How to install CFL grow lights in the grow room

Beginning your new indoor garden or setting up your hydroponic growing system is exciting. You’re probably keen to start nurturing your plants as if they were your kids. You’ve shopped around and bought the grow tent but now where do you start?

How do you create a growing environment that's going to be efficient and effective?

Having decided to use CFL grow bulb as the sun replacement the first question novices usually ask is about how a grow light can be properly installed in the grow room. You can breathe a sigh of relief as it is not the most difficult task, but without guidance it can be confusing.
The major advantage CFLs have over the other kinds of bulbs that some indoor gardeners use is that they can be plugged straight into conventional plug sockets.

Another advantage derives from the fact that CFLs can be bought in many different shapes and sizes. This means that they can be customised in whatever way is necessary to fit your growing set up. As with everything planning is the key to success. You need to think about the best way to shine the CFL lights on your plants to get the best crops.

Where CFLs should be placed for the best effect is linked to the fact that their light is emitted from all angles of the bulb. Having understood that you need to think about how to get the most light pointing in the direction of the plants.


Use a Light Reflector

Then place some “cool white” CFL bulbs 6500°K  - in light fixtures that can be adjusted and ideally with a reflector so that the most light can be directed on to the plants. If you are wondering what fixtures may be suitable then standard shop light structures work well and can easily be moved to focus the light where it is most needed.

Because you are using CFL bulbs which are not hot enough to burn the plants you can adjust the fixtures so the bulb is between two and six inches from each plant. The light should be targeted  directly on to the leaves. Enough bulbs should be used so the light is shining over the plants in their entirety.

Give the plants the right amount of light

Vegetative phase: 18hrs / day
Flowering phase: 12hrs / day

Autoflowering: 18hrs / day for all life cycle

Each day, aim to switch the lights off and on at the same time. Try using an automatic timer for the very best results. 

As the plants grow adjust the lights, ensuring the light bulbs do not touch the plants. Keep up the two to six inch distance between the plant and the light.

Regularly study your plants to check they are growing healthily. Plants with long stems and smaller pale leaves require more light. If this is the case then increase the wattage of the bulb or add more of them.
Always aim to have as much of each bulb's light pointing at your plants as is possible. If you use  spiral CFLs you may find a significant proportion of light is coming off the sides instead of the front. In cases like this you may find aligning the sides to face the plants is better than a more conventional top-down arrangement.

As mentioned before, to capture as much light and direct it back at the plant consider using reflectors to harness all the wasted light and redirect it to help the plants grow.