There are many kinds of incandescent and fluorescent lights on the market While the incandescent bulb is a good source of far-red light, it is deficient in the other colors. Most light gardeners, therefore, use fluorescent lights. There are some 'plant growth' fluorescent tubes that have been developed especially for use in indoor gardens. In general, these lamps reduce the output of yellow-green light and increase the output of red and blue rays, which the plants need. Some gardeners swear by these special fluorescent lamps, while others feel their vegetables do just as well with the help of two standard tubes in tandem, one warm white and one cool white. Do not buy lamps designated white or daylight; these are not adapted for plant growth.
The standard fluorescent light fixture has two, three, or four 4-foot long 40-watt tubes in a reflector—it will light a growing area of 2 x 4 feet Two fixtures mounted parallel to each other will illuminate an area 3 by 4. For a larger area still, 3x8 feet, you can use two 8-foot, two-tube industrial fixtures mounted side by side.
These fixtures come in many sizes and widths to fit different locations. A closet or bookshelf, for instance, can be lighted by narrow, boxlike, channel fixtures (without reflectors). These come in many different lengths and can be mounted according to individual requirements.
There is a wide choice of manufactured units available from most garden centers and from many seed catalogs. These units vary from simple two-bulb fittings to elaborate setups with a dozen or so trays. Some of them are quite well designed, and can double as room dividers or other pieces of furniture. Given that the plants themselves are attractive, an indoor garden can be designed to provide a handsome addition to your room decor.
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