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-   -   The Windowsill Orchidarium Project (http://www.orchidboard.com/community/windowsill-growing/95352-windowsill-orchidarium-project.html)

sesh 09-21-2017 08:34 AM

The Windowsill Orchidarium Project
 
Hi Everyone,

After writing many drafts of the problem and the solution I have in mind, I thought a doodle would actually say it most effectively, so here goes.

This problem is probably faced by a large number of people growing plants in the urban space:
https://i.imgur.com/Hkywrf7.jpg

The solution:
https://i.imgur.com/OWbZiOq.jpg

Why am I calling it an Orchidarium project?
Even though the main change is to be as a result of lighting, I will need to automate everything, Lights, fans, humidifier, watering.

Regards,
Seshadri

---------- Post added at 05:41 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:02 PM ----------

I began the project with my biggest problem: light.

I have three distinct groups:
1. Phalaenopsis and Paphiopedilums
2. Cattleyas, dendrobiums and (wishful thinking-vandas)
3. Species collection (needing high light and a rest period, and which grow in a very naturally disorganized manner)

All three groups need a similar kind of arrangement:
Taller growing plants/lower light plants at the bottom on tiers, and the grill on top populated with mounts/hanging pots.

For example, in window 1, the paphs would be on pots on tiers at the bottom, and the phals would be hung on the grill.
https://i.imgur.com/AKy5o90.jpg

This means that I need to buy/design/make a light that can sit on the top, but has the strength to reach the plants at the bottom, has to be cheap, and doesn't inflate my power bill!

---------- Post added at 06:04 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:41 PM ----------

In Mumbai, the weather is hot, then wet, then hot again, barring a couple of months nov-dec, when it gets cool enough to not need air-conditioning.

So now my lights need to be cheap, bright, efficient, and cool. that pretty much narrowed my choices down to LED lights.

To that end, after a lot of reading(mostly here), I ordered these lights from aliexpress,
https://i.imgur.com/QxSuuyq.png
1pcs Hydroponice AC 220V 20w 30w 50w led grow chip full spectrum 380nm 840nm for indoor led grow light-in LED Grow Lights from Lights & Lighting on Aliexpress.com | Alibaba Group

and posted an enquiry here:
Why LEDs make bad plant lights (facts + pics!)

The update is, @Naoki, you were right, that fan is sufficient for the light. The first fan I tried with was faulty.
When I tried it again yesterday, it stayed cool, even after 3hrs, so the cooling for these leds is now resolved.
Now I will be creating an array, and measure the light output vs power consumption.

Regards,
Seshadri

Dollythehun 09-21-2017 09:26 AM

That is an impressive project. Amazing job. Good luck.

Leafmite 09-21-2017 12:17 PM

Birds can really do the damage. Good luck! I hope you have great success with your project and orchids!

sesh 12-16-2019 05:19 AM

Hi everyone!

First, apologies for disappearing after initiating this thread. Many changes in life contributed (business, moving to a new house, and a child).
Moving to a new apartment meant I could not put plants on the windowsill, and so the project was terminated.

A couple of quick points on the LEDs in the previous posts. Though easy to use, the light output was only 1500lux when measured at 50cm away. If it was really a 50W LED at 80lm/watt, I should have got a reading of 5000lux or so. That meant that the unit might consume 50W of power, but the LED is definitely not a 50W led. Probably a 20-30W chip, I have no way of finding out. Anyways, that was that.

However, canít go without orchids, can we?

Since the only space available to me to do with as I like was my studio (no usable window-sills here either), I have been building a completely indoor Orchidarium, with plants growing only under artificial light.

I will be starting a new thread to share my experience.

Thanks again everyone!


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