Vegetable Seed Starting Indoors: Purchasing the Right Lighting for Grow-Lights & Saving Money!
Posted by Gary Pilarchik on
You don't have to spend a lot of money on specific grow-lights for seed starting plants indoors. You often pay 2 or 3 times more for a product that is labelled a grow-light. You can make the lights yourself by simply buying the correct fluorescent tubes or LED lights. You can find them at any hardware store. The money you save can be used to buy seeds and seed starting supplies. Here is the video that covers this blog post.
I am describing a lighting system that is for growing transplants. We aren't using these light for fruiting and flowering plants indoors. There is no need to buy specialized LED lights that are red, blue, white and other colors when growing garden transplants. While they may work, they are not necessary and are often expensive. The Kelvin Scale breaks light into colors. We are looking for a K or Kelvin Rating of 5000-6500K. This range is considered the daylight range and that is perfect for seed starting and growing transplants. Just think blue sky with white clouds. Notice this is 4000K and sits just below daylight. You can use a lower K value if you have a higher Lumens value.
Lumens, in short, is light brightness or intensity. Consider this a sunny day. I recommend a minimum of 2000 Lumens. With the white LEDs, you can actually find lights with 5000 Lumens or higher. Most of your fluorescent tubes are, in general, 3000 Lumens or lower.
Lumens and Kelvin Ratings
Lumens, Kelvin and Watts
I have been growing vegetable transplants indoors for 20 years, based on these ratings. You can have success with bulbs that are 1750 Lumens and bulbs with a 4000 Kelvin rating. When your numbers are lower, you simply keep the lights closer to your seed starts and leave them on longer. I mentioned as a Lumen value gets higher, you can use a lower Kelvin rating. Here are my basic guidelines for the ratings. When you look for lights to build your grow-light station, you will find they vary greatly. These guidelines should help you wade through all the different lights you will come across.
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- Tags: grow lights, Seed Starting