Lowes indoor plant lighting issues?
Newly moved into a first floor one bedroom, recently added an additional bedroom to the house and threw out the old attic dormer windows and put in 1 x 45 w downlights in place. I am noticing the growth on all of my indoor plants is too much in the sunlight in the space.
Before purchasing the lights I turned on all the lights on the previous owners account and viewed their current wattage. They are both at 700w. I noticed there is one fixture that is higher than my other and I'm not sure how it is dimmed. I am trying to see if there is any problem with dimming the fixture above the plants? I assume if the fixture above the plants has a sensor on it it would change the light.
I have no idea about fixture dimming. You will need someone that knows more about it than me.
However if the fixtures are at 700 watts each (I didn't double check the actual wattage but these should have been at 700 watts or more), they would be too much for any plant. They are in a bedroom, which is probably 20 feet away from the nearest window. In a space like that I'd really be thinking of moving the plants out of there entirely to some window facing space, or maybe a greenhouse if you have one. Just too much light to fit a whole house plant colony in a bedroom.
Unless there's something special about the lights, I'd consider lowering the wattage a bit. Not sure what the fixtures are dimmed at. You can't dim fixtures that are not dimmable.
While an attic room may be less expensive than a home made greenhouse or more elaborate addition to the house, or an A-frame building would allow for sunlight and less sun than the house, they are subject to the same issues. Maybe move your plants out a bit, if you can, or just stop growing them for a while.
No, it's not in the attic space, it's in the space where the dormers were removed, originally it was a fairly large room, they made it smaller and made 2 new smaller rooms. I believe there is about 13 square feet between the ceilings. The ceiling height is 5 ft 8 inches. If I recall I read on another forum that the lights should only be set at 600 watts. I may go back and look at their post as it was suggested, but I don't know if there were any issues that caused this. I didn't purchase the lights, I'm not a contractor. I purchased the house and they live there now. It is in Arizona, I believe that's all of the information I can give.
I'm sorry you don't believe me, but I've been studying, if you will, indoor plants for a long time. Your plant room, while it may be larger than the original, is by no means the size of a commercial grow room. I'm not saying you have a bad light situation, or even that it needs fixing, but unless you have a 1500 watt lamp and what most folks on this site call "spectrum broad-band, infrared lighting" then I don't think you are getting anywhere near the amount of light required. I'd just like to see a full light spectrum (not just light with no color) chart of your area, maybe a few close ups to give an idea of what it looks like on the plants. An overview is nice, but just a few close ups of the same plants would be even better, as they are doing you no favors by placing them under "more light than they need" (according to the lighting people on this site). This is like doing a home remodel in a roach infested cesspool, not knowing how to fix it but knowing you'll have to replace the whole thing once you get it fixed.
If you are going to try to grow more, I suggest you move the plants out, then do what Dr. Dahmer says and find out if your plants need more light, then make adjustments. It's not rocket science.
I know just what your are saying, we tried that for a few years, and my family was the ones to move the house out to try and save some money. We only had the 1 bedroom so we didn't need the attic but I don't know what your situation is, if you need some more storage or if you can find a different house, but that's what we did. For the 2 years after we moved the house we spent $100 a month in electric just trying to make the plants grow, the house being a new build they did not have a lot of things, except the plant light situation. We ended up with not only new indoor plants, but indoor flowers and a few tropicals in pots that really grew to be quite lush and filled our needs, but we were able to lower the cost considerably.
I have very large plants too, so the cost of electricity was well worth it.
Although, I do have to say my plants all have a purple haze about them. I believe it's an auto plant maintenance thing, which helps keep them healthy and happy.
I don't know if you should have any purple at all. Its not supposed to be present in plants with dahlias. Unless the shade is very dense. If it's just the haze, then it is ok. Unless you know what it is. Purple haze is caused by the plant having some sort of bt toxin in the ph like blue tit or yellow fever. It is easily checked out. Simply take a hair from the plant and hold it over a lit black light. If its still purple after the lit black light, then your plant has a bt toxin. Toxins are bad news and they are toxic, so its not good. This is why indoor plants do not like a darker lit room in the winter. They want some light for their survival. Most of the violet haze is in the lower leaves though, so by covering the top leaves it shouldn't be too noticeable. Also, the bt toxin will fade when the plant gets sunlight. After about 30 minutes of being in the light the plant should not be purple anymore