I apologize if this topic is covered under the general culture sticky. My browser blocked all three links. Has anyone started replacing or looking into replacing their t12 shop lite setup? Mine has served me fairly well, but it is time to replace the tubes. With t12s on the way out and T8s, T5s and CFLs and even LEDs (still pretty pricey) looking good, I'm ready to re-equip.
From what I have read so far, you can make a good argument for using all three. I grow mostly begonias and gesneriads, so I don't need to reproduce mid-day sunlight. I think around 2500 fc for the plants that need the most light and 1000 fc for things like streps and african violets will suffice. I'm just unsure which type of fixture and lamp to go with. Opinions, anyone?
I'm adding T8 to new shelves and replacing bad T12 fixtures with T8 as well. I will still use T12 as long as the fixture works but after that it goes in the trash. T5 looks nice but seemed more costly and less available. I usually go buy ten fixtures or more at a time though.
CFL can produce a lot of light but takes up some headroom. CFL also has pricey bulbs compared to tubes but also needs no special fixtures.
I think I'm going to go with the t-8s too. For anyone who is interested in foot candles, lux, lumens and PAR, some of the best info out there about growing plants under lights is written by people who grow cannabis. Don't get the wrong idea, I'm not trading in my begonias for weed. I went to our local Borders to see what I could pick up on sale before they close their doors forever. I came home with a book by Ed Rosenthal that has an entire chapter on growing plants under lights. Great info if you can skip over the politics and the goofy introduction by Tommy Chong (who else could do an intro to such a book?). I had to explain myself to hubby and kids and I'm putting a brown paper bag cover on the book so no one sends the police out. I'm sure my neighbors have been wondering about that eerie pink glow coming from my basement windows...