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Old 05-27-2016, 12:44 PM
Vanda_lover Vanda_lover is offline
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Light and plants to choose
Default Light and plants to choose

Hi there ,

I am planning to make my own orchidarium. I have a problem to choose orchids as tank is coming with lights already . I found orchids that needs 2000-3000 foot candles , or 500-1000 foot candles. Description of ligthing in my tank says : The continuous wavelength output of the LED’s is between 400nm – 800nm. However there are two main peaks between 420nm-450nm and 630nm-650nm, with a minor peak between 540nm-570nm. These LED’s closely resemble a natural light output that is similar to the sun.
The Biopod has a UV emitting diode which emits UVB-B rays. The specific wavelength of UV rays emitted is between 295-305 nm.

So - how do I know if I should choose orchids with 2000-3000 foot candles or others?

Thank You for your help
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Old 05-27-2016, 12:55 PM
rbarata rbarata is offline
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Light and plants to choose Male

After your study and conclusion that those leds are equivalent to sun light, why not forget that you are talking about a tank and think as if you were in a natural environment?
Please note that I know nothing about orchidariums. It just make sense to me.
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Old 05-28-2016, 05:05 AM
Nexogen Nexogen is offline
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Light and plants to choose

It is a fake made in china with inflated price. Not even shows a real spectrum. He copied a picture from a website suckers fooled. I do not think what he writes there is also real.
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Old 05-28-2016, 10:27 AM
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Ray Ray is offline
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Light and plants to choose Male

You really should spend some time learning more about light, and it's integration with plants. Wavelengths and intensity are two, independent factors.
Ray Barkalow, Orchid Iconoclast
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Old 05-28-2016, 11:22 AM
Optimist Optimist is offline
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Light and plants to choose Female

These are 2 different measurements. As Ray says one is a description of light intensity, and another of light wavelengths, and it talks about the "color" of the LED's. Plants thrive in light colors of "far red" to yellow light. About 660-550 nm. The "entire" light spectrum is a "rainbow." In other words we can see the entire spectrum of white light divided and refracted when we see a rainbow, and this is what they are talking about.

Plants use only a "part" of the rainbow-- the red and yellow part.

Their epidermis allows red and yellow light to enter their cells, but they deflect other waves of light, which is why leaves appear green. Also when they turn yellow or red in the fall, they have lost their ability to deflect the light because they are dead.

Foot candles are another measurement. Intensity is simply how far/how near the full spectrum is away from you. In the case of fish tanks, the water impairs the light getting down to the bottom depending on how "deep" the tank is. The foot candle measure is shown by those fuzzy and sharp hand diagrams. Cattleya light is actually the "standard" orchid light because prior to Tiawan's Phalenopsis international trade, the Cattleya was the favorite orchid of most casual/hobby orchid growers. Cattleya light ranges from 2,000 to 3,000 foot-candles (about 65-70% shade). This "sounds" like a lot of sun but Florida can get 20,000 to 30,000 acumulation of FC hours per day. And FC changes througout the day. The moring could be 900 FC, the afternoon might be 6000 FC, the Evening could be back to 900FC. Summer FC averages are in the 8,000 to 10,000 FC depending on where you live, your altitude, latitude, and other factors. Humidity and wind cool the leaves. Shade cloths, or tree cover is necessary nearly with all orchids.

So, inside the house: The average living room or office gets a paltry 200 or so FC (I used to have the exact number). This is relative to outside FC, and of course, the light's access into your room (what side the window is on and so on). It is enough sun to see with. Human eyes are fairly bad when compared to other creatures in the natural world.

For your needs, first and foremost it is important not to "mix" orchids with low light needs with orchids with high light needs if you have a small "tank."

Anyway, like Ray says knowing about Light is really very important to plant growers. You do not need to be a whiz in physics, but reading up on the subject is going to make you happier in the long run.

No one can give a definitive answer really because plant growing (orchids) is a trial and error thing. You constantly have to "tweak" the environment. It becomes more of an art than a science at that point.

---------- Post added at 08:22 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:15 AM ----------

Apparently when plants were first formed, they reflected the red light. So the plants on the world, which were usually floating slime in the ocean were all red. You still have primitive red algea. Some plants do reflect red light. It is a specific cellular adaptation. I have an awesome plant with blood red leaves.

Lordy, I am a Nerd!!!!

Last edited by Optimist; 05-28-2016 at 11:18 AM..
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Old 05-28-2016, 11:58 AM
Nexogen Nexogen is offline
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Light and plants to choose

Wavelength Influence on Plants
Ultraviolet light (10nm-400nm)
Though overexposure to UV light is dangerous for the flora, small amounts of near-UV light can have beneficial effects. In many cases, UV light is a very important contributor for plant colors, tastes and aromas. This is an indication of near-UV light effect on metabolic processes. Studies show that 385 nm UV light promotes the accumulation of phenolic compounds, enhances antioxidant activity of plant extracts, but does not have any significant effect on growth processes.
Blue light (430nm-450nm)
The 450nm spectrum enables cryptochromes and phototropins to mediate plant responses such as phototropic curvature, inhibition of elongation growth, chloroplast movement, stomatal opening and seedling growth regulation. It affects chlorophyll formation, photosynthesis processes, and through the cryptochrome and phytochrome system, raises the photomorphogenetic response.
These wavelengths encourage vegetative growth through strong root growth and intense photosynthesis and are often used as supplemental light for seedlings and young plants during the vegetative stage of their growth cycle, especially when “stretching” must be reduced or eliminated.
Green light (500nm-550nm)
Green light is sometimes used as a tool for eliciting specific plant responses such as stomatal control, phototropism, photomorphogenic growth and environmental signaling. When combined with blue, red and far-red wavelengths, green light completes a comprehensive spectral treatment for understanding plant physiological activity.
Red light (640nm-680nm)
Red light affects phytochrome reversibility and is the most important for photosynthesis, flowering and fruiting regulation. These wavelengths encourage stem growth, flowering and fruit production, and chlorophyll production.
The 624nm region has the highest photosynthetic relative quantum yield for a range of plants. At the same time, its action on red-absorbing phytochrome is considerably weaker compared to that of 660 nm red light and can be used to balance the phytochrome equilibrium towards lower values (closer to those of daylight) than those achievable with 660 nm red light, especially when used together with 730 nm red light.
The 660nm wavelength has a very strong photosynthetic action and also exhibits the highest action on red-absorbing phytochrome regulated germination, flowering and other processes. Most effective for light cycle extension or night interruption to induce flowering of long-day plants or to prevent flowering of short-day plants, most energy-efficient source for photosynthesis among all available supplemental LEDs
Far red (730nm)
Although the 730nm wavelength is outside the photosynthetically active range, it has the strongest action on the far-red absorbing form of phytochrome, converting it back to the red-absorbing form. It becomes necessary for plants requiring relatively low values of the phytochrome photoequilibrium to flower, Can be used at the end of each light cycle to promote flowering in short-day plants.

Last edited by Nexogen; 05-28-2016 at 12:02 PM..
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Old 05-28-2016, 12:27 PM
Nexogen Nexogen is offline
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Light and plants to choose

I grow my plants in terrariums and use only LED light built right by me.
Below you can see the spectrum and its effect on plants.
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Old 05-28-2016, 12:37 PM
Nexogen Nexogen is offline
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Light and plants to choose

Last week I built another LED light
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Old 05-29-2016, 12:44 PM
theanalyst theanalyst is offline
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Light and plants to choose Female

I grow must of my orchids in an indoor greenhouse - it stands against a window, is about 6 ft tall and 2 ft in depth. I have flourescent lights for the bottom an middle shelf, which has a cattleya, zygopetalum, and a basil plant. The lights are the under cabinet style fluorescents. On the top shelf, I have a mini phal, oncidium, and gastrochilus japonicus. Along the back, I have a pane of opaque plastic that you would use to cover fluorescent lights mounted in a drop ceiling. This prevents direct sunlight from the window. The top shelf is the trickiest to manage and I frequently have to adjust. For example, I think there was still too much light, so I attached a large piece of white paper along the back for that shelf to dim the light some. Over the cold months, when there is less sunlight here, the paper is removed. Also, in addition to the light fixtures, I have a small humidifier in the greenhouse that I run sometimes when the AC is on in the house.
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Old 05-29-2016, 02:07 PM
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estación seca estación seca is offline
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Light and plants to choose

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Light and plants to choose Male

So, as you can see, some people want to know everything possible about light and plants.

Others want to maximize the efficiency of their lights, and use as little electricity as possible growing their orchids.

Others just want something that works.

Others are looking to minimize initial outlay of money.

Some are more or less concerned about how the growing area looks.

You won't know how your setup works until you put orchids into it. I would suggest starting with the highest-light plants first, and see how they look after a few days. If they're getting a lot of light, you might burn the lower-light plants.

The intensity of light falls off rapidly as the distance from the source increases. A lot of people put high-light plants closer to the lights, up on some kind of support, with lower-light plants below.
May the bridges I've burned light my way.

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