The Grow Light Has Arrived

That was quick! It was only a couple of days ago that I ordered the growlight. To save lots of words, here is a pic of how I have set it up:

2015-05-20 17.21.55

Drat! That tells us little, except that the lamp is situated on top of a cardboard box. OK. Here is another pic which I have just taken:

2015-05-21 01.18.03

That’s better! The curved bits (black) are the outside of the reflector. The lamp vaguely seems to be suspended, but that is a trick of the light. In fact, the ends of the lamp rest on the cardboard.

Needless to say, nothing at all goes smoothly. I switched the light on, but after a while, I noticed that it had switched itself off. At first, I thought that it was just that I had not inserted the two prong connection (visible at the bottom of the pic) correctly, because, when I disconnected it and reconnected it, the light came back on. But the same thing happened again. That is the reason for the jagged cuts in the cardboard. They are to allow increased airflow. I have also cut similar cuts at the bottom edge of one of the sides of the cardboard box. If I can help it, I don’t want the light from the lamp shining all over the room. But I also want the ‘system’ to be easy. The box is on the sideboard, and it is easy to take off the lamp, lift off the box and do what I want with the plants which were covered by the box.

Also, I want to use the lamp all day and all night. I can fit about 15 plants under the box. With 60 plants, that means that each batch of 15 plants can have 6 hours exposure daily. Most specifically, I want to run the lamp through the night. The plants are now getting good natural light through the day. Additional intense exposure through the night cannot but hasten development. Of course, each group will have to take it in turn to be exposed to about 8 hours overnight.

I have emailed the manufacturer/distributor to find out for definite if there is in fact an automatic cut off if the lamp gets hot. I just want to know definitely.

But, although I am looking for benefit from the lamp NOW, its greater potential benefit is in the future. It will help to take the element of ‘chance’ (weather considerations) out of the equation, and give a boost to the plantlets as and when required.

I really like the proposition.

PS. After the vents being cut into the cardboard, the lamp has stayed on for some time now. Perhaps the airflow is now sufficient.

An early night calls…..

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8 Responses to “The Grow Light Has Arrived”

  1. michaeljmcfadden Says:

    “Additional intense exposure through the night cannot but hasten development.”

    You might want to check on that. Imagine I was an Alien and I wanted little Junican to learn his maths faster. Soooo…. I slip a “No Sleep” drug into his food so he can study 24 hours a day.

    Unfortunately the po’ li’l kid goes absolutely bonkers after a week or three… cuz we NEED to have our brain rest.

    Plants *might* be the same.

    Of course I’m the guy who can’t even keep an ornamental cactus alive in a flowerpot.

    – MJM

    • junican Says:

      Just before I head off to bed, me being a human, and not a plant, what we are talking about is ‘responses to stimulants’. I think that it is well known that the more that plants are exposed to stimulants, the faster they grow. But did you not observe my decision to rotate exposure?
      Silly Michael!

      • junican Says:

        Oh… And they’re babies, so they can sleep in the light and wake up scriking like mad, every couple of hours for eats.

  2. Ed Says:

    lol, I think you’ll be ok with tobacco but many plant species dislike a full 24 hour light regimen. Tomatoes are the worst and will get chlorosis (leaves go yellow and die) in about 6-8 weeks from seedlings. Others, like lettuce, will grow much faster on 24 hours.

    From what I read on the fairtrade tobacco forum, a few use a 24 hr light regimen and haven’t had any problems. Maybe this is due to the fact tobacco is a short day flowering plant. Long hours will produce vegetative growth with little stem stretch and lots of leaves, but reduce the hours to 12-14 and the plant will start to stretch and flower.

    In theory, if you used a large growlight (hps or metal halide) you could put a tobacco seedling, or even a rooted side-shoot from the plant on 12 hrs light and it would immediately go into flowering mode and set seed for you indoors. You control their season. Not sure if anyone’s tried that yet 🙂

  3. Ed Says:

    Just to add, I can’t see inside your growbox, but you’ll double the light available if it is white inside. Just cover the insides with white paper or anything reflective if you haven’t already done so.

    • junican Says:

      Damn – just pressed a button and lost my reply!

      I used to use the South facing bedroom window ledge for my seedlings but daughter 2 has pinched that room for her own use! So now I am using my bedroom window ledge, which faces West. That is not ideal since it gets sunlight only in the evening. That is one of the reasons that I bought the growlight.
      I have the seedlings in two separate groups on two trays. So, although I am using the growlight day and night, the trays only spend part of their time in the lightbox. For example, the seedlings which spent the night in the lightbox, then went on the window ledge about 1 pm, and those that were on the window ledge went in the lightbox at that time. About midnight, I’ll swap them back again. Thus, the seedlings spend some time in the dark, some time in daylight and some time in the lightbox.
      Another point is that our interest in the plants lies in the leaves. The more luscious they are the better. That is one of the points that impressed me about your plants – the leaves were so well developed for their age.
      Ah well …. “Proof of pudding….”, I suppose.

      • junican Says:

        That reply was supposed to be to your first comment!

        Thanks for the tip about the white coating inside the box. I am going to put silver foil inside. I get 3 litre wine boxes and the wine is inside strong, silver bags – ideal for the purpose.

  4. Ed Says:

    I hate it when that happens!

    What you’re planning is basically similar to what I did this year. When they got to the plantlet stage and because the weather outside was getting better, the first batch of plants went outside into the cloche during daylight hours, then back indoors under lights in the evening. I did this for around 10 days before they went into the cloche permanently. During this period they were probably getting close to 24 hrs continual light and although 10 days is a relatively short period, they grew massively in this period. I could visibly see this as I had to raise the lights daily and also space them wider apart because the leaves had grown that big and was starting to overlap the plant next to them.

    Yes, the silver bags should work a treat and will reflect a lot of the light back towards the plants.

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