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  • Grow Light for Hobby Garden

    Created by Jack L. on

    Hello! I am a complete beginner to the indoor growing hobby and I would like to grow some plants in my bedroom (some chamomile flowers, melissa, lavender, and potentially some other flowers like helichrysum, geranium, jasmine, etc. In the future, I might potentially want to grow some herbs like basil.). I would like to buy the cheapest possible grow light that could do a very good job at growing these plants well and keep them healthy. I was originally looking at some fluorescent lighting, but I read one of your articles which said that I might have to keep the lights on all day long (wouldn’t work because it is in my bedroom and I like to sleep in the dark!). I also read that HPS lighting is the best for flowers, so then I was looking at your Old School Kit. I don’t want to spend too much money on the lights, but I want to get decent results, so what would you recommend for someone on a budget (I don’t want to be too cheap and get a light that won’t grow the plants though obviously!)

    Some other information:
    The indoor garden won’t be very big, maybe 3ft???

    Thank you,

  • Author
  • #208698

    Eric Vinje

    Hi Jack,

    Lucky for you, one of the most effective lights for what you want to do is also one of the most cost effective options for indoor growing! The Jump Start T5 Grow Light System will provide all the light that you need for growing flowers and herbs. It comes with a high output T5 fluorescent bulb, a light fixture that plugs into a normal wall outlet, and a stand which allows you to raise the light up as the plants grow.

    The T5 bulb is designed with enough output to supply plants with adequate light for as little as 12 hours per day (the minimum light requirement for most plants). However, no matter the bulb you decide to use, 12 hours will not be enough light for pre-flowering plant growth phases. You will need to have the light on for 14 to 18 hours per day until your plants begin to flower. If you want to, you can induce flowering by providing just 12 hours of light later on, but doing so is not necessary for plants to flower, it is more or less like a trigger. That being said, an HPS bulb or a bulb which provides more colors on the red spectrum will boost the flowering of any plant.

    The space you are working with is not large enough to support the amount of light you would receive from an HPS bulb and ballast system (not to mention the expense), the T5 system accepts warm (red) fluorescent bulbs meant for flowering. These bulbs are sold separately but are only slightly more expensive than the standard replacement bulbs (the one that comes with the T5 system).

    For your set up I would recommend the 4 foot Jump Start T5 System, a timer for consistent light duration, a Hot House Kit (everything you need for seed starting besides potting soil), and a 4 foot T5 warm bulb for flowering later on. Below are links to those products.


    Good luck!

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