New lighting

Last year I tried to (have Cara) move the plant from the kitchen window to the front window mid-day, but even the back window only gets a couple hours of light in the morning due to neighboring buildings. What I’ve been doing this year so far is putting them under a standard LED (60 W equiv, see early post) after the sun goes down. According to this answer, the plants can be lit for about 12 hours and not encourage flowering (not that this matters, yet). So it should start getting some ambient light maybe around 10 am, but no full sun until 1 or 2, then I can run it under the lamp in the house until midnight or so.

I picked up a couple of the following CFL bulbs from Amazon:


  • Compact fluorescent spiral bulb provides the light you need while reducing energy costs
  • 26-watt/6400k bulb is equivalent to a 130-watt incandescent bulb
  • Produces 1600 lumens and will last an average of 10,000hrs
  • Maximum wattage of 26, color temp 6400K, medium base type, 130-volt
  • This product weighs 0.3-pound
  • 26 watt bulb is equivalent to a 130W incandescent bulb
  • Produces 1600 lumens and will last an average of 10,000 hours

According to this (it’s for cannabis, but I think basil is close enough to share the same preferences),  you can’t get CFLs too close to the plant (as long as it’s not overheating them).

Following the calculation in the previous post

Amazon says this light is equivalent to a 130 W conventional bulb, which would outputs approximately 100 W of total flux. At what distance is the irradiance equal to that of the sun, 1000 W/m^2?

sqrt(100 W / 1000 W/m^2 / 4 / pi) = 3.5 inches.

In the current configuration, the plants are probably 5-7 inches away, so they could be pulled closer but I’m a little afraid of heating. I’ll keep going with the current setup for the time being and see how it goes. The reflector probably helps a little, too.

The plants themselves are looking good. The first set of true leaves are just starting to take off. They look green and healthy.

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