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  #1  
Old 04-07-2020, 09:49 PM
deerfern deerfern is offline
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Default Where to point the trigger?

Ok so I want to make a grow light shelving unit for my orchids.

I'm ready to pull the trigger... just don't know where to point it!

I have to admit, I think understanding PAR and everything that goes with it might be ... over my head at this point.

So I have this 30" wide 14" deep metal wire 5 shelf unit on wheels. I am not sure what to buy, but I know whatever I buy, I want it to last. So I am willing to sink a little money in it... but not too much. I just don't want anything cheap. I know, hard place, yep, that's where I am right now.

So I decided that since I am starting from scratch, I should get LED's. If I want to add a T5 on the bottom later perhaps that would be good.

Sunblaster? Mars Hydro? California Light Works?

Does anyone have any thoughts on these or any other lights that may work? Again, my set up is only 30" wide, 14" depth.
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Last edited by deerfern; 04-07-2020 at 10:23 PM..
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  #2  
Old 04-07-2020, 10:24 PM
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Leafmite Leafmite is offline
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I have one of the smaller, single-lamp (2ft?) Sunblaster led lights and really like it. I haven't tried the others as most of my lights are fluorescent lamps. Hopefully others will chime in.
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  #3  
Old 04-08-2020, 07:38 AM
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Deerfern - Check out the lamps sold by theorchidhobbyist.com. I think they are some of the best quality, best value LED plant lights going.

Your shelving unit looks great (I did a 4' wide version in PA), but be aware you may have to reduce the number of shelves to increase the room for the plants + lamps.
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  #4  
Old 04-12-2020, 09:07 PM
thefish1337 thefish1337 is offline
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whatever it is don't get one of those god awful red and blue LEDs. they're terrible on the eyes and make it very hard to assess the health of your plants.
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Old 04-12-2020, 11:11 PM
deerfern deerfern is offline
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Thanks. I went with theorchidshobbist.com.

We shall see if the light comes off and red/blue like you said. This is my first shot so I hope I made the right decision!

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Originally Posted by thefish1337 View Post
whatever it is don't get one of those god awful red and blue LEDs. they're terrible on the eyes and make it very hard to assess the health of your plants.


---------- Post added at 10:11 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:10 PM ----------

Ray, I went with them. They look great, so I shall see soon! Thanks so much for all your help.

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Originally Posted by Ray View Post
Deerfern - Check out the lamps sold by theorchidhobbyist.com. I think they are some of the best quality, best value LED plant lights going.

Your shelving unit looks great (I did a 4' wide version in PA), but be aware you may have to reduce the number of shelves to increase the room for the plants + lamps.
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Old 05-11-2020, 09:33 AM
Keysguy Keysguy is offline
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deerfern------- can you provide an update on those lights you bought? I'm looking at those as well.
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Old 05-11-2020, 12:12 PM
hypostatic hypostatic is offline
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Hey! If you just want to be utilitarian, you can just throw together whatever you find lol. Here are my two franken-units.





The shelving was bought at hope depot, or lowes, or target; can't remember which. One bulb is a CFL, the other is a much brighter LED bulb. The hydrofarm ballast is meh, and I don't recommend it.

I'd say don't worry about PAR, but do worry about "light intensity". The amount of light can be important for growth and flowering in many orchids. If you get a light meter that reads in Lux or foot candles (FCs), you'll be able to tell quantitatively how much light your orchids are getting.

I also wouldn't worry too much about LED color composition, or trying to be really fancy in that regards. Personally I think it's important that the lighting looks "natural", cuz I want to be able to appreciate the natural colors of the plant.

The two-tier system that you're thinking of is a good idea to me. I have misting in one of the setups, so that wouldn't work well with the electronics I think.
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Old 05-11-2020, 12:34 PM
Keysguy Keysguy is offline
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When I had my greenhouse up north I had one of those high intensity, high power things (sodium?) in a hood that was on a track and had a motor so it could travel back and forth and provide light over a greater area than if it were just stationary. I still have it and have no clue why I kept it other than it was expensive and thought maybe I could sell it.
Now no one wants those things, especially me! It had a ballast that must have weighed close to 50# and it ran hotter than hell! Every time that thing came on the lights in the whole house dimmed!
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