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Thread: Do cfl lights have to be close to the plants always?

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    jiggsaw's Avatar
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    Do cfl lights have to be close to the plants always?

    I have 12 26w 100w equivalent 6500k cfl's. I have them connected to y connectors on 2 power strips. They are hanging down really close , like 3 inches from my plants. Do they always have to be really close? My plant is so small right now it seems like only one light would work. The whole grow box is painted flat white until I buy some mylar. The box is like 2 feet deep 4feet wide and six feet tall.

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    Yes, put them as close as you can without touching leaves.They can burn the leaves if bulbs touch. Also when i am starting young plants out in my grow area . I use one of those Window blind thingy's you use for a car windshield( they are like a buck at the dollars store).I place it around the young plant .To keep light close to them and keep the intensity and lumens up. I just feel there is no sense lighting the complete grow room. I guess what i am saying is i try focus all the light just on the young plants. CFL are good for starting plants, they have low heat.As they get bigger you will need to add more, Then switch to the 2600k-3000k bulbs for flowering.To get great yield you will need many bulbs( depending on the number of plants you are growing) and keep them close. might want to look at getting small hps. I started out flowering with 70 watt hps and cfl 2600k. Had better results. Then i moved up to 150 watt hps mixed with cfl's,Even better results. I now use mostly hps, but still use cfl's for side lighting. Here is a link these are the best for flowing.They are big though like 10 inches long and 4 inches across. you can get them at lowes and home depot. I have used 4 along with my 6500k veg bulbs and flowered a plant just fine.
    Shop Utilitech 300-Watt Equivalent Indoor/Outdoor Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb at Lowes.com
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    Here is my plant grown under a 23 watt CFL:
    Do cfl lights have to be close to the plants always?-nlbb18.jpg

    And here is my latest grown under a 3 watt LED:
    Do cfl lights have to be close to the plants always?-3w-train.jpg

    The trick is not closeness or the number of bulbs, but in gathering and focusing the photons. Remember that light travels the entire distance of the universe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jiggsaw View Post
    I have 12 26w 100w equivalent 6500k cfl's. I have them connected to y connectors on 2 power strips. They are hanging down really close , like 3 inches from my plants. Do they always have to be really close? My plant is so small right now it seems like only one light would work. The whole grow box is painted flat white until I buy some mylar. The box is like 2 feet deep 4feet wide and six feet tall.
    You're better off with just the flat white paint.... The Mylar would be an extra unnecessary step....

    6-8 inches is ok distance for a group of CFL's.... It's when you only have a couple that you want them really close....

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    Note 23w vs. 3w. I bet that little one would look awesome with 23w of LED! Also note that light diminishes exponentially the further it travels. Why? Because light does not travel linearly but in all directions at once. So double the distance of light to the plants is not 2x less light but the distance raised to the third... I think that is the equation...
    Last edited by bigsby; Nov-20-2011 at 09:04.

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    That's crazy 3w! I have just one growing now , I'm trying to get a white widow seed to bust it's been in a paper towel since thursday night I will probably add another seed. The one is growing pretty nice it's only like 1 week old . I'm going to grow all these with cfls I already bought all the wires and sockets and bulbs and junk. Next time I will use 400w hps and mh and compare. I spent allot of time going to all the lowe's and home depot's and walmarts to get everything I needed I went to 5 stores looking for high output 6500k. I could barely find a 6500k I got these at walmart for 9 bux for two! I found some high output 2700k's for flower though. I found a HUGE bulb at home depot it might be too big but it's 4200 lumens by itself 2700k it cost 16 dollars, it fits a standard light socket too. I found a 55w 2700k at walmart for like 10 dollars a bulb too. I bought 4 of those and 8 26w ones for flower. I didn't buy that big one but I still might.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigsby View Post
    Note 23w vs. 3w. I bet that little one would look awesome with 23w of LED! Also note that light diminishes exponentially the further it travels. Why? Because light does not travel linearly but in all directions at once. So double the distance of light to the plants is not 2x less light but the distance raised to the third... I think that is the equation...
    That is only true with a point or 360 degree light source not all light sources.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jiggsaw View Post
    That's crazy 3w! I have just one growing now , I'm trying to get a white widow seed to bust it's been in a paper towel since thursday night I will probably add another seed. The one is growing pretty nice it's only like 1 week old . I'm going to grow all these with cfls I already bought all the wires and sockets and bulbs and junk. Next time I will use 400w hps and mh and compare. I spent allot of time going to all the lowe's and home depot's and walmarts to get everything I needed I went to 5 stores looking for high output 6500k. I could barely find a 6500k I got these at walmart for 9 bux for two! I found some high output 2700k's for flower though. I found a HUGE bulb at home depot it might be too big but it's 4200 lumens by itself 2700k it cost 16 dollars, it fits a standard light socket too. I found a 55w 2700k at walmart for like 10 dollars a bulb too. I bought 4 of those and 8 26w ones for flower. I didn't buy that big one but I still might.
    The plant in the 23w CFL image was grown under a warm 2700K CFL. There is plenty of blue light in all CFL spectrums for a healthy plant. There is no need to switch spectrums on fluoros. That is a holdover myth from MH and HPS where MH is deficient in red and HPS is deficient in blue.

    If you search for cool vs. warm CFL spectral graphs you will see a slight amount more of blue (though only 10% is necessary) in cool and a lot more green. Not much difference to a plant. Just remember that we do not switch suns halfway through outdoor growing.

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    I have always used mh and hps through a complete grow, as well as both 6500k and 2700k cfls as side lighting.I always yeild great. Last run of Sweet seeds S.A.D. Averaged around 2 ounces a plant in 9 weeks.

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    I burned the shit out of my plant , the cfl's were way too close. I had them like this Sunday but I had a fan blowing on it then I put two exhaust fans and no intake just a fan blowing around inside the box to create pressure. I only did it for an hour but it burned the tips of a few leaves. The plant was only a week old. this pic is how it burned. The plant hasn't stopped growing at all though lol its a strong ass plant. it doubled this size since monday. BEFORE
    Do cfl lights have to be close to the plants always?-1121112007.jpg

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    cfl veg.

    This trainwreck seedling has been under two CFL light since sprouting, on a 24 hr light schedule. It's been about three weeks and I'm now putting it under a 250 watt hps light with a schedule of 18/6. I had them in a twenty gallon storage bin with a lid, I had the CFLs ran through the top of the lid so they Hung down over them. My lights wer e always only about six or seven inches from the plants, I had four or five other seedlings in there. I was not expecting to have these results, I didn't even expect the seeds to even sprout, they did, then they took off. I'm very impressed so I think I might acquire some more seeds somehow, and start more little monsters.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Do cfl lights have to be close to the plants always?-imag0424.jpg   Do cfl lights have to be close to the plants always?-imag0425.jpg  
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    I have never burn a plant with a cfl inless it was touching a leaf . From the picture you posted , that didstance is just about right. Are you sure it is not nute burn or somthing? Or heat stress?

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    Just back off the lights and ''suck'' the air out. Its ok to have a fan moving air, but not right at the plant,

    LSY
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    Quote Originally Posted by LetsSeeYa View Post
    Just back off the lights and ''suck'' the air out. Its ok to have a fan moving air, but not right at the plant,

    LSY
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    Last edited by GaGrown; Nov-26-2011 at 18:31.
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    My 1st CFL set up

    This set up was simple and cheap and i gotta very nice grow for my first indoor grow. I like using CFL's ya just need to keep an eye on the plants so they dont grow into the lights but ya need em close, but not touching them. And like i said moving air is good, but sucking the heat out gets er done man. I put the lights above then broke down card board box's planted white and just kept them tight around the plants with a cut out for a small fan to suck out heat.

    I hope this helps......



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    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Do cfl lights have to be close to the plants always?-set-up.jpg  
    Last edited by LetsSeeYa; Nov-26-2011 at 18:51.
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    I backed the lights up and added a good intake , the plant is growing nicely now. The soil seems ok I'm buying fox farms to re-pot though. I think the heat built up around the light because I didn't have an intake and it burned a whole leaf off and the round leaves. It happened within a hour so I know it was the lights.1126111948.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by jiggsaw View Post
    I backed the lights up and added a good intake , the plant is growing nicely now. The soil seems ok I'm buying fox farms to re-pot though. I think the heat built up around the light because I didn't have an intake and it burned a whole leaf off and the round leaves. It happened within a hour so I know it was the lights.1126111948.jpg
    Looks ok to me, but dont bring air in if your not taking the ''hot'' air out, thats what ya need. And the little round leaf is just not needed anymore, it feeds the seedling. Just fill the cup with roots before re potting, see my Sig for a easy re pot tip, it may help, there are pic's and real time as you see the plant lift its leaves right up after getting attacked by bugs. Harvest was nice as i finished it inside.

    Intake isn't going to take heat out, only give fresh air to your plant. If anything put your intake at the bottom and pull the heat from the top. And you only need one or two CFL's for that plant at this time. More will only stress it out.


    LSY
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    Thanks for the info. The fan is a cpu fan I have three One at the bottom blowing in, and two inside dryer ducts at the top of the box adjustable. The box is an armoire. I have 12 lights on three plants.

  22. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by RackitMan View Post
    Here is my plant grown under a 23 watt CFL:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    And here is my latest grown under a 3 watt LED:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The trick is not closeness or the number of bulbs, but in gathering and focusing the photons. Remember that light travels the entire distance of the universe.
    WOW!!! a 20 watt diff n virtually the same results! Is this at the same stage/week? If so, that's nothin short of amazing.

  23. #22
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    yo guys just said id add my toughts on this.. im a cfl grower myself. wow 12x26watt thats alot 312watt in total=1200watt equivlant you would run a 250watt hps cheaper than that plus your grow space aint that big so why so many lights? how many plants ya growing?? my grow space is nearly the same size as yours jiggsaw and im only running 5 x 26 watt cfl. 3 are 2700k and 2 are 6400k i find a mixed spectrum is better for veg and flowering ive used the same bulbs for both stages..my temps are usually around 30 degrees and thats wit just 5 cfls and you have 12 so your temps are goin to be alot higher and its a bad idea to point your fans dicretly at the plants because all your doin is blowing hot air at them witch will cause heat stress and stunt growing and decrease yeild. also i keep my bulbs 2 inch from my flowering tips witout burning them the results are much better. my plants are in week 4 of flower today and there are only 6 weeks old in total i only veged for 2 weeks before switching 12/12 because of space.. here ia a few picts of the ladies so far..Do cfl lights have to be close to the plants always?-dscf4191.jpgDo cfl lights have to be close to the plants always?-dscf4197.jpgDo cfl lights have to be close to the plants always?-dscf4195.jpgDo cfl lights have to be close to the plants always?-dscf4207.jpg peace out and happy growing
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    Yeah dude they look great but it's all about lumens in flower. No disrespect but your yield is gonna suffer if you only have 5 lights. I calculated the lumens per sq foot on my first grow. I'm just at the threshold where I would be wasting money if I used anymore bulbs. For more than two plants , I would have to upgrade to hid or led. But for just two in a small space these bulbs are perfect. Check out my new grow, I keep it updated . My yield is gonna be awesome I hope, I'm thinking like 3oz dry on one plant. That's not anything to brag about , I know outdoor plants get like 1 lb per plant. But for indoor with little investment, like less than 100 bucks, it's not bad.

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    For my first grow , I was writing things down and asking google all kinds of questions. Like how to measure sq feet lol. All I know is how to measure , but there's allot of free calculators for sq feet online. And there's a lumens guide in this forum somewhere. I did allot of research and this is my 2nd grow I just followed the basic outline of my last grow. The only difference now is I'm using a closet instead of a armoire. The lumens are off a little but I calculated for max lumens anyways so I'm still in the healthy range.

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