Quote Originally Posted by Hookiethe1
Well, I found 2 strip 2 foot T5 NO lights local for 25 bucks a piece. I think it's the best and cheapest route for me. They are 28 Watts and 2700 lumens, I am thinking of putting 2 right against each other in the back middle section and one each at the ends over the raised beds. I'm no expert, but I think Watts per gallon is less relevant when you've got lights directly over your planted areas?
I think I'm going to try it this way for the convenience of not having to build an LED system and the low cost and see how things progress. If I think I need it down the track I can always swap out the ballasts and put HOs in there.
Yep.
By the way, most - not all - T5NO fixtures, or more accurately the ballasts, can run T5HO lamps. Electronic ballasts effectively read the electrical characteristics of the lamp and output accordingly.
You get flexibility in your purchases and the correct lamps on hand if you do swap ballasts. T5HO ballasts will also run T5NO lamps, at a bit over the rated capacity. Not over driven to HO output though.

If you need a source of inexpensive lamps, check out your local hydroponics store. They sell more T5HO daylight lamps in a week than most fish shops will in a year. They purchase in bulk and usually sell at good prices.