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confused about which florescents to use

This is a discussion on confused about which florescents to use within the Semi Hydro / Lights / Greenhouses / Accessories forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Last year the florescents I used were Sylvania, T-12, Sunstick, full spectrum florescents I got ...

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  1. #1
    Cinderella is offline Senior Member
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    Default confused about which florescents to use

    Last year the florescents I used were Sylvania, T-12, Sunstick, full spectrum florescents I got at Lowe's. Now that I am ready to replace them, I checked out boxstore and they had Phillips 40W lights labeled "For Plants and Aquariums" However, I am not sure those are meant for orchids. Some plants like african violets don't require the light intensity of orchids, of course.

    I read somewhere that a mixture of cool whites and warm whites are just as effective as full spectrum and a lot cheaper. I'm confused about what to buy. Should I go back to the Sylvania Sunsticks?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Diane's Avatar
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    I'll be really interested to hear what the pros have to say. I am going to have to do some indoor lighting this year as my collection has just gotton too big for the "good" growing areas I have indoors.

  3. #3
    Jmoney's Avatar
    Jmoney is offline Senior Member
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    I have a very foggy memory when it comes to fluorescents (it was at least 5 years ago). Hopefully someone else can chime in. I remember using some type of 'sun bulb' from HD that came in a shocking orange wrapper. I also remember using some other bulb in a green & white sleeve that was actually pinkish in color when plugged in. As far as I was concerned, they could both grow plants. I'd suggest copying the exact name of the bulb and looking it up online.

    I also heard about mixing cool and warm whites, but for a small setup, it's not a huge difference in cost.

  4. #4
    SaMRoza is offline Junior Member
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    I had good luck with Philips Daylight deluxe mixed with cool(not warm), white bulbs. The Daylight Deluxe is a 6500K bulb, and that's what I was shooting for.

    I have since moved on to 85W CFL bulbs because plants just need so much more light than a 40W bulb can provide-unless the lights are darned near sitting on your plants.

    Sam

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    Cinderella is offline Senior Member
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    Sam, what are the 85W bulbs? Those aren't florescents, are they? I think the florescents only come in 40W.

  6. #6
    SaMRoza is offline Junior Member
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    Cinderella,

    In the wide world of fluorescent bulbs, there are many types. Tube fluoros come in 35W, 40W, and various higher wattage ratings for the more powerful HO(high output) types.

    Compact fluorescents(CFLs) come in many smaller wattages and are available at local groceries and hardware stores. Wattages generally include 13W, 24W, 42W. What aren't available at local stores are the larger CFL bulbs. They are available in 65W, 85W, 105W and I think there are even a few 125W bulbs these days.

    I use 85W CFLs. These are self-ballasted bulbs and most will fit into any standard clip-on fixture(though some older CFL designs have very large ballasts and will not). They cost about $25-30 for an 85W model.

    I even have some pictures of my setup.

    The Hood:


    Inside the Hood:


    The bulb(approx. 11" in length):


    I use these because they put out a much more concentrated amount of light than a tube does. Since I can't have the tube lights 1 or 2" from the plants, these allow me to get a large concentration of light over my grow area.

    Sam

  7. #7
    Diane's Avatar
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    Do you still get that annoying flourecent hum?

  8. #8
    starwhiz is offline Member
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    Do you use timer? I was told that you are not to use a timer on CFLs? What kind of fixture do you use and,
    how far are plants away from the source? I went ahead and tried 150W quartz halogen. I have not heard
    anyone using it. Not sure if the light is good enough for Catt or Dends or Vandas.

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    Cinderella is offline Senior Member
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    Sam, thanks for all of the information. Not sure I am "ready" for that yet but when I am, I'll look into those! Thanks again.

  10. #10
    SaMRoza is offline Junior Member
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    Answers to questions in order:

    -Hum: I have one light that is about a year and a half old. It's still chugging right along and kicking out lots of light, so I hesitate to replace it. If I put my ear up ot this one, I can hear a slight hum. The rest are silent.

    -Timer: Yes, I use a timer. There are certain types of timers that you cannot use for CFLs. Most you can. Look at the packaging on the timer and check with the bulb manufacturer/seller. Most CFLs can be used with a timer with no problems.

    -Fixtures: Standard incandescent fixtures and sockets.

    I used a Halogen light for a time because I had nothing else and I had no money. I don't know how good it is for plants, but it's better than no light whatsoever. Most people would say it's too yellow for plants.

    Sam

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