E-mail – Recomended LIght for Starting Some Tomato Plants

For someone that just wants to start some tomato and pepper plants, what do you suggest for grow lamps so that these can be started indoors with no windows?

I would read my post on what you need to grow indoors.
If you just want to start plants you can start out with standard 4 foot fluorescent tubes, you can get a 2 light shop light ballast and use cool white tubes. You can get all this for about $20 at any hardware store. Keep the lights about 1 inch from the plant tops. This is fine for seedlings if you want to start plants indoors and then move them outdoors but once the plants get bigger (over a few inches tall) you will need to get either a high out put fluorescent T-5 from HTGSupply.com or I have recommended that if you only want to use one light use an HPS (High Pressure Sodium). The HPS is the best light if you are looking for flowering and fruiting. The higher the wattage the more plants you can grow and the bigger your yields will be, but you will need more space and you will have more heat. If you use a 250 watt you can grow in a 3x3 area, 400 watt 4x4 and 600 watt would be for a 5x5 square foot area. If you use an HPS, you will have to think about venting the heat. I used to grow in a large closet 10 feet by 4 feet by 8 feet high. I used a 400 watt HPS and did not have any problems with heat in this space. If you are growing in a smaller closet or grow tent, you will need to think about venting the heat.
Another option is to use an LED light. I helped HTGSupply.com develop their triband LED lights, they work great, do not produce as much heat an an HPS and last for many many years.
I hope this helps, Let me know if you have any other questions

Good Growing,
Dr. E.R. Myers

1 comment:

phil said...

not a comment as much as a follow up Q- what is the maximum watts per sq ft if heat is not an issue? thanks