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Grow Light Set-up

This is a discussion on Grow Light Set-up within the Semi Hydro / Lights / Greenhouses / Accessories forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Originally Posted by Kassie I suffered no small amount of brain damage last winter trying ...

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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kassie View Post
    I suffered no small amount of brain damage last winter trying to figure out whether to get LEDs or some other expensive lighting system. I now use cheap 4 ft T8 shoplights, half warm and half cool spectrum bulbs, with good results. One thing that I did manage to retain of all the information I studied is that full spectrum bulbs are unnecessary because orchids use a certain wave length for growth and another to bloom and the rest of the spectrum is just wasted energy.
    Exactly! T5, T8 , also aquarium lights if selected correctly. No need for expensive approach for a hobbyist unless on a grand scale with plants dependant on high light. Choices available now, though in essence important for quality of life and fought too hard for to be dismissed, can be so overwhelming that any pleasure becomes a grudge and a burden. The ' brain damage' effect is all too easily acquired, wheres the fun in that? when you just want a damn light in a tube!lol

  2. #12
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    Spot on, Matt! I can think of a number of more entertaining ways to destroy those neurons than trying to comprehend nm and micro Einsteins and heat disipation and beam angles . . .

  3. #13
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    So a warm and cool spectrum florescent bulb will be the choice.

    Thanks for your input!

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kassie View Post
    I suffered no small amount of brain damage last winter trying to figure out whether to get LEDs or some other expensive lighting system. I now use cheap 4 ft T8 shoplights, half warm and half cool spectrum bulbs, with good results. One thing that I did manage to retain of all the information I studied is that full spectrum bulbs are unnecessary because orchids use a certain wave length for growth and another to bloom and the rest of the spectrum is just wasted energy.
    This is my setup as well... & I found the same info Kassie mentions. Each shelf has six 4' T8s, and I alternate warm and cool. I've not grown a neofinetia, but have grown and bloomed a neostylis under these lights. They are on timers, set to follow natural hours of daylight/dark. Seems to work well for me. Good luck!

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    Well, just revisiting this thread as I still haven't purchased a legitimate set-up, does anyone have accurate footcandle readings for these light types?

    I have a wide spectrum of plants and I don't want to accidently burn any.

    I also want to try to provide a good range of light for the largest group of my plants.

    Thanks in advance!

  6. #16
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    I just tested a single two bulb fixture a while back. The results are here.

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    Hmmm, so I'd have to get really quite close or not bother.

    In that case, my next option looks like CFLs.

  8. #18
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    Looking at the terrarium I bought for my Chameleon has given me an idea. Purchase another (perhaps larger, hahahhha) and put a CFL unit on top of it, much like one would put a basking bulb and calcium light on a reptile. Put my neos and other small light loving plants, and viola! I'll be fixing two of my problems.

    I just wish there were a more viable option for my larger plants, I suppose I could put something like Metal Halide or HPS up in the room, but for a handful of Phrags, it seems a bit like overkill.

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    I decided to go the highly controversial and poorly documented route of LED grow lighting. I purchased a 28w LED grow light panel and will be placing it directly on the top of a 12"x12"x18" glass terrarium. I've decided that I will be placing only Neofinetias in the display. I also plan on putting a small fan inside to increase airflow and decrease night time temps. I'll keep everyone posted and am excited to shed some light (no pun intended) on the fairly new form of lighting.

  10. #20
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    Lol! My 28w LED Panels arrived today. My shop lights did ok last winter, but I have more and larger plants now and after the testing I did, I didn't think more shop lights were the answer. I have tried to find coherent research on LEDs, most of the articles seemed to have been written after the authors had sampled too much of their own LED grown product. So, I found an inexpensive source of medium intensity LEDs and decided to give it a whirl. I have no idea how to gauge what the proper hanging distances are and I'm pretty sure my luxmeter won't help. I'm also not sure when I can start giving them credit for any blooming. My orchids that were outside were very happy when the weather cooled, so many have started spiking. But I will update in the coming months, as well.

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