Tuesday, March 5, 2013

T5's or T12's? ~ That is the Question

   The season is almost here. Last year I had green peppers in September, but they were suppose to be red. I clipped them all before the first frost and finished what ones would finish on the windowsill. During this Winter I had looked more into peppers and it seems that i should have started my seed much sooner than i did last year.
    So this Spring I decided to step my game up and get a nice setup for seedlings and propigation. ( Last year was a 2ft Walmart "grolite" resting on bookstacks. ) Now I've done a fair share of smoking pot in my day, so I found myself looking at Home Depot/Lowe's ( T12 and T8's ) vs. the Pot Grower's ( T5's ). Right off the bat, the first thing you notice is the price....I mean you can get a 4 banger of 4 foot T12's ....hood lights and all for around $60 - $80. And the T5's - it's almost $40 for just the bulbs...4ft lights are $30 each and the 4 bangers go for in the hundereds for some of them....my question is WHY the difference?

     It ends up that from what I've read ( I only researched to I satisfied my own interests, if you were looking fdor a dissertation...move along )  the T12 and T8's in the gro lights convert less of the used energy into lumens for growing and more gets converted into heat. Whereas the T5's are more efficent and convert more energy into lumens and have a lesser heat signature. ( Similar to gardening the Pot Grower's also need the lights to be just shy of touching the veg to stimulate growth.

     So end result is T5's = more light stpectrum and less heat sig. Thats why the costs are much more than the T12's and T8's. Worth the invertment????? Gotta decide that one for yourself.

     So I searched out prices and at the end of the day I spent almost $200.00 at a place called Atlantis Hydroponics . I dont want to waste my time each Spring with homemade bullshit trying to McGiver my light set ups.... so I bought seedling Warming Mats.

and this company called ViaGro has really cool T5 light stands ( almost look like the partitions inside a file cabinent ). On one side they will fit perfectly to a 2 inch domed propigation tray, then once they exceed that height you flip them around and they fit over a 6 or 7 inch tray .
So....I'm jacked, stacked and ready to go....next Monday I'm plugging in the warming mat and in go the Chocolate Bell Peppers. I'm gonna give these babies a good 8- 10 week head start indoors.

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