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New to Flourescents

This is a discussion on New to Flourescents within the Semi Hydro / Lights / Greenhouses / Accessories forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Hi! My wonderful hubby just pulled a 'while you were out' on me and installed ...

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  1. #1
    ams957 is offline Junior Member
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    Default New to Flourescents

    Hi!
    My wonderful hubby just pulled a 'while you were out' on me and installed flourescent lights in an unused room so that I could attempt to care for orchids other than phals. He put up one fixture with two 4' 40W GE bulbs. Is this enough light for catts? Or anything?

    The bulb packaging said the light output was 1900...

    Thanks! Arleen

  2. #2
    Diane's Avatar
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    You would have to put the lights very close to the plants. I grow with fluorecents as a supplement to natural light in an east facing window. I have 4 , 40 watt full spectrum bulbs in each fixture (a grow cart) Some of the leaves of the taller plants touch the fixture (but not the bulbs, that would burn them) I try to get as close to 2" from the light as possible. Of course, with various heights on all the plants, that is hard to do. Because I have 3 shelves with adjustable height I have segregated my chids into short medium and tall, with a few plants that need more light than the window but not right next to a bulb, set on the shelf with the tall plants.

    I am investigating putting higher wattage lights in - - because about a third of my catts won't flower without more light. Paphs, Phrags and Phals all do well for me under the lights. Experiement - get a couple inexpensive near blooming or blooming sized catts and try growing them under the lights. If they get very dark green, it's not enough light. If the fixture is near a window, then you have a much better chance of having Catt light levels. Remember that even these lights will create some heat and lower the humidity, so consider a humidity tray.

    Let me know how it goes.

  3. #3
    ams957 is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks, Diane.
    I was afraid of that. I will try to figure out how to make it brighter. The room also has an east facing window, but it is under an overhang and I am in central Massachusetts, so that is of only limited help.
    Thanks again, Arleen

  4. #4
    Diane's Avatar
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    If hubby could swap the 2 light fixture for a 4 light fixture you would be in much better shape. There are some fluorescent lightbulbs you can get that are made for growing plants. There are several varieties/brands. Most places that sell hydroponics equipment on the net sell bulbs... so google hydroponics... or grow lights..

  5. #5
    maxciocc is offline Junior Member
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    I found a thread on this forum which was very helpful in determining which are the best output tubes for growing plants that have higher footcandle requirements. However if you want to spend between 250 - 400 dollars there is a hydroponic company that makes a very hight light output unit that holds 4, 6, or 8 tubes. It is called Bloom Wright Econo Slimboyzz 11 sold by Harvest Moon Hydroponics.

    I have had good results with Philips tubes which give you the output they say they deliver. The Ultralume line gives out the highest level of lumens...over 3000 per 40W tube. I mix two 40W 6500 K (daylight) with two 40W 5000K , due to the fact that some plants require the red wavelength from the 5000K tubes to bloom. If you have plants with different heights, I will place a brick or inverted pot underneath the plant to bring it up closer to the tubes. I have cut and pasted a thread from Slipperhead that I got most of the tube info from. I would love to try the Slimboyzz, but haven't come up with the cash for it.

    I am growing Cattelya alliance, Dends, Paphs and Phals; and just placing them in higher or lower lighting conditions and they are doing great.

    Gregg C.

    Thread from Slipperhead:
    http://www.rv-orchidworks.com/orchid...light=lighting

  6. #6
    Jmoney's Avatar
    Jmoney is offline Senior Member
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    some catts will bloom under a bright fluorescent setup; others will absolutely not. what type of catts are you growing?

  7. #7
    ams957 is offline Junior Member
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    I have a Blc. Fuchs Orange Nuggett and a Ctna Maui Maid 'December Bride' which I originally bought in bloom, and a Hknsa {Mini Doris and Why Not}'Carmela' that was not in bloom or spike when I bought it. I would really like to see that one bloom.

    Thanks to all for your help... Arleen

  8. #8
    Piper's Avatar
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    Hi Arlene,

    Where in Eastern Mass are you? I live in Marblehead.

    Julie

  9. #9
    ams957 is offline Junior Member
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    Hi Julie,
    I live in Spencer (just west of Worcester.) Marblehead is a beautiful place! I used to spend my summers in Essex and I miss the ocean...someday 'I'll be back!'
    Arleen

  10. #10
    ams957 is offline Junior Member
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    Hi Folks,

    I kept the original light setup-I bought a 6500 bulb and a 3000 bulb but they were the wrong size- and when finances permit I will upgrade to a fixture that will hold those bulbs. I also got an 85 watt 65k compact florescent which is HUGE but screws into an existing floor lamp and is so bright you cannot look at it. The 'Carmela' catt has 2 very healthy new spikes starting. All my plants look wonderful. Thanks for your help! Arleen

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