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  #1  
Old 09-10-2017, 11:07 PM
Cheddarbob14 Cheddarbob14 is offline
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Suggestions to convert shelf to grow light set up? Male
Default Suggestions to convert shelf to grow light set up?

I'm a complete novice to growing under lights. Have been reading a lot of the threads here that last few days. Have reached an information overload point! I've got a great shelf setup, that I think could easily be converted to a grow light area for my orchids. Would really be interested in hearing what you pros would suggest. Would love to go an led route for the long term cost savings, but open to any ideas. Each shelf is about 12 inches deep, by about 30 inches wide, and 12 inches between each shelf. My initial thought is led light strips that could easily be slapped onto the bottom side of each shelf. Thoughts?Thanks in advance!

Edit, some other pertinent information: the only time my orchids ever go outside is during a nice easy rain, that shelf sits immediately adjacent to an east facing bay window, another kitchen window to the right. Brief direct sun in the morning, very bright until early evening. I have 4 phals, 1 paph, 1 dendrobium, 1 vanda, about 10 oncidium types, and about 10 cattleyas. Mostly higher light lovers, which currently sit in the bay window area. Cattleyas have the slight purple tinge in their leaves so they do enjoy where they are at, but I like to move things around quite often and would like to be able to utilize the shelf.
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Last edited by Cheddarbob14; 09-10-2017 at 11:19 PM..
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  #2  
Old 09-11-2017, 01:31 AM
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Since you're going to be growing under lights....

What if you left that beautiful shelf where it is, to be used for your family mementos, and got a different unit to put in a darker spot? Maybe the basement is more humid?

Your existing unit won't be as easy to convert to use with lights as one with adjustable shelves.

These are $75 at my local Costco. The Web price is higher because it includes delivery.
TRINITY EcoStorage™ 6-Tier Wire Shelving Rack, 48” x 18” x 72”, NSF, Includes Wheels
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  #3  
Old 09-11-2017, 06:04 AM
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Dollythehun Dollythehun is offline
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In a previous post, I mentioned Sunblaster Strip LEDs. They are low profile and easy to install and gang together if necessary. They are unobtrusive, run cool without that eerie pink glow.
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Old 09-11-2017, 07:13 AM
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I use one of the wire shelf units similar to Estacion Seca recommended with led strips intended for planted aquaria. The nice thing is the lights have sliding bars on the ends which allows them to fit aquaria of different lengths. They make attaching the lights to the shelf quick and easy. The setup is currently disassembled since the plants are outside and I'm moving in the next couple weeks. I have a few pics I can dig up later today, but I'll get good ones as I set it back up.
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Old 09-11-2017, 11:55 AM
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That is a nice shelf and I agree that you should leave it as is. I bought this:

Amazon.com: Alera Complete Wire Shelving Unit with Caster, Black Anthracite: Home & Kitchen

And then I bought these lights:

Amazon.com : Hydro farm Fluorescent Grow Light T5 Tube System - 4 x 4 Foot : Patio, Lawn & Garden

I bought S-hooks (very cheap from local hardware store) and clear plastic tableclothes (from Walmart for $5). I also bought a type of hook that closes (these came with adjustable light hangers which I never used as I needed the shelf space for my lights and plants).

The shelving unit is very easy to assemble and easy to do by oneself. I can adjust the shelves to fit my plants, and two of the wheels lock in place so it doesn't roll. The lights have holes on the side which I used with the S-hooks to hang the lights flush against the above shelf after attaching the given hangers to the shelves with the snap shut hook for added stability. To protect the floor, I put a clear plastic table cloth beneath the shelving unit and then, to protect the steel shelf and my lights, I lined each shelf with a third of another plastic table cloth.

I grow plants other than orchids and so, for the one shelving unit, I just removed a shelf so that the taller plants have more space.
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Old 09-11-2017, 08:33 PM
Cheddarbob14 Cheddarbob14 is offline
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The funny thing is, I bought that shelf for orchids, but at the time I didn't have any cattleyas, and very few oncidiums. Gave away a bunch of phals to make room for my new favorites, which at the same time, due to lack of direct light, made the shelf obsolete. I insist on keeping the orchids either in there (dining room/kitchen) or in our family room, where we spend 90% of our time. Buying a new shelf is out.....for now. Another reason I'm looking into this, is my 1st spider mite outbreak. Currently everything is packed tightly together on 3 separate tables, having them all so close together was a recipe for disaster. I need to spread them out a bit, and having the option of natural sunlight or artificial light will help a ton. I know 1 thing for sure, my collectiin will not be getting any bigger, until we finish our basement amd hijack a corner for a nice indoor grow area. Thanks again to all of you for your input!
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Old 09-11-2017, 10:19 PM
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The shelf is only eighteen inches wide, if that helps. I agree it is not as attractive as a wooden shelf but, for me, it is practical. I keep all my plants where I can enjoy them as, for me, that is the entire point of growing them.

I have seen set ups where people grow plants in small spaces like closets and end tables that have a lower shelf so your shelf should work. I do not know much about LED lights but, with the fluorescent lights, if the plant gets too close, the leaves burn. Some of my Cattleyas, however, were able to get one or two inches away from the lights before that happened. The fluorescent lamps that I have seen (and have) tend to be thick which would mean less room for the orchids. I have noticed these, though, while looking for clip-on lights and they seem to have decent reviews:

OxyLED M-01 Flexible LED Plant Strip Lights Grow Lights, 24W Waterproof Plant Growing Bar Lights with AC Adapter for Office, Home, Indoor Garden Greenhouse Organic Hydroponics (3 x Strip Light) - - Amazon.com

Amazon.com : [Pack of 5]eSavebulbs Led Grow Light Strips 5W 16ft/Strip Led Grow Light Bar Flexible Soft Led Strip Light for Indoor Plants Veg Flower : Patio, Lawn & Garden


If you wanted to put the plants on the outer shelves, clip on lights work very well. I bought a Woods clip-on reflector and a grow bulb to supplement the light for my Cinnamon and Neem trees as they are too tall for my shelves. Amazon has plenty of those from which to choose.
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Last edited by Leafmite; 09-11-2017 at 10:40 PM..
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Old 09-12-2017, 09:05 PM
Cheddarbob14 Cheddarbob14 is offline
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Thanks again everyone for your great suggestions and ideas. I'm gonna be doing a complete 180, and downsize, my already modest collection. Will be donating to the non profit outreach program recently posted in the beginner thread. I started with phals, fell in love with oncidiums, and will be booting my oncidiums in favor of the new hotness.....cattleyas.

When our basement eventually gets finished, I'll maybe add more variety again, who knows!
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Old 09-13-2017, 01:02 AM
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Unless you are of uncommon discipline, you will eventually get more shelves, perhaps when your basement is finished. When that time comes, plastic zip ties will be your friends!
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Last edited by AnonYMouse; 09-13-2017 at 01:08 AM..
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Old 09-13-2017, 10:03 AM
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Sometimes I think zip ties would be best used to tie my hands behind my back so I can't click "Buy Now."
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