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Old 06-06-2022, 04:03 PM
Leisesturm Leisesturm is offline

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Default How It Used to Be

Was going through some photos and found these two from when I lived in a basement apartment on Staten Island, NYC. This was the state of the Gardening Under Light art in the late 1990's. Lights off. Lights on.

Many were still using only 4' (40W) shoplights. You could use four tubes and get 1000fc anywhere under the tubes. 1:1 cool white spectrum and warm white spectrum = sunlight was the thinking.

I wanted better than Phal level light so I used 60W incandescents and 23W compact fluorescent (new and radical). These were 100W equivalent fluoro's so technically I needed 100W candies in the sockets but 1. 100W incandescents are very, very hot, and 2. NYC had (still has) some of the highest electricity rates in the country.

I made a real pest of myself in another life and on another orchid forum preaching the 'Light Gospel' as some called it. There was wide reluctance in those days to using lights at all. The cost, the hassle, the aesthetics. Those that did use lights did not use enough. I made a few converts.

This time around I am doing well at holding my tongue about using lights. For one thing, lots of you are! And LED isn't at all eyebrow raising. I recently bought an LED light. Just amazing. I already have another on the way. Thanks for looking back with me.
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Old 06-06-2022, 04:15 PM
Dimples Dimples is offline
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Your setup was very ahead of its time. It looks a lot like what I see on social media these days when people want grow lights in their living spaces that don’t look like industrial grow lights. A few pendant housings + LED grow bulbs and nobody’s the wiser. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 06-06-2022, 04:54 PM
Clawhammer Clawhammer is offline
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How It Used to Be

I grew some decent (plant name redacted) under similar lights in the 90's. I had a 2022 power bill
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Old 06-06-2022, 06:03 PM
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Ray Ray is offline
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When I started growing orchids in the early 70’s, I used a combo of incandescent bulbs and low-wattage fluorescent shop lights, 50/50 wattage-wise.

Worked just fine for many genera.
Ray Barkalow, Orchid Iconoclast
Try Kelpak - you won't be sorry!
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Old 06-06-2022, 06:45 PM
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Paphluvr Paphluvr is offline
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I wish I could find pictures of my first setup. It had 2 twin tube 8' HO lamps using 2 cool white and two Gro-Lux wide spectrum tubes. The bench itself was built out of redwood, the surface covered with 1/2" hardware cloth. The reflector was made out of Masonite painted white on the inside. It was capable of being raised or lower in 4" increments. Used this setup to bloom a Paph. parishii that took best of show in Toronto back in the seventies. Seven buds with four flowers open for the show.
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Old 06-06-2022, 06:54 PM
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estación seca estación seca is offline
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My first light setup was to overwinter cacti and succulents in St. Louis. The goal was to give them light so they stayed alive, but keep them dry so they didn't grow. Most cacti and many succulents grown under any kind of electric lights etiolate unless the light is extremely intense.

I hung a high pressure sodium bulb over my collection in the basement. There was a motorized rail that moved the light back and forth about 3 feet so more area could be illuminated. One day I came home to find the bulb had exploded and damaged most of my plants with hot glass shards. I switched to 4' double tube standard fluorescent lights.

The last fish in one of my aquaria died recently, an African leaf fish 14 years old. (Polycentropsis abbreviata.) I'm debating whether to convert that 55 gallon tank into a terrarium with LED lights. The problem is my house has very wide temperature swings between winter and summer because I don't use much heat nor much air conditioning.
May the bridges I've burned light my way.

Weather forecast for my neighborhood
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Old 06-07-2022, 06:12 PM
smweaver smweaver is offline
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Thanks for posting those photos. They brought back memories here too. I had two 1000 watt metal halide lamps in one of the bedrooms, and during the winter (they weren't needed in the summer) I'm guessing that night-flying pilots could use the light glowing from that room as a navigational landmark. I also had a lot of fried orchids, and tried to bring them back to health by lowering the pH of the water while using--although I didn't know this at the time--a faulty pH meter. So between providing the orchids with a miniature version of the Sahara Desert along with showers of acid rain, I'm a little ashamed to admit all of this now!

Last edited by smweaver; 06-07-2022 at 06:15 PM..
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100w, led, light, lights, nyc

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