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  #1  
Old 08-03-2013, 04:41 PM
Jayfar Jayfar is offline
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Lightbulb A Neo Lighting and Growing Environment Thread

Starting this thread from a sidetrip in another thread:


Quote:
Originally Posted by LinhT View Post
Honestly, I don't know for sure, what the key is to get more blooms. I can just give you a detailed description of my growing conditions?

Through trying different things and varying different factors each year, I found this is what works best for me. This may end up being a long boring essay so I apologize ahead of time.

During the Winter rest period, they stay in my basement. Temps are up to high 60's F during the day and down to
as low as low 50's F during the night. I put them under some Kessel H150 LEDs last year, about 18 inches below the lights. I used a mixture of purple and magenta. They get dunked in RO water when the moss mound is so dry that it lifts out of the pot easily. About once a month I add a few drops of HB-101 to the water. Humidity n the room is around 50 to 60%. There is some natural light coming through a south window in the room. In their natural habitat, the light they receive is actually brighter in Winter than Summer but the hours of light are less. So the LED's go on at sunrise and off at sunset. I turn the fan on for the days that they get watered. As the daylight hours get longer and temps increase, they start to put out new roots. This is when I usually remound them and start fertilizing moderately with HB-101 about once a week and Biogold once a month. I never mix the HB-101 with Biogold and always make sure to use RO water with the ferts. As they start to bloom, the root tips close up a bit and I ease off on the fertilizer. Once the blooms fade, they start to have active root tips again and I begin the fert regimen again. They grow outside in a shade house open on both ends so there is always circulation. I use 70% aluminet shade cloth on the top part of the shade house. 30% on the eastern facing side and 70% on the western facing side. It seems the more light they get during the growing season and resting period, coupled with the coldest temps they can endure safely during the winter, the more buds and spikes they may have. I keep them outside until it's too cold for them to be out there safely (except for last year when I screwed up, of course). All in all, I'd say growing them outdoors had made a great difference due to the increased circulation, light and temps.
Thanks, Ginger! When I used to have mine on the windowsill, I had them close to the window and the windows were drafty. It got around 50's F at night right by the window. As long as your garage does not dip below 50 degrees F, I'd say they will be just fine. You can choose to wrap them up and put them in the garage but I find that if they get a good amount of light during the Winter rest, I get more blooms and spikes in the Summer. They should still bloom, even if the temps are not cold enough in the Winter. It just seems mine tend to have more flowers when it they get a cold, bright Winter rest.

Hope all this info is helpful!
Quote:
Originally Posted by DelawareJim View Post
Interesting about the LEDs Tracy. This past spring, I replaced all my aquarium lights with LEDs and I'm working on specs to replace all my grow lights. I'm providing more light and my electric bill has gone down!

I'm working with the owner of Build my LED on selecting the right fixture lengths and lens spread for best coverage right now. It's great, I tell him what the planned use is, footprint of the shelves, distance from plants to lights and he emails a recommendation with the spread pattern and spectral analysis. Based on his recommendation and my own research his 25% green enhanced light is the way to go. NASA has done some fascinating research on this for plants in long-term space exploration.
Green-Enhanced Growth Spectrum - Build My LED, LLC

Cheers.
Jim
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jayfar View Post
My lighting is kind of a mishmash right now. My table where the Neos live (and are pushing the other Vandas out) has a 200W 6500K CFL fixture hanging about 2' above it which is on about 14 hours most days. This is supplemented by one of the 13W LEDs from First Rays about 10" above the tops of the Neos, but only for about 8 hours daily. That light is in an Ikea Tertial fixture without the shade installed and for the other half of the day I have it swiveled around to provide supplemental lighting to an adjacent table of Phals. I also use another of the LED bulbs and Tertial fixture to light another table of Phals that previously only had spillover lighting from a large terrarium and, several feet away, off to one side, a southern window.

https://www.firstrays.com/cgi/cart/c...ghting&pid=700

TERTIAL Work lamp - IKEA

I do want to look into the LEDs that Jim just posted about. The customization options are a big plus. I did notice, though, that the linked study on green-enhanced spectrum compares results with cool-white fluorescents, as opposed to the 6500K CFLs that I use.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LinhT View Post
This is quite interesting. I vaguely remember seeing your thread on this a little while back. I think someone was questioning the research on this and mentioned something about the benefits of adding LED's in the far red region.

Thanks for the link. I'll check it out.
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  #2  
Old 08-07-2013, 09:17 AM
Jayfar Jayfar is offline
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So how do you light your Neo growing area?
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:31 AM
Joyorchid Joyorchid is offline
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A Neo Lighting and Growing Environment Thread
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I'm glad you started this thread, Jayfar.

I only have 3 neos, and they are hydrids to boot. A neostylis and 2 ascf. They are under a skylight in my living room with a peak of 2000 fc of light every day. The twinkle has spiked and bloomed successively in this spot but I have only had them a few months.

I also have a new t5 HO 4 ft 4 bulb system that I put my vandas under as well as some phals but further away. I desperately want to get a few true neos, but I am not sure how they would do under the lights?

And come winter, should my hybrids go under the lights? I am leaning towards yes.
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  #4  
Old 08-07-2013, 03:06 PM
jeremiah.chua jeremiah.chua is offline
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I don't see the need for artificial lighting for these orchids. They are not demanding and don't require such intense light. I just give them indirect sunlight in my bedroom and they're doing perfectly fine as far as I can tell. LEDs and T5 (or other growing lights) easily add up in expenses. Been there, done that, with aquatic plants. Those guys actually NEEDED the light supplement. But neos? Nahhhhh...

Sunlight is free, use it! No reason to overcomplicate things, unless you live in a space with no windows/sunlight coming in.
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Old 08-07-2013, 05:06 PM
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I have t8's and t12s and t5s. The large vandas grow under the t5s and bloom roughly every month and a half. The phals are under the t5s and t8s. The neos are currently under a t12 that will likely not be used any more once mygrow area is re-done.

My house has a solarium on the west side and while that has been lovely to have, it is a nightmare for keeping conditions ripe for growing chids. This is why I choose to grow under lights and why I also grow in the basement.

Right about here is where I get jokes from my fellow Coloradans about "what exactly" do I grow in the basement... no, I don't grow weed... I grow something fairly relaxing though. lol

My solar can get extremely hot in the summer, even with the windows open or the shades closed. It's brutal... and in the winter, yeah, it can get pretty chilly. The only plants I grow in there are citrus, my bonsai succulent trees and hibiscus. The hibiscus don't like the cold but they're also BIG and they need the light only that room can provide.

Anyway, growing under lights and in the basement has been realy good to my plants. Now I need to move the plants to a room I built for them and be able to provide even better conditions for them.


t5s are awesome, btw.... love them.
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Old 08-07-2013, 07:57 PM
coffeecup coffeecup is offline
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I grow Neos under T5 lights with Catt level lighting. I adjust the hours of exposure with the winter and summer hours. This year, I tried longer winter hours and everything spiked earlier this year. I'm not sure if I'll do that again this winter though.
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Old 08-07-2013, 08:51 PM
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Sunlight may be free but during the winter months, I just don't have enough exposure.

Last winter, I just left everything in the bathroom and kept the light on. I'm probably going to have to set up something different this year (a lesson learned from the temp drops-even with the lights on).
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Old 08-08-2013, 03:54 PM
rangiku rangiku is offline
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I grow mine in a west window in my bedroom. The window has no screen or curtain. The room is cool in the winter, but I'm thinking of moving them for the winter for more light (oh no, won't be the first orchids I see when I get up!) to an east window that has a screen on it or a south window with a screen on it. Both rooms are cooler than the bedroom.

Any thoughts on this?
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Old 08-08-2013, 08:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rangiku View Post
I grow mine in a west window in my bedroom. The window has no screen or curtain. The room is cool in the winter, but I'm thinking of moving them for the winter for more light (oh no, won't be the first orchids I see when I get up!) to an east window that has a screen on it or a south window with a screen on it. Both rooms are cooler than the bedroom.

Any thoughts on this?
I move mine to a south facing window in winter. I don't know if it's necessary - mine are also in a west facing window the rest of the year.
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Old 08-08-2013, 09:26 PM
Jayfar Jayfar is offline
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A southern window is what I'm figuring on for winter also. I want to set up a windowsill enclosure of some sort, with the window cracked open enough to suitably chill them, while at the same time trying to provide sufficient humidity. I read conflicting info on the need for humidity. The conventional wisdom for winter seems to be water seldom and very little, but keep humidity high. I've also read that these are tolerant of low humidity, but I'm not sure how well they'd fare when my RH sometimes drops to 20% and less in the winter.
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