Some questions about lighting, indoors and out
May 26, 2012 6:19 PM   Subscribe

Dim bulb regarding electricity seeks illumination.

(1) I want to fill my unused cast iron bathtub with potting medium and put plants in it, OR fill it with water and grow a water lily in there, but I have to add lighting because there is very little natural light in that room.

I don't want to go through the expense and hassle of hanging plant lights from the ceiling. My thought is to hang some fixtures around the shower curtain ring (which is currently not being used), but I need them to be cheap, and able to hold very bright lights (I need the equivalent of about 6 hours of sunlight a day to grow the plants).

I have a half-formed idea about getting some sort of flexible tubing that looks like copper or something and attach cheap fixtures of some kind that would hold plant-friendly bulbs (like the kind used for hypoponics?) but I am not knowlegable to know how to go about doing this. (hence, the question). Also I want this setup to be aesthetically pleasing, if in a strange, half-Victoriana=greenhouse-quasi-steampunked-Little Shop of Horrors sort of way.

Here is a guy who is growing water lilies under a bulb (if you scroll to the last picture on the page). But in the picture you can't see his whole setup. Also, I don't have a fixture on the ceiling directly above my tub; it's to the left several feet. I also have a nice chandelier in that fixture and don't want to remove it. I want to plug the plant lights into an outlet that is much closer to the bathtub (but can't be seen in the photo).

Also I don't want to get electrocuted. I'm looking for advice about what kind of fixture(s) to buy and how to attach them to the shower curtain rod. Or any other ideas.

(2) I can't keep cheap strings of lights (specifically, these) hanging up in my backyard all the time, rain or shine, right?

Well what is good (and not expensive) lighting for a backyard?
posted by DMelanogaster to Home & Garden (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Can't help you with 1, but I'd make sure the outlet you want to use has a GFI (ground fault interrupter) installed, it would cancel the electricity+water=death equation.

For my backyard, I used two of these strings, replacing the little bulbs with these. I hung them from the eaves, and they really light up the patio.

They've lasted five years, and I've only had to replace one bulb.
posted by Marky at 7:03 PM on May 26, 2012

You could use compact florescent bulbs in clamp type reflectors or go with LED lighting. You will get best results by using a fixture with a reflector rather than a bare bulb hanging above the plants .
posted by hortense at 8:20 PM on May 26, 2012

If you have a backyard, why not save yourself a bunch of money on lights and electricity and grow your water lilies outside in natural sunlight?
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 9:57 PM on May 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

Marky: thank you.

hortense: I know about these various types of fixtures, but wanted help about how to rig up something that would attach easily to my bathtub shower curtain ring and hang down. I understand that my question is probably unwieldy and difficult to answer. I should have made it more precise.

typer': I have waterlilies in a pond in my backyard, but I live in Zone 5 and therefore the lilies are in dormancy (or dead) for 7-8 months a year. That's why I wanted to try the bathtub route (also the bathtub isn't being used and is stained and ugly so it seemed like a good idea to turn it into something attractive like a pond)
posted by DMelanogaster at 6:51 AM on May 27, 2012

I would use a couple of four foot fluorescent fixtures and hang them from the rod with chain or the like.
posted by exogenous at 8:39 AM on May 27, 2012

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