Can I Use Florescent Lights to Start Seeds?

Will a florescent lightbulb put off enough light to start seeds indoors versus the expensive grow lights?

Hardiness Zone: 8a

By Pam from Dallas, TX

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January 28, 20110 found this helpful

You can use the flourescent shop light fixtures purchased from Home Centers or even Walmart. The important part is to use the full spectrum flourescent bulbs. They are much more expensive, but have the proper lighting plants need. Some people have tried using one cool white bulb and one warm light bulb, but the best growth comes from using the full spectrum bulbs.

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January 28, 20110 found this helpful

Yes, it will work well. Just keep the lights only a few inches from the tops of the plants. I have not found the full spectrum bulbs to make that much difference. Set a timer for 16 hours on, 8 hours dark. One other thing that help produce stockier plants is to give them a gentle breeze or even to brush your hand over them a few times a day.

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January 30, 20110 found this helpful

I use the compact full spectrum flourescent bulbs in a regular light fixture and make sure the plants are located near the light. Best of all the full spectrum lights are good for your health too!

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February 1, 20110 found this helpful

Yes, floresent lights work great. Here is what I am doing this year. I have a seeds started by putting them on top of the furnice. The heat from the bottom really makes them take off. But there is no light there. So when the roots have a good start I move them to a large pot that I have plastic bottles in. Then a tray from the large trays of hamburger that people by in the store. The tray is used for drainage. Then the pots with the seedlings on the tray. Then I have small christmas light bulb and a small clip on light on the pot as well. The clip on light has a very small bulb. Then put foil over top of the planter. The Light bounces off the foil and back to the seedlings making them do just fine. When your seeds are on heat with out light, most seeds will still come up. They just wont develop there nice color until introduced to the light. Do not over water. This causes damp off. If seedlings start looking like there going to die. put them back on heat. Even with out the light if need be. Then back to the light after a day or two. Good luck with your seeds.

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