How to Calculate your desired light levels
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  #1  
Old 01-20-2008, 11:58 PM
Ocelaris Ocelaris is offline
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Default How to Calculate your desired light levels

Here is a good info I found while scouring the internet on how to figure out how much light you need for your plants, and how far away the light can be to achieve various light levels... This can also be used to figure out T-5 lights, it's not exactly the same as it's a diffuse light as opposed to a point source, but that can be a good thing... Some sample numbers at the bottom will help hopefully. This scales fairly accurately with my measurements of my 100 and 150w MH, which I've included below.

Quote:
Quote:CaliGrower
okay heres the monkey wrench....

while some lamps have more lumen output, what about PAR wattage(photosynthetically available radiation)???


HPS bulbs put out more lumens, but MH lamps have more blue photons that are usuable for photosynthesis..meaning that while HPS lamps put out more lumens, more of the lumens that are put out by MH lamps are actually usuable by the plant itself..


Exactly. We can convert the illuminance received from any distance from the bulb into irradiance of Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR) provided that we can measure the amount of light that falls into that frequency (400nm 700nm) from each type of bulb. And we can.

The units of irradiance used for this is the microEinstein per square meter per second (microEinstein/m/s). A microEinstein can also be called a micromole (umol). Ill use the micromole below.

The conversion from Foot-Candles of illluminance to umol/m/s of irradiance within the range 400nm 700nm (PAR) for a standard HPS and a standard MH is as follows:

High Pressure Sodium 0.1291
Metal Halide 0.1506

If we wanted to compare the amount of (PAR) we get 18 away from a 400 watt High Pressure Sodium to a 400 watt Metal Halide we would do this:

Foot-Candles = Lumens (2 Pi d2 (1 - cos(A/2))) )

Where:
A = The degree of the reflector. (Most of us have 120 reflectors)
d = The distance from the bulb in feet.
Pi = 3.14159

Foot-Candles = 50000 ( 2 Pi d (1 - cos(120/2)))
Foot-Candles = 50000 ( 2 Pi d (1 - cos(60)))
Foot-Candles = 50000 ( 2 Pi d (1 - 0.5))
Foot-Candles = 50000 ( 6.283 2.25 0.5)
Foot-Candles = 50000 (7.068)
Foot-Candles = 7,074 from 18 away.

We do the same calculation as above for the Metal Halide substituting 50,000 lumens for 36,000 lumens and we get 5,093 Foot-Candles from 18 away.

We apply the conversions to irradiance for each bulb and from 18 away we get:

High Pressure Sodium - 7074 0.1291 = 913.25
Metal Halide 5093 0.1506 = 767

So, from 18 away the growing power for each bulb would be:

High Pressure Sodium = 913.25 umol/m/s.

Metal Halide = 767 umol/m/s.

So, we get 19% more growing power from an HPS than an MH, but your point is well made when we realize the HPS puts out 39% more overall light than the Metal Halide. As youre saying the extra blue being emitted from the MH almost makes up for its lesser efficiency in making overall light.
These are my actual measurements:

150w MH (12,000 lumens)
feet ----- Foot Candles
0 ----- 20,000
.5 ----- 7,000
1 ----- 2000
1.5 ----- 1000
2 ----- 500

100w MH (8,000 lumens)
feet ----- Foot Candles
0 ----- 12,500
.5 ----- 2500
1 ----- 850
1.5 ----- 200

Below are theoretical, the "best case scenario" so take a little off for your reflector inefficiency and glass/acrylic inbetween.

400w MH (40,000 lumens)
feet----- foot candles
0.5 ----- 50,931
1 ----- 12,733
1.5 ----- 5,659
2 ----- 3,183
2.5 ----- 2,037
3 ----- 1,415
3.5 ----- 1,039
4 ----- 796


250w MH (20,000 lumens)
Feet Foot Candles
0.5 ----- 25,466
1 ----- 6,366
1.5 ----- 2,830
2 ----- 1,592
2.5 ----- 1,019
3 ----- 707
3.5 ----- 520
4 ----- 398

150w MH (12,000 lumens)
Feet Foot Candles
0.5 ----- 15,279
1 ----- 3,820
1.5 ----- 1,698
2 ----- 955
2.5 ----- 611
3 ----- 424
3.5 ----- 312
4 ----- 239
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  #2  
Old 01-21-2008, 11:21 AM
Grandma M Grandma M is offline
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THANKS for the info. I copied it so I can have it as a reference. I'm sure it will be very useful.
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  #3  
Old 01-21-2008, 12:18 PM
Ely Ely is offline
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Interesting... I will use this information while selecting lights for my orchidarium. Big numbers; they hurt, THEY HURT! Just joking! Thank you very much.
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  #4  
Old 01-21-2008, 05:38 PM
Ocelaris Ocelaris is offline
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I know, they're larger numbers than I would like to see... but there is something to be said for a point source of light versus a diffuse source, like a T-5, where the light is much more evenly distributed. If you have a spot light, sure in the middle it's super high foot candles, but as soon as you move a few inches it drops off very rapidly. Where as a Flourescent fixture, the light levels are pretty much even over the entire area, so you don't have to worry about some getting burned and others getting not enough.

If you're not growing very tall plants, then it would make more sense to me to use fluorescents, T-5 and the like, because you can get a lot closer since in any one spot the heat is not too much. Where as a Metal Halide or High Pressure Sodium the heat is so concentrated it can burn if not properly cooled.
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  #5  
Old 01-21-2008, 07:40 PM
Ely Ely is offline
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Hmmm... Different lights for the psychopsis then?
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  #6  
Old 08-23-2010, 08:21 PM
Call_Me_Bob Call_Me_Bob is offline
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is there any way to do this for flourescent lights? or did i miss something. i dont think i fully understand
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  #7  
Old 08-23-2010, 11:24 PM
Ocelaris Ocelaris is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by help View Post
is there any way to do this for flourescent lights? or did i miss something. i dont think i fully understand
A 40watt T12 bulb is like 2500 lumens at 0', so the math is there (if you want to plug the formulas into an excel spreadsheet), but this is a rough estimate... Basically if you get over a foot away with fluorescent tubes, you might as well be getting filtered northern light... (aka nada)... They work fine as long as they're basically pressed up against the lights, for example cattleya babies or phals , but I wouldn't expect to grow anything too light demanding if you have it over 6" away... Nothing that is tall in height like a oncidium because you end up having to move the bulbs too high; but "flat" orchids will do fine. I looked up T5s, and the 54watt is 5000 lumens, so maybe double a typical 40w T12 (the 4 foot bulbs you see for shop lights).

0' = 2500 lumens
.5' = 800
1' = 300
1.5' = 75
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:35 PM
Call_Me_Bob Call_Me_Bob is offline
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its the second one you mentioned, the 40w t12.

right now i have two fixtures, so thats 4 bulbs. right now i set it up [just tonight] and the plants are 13" away from the lights, is that too far away? i can adjust them. it is for the "phal shelf" also, id like to know about for catts and dens, they are tall. what do i do then?
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Old 08-14-2011, 09:25 PM
Kelo Kelo is offline
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I hate figures, just hate them. I could never handle them. Just tell me what to get for growth and flowering and I'm happy LOL. Catts are tall like dens but according to what I'm reading it feels like I need lights with biblical proportions if I have to suspend them three feet above the plants. Oh dear...why am I so dense with figures.
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