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This is a discussion on Questions about Orchid lighting within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; Ok so i think i have a unique situation. I have a south facing kitchen ...
Ok so i think i have a unique situation. I have a south facing kitchen with 5 fairly large windows. i have been growing plants in there for years. On my ceiling i have two 48" T12 Fluorescent fixtures about 8-8.5 feet off the ground.the lights are roughly 3 feet away from each other. My orchids sit about 3.5 to 5.5 feet off the ground. I have 2 t12bulbs in the one fixture that are 5000k and 2 t12 in the other that are only 2700k. I have noticed that my plants grow better under the 5000k lights. I have also heard that 5000k-6000k is optimal color range for orchids.
So my question is this: Can anyone give me advice on bulbs out there that are full spectrum and would work well to help my plants grow in my setup? Should i go to a 6500K bulb? I am a little confused about all the different things i need to know about fluorescent bulbs. I have also heard of light meters but am not sure if i even need one.
One cheap way that works for me is to put one cool white and one warm white bulb in each fixture. You will be surprised to find how adaptable orchids are to their light color needs. I have been experimenting with some "Curly" screw-in fluorescent bulbs of 23W (equal to 75 watts) that are daylight rated with excellent results. An inexpensive light meter is great to know when its time to change the bulb. Let it burn in for a week then measure the light output from a measured distance. Write it down. If after a year the bulbs output is at 50%, chuck it. I usually get rid of the bulbs after one year to be on the safe side. The bulb with a lot of time on it cost the same to burn but you don't get back much in output for your money.