Grow light discussion

Any indoor/grow light gardeners here?

What kind of plants ya’ll growin? What kinds of lights do ya’ll use? Any favorite brand? I mainly use grow lights indoors for my “special” succulents that I’m not about to leave out to the mercy of Louisiana. I mainly use various blurple full spectrum panels but I’ve had great results with CFLs, T8s, t5s, crappy $1 led “grow lights” from wish, and regular LED shop lights from walmart. Anyone have any preferences?

Anyone with any quantum board experience? How about pricier setups?

I know some other succulent growers who use the Mars Hydro TS but yo I’m succin on a budget and even though succulents need a lot of light I feel like even succulents only need so much light and I can get more area per watt with cheap 40-300 (true) watt blurple panels. If I were growing something like tomatoes indoors I might spring for a stronger, pricier light in order to get more light penetration lower down but to be honest I’ve grown 2-4 ft full sun plants under budget 300 watt blurples just fine (40 watts was a little too low for anything but seedlings/babies of full sun plants that I’ve tried) so I’m not sure if it would REALLY be worth it to spring for the pricier setups. At the same time I am super attracted to quantum boards because you can actually see what your plants look like vs with blurples where you really have to turn the lights off and take the plants out to get a good look at them.

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I do a little bit of indoor growing. A friend of mine gave me an early version of the AeroGarden automated hydroponic system a while back. Although I’m not a big fan of the Miracle-grow corporation, it was free. I use it to grow a variety of different types of lettuce and harvest a large serving from it once or twice a week. I just cut off the excessive growth and let it continuously grow without replanting.

It’s super easy to use and provides a lot of fresh food in a small footprint. It monitors the water with a sensor and alerts you when you need to add more water or nutrients. The lights it has are on an automated built-in timer. You can select different modes depending on what you are trying to grow. You get really quick harvest with hydro vs soil. I also have a 4-foot fluoro with a stand for starting seedlings indoors. The cheap fluoro tubes aren’t as efficient as LED but I only use it for short periods of time when I’m starting trays of vegetable seeds.

Mars Hydro has a really good reputation for being the best in the business but your right, they are pricey. Not sure if you ever heard of Viparspectra, but they have a good reputation in the world of cheaper LED grow lights.

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Ahh, just another thing to research and add to my gardening wish list, lol.

@ohhyouknow welcome to the forum! I don’t know much about indoor growing or grow lights but it sounds interesting. I’ve been interested in aquaponics for a long time, and learning more about grow lights would come in handy if I ever get a set up going.

@Chill.Bill if you like spinach, I think perpetual spinach could make a great edition to your little lettuce garden.

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I’ve always wanted to try hydro, closest I’ve ever gotten is water propagation and almost pure pumice for mesembs and Leca clay for orchids. I saw one of those AeroGardens at a garage sale and I wanted to pick it up but they were asking almost full price for it so I passed. Would be nice to have some nice clean lettuce on the counter that you don’t rly have to worry about slugs on.

I have heard of Viparspectra, I (and a lot of succulent ppl I’ve discussed it with online) regularly browse weed growing forums to see what kind of lights they are fussing about bc they are SERIOUS about their lights. I have two knockoff 300w Vipars that rly pack a punch.

@TheKoolzo555 Thanks for the welcome! Ohhh I do have a planted tank hobby too. It’s just a fully planted betta tank with a combo of high/low light plants with a cheap C02 kit. I use two LED strip lights on my tank, the WOTERZI LED 8w and I’m able to grow dwarf hairgrass decently when the frogbit and duckweed isn’t taking over. I was growing pothos out of the top of the tank, and I have a friend who does Philodendron bipinnatifidum out of the top of hers. I actually ended up completely submerging the pothos underwater and it seems to be doing fine which is neat I was expecting it to die. The tank is completely self sustaining, I don’t have to do water changes. I do vacuum poo out and sometimes fertilize but the plants completely clean the water so there are never any ammonia spikes. I think it would def be worthwhile to try an aquaponic setup.

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Ahh, that’s so cool. I have a friend from college who got into breeding Betta Imbellis and his love for Bettas got me somewhat into them too (although I’ve already had small aquariums for a long time with various fish). It’s definitely cool to combine two interests like that. I’m not sure what I’d grow though. I mostly like things I can use or that are gothic or unique. After seeing my friend constantly shovel duckweed and frogbit out of his tanks I think I’ll steer clear of those, lol. I’ve been thinking of bigger outdoor setups too but alas, that will be far in the future. Aquaponics ties into one of the things I love about gardening and landscaping; creating symbiotic systems that let things thrive and grow.
Thanks for all the info👍 It will be used.

Frogbit isn’t so bad bc it’s pretty big and easy to pluck out, the duckweed is essentially aquarium herpes though. I got a plant off of ebay and there were two tiny pieces of duckweed stuck to it. I thought, well, two tiny pieces, how could this possibly go wrong. Well now it’s everywhere and I can’t scoop it out fast enough.

TBH the reason I started looking into doing an aquarium was to have sweet sweet fish water to water certain plants with lol. Betta Imbellis are pretty cool! I have a mustard gas halfmoon plakat that I got from Momo bettas on ebay in a 5 gal that I reaaallly want to upgrade to a 10 gal so I can get him some lotus and cooler snails. He has one zebra nerite friend that takes care of algae so bc I’m lazy, don’t want to clean the glass, and they get along pretty well. I love plakats. Those huge finned bettas kinda make me sad, they are just over bred like pugs and I find the fact that they can’t really move around that well bc of their fins to be a little cruel. I mean, whatever, they are fish, I wouldn’t judge someone for having one of those big finned varieties or anything, they’re just not for me. I have another tank with a brine shrimp farm going on several generations now that I use to feed the betta. I cannot get any plants to stay alive in the brine shrimp tank, I should probably get something to measure the salinity although IN THEORY it should be within acceptable range for the plants I been putting in there since I got my saltwater mix right and the brine shrimp have been doing well.

I love your idea of an outdoor sytem. I’d love to try it but my geese would poo all in it and idk how that would all work out. I love the gothy plants too. I have this tiiiiiny zz raven that I’m really shooting for (it did not do well at first whoops) and I love goth succulents. Hope you can get your dream aquaponics system one day!

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