Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Plant starting continues

I've been reading online about seed-starting lights.

We have the typical 4-foot fluorescent shop lights, with a mix of grow, warm and cool bulbs. Most experts say a mix of warm and cool bulbs are fine for starting plants – the more expensive grow lights are not needed. C. says she is skeptical, but I'll go for it. I do like to save the money. Anyway, these experts go on to say that the bulbs need to be new every year, as older bulbs put out reduced light. And while humans don't notice that, plants do. Now I'm skeptical, since I do like to save the money. But you can't have it both ways, can you? And all those seedlings are vital to our budget and our fall diet of tomato sandwiches with Asiago cheese, sizzled under the broiler.

Some of our bulbs are 10 years old. OK, I'm lying. Some are probably 20. So I looked for a deal on new bulbs, with an eye to switching to LEDs, if it was affordable. We've been swapping out the incandescent floodlights in our third-grade homeroom with LED floodlights on super-sale from Costco, and they are great. Brighter, cheap, and long-lived. LEDs are good.

And I found this site that recommends a smart solution – LED bulbs that fit the old shop-light fixtures. They're about $10 bucks a pop. I just ordered four from Amazon. Supposedly you can just pop the bulbs in, and go. But if you rewire the fixture to bypass the ballast, you save some money in operating costs. Reviewers say the rewiring is easy. We'll see!

I've been working on cleaning up the gym a bit. Yesterday I got sidetracked by a pile of old trash and tires outside the garage door on the gym. Big ugly mess. Shattered plastic is everywhere. I did the best I could without resorting to tweezers. I'll go give it a little more work.

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