Thursday, November 22, 2012

Indoor Lighting: How much is enough?

Indoor Lighting: How much is enough?

  I've been wanting to do more intense growing, and get away from plants that only need indirect lighting. If I want to get a set up that can grow plants that require more light, I'll need to know a few things.

  Space for gardening
  Lighting fixtures

  Precise humidity control

  Space to develop a garden
  First of all, I live in an apartment. I have a stepson and wife as well, so I can not use an entire room. Currently I have a table in front of my sliding glass door. This table holds my plants. The table is a little full, but with some organization I can clear some space.
 Second, I have a 15 gallon fish tank that I have been holding onto. I can clear enough space off the table to hold the tank. So I will use the tank to hold my plants, and it will make sense later why I chose to use an aquarium.

Lighting fixtures
  How much lighting would I need to light up this tank? That all depends on the type of plants I will be growing.

 High Light Plants: around 40 watts of light per square foot.
 Low Light Plants: around 25 to 30 watts of light per square foot.

 Great! So how much square feet do I have? Use this formula:

  Width (in feet) x Depth (in feet) = Square feet

 I have 2 x 1 = 2 square feet of growing space.
For high level plants I will need 80 watts total, and 50-60 watts for low light plants.

Humidity Control
In an aquarium this is rather easy. There are lids to fish tanks, that can hold humidity around 90 to 100% pretty easily. I'll be using an Aqueon Versa Top. They fit very well into a tank. If you do an aquarium garden, and need to control the humidity well, I would pick up a Versa Top. The other reason why I want a fairly tight sealing lid, specifically the one mentioned previously, is that it keeps all the moisture away from the lights. So I do not have to worry about a fire or anything while I go out during the day.

And that is it. The math is pretty easy to figure out how much light you will need. I hope that I helped you answer any questions. If you are looking to start up an indoor garden, let me know. I would love to see or hear about your set up, and what plants you are going to grow.

 Thanks for reading,
     Garrett.

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