I don't understand why What kind of a grow lamp can I use in my apartment? was closed recently.

  • It doesn't ask for shopping recommendations or brands. In fact, it was edited from the original question to avoid being a "shopping question".
  • It's on-topic: dealing with indoor gardening, especially relevant to seed starting and seedling growing.
  • It elicited an answer providing "facts" and "specific expertise". There is very little opinion in the answer: the way the question is asked, there is very little room for opinion in any valid answer.
  • A competing answer could be provided that lists an alternative solution (e.g. a foil-lined "grow cabinet").

1 Answer 1


A couple of days ago, I went through some of the posts from the first few days of private beta (when anything and everything was asked and tagged randomly) and re-edited/retagged/refined a lot of them in one sitting to bring them more in line with our current standards. After nearly two hours of handling old posts late in the night, I came across this and it struck me as being a shopping recommendation question (even though the specific request was edited out). In short, recommendation for a style of a product or a product is not a good fit for the site (even if it doesn't use the words "buy", "suggest", "product", etc).

However, looking at it now when I'm sober and awake, I do realize that it has the potential to be a very helpful and useful question for this site (even though it still is a shopping recommendation). You also make some very valid points and I have promptly reopened it. I'd like to request your help in improving the question, though (as you've answered it and are knowledgable in this subject). Perhaps something along the lines of "My indoor plants don't get enough sunlight during the day. How can I provide additional light to my plants during the evening?" or something better...

The reason why we insist on the right wording is that we, as regular users of SE and G&L, might recognize the intent of the OP and provide an objective answer that is very relevant to this site. However, an anonymous user might not think so and could post links to his favourite product X. We don't want such spammy answers and this is why it is critical to phrase the question correctly.

  • Thanks. I'm not sure how to reword it to be any more pointed. I think it's fairly precise in the request as it stands right now. (Similar to the not-yet-edited / still-closed question that's open regarding "How can I know what's a durable tool?"; maybe I'll take a swing at that one later today.)
    – bstpierre
    Jul 27, 2011 at 17:25
  • Also, if you think that "buy brand X" answers from anon/new users are going to be a problem, the question could simply be protected.
    – bstpierre
    Jul 27, 2011 at 17:27
  • @bstpierre: Thanks for your help. As for protection, that is an option. But I'd like to try and prevent it from happening than block them from answering. Jul 27, 2011 at 17:50

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