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Go Back   Orchid Board - Most Complete Orchid Forum on the web ! > ORCHID ALLIANCES > Cattleya Alliance
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  #1  
Unread 05-10-2013, 02:33 PM
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Join Date: May 2013
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Location: WV
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Default Cattleya - Indoor Lighting

Hi Everyone! It's a pleasure to be part of the forum.

I do need some help/advice.... I'm a hobbyist at best and love my Cattleya's! My cattleya collection
has grown well beyond the windowsill.....I now have about 40 plants. The winters in WV are grey and have taken a toll on the cattleya's due to the lack of light at the window. Summer is not a problem as they will go outside. I'm going to section off part of an unused room in my basement for a "winter grow room". My question is lighting. The more I read the more I get confused . T5's, High Pressure Sodium, MH, etc etc...can you help? I know cattleya's should received somewhere between 2000 and 3000 foot candles of light but I just don't know what system would be best. If I'm going to make the small investment I want to do it right. My concern with T5's is am I going to be confined to keep my plants right under the light and have no work room? Will T5's give me the foot candles I need for Cattleya's? I know with MH and High pressure sodium come heat issues as well but these might not be so confining in a work area? The added heat will probably be needed as said before this is for winter growing in a basement. I'm very confused and your help would be greatly appreciated!
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  #2  
Unread 05-10-2013, 02:57 PM
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High output T5's work very well for Catts. Remember that the 2000-3000 fc's is typically the light that a Catt will receive at noon when growing outside in its native habitat. However, a plant that is growing inside with no overhead leaves or clouds to block the sun need much less intense light through the course of the day.

T5's also suck down less energy than MH lights and don't produce much heat. LED's are even better in this regard and Ray (https://www.firstrays.com/cgi/cart/c...exact_match=on) sells some that work very well and plug into any incandescent outlet.
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Catasetums, Stanhopeas and Cattleyas?? Yes please!!!!
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  #3  
Unread 05-10-2013, 06:08 PM
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8 to 10 inches below T5HO for 12 hrs a day should be more than enough for catts. As long as they don't spike too high you could even put them closer but it shouldn't be necessary.

Bill
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  #4  
Unread 05-13-2013, 10:53 AM
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Thanks isurus 79 and billc! As I said it gets very confusing.
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  #5  
Unread 05-13-2013, 11:07 AM
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Really, you don't even need T5s, IMHO. I've been able to bloom cattelyas in a basement grow room under T8s. I replace the bulbs annually, summer outside, and in the fall/winter, run the lights 12 hours a day. I've even had some catts that I've had to move towards the ends of the benches because they are showing signs of too much light. Isurus79 has it right - the 2000-3000 number is the high point of the day outdoors. Plants grown under lights can bloom successfully with much lower light levels because the light is consant.
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  #6  
Unread 05-20-2013, 02:52 PM
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Thanks to everyone that responded Can anyone recommend a T5 system. I'm probably looking at 2-4ft 8-blub systems. I've read on the forum that those with individual bulb reflectors are better. Any recommendations?
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  #7  
Unread 05-20-2013, 04:02 PM
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I've had good luck with everything I've purchased from Greenhouse Megastore | We sell the things that make plants grow. Hobby Greenhouse Kits, Garden Supplies & more!, despite the cheesy name. Worms Way, which has a decent website, also has all kinds of lighting systems and offers several T5 fixtures. If you still want to consider LED's, Bird's Botanicals in Kansas City has some affordable options. They had a nice demo at a recent show I attended. Bird's grows all their plants in a cave, so everything is under lights. Of course, you'll always great things said about First Rays, too.
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