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  #1  
Unread 02-28-2010, 05:24 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Zone: 9a
Location: Rennes, France
Posts: 9
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Question What Lighting for orchids?

Wonderlite, GroLux, Sodium bulbs, LED's, CFL's, HID's, Halide metal bulbs, High pressure sodium bulbs etc., etc., and the list seems to go on and on!!! What is the best lighting for orchids?

I went yesterday, excitedly to a hydroponics store with the intention of getting the lighting for my soon-to-be orchids (1.5 x 3 meter growing space), 1hr later I left confused, frustrated and empty handed.

After this lighting situation is set-up I'm hoping to get:
Angraecums
Ascocendas
Acinetas
Aerangis
colegynes
Cymbidiums (chinese species, said to be warm growing)
Lycastes
Idas
Notylias
...and a very big risky maybe---Masdevallias

I've been advised that I need to have both blue and red spectrum lighting for well maintaining, growing and blooming the orchids(?)--not sure.
So Which bulbs give a good combination?

Some of the orchids require high but 'indirect' light and others need low lighting. How to solve this dilemma?

Could someone kindly tell me once and for all, what lighting will allow me to achieve:
- Strong, but indirect lighting
- Lighting that I can affix to the ceiling (1.25Meters from plants)
- suitable temperatures, i.e. it wont generate too much heat and fry my plants
-high and low lighting differences for e.g. Vandas and Lycastes.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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  #2  
Unread 02-28-2010, 09:59 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
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hi. I just bought some lights after reading a lot of posts here about what to get. Cost was also an issue so I searched high and low to get the best deal on the best set up possible. I got 3 - 4 feet 2 bulb High Output T5 light fixtures and they are great for my set up. Each was $50 and it came with 2 bulbs one red and one blue. It is the best deal I found online. I got them from htgstore.com. From what I read, this is the best set up I could get for that amount of money. Good luck.
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  #3  
Unread 03-01-2010, 12:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seashells1990 View Post
Wonderlite, GroLux
These are brand name florescent bulbs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by seashells1990 View Post
Sodium bulbs, HID's, Halide metal bulbs, High pressure sodium bulbs
These are all HID(high intensity discharge) lights they run on a ballast, have better light penetration then florescent tubes, or CFL's(compact florescent light). CFL's come in red (2700-3500K, flowering) or blue spectrum (6400-10000K, full spectrum to high blue like an itinic bulb). I don't really have an opinion on LED lights, except they are expensive and I don't like the color I've seen(hot pink) when they're lit. It's still fairly new technology, and I'll wait til I hear more positive feedback from unbiased sources. Suppliers will always say that their particular product is the best.
Quote:
Originally Posted by seashells1990 View Post
What is the best lighting for orchids?
That's going to depend on your individual lighting needs and other things like how much you want to spend, if heat is going to be an issue etc, etc, etc...

Quote:
Originally Posted by seashells1990 View Post
I went yesterday, excitedly to a hydroponics store with the intention of getting the lighting for my soon-to-be orchids (1.5 x 3 meter growing space), 1hr later I left confused, frustrated and empty handed.
So, your area is roughly 5ft x 9ft, I'm going to assume a standard 7 or 8ft ceiling. Do you want to use one light source, is it the only light source? Is this area enclosed, or open to the rest of the room? Do you have any venting, if it's enclosed. Do you have some sort of air circulation fan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by seashells1990 View Post
I've been advised that I need to have both blue and red spectrum lighting for well maintaining, growing and blooming the orchids(?)--not sure.
So Which bulbs give a good combination?
I've grown my orchids under HPS (high pressure sodium) lighting, MH (metal halide) lighting, bright natural light, florescent and a combination of the above mentioned. HPS is red spectrum and more for flowering, MH is blue spectrum and better for vegetative growth. It is not necessary to use both spectrums, using the HPS while the orchid is not flowering will not hurt the orchids at all, just like using the MH while flowering won't hurt them. Flowering under MH, or full spectrum florescent will give you more true to life colors, unlike HPS or red spectrum florescents which will give your flowers a different color while under them.under hps light under natural/MH light.

Quote:
Originally Posted by seashells1990 View Post
Some of the orchids require high but 'indirect' light and others need low lighting. How to solve this dilemma?
For a variety of lighting needs, put the plants that need more light closer to the light source, and lower light plants further from it.
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  #4  
Unread 03-01-2010, 04:28 AM
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I'm going to try shopping around online today and I'll look into the T5 bulbs. Thanks much for the info.
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  #5  
Unread 03-01-2010, 05:18 AM
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preciate the info. (Phermedusa).

My space is roughly 4 x 11. Not sure about ceiling height--but it's much lower than what u mentioned. You can have a look. I posted not so good pics in "my album" (which is found in the "view my profile" section).
The guy in the Hydroponics store advised me to get a kit which contains an MH and HPS bulb, but he said it'd heat the plants too much. This is the link:

http://www.indoorgardens.fr/catalog/...-igs-1240.html

For the plants I'm wanting, will it be too much direct light and be too hot? The house is always between 60-64F in winter and about 69-75 in Summer. The sales guy said the lighting kit will up the temp at least another 5. I have a good amount of light coming thru the windows, It's just that it's usually cloudy here.
As opposed to the MH/HPS lights are wonderlites any better? They are said to have red and blue spectrum lighting in 1 bulb without heating.

Last edited by seashells1990; 03-01-2010 at 05:21 AM..
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  #6  
Unread 03-01-2010, 12:10 PM
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My advice is get a light metre. I have been freaking out over light for the past two weeks as the plants I ordered require up to 4000 foot candles. I am never there during day light because i am in work and when I finally got a chance a week ago to measure i did it at 10am. 1700FC at the window, 400 where I had my Phals. I moved all my phals towards the window, as I thought they werent getting enough light. Yesterday we had a really cloudy day but I was there later. I measured again. 2700FC. Today we have a clear day and the sun is beaming, I had to call home and get all the plants moved away from the window because Id say it would be much higher (Wish I was there to check). Its not direct sun light because its a north facing window. Before you spend nearly one hundred euro maybe should check the existing light. And Rennes is further south that Dublin. It may not be Nice but I am sure that you will get sunny weather in a month or two and if needed you could put off the purchase of the light until next autumn giving you a chance to hunt more for a bargain. Also did you ask the sales man if the light could be run for hours on end and while it has 1 year guarantee what is the life of the bulb.
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  #7  
Unread 03-01-2010, 07:27 PM
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The sales guy said it'd last 2 years if used only as a light supplement for a few hrs per day. Much more than that, he says it'll last not more than a yr.
Not sure if he's correct though. Thanks for your info.
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  #8  
Unread 03-02-2010, 07:51 AM
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I hope it works out for you. keep us updated
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  #9  
Unread 03-02-2010, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seashells1990 View Post
The sales guy said it'd last 2 years if used only as a light supplement for a few hrs per day. Much more than that, he says it'll last not more than a yr.
Not sure if he's correct though. Thanks for your info.
The kit shown looks like it has a digital ballast, my French is very rusty, and an aircooled reflector(which allows you to duct the heat out of your growing area) with a HPS bulb. Like I mentioned in the first post, you don't need to switch between the different spectrums.

I tell my customers(have a hydroponics shop myself) that a HPS is good for two years of use running 12 hours a day as the only light source. They continue to run after this period,but the light output has deceased and will eventually slow the plant growth if they run it until it burns out. A MH bulb is good for about a year of use as the only light source. If heat is going to be an issue, and it sounds like it might, I'd get T5 high output florescent lights. They produce very little heat compared to HID.

The local orchid society has several members using them and they did a presentation to the society showing how well their plants were growing. I had a run on sales of those systems that week.
I checked out the album, that area looks fairly bright to me, but to be sure look into a light meter as suggested by Nibbler. My conditions are warmer then yours even before adding in lights, so I tend to stick with the warm growing orchids. I tried, and killed, a couple of masd's, and some others that I've since forgotten names of. I just got a warmer growing cymbidium myself, had it almost a year now, not doing something right, as its not doing much of anything. I'd say its pouting. I hope that helps answer some of your general questions.
Melanie
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  #10  
Unread 03-02-2010, 05:19 PM
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MH and CFL's will typically start changing the Kelvin temperature over time. This will effect the spectrum of light the bulbs emit. Light intensity will also decrease over time.

I would not wait 2 yrs. Changing the bulbs out every 1 yr should be the right amount of time to do it.

Tropical fish hobbyists who grow coral reefs at home change their bulbs out every year. Corals are much more sensitive than orchids are, because the coral animal is dependent on single celled algae called zooxanthellae (they're symbiotic dinoflagellates) for nutrients. These dinoflagellates are not very hardy compared to multicellular plants.

Last edited by King_of_orchid_growing:); 03-03-2010 at 05:34 PM..
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