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I REALLY need your advice on lighting

This is a discussion on I REALLY need your advice on lighting within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Hi All, As you know I grow indoors and was recently able to purchase an ...

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  1. #1
    desertgal's Avatar
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    Default I REALLY need your advice on lighting

    Hi All,

    As you know I grow indoors and was recently able to purchase an iron shelving unit (entertainment center) with glass shelves at a used furniture store. Excellent bargain because there was so much white wrought iron that people didn't want it. I need to add some lighting but am not certain how to do it. I think that the clamp on grow lights would work better for me as I cannot attach flourescents to the glass shelves. It is 7 feet tall and 5 feet wide and has 14 inch shelves. There are 2 full shelves that are below window level. All of the glass in the shelves is removeable. I have absolutely no idea what kind of bulbs to buy or what size wattage. I will primarily be growing dens, phals and paphs. I also have some oncidiums and intergenerics and a lovely cattleya.

    I just know that with your experience you can figure out a good system for me (hopefully an inexpensive one). I just recently added a cool mist humidifier. As soon as my hygrometer arrives I can test the humidity levels and see if it is doing the job.

    Thanks, Katie
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    sake of silence is offline Senior Member
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    Looks good!
    Last edited by Brutal_Dreamer; November 8th, 2006 at 08:35 AM. Reason: Please do not place links to sales sites on the forum. See terms and conditions.

  3. #3
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    Katie,

    The unit is perfect for orchids! You have a lot of them in flower! I see what you mean about the bottom shelves. A lot of unused orchid real estate! I would just screw fluorescent fixtures to a board and tape it or tie it under the shelves. It probably won't be very elegant, but it will work. As far as the type bulbs to buy or what size wattage I am no expert. I have two, 40 watt bulbs and they were labeled as good for growing plants (light spectrum, extended spectrum, or something like that). I know there is a thread on this forum that has extensive info on grow lights if you search for grow light.
    Looks like you got yourself a great project!

    Ania

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    With a unit like that, you would find it easier to use grow-light spot bulbs in the clamp on fixture. Trying to put tube fixtures in there would take a lot of effort and use up a lot of height. They also put out a fair amount of heat. For the shelf with no natural light figure 3 bulbs as a start. The other shelves it will be supplemental, so start with 2 lights. Remeber, the closer the lights are, the more lumens the plants get. I think the spot bulbs are like 100 watt.

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    What room is this shelf in? Is it a room that is used frequently? The reason I ask is you might be able to mount the lights on the far side (between the shelf and wall) and direct them toward the inside of the room. This would create a bit of visual glare to look at though which is why I asked about the room usage. those are pretty short shelves though and so maybe you could put up some sort of barrier, paint it white to face the light and get some reflection too?

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    That is a great display for your orchids! Bravo!

    Cheers,
    BD

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    Looks good, I would go with the clamp on lights a lot of good places to attatch them . Gin

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    Nice setup, Katie! It's attractive as well as orchid-enabling! I too was impressed with all the blooms!

    I would start with an inexpensive light meter - you can PM me for a source. Measure what you're currently getting through that window. You might not need as much supplemental light.

    McJulie

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    Thanks everyone. I have found some white clamp ons that would be great for my white unit. Now I need to know what type of bulbs to purchase. Help on that please? My unit is in what the family refers to as 'grandma's room'. It has my computer and desk, entertainment center, a lot of my favorite antiques and my big recliner rocker as well as a couple more chairs for guests. It is right next to my kitchen so it makes it easy to carry the plants to the sink for watering. It is my favorite place in the house and everyone always looks for me there (and usually finds me with a big glass of iced tea). I know, a little more than you wanted to know! LOL
    Katie

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    You want full-spectrum (daylight) incandescent flood light type bulbs. You should be able to find them at most hardware and big box stores. You can find them in 60, 75, 100 and 150 watts. I'd start with 100 watts.When you start using them, be sure to check the heat every couple of hours. That will impact how close to the plants you can move them. I think they probably cost around 7 to 10 dollars each... Be carefull how many you string on one outlet!!

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