Feb 21, 14
For all you gardeners out there, you know the frustrations of growing outdoors: the unrelenting heat withers your plants and makes it almost impossible to enjoy working in your garden, the weather can change in the blink of an eye, bringing a heat wave or torrential downpours, or that giant garden spider that’s made itself nice and cozy around your Rosemary bushes. With all these variables, it’s no wonder outdoor gardening can be so maddening and why moving your growing indoors isn’t as crazy as it sounds. While this isn’t a comprehensive how-to, we’ve gathered the high points of starting your first indoor grow.
So what exactly is hydroponics? Hydroponics is the art and science of indoor growing using all sorts of growing mediums, from growstones, clay rocks, rockwool, soil, coco, and soilless mixes. The beauty of hydroponics is that there’s no one way to grow and there’s no limit on what you can grow. Some choose to grow vegetables to have purely organic vegetables, bypassing all the pesticides, while others grow indoors as a hobby. Plus, hydroponics gives you the control to grow whatever you want whenever you want. Whether it’s 15 degrees with three feet of snow or it’s 110 degrees with 90 percent humidity, your indoor grows aren’t affected.
Where to Start?
First decide what you want to grow. Do you want to grow non-flowering herbs like cilantro or basil, or are you looking to grow flowering plants like vegetables? Your set up will depend on what you choose to grow. For example, if you want to grow vegetables or flowers, you’ll need a 400-watt HID grow light fixture, with both HPS and metal halide bulbs for the different growth stages. For those non-flowering plants, like basil and cilantro, you can stick with T5 grow lights for the whole growing cycle. Commercial growing will need a bigger coverage area, produced by multiple 1000-watt HID fixtures.
*Note: Since hydroponics can be a bit overwhelming, we’ll save many of the details, such as coverage area, for a later time.
As we know from elementary school science, plants need light to grow. If you’re growing indoors, you have to supply your own sun in the form of HID (high intensity discharge) grow lights, which include high pressure sodium (HPS) and metal halide bulbs. There are also LED grow lights, which, just like their household counterparts, use less electricity and last longer than other types of bulbs.
Plants go through stages: a growth stage, also called a vegetative stage, and a flowering stage, also called the budding stage. Both of these stages need different color temperatures in order to flourish: the vegetative stage requires color temperatures of 5000K or higher as this produces the blue part of the color spectrum, while the flowering stage needs a color temperature of around 2000K, which produces light in the red spectrum ideal for this stage.
Just like the sun doesn’t shine 24 hours a day, neither should your grow lights. For the growth cycle, it’s recommended to have between 18 and 20 hours of light, while that amount decreases to only 12 hours during the flowering cycle. The easiest way to control your lights is with timers. Timers streamline the entire growing process and eliminate forgetting to turn your lights on and off.
XtraSun XT8AC 8-Inch Reflector
Now let’s talk grow light reflectors. While there are many different types of reflectors, from parabolic to wing reflectors, to all-in-one reflectors, to air cooled reflectors, and each one offers its own advantages. Wing reflectors, for example, feature adjustable “wings” which increase light coverage, therefore helping to reduce the number of areas without light. Not to mention they’re usually cheaper. All-in-one reflectors, beside the bulbs, include everything you need, like the ballast. All you have to do is plug it in and go. Air-cooled reflectors have ducts on each end for cooling hoses and are determined by the diameter of these ducts, ranging from four to eight inches in diameter. These types of reflectors are usually for the serious grower as they require the proper ducting for cooling. The type of reflector you need depends on the size of your grow area.
HydroFarm EMSYST Emily’s Garden
Before getting too hot-to-trot over setting up a professional grow space, it’s best to start small. Try an all-in-one hydroponics kit, like the Emily’s Garden. This kit comes with everything you need to start a small, successful grow: growing medium, seed starter cubes, even nutrients. While this may seem like child’s play, it’s a great way to get your feet wet with the world of indoor growing.
Jump Start JSV2 2-Ft. Stand
For great beginner experience with grow lights, check out the Jumpstart T5 reflectors. Available in heights from two to four feet, these reflectors include the bulbs and the fixtures and are adjustable as the plants grow taller.
*Note: For more information about indoor growing, check out our hydroponics books.
What do you plan on growing in your indoor garden? Tell us in the comments below, or give us a shout on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, or LinkedIn!
Mar 15, 13
In part one, we discussed the different types of lights and their respective coverage. In this part, we’ll look at the different types of fixtures more closely, helping you choose the right reflector for your growing needs.
Once you’ve chosen your bulbs, you have to choose a fixture to give you maximum reflectivity and coverage. There are about four types of grow light fixtures to choose from: high bays, strips, open air HID, and enclosed HID.
Imagine lighting fixtures in a warehouse. The high bays used for indoor growing are just modified versions of those warehouse fixtures and come in HID, CFL, and linear fluorescent versions. The HID and CFL high bays are great for starter grows, and are only suitable for growing a few plants due to small coverage areas. On the other hand, linear fluorescent high bays are an ideal choice for T5 fluorescent grow lights, as they have larger coverage areas and operate two to eight individual bulbs.
Linear fluorescent strips are only suitable for growing compact rows of vegetables or herbs, as they only operate one or two lamps.
Open Air HID
These types of fixtures are the most common type of grow light because they produce high lumens, have great coverage, and provide sufficient cooling. Open air HIDs include wing fixtures and parabolic fixtures.
Similar to open air HID fixtures, enclosed HID fixtures include air cooled and “cool tube” fixtures. However, these types of HID fixtures offer two distinct advantages over the open air HID fixtures. One, the bulb is protected by a tempered glass lens, which protects your plants and grow area from glass in the event of a bulb malfunction or thermal shock from overspray of water or other liquids. Two, the fixture offers better cooling. Both types of the enclosed fixtures feature flanges on either end for external cooling, allowing you to send a constant stream of air past the bulbs, therefore keeping both the bulb and your plants at a safe temperature.
Types of Timers
Now that we’ve covered the types of grow light fixtures, we’ll discuss the different types of timers and their importance in your grow project.
Just like you and me, plants require sleep. Generally, plants need 15 to 18 hours of light a day during the growth phase and 10 to 12 hours of light during the flowering stage. For the remainder of the time, your lights should be off. You can accomplish your plants’ lighting needs in a few ways: by manually turning your lights on and off (not really recommended) or by utilizing a simple plug-in timer. Manually turning your lights on and off isn’t recommended for one reason: you may forget to turn them on, or you may forget to turn them off, both being detrimental to your plants’ health. The answer to you plants’ lighting needs is a plug-in timer, offered either in digital or analog format.
Analog timers are generally cheaper and somewhat easier to use than digital timers. These types of timers have a dial that turns throughout a 24-hour cycle and trippers that turn the lights on and off. You place one tripper at the time you want your lights on, and another when you want your lights off. When the timer hits these trippers, the lights either turn on or off. However, most types of analog timers lose time when there is a power outage.
Digital timers are definitely the recommended type of timer for your grow light project. These timers work pretty much the same way as analog timers, but offer a few key advantages over the analog timers. For one, they solve the problem of losing time when there is a power outage. These timers have battery backups that remember the time and set points should there be a power outage. Additionally, many of these timers are self-adjusting, resetting themselves for daylight savings time and even calculating sunrise and sunset times based on the time of year.
How’s your grow project coming along? Tell us in the comments below or leave us a note on Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus!
Dec 31, 12
At 1000Bulbs.com, we strive to bring you the most innovative products at affordable prices. For this week’s volume of Enlightenment, we’re introducing some unique, modern lighting products that are efficient, energy-saving, and easy on your wallet, so sit back, relax, and be enlightened.
Archipelago LED Bulbs
Ranging from 3 to 4.5 watts, Archipelago LED bulbs come either as a decorative globe or torpedo. With a life expectancy of 50,000 hours, these dazzling bulbs are the perfect replacement for a 25-watt incandescent and are great for indoor and outdoor use. The decorative globes are exquisite in a bathroom vanity, as well as patio lighting, and the torpedo bulbs are dashing in wall lighting and chandeliers, along with any enclosed outdoor fixtures. These CSA listed lamps do not contain mercury or lead, and come with a five year warranty. Browse through the Archipelago LED bulbs and see what style suits your home decor.
Silicone Tip Lamp
Want a more flame-like look for your chandelier? This 6-watt silicone tip lamp is excellent for the task. It has a frosted finish that gives off a tranquil glow, bringing a warm atmosphere to any room. The incandescent lamp has a candelabra base and has a rated life of 1,500 hours. Enjoy the beauty of this distinguishing bulb in your chandelier; take some time to see if the silicone tip lamp is right for you!
12 Volt Tape Light
A few months ago, we introduced our 24-volt LED tape light, a cutting-edge technology that was a fun and flexible twist on rope light. For more variety, we have added the new, energy-saving Flextec 12-volt LED tape light. With an adhesive backing, it is easy to install and can be placed anywhere. The LED tape light comes in a variety of lengths and colors, as well as different versions including standard output, high output, and color changing. Using less than 2 watts per foot, the standard output tape light is best for accent lighting applications. The high output solid color version uses more power, allowing for extra brightness in indoor and outdoor locations needing brighter task lighting. The color changing tape light has red, green, and blue lights to mix and match colors, and patterns, using the RGB controller. Whether you are lighting a desk or a room, LED tape light is a fun, unique way to light up any area.
Grow Lights and Horticulture Supplies
Volume 2 of Enlightenment covered a variety of horticulture nutrients and supplements. If those were not enough, we now feature everything you need for your indoor garden. From lighting to grow media to starter kits, we have it all. Your indoor garden will be completely nourished, perfectly lit, and housed properly for beautiful, luscious plants. Don’t let inclement weather keep you from growing the plants you love; be sure to view our assortment of grow lights and horticulture supplies today!
Dec 03, 12
At 1000Bulbs.com, we know we have thousands of products. We also know that you have a life (outside of the Internet) and not a lot of time to go through every product we have online, so say hello to our new series, Enlightenment. Each week, we’ll feature our newest, most innovative products. Sit back, relax, and be enlightened.
PLT 3.5 Watt LED Candelabra Bulb
This energy saving decorative torpedo LED candelabra bulb is perfect for chandeliers and wall lighting and creates a perfect ambiance for any room. It can replace any 25 watt incandescent bulb and has a life expectancy of 30,000 hours. While the incandescent equal is less expensive, it has a life expectancy of only 1,500 hours (FYI, one of these LEDs is the equivalent of 20 incandescent bulbs). Start saving money and energy with our new 3.5 watt decorative torpedo LED candelabra bulb!
Looking for fun and unique light fixtures? Our newest products from Quorum International feature incredible fixtures with modern, geometric forms. These additions include bathroom fixtures, chandeliers, wall sconces, and more. They bring a stunning elegance with a clean and simple appearance. Give your home a contemporary look with these amazing Quorum International light fixtures!
LEDnovation EnhanceLite LED BR30
LEDnovation’s EnhanceLite LED BR30 is another new, and environmentally friendly, dimmable LED bulb. It is the perfect replacement for a 65 watt incandescent and has a life expectancy of 50,000 hours. It is also UL listed and RoHS compliant. This bulb can be used anywhere warm lighting is needed: Hotel, restaurant, or home – the choice is yours. Just one of these bulbs lasts as long as 25 incandescent bulbs. Be sure to view LEDnovation’s EnhanceLite LED BR30!
Plantmax Grow Lights
Harsh winters keeping you from your horticulture? Not anymore with our Plantmax grow lights! The new collection of Plantmax products includes metal halide bulbs, high pressure sodium bulbs, and ballasts. The metal halide bulbs help the plants grow in vegetative stages, while the high pressure sodium bulbs help in flowering and fruiting. Make sure you and your plants stay happy this winter. Take some time to browse Plantmax grow lights and see which ones are right for you!
eReplacements Projector Lamps
Our new ER series eReplacement front and rear projection lamps are compatible with different brands including 3M, Acer, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, RCA, Samsung, Sony, Toshiba, and many more. All of the lamps have a lifetime of 2,000 hours and a 3 month warranty. Browse through our eReplacement Projector Lamps and find the one best suited to your needs!
7-Gauge RAB Poles
Two of our new RAB 7-gauge drilled steel poles feature a tenon top, while the other has a square cap for pole top. They are all bronze, have a 4-inch shaft, and include an anchor bolt kit with a hand hole cover and a base cover. When used to hold pulse start metal halide flood light fixtures, they’re a great way to keep any large outdoor area lit. Browse through our collection of RAB mounting accessories today!