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Aquaponics Lights

Your lighting system can be very simple or very complicated, depending on your expertise on the matter. Expert growers can work with various color spectrums, moveable light tracking and a range of other details. But if you are just starting out, you can just stick with "standard" light.

If you are lucky enough to have a greenhouse for natural overhead light, then you won't have to worry about lighting all that much. Otherwise, this is going to be an important part of your design. And no, one big window isn't going to be enough. Plants need light for most of the day, coming from overhead rather than one side all the time.

For the most part, fluorescent tube lights are going to be your best bet. You can get ones designed for plant growing but the usual household ones will do just fine. Not the little CFL bulbs that go in your lamps though. Full-sized tube lights along with their proper fixtures are what you want.

If you have a choice in "color", remember that red spectrum light helps with fruit and flowers but blue light is better for leaf production. Lights are sometimes labeled as cool (think blue) or warm (think red) so you can judge by that. Otherwise, just regular plain white will suffice.

Banks of lights should be hung directly above your plants, within a few inches of the plant tops. Watch your plants to make sure it's in the right place. Obviously brown or burnt leaves are too close to the lights and if your plants are getting "leggy" then the light is too far away. A system of lights hung on chains is usually the best choice as you will probably want to adjust the height as the plants grow taller anyway.

Timers are the common way of controlling your lights, since you are likely going to have other pieces of equipment on timers anyway. But if you are home (and can remember) to turn on the lights in the morning and off again at night, you should be fine. Allow for a 16 hour day of full light.

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