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Author Topic: Grow Lights  (Read 5639 times)

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  • Guest
Grow Lights
« on: December 16, 2008, 08:49:55 AM »
I have had a morbid year emotionally.  I won't go into all of the gory details but lets just say that I got as far as keeping a rope by my bed, choosing a park, a tree, and scouting out a branch this fall. 

Outside, its abysmal - everything is dead looking and we just had a cold snap with snow and ice. Our apartment has always been so dark that even in the summertime, you have to turn on the lights during the daytime.  It has driven me nuts for years but especially around Christmas time. My sleep patterns always get wacky during the winter and this usually goes on until mid-February when the cherry trees bloom again. Seattle is dark, damp, and depressing for most of the year.

Ten days ago, I couldn't sleep so I reorganized the apartment and hung up some 4-ft T-5 grow lights in the living room (http://www.plantlightinghydroponics.com/sun-blaze-54w-4ft-t5-fluorescent-strip-light-p-2062.html).  I set the lights on a timer for a 16 hour day and planted some basil seeds that I had.  Then I went out front and dragged in all of my large potted plants that normally struggle through the winter and put them under the lights.  Well, the basil is popping up, my rose bush is putting out leaves, the rosemary smells great, and I'm waiting for the lettuce and forget-me-nots to pop up.  Inside, its so bright and green that I handed my roommate some sunglasses the day he came home to find the lights up in the living room :).  I'm really enjoying being inside now because it feels like summer and I notice when the lights go off at 10 p.m., I feel tired.  Even the roommate noticed the difference last week when he commented that he kept waiting for it to get dark outside (while playing a video game) until he looked at the clock and realized that the sun had set 4 hours before. 

If you're having a rough winter (and who isn't), in addition to a therapist, exercise, and antidepressants, I heartily recommend some grow lights to knock out those winter blues. 

Offline mecch

  • Member
  • Posts: 13,382
  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Grow Lights
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2008, 09:28:35 AM »
I saw those "light therapy" things in the local home improvement shop but they were hundreds of dollars and you have to sit close to it. Grow lights, hmm very clever!  Your roommate is lovely to adapt to your decor change!  Who will pay the electricity?  Watch out, eventually you can have a big fly problem - friends got this when they grew pot indoors.
I put very bright economy bulbs in all my lamps, and bought more lamps.  I turn everything on when the sun sets. They start off dim but then get very bright, its like a new dawn! I remove the lamp shades.  Its a big waste of energy but those bulbs are supposed to be very economical so... At the end of the evening I turn it all way down and light lots of candles. I'm nuts. I feel like Norma Desmond. But I think Sustiva drove me crazy for about 2 months, cause I'm feeling a bit grounded again now that I switched off it. Anytime of anyday, my mood can dip for 5 minutes, extremely low, like I want to cry, and then it rebounds.  I am trying to ride my bike up steep hills every day.  All the muscles work fine.  At night, however, resting, I feel the HAART medication.  I will go up high in the mountains for 2 weeks soon, to be in the sun and ski.  Its very cold and bright white and clean - when I am up there, I feel renewal is possible.  In the city it still feels like a grind. I can't say its "standby", since I have changed so quickly in so little time. Its more like - I'm not drowning.  When I had viral loads in millions I cant say I had opportunistic infections, i just felt completely wiped out.  I think for many people, and for me, HAART renews energy.  Now I wish I lived in a greenhouse, the desert house version - a bit dry and a bit cool, with majestic desert palms inside, and snow on the ground in the gardens.  Or Liza Minnelli's white marble, mirrored and floor-to-ceiling windowed apartment.  Its been a crappy year for me too and I hope for you and me and everyone that 2009 will improve things. It has to improve if we keep working at it. 
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx


  • Guest
Re: Grow Lights
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2008, 09:47:20 AM »
The four lights combined use 200 watts and easily cover a 4'x4' area.  The computer I turned off (it ran 24/7) had a 350 watt power source so I won't expect to see any difference in the light bill.  The lights cost me a grand total of $125 for all four (you can find cheaper online).  And these are the lights that we use here in the medical marijuana gardens to start plants and we don't have bug issues (unless you bring in some spider mites).  You can't grow trees or large bushes under these but you can definitely grow lettuce, peppers, basil, etc. and get full spectrum light for cheap. 

These are radically cheaper than those light therapy devices plus I wanted to garden.  Last year I spent about 8 hours a day working in medical marijuana basements with about 5,000 watts of light and large plants and got very spoiled.  It was winter outside but I was inside working in board-shorts and flip-flops.

I told the roommate that I was going to start some more plants up and then plant some pot since he doesn't know what it looks like nor could he tell it apart from basil.  He just smiled and said, "plausible denial" and went back to his video game.  (he's the only one in the gang who doesn't have a medical marijuana letter)

Offline Gary85741

  • Member
  • Posts: 197
  • Native Virginian living in Tucson AZ
    • Good guy, good heart
Re: Grow Lights
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2008, 08:24:25 AM »

Sure sounds like SAD...seasonal affective disorder.  The lack of sunlight and shorter days affect many people I think.  Grow lights as you have said can make a real improvement.  Anyway that's not an issue here in Arizona  ;)
Poz since '89. 
Current regimen: Rescriptor, Emtriva, Kaletra, Invirase, Acyclovir, Lisinopril, Lipitor, Prilosec, Valium, Testim, Nandrolone, Loperamidr, Marinol.

Offline AndyArrow

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,196
Re: Grow Lights
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2008, 02:50:51 AM »
I'm glad you found a solution that works for you (and one that I think could help a lot of others too).

Personally, I like the weather in places like Seattle (fav US city) or London (fav Intl city).  Sunny days & Winter just don't go together -- but what do you expect from a guy from Chicago.  We only have Winter & Summer out here.

Enjoy the grow lights & the extra special basil!
It is not the arrival that matters.  It is the journey along the way. -- Michel Montaigne

Offline skeebo1969

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,873
Re: Grow Lights
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2008, 07:46:26 AM »

  This thread is getting me very depressed because I cannot grow a special garden.

    Last year I spent about 8 hours a day working in medical marijuana basements with about 5,000 watts of light and large plants and got very spoiled.    

  Do they have any job openings?
I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline BT65

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  • Member
  • Posts: 10,785
Re: Grow Lights
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2008, 09:15:17 AM »
Being raised in Southern Michigan, and now living in Northern Indiana, you'd think I would be used to grey winter days.  But I absolutely hate them.  I never have and never will be used to them nor like them.  During the winter I keep every light on in my apartment until I retire for the night.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

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  • Guest
Re: Grow Lights
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2008, 10:24:43 AM »
I grew up in Ft. Wayne.  I also used to live in Florida, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.  I start feeling the light shift in late August and when the clocks change in October, I go extra gloomy.  SAD does not even begin to describe the way I feel, its more like a Bergman film on steroids. My goal is to move to LA this next year and be done with these short, damp days.  There is no surfing here in Seattle and the Mexican food sucks.  However, I have learned to identify 51 shades of grey and 16 species of mold.

Its wonderfully weird to walk outside and see nothing but snow and ice from the storm and then walk back inside to bright light and basil sprouting up. 


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