Lighting for the Indoor Aquaponics System

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Growing plants indoors means you will need to provide them some artificial lighting.

For my set-up for now, I have one 4 foot long DuroLux T-5 florescent light fixture hanging.  This is more than enough for a 3 foot x 4 foot grow bed.

T5 Grow Light

This fixture came with four T5 bulbs, chains to hang it, an on/off switch that toggles so you can have 2 or 4 bulbs lit, and a nice, long power cord.  It produces 20,000 lumens.  It also has an outlet on the housing so you can plug another light into it and daisy chain them together, which is handy because you’ll have these on a timer.  Overall, I found this to the best value and it has a 4 Star rating.  It’s $81.99 with Free Amazon Prime Shipping.

The bulbs it came with are 6,500 Kelvin which means they are the right light spectrum for vegetative grown.   The 6,500 Kelvin spectrum basically mimics sunlight during daytime hours and has a slight bluish hue to it.  Leafy greens like lettuce, basil and green onions thrive under these lamps.

I also bought a 5-pack of spare bulbs for when one inevitably burns out.  Again I went with what seemed like the best value and had at least a 4 Star rating:  iPower T5 6400K Grow Light Bulbs, 5-Pack.  These are 6,400 Kelvin bulbs – basically the same thing as the bulbs that came with the DuroLux unit.  They’re rated to last 10,000 hours, so I think I’ll be good on bulbs for a while.  The 5-pack is $22.54 with Free Amazon Prime Shipping.

T5 Bulbs

If you want to grow fruiting veggies like tomatoes or peppers, you’ll want to get bulbs in the 3,000 Kelvin spectrum, like these:  Vivosun 3000K T5 Grow Light Bulbs, 5-Pack.  The 3,000 Kelvin spectrum is a warmer, redder light that promotes fruiting and budding.  $22.95 with Free Amazon Prime Shipping.

Vivosun 3000K

Since I have 2 of the 21 gallon mixing tray beds, I plan on getting another DuroLux fixture so each bed has their own:  one bed for leafy greens and one for fruiting veggies.

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