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This is a discussion on Light preference within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Hello, I heard that you can augment the light needed by orchids. Sometimes filtered light ...
I heard that you can augment the light needed by orchids. Sometimes filtered light is not good enough. The orchid may grow or have flowers but, I was told that additional light may make miracles on orchids. You may even produce a spectaculer orchid/flowes and win an award.
To those of you who are using light to grow orchids. Does anyone has preference on which light to use: Halogen, flourescent, incandescent. Which color of the spectrum does orchid like best? blue or red.
Does anyone use combination of these lights? How far would you install
the light fixture to the orchids? What's the wattage you use?
I have pretty good light exposure, but in darker months and days I supplement with the compact flourescents. I buy the "work" light fixtures that have the reflective metal, and clip them anywhere I want to supplement (typically cost $5-8 at home improvement stores). This is different than what many people do with the long flourescent tube type lighting.
Plants need both reds and blues to grow and bloom. There are different opinions out there about what mix to use. I go with the 2:1 red:blue mixture, because generally plants use a bit more red in photosynthesis), but I know others who mix red and blue bulbs equally, 1:1, successfully.
In my main grow area, I have 7 compact bulbs that each have light output the equivalent of 100 watts. The distance they are placed from plants makes a huge difference in effect. Since I have pretty good light to begin with, I don't worry about having them all super close, but generally most people recommend 6-8 inches above the plants for fluorescents. I also have these individually placed over plants throughout my home, and in the winter they all run on timers. In the summer I occasionally turn them on manually if its a particularly dark day.
I have no experience with high intensity discharge (HID) lights (two kinds: HPS or high pressure sodium and MH or metal halide) so I'll leave that to someone else.
Hope this helps a little.