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Using CFL Grow Lights - Best Practices

By Jason Bykalo

Cfl grow lights, or compact fluorescent grow lights, are popular lighting choices among indoor home gardeners. The lights are widely available and relatively inexpensive, and are compatible in standard sockets. In addition, they provide a kind of lighting that other bulbs do not.

Compact or cfl lights are very good choices for the kinds of gardening, including large scale indoor growing-projects, that need lighting to produce little heat but a lot of light. The cfl light produces almost no heat, especially impressive considering the fact that the bulb produces more light than does the standard full-size fluorescent bulb.

The successful large-scale growing operation requires a lot of planning and expertise on the part of the indoor gardener. A variety of variables, such as cost, efficiency, and the amount of light and heat necessary for the operation must all be accounted for. With cfl grow lights, you can light your growing operation with maximum efficiency while keeping overhead costs low.

Using cfl lights can have its disadvantages, but a good gardener can correct for these. Less expensive than their full-sized counterparts, they can also be less efficient. There are several things you can do to optimize their efficiency.

Adding a reflector can help direct the beam to the locations where it is most needed. Line up your lamps with the cycles of your growing operation, and place the bulbs closer to the plants to increase the penetration of the light. By following these practices, you can correct for the inefficiency of the bulbs while still reaping the benefits of the lower prices.

CFL grow lights also offer a range of tints within the spectrum, allowing growers to achieve a true, uncompromised green in the plants they grow. When used correctly, compact fluorescent grow lights offer many advantages beyond their low price.

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