I live in zone8. I have a few plants I've been experimenting with. I broke a few stems off a friends tropical flowering plant they got at Home Depot, and have been propagating them successfully, but they'll have to come in for the winter. I also have a lemon tree I grew from a seed at the bottom of a cup of Sonic tea. It's doing well, and I put it out this summer, but I'll have to bring it back in for the winter as well. The leaves on it have gotten a lot yellower, where they were a pretty green from when it sprouted March-before-last, till when I put it out this spring.
Anyway, I've been looking around at lighting options. I don't have room for some massive system. I'm not looking to completely replicate the outdoors, just make them comfortable and healthy till I can put them back outside next year. My bedroom stays a comfortably warm temp, but the lighting is moderate to dim, even with two windows. One each faces west and south. I have been putting plants under the south facing window and they do pretty well. I have a lamp on the dresser beside that window I leave on from about 6:45am to 10-11pm. I put the smaller plants under this light.
I'm just learning about the light requirements and I know that ideally you have a 6500k and something around 2100k for the red and blue spectrums. I looked this morning and the bulb in the lamp is a 5500k CFL. I saw a guy on youtube who had some setup where he could get two bulbs in a single clamp reflector hood. He put a 6500k and a 2700k in each hood. I'd like to know how to get two bulbs in one shade, but he would hang one shade over each group of seedlings or smaller plants, or he'd surround a larger plant with multiples of these.
I have a small area of floor space clear under a wall mounted dvd shelf. I think I could easily clamp a reflector to the bottom self and direct one of these duel bulb reflectors at the floor, where I'd set the wintering plants. They're all roughly the same height. I feel like even if two bulbs aren't ideal, that they'd still be a huge improvement over one window and a lamp. I still worry I'll come home to find that my plants have been knocked out of the way and my cat is lying under the 'sun' bulbs, but that's another problem. I'm considering replicating the same set up on my dresser for my year round indoor succulents and tillandsia. I can also probably set my orchids at the fringes and get them good light as well.
Does this two bulb setup sound like it would be okay for keeping the plants alive and healthy through the winter, when I'm not trying to get anything to put on massive growth or flower, or do I need more? By winter I mean that it's now 10/9/2015 and I'll have to bring them in anytime between now and the first week in November. I won't be able to put them back out till the end of April or the beginning of May. I might be able to put them out a little sooner, but would have to keep an eye on the temp. Also, I haven't found out much about the wattage and how it affects the plants. I've seen that you need to use the 6500k and the 2?00k, but I've found both of those in multiple wattages. Thanks for the help with this.
Again, I'm just trying to keep them healthy over the winter, not put on growth or flowers. I'm also not going to buy pricey and hot HID bulbs. I figure CFL's are cheap, compact, and safe to leave on in my room unsupervised. Thanks again.