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Compact flourescents - boom or bust?

This is a discussion on Compact flourescents - boom or bust? within the Semi Hydro / Lights / Greenhouses / Accessories forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Does anyone have any experience with the newer compact flourescent bulbs meant for home use? ...

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  1. #1
    Germinatorman's Avatar
    Germinatorman is offline Senior Member
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    Default Compact flourescents - boom or bust?

    Does anyone have any experience with the newer compact flourescent bulbs meant for home use? I am specifically looking at the 200 watt bulbs that burn about 46 watts of energy, the twisted bulbs with a normal incandescent socket.
    I am thinking of setting up an area in my basement this fall to grow on some of my miniature and variegated geraniums to see how this light performs. Hanging them with chicken brooder reflectors above a white resin table. I am hoping that the amount of variegation in the leaves will give me some indication of the amount of light they are receiving. Blooming would be a plus also.
    I use these lights now as supplemental lighting between my HPS and MH lights and am curious how much they are actually giving to my orchids.

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    Brutal_Dreamer is offline Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    Seems like it would save a lot of electricity and produce much less heat, but I don't know how the orchids would do. I look forward to reading other peoples thoughts on this.

    Cheers,
    BD

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    pavel's Avatar
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    I currently use the 100W equivalent (26W) bulbs in my two large terrariums. African violets and some of my mini orchids (though none with high light requirements) have bloomed for me.

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    smwboxer is offline Senior Member
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    I tried to use the very large CFL's that are supposed to made just for growing. They really did not work very well as the light distribution is not that great so you need a lot of bulbs placed close together. I've since switched to T5's and noticed a difference in a matter of weeks.

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    stefpix is offline Senior Member
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    What kind of T5s did you get? what set up? regular ones or specific fro growing?
    size/reflector/W?
    With 25 W CFLs i couldbloom carnivorous plants like Pinguiculas.
    thanks
    stefano

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    smwboxer is offline Senior Member
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    Default T5's

    Quote Originally Posted by stefpix View Post
    What kind of T5s did you get? what set up? regular ones or specific fro growing?
    size/reflector/W?
    With 25 W CFLs i couldbloom carnivorous plants like Pinguiculas.
    thanks
    stefano
    I have an eight bulb 48" fixture with full spectrum lights. It provides enough light to bloom just about anything.

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    stefpix is offline Senior Member
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    Wow.... lots of watts. do you grow everything on a shelf? how far from the leaves? does it hummmm/buzz?

  8. #8
    Germinatorman's Avatar
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    I have two of the 4' T5 setups. I use 2 cool and 2 warm bulbs in each. They are 55W each. And you are right, you can bloom just about anything under them. Very highly polished reflector canopy really helps also, as do white resin tables to bounce around some unused light.

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    smwboxer is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by stefpix View Post
    Wow.... lots of watts. do you grow everything on a shelf? how far from the leaves? does it hummmm/buzz?

    It depends on the plants. Higher light plants have their tips about 4" from the lights and then down lower for others. I use old upside down pots to make levels on the table they sit on. It set up is completely silent and kept on a timer.

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    The bulbs are also rated to last up to 3 years, don't know that I would go that far but I burn mine for 18 months before replacing.

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