Grow Lights FAQ

a high pressure sodium light is the best choice for flowering plants in my opinion

Got a question about grow lights, or the proper lighting for your garden area? Well, you are in the right spot! In the grow lights FAQ section, I answer all questions to do with proper garden lighting. This includes using HID lights, fluorescent lights, and LED lights, as well as natural sunlight. I will also take any questions on controlling the photo-period to force flowering in your favorite plants (and how to keep them flowering nice and healthy).


Over the years I have put lots of information on lights and proper garden lighting onto this website. Many answers can be found at the bottom of this page. Many other questions can be answered simply by checking out a few pages first. Basic information lighting your indoor garden can be found here. More information on using the various different types can be found on the links below:

High Pressure Sodium
Metal Halide Lights
Fluorescent Lights

If you are not sure what type/size light you need, the light selector tool can walk you step by step through some basic considerations to help give you a better idea. Finally, some very complete instructions on how to manipulate your light cycle (to force flowering in your plants) can be found on my flower forcing page, as well as a few tips that will keep you from messing them up. And for the answers to all of your other questions, simply use the form below....


Do You Have a Lighting Question?

Most lighting questions come from visitors getting ready to start their first indoor garden. Proper lighting is one of four key points necessary for your success. Once your garden is started, however, unanswered questions can become horrible, nagging problems that prevent you from getting the results you want! Believe me, I've been there! Drop me a line and tell me your story....my experience can help you avoid or fix your garden lighting problems.

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Lighting Questions from Other Visitors:

Click below to see questions from other visitors...

LED Grow Lights - horseshit or no horseshit? 
I am attempting to sort out the LED grow light question. With so much info on the web, it's hard to decide. What do you think of LED's? I have come across …

How Long do you Leave
Grow Lights On?
 
We use grow lights, but are not sure if they should be left on 24/7 or turned off in the evening. Please let us know. Answer: Rita- the answer …

Is a 150 w HPS too much for a Broom Closet? 
I am setting up a tiny garden in a 14 x 15 x 60 inch broom closet. It is 1.5 sq.ft and about 7.5 cubic ft. I'm hoping to grow a smallish tomato plant …

LED Grow Lights 
I'm sure you have been asked this question before and I hope you can answer it. I have built your " most successful hydroponic system " and I am using …

Using Grow Lights with Light Rails 
How would you use a light rail? My concerns are- would you jockey extra lights along the length of the rail (my preference) or at right-angles to the …

Flower Forcing in a Hydroponic Garden 
I'd like to say a HUGE thank you to you for your sterling efforts on this website - I have to say it's by far the most accurate and informative hydroponic …

400 Watt Grow Light Bulb with 1000 Watt Ballast 
Can I use a 400 watt grow light bulb with a 1000 watt ballast? Overwhelmed in Cali. Answer: In short, no- a 400 watt grow light bulb is designed …

Timers on Fluorescent Grow Lights 
For fluorescent grow lights, I've read that it is best to use mechanical timers as opposed to digital timers. Supposedly, the electronic ones can sometimes …

What do you think about LED grow lights? 
I'm kind of curious. I'd love to use a high dollar HID setup... BUT... if LED grow lights are just as effective and a lot more efficient (concerning heat …

Hydroponic Grow Lights in the Far North Not rated yet
Jason - coming to you with my problems I feel like your my "shrink". Perhaps you could start a whole new field & call it plant psychology. Anyway "doc", …

Grow Lighting Distance Not rated yet
I'm using "My Best Hydroponic System" and would like to know how far above the plants the lights should be for optimum performance. I have 2- 400 watt …

Can I Use a Fluorescent Grow Light in a Regular Fluorescent Fixture? Not rated yet
I have an outdoor garden which is doing well, but I also want to bring some herbs inside to grow for convenience. I have a small (about 1ft wide) ledge …

Orchid Lighting Not rated yet
Could you give me an idea how much heat a 175w metal halide fixture would give off? I saw your page about airflow and how the self contained ballast units …

Fluorescent Grow Lights Not rated yet
I'm utilizing a closet for my plant (4'x 3') and it gets hot in there. My hygrometer is showing 85 degrees and 60% humidity. Utilizing one intake fan, …

What should my light cycle be for indoor strawberries? Not rated yet
I am just wondering what kind of light cycle I should have for my indoor grown strawberries? Do they need a veg cycle with 18-24 hour of light and the …

Fluorescent Grow Light - Testing the Output Not rated yet
I have heard that fluorescent grow lights loose their efficiency over time. Is there a meter available to test to see if the light is in the correct light …

Using Fluorescent Grow Lights with High Pressure Sodium Grow Lights Not rated yet
Is it beneficial to use both fluorescent grow lights and high pressure sodium grow lights together? Answer: Grizzly D- When I set up an indoor …

Grow Light Question for Germination & Seedlings Not rated yet
I built a PVC frame around 24" x 12" with 4 light sockets that can position the bulb angle (to point down/up or flat)... Right now they're around 1' above …

Light Cycle for my Hydroponic Garden? Not rated yet
I have a 400 watt, 8 pocket hydroponic garden system. I have the clones in there now with a fluorescent light on for 18 hrs. How soon can I put the 400 …

Maximum Area for HPS Grow Lights Not rated yet
I have a 9'x 5' garden area and 2- 600 watt HPS grow lights, and I want to cover the whole area. Is this a good idea? If so, what would the proper spacing …

Metal Halide Grow Light Bulb? Not rated yet
I bought a Metal Halide grow light bulb, 600w, online. How do I know it is indeed a Metal Halide grow bulb? The bulb says "Metal Halide lamp", MH-600w. …

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All of the items that I personally use and recommend!

AffordableGarden Design&Setup

(10 week update below)


Find out the cheapest and easiest ways to garden productively in this article.

Hi everyone, Jason from Jason's Indoor Guide here. When I got started with hydroponic gardening more than 24 years ago, my first garden used rockwool cubes and B.C. Nutrients....and I remember thinking to myself yeah, sure, there may be a lot of advantages to gardening with hydroponics, for example there are very few pest problems, therefore very little pest control, no weeding, no plowing or tilling the soil, no soil testing or having to add things into the garden soil, no watering the garden....but for someone who just wants to grow their own vegetables and have more control over their food supply and the quality of the food that they eat, the cost of constantly having to buy grow media and hydroponic nutrients makes this an expensive hobby for most people...


Epic Nutrient Change



I suppose when you take into consideration how much money you save NOT having to buy food at the grocery store, it is surely cheaper to grow your own food hydroponically even with the cost of high quality nutrients. Nevertheless, I didn't have a whole lot of money to work with and I needed to make my efforts as affordable and effective as possible....and in the last 24 years I HAVE learned a thing or two!

As you browse through Jason's Indoor Guide, you will notice all of the systems that I use personally are homemade systems. As I got 3 or 4 years of experience under my belt, I quickly adopted a preference to standing water systems and systems that use expanded clay pellets or lava rock, because the media is re-usable and it eliminates a huge operating expense. So once a hydroponic system is built, garden maintenance is minimal- check and adjust the nutrient solution daily, and to change it completely every 2 weeks....and the biggest operating cost is the hydroponic nutrients. (and the electric bill, lol)...


Homemade Cloner



And, regarding the cost of the nutrients....I experimented for about 3 years with making different compost teas and nutrient teas, but there is still a lot of expense $$$ associated with making high quality nutrient teas....like kelp meal, liquid seaweed, rock dust, bat guano, un-Sulfured molasses, worm castings. You can eliminate a lot of this expense by becoming an expert at making high-quality colloidal humus compost, and use your properly made compost as the basis of your hydroponic nutrient solution.

Unfortunately, I have been gardening for over 24 years and I have only just recently mastered this difficult skill....and even then, only because I happened to find a very easy to follow, high quality technique and decided to follow the instructions to the letter. I produced more high quality compost in just one week than I was able to use in a whole year! If you can master the technique, I highly recommend it. It is one of the top 3 things you can do to increase the productivity of your food production efforts, while at the same time decreasing the amount of effort required to grow all of your own food, and decreasing the total cost of operating your food production system.

And when I say decrease operating costs, I mean decrease them to almost ZERO, especially if you are producing your own nutrients...



High Efficiency
Hydroponics

The ultimate solution to eliminate the cost of your hydroponic nutrients: Imagine a hydroponic system that does not require you to buy any nutrients, does not require you to make your own compost, and does not require you to brew your own nutrient tea. Seriously! No cost and no effort as far as providing nutrients to your plants! Plus, at the end of the gardening cycle you harvest all of your garden vegetables, PLUS YOU HARVEST FISH from the system--->

Aquaponics

Click Here to learn more!

This solution is aquaponics. If you are serious about producing all of your own food and being self-sufficient, this is the ultimate solution for reducing expenses (as much as possible), reducing the total amount of work required, and maximizing the productivity of your gardening efforts. I have been gardening for over 24 years, and it is the perfect food production solution in my opinion.


Produce garnden vegetables AND fish together. Eliminate fertilizer costs!

Besides mastering how to make high quality compost, learning aquaponics is one of the top 3 things you can do to increase your garden productivity, reduce your total costs, and reduce your total work. The product that I learned from is called Aquaponics4you. With all of my hydroponic gardening experience, the first time I came across the Aquaponics4you product I knew immediately that it was something very special! Place an aquaponics system outdoors and use the sun instead of grow lights, and you have reduced every garden expense to nearly ZERO!



The Same System/ 10 Weeks Later!




If you've found this site helpful at all, I would really appreciate it