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Extending The Growing Season with L.E.D. Grow Lights

LEDdynamics EverGrōT8 lights provide a longer growing season for lettuce sprouts and seedlings of Australian finger limes and fig trees in the greenhouse. Photo: Sylvie Singh-Lamy.

George Harvey

One of the nice things about the apartment where I live is the fact everyone here can take a share in the garden. Raspberries, squash, kale, lettuce, and a variety of other plants all grow on the small property. Pole beans climb round towers made of the steel wire mesh normally used for concrete. Tomatoes living in similar structures grow over eight feet tall.

The property is small, so we grow plants in pots in the driveway and parking places all summer, and they can be moved to stay out of the cold. We have citrus and fig trees bearing fruit. In the spring and fall, they live in the greenhouse.

In the winter, plants that need warmth come inside. Ripening calamondins turn orange, making the tree look festive for the holidays and putting thoughts of calamondin marmalade in our heads. But aside from that, past winters have been slow times.

This year, I had the really good fortune to get some EverGrōT8 grow lights from LEDdynamics. A few weeks ago, I planted two varieties of lettuce under them, and I had the first sweet leaves of them today. The success of that project makes me think I could keep myself in fresh produce all winter rather easily.

In years past, when I lived in a house with several windows with good southern exposure, I started onions, tomatoes, brassicas, and even watercress from seed for spring transplanting to the garden. This winter, I will probably also sprout some fig trees. I have found that potted fig trees are wonderful gifts for people who like plants.

Suddenly, I find myself really looking forward to winter. The LEDdynamics grow lights are not just what I wanted. They are better than I hoped.

The first thing I noticed about them was their weight and feel. The tubes are not made of glass and are not filled with the poisonous chemicals that could be released from broken fluorescent tubes, so the LED grow lights give me a feeling of safety. They also are very light, which makes them easier to install. I put mine under a shelf in my pantry, illuminating plant boxes on the shelf below.

The lights are engineered to grow plants. This means that the light they emit is in a spectra designed to support growth. There are two colors available: white and violet, which is what I have, in multiple spectra. The lights are specifically designed to operate in humid environments, which is important when they are to be right over plants that get watered every day.

The lights have low power consumption. They operate on a standard household current, and at 17 watts, they provide a savings said to be over 40% compared to fluorescent tubes. They are very efficient and give off very little heat.

I would highly recommend LEDdynamics grow lights as holiday season gifts. You can give them to anyone you love who loves to grow things. And I might suggest that you don’t forget to love yourself.

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