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Which fluorescent lighting?

Discussion in 'Orchid Culture' started by Tim C, Dec 23, 2008.

  1. Tim C

    Tim C New Member

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    Hello all. I'm new to the forums, but have been growing orchids for a long time now. After having been out of the orchid growing world for a few years, I've finally found myself with the time and effort to grow them again.

    My question is this: For those of you who grow under fluorescent lighting, which tubes do you find to be the most effective for growing a wide range of plants? I'm speaking of the old-school style "shoplight" bulbs - T8 I think they are. I used to grow my orchids on a metal rack using four bulbs for each rack, and using "daylight" bulbs, but never got the results I was looking for. Just wondering if anyone out there has better success with other bulbs or combos of bulbs.

    I'd be looking to grow phals mostly, but it's possible (aka very likely) that I'll want to throw in a few mini-catts as well.

    Thanks in advance,
    Tim C.
     
  2. Kyle

    Kyle Member

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    I like full spectrum lights. My plants grew much better when I switched from alternating warm and cool.

    I have switched to T5 full spectrum (or as close as I could buy) and the plants are growing even better.

    Kyle
     
  3. Tom_in_PA

    Tom_in_PA I am not an addict

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    My basement setup has 4 "shop" light fixtures with 8 bulbs and I too have had great sucess so far using both cool and warm lights in my setup.
     
  4. Chris

    Chris New Member

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    I use t5s. 3x6000 k and 3x10000 k. Everything grows, lots of things bloom. I can bloom bulbos and Epigeneium 30" from the bulbs.
     
  5. Magnus A

    Magnus A Ph.D.

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    Tim

    Try to find full spectra fluorescent bulbs with a color temperature eround 5500-6500K. The "old" standard T8 has larger diameter compared to T5. This makes it possibly to have more light per area with T5, the "new" comming standard.

    For Phal´s the T8 should be fine but for the mini-catt´s the distance may to the bulbs may need to be reduced!

    What distance does you have? Can you meassure the light intensity? There is cheap light meters to buy.

    /Magnus
     
  6. Jon

    Jon Mmmm... bulbophyllum...

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    Magnus brings up many valid points. Also, if you want to read for a few minutes, try reading this site --> indoor plant lighting.
     
  7. Tom_in_PA

    Tom_in_PA I am not an addict

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    Great link Jon....I did not get a chance ot read the whole thing yet but will make sure I do as the link has been bookmarked.
     
  8. Tim C

    Tim C New Member

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    Thanks for all the replies, they've helped me make a more informed decision on my setup.

    Magnus - I don't have the setup yet, but my old setup used to run 4 Daylight bulbs sitting about 8 inches from the phals, and 3-4 inches from the catts. I never got the catts to flower, but I was able to squeeze some blooms out of my phals and oncids.

    So from what it sounds like, I'll be getting 4 bulbs running daylight tubes. Maybe I'll experiment and get 2 daylights, 1 cool, and 1 warm white bulb. I'll let you all know how it turns out.

    -Tim C.
     
  9. Kyle

    Kyle Member

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    I can bloom most my 100+ species of masd 20" from one 6000K T5.

    Not braggin'. Just want to let you know how much brighter they are then T8's. They are great.

    Kyle
     
  10. T. migratoris

    T. migratoris Active Member

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    I grow many angraecoid species, species phals and Brassavola species (together with a few oddball oncids) under banks of T8 fixtures fitted with 5000K tubes. Distance varies between 2" and 8". I'll admit to some leaf scorching - mostly on the Brassavolas - but overall the plants thrive and spike with regularity. My only regret is that the banks of fixtures throw enough heat that my growing area's transitioned from intermediate to warm. Gotta work on that.
     
  11. Tim C

    Tim C New Member

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    So all this talk about T5's had me looking at different fixtures. I found this one > http://www.planetnatural.com/site/t5-lighting.html and the price seems reasonable (even comes with bulbs). Is 4 bulbs overkill? Or the more, the better, in this case? Anyone have any recommendations as far as brand or website for T5's?
     
  12. Karen

    Karen Species nut

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    What a cool thread!
     
  13. DukeBoxer

    DukeBoxer Active Member

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    I'm a HUGE fan of Compact Fluorescent lights, the mini twists. They're cheaper than the t5's, and you can use any old light socket to screw them into, you don't have to buy an expensive fixture. I use 100 watt equivalent lights and switch between regular ones which are a more red color (like warm white) and a sylvania full spectrum which are more blue (those are more expensive than the normal everyday ones you can buy anywhere). If you want more of an explanation let me know.
     
  14. Jon

    Jon Mmmm... bulbophyllum...

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    More explanation, please. Can you provide pictures? How many bulbs do you use?
     
  15. emuehlbauer

    emuehlbauer New Member

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    My light garden is standard NO fluorescents...I use 3 cool white bulbs to one warm white in each fixture. I gave up on full spectrum bulbs...more expensive, and fewer lumens...cool whites have the most lumens for the standard 48" bulbs. That said, if I was doing a new light garden now, I definitely would be more inclined to get a t5 set-up. I haven't seen them for plants yet, but they have become very popular in reefkeeping....when my PC light fixture finally dies on my reef tank, I'll replace it with a t5 setup......
     
  16. Bob2741

    Bob2741 New Member

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    I use these in the greenhouse Great lights cheap initial cost cheap to operate

    search this on e-bay 500 watt Fluorescent Outdoor Flood Fluorex Light

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    • MADE IN THE USAs, fantech, inline