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Get Powered Up! Certified Energy Manager Jeff Yago answers your alternative energy questions

Wondering about a great new energy-saving device
you found on the Internet? Then CLICK HERE!

Sorry. Jeff no longer answers questions online.
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Archive for the ‘Greenhouse’ Category



Monday, September 22nd, 2008

My wife and I are trying to be self sufficient as possible. We just paid off our house at the age of 30, got ourselves a well and a new barn on a 1/3 acre parcel with a house. We just purchased an AeroGarden PRO200 aeroponics unit and would like to put this in our new shed and grow inside there. Is it possible to power this unit, possibly two of them with solar and what would I use for a solar system. Keep in mind we are in Arizona and have basically an unlimited supply of sun, sometimes too much.

Thanks in advance



Yes you can power the AeroGarden PRO200 from a solar-powered inverter if you are willing to spend several thousand dollars to power its three grow lights. However, why are you wanting to play around with these “toys”? They are for apartment dwellers wanting to grow one tomato plant. Since you have a house, well, barn, and land, why not buy a greenhouse “kit” or build your own add-on greenhouse to your new barn?

It can be any size you want and will be totally solar powered without having to power with a separate system. This will give you much more growing area and if you do not want to heat in the winter, you can use it to start early spring seedlings without auxilliary heat. Your location should keep it very warm in the winter if you add some thermal mass like an insulated concrete floor slab and several 55 gallon barrels of water along the insulated back wall to absorb the bright afternoon sun during cold winter days. There are many passive solar books on this subject you should review and most were published in the 1970’s.

Just a thought,

Jeff Yago


LED plant lights

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008


I was wondering if LEDs will work like fluorescent lights for growing plants indoors?

Thank you,



Actually, there have been several recent studies related to growing plants using LED lights verses other lighting types. If interested, check out this link:

There are some LED lighting fixtures starting to hit the market for LED greenhouse lighting if you do some internet searches, and so far it looks like there is little difference between the growing effects of more common HID greenhouse lights and the new LED lights. You may want to check the effects of color on growth as it is my understanding that red and blue LEDs provide the best color frequencies for growing.

Good luck,

Jeff Yago



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