is ideal.

Also, if you are going to induce flowering, you will get more flowers faster if the night time temperature is around 20 degrees colder than the day temperature. So, it sounds like you have a pretty good system as things are.
Make sure you take the temperature reading near the air intake and across the room in winter.  There could be a big difference between where the fresh air comes in and the other side of the room.  If the air coming in is in the 40's or cooler in the winter, this may harm your plants that are near the air intake.  I will also say that with your fresh air intake make sure you have a screen to block any pests from getting in. If you have CO2 already in place, you'd get better growth rates using a CO2 generator than just fresh air.

Good Growing,
Dr. E. R. Myers


Thank you for your interest in our products. This is Perry, I got this message forwarded to me from our"Ask the Doctor" section. I see that he answered the second question, so obviously I got
the first.
When it come to the differences between those two reflectors, besides
size there is not much. The AiroFlow used to have a glass piece that slid out so a
tight air seal was impossible, they have now added the hinged glass and rubber seal, thus one upping the EasyCool 6 which for the longest time was our ONLY sealed reflector.  EasyCool 6 on the other hand used to have a fix socket bracket. So you would get a tighter light spread from the EasyCool 6 than the Airoflows larger design. Now the EasyCool 6 has a adjustable socket bracket that allows you to move the socket closer to or further from the glass/reflective material thus allowing you to spread it better, or tighten it up as you desired.
This feature is also on the AiroFlow so I guess that would give you the best possible spread, but not by much.  Price wise, EasyCool 6 wins. Spread wise, Airoflow wins.

Thanks again and have a nice day
Shipping Manager

Speed up growth cycle flowering and harvest – Fruiting/Flowering –

In my experience the best flowers develop fastest with an HPS.  In general, the higher the wattage the better but ‘heat build up’ also increases with higher wattages. I think a spectrally Enhanced (30% more blue) HIGH OUTPUT HPS light is the BEST for flowering.

If you use an MH a lower Kelvin rating means there is more red and yellow which will promote flowering. For an MH 3000K lamp will obviously do much better than a 6400K if you are growing for flowers while a 6500K MH is the BEST spectrum for vegetative growth. Personally, for plants that only get 2-3 feet high I use fluro’s until the plants are well developed at about 8-12 inches tall and then put them under an HPS. For plants that are going to get taller I use a MH conversion bulb when the plants get too big for fluro's (over 1 foot) then put in a standard HPS bulb for flowering. These conversion bulbs can put out as many lumens as a MH of similar wattage and during flowering the HPS bulb always puts out more lumens per watt than an MH. If you ever get a new light, I usually recommend an HPS and a conversion bulb if you grow big plants and are worried about stem elongation.

As the end of the grow cycle approaches, the one thing that can easily ruin all your effort is if you don’t let your crop grow until its optimal maturity. I like growing peppers because you can really pick them at any time and they taste good. However, true connoisseurs can often distinguish if a crop has been picked before or after its best time. There is no one size fits all on how to harvest all crops, besides personal preference comes into play as well. I know picking at the peak time is what separates the best from the rest. The one place you should not try to shave time off the growth cycle is when allowing you plant to finish with their fullest flavor or beauty. Once your plants are done, you want to dry/cure them properly

I will end this post with these words of wisdom….Never harvest early!


Speed up the Growth Cycle -Vegetative Growth

 Leave lights on 24/7 for first 2-4 weeks
 Make sure plants are not limited in CO2
 Make sure plants are not limited in H2O
 Make sure plants do not have too much H20

In my first post about speeding up the growth cycle I mentioned that having the roots too warm may slow plant growth, or in my case may have dried out the soil which also will slow growth. I have written articles about limiting factors  and how they control plant growth. In a nut shell after you get the seed to germinate you want to make sure you give your plants the optimal amount of everything for maximum growth which will speed up the grow cycle. The big mistake of rookies is not knowing --> You must NEVER give a plant too much of anything; this will slow growth and extend the length of the growth cycle.  see my experiment to test this at the end of this post

You should always use a root warmer but if you start plants in the starter plugs or in soil in a pot you may cut off a couple days vs. using a paper towel. I say this becasue with a paper towel you may damage the tender young roots as you transplant the seedling into your medium.

The FIRST thing to do to speed up the growth cycle for the seedlings is to leave the lights on 24 /7 for the first few weeks. Leaving the light on 24/7 can cut another week off the time until your plants are done. As I mentioned in a previous post, light is the energy source for plants so the more light a plant gets the more energy it has and the faster and bigger it can grow.
For the NEXT STEP know that plants need a lot of carbon dioxide (CO2). TO help plants get all the CO2 they need you should provide a light fan to help move the air around the plants. Plants take in CO2 in pores called stomata on the leaves. Indoors where there is no wind, plants will form a microclimate around their leaves where there is a deficiency of CO2. A light breeze will move this deficient air providing plants with more CO2. For the more serious or advanced grower you can really speed up growth and yield by adding CO2.   If you have CO2 enrichment I know it is often used during flowering/fruit set; it will also increase the growth rate of vegetative plants so if you have it use it in all stages of growth.

EVENTUALLY YOU MUST TURN THE LIGHT OFF! I sometimes keep plants under 24/7 light on for more than a month. Some plants grow longer than others but eventually all plants STOP growing and the leaves start to lose its rigidity, get a paler green and some yellow. After a night or two with darkness of 6+ hours they are cured. Plants eventually need a dark cycle to keep their normal physiological mechanisms in synch. You may want to experiment, I always suggest 6 hours of darkness, but some plants might only need 4. The more light you give your plants the faster their growth rate, as long as they get their daily required “night”.  Remember, if you stress out your plants by not giving them darkness after a few weeks you are ADDING time to the growth cycle.  Use a timer so that you have a consistant light on off schedule.  If the time the light goes on and off is not consistent you could stress out your plants and slow growth

You can also speed up flowering in outdoor plants too.


I mentioned in a previous post about nutrients and starter plugs, if you are not growing in soil, you should be giving most plants an all purpose fertilizer high in nitrogen like grow big. You may be tempted to add more fertilizer than recommended, but be careful, I have tested and found that if you add too much fertilizer you get slower growth, ADDING time to the growth cycle. I gave seedlings of sunflowers double the recommended fertilizer and others no fertilizer; both were grown in potting soil (see picture above). Plants that had the fertilizer were all significantly shorter, and some fertilizer groups had significantly lower biomass compared to non- fertilized plants. More importantly, no group of plants that had double fertilizer was bigger in height or biomass than ANY non-fertilized group. If you give your plants too much fertilizer you create a soil that is hypertonic. This means that the plants will have a difficult time pulling water from the soil. Water is the third and final input for photosynthesis. If plants have reduced amounts of water they will have reduced growth. See my post on watering.

I always welcome hearing about other ways people have shortened the growth cycle by speeding up plant growth or any E-mail in general. Thanks and Happy New Year.

Good Growing,
Dr. E.R. Myers